35. the Darkness Ate Us All

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"You can open your eyes now, love." It is the warm and soft voice of Five that actually gets Elisa to peek again. She isn't sure, but she guesses she had her eyes closed for a minute.

Slowly, Elisa peeks with one eye, not wanting to faced with some demon. Instead of a demon of hell, she is faced with Five right in front of her. His worried eyes are right upon her, and he's hand just goes to place itself on her cheek. Being the sucker for Five that she is, Elisa leans into his touch, opening her second eye, too.

They're in the living room. Still in the living room, and all the light strokes have disappeared completely. For a moment, Elisa wonders if that was Klaus his present: the whole light show. But she doesn't ask him. She's just very glad that it has ended.

"I think I'm going to be sick." Luther presses his hand in front of his mouth, making sure he doesn't vomit on everything and everyone. In a quick movement, he stands up and hurries himself out of the living room.

After watching him speed out of the room, Klaus and Diego do a fistbump, snickering. Now that everything feels and appears to be all right, Elisa allows herself to giggle with the two their behaviour.

Five laughs, too, as he places himself next to Elisa on the couch. He doesn't hold her, though, and Elisa wishes he would. Ignoring that, Elisa checks up on Vanya who hasn't said a word since all the lights have disappeared. There's still a smile on her lips, but Vanya does look different; almost shy. Elisa frowns at her, but doesn't say anything.

When the laughing dies away, all the eyes fall on Elisa, making her eyes widen. "What?" she asks.

No one answers. They just continue staring.

"Okay," Elisa growls quietly. "This isn't fun. I want to know what's suddenly so wrong with me? We should all be staring at Klaus! After all, he's the one who made us all freak out. Why—"

"She hasn't noticed her present yet," Five states, glancing at Klaus.

"What just happened wasn't the present?" Elisa asks in a very quiet voice, almost too afraid to actually ask it. "Then what is?"

Five's eyes fall on Elisa again, and he locks his fingers with hers. "Elisa," he starts, "Look behind you."

The actual present is just behind her, and yet . . . she's so afraid to turn around like Five told her. If the whole light show wasn't the actual present, then what is Elisa supposed to suspect? Yes, birthday parties are a real nightmare. Gathering all her strength to turn around, Elisa allows herself to take a few seconds to just breathe. It does cause some more worried glances to fall on her, but at this point, she's used to it.

Then she turns around. Nothing has changed, she notices. It's not that there's a big ass horse in the hallway. Not even the wall broke down—so good. But Elisa her eyes fall on the present soon enough. Two figures are standing next to the door, fidgeting with their clothes. That's what Elisa first notices; that they're stressed out, too. But why would they be . . .

Elisa's eyes travel to the figures their faces, and she notices immediately. Her mouth opens in shock, and she swears that it doesn't even take a single second for tears to blur her vision. She knows the figures well. It's a man and a woman. And it appears they recognize her, too.

"Mom," Elisa whispers, having to stop her from starting to sob already. "Dad." Then Elisa turns to Klaus again. "Are they really here?" she asks. "Like is it really them?" Alive or dead, she wants to ask, but she keeps her mouth nicely shut. It'd hurt her too much, and if her parents are indeed alive, it'd hurt them, too.

Klaus grins as he waves to Elisa's mom. "They're here, Elisa," he tells her. "As you know, I'm well acquainted with the dead. And it seems your parents really wanted to be here on your seventeenth birthday."

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