Title: if these three words don't kill me
Author: Younger Dr. Grey
Summary:
He would take a million daggers for her. Rot away until this world they walk fades to nothing. Die again and again and again. Do it all, if it means that she will look at him, just once, the way she does Klaus. KolxRebekah, KlausxRebekah
Warnings/Spoilers:
"All My Children"
Disclaimer:
I own nothing. All rights for the characters and the world go to their owners. I, in no way, believe – or would lead others to believe – that I own Vampire Diaries.


if these three words don't kill me


The first time they kiss is in front of everyone. It's Kol's birthday, and he's talked to Rebekah about it before. All he wants is a chance to spit in everyone's faces. Annoy Finn, Elijah, Mother, Father, and especially Nik. So when she asks what he wants as a present, he says he wants a kiss, on the lips, in front of the whole family. She's newly a woman, but she is one. She's also his sister. So it's perfect. The idea at least. In actuality, it comes to be Bekah's turn to give him her present. She crosses to him and says, "Well, have at it." He takes the briefest of moments to smirk at the lot of them and then he claims her lips as his one. It is not chaste. It is strong, forceful on his side and hesitantly so on hers. It lasts quite a few seconds before the family seems to realize exactly what is happening in front of them. Esther gasps, Mikael roars, and the beast of the family has a hand on Kol's collar in an instant. He throws Kol back, causing the birthday boy to slam into the walls of their little hut. It hurts, but the pain on Nik's face is enough to numb it. In the dead silence that follows, all that is heard is Bekah again, saying, "Happy birthday, brother."

...

They're banned from interacting. No solo contact or close quarters for weeks. Nik follows Bekah like the possessive, ridiculous little lapdog that he is. And it's funny how the simple act of a barrier makes Kol that much more interested. Bekah too. One night, three weeks after their first kiss, she manages to slip out of her room without Nik noticing. Nik's bed is now at the entryway to her room, both effectively blocking everyone else away from her and keeping her all to himself. It truly is selfless of him to do so. As motivated as he is, he fails to keep her in. She slips away and pauses, very briefly, outside of the room of her other brothers on the way out of their home. She does not stop walking until she gets to the cave where they would later carve out their stories. She leans against one wall, her blonde hair pillowing behind her, reflecting the faint traces of moonlight. It's a breathtaking sight for Kol. It stuns him, makes him pause when he sees her. Not for too long though. They don't have much time. He enters the cave completely and stands before her.

"You're not scared, Bekah?" he asks her.

She chuckles. "Of you? Oh, Kol, I'd sooner scare of Henrick. What's the worst you can do? Kiss me to death?"

"No," he says simply. There are much worse things he could do. But her idea is just so much better. "Though, it would please me to try."

Again she laughs. "I'm sure it would."

He holds a hand to his chest as if he's wounded. The motion draws her attention to the fact that it is bare. Of course it is. Kol always sleeps without a shirt in the hotter months. Claims it toughens him and keeps his dreams light. Says it brings him dreams of her. Of what she can do to him. What she should. Past whispered scenes flood her mind in that instant his fingers meet his skin. She flushes despite the cool of the stone behind her.

"Would it not please you?" he asks in that same wounded tone. He steps forward, toes dragging against the dirty ground. She watches the way the mud clings to him, much like the girls in the village. They love him. They love all of her brothers. So she hates them. She's not one to share. She likes to have things all to herself, which is exactly how she has ended up here, alone in a cave with the most insane of them all. As he peers at her, craves her with his eyes while his entire body paints a different picture. He wants her in a way her mother has told her men will. And she wants to be wanted. He says, "I can tell from the look on your face that it would. I would. So let me. Say the word and the beasts will not be the only ones howling come dawn."

So frank. If Kol is anything, he is blunt. Assured in his words and body. Comfortable. Confident. Yet, so easily tipped over. Enraged. Lost in a passion that consumes him to the point of madness. She recalls feeling that passion. She wonders fleetingly how many others have done so. And thus she creates their first rule.

"So long as no other girls are howling," she makes a point of holding his hungry gaze, having her condition heard before saying the three words that bring him to her, "have at it."

And have at it he does.

...

They do not go too far in the cave, or the meadow, or any of the other places they manage to slink away to over time. They're careful. As much as they want to anger the family, they also want to be together. It's different when they're together. Fun. Easy. Right. It also gets easier. Nik spends less time keeping them apart and more time doing the same for Elijah and Tatia. It comes to the point where Kol and Rebekah can spend entire days together without anyone noticing or blinking an eye. Off in some grove with flowers as white as the oak tree they would play under as children. One day, Kol questions Nik's absence.

"Has he grown so bored of us that a wench as awful as Tatia has captivated him? She's had child for nature's sake. Perhaps that is what Nik sees in her, an already mowed plot for his seeds."

Rebekah whips at him, slashing with her hand as swiftly as she does with her eyes. Both sting. And her words are like venom. "Do not speak of Nik and Tatia. They do not exist. They are not worthy of the very air we breathe, let alone our conversation. Is it not bad enough she has corrupted Elijah? No, we are done. We do not speak of them. Am I understood?"

She is. She is understood for more than just the obvious anger. She's understood for what's underneath. She hates what Tatia represents, someone else that her brothers can focus on. Someone to take them away from her. No bodyguard, no word of wisdom, and possibly no careless fun. She's jealous. Kol would mock her for it, but she rolls on top of him at the first sign of his agreement. Her lips trail his neck, his still bare chest, and downward. She says, "Besides, why talk when our mouths have such work to do?"

Kol smirks. "I suppose I could work, just this once. Or twice."

The actual number is lost on Rebekah, much like the eyes that watch them from afar. Kol is not lost. Kol knows. So much so that he sends a wink to his dear brother just before he does what they have yet to do before, as he claims her finally and completely as his. It's a small victory, but it's worth the pain he endures later at Nik's hand. Worth the blows and the challenge uttered that sends Nik and Elijah off to watch the men turn to beasts. Worth it all, up until the moment the sun is high and the only sound left is the cry of their mother, screaming, "Henrick!"

...

Kol blames himself. For Henrick, for their mother, for everything. Once their village falls and their mother goes with it, he flees. He has a talent for disappearing, for using his cunning to get out of a situation. He hides away for months. Years. But he goes back to them eventually. Finds the famous trio in a place so alike their old home that it winds him. Takes him aback. He stumbles right into their dinner, knocking over the roasting pig and bowl of picked berries. He apologizes profusely. For the food, his absence, everything. The first to accept is Elijah, who spreads his arms as easily as Rebekah closes hers. She turns from him to Nik, and they language they speak is not one his vampire hearing can aid; it is with their hands. Their motions are frantic and hard to follow, but the look Rebekah gives Klaus at the end is not. It is one Kol knows well. When Rebekah does welcome him back, Kol does not smile. How can he when she loves another?

...

Weeks go by before Kol has picked up enough to try and decipher his siblings' conversations. They continue to speak in this way in private. He isn't truly surprised. Nik and Bekah always had a way of communicating without words, with looks and gestures, with their souls. As hard as he tries, Kol cannot speak to her that way. He never gives up though. Just as he did not when Nik stood guard, Kol perseveres. He follows and he learns and he starts to understand. Perhaps a bit too much.

He watches from across the lake as Rebekah signs that she wants Nik, only Nik. Anyone else is and always has been a distraction, her keeping herself occupied while he lived in denial.

Nik returns that it is not denial if he knows that he wants her. It is merely fighting against it. What they have is wrong. It cannot continue, especially not with Elijah so close. They will lose him if he sees.

Rebekah says Elijah would never leave them. They would only lose Kol, and they got through that before. They can do it again. They can do anything because they have love. They have each other. That is enough. Always and forever.

Nik breaks their stare to glance across the lake to Kol. Kol does not flinch. Does not breathe. He meets the eye of his brother with the same broken fire that he has for weeks. Nik tells Rebekah to tend to Kol. Handle the boy, Nik says. And away he goes into the trees. Kol watches until Nik is completely gone before going to Rebekah. She refuses to meet his eye.

"I love him, Kol. I cannot live without him."

"And you can live without me. I'm nothing but the crazy brother, the problem child. Is that it?" asks Kol. Rebekah starts to argue, but he says, "You can not tell me that you don't care for me. Not after what we have shared. If it takes one thousand years, I will wait for you. I will wait for the day when you will be forever mine, just as you were that night."

He expects her to soften, but she grows stronger. Harder. She makes him promise, "Then wait your years. Promise me that you will wait your thousand years before asking again."

And he glances into the trees a moment, but he does not see them. He sees his future. Sees the two empty plates at the dinner table. Sees the hungry look that Nik - and only Nik - gets to offer her. Sees his heart breaking day by day by day. Yes, as always, he understands. And still, Kol nods slowly, "As you wish, sister."

...

He lasts three months. Three months before he sheds his clothing on the edge of a lake and walks though the water to meet her. Three months before he pulls her body into his and brings her lips to his own. Three months before he takes her in the water, on the grass, as completely as he can. He shows her what he has to offer, what he can do because he knows her so well. Does not stop until she's incoherent, subhuman and sedated. Then he brings her back to her bed, clothes her, and tucks her in. That night, he sleeps with a smile on his face. He wakes with a start at the piercing edge of a dagger.

"You broke your promise, Kol. I am sorry, but it can't happen again."

She plunges the dagger the rest of the way in, splitting his heart as much physically as she does emotionally.

...

When the dagger comes out, Elijah is waiting. He wastes no time in saying, "You can thank me for that by doing what you do best, keeping our sister busy."

Kol chuckles bitterly. "There's only one kind of busy I'm good for." Elijah does not like the joke. Kol does not like the truth. "And she's got Nik for that now. What year is it?"

"1492." Kol laughs at that, loudly. Wow, she really left him here that long? Elijah forces Kol's face forward to look at him. "We do not have time for your foolishness, Kol. I need you to distract Rebekah for a while. Can you handle it or will our dear brother be sticking a dagger through her heart?"

Kol sobers quickly. "I'll do it. Whatever it is, I'll do it."

Elijah takes care of everything from there. He dresses Kol up and sends him off to find Rebekah. Kol finds her of course. Sitting in her large, English dress, a lady. He's stunned once more by her transformation. She looks the same yet...

"Well, aren't you a sight for dead eyes?" he remarks. She flinches at the sound of him, turns to stare. Her eyes take him in a thousand times over.

"You're not bad looking yourself, Kol. Elijah's doing?"

Kol grins. "Who else? Our other brother would never wake me up. Though, I'm surprised he's not still attached to you. Lost the passion already?"

Rebekah rolls her eyes. "You're pathetic, Kol. Always have been. Always will be. Picking on Nik won't change that."

"I'm merely pointing out that you're alone, in England, when there's a party happening just down the way. Why is that?"

She looks away from him and then back. "I didn't want to go. You're here instead of there. Why is that?"

"Elijah asked me to find you," he says.

"Since when do you listen to orders, Kol?"

"I'm actually quite good at listening to orders. Faster, harder, deeper, oh, goodness, Ko-"

"Kol!" she bellows. He chuckles.

"I love the way you say my name," he says. She glares at him a moment longer before laughing herself. She ducks her head as she does it. He wonders why. She's so beautiful. She should hold her head high. He'll make sure she does. Until the end of time. He grabs her hand and pulls her so that she's standing. Tells her to strain her ears and find the music from the ballroom. Dance with him? Yes. They dance in the grass for hours. She fills him in on what he has missed, asked what it was like for all those years in the coffin, promises never to do that again. He tells her they both should stop making promises they can't keep. But she isn't the one to dagger him again. No, that would be their dear brother, Niklaus, who takes one day away from his locked away Petrova doppelganger to stick a dagger in the both of them while they're curled up in her bed. Rebekah is not the only one who does not like to share.

...

The next time the dagger comes out, it's 2012. Rebekah does not make the same mistake as before. Neither does he. He holds back, not because he's afraid of what Klaus will do to him. He would take a million daggers for her. Rot away until this world they walk fades to nothing. Die again and again and again. Do it all, if it means that she will look at him, just once, the way she does Klaus. But he knows that that won't work. He has to wait. She'll come back to him if he waits.

And she does. The night Esther tries to kill them, she finds him in his room. She wraps her arms around him, holds him tight. Says, "I thought you were dead. I thought we all were. I don't - I can't lose you again, Kol. Not again."

They're the words he's been waiting to hear. They're the dream that he gets when he sleeps without a shirt. They're the presents he's wanted every year since that first one. They're perfect.

"It's been one thousand years, Bekah. I counted. That's a long time to pine for you, to wait for you, but I've done it. I stomached all of the pain. Now, now it's time. Now you're mine. Now we leave, baby sister, and we don't look back."

They're the words he's been waiting to say. They're what give him hope every time the dagger is removed. They're what keep him moving and smiling and feeling when he could so easily shut it off. They're right.

Rebekah smiles softly, the light off her teeth catching the glow of the room, brightening the world. She leans in, her shoulder coming to brush across the strong plains of his chest. Her hand finds its way to his neck, and she speaks softly, like a lullaby or a well-kept secret, "You've always been my favorite. So loyal, so smart, so understanding. You already know my answer, Kol."

He does. But he has to hear her say it. Just one more time. One more, and everything will change.

"Please."

She brushes her lips against his and says, "I'm not leaving Nik. No matter what he does, no matter who he loves, I am with him, always and forever. I can never be yours. I can never love you as much as you love me. I'm sorry."

He says the only thing he can say. "Thank you." Then he grabs his bag and he walks away. He doesn't know how far he gets before he hears it, just like that night when it all began, her whisper of "Happy birthday, brother."


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