Requested fic for crystalnevaeh. S5 Alternate finale onward: Freya and Keenlin create a last-minute plan to end The Hollow. However, their plan evolves into much more than they expected it to when The Originals DNA is altered. Hayley and Elijah are the first to find themselves the beneficiaries of the spell, with a new child on the way. Ft. Klaroline, Rebel and others.

Disclaimer: I do not own The Originals. That would be Julie Plec, The CW and the usual suspects…

Hello, my lovely readers. Yes, I am finally writing something new for Hayijah. Although it will only be a two-parter. I hope you like it! On with the show…

Her Name Is Alice: Part I

Never-in her entire life-had Hayley Marshall been as terrified as she was in this exact moment. She sat beside her daughter, Hope Mikaelson, on the child's bed and watched her daughter slumber. Hope's small wrists were covered by the grey steel of the magic-restraining manacles that kept The Hollow from using her little girl to paint a path of destruction through the town of New Orleans. Hope looked peaceful but Hayley knew her child was trapping a nightmare. As a parent, Hayley knew there was nothing worse than to watch your child suffer and to be unable to do anything to stop it. She wished Vincent and Freya would hurry up with whatever plan they were working through. And, more than anything, Hayley wished Elijah were by her side. But she knew they would never be together again. His Red Door would always loom over them... Still, you could wish...

The door to Hope's room opened and an excited Freya came in with Keenlin. "Hayley, we think we have a breakthrough. But you, and Hope, will need to come with us," Freya announced. Keenlin nodded, her dark eyes alight with a smile.

Hayley felt relieved and gathered Hope into her arms. "Where are we going?" she asked, looking from Witch to werewolf.

Keenlin answered. "Where life is strongest." Her words did not hold a special meaning for Hayley. However, Hayley would try anything to save her child.

"When I was growing up, my pack used to talk about this magical piece of land," Keenlin explained on the drive, "no one could build there. No one could camp there. This land was sacred because legend said that anyone who tried to colonize this land would wake to find all their work burned to cinders with no sign of where the fire came from. My pack used to believe it was a coven of witches who used the ground as a place of healing and did not want it tainted. Others thought it was the spirit of Mother Earth who would rise up and scorch the earth to preserve just a small part of New Orleans from human control."

"What does she want in return?" Hayley had learned to beware of forces more powerful and mysterious than herself, lately.

"Protection." Keenlin turned her gaze to the land that stretched before them. "This is where we get out, unless we want the car to explode."

Getting out, Hayley placed Hope's arms around her neck. The three women strode toward Vincent who had begun preparing a circle of salt. Klaus, Rebekah, Kol and Elijah stood in a loose circle, just inside the salt.

"What are you doing here?" Hayley couldn't help but asking Elijah.

Elijah opened his mouth to answer when Vincent jumped in, one hand held up. "Plan B." Vincent flicked his eyes to The Originals, but did not go into detail.

Klaus smirked. "Man after my own heart."

Vincent had stooped back down to stare at the ground. He shook his head at Klaus' words. "Hope Keenlin's plan works," he muttered.

"Which is?" Kol prompted, brows crunching together. He looked unhappy. And when Kol became unhappy people had a tendency of losing appendages.

Keenlin inhaled and looked around at the others until Freya grabbed her hand. The wolf turned to her girlfriend and smiled before telling them the plan. "Well, my theory is based on science. It goes something like Freya, and Vincent," she nodded at the two witches who nodded back, "use magic to take the spirit of The Hollow out of Hope. Them they separate The Hollow down to her molecular base, of the spiritual variety." She let out a quick, nervous laugh and continued. "In physics you can turn one substance into another. Well, in this case, we're changing the essence of The Hollow from a destructive energy into a light, or life-giving energy; if you will."

"Like turning Nik into the Esther bunny?" Kol quipped with a grin.

"Can it, Kol," Rebekah snapped. She turned to Keenlin with a serious expression. "And if it does not work?" She crossed her arms over her chest. Her expression had turned skeptical, echoing Klaus.' Freya still looked optimistic. Her opposition would have to be enough for the whole group.

Standing up, Vincent dusted his hands off and gave them a solemn look. "If not, we'll have to go with Plan B. That means placing a little bit of The Hollow in each of you. Then you're gonna need to get the hell out of Dodge." He pointed his arms in different directions, waving his pointed index fingers. "Now listen up, you can NEVER, EVERYONE, be in the same place, again. Got to keep each piece separate. Got me? Good. Now, let's hope Plan A works out."

Rebekah's lips pursed. She looked at her family. "I, very much, prefer Plan A."

"Me, too," Hayley murmured. She held Hope tighter. The little girl needed her family, as much as they needed her.

"If you will." Vincent nodded from Hayley to the salt circle. "Lay her down, there, and then come back out. Please. Once she's there, can't have any other spirit inside the circle. Don't want to convert your energy, too."

Hayley stepped into the circle and laid Hope down. She smoothed her daughter's hair before pressing her fingers to her lips and placed them to Hope's forehead. "Love you, baby girl," she whispered, hoping that Hope could hear her. "Mama will see you soon."

Stepping out of the circle Hayley walked over to stand beside Elijah. But she was scared to look at him, knowing she might fall apart. She had to be strong, for Hope.

"Good," Vincent clapped his hands together, eyes on Hope. "Freya," he held up a hand for her to join him.

Freya looked at Hayley and nodded. Making her way to Vincent's side, Freya took his hand. The two New Orleans witches stood over the circle Hope laid in and began to chant. They spoke in a language that Hayley did not recognize. It was not French or Latin. Seconds into the spell, Hayley felt the ground beneath her feet swell and ripple. Fire sparked around them.

Panicking, Hayley moved to step into the circle. "Hope!" she cried reaching for her child before the flames could.

A pair of strong arms wrapped around her, pinning her arms to her sides. "Hayley, you mustn't," Elijah cried, holding her back.

"Let me go, Elijah!" Hayley screamed, jerking frantically. "Stop!" she shouted to Freya and Vincent. But they did not seem to be able to hear her.

Klaus started to dart forward but Marcel appeared and grabbed his sire, keeping Klaus out of the circle. "NO!" Klaus thundered as the flames wound round the salt circle.

Eyes widening, Hayley saw the spirits of Esther Mikaelson and Dahlia appear. Esther held Freya's hand. They, too, chanted the language that Hayley did not know. More witches appeared. These witches Hayley believed must be Inadu's lost tribe. They completed a circle with many, many, many more witches.

Blue sparks began to shoot from her daughter's still form. They were so small that a human would need a microscope to see them. They swirled in a circle high above everyone. The blue sparks turned red and then a yellow that reminded Hayley of sunshine. She wished Hope could see this; her little girl would love this.

The fire died out as quickly as it had appeared. And in its place, flowers began to grow. They surrounded the salt circle until Hayley found Herald standing in a colorful meadow.

The sun-like molecules began to rain down on them and Hayley saw and felt them tickle her skin, leaving her feeling: warm, safe, and loved. Then she had a sudden desire to sleep.

Waking up, Hayley felt small hands cupping her cheeks. "Mommy?" Hope called. "Mom, are you okay?" Hope peered into Hayley's eyes.

"That's my line." Hayley sat up and pulled her daughter onto her lap. She examined Hope looking for signs of The Hollow's infection.

Hope smiled back. "She's gone, Mom. Aunt Freya and Vincent fixed me. But Dad, Elijah, Aunt Bekah, and Kol are still asleep." She glanced over her shoulder at the siblings who did seem to be in the midst of another long nap.

Freya was crying. Keenlin stood over the witch, one hand cupping her distraught girlfriend's shoulder. Marcel knelt down and gathered Rebekah onto his arms. "You will find a way to bring her back," Marcel told Vincent.

Holding up a hand, Vincent shook his head. "This was not part of the spell..." He paused, his wide brown eyes on Rebekah's hand which had begun to tremble. "Looks like Sleeping Beauty is waking up."

Lids opening, Rebekah frowned. "What the bloody hell happened?" She glanced around, gaze falling on Elijah and Klaus who were on either side of Freya. "Put me down!" she ordered Marcel, patting his chest until he set her on her feet.

"Beats me. Feels like the world's worst hangover, minus the fun bits," Kol mused. He sat up and shook his head groaning, his face wrinkling as he rubbed a hand through his hair. "Thought this only happened when Nik tried to sing."

A soft chuckle came from Freya's right. "Have you heard yourself, brother?" Elijah's voice made Hayley sigh in relief. "I believe you once sent a flock of doves to Canada for the winter with your rendition of 'Oh, Silent Night.'"

Hayley's smile fell when Hope said, "Why isn't Dad waking up?" Her eyes were wide and Hayley could feel the child's body stiffening under her touch.

"Your dad has a special talent of sleeping through Mardi gras," Marcel put in and The Originals who were awake nodded.

"Dad?" Hope moved to sit down beside Klaus. "Dad, wake up!" She gave him a shake.

"Klaus, Caroline's on the phone for you!" Rebekah called. Hayley glanced at Rebekah who shrugged. "It's worth a shot."

"Who's Caroline?" Hope asked, brows rising.

Instead of answering that question-because Klaus did love his made his way over to place his hands on Hope's shoulders. "He'll wake when he's ready. My brother is the most stubborn man I know; you just have to allow him to come around in his own time." It was funny, Klaus said something along the same lines about Elijah-only it was about Elijah's patience, not his being a pig-headed-

Hayley never got the chance to complete her thought because rain drops began to fall from the clear sky. Klaus' lids began to move and he frowned before opening his eyes. He looked around and found Hope. He shot upward and caught hold of his daughter. "Hope? Are you alright?" He began to search her person for sign of injury.

"Yes!" Hope threw her arms around his neck and hugged him. Klaus looked pleased, his eyes alight and a smile on his face before he pulled back and got to his feet. "Going home, shall we?" He inquired with up raised eyebrows.

"Yes!" Hope cried.

On their way to the vehicles, Klaus said: "Did someone mention Caroline?"

"Who's Caroline?" Hope repeated her question to her father.

"One of these days, she'll show up on our doorstep, and I'll show you. How does that sound, sweetheart?" Klaus asked with a wink.

Hope grinned and Hayley rolled her eyes. She wondered if Hope would remember that in the century it took to happen?

Everyone else had gone to bed and Hayley found that she could not sleep. She continued to wander the compound, willing herself to stop looking for another battle to be fought. Coming outside, she found Elijah. "Hello, Hayley," he greeted her. He held a goblet of red wine balanced in the palm of his left hand. The still, mostly-full bottle sat at his right elbow. "Join me for a drink?"

Hesitating, Hayley looked at the dark sky before looking at his dark eyes. She did not trust herself with him. They had so much history. Finally, she nodded. "One drink," she said, firmly.

Elijah got up and picked up an empty goblet. He filled it for her and then moved to stand in front of her. Their fingertips brushed when she took the glass. Looking away, she took a seat across from him. "What are you doing here, by yourself?" Taking a sip of the wine, she noted that it was virgin. No trace of blood in this bottle. He must have looked hard to find one of those. Her brows rose as she wondered why.

Contemplating the sky, Elijah seemed at peace. "Kol decided to leave early. And we said our good-byes. Coming back in, I could not help but become entranced by the tranquility of this night. It seems...somehow...special. Don't you think?"

Hayley found Elijah's eyes on her. "It does," she agreed, her voice husky, and she took another sip before she said anything she would regret later.

"Hayley." Elijah was leaning closer to her and she looked back at him. "I am not asking you to forgive me, but, tonight, would you dance with me?" Inhaling, Hayley watched Elijah stand and hold out his hand to her. "One dance," Hayley breathed. Finishing her drink, she accepted his hand and allowed him to pull her to her feet. His skin felt warm to her touch. Looking at Elijah, Hayley felt a question building inside her, but she found she could not ask it. Not tonight, anyway.

After what seemed like far too little time, Elijah pulled back and kissed the back of Hayley's hand. "Thank you, Ms. Marshall." Straightening, he turned and disappeared up the stairs.

Groaning, Hayley looked at the moonlight. With a shake of her head, she went upstairs to find Hope fast asleep. Hayley headed towards her own room when a sudden impulse hit her and she continued down the hall. She tapped on the closed door and waited.

Elijah opened the door. His eyebrows rose and he opened his mouth to speak," Hayley -"

"I wasn't done dancing," Hayley said. Her arms went around his neck and she pressed her body to his. She felt him lift her up and she wrapped her legs around his waist. The door closed and the lock clicked into place. Just one more dance, she thought.

Walking down the streets of Mystic Falls, Hayley felt like she was in a time warp. Most places changed, but not this town. "Can we get milkshakes, Mom?" Hope asked, tugging at Hayley's hand.

"Sure." Hayley had decided to take Alaric Saltzman up on his offer. Hope needed to be around kids her own age, to make friends, and to enjoy her childhood. Of course this was not easy. It took several phone conferences with Caroline Forbes for Klaus to be persuaded that the Salvatore School was the right fit for his child.

Hayley felt happy until she glanced up at the full moon. Even after becoming a hybrid, she used to be aware of the coming on of the moon. This month, she barely noticed it, and she'd noted it at all because her cycle should have begun around the same time… When was the last time she was late like this... Her eyes went to Hope and she shook her head. That was impossible...

Not wanting to go to Keenlin, for fear that Keenlin would accidently let something slip to Freya. Hayley decided to go to Mystic Falls' own Dr. Elena Salvatore for a check-up.

"Hello," Hayley greeted the good doctor Salvatore's receptionist. "My name is Hayley Marshall. I booked a one-fifteen appointment." Hayley forced herself to sound casual.

The receptionist typed away on her keyboard before turning to smile at Hayley. "Dr. Salvatore left for lunch. But she should return soon."

Hayley held back a desire to scream. Moving to go pick up a magazine, she found a woman coming through the door. She might be slightly older, sporting glasses, hair piled up behind her head and wearing a pencil skirt but Hayley still recognized Elena Salvatore née Gilbert.

"Hayley?" Elena let out a surprised laugh. "I thought you were listed, but then I thought it must be another Hayley Marshall. Come on back." Elena waved for Hayley to follow her. Although the two women never talked when Hayley was in Mystic Falls, Elijah had made it clear he held the doctor in high regard and Caroline probably had a few things to say about Hayley, years ago. The question was: which impression would inform on how Elena felt today?

Taking a seat on a rolling stool, Elena sat a tablet on the counter and nodded for Hayley to sit on the bed. "What seems to be the issue today?"

Hayley cut to the point. "I'm ninety-nine percent sure I am pregnant."

Elena's brows rose. "So, you and Klaus..."

"No! No." Hayley shook her head. "Never again. No, this one would be Elijah's..."

Now, Elena stared at Hayley like Hayley told her that she came from a long-lost tribe of ruby-eating dragons from a planet far, far away. And that's pretty much how Hayley felt. "Alright. Let me go get the ultrasound machine. And we'll have a peek." Elena disappeared and then re-appeared with the equipment. "If you could lift your shirt. Thank you," she said as Hayley lifted her top and Elena spread gel on Hayley's middle. She turned the machine on and ran the device over Hayley' middle until Hayley could see the baby. Not really a baby yet. Just a floating bit of matter, waiting for Hayley to decide whether she wanted a new baby, or not.

"So it looks like you're about four weeks along." Glancing at Hayley, Elena nodded. "Did you want a copy of the ultrasound?"

"Um. No." Hayley shook her head. "I'm not sure what I plan on doing... I mean, one miracle baby is one thing. But two..." She let out a nervous laugh. "Isn't that tempting fate?"

Elena sat back down. "Did you need a number?"

Hayley shook her head. "Not today. I'll let you know when I make up my mind."

Nodding, Elena watched Hayley. "Is there anything else I can do for you?"

"Can you not tell anyone?" Hayley knew Elena must know Hayley meant: Elijah, Caroline, and Damon.

Elena nodded. "I take doctor-patient confidentiality very seriously."

"Thank you." Hayley got up and hurried put of the room, her head was swimming and she had no idea what the right move to make here was. But she knew she would be the one making it.

Two months later, Hayley came back to Mystic Falls for her scheduled check-up with Elena. She always made sure to schedule her appointments on days she would be visiting the Salvatore School, and her oldest child. It still felt weird to think in those terms, but soon she would have an older and a younger child.

Thankfully, Hayley's decision to keep the baby coincided with The Originals desires to go abroad. Marcel took Rebekah on a trip to Paris. Probably to propose. Elijah wanted to give Hayley space and went to Spain to watch the bull fights. Klaus was predictably cagey about his plans. Kol and Davina were partying it up on the French Riviera. And Freya and Keenlin mentioned where they were headed but for some reason Hayley could not recall the name. It did make things easier on Hayley. She did not have to worry about any of them giving Elijah the news before she was ready.

Today, Hayley had decided to stop by the Mystic Grill, after her appointment, but before going to the school. She picked up a Peanut Butter Blaster with extra whip cream at the bottom for Hope and a mint shake for herself. The kid waiting on her had raised an eyebrow when she asked for raisins in it. Cravings. Now, she walked toward the front door of the school with one empty cup and one full. She would have to tell her daughter about the new baby and a treat seemed like a good way to smooth things over.

Hayley entered the school and went up to Caroline's office. Hope was probably in class. So, Hayley would just hang with the headmistress until Hope was free.

Walking down the hall, Hayley heard giggling and then: "Klaus, cut it out! Someone's going to walk in!"

With a head shake, Hayley did not bother to knock before she twisted the knob. She did not feel shocked to find the door unlocked. Opening it, she also did not feel shocked to find Klaus and Caroline trying to become the new wallpaper for the office. "Ahem!" Hayley pressed her lips together and stared st the window. "Love what you've done with the place, Caroline. Is that new glass. Stainless. Always go with a classic."

"Hayley?" Klaus sounded disgruntled. "What are you doing here?" Hayley waited for the sound of him zipping his pants to reply.

Eyes moving to Klaus, Hayley smirked. "I'm here to see our kid. And I see you came for a different reason..."

"I was here to visit with Hope as well," Klaus began, running a hand through his curls. "But I ran into Caroline who so graciously offered me a tour of the school that I donated a great deal of funds to help build. We came here, and became reacquainted." Klaus' smirk made Hayley and Caroline roll their eyes.

"Fine." Hayley turned to Caroline. "Is Hope in class right now?"

Caroline nodded. "Yes. Intro to the History of Werewolves. Hold on. I will go and get her." Moving to round her desk, Caroline stopped when Klaus caught her by the wrist. "Don't bother, love. I'll go, and fetch her. The children love me," he said with a wolfish grin.

"The parents don't!" Caroline shot back, but Klaus was already gone. Sighing, Caroline fell into her chair. "He wants a job! Here! I doubt he has a resume." Shaking her head, Caroline looked to Hayley. "So, I offered him a position as our new janitor. He's good at cleaning up messes. And if I gave him a real job, Ric would lose his mind."

"No love loss there," Hayley agreed. She and Caroline chuckled. The same could be said of them, once upon a time.

"Oh? Did you need to refrigerate that?" She nodded at the milkshake, Hayley still held.

"Yes. Please." Hayley nodded and Caroline got up and rounded her desk. She paused, inches from Hayley. Her head cocked to the side. "Am I hearing an extra heartbeat?" Then her expression darkened. "Klaus -" she began when Hayley held up her hands and shook her head.

"Noooo!" Caroline relaxed and took the milkshake, turning to go to the mini fridge in the corner. "Elijah's." Hayley no more than got the word out than the milkshake slipped out of Caroline's fingers. It hit the floor, lid popping off to splatter the carpet, the walls and the side of Caroline's desk.

Whirling on her heel, Caroline gave Hayley a glimpse of the old Caroline: "Elijah? As in suit-loving-Elijah-Mikaelson? Elijah?"

Hayley nodded. "All of those Elijahs." She stared at her hands. "And I know. It seems impossible. Hell, I thought that Hope was impossible...until she wasn't..." She let out a laugh. "Here I am, chock-full of miracle babies, apparently." Shaking her head, she sighed.

Caroline paused and then said, "Does Elijah know?"

"Nope. I don't know how to tell him." Hayley looked out the window. "Congrats! You're having a baby that you never asked for."

Pulling out the chair next to Hayley's, Caroline took s seat and took Hayley's right hand in her own. "Well, a wise man once told me that 'It is okay to love what you cannot explain.'" Pausing, she smiled. "And you are not alone."

A tap on the door signaled that they were not alone. Hayley lifted her hand to her head and wiped away her newly shed tears before turning to face the new arrivals.

"Mom!" Hope came running to her mother who opened her arms to give her daughter a hug.

"Bob, would you come with me. I need you to find a mop and then we need to go to the Mystic Grill..." Caroline was saying, leading Klaus out of the doorway by the shirt collar.

Hope's brows rose and she giggled. "Caroline is funny. You think that's why Dad likes her so much?"

"Probably." Hayley tucked a curl behind Hope's ear. "Honey, will sit down for me?"

Expression becoming serious, Hope took a seat on the chair that Caroline had recently vacated. "Hope...you remember how I always told you that you were my miracle baby?" Hayley paused as Hope nodded. "It looks like I might be having another miracle... How does that sound?"

Hayley had run through this scenario a number of times: One of them involving Hope trying to burn the school to the ground because she did not want a baby brother or sister. Another being where Hope elected to only come home on holidays. She certainly did not expect Hope's real reaction.

Hope nodded. "I know."

Stilling, Hayley's first thought was that this was going to kill Josh. He was the only person who had semi-recent contact with her child and could have blabbed. Her next thought made her calmer: Make sure it was Josh. Then kill the vamp. "And how do you know?" she asked slowly.

Hope looked at her hands. "Promise you won't be mad?" Hope held up her pinkie finger.

Hayley hooked her own through and kissed Hope's finger. "Promise."

Hope sighed heavily. "I missed you, soooo much, that sometimes I astrally project home. And I saw you with an ultrasound picture. I didn't know what it was, but I saw another kid with one. They were showing it around and said it was picture of their baby brother while is still in their mom. Is your baby a boy?"

"I don't know, yet" Hayley did not want to know the gender until she told Elijah.

Hope grinned. "I hope it's a girl."

Hayley decided to tell Hope the other big news. "Elijah is this baby's father."

Now, Hope looked confused. "Vampires can't make babies? Is this a spell, like with Jo and Lizzie?"

"Nope."

"Are you sure it's Elijah's?"

"Positive."

"Does he know?" Now, Hope made Hayley feel uncertain.

"No." Hayley had not seen Elijah since their night together and she had no idea how to tell him about this, but she had to, soon. "I'm going to call him. Soon..."

"He'll be so happy!" Hope said and Hayley hoped her daughter was correct.

Fluffing her hair, Hayley checked her lipstick in the mirror. She rolled her eyes at her reflection. She was acting like this was a first date. Inhaling, she left her room and went downstairs. Before entering the courtyard, she could sense Elijah. He stood with his back to her, bent over the dining room table as he lit candles. Obviously she was not the only one who felt like this was a date. The thought made the side of her mouth curl into a half-smile.

Seeming to sense her presence, Elijah straightened and turned to face her. His eyes went over her red dress and she felt pleased that she picked the right one. The sight of his dark blue tux made her inhale sharply. They might not make it through the first course before she jumped him.

"Good evening, Hayley," Elijah greeted her, dragging her out of her lusty thoughts.

"Good evening, Elijah." Hayley could feel her heart pounding as Elijah made his way over to a chair and pulled it out for her. He then opened a bottle of wine and moved to fill her glass. She placed her hand over it. "Sorry. I decided to go on a cleanse."

Without commenting, Elijah began to pull lids off trays. "Perhaps I should have chosen less luxuriant cuisine for the meal..."

Hayley shook her head. Her mouth was watering at the sight of the calorie-packed meal. "Everyone needs a break once in awhile, she replied as she grabbed her dish and began to fill it with bread stuffed with cheese and butter."

"Try the lobster bisque," Elijah suggested and Hayley filled a bowl. Elijah himself picked up a strawberry and seemed to savor the slice.

Hayley ate everything Elijah suggested and went through most of their pear-based dessert. She was only disappointed there wasn't more.

Finally, Elijah broke the silence. "Your text implied there was some urgency regarding my return." He paused and folded his napkin. "Does it have to do with the heartbeat I've been trying to not detect while we dined? Because I understand that you have a right to move on with your life. And I would not try to hold you from any type of happiness you might find with another -"

"You fool!" Hayley blurted out. Elijah's head jerked up and he stared at her like she had thrown the butter knife at his head.

"Pardon me -" Elijah began, sitting back in his seat.

Getting to her feet, Hayley walked over to him and moved between him and the table. She placed her hand on her middle. "This one is yours. Well, yours and mine. Ours."

Elijah stared at her middle. "How? It's not possible -"

"That's what we used to say about Hope." Hayely watched Elijah place her hand on her bump. "I think it might be the spell. 'Cause it was supposed to change the essence of The Hollow: to make it life, rather than death..."

Nodding, Elijah ran his hand over her and she resisted the urge to growl. "It is possible. Keenlin asked me to send her a vial of my blood, so that she could work up a DNA sequence, to find out how we might have been altered. Honestly, I thought that might be why you contacted me: Because you had news of the work on your own DNA."

Hayley shook her head. "They haven't asked. So, they're not on a sexy vacation?"

"No." Elijah shook his head.

"Are you happy?" Hayley blurted out.

Elijah stared at her. Rising, he placed his hands on either side of her. "You have no idea how much," he said, examining her face before pressing his lips to hers.

Easing back, Hayley grinned, "Why don't you show me?" Elijah swept the table clean with a swipe of his left hand and picked her up with his right. Now this, she could get used to.

"This is the worst news I've ever heard!" Rebekah wailed, stalking around the courtyard with Marcel right behind her. He tried to calm her down but she kept breaking away to continue pacing.

"Typical Bex, making it all about her. It's actually little Hope who has to carry the burden of a sibling-cousin. What a cliché!" Kol added with a snicker until Davina smacked his shoulder.

Hayley and Elijah sat on a chaise while the family squabbled about their newest member who had not even been born yet. Hayley was six months along and Hope knew. Klaus knew. Elijah knew. Hell, even Caroline who was family adjacent because she refused to allow Klaus to officially become her whatever-they-wanted-to-call-it. Someone was bound to tell the rest of the family; why not just pull the Band-Aid off?

Rebekah snarled at Kol. "It was supposed to be me, you daft idiot! I was willing to give my blood to Keenlin's stupid research project-no offense, Keenlin-and for what: Nothing!"

Keenlin looked mildly amused. "Not a problem. Although my research would not include making babies in my lab..." She turned to Hayley, "You wouldn't mind if I took a sample, for my study?"

"Give you my blood?" Hayley laughed. "What is family for?" She wanted to know more about the baby, so she probably would have added the suggestion herself.

"Bekah," Marcel got out, trying to hold his girlfriend back. "Where is my bloody baby?" she demanded of Freya and Keenlin. "If your blasted spell could work on Elijah, why not me? What is fundamentally wrong with me?"

"Check with the storks? Perhaps they don't have the right address to drop your little bundle of joy," Kol snarked.

Rebekah snarled and dove at her older brother.

Klaus nodded. "And this is what you can look forward to with Hope and the new one." He gestured at Kol and Rebekah.

"Not the hair!" Kol bellowed.

A month later, Hayley sat in her rocking chair, the same one she used with Hope, and read a classic story to her new baby. "Hello," Elijah called, tapping on the doorframe. He came in and kissed Hayley on the forehead.

"I was thinking Alice," Hayley told him, glancing up.

"For what?" Elijah inquired, setting a new bag of clothes down with the others. Since Rebekah came to terms with the new child; she had begun to work toward spoiling this one rotten.

"For the baby." Hayley stroked her bump.

Eyeing the book in Hayley's hands, he nodded with a smile. "It is a classic. Alice Mikaelson," he mused.

Hayley got up and set the book aside. "Time to go to bed, Alice," she said and the baby kicked. "It thinks she likes it."

"Well, she will most likely deal with a Mad Hatter or two in her lifetime," Elijah joked as they left the room.

"Uncle Kol..." Hayley added with a smile.

"You should sit down." Keenlin's words made Hayley's world slow to a stop. Every time a doctor said those words, nothing else they said could be good. Elijah and Hayley took a seat. Hayley's hands sent to her bump. She was due in a week. And Keenlin had a folder on her desk, her hands folded over the top of it.

"Is that from our research?" Hayley asked.

Keenlin glanced down and nodded. "Yes. But it is not why I asked you to come here today." She hesitated. "Hayley, since you were adopted, I decided to do a second genome sequencing test, on your DNA alone.

As it turns out, your DNA includes what is known as Spinal Muscular Atrophy, or SMA. It's genetic. And there is no cure, yet. I've tested Hope and she does not have the disease." Hayley sighed in relief. "But it appears that Alice does..." Keenlin began to discuss types of SMA and treatments while Hayley sat back in her seat.

Hayley found herself shaking her head. "Does it have to do with the spell? Did The Hollow -"

Keenlin held up a hand. "Hayley, I'm afraid this is not a price for the spell or something we can fix with more magic. Otherwise, Freya would be on it already. But you love your baby. And that is what matters now. How hard you will fight for her." Hayley nodded, refusing to cry in this office. She would do it when she was alone. Alice's life would never be a wonderland, she thought, trying not to give into despair...

TBC…

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Be safe,

-J