Disclaimer: I don't own TVD
Summary: It's 2204 and Stefan's ripping his way through Atlanta. He meets Klaus but isn't sure why the hybrid feels so familiar to him or what that niggling feeling is that tells him he's forgetting something important. Either way Stefan knows he's in too deep. Sure they're friends, but are they more? And what happens when a hunter gets on their tail? Klaus might have to run, but will Stefan go with him?
A/N: Written for the 2012 Serial Killer Big Bang. Special thanks to my beta swirlsofblue and my artist evian-fork. Art can be found on my Livejournal, link on my profile.
Klaus led the blonde outside into the alley where they could be alone. He grinned as he noticed Stefan waiting over the woman's shoulder. Klaus leaned in to murmur something romantic into her ear, but it was just a guise as he swept her hair off her shoulder to expose her neck.
He heard Stefan quickly and silently make his way over. Just as Klaus was about to sink his fangs in, he heard a familiar whistle in the air. Without even thinking about it, he ducked.
The blonde gave a startled scream as she saw the arrow inches away from her face. She gave an even more frightened scream before running away in terror at the attack.
"What the hell?" Stefan gaped, his brow furrowed in worried confusion.
"Bullocks!" Klaus swore as he turned to face the person who had sent the arrow. In the distance there was a tall black man. He held a long bow in his arms and it was easy to tell that he was a hunter. If the various weapons didn't give it away, then the massive muscles did. "Run," he muttered to Stefan.
"What?" Stefan asked in shock. Klaus was an Original. What could possibly scare him off? And what's more, Klaus was not the type of man to run. Ever.
"Just run!" Klaus yelled as he reached out to grab Stefan's arm and dragged him away.
"This is not my idea of fun," Stefan scowled after a few minutes, as he ran through the empty streets. Klaus had lured Stefan out that night on the promise of a fun game for the Ripper, and this didn't seem like a game at all.
"Sorry, mate," Klaus replied, although his tone did not sound particularly apologetic. "Hazards of being me." He ducked, quickly avoiding a vervain grenade that had been thrown.
"Why don't you just kill him?" Stefan asked in annoyance as a splash from the grenade's explosion hit him.
The Original scowled. "I owe the family a debt," he stated vaguely, but with annoyance. "Damn Bennetts," he muttered under his breath.
Stefan barely caught the whisper, but he did definitely catch it and he was completely shocked. A Bennett? Immediately, his thoughts turned to Emily Bennett, Katherine's friend and maid and, of course, a witch. "The hunter's a Bennett witch?" Stefan asked incredulously.
For a second there, Stefan worried that he had said the wrong thing because Klaus stopped immediately, turning to stare at him. Stefan hesitantly stopped as well, but turned slightly to warily eye the man who was rapidly catching up to them. "You know the Bennett family?" Klaus asked, utterly ignoring the incoming danger.
Stefan looked at him oddly. Was now really the time to be asking this? Apparently it was, because Klaus didn't move and instead simply stared, waiting for his answer. "Emily Bennett was a friend of Katherine, the woman who turned me. My brother swore to protect her line."
For whatever reason, Stefan's answer caused Klaus to relax. "Ah, yes. Emily Bennett. I'd forgotten about her," he murmured lowly to himself before returning his focus to the oncoming hunter. "I suppose we'd best get a move on then."
Stefan trailed behind slightly as his legs followed Klaus without thought. His mind was preoccupied with other things instead. This was not the first time Klaus had acted peculiarly when Stefan brought something up. He was beginning to think that Klaus was actively hiding something from him, but what could it be? And did it have something to do with the suspicious feeling he felt deep in his gut like he was missing something or forgetting something?
"Hurry up, Ripper," Klaus called out. He stood waiting in front of a tall building; one of Atlanta's finest hotels. He gave an impatient wave of his hand before walking inside, clearly expecting Stefan to follow.
The brunet gave a small scowl but obligingly followed him inside. "Where are we going?" Stefan questioned, looking over his shoulder to make sure that they had lost their tail.
"My hotel room," Klaus replied simply causing Stefan to blink. They'd been together for several weeks now and yet Stefan had no idea where the other man had been staying all that time. To be honest, he felt like a fool for never inquiring.
"But what about the hunter?" Stefan inquired instead.
Klaus remained silent, instead putting his thumb on the print scanner before opening his hotel room door. He gestured for Stefan to go first before following into the spacious suite. Klaus hastily made for his bedroom and pulled out a duffel bag which he then began filling with his belongings.
"You're leaving?" Stefan asked in surprise. Once again he was surprised at the sight of the Original vampire running away.
"I have to," Klaus replied with an annoyed scowl. "I swore never to harm anyone of their bloodline. Of course I swore that before they swore to hunt me down and kill me. That damn witch; Bonnie Bennett was always a tricky one." Klaus paused in thought. "You know, I don't think she ever quite forgave me for forcing her to do that spell," he mused aloud.
Once again, something inside Stefan tugged uncomfortably. Who was Bonnie Bennett and why did she sound so familiar? Just as he opened his mouth to ask just that, Klaus turned to him seriously.
"Stefan." Klaus hesitated for the briefest moment before continuing on. "I would like for you to come with me."
Stefan blinked in surprise. "Go with you where?" he asked dumbly, too shocked to realize what stupidity just came out of his mouth. Once his brain caught up to his words, he gave a wince in embarrassment at what he'd said.
Klaus seemed amused by his response however. "Anywhere. I need to run and I want you to come with me."
If Stefan remembered all of their history, he would understand why this was such a monumental question. In the '20s, it had been Rebekah who wanted Stefan to run with them and Klaus had been the one to firmly put his foot down, going so far as to completely compel Stefan's memories away. And then, against the possibilities, they had met once more. After the curse was lifted, Klaus brought Stefan along on his hybrid journey, although that had been through brute force and coercion. And, of course, the minute he had been able to, Stefan had run away from him, earning himself Klaus' anger. It was a fucking miracle that they had run into each other here in Atlanta for a third time.
If Stefan had remembered all of this history, he would have realized the weight behind these words. But he didn't.
When Stefan didn't answer right away, Klaus unwilling put forth an offer he had been saving with the hope that he would never have to use it. "I could teach you control." Klaus hated that he even had to utter those words, but they were a powerful bargaining chip and Stefan would be no good to him on the run without that necessary control. That was the reason why he had compelled the Ripper in Chicago to begin with. Stefan literally tore his victims to shreds. It was an easy M.O. to follow which meant that they would make for easy targets to follow. If Klaus was going to bring Stefan along, he would first need to teach Stefan to curb his killer impulses, a fact which he hated because it was those killer impulses that made Klaus so interested in him to begin with. Of course, if he didn't teach the Ripper control then Klaus wouldn't be able to bring him along. It was a double edged sword and either way he was going to get cut.
Stefan, on the other hand, blinked in surprise. For centuries, he had been struggling with his control. He was only ever on animal blood or ripping his way through bodies like they were toys. Though he'd never admit it, even his Ripper side longed to be able to control his bloodlust. Sure, he covered it up by adding tricks and flair; pretending that everything he did was intentional; that he meant to be that cruel. But it was a lie. A lie Klaus apparently knew about.
But unfortunately, that would not be enough.
"I know we've been seeing each other, but it's only been three weeks," Stefan replied hesitantly with a small hint of incredulousness in his voice. "I can't go running off with you. Especially if you have a hunter on your tail. That's just a whole lot of problems that I don't need. I mean, if I wanted drama, I'd be in Brazil with Damon." Stefan chuckled slightly, hoping to put some ease into the rejection, but it didn't do any good. Klaus' expression didn't change, but still… there was something there, beneath the surface. As a vampire, there wasn't much that scared Stefan, but the look in Klaus' eyes at that very moment… well, that did it.
Stefan shifted uncomfortably as he began to wonder whether or not he was about to die. He wasn't an idiot; he knew that Klaus had a short temper and a bloody vengeance streak a mile long.
So he was understandably surprised when Klaus appeared to reign himself in. The Original gave a sharp, jerky nod of acknowledgement. "Alright," he said, turning to pack the last of his things.
What Stefan didn't realize is that Klaus was currently debating on what to do. He hadn't really thought about it because he had never expected this situation to come up. Did he compel Stefan to forget once more? Jackson Bennett had seen the two of them together and if Klaus left then the first person the hunter would turn to would be Stefan. Stefan was strong, but would he be able to go up against a Bennett witch and win?
On the other hand, Klaus could always make Stefan go with him. But to be honest, he had already learned that lesson in the 21st century. Stefan needed to come to him willingly.
Klaus gave a small sigh before zipping up his bag. He found that he was actually rather sad to see it come to this. He turned around with the intention to compel away Stefan's memories when the look on the brunet's eyes caught his attention.
Stefan looked stiff as a board and wary of Klaus' every move. He clearly thought that Klaus planned to kill him. And why wouldn't he? Klaus had a rather fearsome reputation that he only liked to nurture. How was Stefan to know any differently?
And just like that, Klaus changed his mind. With a small smile he reached out a hand and gently cupped Stefan's nape, drawing him in for one last kiss before blurring out the door and down the hall before Stefan could realize what was going on.
This was the third time he and Stefan had met and Klaus was sure that life would bring them together once more. It would be nice if the next time Stefan actually remembered who he was.
Klaus would just have to trust that Stefan would be able to keep himself alive until then.
The farther away Klaus got from Stefan and the hotel room, the better he began to feel about his decision. It wasn't in his nature to trust, but some way, some how, Stefan had always managed to be the exception to his rule.
And now that he was thinking about Stefan and Mystic Falls and the past in general, another person came to mind; someone else who became an exception to his rules.
"Well then," Klaus muttered thoughtfully to himself as he left Atlanta city limits. "Perhaps it's time to check on Caroline."