Author's note: Hello, my lovelies! I'm back with another story! I know, I'm sorry! A new friend approached me with this idea and I couldn't help but agree! The beginning is just a brief history of the Mikaelson siblings. I hope you guys enjoy this story as much as I enjoy writing it! I had to make a few changes to this chapter to further the story so hopefully, you guys still like it! Enjoy!
Commissioned and dedicated to: Millennion
Always and forever.
It was the saying of their family for as long as any of them remember. It was something that their mother would always say to them as little kids and all throughout their lives. Something that they took to saying to one another when they were young and even as they all grew into adults. Always and forever was so much more than the literal meaning. It meant 'I love you'. It meant 'I will always be there for you'. It meant 'Even when things seem terrible and confusing and painful now, it will get better'. It meant 'No matter where you go, or what you do, you are never truly alone'. It meant everything.
Always and forever, more than just words, was a promise etched into their very beings. If they had nothing else, and no one else, they would always have each other.
When little Henrik was scared of the dark, of the monsters that lurked within it, he could cuddle up to any of his siblings and they would never think lowly of him. When Rebekah got her heart broken by one of the village boys, all of her brothers would ban together to "scare the crap out of him", as they said to her. When Elijah was too shy to speak to beautiful Tatia and his brothers would jeer at him in good fun. When Kol, always up to no good, needed to hide away from the local men that he angered and his siblings claimed not to have seen him all day long, all the while concealing his whereabouts until it was safe for him to reappear. When Finn was jealous of Esther's attention offered to all the other children, mysteriously his siblings would vanish for the day to give him time with her. When Mikael was too angry, too cruel to Klaus, his brothers and sister would rush to the rescue. Rebekah even threatened to kill Mikael once before he backed off, walking away, disgusted, and she ran to Niklaus's side, holding his beaten and broken body close as he tried hard to hide the shaking of his body and his soft cries. His brothers placing themselves between the two siblings and the rest of the world to protect their wounded brother.
It was the mantra that they would whisper to themselves or each other in the quiet of the night or in moments of solace away from those that wouldn't understand. It was a safeguard, a lifeline, a promise. They were safe so long as they had always and forever. They could make it through everything. No matter how big or small. If one didn't have enough strength, together they all would.
Always and forever was the day Henrik died. Was Klaus screaming and crying and throwing himself around, begging for their mother to save his brother and his family to punish him for what he did. Always and forever was them all gathering around and Rebekah hugging him tight to her chest, crying softly as she whispered how much she loved him, and that it would 'be okay' when decidedly it never would be again. Little did they know at that very moment it was the beginning of the end of everything that they once knew. They would try their best and make the most of it, but their lives were forever changed, and while it was in part Klaus's fault that it was so, none of his siblings ever said it. Not even in rage did outcast Finn or sardonic Kol ever breathe a word of the hurt that lie in their heart, because always and forever meant that even though it hurt, they loved each other more than that.
In their hearts, Henrik would always stay, as always and forever didn't die with him.
Not even when they died did always and forever vanish. In fact, it grew stronger as they did. Because while they were family and they loved each other, and the people of their village, after having become vampires, they have never been more alone. The people they knew their whole lives, loved and lived and fought beside since they were children, turned away from them. Feared and hated them for what they became, even if they had no say in it. Even if the horrible new reality they were forced to live through wasn't their choice but thrust upon them by their own parents.
It was then that the sons and daughter of Mikael and Esther had no one else in the world, except for each other. Even their father, a vampire as they were, hated them for what they became. And their mother, who made them into such creatures without even asking them if immortality was what they wanted, stared after them both in abject horror and disgust for everything that they had become was against the very laws of nature that she, as a witch, had vowed to uphold.
Along with their bodies, their souls, the meaning of always and forever transcended. Vampirism awakened a side of them that changed their perceptions of everything over the course of their lives. The killing, the feeding, the strength, the rage, it awakened something beyond the existence they once lived. Always and forever became a tether to their humanity.
Despite their arguing and fighting, no matter what they said or did, at the end of the day, no matter what, they would have each other. Always and forever.
Learning that Niklaus was not their father's son, but the son of the pack leader of their werewolf neighbors was hard for all of them for a time. None of Mikael's true children blamed their brother for not being their father's son - although that didn't mean that they wouldn't throw the term bastard at him when it suited them but never for its true meaning - but Mikael did. The animosity and hatred Mikael always had for Niklaus had suddenly all made sense to him. And Mikael felt justified in slaying both Niklaus's true father and the entirety of his pack. Klaus's siblings never blamed him for not being Mikael's, but Mikael did.
Using Esther's magic once more, Mikael forced Esther to seal up Niklaus's werewolf side and strike the final nail in the coffin. Years of physical and emotional abuse coupled with cruelty beyond measure in the murder of his father, and those of his pack, as well as sealing away a piece of himself was enough to solidify the hatred and resentment of not only Niklaus but all of his siblings. And Esther, she who was the cause of all of this, agreed to seal Niklaus's power because she knew that it would help, in a way, satiate some of Mikael's anger, but also prevent from further upsetting nature. It was her fault, her doing, yet Niklaus was being blamed for it, being blamed for his mother's own choices.
Niklaus cried the night they took his werewolf side from him. He didn't even cry when he lost his life. Losing the piece of himself, the connection perhaps to a father that may have been able to love him - had he not also lost his life, but for good unlike Niklaus - was too much to bear.
Somehow, a form of solace, which usually came from Rebekah, his favorite sibling, or Elijah, his favorite brother, instead came from the one sibling Niklaus always secretly thought hated him, even if only a little. It came from Finn.
Finn, who always thrived under Esther's love and attention, was the one that came to him long after his parents had left him crying in the dirt and Elijah ran off, horrified at what he'd done in helping his father hold his brother steady as Esther stole Niklaus's only tangible connection left to his father away. Finn, who loved Esther more than any of them, perhaps, knelt to Niklaus's side, placing a large, warm hand on his shoulder and said, so softly sometimes Niklaus, when he thinks back on it, figured he must have misheard him through his sobs, or simply imagined it, "They shouldn't have done that. She shouldn't have done that."
Always and forever was them against the world. Even their own parents.
Niklaus never forgave either Mikael or Esther for what they did. Once their village was destroyed, their mother dead and their father missing, the siblings knew they could no longer stay in the place that three of them were born in, but all of them were raised. The place where their baby brother laid to rest. This place was no longer their home. No one wanted them there, and nothing that they wanted remained. They knew it wasn't the end as the threat of Mikael and his white oak stake loomed over them as they ran from their home, the dark reality of their mother's death kept hidden in Klaus's heart. So they promised to stay together before leaving the village that raised them and the people that once loved them, to protect and love one another, always and forever, because no one else ever truly will.
Through the centuries they grew and learned more about themselves. Finn, Elijah, Niklaus, Kol, and Rebekah. They learned of ways to truly live with their vampirism - their hunger. Learned to master their strength and speed. They learned how to use their compulsion and that no normal means could kill them any longer. With the help of Lucien, Aurora, and Tristan, they also learned of their ability to use their blood both for healing and for making more vampires, creating the sirelines of Niklaus, Elijah, and Rebekah. And also draw Mikael away from their trail for a time.
They got a taste for the life of luxury. They got to live as prominent wealthy figures that they weren't going to ever be ready to return to their humble roots. Charisma and compulsion were able to get them far in their lives.
Always and forever meant that they would always come first. They were what mattered. Their wants, their desires. Always and forever fed into their selfishness when it came to everything but each other. No, it held stronger than ever the more they secluded themselves - sometimes physically, mostly emotionally - from everyone else in the world. They were the only ones that they could really trust, anyway.
They managed to grow in infamy amongst the supernatural species of the world. The whispers of the Original Vampires. The children of Esther and Mikael didn't pay much heed to their words, so long as no one was outwardly pointing in their direction, for fear of Mikael turning up to follow them. Despite their travels and the games, the siblings played over the years, they always made sure to keep an eye on Mikael. Well, more like keeping an ear out. Unfortunately, it's hard to really pin Mikael down until he's right on top of them.
Thankfully Lucien, Aurora, and Tristan have been keeping him busy for them for a long time. So at least they have that going for them.
Not only did those three help to keep Mikael preoccupied, but the other vampires that the siblings sired did as well. And the werewolves. Yes, Mikael held a particular disdain for anything and everything supernatural, it seemed. Witches seemed to be the only thing that narrowly avoided his wrath, and that's only barely. And not always. Mikael... as fickle and cruel as always.
Mikael's hatred for the werewolves - specifically Niklaus's father clan, but really all wolves - gave birth to the feud between the vampires and the werewolves that would last for a thousand years. And while Klaus didn't have access to his werewolf nature, he still had some of the perks that came with it. For instance, he was completely immune to werewolf bites, which would temporarily weaken his siblings and definitely kill other vampires, as they came to learn.
But the brotherhood of five taught Klaus of his affinity for silver when the brotherhood tried to dagger all of Klaus's siblings, and Klaus was the only one who woke up from it on his own. Needless to say, while Klaus was never a fan of any of Rebekah's attempts at love, he took a particularly keen enjoyment in killing Alexander, who was Rebekah's fiance at the time. While Rebekah was heartbroken, despite the fact that he had basically tried to kill her, or at least seal her away for the rest of eternity, Klaus was the one who ultimately lived to regret it.
Oh, how Klaus and his siblings loath the Hunter's curse. Witches curses in general, to be honest.
The next fifty-two years, four months, and nine days was absolute agony. All Klaus wanted to do was kill himself, haunted by the things he saw and heard. It was a terrible, tortured existence and Klaus tried everything he could think of to end his life - to no avail. His siblings remained at his side, doing everything they could to try and ease his pain and try to dissuade him from killing himself. All for always and forever.
And then fifty-two years, four months, and nine days after Klaus killed all of the Brotherhood of the Five it finally - abruptly came to an end. For no rhyme or reason.
Afterward, their lives regain a semblance of normalcy. They grew their influence, their power to spread across the world. Elijah made his Strix, Kol learned from the witches, and Klaus made allies and enemies aplenty. Klaus even found Katerina Petrova - or had she, unfortunately for her, found him - wearing the face belonging once to beautiful Tatia from their home so long ago. Hard pressed to temped fate, Klaus wanted to perform the ritual to awaken his werewolf side and finally feel complete.
Elijah, dear sweet honorable, love-struck Elijah, managed to carefully persuade his brother into allowing Katherine to live. Klaus was apprehensions, not wanting to risk messing up the ritual and possibly losing his chance to awaken his other half. But this was Elijah, his favorite brother, who has never asked him for anything, asks now for this girl's life. A girl so similar in appearance but so different in attitude to Elijah's first crush in beautiful Tatia.
Klaus gave in to a soft, "Please, brother," and brown eyes so focused and so intense. It meant a lot to Elijah, and he knew he was asking a lot in return from Klaus, and his eyes promised that it would all work out. And Klaus wanted desperately to believe in his favorite brother. So he, very reluctantly, agreed.
The following full moon brought the death of a vampire, a werewolf, and the pseudo death of the Petrova Doppelganger.
The horrible, painful agony of his first transformation wasn't alone. He was so fortunate that his first time transforming into his true form, he was able to curl up into a little ball on Rebekah's lap as he works his way through it with his siblings around him, ready to run away once he was finished with his change.
But he wasn't a wild, ravenous animal afterward. He was still Klaus. A werewolf Klaus. A Klaus that while disoriented and confused, recognized his siblings. He was shaky, and weary as a newly-turned werewolf surrounded by vampires – the natural enemy – but his nose bumped into Rebekah's cheek in his haste to back away from her, he recognized her scent. His sister.
It took a moment for werewolf-brained Klaus was pushed out of the way for more cognitive, newly-awakened Hybrid Klaus to recognize his beautiful sister staring back at him with wide blue eyes, ready to shove him away if he was to attack, but happy tears shining in her eyes. Her lips curve up a bit when he doesn't just attack and mouths, "I love you, Nik."
His ears sharpened and then he leaned forward, licking her cheek lovingly as his favorite sibling, before doing what he needed to. He turned, spared a long look at all of his siblings, making eye contact with all of them before running into the forest, relishing in the joy of finally being free. Finally being his true self.
Three days running the wild before he was ready to return to his life with his siblings.
In that time, thankful that Elijah saved her life, Katherine asked him for one thing in return for not running away. She didn't want to feel weak and helpless anymore. She wanted to be strong. She wanted to be a vampire.
Klaus returned and together, the two spoke with him. She gave Klaus her blood, and now she asks for the same in return. A bargin well struck. Klaus agreed and gave Katherine his blood.
That night Katerina Petrova died, and Katherine Pierce was born. But she was never one to be held down for long. When all was said and done, she kissed Elijah goodbye and vowed to see him again once she was more in control. She didn't want anyone to be part of the growing pains of being a vampire – especially not Elijah.
It was only after she was gone that Klaus learned about his ability to make hybrids. After almost a year of trying to figure out why it wasn't working – and trying to keep from blaming it on Katherine being alive to a minimum for Elijah's sake. Klaus had a witch reach out to his mother and learned the truth.
He needed human doppelganger blood.
Klaus was angry for a time, wanting to blame anyone and everyone – especially Katherine and Elijah – but then he came to the realization with Finn of all people being the voice of reason with a very calm, very pointed, "You didn't know, Klaus, how could they?"
And he was right.
No matter how angry he was at the time and for how long, Klaus finally, finally let it go. He awakened his werewolf side, and ultimately, that was what he wanted. The fact that fate managed to steal yet another thing out from under him was aggravating, to say the least, but he decided, with a bit of a yelling match with Elijah that helped, that he was more happy about being a Hybrid than he was angry about not being able to make Hybrids other than his own.
And like all things, they were able to move on from this.
Always and forever didn't mean the siblings were immune to their petty squabbles. No matter how much love and loyalty there was among siblings, it is inevitable that they would get on each other's nerves. Their squabbles destroyed towns and covens and the way of life for those around them. It also leads to the devious idea of Klaus's to put his siblings into their "time out".
Those pesky daggers came in handy to steal years from Klaus's siblings. It was a source of ire between them. A point of friction.
But they would all find their peace once more, at some point, after reconciliation was achieved. Always and forever made it hard to stay mad for too long.
After so many centuries running the world, jumping from one continent to another, running from Mikael, running to their desires, seeing the world, the siblings, for the first time since the home they ran from so long ago, found a place all of them truly liked. A little hamlet that they helped grow into the wonderful city of New Orleans. A place where all supernatural could live together, peacefully. Their only little slice of paradise. Something to be proud of. Somewhere to finally, finally call home. Something all of them had been searching for, even if they had never said it aloud.
Throughout the years, the siblings, while running from Mikael, would split up, agreeing to meet somewhere at a specific time once one sibling or one group of siblings managed to shake Mikael from their trail. Always running. Always hiding. Always afraid. Always and forever.
While it became obvious to the siblings not so long after they initially left the village that raised them, it still terrified Klaus whenever Mikael drew near, as he was always the one that Mikael sought. He would kill all of his children, end the blight that they bring to the world, but Klaus was the one that he always hunted for the most rigorously.
Klaus's life was a waking nightmare, being hounded by the man who raised him and hated him all his life, with moments of peace sprinkled in between. Not a day went by that Klaus wasn't afraid. He learned to hide it well, the fear, the paranoia, but not always, and not completely to his siblings. They could see right through him and his anxiety.
New Orleans became special. It became something that they could all build together. Something that was wholly and entirely their own. They could build it from the ground up, govern it, and live peacefully there. It could be their new home. Somewhere for them to finally belong, and live together in peace. Or in as much peace as the siblings could manage while being together. But it was still theirs and they could be happy there. Always and forever.
And for a time, they were. Every night was a party. They were able to build bonds with the werewolves, the vampires, and the witches. They were able to have peace and live their lives comfortably. The scuffles, the backstabbing, and the horrors that come with all three supernatural races, as well as with humans are thrown into the mix, living together would be overlooked. A sacrifice for getting the city that they wanted. Building the life that they wanted. For one sweet, tender moment, they were all together and finally happy.
And then, of course, Mikael came. And like a great tidal wave, he destroyed everything in his path. Even the dream of all of his children. Especially that of the bastard son he raised.
The destruction of their city, the threat of Mikael - Elijah opting to stay behind to hold him off - killing them all, losing someone they all came to love dearly in their own way, and the annihilation of the foolish notion that they could ever live freely without fear of their world crashing around them was enough to send them all on their separate ways. Finally, Mikael had done it. He managed to scatter all of the children that he raised to the winds in all different directions. The only two that stayed together were Klaus and Rebekah.
Defeat and loss were like ash in their mouths and a white oak stake to their chests. And for a long time to follow - a hundred years, so nothing to an Original Vampire - their grief at once more losing their home forced them apart. Over the years each sibling found solace in being away from the group for a short time - sometimes for a year, like Rebekah. Sometimes for a decade like Kol, and sometimes for three decades, like Finn. But always and forever foretold their return. They would always come back to each other. No matter what.
Klaus hated those times more than anything else. He hated the idea of his siblings leaving his side. If Klaus had his way, they would never leave his side. It takes a lot of effort on all of their parts to convince him to let them go. Kol once, ever the troublemaker, figured he didn't want to deal with Klaus's "overactive imagination and anxiety" over him leaving so he left without a word. Klaus nearly tore the world apart looking for him, and when he found him, daggered him for sixty years to ensure he never forgot.
It never got easier over the years, to leave Klaus's side. Not until the destruction of New Orleans. Klaus understood his siblings' need for time apart from one another to finally, fully establish themselves away from each other, which was the only thing helping him fight his instinct to gather all of his siblings back together again. Rebekah helped convince him that they need this time apart. A hundred years isn't anything to an Original. Needless to say, Klaus uses his agents around the world to keep an eye on his wayward siblings, whether they want him to or not.
Losing Marcel and New Orleans and everything else that they had built once more to Mikael - for a hundred times over, it feels - there was a tangible fissure forming between the siblings. From those that were still terrified of Mikael, of what he would do once he got to them, and those that were sick and tired of running from him. Letting the fear of his rampage continue to haunt them across the world for another thousand years.
Despite their divide on what exactly to do with Mikael, one thing remains certain to all of them, something has to give. A thousand years running is far too long for anyone to be able to stand. The exhaustion of running, and living in fear follows all of them around like fatigue bones deep and nightmare plagued dreams that never cease. They couldn't live like that anymore. Any of them.
Over their long lives, each and every one of the siblings met many extraordinary people. Some became friends, more became enemies, and some were simply passersby in the streets. There one moment and gone the next. Some vampires, some werewolves, some humans. Most were outlived, some still pop up from time to time for one reason or another, but despite having seen so much more of the world than any other, there was still so much yet to be seen. Places that hadn't been explored and people unlike any other to be discovered.
They all have so much more to continue to see.
Going their separate ways, perhaps, was what was best for all of them. What was that saying about distance and what it does to the heart? Like something foretold by the oldest and wisest of witches, a prophetic vision of a future full of hardship, heartbreak, love, and betrayal, the convergence of the sons and daughter of Mikael and Esther reap upon nature an imbalance, unlike the world, has ever seen.
And it starts a thousand years after their deaths. With word of the newest Petrova Doppelganger having appeared in a small Virginia town of Mystic Falls that stands where their home once stood, long ago.