jedi_of_urth: (dw stargazing)
[personal profile] jedi_of_urth
Title: The Road and the Radio
Author: [personal profile] jedi_of_urth
Fandom: The Vampire Diaries
Characters/Pairings: Rebekah, Elijah slight Elijah/Elena, even slighter Elijah/Katherine
Rating: PG
Word Count: ~1500
Summary: Rebekah and Elijah roadtripping it back to Mystic Falls, follows 4x18
Disclaimer: TVD and its characters and situations aren’t mine, I’m just playing with their toys
Author's Notes/Warnings: Spoilers for 4x18 obviously, unbetaed


They don’t talk at first. They each have a million questions but none they’re ready to ask, so Elijah drives and Rebekah rides in silence through the night.

They’ve been on the road for more than an hour before Rebekah decides to turn on the radio. Elijah gruffly assures her that she won’t find anything worth listening to and he’s proven right; midnight radio in mid Pennsylvania farm country doesn’t offer many options. But she finds a station with a grainy signal playing the latest popular music, and even though she isn’t wild about the music of this century she leaves it playing.

She learns that while Elijah doesn’t tolerate dance music he knows all the words to the latest Katy Perry song as he sings along under his breath.

***

They finally find a more trafficked highway, though there’s still not much traffic at midnight. The former radio station abandoned in favor of Elijah’s music library of decades Rebekah had missed out on, though she makes him skip the lecture on the 80s and refuses to explain why.

“Where have you been?” she asks instead.

“I needed to be away,” he replies seriously, in a way that tells her he doesn’t want to discuss it.

But little sisters don’t have to obey such unspoken commands, especially not after a thousand years. “I needed you to be there.”

He doesn’t answer until he’s passed a truck hauling a camper at speeds far too slow for Elijah’s taste. “That’s part of why I wasn’t.”

She decides to turn the music up so she won’t have to talk to him any more.

***

They’re over the Pennsylvania state line when Elijah pulls over at an all-night gas station to refuel. Rebekah leans against the back of the car as he handles the refueling process; she wonders when Elijah had let himself adapt to the modern world of self service, she never really asked him much about his life over the last 90 years, not that she had much chance.

“Why do you want the cure?” she asks him finally.

He looks surprised in the harsh light of the quick stop. “To settle a debt,” he tells her.

“With who?”

“Considering it’s mostly your debt I would think it was obvious.”

She walks into the store in a huff and to the tinny sounds of country music through the store’s sound system, feeds on the young man behind the counter until he passes out – after all, fresh blood is hard to come by in Mystic Falls right now. She then steals as many loud, crunchy, messy snacks as she can reasonably carry before getting back in Elijah’s car.

He doesn’t say anything to her.

***

Around three in morning Elijah turns the radio back on, settling on a classic rock station that fills the car with noise. It only lasts a couple songs before he turns the music down with a sigh. “Tell me what’s happened,” he insists.

She knows what he wants to hear and she doesn’t give him the satisfaction. She starts with Nik’s return rather than Elena’s transition. And tells him how their brother and Stefan had used her to begin their search for the cure, “I’m sure I don’t need to tell you why,” she added.

And then she finds herself talking, not about Kol – who was the one who had come to her aid and gotten killed for it – but how much she had realized she wanted the cure, even as everyone kept trying to talk her out of it. It passes time and she at least has a captive audience to her choice for once. The thump thump of the music sounds like a heartbeat beneath her words.

“Don’t do this Rebekah,” he says softly. “Don’t ask us to let you.”

He and Klaus never agree on anything, but neither of them is going to eagerly let her go. “It’s my life Elijah,” she reminds him. “I can’t live it for you and Nik when I want something different.”

“We’ve missed so much time already,” he says.

“And whose fault is that? You and Klaus always fighting over one Petrova or another, making me choose between you. And now you keep blaming me for doing what you wouldn’t do to protect us.”

He doesn’t argue with her, he just pulls as far away from her as the confined space of the car will allow, just as he’s been doing since it happened. He probably knows she’s right, but he isn’t going to forgive her unless she atones for that decision. And she can’t do that, not the way he wants.

***

“You’re a little pitchy,” she tells him when he tries to sing along with some French opera. Elijah had always appreciated refined music but was never a masterful singer. She skips forward to the aria just to show him up, but she’s trying it cold and can’t quite perform up to her usual standards.

Only as she starts to sing does she think about the lyrics from the play; she’s more comfortable with English now, but for centuries French was the language spoken by the nobles of their acquaintance. She hadn’t been paying attention before but the story seems to revolve around two sisters and a man who can’t make up his mind how to pursue either of his desires. And he got her singing the part of the narrator that pitied all the participants in the story.

He smirks slightly when she glares at him. She wonders if she’s have been better at these kinds of games if she’d picked him over Klaus so many years ago.

It’s nearly dawn outside and they’re back in familiar rural Virginia finally; off the well-kept highway, back on the twisty two lane, dark and dangerous on a cold winter night.

***

They’ve passed the last hour in silence, even the radio turned off; Rebekah feeling tired and road weary and Elijah lost in thought. Now they’re nearing Mystic Falls according to the highway signs, and Elijah gets more tense every mile. Maybe he didn’t just stay away out of spite but because he didn’t want to return and face everything that had happened.

She’s surprised when he stops short of town, but then realizes where they are and knows why. She watches as he walks out into the middle of Wickery Bridge, his hands trailing across the side she had sent Matt’s old truck over. His eyes glance back at her, equal parts condemning her and asking her to join his reflections.

“You know, it’s really not fair to Katherine that you’re always thinking of someone else around her,” she jokes as she exits the car, slamming the door loudly in the still of the morning.

He shrugs and walks over to examine the skid marks left over from the crash; as if by reconstructing that night he can return to it. “I would question how that could matter to you, if I believed for a moment that it did.”

It doesn’t matter to her all that much, but he didn’t have to put it like that. “I don’t hear you denying it,” she teases rather than mention the angry edge to his tone.

“And I won’t stand here,” just the slightest emphasis on the here tells her that he’s not wasting energy on trying to deny the truth of her taunt, “and listen to you pretend you care about my opinion.”

“So you’re going to punish me forever because of Elena? I guess that’s something different, it’s usually you and Nik who fall out over the doppelganger.”

Elijah hangs his head before he slowly stands up and turns to face her. She’d been expecting anger or at least defiance, but he just looks defeated. “I promised her,” he says softly, brokenly. For a moment his eyes catch and hold hers, full to bursting with emotions Rebekah seldom sees him openly display, but he looks away and it’s all but gone. “And you promised me,” he adds.

She shakes her head. The last part may be a better justification for holding it against her – an older, more respectable offense to say she broke her word – but the first is clearly more important to him – that she made a liar of him, and about this. She turns away and back towards the car, although she’s tempted to just run the rest of the way, she might have in better shoes. “Can’t handle the truth?” Elijah calls her back.

“I’m not going to argue with you out here where you won’t hear anything I say,” she fires back.

He only lingers a few more moments before he joins her in the car. “What’s done is done, Elijah,” she reminds him, more gently than she’s handled the subject so far. “And face the music, undoing it now isn’t the answer you wanted it to be.”

His sideways look silently says ‘And it is for you?’ without him saying a word. He starts the car and she jams the radio on again.

Some morning DJ has decided to play Don’t Stop Believing.

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October 2013

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