Standard disclaimers apply.

"… And the father of the child she is carrying… is your brother Klaus."

Elijah listened to the witch Sophie, but heard very little after the words 'the child she is carrying' had been uttered.

"Impossible." He rejected the motion immediately.

It was an impossibility, surely. No vampire could procreate. And yet, in the recesses of his mind, the word 'hybrid' reverberated and he knew; he knew she spoke truthfully.

"Bring her out!" Sophie called.

Elijah tensed, the hand resting in his left pant pocket forming a fist. It was a subtle move, but he planted his legs firmly on the ground, bracing for whatever would come. Through the shadows, three women appeared. He knew who 'she' was immediately. He could smell her. For an infinitesimal moment, Elijah's eyes shut as her scent wrapped itself around him.

The legs planted so surely propelled him forward, without caution. His eyes narrowed, the furrow between his brows deepend as he tried to discern her form. She was not a witch. This much was evident. She was a werewolf. And when he drowned out the sounds around him, he heard the faint, but strong heartbeat of the foetus inside of her.

"Who the hell are you?" she asked.

He would have smiled at her brashness if he was not yet recovering from the reveal. Tall and slender, it was hard to discern much of her in the darkness.

"Give us a moment please."

Elijah paced. While doing so, he observed her in much the same way she observed him. With caution, trepidation, distrust, but also a pervasive curiosity. He fixed his gaze on her and watched as her eyes flickered down, away. Her shoulders squared and then she looked right at him, meeting his gaze. He was pleased. She was brave. She would have to be if she would survive as mother to a Mikaelson. Niklaus's child.

He stopped, reaching out to touch her. "If I may?" She tensed and pulled out of his reach.

"What are you doing?"

He sensed her unease. She was skittish, like a filly who would bolt if approached too suddenly. He knew that there was little time to explain things. He would have to show her. And in doing so, hopefully win her trust. He sat down beside her.

"Relax. If you open your mind to me, I can show you."

Elijah watched as her emotions flashed across her face. Her eyes, large and green were so expressive, he thought. She did not realise it, but her truth was written there for him to see, even exploit if he wished. But he would not. He was not his brother. And she had been threatened enough. With time, she would learn this about him. She would learn that there was one Mikaelson she could trust.

Elijah met her eyes. He did not know it was the warmth and kindness that radiated from his tawny gaze that allowed him opportunity to touch her. In his quiet manner, he calmed her. His hands gently cupped her cheeks and he was surprised by the heat of her skin. Their eyes locked and then he watched her impossibly long, dark lashes descend until her eyes were shut.

Involuntarily, Elijah tensed his jaw and swallowed, having been afforded a moment to study her unnoticed. She was brave. And vulnerable. Pregnant. She was beautiful. And it was not a difficulty to see why Niklaus had been attracted.

He closed his eyes and began to speak, relaying his family's torrid history.

Eventually, when all was said and done, her eyes opened and met his. Elijah dropped his hands, having no reason to hold onto her any longer. The break in contact proved a surprising disquiet.

"Your dad was a dick," she said softly, breaking the spell. That was one way of putting it. Elijah inclined his head in acknowledgement, a wry chuckle escaping from his lips. With the small smile, lines of mirth formed beside his mouth. He was a man who did not smile often, but he used to. A long time ago.

"I'm Hayley by the way," she said, extending her hand. He grasped it, his own larger palm enveloping her surprisingly small one. Her grip however, was firm, strong. "You should probably know my name if you're going to tell me your whole life story. I mean, I know yours. Your family is legendary. Your brother's a notorious psycho. Who I slept with. Classic me."

The last bit was self-deprecating and Elijah felt compassion for her. Despite everything his brother had done, he still loved Niklaus. And he would still defend his actions. Even to this woman who would now very likely be the target of his wrath.

"Release her to me. The girl is carrying my family therefore she too is mine." Elijah did not stop to ask himself why these words sounded right as they spiilled from his lips onto the ears of Sophie.

The witch nodded her accent and Hayley began to move towards the sunlight.

"Wait," he cautioned, and slipped his jacket across her shoulders. He was rewarded with those green eyes smiling timidly at him. Her lips, he suspected, fought a battle to remain stoic. She failed because the corners curled upwards slightly.

"I guess chivelry is not dead," she said, her supressed smile infectious. "Just late to the party." She was cheeky. He found he enjoyed her spunk. Elijah caught hiimself smiling of his own accord and suppressed the urge, pushing his hands into his pockets, fisting them.

If he could read her mind, he would have realised that she did not notice his unease. In fact, she admired the economy of his movement; how he was absolutely still, until necessity dictated he move. He did not fuss or fidget. He was controlled, even when doling out threats.

With a gentle hand on the small of her back, together, they walked into the sunlight.

He watched her from the doorway for a while before he walked into the room. From his vantage point, she looked tired. And alone. Lonely. It was a state he was sure she was accustomed to. So am I, he thought wryly. He wished to change that. He wished to make her family.

"So I'm curious… in all this time, has anyone asked you how you feel?"

She shrugged. "About having a miracle baby with a psychotic one-night stand?"

The self-effacing behaviour was back. Elijah looked her in the eye, seeing right through the protective mechanism. "About being a mother," he countered with a directness that caught her off guard.

He watched her eyes flutter up to his, then away. In a habit he was coming to recognise, she squared her shoulders before meeting his eyes bravely. They stared at each other for a long while. He saw her wrestle with whether she should tell him the truth. Or lie.

"I was abandoned when I was born and my adoptive parents kicked me out the second I turned into a wolf." His eyes watched as her hands caressed her yet flat stomach before rising to catch her gaze again. "So, I don't really know how I feel about being a mother because I never really had a good one."

She told him the truth. He was struck by her sincerity. And yet the words were not uttered to garner sympathy, he was sure. These were the facts of the life she had lived, of her circumstance, her place in the world. He was gripped with a fierce protectiveness.

"I will always protect you. You have my word on that." The words were out, without conscious thought. He saw her surprise; the way her eyes widened slightly, almost swallowing him in its stare, not fully trusting, but… hopeful.

And then her lips curled into a smile. A small one. And her cheeks bloomed with colour. He frowned, uneasy. For the first time in almost a century, Elijah Mikaelson found himself unexpectedly charmed by a beautiful, pregnant werewolf.

A werewolf who carried the child of his tempremental brother. His frown deepened, his unease spread.

a/n: I confess to not being that familiar with either of these characters. I am a sporadic TVD watcher at best these days, but I really enjoy the premise of TO. I didn't expect to be caught up with a romance for Elijah (especially not with Hayley!) But their chemistry zings! Enjoy.