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Shadows that prey in the past

Chapter Text

 

-In hindsight, you could’ve been nicer to people. Or at least left fewer survivors- 

 

Kol gasps, blood starting to flow back into his limbs as the dagger is removed, the too familiar feeling of it all is unmistakable. Elijah stands over him with hair falling down from his forehead with a style he hasn't worn in years -- and when did Kol start counting his days in years and not centuries, had seven years with Davina really been enough to shift his whole world view into the narrow lifetime of a human's? Had that way she takes on each new day like it would be her last, really rubbed on him?

Or maybe his death was what reminded him of the fragility of time-- how quickly it passes, like the blink of an eye. The shortness of it feels nice, like every day is important. Sure he feels more impatient than usual like every pause is a wasted moment, but the important moments stretches on and imprints on his mind like something truly precious.

(Like the first time he'd tried making breakfast for Davina, it had been a horrendous attempt with burnt bacon and overcooked eggs-- somehow the toast was fine if not with a few holes where he'd put a bit too much pressure on the fragile bread. The food hadn't quite looked like the guide he'd found on the internet suggested it should look like, but he hadn't known that then and Davina had been overjoyed like he'd just offered her the moon and carefully eaten most of the bread. Acting like she'd forgotten the eggs and bacon, like the bread was the best thing she'd ever had. He hadn't questioned it, hadn't tasted food since the thirteenth century and maybe the machine created bread was just really good. Later when she'd gone off to work he'd taken a bite of the eggs and promptly spit it out. But despite knowing how she must have suffered from the eggs and bacon, her face as he'd presented his first attempt at breakfast is still one of his most cherished memories of her)

He's been desecrated a long time, it's taking too long to come back to himself, at least seventy years. Kol hadn't even felt the dagger going into his chest--and it usually hurts so much, the last thing he remembers is--

He doesn't remember, they'd all been eating together, their whole family at Nik’s funeral party, they'd been sharing stories, laughing and having fun to give Klaus the good send off he deserves, and to give Hope a good memory of her whole family together. He'd been sitting besides her, as she’d gone increasingly silent-- and then nothing.

It doesn't make sense.

With the Hollow whispering in his ear, did Klaus decide to take revenge for past times Davina and Kol had raised their hands back against him?

Seventy years . At the minimum His mind screams-- what did he do that Klaus would snap and punish him to miss so many years-- fifty years if he stretches the time frame. Davina can be dead, long buried in the ground with no ancestral plane to allow for a resurrection.

Kol whimpers, his vision blurring with tears. He hasn't felt like this since the ancestors had used him to kill her. Like someone is slowly pulling out his heart.

Like when he'd burned for a cause leading to the end of the world.

Or the one time he'd been in the middle of an explosion and had regenerated from surviving brain matter that has been thrown at a darkened, ashen wall. He'd been coughing up ash for two years. But even telling that story to Davina and laughing with her at the sheer ridiculousness of that situation, had never caused a reaction like the times he remembered her death. Because nothing in his long life had been worse.

And now she's potentially gone again.

Knowing Klaus’s diabolical way of vengeance which would only be expanded by the Hollow, he wouldn't allow Kol out until Davina was thoroughly consumed by the earth.

There's a hand on his shoulder, putting a comforting pressure on him as Elijah continues to stare down at him, his expression shifting to something more bewildered. “Calm yourself brother.” he says with wide eyes, he must have just been allowed to let him out. Of course, Klaus wouldn't be there, if he had Kol would've ripped his head off and put it on a pike so he'd regenerate slower.

“Where is she!?” Kol hisses, way past being calm, that ended when Klaus daggered him for over fifty years. “Tell me or I'll--”

Elijah interrupts, pressing down on him when Kol attempts to sit. He doesn't have the strength left to fight the hand on him, he feels weak and drained. “be calm, the witch friend you were colluding with disappeared after we daggered you. I'm certain she lived a happy life.”

-What !?

Before he can voice to scream ‘she wasn't just a friend and you know that you insufferable prick’ Finn of all the dead people to turn up-- leans over to stare at Kol in the casket. “What does Kol care about some poor witch he's used for his usual schemes?“ apathy is clear on his face, but then, Finn always hated Kol the most.

-He wants to scream and rip their throats out.

“The bloody hell is going on with you Kol? Did you finally lose your marbles?” Rebekah says with her usual tact as she comes into view besides Elijah and Finn to peer down at him, too calm and confused for something not to be wrong. She'd always been the one to support his and Davina’s marriage the most. Their normal lives, being something she herself desires most in the world, her quips and nagging about him being a trophy wife and housewife aside, she'd never just stare at him if Davina was dead, she'd tell him her fate. Whether she's alive or not.

He freezes beneath Elijah's hand and takes in his siblings. Rebekah dressed in a familiar hot red dress and Elijah--well-- Elijah is in a suit as always. But Finn sticks out between them, draped in old clothes with the long hair that suited him so ill. They're all wearing what they'd worn when Elijah and the baby Salvatore vampire had first undaggered him in the twenty first century-

He looks down at himself, dressed in the familiar black vest and grey shirt.

What.

He relaxes under his brother's hand and feels exhaustion crawling in on him, he can deal with his emotions later. As he always does, free from family and judging eyes. (usually accompanied by a murder spree but Davina would frown at the unnecessary death)

The hand lifts of his chest, following, ready to push him down again if he gets agitated as Kol sits up and quickly uses his shirt to wipe off the tears from his face. “What's going on? Is Nik too afraid to un-dagger me himself?“ he echoes something he's sure is similar enough to what he'd said last time to not arouse too many suspicions, not that the breakdown he's carefully shoved back and into a torn covered box haven't already roused his siblings' confusion.

Kol’s never reacted like that after a daggering, and they've always been expected to leave old grudges be bygones. (even if it had only been a few minutes for them)

Elijah watches him for a moment before withdrawing his hand with a flourish, he begins explaining to the two of them-- Rebekah having only been daggered recently-- about how their mother's true murderer having been Klaus and not their father, then his plans for them to leave Nikalus alone forever.

A plan that's going to be ruined the moment their horrid mother will step into the room and they'll all melt and fall for her lies as they always did so easily.

Elijah doesn't introduce the Salvatore brother, it's the one with the pretty blue eyes, Damien Kol thinks, but the young vampire is watching them, his blue eyes darting over Kol’s no doubt red eyes (and it's not even because he’s showing his vampire face! Davina would snicker) more than they linger on any other sibling of his. He can practically see Damien wondering what would make an original cry and whimper , wondering if it's something his little gang can use it against them. (the thought of Elena, Jeremy Gilbert, and their friends leaves a bad taste in his mouth and a familiar anger at them he and Davina had never been able to shake)

Seems like Kol has ruined his fearsome reputation not even a minute into the past.

Kol follows Elijah and Damien as they leave to ambush Klaus, “See I've learned not to trust your vulgar promises Klaus. We're doing this on my terms now.” Elijah replies to something he couldn't be bothered to listen to and Kol walks in, Rebekah already moving to the other entry to cut their brother off.

Nik looks surprised at seeing him, spreading his arms to diffuse tension and appear unthreatening. “Kol.”

What did he say the last time? Hello? Been a while? “It's been a long time Nik.” That's… most likely not it, it doesn't quite feel right.

Finn speeds into the room before Rebekah can even help corner Klaus and stabs him with one of the daggers. It goes pretty quickly after that, Rebekah comes in like a guardian bulldog when their brother attempts to flee, stabbing him in the gut with a quick “This is for our mother.”

Klaus stumbles back into Finns waiting arms, he holds him tightly, trapping him as Elijah pleasantly announces for the Salvatore brothers to leave. Once the baby vampires are gone Finn shoves Klaus at the dining table, Nik leans against it, crowded in by his siblings. Kol stays back, wandering over to a servant and quickly ordering her away in case a fight breaks out. He can't remember if they'd fought last time.

They're speaking, but Kol couldn't care less, watching a knot in the wooden paneling as he thinks, the words I'm in the bloody past , screeching in his head. The image of his mother walking past her stunned children flashes in his mind, soon she'll walk in and forgive Klaus. Just so she can kill them all.

I'm in the bloody past!

“-ion Kol?”

At the mention of his name Kol snaps his gaze to his siblings who's moved to the doorway, leaving him with Klaus between him and them. Klaus is staring at him with wide angry yet hopeful eyes as the rest looks on disproving. He'd followed them last time, hadn't he? “What?”

“I said,” Klaus says with a dangerous edge to his tone, “I've noticed you haven't followed them little brother, are you really going along with this foolish endeavor Kol?“

“Oh- Uh,” Kol says stumbling on his words as he rightens himself up to creep past Klaus. “Sure, why not.” the look Rebekah sends him is downright poisonous as Klaus’s face edges into blind fury-- threats spilling off his tongue like a dogs saliva on a hot day.

Hah, dog.

Then mother strides in, all confidence and lies as she makes his siblings bow to her will with a few well-placed words. In hindsight they do seem pathetically easy for her to wrap around her fingers, ready to scramble out and comply with any order. They're real mommy's boys and girl. Mother’s eyes wander over him briefly but seem content with conferring with her other children as he ignores most of the room.

“Kol, a drink?” Rebekah says, suddenly before him with a glass filled with fresh blood.

He takes it and peers into the liquid, “What's the date.” he asks, whirling for an excuse to leave and never come back. The human progress he knows to have found place will have to do.

“It's 2010.”

“Ah the new millennium, tell me sister, has humankind been up to anything exciting since Nik boxed me up?”

A smile slides onto her face, always so eager about humans his sister. So she talks, describing phones, planes, televisions, computers, the moon landing , and the internet.

“You're telling me the humans made a digital system for sharing information?” he lets the fascination he'd first felt when he'd first learned of the technological advancements (a day later last time) colour his voice. “How do I get one of these cell phones ? Do all humans carry them?” she nods and he clasps her shoulders and quickly reminds himself that in these days he'd still been furious about her betrayal. “Now then sister, I'll go find one of these items and you can go suck up to Nik like always.”

Hurt flashes in her eyes and Kol leaves before he can blurt out something nice at her.

He grabs the first human he finds, a maybe thirty-year-old man and stares into his eyes, “Relax mate, do you have a phone? Good-- does it have a password? Remove it,” as the man quickly removes his phones protection Kol takes the chance to look around, Mystic Falls, how he hates this place. [bad memories, nightmares, and death] ”Give me your phone and forget about me, you accidentally crushed it and won't wonder where it went.” With the phone in hand Kol quickly turns the corner and looks it over, it's pretty new for 2010-- he does a quick factory reset, easier than deleting all the man's files one after another.

The phone takes longer to reset than he's used to, so he lies down on one of the benches in the town square and stares up at the stars. Seventeen years, that's how far back he's gone-- or was it a vision of the future? In all his years of teaching and learning from witches he'd never heard of successful time travel, sure some would try now and then, but they'd never succeed, their magic would backlash and few lived to tell the tale.

But seeing into the future was common enough he'd met witches who solely practiced their skills of clairvoyance-- some of them had been the ones to originally tell him about Silas and the destruction he'd bring. But those magics always came with a cost, from limb paralyzation to lethal illnesses, and no witch would risk that for Kol of all people. Davina maybe, but she doesn't even know him. She'd know of him by 2010, just not know him.

The thought burns in his throat-- Davina doesn't know him.

He should go see her, just to make sure she's alright even though he knows she is, even as she's living with the mother she's got few pleasant memories off in the future. Tomorrow he'll compel himself to a car, tonight he'll break into the hospital and nick some blood bags for himself so he doesn't accidentally kill someone in his hunger.

The hunger is easier to control when he's not actively eating.

He'll burn the Wickery bridge on his way out of town as well so no one can kill him or his siblings again.

The phone vibrates at his side and he picks it up, the man's sim card booting up nicely and allowing the top bar to showcase its connection. Snapping a quick picture of the night sky he puts it in on the background when the generic odd-looking blue thing that was there before becomes an eyesore. His eyes dart around for something interesting to take pictures of-- he'd never really been an avid photographer, not after the initial rush of wonder at being able to record and snap multiple pictures by the second had worn off-- but Davina had liked it (having multiple folders with hundreds of pictures on her phone, of him, of food, of plants, cities, animals--everything--snapping them and posting them on the internet on something she'd called Insta and Chipper) so why not, he's bored and avoiding his family anyway.

(His own phone had the rare new picture and many old ones he'd taken before becoming disinterested, mostly of an annoyed Rebekah-- her annoyance at him snapping closeups of her only energizing him-- then of people he'd killed [That he'd, of course, deleted in case someone with crabby hands went through his gallery] and some other random things, few of his siblings, and then two of his mother he'd sneaked when she wasn't looking. He'd mostly used it for communication, music, and the twenty mobile games he'd downloaded)

He's taking pictures of an orange cat when his mother's voice comes behind him. “Kol?”

The hiss of surprise that escapes him is quick and low, startling the cat before him. It runs off into a flower bed, and Kol lowers his phone dejectedly and turns to his mother, rising from his crouch. She's changed into something modern, some of Rebekah’s clothes if he remembers correctly. “Now look at what you did.” he looks away from her to flip through the pictures he'd taken, a few were actually decent, the rest blurry and dark. He sets to delete the bad ones and walks off, face in his phone.

“Kol!” Mother exclaims and rushes over, “you left in such a hurry, are you cross with me my son?” the look on her face is so caring, her words so hopeful (like she's not planning his murder) that his old rage at her sparks, flaring up before he can tamper them.

“Yes! I am cross with you! I have been cross with you for a thousand years! Since you turned us all into this !” he stops, his free hand freezing where it's gesturing wildly to himself, realizing the unintentional truth to his words, something he hadn't planned to tell her, something he never wanted to admit to her. How he hated being a vampire, the heightened emotions, the bloodlust, the lack of magic, how he could still feel that part of him that was a witch scream with every second of his existence . The phone drops from his hands the moment he stops walking--the small wheeze it releases as his fingers curl, making him drop it like it is on fire, safer in the short grass than his agitated palms.

Mother doesn't say anything, her eyes wide as they run over him like she's seeing him in a new light. Maybe she is , he thinks ruefully, knowing she'd followed them for their thousand years-- she'd only remember what he'd wanted to be.

Someone who didn't care. Who didn't miss something integral to who they are. Who loved what they were.

She stands silent and he scoops the phone up, checking it for damage and pocketing it-- Just in case Esther planned on enraging him yet again. “What!” he finally snaps after a beat too long for his patience.

“I didn't realise…” she says slowly, too slowly, his patience with her already thin enough as it is.

“What!?” he practically snarls, he can feel his teeth dropping but he's beyond caring-- everything he knows is gone. Again. “That Finn wasn't the only one who hates what you made us into!?”

“I apologise Kol,” Mother says, her hands pulling towards him with a look of pity and love, it's a familiar face, the one she'd give him after every time she'd let Mikael pull him away from his magic for painful training sessions. (It's the one she'd wear every time she'd let Mikael beat at any of his siblings for not being enough. They'd all tried to live up to the unknown standard, of course, all unaware of the impossibly of that goal. Now he knows they never had a chance, it was never them or their ‘weaknesses’ but their fathers fury at none of them being his beloved Freya.) He'd learned not to trust that face years before becoming a vampire. “Your father and I only wanted for you all to be safe, cursed you to ease our own fears.”

“Well that's bloody brilliant,” he says and shifts his eyes from where they're drawn to her neck and onto the Mystic Grill sprouting with humans. He could just kill her, but that would enrage his siblings so it would have to wait until her betrayal. “What did you want?” he asks, shoving her hands away from him.

“I want us to be a family.”

“And I want to leave. You want your darling family back, but is that really all?” he hadn't questioned her before, he hadn't cared as she was never someone he'd trusted, someone whose opinions he cares for, (A lie, he'd always sought his family's approval)

“Yes,” she says and doesn't try to approach him again, thankfully, following him as he heads through the streets of Mystic Falls. “Please stay with us and give our family a chance Kol, I'm planning a ball and I would love for you all to be there. If you will not stay for me, then for yourself, we all need family.”

Kol snorts, “Really mother? I'm a thousand years old, don't you think that's a tad bit too old to be clutching at my mother's skirts like I was still five?”

Mother frowns, a quick look of annoyance flashing through her eyes. “That's not how the curse works Kol, you know that, you're still just a child under all those years, still my lovely boy. Besides, I've heard it's quite common for children of eighteen winters to stay with their family in this century. At least stay with us for a few days Kol, see if you want to stay”

“I'm pretty sure I was actually nineteen winters Mother,” He deflects and looks her over, the look on her face tells him that she will not give up. As much as he dislikes his siblings, he doesn't really want to leave them at his mother's mercy, and there's no knowing if his mother will be successful in killing them if he leaves. Davina-- Davina will have to wait-- Davina has the luxury of wait, he knows she'll be fine, his siblings not so much, “I'll stay at the house for a few days, but then I'm gone.” he concedes. Just long enough for you to betray them.

Esther brightens visibly, a pleased smile crossing her face, “I'm planning for the ball to be on Saturday, please stay that long at least.” she says and holds out her hand, expecting him to take it as he'd always done as a child. His hand lands in hers automatically before he rips it out like he'd been burned.

“Until after the dance.” He agrees and sets for the mansion, taking large strides mother struggle to keep up with in the clothes Rebekah had given her. He's hungry and the man with a bloody bruise across the street is smelling a bit too appetising, he'd likely not be able to stop before the man died if he first began eating him, but he remembers that Klaus had some blood bags laying around back at the mansion when they first woke, so he won't have to raid the hospital.

He used to be so good at controlling his emotions down into a small ball to be thrown out into the thrash, had found it so easy to be chaotic and nihilistic. It had been fun to just let the predator brain lead, now he's plagued with niceties . Had fifteen years really been enough to make him change so much? Where he once had no control over his bloodlust, preferring it to carry his life, killing everything that bleeds just the slightest and pickled his hunger, Kol now walks hungry as a bleeding man walks a good five meters away, all without ripping his throat out. Where he once had control of his emotions, able to pretend not to care for anything. Now he's had to flee from Rebekah because of his bloody emotions flaring at the hurt that crossed her face when he made a jab at her betrayal.

His fangs drop as the man walks past, if his stomach could growl, it would.

If any of his siblings has drunk all the blood, heads will roll.

 

-All my life, all I ever wanted was for you lot to care about me-

 

“So our wayward brother returns,” Klaus says as Kol follows Esther into the mansion, she sits down in one of the couches and watches her children. Said children are sitting around with cups of blood, looking remarkably less grey, especially Finn who looks to be drowning his seventh blood bag if the empty plastic bags are anything to go by. Five full ones sit off to the side and the waiter he'd sent away lies unconscious up a wall, delicately put with some blood smeared over her mouth. Elijah or Finn must have kept the girl alive. “Tell me, did you have a good hunt?” Klaus says cocky as he leans forward.

Kol rolls his eyes, going for the bags and picking one up, turning it in his hands and studying it.

“The humans store their own blood now,” Rebekah says and leaps to her feet, striding over to ‘help’ him figure out the blood bags. She takes one and pops the lid off and pours some in her glass. “Though I reckon you won't be interested in this blood, after all it's not directly from the vein and you've always despised that. Then again I suspect you've already eaten.” she says doubtfully, if he hadn't been him she would've been right. The blood bag in his hands are the wrong temperature, half a minute at the shortest in a Microwave would do the trick. Blood tastes different depending on temperature and blood type, Davina and he had discovered that his favorite is hot AB positive blood with a hint of syrup. (quite a lot of syrup)

Really Bekah? I say a few words against you and you're already trying to sabotage me against mothers family plans. he thinks staring at her as he rips the lid off and let's the cold blood run down his throat, clenching some of his hunger. He grabs another and mechanically repeats the process twice, leaving the last bag on the table alone and stealing Rebekah’s.

“Hey!” she protests, grabbing for the bag. He swirls around, turning his back on her and Rebekah jumps to her feet and tackles him. Kol stumbles but stays upright and gives a last desperate draw of blood before Rebekah rips the almost empty bag from his fingers. “It's almost empty now!”

As she despairs with her bag, slowly emptying it into her glass, Kol goes over and takes the last bag and throws it at Finn, he catches it instinctively and frowns up at Kol. “You're looking a bit grey around the edges brother.” he mocks with a small smirk. (Finn brings only complicated emotions, he should avoid him)

Turning from Finn he focuses on Klaus and flops down into a sofa, spreading out like pancake dough, “Now then brother do you have more of these blood bags? I'm famished.” Being desecrated always did make him hungrier than usual and there's dried human blood on the waiter. If he killed her for the little blood she has left Davina would frown and tell him to at least go for the people who have all their blood.

Blood runs by his face, his head snaps to the side, fangs dropping, but before he can eat it, Rebekah withdraws the glass with a smirk. “Why you look hungry brother.” she teases and downs her glass in one go.

Watching her for a second, Kol sighs deeply with regret for going back with his mother and closes his eyes as he leans his head back, letting it rest on the sofa. And his siblings say he's the mischievous one.

“Rebekah, stop teasing your brother. Niklaus, do you have more for Kol to eat?” Mothers voice carries and Rebekah snorts as Klaus answers.

“I'm afraid not mother, see I didn't know we'd be having a family reunion, but I'm sure Kol is plenty able to hunt his own food.”

Kol rolls his eyes and turns out his family, relaxing into the sofa, feeling like he's slowly being engulfed by it. He'd forgotten how pleasant the sofas Klaus had felt.

Sleep takes him instantly, his steadily increasing exhaustion catching up to him.