Rebekah may be a thousand years old, but she can still count the number of times she's been truly happy on her hands. So when Elijah walks into her hotel room, the feeling that everything will be okay ends up being overwhelming, and she bursts into tears all over again.
Elijah's beside her in an instant. For all the fights they've had over the centuries, he's the best older brother anyone could ask for, knowing better than to pick fault at her or at Matt. Instead he holds her tight and just lets her cry for a while. This is why Rebekah called him and not Klaus.
"What's going on with you?" asks Elijah once she's calmed down. His tone sounds genuinely concerned, not critical, so Rebekah spills the entire story, including her own insecurities.
"I think you need to take some time for yourself," says Elijah when Rebekah's finished.
She gives him a puzzled look. "That's what you think will solve this?"
Elijah shakes his head. "Not completely. But you were stuck in a coffin for 90 years after having family & romance & a life. And then you were back and thrown into all the nastiness that is our history. You haven't had a chance to figure out what you truly want."
"So what do you suggest?"
"Get away. Go somewhere that feels peaceful to you, somewhere with good memories. Figure out what it is that you most desire, what you're willing to fight for. If it's Matt, then work on his playing field and fight fair but go after him. If you decide Matt's not really what you're looking for, move on. You're lost, little sister, and until you find yourself, you'll never be able to move forward."
Rebekah hugs Elijah. He's right. He's also not suggesting anything easy; she's never really sat down and thought about exactly what she wants without having to consider other people. Rebekah knows deep down this is actually one of the reasons she doesn't get along with Katherine or Caroline. It's not that she doesn't like them, but that she's jealous. Those two know exactly who they are and who they want to be and they don't change for other people. Rebekah wants to find a way to be that strong.
Elijah's encouragement helps her realize she could be. "Are you staying long?" she asks Elijah, shaking herself free from her thoughts.
"I have a red-eye flight to Budapest this evening," he replies.
Rebekah raises an eyebrow. "Budapest?"
"It was Katherine's turn to choose," says Elijah dismissively. He seems to anticipate her next question. "I didn't bring her here. That didn't seem fair to you."
Rebekah grins a little. Her big brother may love Katherine but at least he knows better than to try and make her play nice. She hugs him one more time and then goes to wipe the tears away and fix her makeup.
Elijah sends a few messages on his phone while she's in the vanity, but agrees to going to dinner at one of their favorite restaurants before he returns to the airport.
Rebekah's on an early train the next morning, headed straight for her favorite little church in Italy. She'd brought it up to Matt first because it would piss off Alexander. But the truth is that this spot is still peaceful for her. The tragedies that befell her and Alexander happened elsewhere. This place is for good memories. But more importantly, it's where she can think.
Which is exactly what she does for the next few days. She accidentally scares off a few tourists by pacing and talking to herself. Then she frightens others on purpose who won't leave her alone.
The afternoon on the third day is when Rebekah feels like she has her answers. She leans back against a tree in the courtyard and closes her eyes, relaxing in the sunshine and letting contentment wash over her. Even the sound of more tourists entering doesn't phase her, not until a set of footsteps stops in front of her. Rebekah opens her eyes to see Matt, backpack at his side, and a quietness in his gaze.
"Hi," he says hesitantly.
"Hi…" Rebekah is just as cautious. "Did Elijah tell you where I was?"
Matt shakes his head. "Not exactly." For a moment Rebekah thinks she's going to have to push more but then Matt continues. "Elijah sent Katherine to find me in London before my plane left. The only message he left was that you needed some time and that if I knew where to find you, he'd consider that reason enough to give me a second chance."
"How did you know where I'd be?"
"This is the only place you'd be."
Rebekah lets herself feel a little bit of hope. She motions for Matt to sit down. "Why did you even bother? I thought you hated me."
Matt looks more than a little broken at her words. "I thought I did. But I think I hate myself more. I don't know who I am that I could act like that."
"I did try to provoke you," admits Rebekah.
"That doesn't justify my behavior," says Matt, vehemence in his tone.
"No, I suppose not. But you're here now?"
Matt's hands clench and release several times before he answers. "I wanted to apologize. And ask for a second chance at this road trip."
"I forgive you," says Rebekah first. That was one of the things she promised herself. If someone asked for forgiveness, she would give it. It didn't mean letting down her guard, but it was time to let grudges die. This other part might not work out the way she hoped. "But I have to decline on the road trip. I never wanted a no strings attached situation, Matt. I wanted you." She takes a deep breath. Honesty. She can do this. "I still want you. This casual fling isn't for me though. Not with you and I don't think trying again would do any good. I'd just end up keeping too many of my emotions hidden and then lash out at you."
"That's fair," says Matt. "You still like me though?"
Rebekah nods. "I do. I still need to figure out what all makes up me, but I know I care about you."
They're both quiet for a good ten minutes, lost in their own thoughts.
Then Matt reaches his hand out towards her. "Hi. I'm Matt Donovan. I'm from a little town in Virginia, I like 70s rock and tea and football."
Rebekah laughs, pure and bright in a way she hasn't in years. "I'm Rebekah Mikaelson. I've lived all over the place and I like dancing and proper tea and I could use someone who can introduce me to good rock music."
"May I take you to dinner, Miss Mikaelson?" asks Matt, standing up and gallantly offering his hand.
Rebekah puts her hand in his, letting Matt pull her up beside him. She looks at him carefully, refuses to let go of him for a moment. There's a promise in his words, a chance for another try, and this time doing things the right way and without outside factors. Just the two of them. She knows she could fight him, make Matt chase her. But games don't matter anymore.
So she smiles back at him. "You may."
And we have happiness again! Okay, so fyi, this is by no means the end of our little story. But it is a bit of a break. It'll probably be about three weeks before I post again. I have some family vacation plans coming up and the final draft of my book to finish up, so I'll be busy. But I wanted to leave this story in a good place over a break, rather than somewhere sad and angsty. I've got lots planned for the rest of their summer abroad.