Disclaimer: I do not own Vampire Diaries

Thank you to everyone who reviewed last chapter. As always, I've replied to everyone now. It's always so motivating to hear what you did, and even what you didn't, like in the plot. So, thank you! It really encourages me to write faster ;D


"What's happening? Is he okay?"

Rei looked at a worried and beyond confused looking Matt, struggling under Tyler's weight as they hurried through the dark woods, and hung her head with a sigh.

Merlin, he didn't deserve this. They should have told him up front what was happening! Now, here he was, desperately afraid for his friend, everyone too preoccupied and distracted to answer his questions and-!

"He better not wolf out on us," Damon snarled from beside her.

Rei couldn't help it. Jerking her head to the side, she shot the dark-haired vampire a scorching glare, fed up with his sarcastic, bitter barbs.

He was angry.

She got it!

Before she could say anything, Damon's phone rang.

"Bad time, little bro."

Shoving past Damon roughly, Rei jogged over to the struggling trio, her eyes running worriedly over Tyler's scrunched up face.

He was turning faster than she'd expected.

Pressing her hand to his forehead, she hissed with alarm at the fiery heat that touched her skin.

"I don't-" Caroline's voice cut-off with a gasp as she staggered under the sudden extra weight as Tyler's leg broke. "How far are we from your house, Rei?" She cried.

Familiar, pained grey eyes flashed through her mind as she stared down at the suffering werewolf and she had to turn away.

"Not far," She told them, picking up her pace despite the leaden weight of her limbs.

"…I'll take care of it." Damon's strained voice caught her attention and she looked behind her just in time to see him fling the phone at a tree. The technological device shattering upon impact.

Without warning, Tyler suddenly let out a blood curdling scream, falling to the forest floor in agony as his body spasmed uncontrollably against the cold ground.

"Tyler!" Matt yelled, horrified.

"I don't know if I can hold it off!" Tyler gasped out, tears leaking from his eyes as the muscles beneath his skin began to shift. "Get out of here!"

"Tyler, it'll be okay," Caroline hiccuped, standing as if to move forward.

Rei snapped out a hand, pulling the blonde vampire behind her.

They were out of time.

Looking at the writhing, twisting body of Tyler Lockwood twitching against the forest floor, Rei knew it was too late.

They had to run.

"Go!" Tyler roared, the sound transforming into an animalistic growl that had the tiny hairs on the back of her neck rising in warning.

"You've got time!" Caroline stuttered, but Rei caught the way her eyes flicked up to look for Matt. "We're almost there, just-"

With a feral growl, Tyler launched himself at them, his eyes a brilliant yellow hue.

Rei reacted without thinking. Reaching down into her core, she forced her magic to gather. But she was too slow. Her body too tired. Her magic too damaged.

Clenching her eyes shut against the pain, a rush of air was all the warning they had.

Damon tackled Tyler to the ground.

The split second he'd given her was all the time she needed.

With a grunt, Rei threw her hand out, her magic rushing to the surface.

Tyler's body flew through the air, propelled off of Damon by an unseen force.

Caroline caught her.

"Rei?" The blonde's worried voice was all the motivation she needed to push herself out of the vampire's secure grip, forcing her own two feet to hold her weight.

Ice-blue orbs stared up at her in silence.

"Damon…" Caroline called weakly, the unsaid question loud.

"I'm fine," He snapped, rising to his feet swiftly.

He'd seen. He'd seen her use magic.

Steadying her breathing, Rei gasped as two arms suddenly wrapped around her waist, tugging her close as the dark, forest trees flashed past them quickly.

A lone howl pierced the night.

Rei scrambled to keep her footing as Damon came to an abrupt stop, practically tossing her away from him.

"Go home," He snarled, not even looking at her as he stormed away.

Seeing the fountain that dominated the main town square of Mystic Falls, it only took Rei one glance to know where they were, and what the impulsive vampire had planned.

Ignoring the lethargy in her limbs, Rei pushed her legs into a run, rounding Damon's furious figure in order to cut him off.

"Don't be an idiot," Holding one arm out against his chest, emerald eyes glared into smouldering ice blue orbs.

Alaric's apartment building was in plain sight, just across the street, and the black-haired man's intention couldn't have been more clear.

Damon leaned down, his mouth twisted with anger. "Get out of here, before I decide you're too much trouble and kill you myself," He threatened.

Emerald narrowed.

Damon pushed past her, his eyes set on the entrance to the brick apartment building across the road.

"You really think he doesn't have a back-up?!" Spinning around on her heel, pushing down her anger, Rei watched as Damon froze under one of the many fairy-light draped trees dominating the square. "I've known the guy for all of fourty-eight hours, Damon, and I already know he has multiple back-ups. Offering yourself as the replacement vampire sacrifice in the ritual isn't going to work. All you'll do is get yourself killed."

"Oh, really?" Damon's bitter drawl was biting as he turned to face her. "And how is it that you know the inner workings of Klaus' mind so well, Rei?"

The blatant insinuation in his tone had her hands balling into white-knuckled fists at her sides.

"If you were thinking with your head, Damon," She snapped, spitting his name with the same amount of venom he'd voiced hers. "You would have reached the same conclusion. Klaus has been observing you for days, now. He knows the lengths you and Stefan will go to save Elena. In fact, I'm sure your desperation amuses him greatly. But he isn't stupid."

"And I am?" His voice was dark, threatening, as he advanced on her.

Rei scoffed. "I know you were bitten, Damon," She told him.

She'd seen the flash of pain dart across his face as her magic had flung Tyler's body off of him and into the trees. He'd been too slow to hide the reaction from her sharp eyes.

A werewolf's bite was fatal.

Which brought them to this monumentally stupid move.

Damon's eyes widened in surprise and he instinctively brought a hand up to his forearm.

"I never pegged you for a martyr, Damon," Rei laughed sarcastically. Furious that he was just giving up.

Ice-blue orbs snapped up, the fire reignited at her disparaging words.

"I'm going to die. End of story." Damon said, his jaw clenching with anger. "This way, Elena doesn't lose anyone else."

"There is always a solution," Rei hissed, stalking forward. "To every poison, there is a cure. To every problem, an answer…You're taking the easy way out."

"What?" Damon smirked darkly. "Like you did?"

The abrupt change in topic had Rei jerking back, shaking her head in confusion.

Damon stalked forward, the muscles in his shoulders and arms tense and ready, barely suppressing the violence and fury waiting to be unleashed.

"What are yo-?"

"Why'd you give up the moonstone, Rei?" Damon asked softly, silkily. "The one thing that Klaus can't have a back-up for, and you handed it to him on a silver platter…Why?"

Everything became all too clear in that one moment. Staring into Damon's enraged blue orbs, seeing the betrayal and pain he was trying to mask.

Fire became ice.

Hot frustration cooling into hard, calculating composure.

Rei's eyes narrowed.

"…Do you really think he wouldn't have found it?" She asked slowly, folding her arms across her chest. Her voice was soft, quiet, but the words seemed to pierce the night with an effectiveness their earlier yells hadn't. "He would have. Even if he had to rip this entire town apart."

She could see the knowledge in Damon's eyes. The wisdom and experience even he couldn't run away from. But stubbornness and dread wouldn't allow him to admit it.

"You could have bought us time," He hissed furiously, glaring down at her as if she were some sick, malevolent spirit. "A few more hours and he would have had to wait another month to break the curse!"

Rei had never been a very tolerant person. Even less to those who chose to live in ignorance. Damon was deliberately simplifying the situation. Posing arguments and reformulating reality so that it would fit into his view of the world.

An ostrich.

That's what he was.

"I had my reasons," Her voice was like ice, disdain dripping from every word as she stared up at Damon through new eyes.

He refused to accept reality for what it was and scoffed at the facts and details that upset his world.


Ice-blue shuttered in shock, somehow picking up on the unspoken change in their relationship. In how she was looking at him.

Short black hair flew through the air as Damon abruptly shook his head, a dangerous snarl pulling back his upper lip.

"You had your reasons," He echoed with a humourless bark of laughter. "Elena is going to die because of you!" Disgust bubbled up inside of her the longer she listened to him rant, her eyes hardening into chips of ice. "You and your reasons." His face was barely an inch from her nose, cool breath fanning across her cheeks. "Because you didn't stall him!"

Her hand shot out, her palm connecting solidly with his chest.

She pushed.

Damon stumbled back. Loosing his footing. Not having expected the deceptively strong shove from the human girl.

"Elena's life is not the only one that matters, Damon!" Rei growled, following him back. "Elena's life is not even the only life that will be lost tonight! And it sure as hell isn't the only one that could be lost!"

Unable to stand the sight of him, the stupefied expression on his features disgusting her, Rei spun on her heel, walking away from him.

Damon was suddenly in front of her, his eyes completely transformed as he looked down at her with worry.

The change in his mood did nothing but anger her further.

He acted like a child! Demanding things his way, and his way only, and Merlin help the person that went against him. He was the one that had lived for over a century and a half, not her! It shouldn't be up to her to force sense into his thick-skull! And if he thought she'd put up with his moods, and his tantrums and simply forgive…he didn't know her at all.

"Wait! Rei, wait!" Circling her arms with his hands, he forced her to stop. Staring down at her with concern. "What did you mean by that?" He asked seriously. "That Elena's life isn't the only one that could be lost? Did he threaten you? I mean, of course he did, but did he threaten to kill us? Is that why you gave him the stone?"

Staring up at Damon's suddenly warm expression, Rei couldn't believe it.

"I owe you no explanation, Damon," She spat. "For my past, or my present." Ripping herself free of his hold, she backed up; putting space between them as she forced her temper down. "And I sure as hell have no desire to do so after your 'oh so astute' accusations."

Damon's brow drew down, his eyes closing off into a blank expression that Rei was only too happy to meet.

"…Fine," He nodded curtly, his jaw clenching as he looked away from her. Turning around, he paused, looking back at her from over his shoulder. "You know, you might be right about there being a cure for werewolf bites. Unfortunately, this poison is on a short clock. I'll be rabid in thirty-six hours."

Throwing out an arm for balance, Elena stumbled as her ankle unexpectedly rolled having caught on a rock.

"Hurry up," The witch, a mocha skinned girl no older than herself, hissed at her from over her shoulder.

"I can't-!" Yelping, she winced as the tendons in her knee overextended. "I can't see anything," Elena finished, pushing her long hair out of her eyes.

Without warning, fire erupted all around her, lighting up the trees surrounding them with an eerie, orange glow.

"Better?" The witch smiled at her sarcastically.

Hurrying to catch up, Elena frowned at the human girl in bewilderment. Why was she helping Klaus? Had he compelled her? Threatened her?

"You're Greta, aren't you?" She asked hesitantly. "Your brother and father were looking for you."

"I wasn't lost," The witch shrugged simply, and that's when they reached the clearing.

Elena swallowed hard, pushing down her rising fear with difficulty until her eyes fell on a familiar figure lying in a heap on the dirt ground.

"Jenna?" She gasped.

Without another word, Elena was running. Her heart pounding loud in her ears as water gathered in her eyes.

No. No, this wasn't possible! This wasn't meant to happen!

Falling to her knees, she frantically shot out an arm to turn over her aunt, her hand coming up to cover her mouth with horror as she saw her still chest.

"She's dead," Elena whispered to herself, barely able to comprehend the fact. Brown eyes shot up to pierce the smiling Greta with a heartbroken glare. "I did everything I was told!" She shouted, her hands trembling as she looked back down at Jenna's dead body. "This wasn't supposed to happen."

"She's not dead," Greta laughed cruelly.

Elena jumped back with a startled cry as Jenna's body suddenly arched off the ground. A sharp, desperate intake of air piercing the night.

"She's in transition."


Zipping through the streets and trees, his arms tight around the small girl he was carrying, Damon cringed as a spike of pain moved through his body.

He wasn't sure if he could call this the worst night of his life. Probably not. But it was close. Failing to postpone the ritual, being outmanoeuvred by Klaus as if it were effortless for the hybrid bastard to anticipate his moves. Finding Rei, only to see Elijah at her back. Having the Lockwood idiot bite him with a fatal injury that there was no cure to. And then that fight outside of Alaric's apartment.

That had been bad.

Shaking his head to clear his thoughts, Damon readjusted his grip on Rei and sped up his pace, needing to reach the witch house as soon as possible.

He'd been so determined, so sure that Klaus would take him as the vampire sacrifice in the ritual. So sure! And then Rei had spoken. Nothing was ever easy in his life, why should this be?

For days he'd been spinning with the information that it was the english girl he'd come to know, even genuinely like, who had taken the all important moonstone. That she was the one that stole it from the soap bowl in his bathroom. Not Katherine.

He'd felt like a fool.

She'd probably been laughing at them. At him! Hearing him speak of Katherine's theft and never once owning up. He'd had to hear it from Klaus. The smirking, amused hybrid bastard had known exactly how explosive his revelation was. Amused at Damon's shock, his speechlessness.

His humiliation had only made him angrier.

Which explained why he'd practically blown-up at her in the town square not fifteen minutes ago. Unleashing the acid insults and hurt that had been building in him for days without thought.

He'd learned how to hurt with his words. A century and a half made for a lot of practise. Even Stefan didn't know when he was being entirely serious or not.

It was a talent of his. Cutting down an opponent with his words, throwing their insecurities and failures in their face at the worst possible moment, in the worst possible way.

But she hadn't crumbled.

Rei had taken his abuse, standing tall, staring at him with those slowly darkening emeralds as he unleashed his fury on her exhausted figure.

He'd miscalculated.

For every knife-sharp word, Rei came back stronger. For every hit, every slice, she returned the venom two-fold.

There had been no tears, no cry's, no screams of apology.

Only anger.

Anger…and disgust.

He'd rarely felt so small as when Rei turned the power of her disdain on him. Her words cutting through every defence, every excuse, until he had nothing left.

Damon had seen what she'd done in the forest. He knew enough about the world to recognise magic when he saw it.

A witch.

She was a witch.

And he couldn't say a damn thing.

With a cold intuition, she'd understood the situation perfectly. And she'd offered him a deal. If he wanted the secret of his injury, the fact that he'd been bitten, hidden from his brother and the others, Damon wasn't to say anything of what he'd seen.

She could have just asked.

He knew he wouldn't have said anything, not now, not with the way she was looking at him, not unless she wanted him to.

But she didn't trust him. Not anymore. At least, not the small amount that she had.

So the deal had been struck.

His silence, for hers.

Rushing over the last hill, Damon came to an abrupt stop before the site of the witch's massacre, letting his arms drop from around Rei's waist.

She didn't say anything to him as Stefan and Elijah's heads swung round at their arrival.

Rei looked up at the derelict, old mansion dominating the valley with a frown.

She could feel the power in the structure. The voices. The curiousity.

They knew she was here.

"What is this place?" She asked softly.

"It is the site at which over a hundred wiccan witches were burned to death," The familiar, composed tones of Elijah's voice floated over her. "When a servant of nature is violently killed the place of their mortal death is marked with power."

Rei raised an eyebrow at the new information, emerald orbs running over the tall, three-storey columns and faded white paint with hidden amusement.

"They're still here."

Spirits of long-dead witches passing judgement over actions; Rei shook her head, turning to face the three vampires standing behind her.

Stefan Salvatore's pinched face met her gaze, the handsome man's jaw clenched tightly as he regarded her in silence.

"Something to say, Salvatore?" Rei dared, lifting a single brow at him in silent challenge.

"What are you doing here?" Stefan asked her tightly.

"While it might surprise you to realise, Stefan, I do care what happens to Elena. And I do care that Bonnie, Caroline, Tyler, and everyone else, survives the events of today," Sighing, she folded her arms, tossing a quick glance behind her as she felt the aura around the witch mansion expand. The whispers grow louder. "Not to mention that I've spent the past couple of days in the company of the insufferable arse who wants to sacrifice your girlfriend, and the idea of tonight all going wrong for him has a certain poetic appeal."

He'd pissed her off. Klaus. With his infuriating arrogance, dangerous charm and all too familiar ability to read both people and situations to his advantage.

Not to mention, if he was successful, if Klaus did manage to break the curse and become a hybrid; half vampire, half werewolf; she needed to know. The idea of those two species mingled in one being…Rei didn't know what to think. On the one hand, this was something that had happened over one thousand years ago, put off only because of a wiccan witch's curse. Something that should have long since been welcomed to the world.

But so many questions remained unanswered. What would Klaus be able to do once he awoke his inner wolf? How much more powerful would he become? What abilities would become his?

"Don't worry, Stefan," Rei narrowed her eyes on the enormous house in front of her. "I won't get in your way."

"Glad to know I still have a dance partner," Klaus smirked with amusement as the latest doppelgänger whipped around at the sound of his voice, her face scared.

"Do you have it?" Greta asked, walking towards him quickly with an excited gleam in her eyes.

Raising an eyebrow, he reached into his jacket pocket, retrieving the small, cloudy stone from the expensive lining.

"I spent five hundred years looking for this." Extending his arm, he let the threat in his voice become clear. "I hate to part with it."

Greta's eyes flicked up, locking with his. Her hand trembled as she carefully took the moonstone from his palm, nervousness mixing with euphoria.

"The moon has passed its apex," She told him softly, her voice clear. "You remember everything you need to do?"

The smallest of laughs escaped his lips as he regarded the witch from beneath his lashes, a mocking half-smile curving up the right side of his mouth.

He'd been waiting for this moment for almost one thousand years. Since the very moment his mother had cursed him to this half-life.

He often wondered if she'd known the true repercussions of her actions that day. The torture she was sentencing him to. The loneliness. The prison. To wake up everyday barred from half of himself. To know what he was missing. To know and not be able to do anything about it.

He'd spent centuries in a body, in a mind, that was only half his own.

Until now.

He finally, finally, had the chance to make this right. To take back what was rightfully his. What Ester stole from him!

Which is what made Greta's question so bitterly ironic. There wasn't a chance in hell that he'd ever forget one aspect of this ritual. The steps were burned into his brain.

"...I remember."

Without another word, Greta turned and threw the moonstone into a large clay bowl resting on the stone altar, destroying it in a shower of hot sparks.

Bonnie closed her eyes, pressing back the tears that were gathering there as she forced her feet to keep moving.

Alaric had asked her to leave, needing to tell Jeremy about Jenna in private.

She couldn't believe it. Jenna, the fun-loving aunt that had never hurt anyone, was a vampire. One that Klaus intended on using for the sacrifice.

How had this become her life?

Dragging in a long, deep breath, Bonnie shook her head, wiping all expression from her face before she took one final step and exited the house.

She froze.

There, sitting on the peak of a gentle, green hill with her back facing the mansion, was a familiar head of chaotic, black curls.


Despite how soft the question, how broken. She heard it.

Bright emerald orbs swung round, piercing her.

Terrible, horrible relief crashed over her, and suddenly, Bonnie was running.

Stumbling down the rotten wood steps in her haste to get to her, Bonnie paid the tears she could feel cascading down her cheeks no attention as she ran across the grass to fling her arms around the small, english girl she'd come to call a friend.

And in that moment, when she heard the soft, musical laugh against her left ear as Rei easily returned her hug, Bonnie knew that Caroline had been right. She didn't care about Rei's reasons for taking the moonstone, not in comparison to her life.

"Bonnie, Bonnie, shhh, I'm alright!" Rei laughed, pushing her away so she could smile up at her crying figure with lively amusement. A single, black eyebrow quirked upwards. "So, I guess you missed me?" She asked cheekily.

The gentle teasing was all it took to bring on another wave of tears, and this time, when Bonnie pulled Rei back into a crushing embrace, she was laughing too.

"You're alright," She chanted to herself, a blinding grin of happiness on her face as she hugged the girl to her closely. "You're alright."

Without warning, soft whispers of dark disapproval began circling her, rising in volume and intensity until Bonnie could no longer hold back her wince of pain as she disentangled her arms from around Rei.

Sharp jabs of pain split against her temples, slicing across her eyes in reprimand.


The whispers stopped as suddenly as they came, quieting down.

Opening her eyes, she came face to face with Rei's concerned, suspicious gaze.

Bonnie sucked in a sharp breath.

The spirits. They didn't want her associating with Rei. They didn't like her. Didn't welcome her. And they made sure to let her know their opinion on her friendship with the wand wielder.

"I'm okay," She smiled weakly, pushing back her shoulders with effort.

Rei raised a skeptical eyebrow at her, her green eyes flicking over her shoulder to stare at the looming mansion behind them.

"They don't like me being here, do they?" Her tone was more of a statement than a question, but what really surprised Bonnie was the humour she could hear in Rei's voice.

Rubbing her arm for warmth, Bonnie nodded silently, biting her lip against the feeling of shame that bubbled up inside of her for the witches behaviour.

It's not as if Rei was a vampire! She was a witch! Just like them! Why were they warning her against fraternising with the english girl?!

"Sorry," She smiled a little hopelessly at Rei, feeling terrible for the practically palpable aura of disdain emanating from the house. "They're not usually like this." Was all she could say, not understanding the spirits' unease.

"Oh, I wouldn't worry about it," Rei waved off her remark with a casualness that was all too genuine. "Whether it is one or a hundred, all spirits have something very important in common." Green eyes locked on her hazel ones. "They were once human." And all humans are flawed.

Bonnie bit the inside of her cheek, frowning at the unsaid warning in Rei's voice as she looked back over her shoulder at the run-down structure dominating the landscape.

A wind kicked up. The witches murmurs and whispers swirling around them in response to Rei's comment.

The delicate, beautiful features of her friend never faltered for a minute. Instead, her eyes darted around them with unhidden curiousity. As if the judgement of her ancestors and kin were worth nothing more than academic curiousity.

Bonnie shook her head with a small grin, her own courage rising in the face of such indifference.

Straightening her shoulders, Bonnie smiled widely at the black-haired girl opposite her. Her heart swelling with happiness as she saw no signs of injury in her friend.

She hadn't realised until that moment, until Rei was standing in front of her, just how much the girl's abduction had been playing on her mind, on her worries.

"Have you seen Caroline?" She asked eagerly, grinning at the thought of her blonde friend's happiness when she heard the news.

"I have," Rei nodded with a small laugh.

Grinning, Bonnie's mind abruptly flashed back to the heated conversation Caroline and her had had only days ago, her smile fading quickly. With a quickly darkening frown of concern, she stepped forward, reaching out a hand for Rei's wrist as she pulled the english girl closer to her.

Darting her eyes around the valley, she pursed her lips with worry when she saw Elijah and Stefan conversing under a lone tree on the other side of the house.

"Rei," She dropped her voice to the softest of whispers, dragging her even closer in her hope not to be overheard by the two vampires. "Caroline…she told me something the other day, about your…" Waving a hand in the air, she watched as Rei's eyes abruptly widened as she suddenly understood what Bonnie was referring to. Her magic. "She said that it wasn't working proper-!"

Her frantic whispers were abruptly muffled as Rei quickly clapped a hand over her mouth, smothering any further words.

Green eyes blazed at her angrily, her silent message clear. Not here!

Bonnie tried to speak with her eyes, tried to convey her concern for the condition that Caroline had accidentally spilled to her about, but Rei just shook her head. Glaring over at the two suddenly still figures beneath the lone tree that were now staring at them.

Bonnie looked over, her eyes widening at the sight of Stefan's narrowed, suspicious eyes, and quickly darted her gaze back to Rei. Nodding her understanding.

Not here.

She hadn't said enough of anything to give Rei's secret away, but Stefan now knew that they were hiding something.

"I won't fail you."

"Klaus is your brother. I know I've wanted to kill my brother a thousand times. I've never been able to."

"Well, Klaus was not my only brother. I had siblings; parents. I had a family. Over the centuries, Klaus hunted them down one by one and he took them from me. He scattered them across the seas where their bodies couldn't be found."

"You want revenge."

"Sometimes there's honour in revenge, Stefan…I won't fail you."

"Please, end this."

Rei watched Stefan as he moved quickly into the surrounding trees, slowly making her way to stand beside Elijah's silent figure.

Long seconds passed, neither feeling the need to break the silence until they absolutely had to.

"I asked you before," Elijah finally turned to face her; his face blank, tense. "Perhaps you'll be so good as to give me a more detailed answer now."

Frowning, Rei nodded.

"My brother…I can rarely predict the way Niklaus will react. You seem unhurt…" He trailed off, not knowing quite how to word his question.

Sighing, she ran a hand through her long, black curls, tucking them back behind her ear. "You want to know the impression your brother left on me."

"I have not seen Niklaus in…many years."

He missed him, Rei suddenly realised. She supposed that it shouldn't have surprised her, but it did. Having overheard his conversation with Stefan, she knew that Elijah was serious about killing his brother tonight.

A bitter smile twisted her lips.

"He surprised me," Rei stated without preamble.

Elijah's neck snapped around, his oak brown eyes intense.

"I knew from what little information I had gathered about him, about you, that he must be intelligent. Cunning, to be able to get his way so often. To induce such fear in a person such as Katerina Petrova."

"Katerina?" Elijah interrupted, his brows drawn down with confusion.

"I'm far from a fool, Elijah," She frowned. "Katherine Pierce isn't someone to be underestimated. Whether you hate her or not, you'd have to be an idiot not to be wary of how good she is at getting what she wants."

"That it true," He murmured.

Folding her arms, Rei hesitated for just a moment, her instincts railing against the thought of telling him her true thoughts.

Steeling herself, she raised her chin. "I won't insult you by hiding behind modesty, Elijah," She said quietly. "I've come up against formidable people before. Both in power, and in mind. And I know enough about my own capabilities to know that I'm not someone you want to call an enemy…Your brother…surprised me," She repeated her words from earlier with a helpless little shrug, not knowing how else to verbalise her feelings.

But it seemed as though he needed no further words. Elijah simply nodded. Dropping the subject.

Glancing over her shoulder at the decrepit mansion, Rei bit her lip in indecision. Knowing that if she was going to ask, she would only have this one chance. And only now.

"Is there a cure for a werewolf bite?" Her voice was steady, calm as she asked her question.

Elijah's head snapped down, his body moving gracefully around to face her. "…Why do you ask?"

Emerald orbs narrowed. "So there is one," She stated confidently, having caught the flash of emotion that sprinted across dark brown eyes.

"Yes," Elijah inclined his head slowly. When it became clear that she wasn't going to go further into her reasons for asking, his mouth curled upwards, her stubborn silence amusing him. "There is one cure for werewolf venom. Niklaus' blood."

Rei simply stared up at him in silence.

If they killed Klaus, if they were successful tonight in accomplishing what they sought to do…Damon would die.

Rei could feel her heart sinking as the all too familiar scales measured the reality of her choice.

If she said something, if tonight failed and Klaus lived, there was the possibility of somehow gaining Klaus' blood. Of curing Damon. He would live. But everyone else…they would die.

Once again, it came down to the greatest good for the greatest number.

Looking up into Elijah's curious eyes, Rei just nodded, saying nothing.

"John," Jeremy croaked, unable to form any other words.

His Uncle smiled at him gently, blue eyes fierce.

"I was never the Father that Elena deserved, but this, this I can do for her."

"Woah," Alaric stepped forward with alarm, quickly getting a read on the situation. "What's going on?"

"Do it," Damon snarled, glaring at John before stalking from the room.

Without another word, Bonnie stepped forward, her hands coming up to hover on either side of John's head.

"Once I do this," She told his Uncle seriously. "It can't be undone. Your life-force will be linked to Elena's and when she dies, it will transfer to her. I won't be able to stop it."

"I know," John nodded. "Do it."

Stefan bit his lip to muffle the hoarse cry of agony that bubbled up his throat as the sharp stake in his back pressed painfully against the beating organ of his heart.

Twisting on the ground, he grit his teeth together, swallowing back the hot blood that pooled in his mouth as he forced his body to move. Desperate to see Elena. To look into her eyes. To see her one last time.

His knee suddenly caught on a root in the dirt ground, jarring his body. White, blinding light flashed across his eyes, impossible heat searing through his body as his mouth opened wide in a silent scream.

Oh God.

"It's time."

Klaus' voice brought him back down to Earth with an abruptness that filled him with ice. The feeling in his limbs barely there.

Forcing his eyes to focus, Stefan sucked in a harsh breath as Elena's huge, doe eyes met his; the tearful orbs clearly having never left his agonised figure.

The circle of flames keeping Elena prisoner grew weaker and weaker the closer Klaus drew to the woman he loved, until, finally, the flames were no more.

"No-!" The painful gasp left his lips on a whisper, his lungs filled with blood.

Tears trickled from his eyes as he watched Elena glare at the dark-blonde man before rising to her feet, pushing roughly past his offered hand.

Glowing coals of hate mixed with anger as he watched Klaus turn around with a little amused smirk on his mouth, his girlfriend's weak rebellion amusing him.

He couldn't begin describe the agony that filled him as he watched Klaus steadily approach Elena's silent, brave figure on that god-forsaken altar of stone. The helplessness. The complete and total horror of knowing that he couldn't do a thing to stop it. That he was powerless.

"Thank-you, Elena," Klaus murmured softly, the sound oddly genuine as he brushed her long, brown locks off her neck.

"Go to hell," Elena growled hatefully, her eyes fixed on his.

Stefan couldn't help it. When Klaus' head bent down and his fang sank slowly into Elena's vulnerable throat, he reacted without thinking.

His body jerked forward. Desperate to rip her out of his arms as tears ran unceasingly down his face.

Pain lashed at his body, wave upon wave of intense heat ripping through him. But he didn't care. All he could see was the gradual lowering of Elena's lashes. The slowing of her heart.

"No!" He gasped.


They'd all gone.

Off to save Elena. To kill Klaus.

Rei let the breath leave her lungs on a slow, long exhale, listening to the quiet rustle of wind through leaves.

The murmurings started softly. At a distance.

Rei smiled without humour.

"Don't worry," She smirked, pulling her knees closer to her chest as she watched the grass in front of her sway. "I have no intention of entering your domain."

The spirits paused, unsure of how to take her disinterest in them.

They slowly reached out.

The whispers grew louder and emerald eyes narrowed warily as she felt them circling her.



There was an echo of delighted glee in the witches spirits as they moved around her, coming closer. A cruel amusement.

They knew.

About her magic.

Emerald orbs sharpened dangerously.

They were mocking her.

"Careful now," Rei whispered, her voice sweet, dark. "You may be spirits, but that does not make you invulnerable. You forget…I too have ancestors."

The voices stopped. Hovering around her for a long minute before finally, reluctantly, retreating back into the house.

Rei turned her neck to stare up at the imposing, run-down mansion, her lips thin.

Wow! Such a long chapter! What, with Damon and Rei's confrontation, Damon finding out about her magic, Stefan knowing that they're hiding something, Elijah and Rei's talk. Bonnie. Not to mention the glimpse we got into Klaus' perspective on the curse. And, of course, those pesky, judgmental wiccan spirits.

What did you think?