33. Welcome Home

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"Elisa!" Klaus his voice sounds through the hallway, sure his brother brought Elisa back to the Academy. "Elisa! Elisa! Elisa!" he repeats quickly. He jogs through the hallway, and he only stops when he almost bumps into the two. To no one's surprise, Five his arm is curled around Elisa her waist, and she is leaning into him, enjoying the connection.

"You're back," Klaus states, grinning. Even though he wants to, Klaus doesn't throw his arms around Elisa. It is not hard to notice that Five doesn't want to free her anytime. It makes Klaus stick his tongue out to him.

"I am." Elisa returns a smile. Then her eyes travel to the empty hallway behind Klaus. "Is Vanya here?" She needs to talk to Vanya. With everything in her, Elisa hopes that Vanya isn't horribly afraid of her—which any normal person would be. Still, there's a little bit of hope left inside of Elisa.

"She is," Klaus answers. "She's in the kitchen." His eyes flicker to Five again, and he—not so discrete—gestures that they should let the two talk.

Five gets the message. His arms unhappily unfold around Elisa her waist.

At first, Elisa pouts when he takes a step back, but she understands soon enough. She blows him a kiss, wanting to thank him for giving her some time alone with Vanya.

Before turning his back on Elisa and disappearing into the dark hallway together with Klaus, Five forces the corners of his lips to curl up, hoping to reassure Elisa. Klaus, on the other hand, puts his thumbs up, already sure Elisa will do great. Yet, Elisa isn't so sure about that.

Stepping forward, hundreds of thoughts go through Elisa her head. Fire Fire Fire. She's a bomb. Vanya knows exactly what she can do. If she has some common sense, Vanya would screech the moment Elisa walks through the door. It would be normal, and Elisa wouldn't blame her at all.

But Elisa doesn't hesitate to walk through the dooropening. She can't allow herself to hesitate. Every second that Vanya gets to think could be another second she changes her mind about Elisa. Whatever she has decided, it can change. And even though it's selfish, Elisa doesn't want Vanya to decide to run away from Elisa this second.

Vanya her eyes fall on Elisa immediately. Her mouth falls open a little, but she doesn't run . . . yet. And that's a good thing, Elisa thinks.

"Elisa?" Vanya does hesitate to speak. It's as if she's afraid that her voice will fail her, that it's untrustworthy. "You're here," she states. "You've finally come back."

Of course Elisa frowns at the woman. She should be at least showing some kind of fright. Hell, she should be running away right now. "You're not screaming." Elisa her frown grows even more.

And to her surprise, Vanya grins—actually grins. "I'm so happy you're back."

"You're happy that I'm back?" Elisa echoes Vanya her words. how is this possible? Perhaps she's still dreaming.

Vanya continues grinning as she approaches Elisa. Then, she playfully slaps Elisa on her arm. "Of course I'm happy you're back."

"It doesn't make any sense." Elisa shakes her head, unable to meet Vanya her eyes. Again, she's ashamed of herself. How can Vanya be so not scared? "You should be very afraid." Now, Elisa does meet Vanya her gaze. Vanya has an understanding smile on her lips—one that Elisa doesn't understand at all. "Why aren't you afraid?"

"Because I know why you did it." Vanya shrugs. "You got me out of there, Elisa. I'm so thankful for that. I won't ever be able to thank you enough."

"Don't thank me." Elisa can't smile back. She can't say that she'd do it all again. Don't get her wrong, Elisa is happy she saved Vanya. But by doing that, she let the monster take a piece of her over again. That can't happen anymore. Never. If it does happen again, Elisa is afraid that'll take her over for forever.

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