The Cure

Katherine knew he was there the instant she set foot in the door. It shut behind her, and she turned slowly to face him.

"Katerina," he said, in that calm, controlling tone that made her insides liquefy.

"Elijah… un-daggered, then, are we?"

She'd watched Klaus stab him in the chest, seen his face go white, felt the floor tremor as he fell. "So you've caught me at last. Will you send me to Klaus?"

He smiled. "No, not this time." He indicated the rest of her apartment. "This is nice. You really should have a human flat-mate, though, if you want to keep certain vampires out."

Dark eyes watched him like a hawk as he prowled through the living room, picking up a framed picture of a previous occupant and putting it down again. His appearance was immaculate, his manners equally so. She had always liked that about him, his ruthlessness hidden behind a tailored suit.

"It seems," he said after a time, "that our friends in Mystic Falls are after a cure, for Elena."

Her head tilted, a frown furrowing her brow.

"My sister has never been anything if not impulsive. She caused an accident and since Elena died with Damon's blood in her… well, you can imagine how displeased Klaus is to be without a source of blood to make his hybrids."

Katherine didn't care about that; her mind was on her doppelganger.

Gazing out into the street, Elijah said, "Kol tried to warn them about waking Silas, but they wouldn't listen. Thanks to Elena and her brother, mine is dead, staked with the white oak." His fingers tensed, knuckles cracking as the muscle in his jaw moved in anger.

Careful to keep her distance, Katherine said, "You want vengeance."

"Yes. I told Elena I would not harm her, or the Salvatores… I said nothing about Jeremy." He glanced at her and a chill ran down her spine. This was the Original she had run from for over 500 years, a man as ruthless as he was completely true to his word. He sat down in a chair, resting his arms on either side. "If we were to obtain the cure, I see no reason why I could not barter your freedom with Klaus. Or perhaps you are … content with your wandering ways?"

He indicated the stylish room around them and amusement danced in his eyes. "As I remember, you always did want me to pursue you."

"And you refused to catch me, because then the game would be at an end." Katherine drew nearer, drawing his attention to her curves. "So either you tire of our game, or at last your desire for revenge has overcome your nobility. But what is it you have always said? There can be nobility in vengeance? So, in exchange for the cure, and for dealing with Jeremy, I get my freedom? No more running, no more hiding? Klaus will leave me in peace?"

"It would be a fair trade, would it not?"

She smiled as she uncorked a decanter of wine and poured them each a glass. She sauntered back to him and held out the goblet. "Then we are… partners?"

"Yes," he answered, accepting it.

Reddish liquid swirled at her fingertips. "Why do you want the cure?"

"To teach my remaining brother a lesson in manners. But then, that is none of your affair." He smiled as he drank.

Katherine smiled back, her eyes lingering on him as shadows fell. A brother for a brother, and the price of freedom at her fingertips.

It seemed fair.