Disclaimer: I don't own The Originals or any of the characters. I only own Tessa (and I'm so not changing her name just because TVD has a new charrie with the same name. I started writing this back in April, way before they gave Qetsiyah a nickname!) and her story. I also partially own another set of characters you'll see. I say partially because a chunk of this story is going to blend the mythologies of both Supernatural and Lost Girl (if you're not watching either, you seriously should be!) and I'm reworking a few characters from them, placing them here. Read on and enjoy!
"What the bloody hell do you think you're doing? You know better than to come in here," Tessa scolded.
Jane-Anne didn't seem fazed by the other woman's tone. She just crossed her arms and stared her down. Scoffing, the bartender shook her head and walked around the bar. She nodded for Jane-Anne to follow her and the witch did just that. Luckily, it was early on Monday morning so that meant it was slow. The only people in the bar that doubled as a grill were the local alcoholics, and all of them were so far gone they didn't even notice who was coming and going from the bar. The moment the door slammed shut behind them, the bartender crossed her arms and stared down the other woman. Tessa Masters wasn't a very patient woman and she had a low tolerance for bullshit, especially witch bullshit. The past eight months, Jane-Anne Deveraux had been a pain in the ass of every witch in New Orleans. The grand exception was Tessa because, despite her years in the city, she wasn't a native and not apart of the local coven. Desperate times called for desperate measures, she supposed. The fact that she was ballsy enough to go into Marcel's favorite bar was the last straw in Tessa's book. It was one thing to be a nuisance over the phone, or at the funeral home where she also worked, or at the city morgue, or even at her apartment! But it was another to take a stroll into Marcel's territory. Sure, Jane-Anne had meddled in Tessa's personal life enough already but what she was doing at the moment was suicide. Witches never went into Marcel's places. Never, and for good reason.
"I need to know if you're with me," Jane-Anne told her.
"This again," Tessa sighed and rolled her eyes. "You know where I stand, Jay."
"Tessa," the witch began forcefully, insistent, "Marcel is a plague and he needs to be eradicated."
Blinking owlishly, she replied, "Wow, how did you say that with a straight face?"
"Tessa!" Jane-Anne snapped.
"What?" she snapped back, just as annoyed. "What do you want me to say? You know Marcel's rules and you know everything in the Quarter is Marcel's business. What you're planning is suicide and you know that, too. Plus, pissing off an Original?" Tessa winced and tsked at her. "Really bad move." Tessa knew one of the Originals and she knew better than to make him angry. It was a lifetime ago, but she still remembered every inch of him. She both respected and feared him and, yes, a part of her still loved him. She wasn't egotistical enough, not to mention she wasn't stupid, to incur his wrath.
"This girl, this werewolf, she is the only link we have to Klaus. We can use her to control him." Tessa chuckled under her breath at her stupidity, at her sheer arrogance. No one controlled Originals, especially not witches. Unfazed, the witch asked once more, "Are you going to help me or not?"
"Hmmm, let me think." Tessa tapped her chin and pretended to ponder Jane-Anne's request, again, for probably the hundredth time since she'd initially approached her. "No, I don't think I will." The witch ducked her head and shook it in disappointment. "I don't fancy having my throat torn open or my heart ripped out of my chest, thank you very much."
"You're the only witch that Marcel trusts and, instead of helping your sisters, you stand with him?" Jane-Anne accused, disgusted by Tessa's behavior. As a witch, she was meant to maintain the balance, which meant that vampires were her natural enemy. Tessa was meant to be on their side, helping them take down Marcel, not slinging him drinks and whatever else she did for him.
"'Ya know, I never understood the whole "sisterhood" thing. I always preferred to be a lone practitioner." Tessa crossed her arms and stared down the other woman, reminding her, "Besides, wasn't it you who told me I wasn't welcome in your coven?"
"That was years ago," Jane-Anne pointed out solemnly.
"And, yet, that doesn't change that fact that, for all these years, you and your coven kept me banned from your cemetery, your shops, everything!" she snapped. "I guess when you need my help you can conveniently forget trivial things like that," she added sarcastically.
Tessa shrugged and replied, "Look, I've told you a thousand times: I don't know how he's keeping tabs on all of you. I don't know, and he not sharing anytime soon." Striding over to Jane-Anne, she hissed, "I've been at his side for thirty years. Don't 'ya think he would've told me by now if he actually trusted me?"
"And how do we know you aren't the one telling him when we use magic?" the witch accused tersely.
Tessa reeled back and questioned, offended, "You think I'm ratting on you?" She scoffed and shook her head, but Jane-Anne just crossed her arms and stared her down. "Seriously? You've seen my powers, Jay. You know I don't have the kind of power it would require to keep tabs on every witch in the Quarter." Although she was a little flattered that Jane-Anne thought she was so powerful.
"So, what, you get to practice and be exempt to the rules?" Jane-Anne retorted bitterly. "You just get to sit pretty while he runs the rest of us into the ground?"
"What's that saying about living in the shade of a dragon?" The bartender took a breath and shrugged once more. "I can't remember, but that's basically how my relationship with Marcel works. He lets me be me, gives me a free pass on the whole "youth and beauty" schtick and, in return, I give him my friendship and loyalty." Tessa backed away from the witch, intending to return to work but the other woman's voice stopped her.
"I can't allow anymore witches to die. I won't. If you aren't with us, then you're against us," she threatened. Both curious and amused, Tessa slowly turned around to face her. Jane-Anne stood strong, proud, unflinching.
"There's an "us" now?" she inquired, chuckling in amusement. "You charged in there," she said, gesturing towards the bar behind her, "wanting me to side with you, now there's suddenly an "us"?" Tessa shook her head. "You're telling me that your little backwoods coven actually sacked up? Even Agnes?" she exclaimed, somewhat stunned. "Wow, I'm impressed," she whispered mockingly. "I didn't think you witches could get anymore stupid."
"You don't get it, Tess! He's a monster!"
"No, you don't get it. I don't care." And she didn't. Marcel wasn't a threat to her. An annoyance, but not a threat. Not yet, at least. "Have a nice life, Jay. What'll be left of it," she called over her shoulder, waving goodbye to the persistent witch. Back behind the bar, Tessa fixed herself a rum and coke. Trouble was coming to New Orleans, that much was certain.
Tessa poured a shot with a smirk and gladly took the cash set before her. Best part of being a bartender? The tips, especially when she wore clothes on the skimpier side of her wardrobe. The crowd was mostly humans, a few vampires, zero witches, werewolves had been driven into the bayou and most left Louisiana entirely, and then there was Tessa, seamlessly blending in. Marcel and his gang of lackies wandered in a hour ago and, while they weren't on their way to getting wasted – given a vampire's constitution for alcohol – they were definitely getting rowdy. With Marcel's group, rowdy usually meant a feeding frenzy or a party, most times it was both. Tessa had been to plenty of Marcel's parties over the years, some of his boys even attempted to compel her into a dark corner for a bite. Those that tried got a very rude awakening, usually from her but always from Marcel. She was one of "his" and no one, not even his closest, his family, were allowed to touch her. The crowd hooted, whistled, crowed, and cheered as Marcel, the self-proclaimed King of the Quarter, finished his song. He thanked the crowd and jumped off the stage, sliding over to his crew. With a shake of her head, Tessa passed Diego the shot of scotch and he passed it to Marcel, who promptly downed it.
"Thanks, Tess," Marcel purred, winking at her.
Tessa wiped down the bar and replied, "Always a pleasure, darling." Winking back, she took the cash and turned around.
The moment her back was turned, her smirk fell and she rolled her eyes. Marcel may have thought she was his, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Suddenly, a new energy hit her and Tessa's eyes whipped towards the entrance of the bar. Standing there, in the middle of the crowd, was a young man. He was cute, she'd give him that, but he was glaring at Marcel. Intrigued, Tessa turned back around and leaned against the bar, letting her coworker handle the crowd for the moment. He knew better than to piss her off anyway because Marcel liked her, especially when she was happy and, if she wasn't happy, then Marcel wasn't happy. Daniel was a local; human, but local and he knew the rules just as well as everyone else, and he knew exactly what Marcel could do to him. Being a favorite was fun, it got Tessa a lot of perks, she couldn't deny that. But it was a hindrance as well. Marcel thought he owned her, that she was his and his alone, because he gave her protection. Little did he know, she didn't need his protection and she sure as shit didn't want it either. Alas, she had to blend in and, in New Orleans, the safest place to be was with the enemy: the vampires. This new man, however, this stranger, he didn't belong to anyone and Tessa could just tell he wouldn't bend to Marcel's rule so easily. He was different.
"Klaus," Marcel greeted, guarded. Shit, was the thought that raced through Tessa's mind.
"Must be a hundred years since that nasty business with your papa." Klaus shrugged.
"Has it been that long?" he asked casually, walking closer.
Marcel stepped away from his boys and replied, "Way I recall it, he ran you out of town, left a trail of dead vampires in his wake."
"And, yet, how fortunate you managed to survive. My father, I'm afraid," he said with a nonchalant tone and roll of his eyes, "I recently incinerated to dust." Tessa straightened up as Marcel's boys rose to their feet, ready to attack at their master's call.
"Well, if I'd of known you were coming back in town, if I'd had a head's up—"
"What, Marcel?" Klaus hissed, standing toe to toe with the other man, glaring at him. "What would you of done?" Tessa held her breath, watching the intense stare between the two men.
"I'd of thrown you a damn parade," Marcel replied, a smiled growing on his face. The two men suddenly laughed and pulled each other into a hug. When he pulled away, Marcel proclaimed, "Niklaus Mikaelson – my mention, my savior, my sire!"
Niklaus Mikaelson? Tessa paled at the familiar name and silently hoped that it was just a coincidence. Oh, who the hell was she kidding? How many Niklaus Mikaelson's were there in the world, let alone an Original? Coincidence her ass, she wasn't that lucky. A family, a family of Originals, the Original Family – however she thought it, the insane notion just didn't want to wrap around her brain. The Original she'd known had never mentioned that the other Originals were his siblings. He rarely mentioned the other Originals and he only ever referred to his family in the past tense, so she naturally assumed they were dead. Well, they were dead, just un-dead. Regardless of the new information, that she was still trying to process with a shot of whiskey, it seemed that Jane-Anne's plan had succeeded since the famed hybrid was in town. Hopefully, he was the only Mikaelson as Tessa didn't fancy a reunion.
"I'd written you off as dead," Klaus admitted, relieved to see his progeny alive. Well, not alive in the traditional sense.
"I rose, like a phoenix from the ashes." Tessa scoffed and rolled her eyes at that comment, turning to fix a series of shots for a human. "Come on, let's get you a drink." Arm wrapped around his sire's shoulder, he walked past his men. "Tess," Marcel called out as he walked past, "the best bottle and two glasses." Dutifully, she nodded and finished waiting on her customer before grabbing the top shelf scotch and two glasses. She nodded at Thierry, who was drinking in the doorway, standing guard and strut in. The stranger looked her up and down, not in any sexual way but more curiously. However, Tessa ignored him as she set down the two glasses. Marcel grinned at her, thanking her as he reached out to take the bottle. She raised it out of his reach, however, and raised a brow at him.
"What's the magic word?" she asked, free hand on her hip.
Marcel chuckled and answered, "Abracadabra." Tessa stared down at him, unamused.
"Well, that's a magic word so points for that," she snarked with a saccharine grin. Lowering the bottle, she cracked it opened and poured both men a drink.
"Not for originality?" he questioned bemusedly.
"Nope. Sorry. You lack that." Marcel leaned back in his chair and took a deep breath, his eyes wandering up and down Tessa's slim body.
"Take me up on my offer and I'll show you just how wrong you are," he told her, his tone promising heights of pleasure.
Arms crossed, she sassed, "And you are officially the most disgusting man in town, wow!"
Marcel laughed and wrapped an arm around her waist, pulling her against his side. "Tess, this is Niklaus Mikaelson, my sire. Klaus, this is Tessa Masters, my number one girl." He squeezed her hips affectionately, winking at his sire, who smirked back at him.
"He wishes," Tessa interjected, pulling away from the vampire. She punched his shoulder and smiled at Klaus, whose shoulder's were shaking with laughter at his progeny's misfortune. "Nice to meet you. Now, if you don't mind, some of us have actual jobs to do." Marcel made a painful look and 'ooohed' at her a moment before laughing. Shaking her head, Tessa headed back behind the bar and set about her customers, a frown marring her face. It was just a few hours later, when the sun was down, that Marcel strut out of the bar, Klaus and some lackies behind him. Marcel had a grin on his face and her frown deepened. An ecstatic Marcel was never good for someone.
Jane-Anne was dead.
Tessa heard through the grapevine, from the various covens of witches in mourning and the jubilant daywalkers around the Quarter, that Marcel had opened her throat the previous night. Jane-Anne had been accused of practicing magic, something she denied, and she paid the price for it. Marcel claimed to be a "merciful" ruler but he was just as bad as some tyrants of old. He would claim that what was his was also shared by those in his inner circle, something Tessa was not apart of as she had a pulse, but everything was his. The Quarter was most definitely his and his alone. Anyone tried to test that, especially the witches that thought they still had power, Marcel put them in their place. He never wasted an opportunity for a show of force; Marcel just loved a good show. He'd taken Tessa to one once, to show her just who was boss around town she supposed. She'd found it melodramatic, to say the least, and never went to another. How he was doing it, Tessa didn't know; Jane-Anne didn't believe her, none of the witches did, but it was true. Somehow, he was aware of every move the witches made; they couldn't do magic without getting caught and paying the price. Even Sophie was paying for her sister's arrogance because, as Tessa heard it, Marcel was holding Jane-Anne's body ransom until Sophie could "recall" why Klaus was in town, why he was looking specifically for Jane-Anne.
Currently, she was enjoying a glass of rum and coke at Marcel's home. She was sitting on the edge of the fountain in the center of the lower level. A few of the humans nearby were intrigued by her, watching her dance her fingers around the water aimlessly. She continued to do so until a speedy vampire blew out a few candles floating in the fountain. The moment the flame died, she would either pick up the tiny white candle and blow the flame back on or point at the wick, her fingers like a gun and her thumb the trigger. That was what the humans were watching, her lighting candles without matches or a lighter, with "magic". Humans, so easily entertained. As she took another long sip, Klaus emerged from the crowd and approached Marcel. He was questioning him, rather emphatically, about how Marcel controlled the witches. He was demanding to know the secret and Marcel, as always, refused to give up his prize. He controlled the witches in "his town". Klaus didn't like that. At all.
"That's funny. Because, when I left a hundred years ago, you were just a pathetic little scrapper
still trembling from the lashes of the whips of those who would keep you down and now look at you? Master of your domain! Prince of the city," Klaus spat angrily. "I'd like to know how."
"Why? Jealous?" Marcel questioned childishly. Tessa shook her head. Marcel seriously needed to learn to show respect where respect was due. "Hey, man, I get it. Three hundred years ago, you helped build a backwater penal colony into something. You started it, but then you left. Actually, you ran from it; I saw it through. Look around! Vampires rule this city now! We don't have to live in the shadows like rats. The locals know their place, they look the other way. I got rid of the werewolves. I even found a way shut down the witches. The blood never stops flowing and the party never ends. You wanna pass on through? You wanna stay awhile? Great." Despite his phrasing, he certainly didn't sound too happy about the possibility of Klaus staying in New Orleans. "What's mine is yours, but it is mine – my home, my family, my rules."
"And if someone breaks those rules?" Klaus questioned calmly.
"They die," Marcel answered easily. "Mercy is for the weak. You taught me that, too. And I'm not the "prince" of the Quarter, friend. I'm the king," he roared. "Show me some respect!" Klaus took a breath and looked around the room. A moment later, he was across the room and had his fangs in Thierry's neck. He released the vampire and turned to face the stunned crowd, blood dripping from his lips.
"Your friend will be dead by the weekend, which means I've broken one of your rules. And, yet, I cannot be killed. I am immortal." The unspoken threat to all vampires present, including Marcel, was very clear: You cannot kill me, but I can kill you and there's nothing you can do about it because I am truly immortal. "Who has the power now, friend?" Klaus backed out of the room with a smile, surveying the fear he instilled. Tessa walked around the fountain and ducked out one of the side doors. The moment she was outside, she closed her eyes and took a deep breath. He was close by. Turning in the direction she felt him, she broke into a run and pushed her way through the crowd until she caught sight of the blonde head of hair and leather jacket.
"Hey!" Tessa called out. Klaus halted mid stride and glanced over his shoulder at her. He had a perplexed look on his face as she casually walked toward him, shaking her head. "You know, pissing off Marcel, while tons of fun, really not the best idea," she scolded playfully. "Pretty foolish, actually." Klaus scoffed and walked away.
"And what would you know?" he hissed as she followed him. "You're just another one of Marcel's lackies. His "number one girl"," he mocked. "You're better looking than the tossers he had following me, I'll give you that, sweetheart, but I'm in no mood."
Tessa scoffed and told him, "I'm pretty far from being in Marcel's camp, but thanks for the compliment. You're not so bad yourself, dimples."
"Klaus," he growled at her.
"I know who you are, hybrid."
"Original Hybrid, actually," he retorted.
"Oooh, and just as egotistical as I've heard." She laughed under her breath and shook her head, thoroughly amused. Klaus quickly pushed her into an alley and up against the wall, hand tight around her throat.
"And what else have you heard?" he inquired, his eyes changing to black and yellow. "And, keep in mind, I'm not very tolerant to lies."
"No lies. Scouts honor," she promised, holding three fingers. "I heard that there's a werewolf in town." Klaus slowly released her and Tessa straightened out her clothes. "Best keep her hidden. Marcel, he has a thing for playing with them, if you catch my drift." The hybrid frowned and walked out of the alley. He'd thought he'd left Tessa behind but she turned up beside him, a smile on her face, as if he hadn't threatened her at all. "I take it Jane-Anne made her desperate pitch to you."
"You know them then?" He'd asked but he sure didn't sound to interested in whatever she had to say.
"Oh, you met Sophie, too, then?" Tessa hummed in surprise. "Every supernatural being in New Orleans knows the Deveraux witches. They're almost as famous as you." He chuckled, both amused and proud that she was attempting flattery. "So, did she? Let me guess, "Oh, Klaus, you're so powerful. Please, free us from Marcel's wicked subjugation"," she mocked in a high pitched voice, making Klaus laugh.
"Something like that." Tessa nodded and said nothing else. She knew that the witches were going to do something stupid like threaten Klaus, but she had to wonder what kind of leverage they had over him. Pulling her to a stop, he seriously asked her, "Do you know how he did it?"
"Me? No. I arrived here, oh, about thirty years ago. Marcel had the local humans trained to look the other way, the witches feared him – although not to the extent they do now – and the werewolves, well, you can imagine what he did to them, their bite being fatal to a vampire and all," she explained. Shrugging, she paused in the walk and Klaus stood before her. "There was a truce, amongst everyone but...I don't know. In the last eight months, something changed but, I'm sorry, I don't know how," she apologized. "When I got here, he was already well on his way to being "King of the Quarter". And, now, he is."
"Thirty years? You're a witch then, too, are you?" Tessa shrugged, neither confirming nor denying his guess. "Marcel let's you break his rules then? He let's you practice your magic, how else could you stay so young and beautiful?" he observed, running the back of his fingers along her cheek. Tessa backed away from him, silently telling him not to touch her.
"I'm not really a force to be reckoned with. Not like the Deveraux's." Klaus stared her down, knowing instinctively that she was lying and she scoffed at him. Rolling her eyes, she admitted, "Fine. I can keep myself young, heal quickly, conjure some fire and, yeah, I'm stronger than your normal human. But Marcel has nothing to fear from me. I'm nothing special."
"Oh, I doubt that," he purred and leaned in closer. He took in her scent for a moment before she pushed him away. She smelled of the spice of liquor, chemicals, and different than most witches, a hint of herbs were there but there was something else. Something far more strong than the earthy smell witches bore, something far more harsh. Something darker.
"Just quit pissing him off," she advised and she walked backwards from him. "It inconveniences the rest of our lives." The moment the words left her mouth, she turned around and quickened her pace with the intention of getting home, to a hot bath and some kind of alcohol. Perhaps a bottle of red wine for the evening would suffice.
"You say that as if I care," he called out. Tessa turned back around, annoyed, and saw a triumphant grin on his face
"Oh, I know you don't," she replied and continued on her way. Under her breath, knowing he would hear her, she muttered, "But you should." Klaus had, indeed, heard her and shook his head, a frown on his face. He pushed his way through the throngs of people until he came across a group of street painters. Finally, something in the blasted town that made sense.
P.S.: Eight pages total.
A/N: Just a quick note! I want it known that I am 10,000% Haylijah! But, because I've had this Elijah story swimming around in my head for over a year, my girl takes priority. But I love Hayley and she will get a romance of her own, promise!