Pairing: Niklaus/Tatia, (past) Elijah/Tatia, (one-sided) Damon/Tatia
Summary: Ana had been dreaming of her angel since she was fourteen, only to realize that he was a vampire who had been seeing her her entire human life—and she was, in fact, the reincarnation of his only love, Tatia. Niklaus/Tatia.
Warnings: mentions of past rape, children out of wedlock, magic, reincarnation
The car was beaten and old, but Ana didn’t really mind. She paused in the middle of the road, the night cool and fresh around her, and she stepped out. Ana knew this feeling.
Her angel was near.
There was a sound of rustling to her right and she saw a figure approach. It was difficult to see, and she couldn’t help but be a little afraid. She wasn’t quite young anymore, she was twenty-nine after all, but she was still a woman, on a deserted street, in the middle of the woods, at night. She knew horror movies well enough to know what was coming.
“Are you all right?” she called, and the figure came closer.
Instead of screaming, she just looked at the man. He was oddly familiar with shining blue eyes and short, curling blond hair. His face and clothes were smeared with blood, which should have frightened her. However, all she could do was stutter, “I-I have a towel, I think. Somewhere in the back. I don’t think it will do much good. Are you hurt?”
The man just stared at her as if he were seeing a ghost.
“Sir?” she asked taking a step closer, but he shook his head.
“No,” he responded. “Just a long way from home.”
She laughed a little, thinking of her own home in Maine and how she had run away. “I can understand that. Is it here in Virginia? I’m wandering a bit myself and—“ Why was she even offering this stranger a lift? It was utterly absurd! He could very well be an axe murderer. However, he reminded her so much of her angel…
“I think I live about seventy miles from here,” he told her carefully. “Mystic Falls.”
“I don’t know it,” she admitted, motioning to her car. “I have GPS on my phone, though, so we should be able to find it.”
“Thank you,” he murmured as he got into her beat up old car. “I’ll pay for the gas and the cleaning.”
“Thank you and just wipe it down yourself,” she answered honestly. “This old piece of junk isn’t worth it.”
He looked around at the car. “It has seen better days,” he admitted. Hadn’t it ever. She’d bought it from a used car dealership after selling her previous car, which she had bought from another used dealership with cash after selling the one her parents had gotten her. The point was to be as untraceable as humanly possible.
“So, why the blood?” she asked after five minutes.
“A wolf, I think,” he answered carefully. “I was camping, and, well, everything’s destroyed.” He looked straight ahead, but she couldn’t shake the feeling that she somehow knew him.
“Are you from New England?”
He looked at her strangely. “I haven’t been in over fifteen years,” he admitted.
“Hmm,” was all she said in response.
They finally pulled into a mansion around dawn and Ana looked at it in shock. “Do you still have your keys?”
“I have some under the mat. Come and get some sleep. I promise I won’t hurt or disturb you. I’ll show you where the kitchen is so when you wake up, you can grab yourself a bite to eat.” His blue eyes looked at her soulfully, begging her to come in, and something within her tugged at her to do just that.
She stepped out of the car and moved toward him. “Niklaus,” she realized, although she was uncertain as to where exactly the name came from.
“How did you?” he asked, shocked.
“I don’t—“ she answered. “You never called me ‘Ana,’ though.” She took several steps away from him and grabbed her suitcase. “Some sleep would be nice as well as a shower, I must admit.”
He took the suitcase from her and led her into the house. They went upstairs to a hallway where he paused in front of several doors.
“Any old room will do,” she said.
He shook his head and then chose one. It was a large suite made of silvery blues. “I call this one ‘the Falls,’” he told her. “I hope it will do.” He set the suitcase down and gestured toward the bathroom. “Towels, soap, shampoo. Razors. Everything you should need.”
“Takk, Niklaus,” she murmured as she opened her suitcase and grabbed some sleep things and slipped in. Ana knew he was staring at her. She didn’t even know how she knew that word—she just knew that it was right.
This was right somehow.
Maybe this was where she was running to.
“Have you been to England?” she asked Niklaus as he entered the kitchen. She was in a flowing dress, perfect for driving and the heat.
“Many times.” He looked at her in interest as she took some marmalade and spread it across toast.
“It’s just you have a painting of a small chapel in a church I frequented in Haye-on-Wye. One of the figures even looks like my father.”
He paused and asked quietly. “Did you have open heart surgery?”
“Oh,” she said, pulling her dress closed. “Does the scar bother you?”
“I didn’t notice,” he seemed to answer truthfully. He squinted. “It’s so light you’d have to look for it. When was it? September 1987?”
“I—are you stalking me? Are you a serial killer?” She took a step back, suddenly very confused.
“I’m a painter,” he responded, frowning and shaking his head. “I paint my dreams. You woke up during surgery once. You were so young, a teenager but young—“
“And you told me not to be afraid,” she murmured. “You said your name was Niklaus.”
“Yes,” he agreed, staring into her eyes. His eyes were so blue that they sucked her in.
“But you haven’t aged,” she murmured. “That day, when we made love in the woods, when I was myself but I wasn’t, you were the same then as you are now, and that seemed to be centuries ago.”
In an instant he was standing in front of her as if he were the Flash, and his hand cupped her cheek. The knife she had been using to spread the marmalade clattered to the floor, and they just stared at each other. “What did I call you?” he begged. “You said earlier that I didn’t call you ‘Ana’.”
“It was a dream,” she reasoned, looking down and off to the side.
“I don’t care,” he told her. “Tell me, please. I’ve been dreaming of you for thirty years.”
Her eyes glanced up. “You can’t be thirty yourself! Or maybe just! How could you be dreaming about me since you were born and actually remember! How can you know about my first surgery?”
“I was there,” he told her, “in the room. I dreamt you. You were so small and perfect and your skin was blue. I couldn’t hear anything but I watched, I watched, my darling.—I saw when that horrible man raped you again and again when you were a teenager and your mind shut it out. I tried to grab him off of you and I would have come to you if I could have. I’ve been with you during every one of your psychiatrist appointments. I laughed when you told all those idiots you were an heiress when you lived in Britain—I—“
“Tatia,” she whispered. “I don’t understand the name, and you whispered to me in another language that I sometimes seem to know, but you called me ‘Tatia’.”
His eyes searched her for a lie, but he seemed to relax when he found none. “Has anyone else visited you?”
“My grandfather when he died? He was Norwegian. I like to think that I’ll go to Valhalla with him when I die.”
Niklaus seemed instantly relieved. “Small favors,” he murmured. “You’ve come back to me,” he whispered, leaning forward and kissing her forehead. “Why are you here in Virginia? I’ve been—occupied of late.”
“My parents died. My aunt and uncle want to put me in a mental institution. I just stop long enough to get my prescriptions refilled.”
He nodded. “Well, we’ll change your name and get a new psychiatrist. Tatia. My Tatia.”
“You’re changing my name to Tatia after that girl?” she looked confused.
He ran his hand through her brown hair. “Don’t you see? I loved you then, you must have loved me too despite all your suitors, and we’ve come back to each other.” Taking her hand, Niklaus led her to a studio where he showed her picture after picture of her in various stages of her life. There were even a few of him attacking her, painted with rage and in broad strokes.
“They’re beautiful,” she murmured. “What did I look like before?” Ana glanced at him.
Carefully, he took out a sketch of a girl with dark hair and dark eyes. The face was innocent and smooth. Ana took the picture and looked at it for several long moments. “Apart from the fact that we both have dark coloring, we don’t look much like one another.”
“My brother Elijah was also in love with Tatia—with you,” Niklaus said, seemingly off topic. “When her doppleganger was born five hundred years later he fell in love with Katerina because she looked the same despite her manipulative personality. I never did. There was another doppleganger. I do not know his feelings for her, nor do I care. I never felt anything for her apart from wanting to use her to break a curse. I never loved the body, Tatia. I loved you. Yes, you were beautiful then, and you are beautiful now. I am attracted to both incarnations of you. I won’t deny it. If I knew it wouldn’t frighten and confuse you, I would carry you up the grand staircase as if you were Scarlett O’Hara from your favorite film, but I would never intentionally hurt you.”
“I’m a different person now,” she argued, putting the sketch back. “I’ve had a different life. This is the face of a young girl. A teenager. I’m twenty-nine, Niklaus.”
“You could be fifty. I wouldn’t care,” he swore, cupping her face again.
“How are you even alive? You said something about five hundred years…”
He sighed and took her hand and pulled her toward a den, which had a side bar. “Would you like something?”
She shook her head.
Then she heard about Tatia and her role in the curse of his werewolf side being suppressed and becoming a vampire and the one thousand years he had spent spurning love in favor of breaking the curse. “I couldn’t bear Tatia’s blood—your blood—being used for such evil,” he murmured. “It disgusted me. I also despised my mother for denying me my true nature.”
“So that’s what you were doing in the woods. You were delighting in your status as werewolf and vampire. You’re a newborn in a way.”
“In a way,” he agreed. “I would never hurt you,” he swore. “Say you’ll stay. I’ll get you your medications. I’ll take you to a witch to see if we can get your memories back. Reincarnation is extraordinarily rare but not entirely unheard of. I won’t press you into anything. If you wish to live only as friends, then let me love you from afar. I’ll even call you ‘Ana’ if that’s what you wish.”
“I. I need to think,” she whispered. “But I’d like the new name and medications. It would make my life easier. I don’t want to go into withdrawal.”
He nodded. “You realize you can’t be ‘Ana’ anymore.”
She smiled sadly. “I’ve thought about that. Tatiana. She’s the Queen of the Fairies—“
“And I could call you Tatia if you ever decide you want that,” he murmured lovingly, his fingers skimming over the back of her hand. “There’s also ‘Ana.’ May I give you the last name of Mikaelson? It’s mine, I know, but we can always say you’re a sister or a cousin if necessary.”
“If it will make you feel happy. You seem like an Alpha Male,” she joked.
He kissed her hand. “Your medication?”
She nodded and got up to get them.
The newcomer entered the den in an impeccable suit just as Tatiana was turning from the sideboard and she screamed in shock, dropping her glass. It shattered at her feet and she jumped away from the broken shards, stumbling into the bar.
The man raised an eyebrow at her. Niklaus immediately came running and saw the staring contest between the two of them.
Noticing him, Tatiana whispered, “He—I—also—what the fuck did I do last time around? How are you friends?”
“We’re brothers,” the man in the suit said.
“Actual brothers. Not vampire-hybrid brother things?” she made sure.
The man glanced at Niklaus who was helping Tatiana away from the glass.
“You still like to go barefoot,” Niklaus noted.
“I like heels,” she murmured. “They’re so much fun. But what’s the point around the house? I also had to kind of leave mine behind. I packed rather quickly and ran. They even have my computer with all my movies and music. Bastards.”
“Who is this, Niklaus?” the man said, unbuttoning his jacket and taking a seat, “and why is she in your house? Also what on earth was she talking about?”
“Sa rolig som alltid, Elias,” she whispered. [As calm as ever, Elijah.] Tatiana, however, was inspecting her foot so she didn’t notice that both brothers were staring at her. When she looked up, she glanced between the two of them.
“That’s the second time now you’ve switched into Norwegian,” Niklaus said.
“Sorry?” she murmured. “I’m officially blaming you, though. I was perfectly happy with my crappy life and my occasional weird dreams until you came upon me covered in the blood of the Allfather knows what.” She sat down, staring at her hands, turning a ring around her finger.
“You are not Christian,” Elijah noted.
“I wasn’t once it would appear,” was all she said, her head held high as she stared into Elijah’s eyes.
He must have noticed something in them because he whispered, “Tatia. How is this possible?”
“Would you prefer me in a doppleganger body?” she snapped before getting up and reaching over the glass to grab a bottle of wine.
Elijah produced a glass for her and she poured half a glass. She swirled it, letting the aroma hit her senses before taking a sip.
“She’s legally Tatiana Mikaelson. If anyone asks, she’s Tatiana or ‘Ana’ Monroe,” Niklaus explained. “She was on the run when we came across each other and recognized one another.”
“I always assumed the dopplegangers were somehow reincarnations given their predilection for turning brothers against one another,” Elijah murmured.
“I’ve never done that,” Tatiana stated. “That’s just bad form. Give it a week and then pick. If you chose wrong, break up, wait three months, and then give it a go with the other if they’re still game, otherwise just move on. Those are the official rules that a friend of mine came up with. She couldn’t decide between two twins. One was blond and the other was brunet. Otherwise they were identical.”
“Your friend was perhaps wise,” Elijah said. “You’re staying here?”
“Yes,” Niklaus said. “She’s seeing a vampire doctor in a few days, she was diagnosed with an illness by humans which I think was a bit off, and then a witch down in South Carolina over the weekend. I don’t know why, but she only seems to have one, well perhaps now two, memories of her previous life. She’s definitely Tatia though.”
“Yes, without a doubt. The mannerisms are uncanny. The Norse as well and recognizing us…I think we should take care of Tatia before we complete our previous arrangement. She should be settled before we spring the rest of the family on her.”
“I need to buy food,” Tatiana stated. “I’m going to let you two fight about me, which you’re clearly dying to do. No rifling through my things, not even to get my sizes to buy me clothes. I—I hate to ask, but I maxed out my latest credit card and only have about eighteen dollars.” She looked to the side.
Niklaus immediately went to his wallet and got out two hundred dollars.
“I don’t need that much.”
“You might see something in a shop you want,” he argued. “I’ll get you a credit card later this week, Ana.”
Elijah looked up at the name.
“The two of us will pick up your medications. I noticed you were running on some of the ones that are addictive.”
“Yes. I was prepared to go into a rehab clinic to get clean. It seemed like my only option.” She swallowed. “Thank you,” she whispered. She walked out of the room to go find shoes.
However, she heard, “What’s her diagnosis?”
“Bipolar disorder. She gets visions and gets ‘manic’ which I think is her natural flirtatiousness. She also has delusions but I think it’s the memories just trying to get through.”
She didn’t hear the rest because she was hurrying up the stairs.
She’d been forced to take some bizarre sports car because Niklaus seemed to have gotten rid of hers. Tatiana hoped it was just for cleaning. Somehow, she suspected he was buying her another car instead.
Tatiana was a little clueless when it came to boys, but even she couldn’t mistake the pure love and adoration that had been shining out of Niklaus’s eyes since she was fourteen. He also seemed to have money to burn.
“Pasta,” a seductive voice murmured from behind her. “You must be Italian. But Prego? While they’re good for the mass market, you simply must make your own sauce.”
Tatiana turned to see a tall man with black hair, in a black leather jacket and trousers, with stunning blue eyes. “My great grandmother was a Spinnato,” she informed him. “However, I can’t cook. It’s simple pasta and sauce for me.”
“Italian and you can’t cook?”
“Mom tried,” she laughed. “Well, not really, but when she did, it didn’t stick. I can make homemade mac and cheese, though. I know,” she said, rolling her eyes, “how horribly American of me.”
He smiled winningly at her and her new phone, that was on loan from Niklaus, chimed at her. It said it was Elijah. Perhaps he didn’t realize that the phone had been given to her for the day?
“Excuse me—‘Tatiana Monroe. Your brother gave me the phone for the day.’”
“It’s your soul mate,” Niklaus teased. “I’m borrowing as well. We’re at the store picking out your new phone. Do you want a Galaxy or an iPhone?”
She paused. “New life. New phone. Give me the Galaxy. Or do you both carry iPhones?”
“You’re holding Galaxy’s latest model.” There was laughter in his voice.
Tatiana took the phone from her ear and looked at it, before replacing it. “How am I supposed to know? Do I look technology savvy?”
“Point well taken. We’ll see you at home.”
He hung up. Tatiana looked up at the man. “Apparently, this is a Galaxy,” she told him.
He chuckled. “Tatiana is a very singular name.”
“My father was a Shakespeare professor,” she lied. “Now I need frozen pizza.”
“You really can’t cook, can you?” he laughed.
“No,” she answered, as she headed down the main aisle looking at signs. He was walking beside her and she glanced at him in curiosity. He even stopped when she grabbed two packets of Hebrew Nationals. She wasn’t Jewish but she loved their hotdogs.
A teenage boy and a girl came up to them holding various ingredients. They put them in the man’s cart. They were blocking her way, so Tatiana came to a stop as well.
“Oh, sorry,” the blue-eyed man said. “Tatiana, this is my brother, Stefan, and his girlfriend, Elena.”
She tried not to let her eyes widen when she saw the girl and recognized her from the picture of Tatia, which Niklaus had drawn. Turning to the mystery man, she commented, “It’s ‘Ana,’ and you never told me your name.”
“Damon Salvatore. Italian, obviously.” He stuck out his hand. She took it and smiled before turning back to the others.
“You know,” Damon said conversationally, obviously going for a casual tone. “Since you’re part Italian and can’t cook, you should come over for some proper pasta.”
“I’m a very picky eater,” she told him as she tried to get out of it.
“You eat frozen pizza.”
“Yes, but I don’t eat mustard or ketchup on my hotdogs,” she argued back. “Or anything. They have to be plain.”
“Why don’t I email you the recipe, and you can tell me what you won’t eat in it?” Damon tried. “You seem new to town. You could do with some friends.”
Her phone fortunately rang.
“Excuse me.” It was supposedly Elijah again. “Any Galaxy phone is fine,” she said.
“What’s your shoe size?” This time it was actually Elijah.
“You’re buying me shoes?” she asked, completely confused. “I have my pair of flip flops and converse. I don’t need anymore.”
“It’s summer and you like heels. You need some heeled sandals,” he informed her. “We’ll get you some thick ones so you can walk around town easily and we’ll leave the more feminine and sophisticated heels to when we take you shopping with us or just give you a credit card so you can go on a rampage.”
“I’m between a six/six and a half and a seven,” she sighed. “It depends on the shoe.”
“We’ll simply return some.”
“I only want one white pair, Elias. And one brown. I prefer black,” she informed. “And I’m currently being invited to dinner sometime in the near future. Would you be insulted if I accepted?”
There was a pause and some murmuring.
“We won’t be insulted if you agree to drink vervain first and bring pepper spray.”
“What’s vervain?” she asked, looking at her three companions in confusion.
“Old wives’ tale. Just humor us,” he said flatly.
“Har dette a gjore med din mor a vaere en heks?” she asked quietly. [Does this have to do with your mother being a witch?]
“Ja og nei.” [Yes and No.]
She sighed and hung up. Everyone was staring at her. “Sorry, my friends and I are from Northern Europe,” she explained. “I was asking about herbalists and their bizarre ways. So, dinner? I just got in around dawn. I did sleep, so, whenever’s fine.”
“Tonight,” Damon said quickly. “Let me give you the address.”
“All right,” she said, going through her purse and finding the back of a receipt for Tylenol. Handing it over to him, she asked, “What time?”
Damon smirked at her.
Tatiana stood in front of the door, her face illuminated by the light, as she stood there. She was dressed in one of the few nice dresses she had brought. It was still a bit casual, but something a businesswoman would dress in to look nice but a little more relaxed in than a business suit, and her hair was up. Tatiana was even wearing some black sandals Niklaus and Elijah had picked out for her.
She knocked and she heard rustling behind the door, which she found funny, especially since she’d been informed that both the Salvatore brothers were vampires, so they had probably heard her car—or Elijah’s car—coming up the road.
It was, however, Elena.
“Ana!” she greeted, taking the bottle of red from her hands. “Come on in.”
“Thank you,” she said, stepping in and looking around. “I didn’t know you would be here.”
“Yes, well, I told Damon it would be strange if it were just the two boys and you. They tend to bicker.”
Tatiana smiled remembering the strange half-fighting Elijah and Niklaus had been having when they were showing her shoes, each trying to impress her. She never thought she’d see the day when such a bizarre thing would happen.
“So,” Damon said, greeting her with a kiss on the cheek, “how was the shoe shopping?”
“Hilarious. I swear. Two men really have no idea what it means to shop for shoes for a woman. They’re old friends, but really.” She shook her head. “Thank the Allfather I refused to let them near my suitcase so they couldn’t get at my clothing size. That would have been disastrous.”
“Why the need for the new things?” Stefan asked.
“My car was stolen outside of Atlanta,” she told him. “I’m working out of a carryon. Fortunately, my toothbrush was inside and I was able to borrow someone’s cell phone to call for a ride.”
“How long are you in town for?” Elena asked.
Tatiana shrugged. “I honestly don’t know. I’d been on a bit of a road trip, but I’m staying here for a while, I think,” she replied.
“Who are you staying with?” Stefan asked, pouring the wine. Damon seemed to have disappeared back to the kitchen, though Tatiana knew he could hear every word.
“The Mikaelson family,” she answered truthfully. She knew Elijah and Niklaus’s surname had never come out during their conflict involving the ritual.
“I don’t think I know them,” Elena said.
“Really?” Tatiana asked. “Well, they say you know everyone in a small town, but that’s not always true. Plus, I think only one is in high school.”—She’d gotten the load down on the family: a Rebekah was sixteen, so she was the right age. Kol was nineteen, so he was a possibility, but she wasn’t going to push it. When their names were mentioned, she’d seen a flash of a young girl with blonde hair running through wildflowers and a mischievous boy who looked a great deal like Elijah.
Somehow, during the meal, a Katherine Pierce came up. It appeared she was one of the brothers’ exes. Tatiana wasn’t quite sure who she had dated, though.
“Her birth name was interesting like yours,” Damon said. “Tatiana, Katerina Petrova…”
She dropped her fork. “Katerina Petrova?” she whispered. “You make it sound like she’s alive? I thought she died?” Tatiana looked at everyone around her in confusion. “She is dead, isn’t she? Katerina Petrova was a member of the English court back in the 1490s! I told you my father was a Shakespeare professor. My mother studied history. What are you talking about?”
There was silence.
“Vervain. What’s it for? No one will tell me what it’s for! Does it have something to do with Katerina?” She stared at Elena long and hard.
“You know,” she murmured. “And, no, I’m not Katerina. I’m Elena.”
Tatiana’s hands began to shake and she quickly put them into her lap and interlaced her fingers, calming her breaths. If anyone would want her dead, it would be Katerina. She seemed possessive. She would want the Salvatore brothers to herself, and she would want Elijah. Elijah already was turning his gaze upon her and so, perhaps, was Damon.
Maybe she really was Tatia reincarnated.
She suddenly felt very sick. “Bathroom,” she begged suddenly, and Damon immediately got up and rushed her to the downstairs toilet. He held her hair back as she vomited. When she was finally done, she accepted a glass of water and drank it down. Leaning up against the wall, she closed her eyes. “I’m sorry,” she murmured. “No one told me she was alive.”
“It seems you have only been partially told a lot of things.”
She half-sobbed. “I only got into town this morning. I slept through half the day. There hasn’t been time. I should have stayed home and just gone to bed and let my hosts argue over which one loved me most last time they saw me.—Oh, Allfather, she’s going to kill me.”
“Who’s going to kill you?” Damon asked.
“Katerina. I’m taking one of her conquests away from her without even trying, even though he was mine first. I know enough about her to know she’ll despise me. Odin, save me.”
“She’s too afraid of Klaus to come anywhere near here,” he soothed. “You do know who Klaus is?”
“Yes. I’m pretty sure he thinks Elena is dead, though.”
“And we’ll keep it that way.” His baby blue eyes turned to steel.
“You can hardly keep it a secret,” she told him plainly. “You took her to a grocery store. Someone’s going to notice. I noticed after being in town for just a few hours. Really, Damon, how could you be so stupi—“
He leaned forward and kissed her, but she jerked back.
“No,” she said, standing up and leaning against the sink. “I just—it’s—I think I’m in shock.”
She stared into the mirror and looked at her tear-stained face. At least she wasn’t wearing any makeup. She washed her face and took a towel to pat it dry. That was at least a bit better.
“Thank you,” she murmured, seeing his reflection behind her, before leaving the room.
Damon was still on the floor, looking at her as she left.
She grabbed her bag and said her goodbyes before she walked out the door and got into the car. Not bothering to speak to either Niklaus or Elijah when she got home although they were clearly waiting for her, she stomped up to her room and collapsed onto her bed, sighing.
Not even realizing she hadn’t locked the door or that it even had a lock, she startled in surprise when she felt a hand on her shoulder. Turning, she saw the shadow of Niklaus. Sobbing, she threw herself in his arms. “Why didn’t you tell me Katerina was still alive? For a moment I thought that Elena was her and that she would kill me!”
“Elena’s alive?” Klaus asked in shock.
She pulled away and glared at him and he just kissed her head and pulled her closer.
“Why would she kill you?”
“She’s sinfully possessive. You said so yourself. Elijah’s reverted to me and I think I’m accidentally stealing Damon away from both her and Elena. Oh my God. What’s wrong with me?”
“Tatia,” he murmured into her hair. “You have always been a temptation to men, even when you haven’t meant to be. It wasn’t just your body. It was the way you carried yourself, the way you acted. Tatiana Monroe is certainly her own woman with her own past, but she shares her soul with a woman who could cause men to fall to their knees in adoration and worship.”
“I don’t want adoration and worship. I never have. All I’ve only ever wanted is love.”
“I know, my darling. They don’t see that, but I’ve been with you every step of the way, since the very beginning, at least in this life. I don’t see the pillar of womanhood perfection you project to keep yourself safe. I see you, in all your flawed beauty. I love you, min Tatia [my Tatia]. Always and forever.”
She gave him a watery smile. “Stay with me?” she quietly asked.
“I thought you didn’t like to be touched,” he said carefully.
“I’m willing to try if you are,” she murmured.
He kissed her on the forehead and it was decided.
“I have your file and the detailed reports from Messrs. Elijah and Niklaus Mikaelson,” Dr. Jameson said. He was a paranormal psychiatrist who saw witches, werewolves, and vampires, and had agreed to see her. “Reincarnation is extremely rare. I believe there have been three recorded cases in the past six hundred years. However, I believe you are our first case of doppleganger-reincarnation. Your body was reincarnated separately so you could not go beyond or even be to the Other Side. Your Soul was trapped in a sleep until a body, for some unknown reason, became available or compatible. I wouldn’t say it was because of the medical defects. They certainly aren’t anything to overlook, but there are worse. Maybe the soul was too weak to survive the first surgery.” He looked at his notes. “It seems Mr. Niklaus says that’s the first time he saw you.”
“You first saw him when you were fourteen in your surgical room, though. When you woke up during a procedure.”
“I—yes. It was very surreal. I knew he was there to protect me and that he loved me. I could tell, just by the way he looked at me. I knew he had always loved me.”
“He most likely did. He loved your former self Tatia desperately, it would appear. He hasn’t loved since unlike Mr. Elijah who admits to falling in love once every seventy years or so, including with Tatia’s own doppleganger Katerina Petrova. He even admits to having feelings for Elena Gilbert until you were discovered.” He glanced up at her. “You can say whatever you wish.”
“They’re cheap copies,” she all but spat. “I don’t care if they look the way I did. They’re not me.”
He smiled at her. “Very astute, Miss Monroe, or Miss Mikaelson. However you like.”
“I’m a member of the clan. ‘Monroe’ is for appearances.”
“And we are against that in this room,” he agreed. “Your highs are Tatia’s natural flirtations trying to come to the front of your personality. The lies are because you know you’re living one and you’re trying to find the truth. The depression is easy. You’re being denied who you are. The visions are because you’re existing in two times and so you may see past events, some future, spirits, whatever.”
“How could Niklaus and I see each other then?”
“Isn’t it obvious?”
She shook her head.
“I’ll get to that in a moment,” the man promised. “The delusions come from your mind trying to reconcile your reincarnated self with your past life without having any guidance. I would say a spell was put on you, probably when you were Tatia, Miss Mikaelson. Your blood was used in two rituals. It could have been used in three, just in case this happened. The delusions become psychotic because of the spell, if I am not mistaken.”
Tatiana swallowed, remembering how horrifying they were.
“Now, onto you and Mr. Niklaus. I believe he should be in here. It’s all in the report, but I must ask you something: how did you feel about him before you met him, Miss Mikaelson?”
She looked into his green eyes. “Honestly? I loved him from the first. I cried when he didn’t come to me in my times of need. I wanted him so badly. I compared everyone to him. Occasionally a man and one woman—well, she was twenty-one, so she was really a girl—could make me forget for a little while—would make my head turn, but it was always him. Don’t tell him.”
Dr. Jameson made no promises. “And now?” He leaned forward, tossing aside his notepad and pencil.
“I—I do like Elijah. I find him very attractive. But Niklaus—“
He made a sign that she should continue.
“I—he—I wish he would kiss me, but I’m afraid. I’ve had him hold me at night. It’s selfish perhaps, but I want him. I was brought up very strictly. I don’t just want his body, like I do with Elijah, the Allfather forgive me. I want his mind, I want his soul, I want his love. It terrifies me. But I’m not ready yet.”
“Are you in love with him?”
“If I’m not, I will be,” she confessed.
“Then it is as I thought,” he told her. “I need to tell you both. The specifics will be kept to myself.” He got up and Niklaus was brought into the room.
“Everything is in the report,” Dr. Jameson told Niklaus, “which you can read with your brother. You have a separate report, which is only hinted at in the first. To put it plainly, you and Miss Mikaelson were truly in love one thousand years ago. You were so in love that when Miss Tatiana Mikaelson was reincarnated you, Mr. Niklaus, dreamed of her. When she matured enough, she would catch glimpses of you, but because she was in a human body, they were few and far between. This is a clear indication that you are truly in love, akin to soul mates. This does not mean that your love will be perfect, that it will be easy, that you will remain together. However, that is my belief.—Oh, and she needs to see a witch to get whatever spell it seems your mother put on her taken off so she can remember her previous life and her bipolar symptoms can go away. I’ve outlined a timetable for how and when to get off every single one of her medications, which she needs to get off of before the final spell. She can see the witch, as planned, however, on Saturday to begin the process. I have a report for the witch with the others.” He smiled. “Don’t rush Miss Mikaelson, Mr. Mikaelson. She’s had a traumatic life and this entire experience is traumatic as well as the fact that she’s just now learning about the supernatural.”
Tatiana reached for Niklaus’s hand, which he took and kissed. “Of course,” he murmured. “I would never harm her.”
“I don’t even know how old you are,” she suddenly realized.
“One thousand, one hundred—“
“No,” she stated. “Your body.”
“Fuck. I’m a cougar.”
“I’m sure if you two decided on an eternity together, the age difference will be negligible as you two look approximately the same age now.”
Tatiana smiled weakly at him and accepted all the reports, which she would give out to everyone later. Now what were they going to tell Elijah?
Tatiana was confused when she reached Elena’s house and found Klaus there on the porch, speaking to a scared looking Elena. Stefan was on one side of her and Damon seemed to be in the background somewhere.
“Is something going on?” she asked.
Niklaus looked over. “It appears I need human doppleganger blood to create my hybrids. She won’t give me any.” His eyes had softened as soon as he’d seen her, which seemed to stun the occupants of the house.
“Did you ask politely?”
“Of course,” he lied, looking at her.
She tilted her head. Tatiana always knew when he was lying. “Did you ask as the man who held Britta in his arms and told me she was the most beautiful child in the New World or did you merely not threaten to kill anyone?”
“Neither,” Stefan said. “Whoever Britta is.”
As Tatiana had slowly come off of her medications and had small spells performed on her by the witch twice a week, more and more of her memories had come back. Sometimes she would feel uncomfortable around Niklaus and Elijah for days and would avoid them, spending time with Elena, hopefully without Damon being around. Elena, though a cheap copy, was her descendant, strangely enough.
That was her plan today, but it seemed like it was ruined on two counts, both Niklaus and Damon were present.
Tatiana sighed and took the needle from the bag next to Klaus and stuck it into her own arm. She pulled out the vial. “I thought you had hybrids.”
“I have a few.”
“Yes, they’re all around the house. Do you really need more? What if you get married? They’ll follow you and your wife around everywhere!” She held the vial out between them.
“Jeg elsker deg,” he whispered, reaching for the blood. [I love you.]
“Promises, promises,” she teased. “Now, this is not quite doppleganger blood, but we both know how it may be better than the blood of Tatia’s descendant.”
Their eyes locked.
“Something ails your thoughts,” he whispered. “What is it, Ana? You’ve been avoiding the house ever since we got back.”
She glanced at the Salvatores and Elena before looking back at him. “Elias elsket a Tatia.” [Elijah made love to Tatia.]
He looked at her sadly and caressed her cheek. “I know. You told me—before.”
“Oh praise the Allfather. What was I thinking?” She looked at him, completely lost.
“You’ll remember,” he promised. “Two more weeks.”
“Two more weeks,” she agreed. “Now, I’m avoiding you. There’s your not-quite doppleganger blood. Go try it out and don’t you dare share what I told you with your brother!”
Niklaus kissed her softly on the lips and then left the porch.
Tatiana turned to Elena with a smile but saw her horrified face. “The blood may work,” she promised. “I can’t tell you why, but it very well may, so he’ll stop harassing you about it. He’ll just ask me during movie marathons. Did you know he made it through the sixties without watching Star Trek?”
“I made it through the sixties without seeing an episode,” Damon said, smirking.
“I don’t believe you,” she told him. “You’re too much like Captain Kirk.”
At his dumbfounded look Stefan laughed. “He likes Nurse Chapel.”
“Of course he does,” Tatiana said. “She’s blonde and it was the sixties. I rather fancy Spock—and it’s not the ears.”
Elena cut in. “How do you know Klaus?”
“I’ve known him since I was fourteen. I was in—trouble and a great deal of pain. He couldn’t stop the pain even though he was a vampire, so he stayed with me until I passed out. He had to leave before I woke up, but I never forgot although everyone said I was crazy when I insisted he’d been there.”
“Klaus being nice to someone,” Damon griped. “There’s a first.” He looked at her jealously. “So you’re staying with him and Elijah.”
“Yes,” she answered. “Old family friends, like I said. Our connections go so far back, that I don’t think anyone’s closer, if I’m entirely honest, not even Finn with his love Sage and that’s nine hundred years.”
Damon just looked at her. “You didn’t know about vervain, so you can’t be a witch.”
“No,” she agreed, turning to Elena. “I was wondering if you wanted to go on a Spa trip on Friday. I have to go see my healer on Sunday and I like to have a movie marathon the day before, so—“
“You know Klaus,” she said instead, her voice cold and her eyes hard.
“Ah.” She looked between the three of them. “Of course. How silly of me. I’ll leave you alone.”
Damon moved forward and grabbed her arm. “Ana,” he said, his blue eyes shining.
“No, Damon,” Elena all but ordered. “You saw what they were to one another.”
A pained expression crossed his face and he carefully let her go. His eyes were trained to the floor, as if he couldn’t bear to look at Ana and show her that he was still under Elena’s power of persuasion.
Sighing, Tatiana stepped out of the house and back to the car.
Gasping, she opened up her eyes and stared at the ceiling. Someone must have changed her clothes because she was lying in her bed, warm underneath her covers.
Lying there for a few moments, she then carefully got up. Her bones ached. The witch had said her body would hurt. She saw a glass of water and Advil beside her bed. She took two and then looked at her day calendar. Either Niklaus or Elijah must have come in to change it as it had been more than half a week since the final ritual.
She thought back.
She was Tatia.
She was Ana.
She was Tatiana.
They were all one.
And it all became clear in her mind. The father of her child, her beautiful child, had beaten her to the point where she had almost lost Britta, and had tossed her into the rain when she was in labor, as if she were no better than a dog. It was a miracle both of them had survived the birthing.
It’s why she had gone to the New World.
She hated men. She used them for her pleasure, she toyed with them, until—until Niklaus.
Whenever a man asked her to marry him she laughed in his face. However, with Niklaus she had just stared at him and cried because she loved him in that moment and didn’t understand the feeling. She’d been taken by his mother and murdered before she could give him an answer.
After a shower, she found a loose dress and walked barefoot down to the kitchen. She wasn’t hungry but she poured a glass of orange juice.
“Ana,” she heard Elijah greet her.
“Jeg er Ana. Jeg er Tatiana. Men, mit navn er Tatia.” [I am Ana. I am Tatiana. However, my name is Tatia.]
“Tatia,” he amended. “Are you well?”
She took a sip of her juice and looked at him. Really looked at him. “Do you even own a pair of jeans? I never thought about it before.”
“I do,” he admitted.
She nodded. “I’m sore. I’m waiting for the Advil to kick in, unless it already has and I just haven’t noticed. I’ll be well in a day or so.” She held up her hand and turned it in front of her face. “Long nails. How strange. They were always broken from farming our own food in the New World.”
“True, Tatia. Things have changed.”
She took a deep breath. “Where’s Nik?”
He smiled. “You were always the only one he would let call him that apart from family,” he reminisced. “He stayed awake until he collapsed about three hours ago.”
“And when are we awakening Rebekah and the others?”
“A day or so. As soon as you feel ready, Sister.”
She smiled softly at the name. “I haven’t married Niklaus yet, Elias.”
“Perhaps not,” he agreed. “But you will. The two of you have been very clear in your intentions over the past month and a half.”
“I’m sorry it didn’t—I—Ana never meant to hurt—“
“And she didn’t,” Elijah told her, kissing her temple. “You, Tatia, were graciousness itself.”
“Just warn me if you go after Elena. I don’t like the very idea of people looking exactly like me. It feels like an insult.”
“I can imagine that,” he murmured. “Now. Let me cook something for you. I’m certain Niklaus will wake in a matter of hours and you’ll want to reminisce or go celebrate.”
“If we go celebrate, you’ll be coming with us,” she argued immediately. “We may be past lovers, but we are also family, Elias.”
“We have a saying, Tatiana Mikaelson, well, Finn had been daggered by then, but we had a saying.”
“Yes?” she looked over to him.
“Always and Forever.”
They smiled at each other.
“You know I cannot promise that,” she said. “I’m human.”
“Not for long,” he swore. “Unless you object. Niklaus wouldn’t be able to stand losing you for a second time, and I could not bear to walk this earth, knowing you had died. You were my first love.”
“Ana’s first turned out to be gay,” she laughed. “Welcome to the twenty-first century.”
“Two outfits,” Tatiana said as she greeted Rebekah. She had just been undaggered and shown to her room. “I took your measurements and got a basic wardrobe, so on the left here is a pair of jeans and a nice top that you can go out in along with sandals. Very chic for the trendy teenager. On the right is a battered pair of jeans, sturdy sneakers, an a t-shirt, for if you decide to go on a hunt in the woods and don’t want to mess up your clothes.”
“Who are you?” Rebekah asked.
“Don’t you recognize me?” Tatiana asked.
“No,” she answered.
“No matter. There are magazines on your bedside table with different types of fashion. There’s also information on the local high school in case you want to enroll. I also left a modern history book on your desk, and if you have any questions, just follow my heartbeat. I will warn you, however, that your brothers Nik and Elias will probably snap your neck if you feed on me.”
“Nik? Elias? Who are you?” Rebekah suddenly looked a cross between furious and confused, which was not a good look on her.
“Se inn me oynene.” [Look into my eyes]
Rebekah gasped and took a step backwards. “That’s impossible. How can you be possessing another woman’s body, Tatia?”
“I’m not possessing it. I was born with it. It’s called reincarnation. I’m the fourth documented case.”
“Oh, Odin.” She rushed at Tatiana and hugged her.
“My name is legally Tatiana Mikaelson. I’m called Ana Monroe. Tatia is for family only,” she told Rebekah, smoothing out her hair. “And I’m not leading your brothers along anymore. I’m firmly with Nik.”
“Elijah let you go?”
“He let me go several centuries ago. We both know that. Now, dress. You have some hunting to do. Oh, and there’s a new doppleganger in town. Elena Gilbert. Her hair is straighter than mine was.”
“Nik already used her to complete the ritual. She survived and my blood allows his hybrids to live.” She laughed. “I suppose the soul and body are linked, if my blood along with the doppleganger’s works.—I’m also next door if you need me.”
She rounded the door and barely kept ahold of her glass when she recognized Esther from behind. There had been an extra coffin, but it was hers? How could Niklaus and Elijah do this to her?
The woman was going on about family and it made her sick. Carefully, she began to back up, hoping the woman hadn’t heard her and that everyone’s attention would be too riveted on her to notice, but Esther turned and looked at her. “Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t realize my children had a guest.”
“I was just leaving,” she said, smiling, decidedly not looking her in the eyes. “I was helping with the undaggering of your—daughter?—Rebekah. Feminine touch.”
“Ana,” Elijah said, “is a very old friend. Niklaus has known her for about thirty years.”
“And yet she’s human and looks to be just about that age, or perhaps younger,” Esther said. “You seem to have found a spell to keep you ageless, my dear. Many a woman would be jealous.”
Tatiana tried to smile at her.
“Are you pregnant this time, Tatia?” Esther suddenly asked coldly, stunning the whole room. “I cannot detect a child, but it could be early days.”
“I don’t believe in sex before marriage,” she answered. “I was raised very strictly. It’s nice to know you were aware you were murdering your own grandchild a thousand years ago, however. I’d only been aware of the pregnancy for about a week myself. I was hoping for a boy this time. Blond, like his father and aunt.” She didn’t let her gaze waver from the woman.
“Well, it’s nice to know you keep your legs together this time around,” she said cruelly.
“You certainly didn’t,” she shot back.
A spell hit her and she fell, convulsing. There were snarls all around her and pain throughout her joints and suddenly she was vomiting blood and someone was holding back her hair and whispering to her soothingly.
“Get out of my house!” Niklaus demanded as he picked Tatiana up. “This is Tatia’s home and you’ve already murdered her and our child once. I will not have you do it again.”
“I am your mother,” Esther snapped.
“She is the love of my life,” Niklaus argued. “I never strayed from the memory of her. I sought comfort and release elsewhere, but it was always her name on my lips. Now get out before I have Elijah throw you out!”
The room went eerily quiet and Tatiana wrapped her arms around Niklaus’s neck, just breathing in the scent of him. She could hear the sound of receding footsteps as she was carefully set down on a sofa and a glass of whiskey was pressed against her lips.
“Drink, love. This will calm your nerves.”
She looked into his blue eyes. “You didn’t have to do that—and I never meant for you to find out.”
“It’s better that I did,” he whispered. “I’m only sorry I can’t give you another.” He stroked her hair lovingly and Tatiana realized the room had emptied. Vampires and their silent speed. She wondered if she’d ever get used to it.
“Let’s run away together,” she said suddenly. “Let’s not let her ruin our lives. Let’s go to Vegas. I never said ‘yes’ last time—I never got the chance—and it’s been too soon to ask this time around—but let’s go and—“
“As impulsive as ever,” Niklaus chuckled leaning in and kissing her. “Mother did mention a ball. Rebekah will want to hold one. We can slip away after the first dance and drive there. No one will know.”
“Then you’ll marry me. Ana and Tatia—Tatiana.” Her eyes looked up at him with such hope that she thought she might break.
“Of course I will,” he murmured, leaning down to kiss her once more. “I’ve been waiting a thousand years after all.”
They still had the ball without Esther who had disappeared, hopefully not to plot their downfall. Tatiana was dressed in a flowing white gown made of gossamer and danced in Nikalus’s arms, even giving a dance to Elijah and Damon, before slipping away. They stopped at a hotel for the night and changed quietly, putting their formal wear aside so that they could save it for their wedding. They already had their suite at the Bellagio booked for the week and the chapel slot that they needed. They had their i.d.’s for the wedding license.
The marriage was quiet yet beautiful. Tatiana married under her legal name—Ana Song.
“I don’t know how,” she told Niklaus when he leaned in to kiss her when they made it back to their room. “He never kissed me.”
“Then let me teach you,” he whispered as he undid her hair and took her flowers out of her hands. His lips were quiet at first and then grew in insistence, until she was lost in his arms.
When she awoke the next morning, it was to the feel of his finger running up and down her arm.
He had given her studded earrings the next night, made of Lapus lazuli, which he promised would save her from the sun. He dressed her in her silk nightgown and fed her his blood before there was—nothing.
When she opened her eyes it was to the sting of sunlight but Niklaus was there holding her hand. “Drink,” he whispered as he brought a maid forward and she sank her teeth into the girl’s wrist.
Niklaus kissed her deeply, the blood still wet on her tongue, and then she was lost again. “Always and forever,” Niklaus promised.
“Always and forever,” she murmured against her husband’s blood stained lips.