The night passed slowly for everyone and with each passing hour their fear grew. Elena could see the mounting panic in them all after Bonnie had left, while they had known that Klaus was not playing games anymore they had still all somehow thought they would make it out of this whole mess relatively unscathed as they always did before. It hadn’t occurred to any of them during the past months of scheming and fighting that Klaus had been going easy on them, it had all felt so hard and cruel, but now he was showing them what true cruelty looked like. She couldn’t move, couldn’t speak, her throat was so dry it hurt to even breath, she couldn’t do anything but watch her friends suffer and wait for her own turn to come, for the first time in a long time she felt not only useless, but helpless.
Even though she was in a room surrounded by people, her friends even, she was completely alone and the despair of their impending punishment was beginning to close in on her. With each punishment handed out, with each friend or familiar face dragged away, the fear would only get worse and she knew that. Unfortunately knowing what was happening, and actually preventing it were two seperate things, she could tell herself all day long not to let her fear consume her, but that didn’t mean it would work.
She listened to Stefan and Damon both continually insist that she would be fine, that they wouldn’t let anything happen to her, but she knew as well as they did that Klaus was in complete control and there was absolutely nothing they could do to stop him.
Finally just as the panic began to claw its way up her throat and she knew she was going to scream in frustration the cellar opened and two sets of footsteps could be heard coming down the stairs. Who could Klaus possibly be bringing with him? Looking towards the entrance trying to keep her suddenly heavy head up she waited for them to step from the shadows. Maybe it was his witch again, though they hadn’t heard her last time, maybe this time he wanted them to know she was with him.
“No! Nonononono, Please.” She watched helplessly as Klaus came into view, her brother Jeremy following meekly behind him as compliant as Matt had been before him. Why did he continue to bring other people into this? Her brother had never done anything to him, he was just a boy who deserved to live his life far away from this mess and far away from her.
“Klaus, what are you doing?”
“Come on man, let baby Gilbert go.” She wanted to add her own protests to theirs but her head was getting fuzzy like it was stuffed full of cotton or like she had been awake for just that little bit too long.
“Come now Damon you should know by now how important family is to me. Now, Elena Gilbert, you have been judged and found guilty of conspiring to kill my family, whatever could your punishment be? Oh I know.” He brightened at the end almost like he’d truly been thinking about it and had come up with the right answer at last. They both knew it was bullshit, he’d planned this whole thing out down to the last detail long before he ever chained them up down here.
In less than a second he was standing in front of her, his hand gripping her throat tight so that she couldn’t turn away, his eyes trapping hers. As she watched his eyes change she knew she was about to be compelled and she felt her eyes begin to fill with tears.
“You are going to hunt your baby brother down and feed your thirst from him. Once he’s dead you’ll bring his body back here so we can all admire your handy work. Off you go little Gilbert, you have a ten minute head start, use it wisely.”
She watched Jeremy run and while most of her was silently screaming at him to run, to get to safety, she knew better. Klaus would never have given him the head start if there was any safety to be found. Her brother was going to die, and she was going to be the one to kill him.
She was released from her chains far too soon and sent after her brother while her mind was steadily becoming more clouded. They had all thought that the people they loved who weren’t in this living hell with them when they woke would all be safe, Matt being the exception due to his active part in killing Finn, that being beyond these walls protected them somehow, now they knew better.
She didn’t even know why they had even assumed that in the first place, they all should have known better, this was Klaus after all. There was no safe anymore, not for anyone. Not her brother, not her friends, not the town. Not for the first time she sent up a prayer, only now instead of praying for rescue, she prayed for Klaus to kill them all quickly and leave Mystic Falls behind forever and never look back.
She knew deep down that if she was given the chance she would do anything to stop this, to trade her life for his but the chance to act and stop this had come and gone long ago. When that time had come she had remained as still and silent then as she wished she could be now.
She smelled the blood long before she heard Jeremy’s frantic footsteps moving away from her, his heartbeat a beacon leading her straight to him. Klaus had left broken glass across the floor making sure his bare feet would be cut and his blood would scent the air, driving her near starved mind wild in need. When she found him he was at one of the windows frantically trying to break it with no luck.
“Jeremy, kill me.” He could do it if she could just slow herself down enough to give him a chance. Stefan had fought against Klaus’ compulsion to kill her; she could do the same for Jeremy.
“No, I won’t.”
“Jeremy please.” She couldn’t hold on any longer feeling her fangs descend she leapt at her brother, her mind screaming for her to stop while her body acted on instinct, the compulsion driving her on.
Picking up Jeremy’s body she turned away from the window and slowly made her way back to the cellar of Klaus’ house, her grip tight on his shoulders and legs as she cradled him against her body listening for a heartbeat she knew she wouldn’t hear.
There was no mercy here, not anymore, hell there probably never had been. Any flicker of hope she had clung to before had been nothing but an illusion, the monster standing here now, he was the truth. The only truth left for them to learn, the truth of what happened when you crossed swords with Klaus. You bleed. You lose. You suffer, and if you are lucky, you die.
Klaus heard the doppelganger return with the body of her last remaining family member cradled in her arms. He’d listened to the entire confrontation with his enhanced hybrid hearing. Her pleas for her brother to kill her and his steadfast refusal to do so, the slowing of his heart at his inevitable end. One glance at Tyler showed the boy heard as well, good let the mangy mutt understand, the Salvatores were a bit harder to read but it was clear they too had heard every moment of it.
Turning the face the Gilbert wench he couldn’t hold back his smile at the sight before him. The lower half of her face was covered in her brother’s blood and she was crying uncontrollably while she rocked his body back and forth in her arms. Her mutterings of apology the only words to make it past her keens of pain. Finally she understood.
“Oh good darling, you’re back, did you enjoy your snack?”
“For god’s sake Klaus! Leave her be! You’ve punished her enough.” Did they think so? Truly? How wrong they were, this was only the beginning.
“On the contrary we’ve only just begun.”
“Klaus what are you going to do? Please! Just leave her alone. You’ve done enough to her already just move on to me.” Stefan’s pleas for mercy for the doppelganger amused him and he let it show.
“Don’t worry old friend, your time will come soon enough.” He enjoyed the sound of Stefan pleading with him. At one time they had been friends, closer, almost brothers. Now after everything, all he wanted to do was see pain fill his eyes to consume him body and soul. Oh yes, his time would come but for now he needed to finish with the oh so innocent Elena.
“Elena, you were born and raised here in Mystic Falls but I don’t think you truly appreciate its beauty and you should, it’s your home after all. I think you should get a better look at the falls, there’s a coffin waiting upstairs for you to make your trip in and be sure to take baby brother with you. Wouldn’t want you to forget about him now would we. Since you have always been so defiant towards me, forever trying to circumvent my will I think it would be best for all involved if you stopped doing that don’t you? After all if you had only done as you were told before little Jeremy would still be alive now wouldn’t he. From this moment forward you will always obey my every command, now go. Run along to your new home, but don’t worry it won’t be forever I’m sure I’ll have use for you eventually.”
He watched Elena turn and blindly flee back upstairs to his waiting hybrids, her brothers body still clutched in her hands.