A/N: So. This is what I've been working on because I have a ridiculous case of writer's block. Vaguely—or not very vaguely, doesn't matter—requested by scalps in a review. I wasn't really thinking about it too seriously, but then… this happened. I know how ridiculous it sounds, and I'm not taking it too seriously. Idk, this is either the worst thing I've ever written or the beginning of my love/hate relationship with Kol/Caroline.

Urgh, idek, I hate this. I wrote this with severe lack of sleep, and just - urgh. Probably going to delete this whole thing if I wake up tomorrow and reread this and feel embarrassed.

P/S: this is really fucking long, 10k total, so I broke it up into two parts.




hello again, friend of a friend






The hybrid looks up from tracing patterns on Kol's bedspread and offers a nod in greeting. "Been a while, brother."

Kol gapes—not a very good look on him, Klaus notes with a smirk—and tries to sit down on his reading chair, but misses completely and ends up on the floor instead. And still that look of shock and fear didn't leave his face.

"I take it you're not too glad to see me?" Sighing, the hybrid falls back against Kol's pillows and keeps his eyes trained on the ceiling. "Did I miss much?"

Did I miss much?

Really. Did I miss much?


Rubbing a hand over his tired eyes, Kol makes his way back to his bed—slowly, tentatively—and watches his brother with wary eyes as he settles down next to him. They stare at the slowly revolving ceiling fan (Brazilian Rosewood, or some other wood with an equally as pretentious stature to match the lavishness of the home Klaus had built for them) for a while, neither one saying a word.

"There has to be a good reason as to why you're lying next to me on my bed right now," Kol says out loud, more to himself than to his brother.

"I got tired of standing," is Klaus's easy reply.

"Well, there has to be a tangible reason why you're here," Kol snaps, locking eyes with Klaus.

It appears Klaus' temper is short as well, because he retorts, "What, considering the fact that I'm not?"

"Not what? Tangible?" Before Klaus can react, Kol shoots a hand out to touch his brother's arm, and nearly retches when his fingers grasp at nothingness. He clears his throat, blinks a few times, and tries to keep his pupils from dilating as he says, like it's a fact or something: "My hand just went right through you."

"Observant." Klaus turns away.




Kol locks Klaus in his room, hurls all sorts of threats he can think of for his brother to stay in there—at least until he can figure this out or gets useful answers instead of the sarcastic quips Klaus keeps supplying. He might as well have thrown a rock in the water and told it to float: Klaus easily walks through the wall and nearly scares the shit out of him when he puts his hand right through Kol's chest, where his heart is.

"I just can't understand this," Klaus bursts out after multiple attempts of taking off Kol's head as he walks from one corner of his room to another (the younger Original quickly got bored of Klaus's pseudo-attempts of touching him after getting over his initial scare). Kol doesn't feel anything, just the slightest tingle of an icy shower when Klaus' passes through him.

"You think I do?" Kol mutters back, running a hand through his hair. "Just—just stay here for a bit, will you? I'm getting Elijah."

Klaus' face falls. "Kol, I don't think—"

"Look, I know you think I'm incapable of forming my own ideas," Kol begins with a glare, "and most of the times you might be right, but I think I'd figure this out faster with Elijah's help, alright?"

Kol vaguely notes Klaus' mutter of "suit yourself" as he marches out of the room, hollering for Elijah at the top of his lungs.

"Elijah!" Nope, not in the kitchen.

"Elijah?" Poking his head in his brother's room, he finds it empty.

He tramples his way down the foyer and kicks down the door to the basement, yelling, "Elijah, you better be down here or—ARGH, BEKAH WHAT ARE YOU DOING?"

Rebekah scrambles for her shirt to cover her bare chest, her face burning red as she kicks a shirtless Damon off the couch. "What are you doing?"

"Hey, Kol," Damon says, raising a casual hand.

Kol's trying to claw his eyes out, but the scene's burned its way through every crack of his memory. "I—just—put some clothes on!" he wails, tearing down the decorative ninth century Indian rug hanging from the wall to hurl it onto his sister.

He then proceeds to run from the room, yelling something about strumpets and obscene household etiquette, narrowly escaping the coffee table Rebekah hurls at him.

He finally finds Elijah at the very edge of their vast lawn, hands dusted with dirt and his usual suit rumpled.

"Elijah!" Kol groans, exasperated. "I was yelling myself bloody looking for you."

Kol's bewildered garble makes no sense to Elijah at all, so Kol decides to just show him, something about actions being louder than words or whatever strange sayings the new millennia seems to have come up with. He drags Elijah back to the mansion, past a (thankfully dressed, but still seething) Rebekah, and clamber all the way up to the third floor to burst through his bedroom door.

Klaus has his back to them, studying the spines of the books on his shelf.

"There!" Kol nudges Elijah closer to Klaus—shudders when he actually walks into Klaus—and says triumphantly, "Explain that, brother."

"Explain what?" Elijah asks, rather cross at having his personal time breached. "That your copy of Romanian History is missing? It must be Rebekah's doing, because I certainly don't recall taking it."

Kol gapes for the third time that day. "No, I was talking about how Nik is ri—"

Elijah's face softens suddenly, and he puts a hand on Kol's shoulder. "This must be hard on you, brother. Especially as you two ended things on such…" Elijah tries to search for a more tact word, fails. "…bad terms."

Behind him, Klaus is chuckling lightly.

Kol tears away from his brother's hold, running through all sorts of obscene words in his mind. "Nik is right here."

Elijah offers a small smile. "Yes, sometimes my memories of Klaus are so vivid I think I see him lurking in the shadows, too." He pats Kol's shoulder one last time on his way out of the room, but pauses at the door. "Try sleeping this off, brother. We still have his funeral to prepare for."

Muttering wordlessly, Kol turns away rudely from Elijah back to his stupid, useless, benign-looking brother.

Klaus shrugs. "'I told you so' is overrated, but…"

Kol falls back onto his bed, despaired.




The day Stefan put a White Oak stake through Klaus' heart had been a sunny one.

Apparently Katherine had returned, arms laden with the stuff, saying something about Esther approaching her and striking up a bargain. In return for the branches of the White Oak, she'lll grant her the "gift of forgiveness" for causing that rift between her sons all those centuries ago.

Needless to say, Katherine had agreed to those terms.

Stefan had marched right into the house, straight into Klaus' art room where he'd been painting, and with a fiery smile and a steady hand, had plunged the stake right into his former friend and reluctant ally's heart.

"See you in hell, buddy," he had smirked, staring down at Klaus as his skin whitened and his body writhed on the floor.

They held a victory celebration afterwards, with streamers and lighters and cake and lots and lots of alcohol, people getting drunk on the sidewalks and dancing on the Lockwood's lawn.

From his view across the lake, Kol swallows his bitterness, shoves his hands in his pockets, thinks: Klaus had it coming. He's had it coming for centuries.

He doesn't notice much else, his thoughts all a blur, and wonders again why he's even there, staring at the people partying his brother's death away. He turns to leave, shutting out the noise around him.

He vaguely notes that the blonde from the bar is curiously absent.




"You never finished this," Kol remarks, running his eyes over the canvas. Klaus is standing next to him, that forlorn look he gets when he wants to touch something but remembers he can't in his eyes.

"I was interrupted by that bloody ripper, remember?" Sighing, he turns away from the blue eyes and golden hair he had carefully painted, and looks around his vast room. "Surprised Esther hasn't taken my paintings down yet."

Kol smiles bitterly and shrugs his shoulders. "Didn't you know? Elijah wants nothing to do with her."

"Oh." Klaus walks around the room, still in his clothes from the day he died—blue jeans, grey Henley, black jacket. His usual attire, minus the gaping hole in his chest. He looked so solid and so… alive.

"Care to venture a guess as to why you're not translucent? Not even in the slightest?"

"I'm a ghost, Kol," Klaus says. "Not a reflection in the water."

"So if you're a ghost, why can't anybody else see you?" Kol glares at his brother. "I clearly remember that one time moth—Esther called back the spirit of that girl you killed just to make you feel remorse."

Klaus grimaces at the memory, but shakes his head. "Of all the people in the world, of course the brother I never got along with gets to see me in all my dead glory. Let me assure you I know just about as much as you do about this situation: nothing at all."

"Ah." He tugs on his tie, too uncomfortable in his dark suit to bark a response. "I guess we should get a move on."


It's dark and gloomy today, as if the world disagreed with his brother's death. Klaus notes this with morbid satisfaction, and doesn't say a single word as they make their way to the edge of the lawn where Elijah had been digging yesterday.

Kol had offered to compel other people to do it, but Elijah had shaken his head no. He'd like to do it himself, he had said.

Kol thinks Klaus looks the slightest bit touched, but the look is quickly replaced with a stony one as he spots the closed casket.

"Elijah's worried Rebekah might get nightmares," Kol whispered. "You're a gruesome sight to behold, but no more than usual."

"Oh, shut up," Klaus grumbles. "You lot better be saying nice things about me."

"Don't count on it," Kol smirks, and Klaus seethes.

Kol wants to laugh, but refrains himself—it's a funeral after all, but it doesn't really feel like one. Especially when the person he's supposed to be mourning is grumbling away beside him, looking very much alive and not in the slightest bit worried that he's dead.

Kol supposes death does that to you. You come to terms with it pretty quickly.

He vaguely wonders what Klaus had seen on the other side that's left him strangely… less volatile than when he was alive (or undead, but you get the gist).

Klaus tries to smack Kol in the back of the head when it looks like Kol's mind has wandered off (at his funeral, no less!) and snarls, "A little respect to my deceased body, Kol?"

Kol rolls his eyes and hands his rose to his sister for later use. After the roses had been placed in a safe place somewhere, Elijah, Rebekah and Kol (and Klaus) huddle in a weird sort of circle around Klaus' coffin, none of them saying a word.

The silence is broken by the sound of someone crunching through the grass, and Kol turns his head to see who had dared intrude on their closed event.

Klaus' eyes widen.

Caroline's standing there, of pale cheeks and golden hair, clutching a single red rose in her still hands. She starts to say something, decides against it, but finally settles for, "I hope you don't mind."

Rebekah's scowling, but Elijah gestures for her to come nearer. "Not at all."

Kol raises a questioning eyebrow at Klaus, who just shrugs, confused but with the tiniest hint of a smile on his lips.

After Klaus had been lowered into the ground, and after Elijah and Kol had taken turns shovelling the dirt in, Elijah bends down to place his rose on the freshly dug earth.

"Niklaus," Elijah says solemnly, "I hope you find peace, wherever you are."

Klaus glares at Kol, who looks like he's about to snicker. "Highly bloody unlikely."

"You've got that right," he replies under his breath. Caroline looks at him oddly, and Kol immediately straightens his face, because Rebekah's stepped up to the casket and her lower lip is trembling as she gently places her rose next to Elijah's.

"You were the only one who never left me, Nik," Kol hears his sister say quietly. "You promised you never would." Her breath catches, and she struggled to continue. Her teeth gnash at her lower lip, scraping off the pale lipstick she had sloppily put on that morning. "You're a liar," she rasps, "and I'll never forgive you. I love you, but I will never forgive you."

Klaus winces, but his face looks like it's set in stone. He says (like it's a revelation, a thought that never occurred to him or something), "I hate being dead."

Kol only smiles ruefully.

Caroline tilts her head to the side, her hair looking absolutely lovely, and seems to have decided on what to say. Fingering the rose she held, she says, "Klaus, you were really… something else." She lowers her eyes, her cheeks pinking slightly. "Thank you for your honesty."

That seems to have calmed his nerves down a touch.

Kol thinks it's weird enough that Klaus seems fine with all of this (you know, watching your own funeral with the brother you don't really get along with because your spirit is attached to him), but Klaus seems to be humming some sort of song under his breath when Kol steps up.

Okay, Kol admits that he's not the most eloquent of the bunch—hell, he'd never paid attention when Finn tried to shove all that new-age poetry at him—but he'd thought his brother would at least like to hear what he had to say.

Looking at his brother's indifference, he crumpled up the speech he had planned and flicked it right through Klaus's forehead. Klaus frowns, but quietens down.

Much better.

"My brother," he begins somewhat grandly, "you were, in the mildest of words, an arsehole."

Rebekah sniffs indignantly into her Kleenex, Caroline's eyes flit to him with that odd look in them again, but Elijah just stands back, looking kind of amused.

Kol doesn't look at Klaus' fuming face as he continues, "And if you're ever stuck in the land in between—or whatever—and decide to come back, I vehemently hope you're not an idiot about it and forego checking with the Big Man upstairs what you're supposed to do," he says, "and don't end up skulking around your own funeral or something stupid like that."

"If I had a dagg—" Klaus starts to threaten, but Kol just raises his voice and talks over him: "And I also hope you're not tormenting other spirits with your dagger threats, because they would surely stick one in you for all the things you've done to them over the centuries."

Rebekah doesn't look as scandalized now, and even Elijah can't hide his smile. Caroline's chuckling, her cheeks returning to their rosy hue, and Klaus sidesteps his anger to watch her with a sort of bemused expression on his face.

"I wish you well, Klaus," Kol says gravely (and excuses himself for his untimely pun), before adding with a bit of a rush, "and I'm sorry we had a fight the day before you died or something of the like, good bye."

Klaus' eyes are back on him like a sharp knife. "That's it?"

Rolling his eyes again, Kol adds, "And I'll make sure Elijah doesn't find all those drawings of Caroline you have hidden in the liquor cabinet."

The baby vampire gasps, and Klaus looks mildly offended—but he pulls his hands out of his pockets and nods curtly at his brother. "Better."

Elijah watches his youngest brother—his only brother—look to somewhere in the distance, saying, "I can't say I miss you though, not just yet."

As the wind picks up and as they make their way back to the mansion—Caroline making her way to her car—he could have sworn he heard Klaus laughing.




"So I stole Bekah's copy of Vogue," Kol holds it up to the morning light streaming through his window, "and there's this article here about this woman who still sees her dead husband everywhere."

Klaus glares. "Really, Kol? You're assessing my situation through a women's magazine?"

Kol continues as though there had been no interruption, "And then he comes to her in a dream and tells her the only reason he's back is because he has some unfinished business—"

"So I have to go creeping about in Elijah's dreams now? Apologize for all the times I used up his shaving cream?"

"—unfinished business being: all the things he didn't get to say to them in their ten years of marriage, because he was a cowardly faggot who didn't have the balls."

Klaus tries to snatch up the magazine but floats right through, of course. "It said that?"

"Nah." Kol stretches from his positing on his bed. "Reading this makes me feel castrated, so I made up some words. This magazine is atrocious." He turns back to his brother, who's lounging on the woven rug. "Although there is this wicked picture of a mangled clown in here—I think it's supposed to be a model though…"


"Fine." Kol flips through the pages, back to the real life stories section. "In other words, can you think of anything you wanted to do but didn't get the chance to?"

"Like throttling you two days before my untimely death?" Klaus sighs, joining his brother on the bed. "Unlikely, since I can't even touch you now."

Kol scowls. "You're not sinking through the bed anytime soon, are you Nik?"

"It's an inanimate object, Kol," Klaus says quietly.

"Let's start with Bekah," Kol says, changing the subject. "That whole 'I will never forgive you' at your funeral seems a little ominous, don't you think?"

"That happened after my death, and after I came back. Obviously this bloody thing that's keeping me tethered here happened before I died." Klaus springs from the bed, an angry expression on his face, and Kol knows if Klaus were still alive his punch to Kol's wall would have shaken the whole house. He turns back to Kol, teeth bared. "You're useless."

"And you're ungrateful," Kol retorts. "I'm trying, alright? I don't like being around you just as much as you don't like being around me. You don't think it's not bothering me that I can still see my brother floating around the house when he's supposed to be dead?"

"I don't float," Klaus says stonily. "And I'd actually acknowledge your help if it didn't come from the same horseshit that promotes neon lipstick and trousers with holes in them."

Kol's ears prick up. "You read this?"

Klaus rolls his eyes but says, "It caught my eye while I was looking for the mangled clown."




Kol's rudely awoken from his sleep by something cold and icy flapping in and out of his face. He reaches blindly for his bedside lamp, and when the room is flooded with light, snarls: "What the f—what is it?"

"Took you long enough to wake up." Klaus withdraws his hand, a bored expression on his face. "I think I've figured out what's keeping me here."




"Remind me again why I have to do this?" Kol snaps, hands shoved in his lightweight jacket. His breath comes up in great plumes around his face and he almost wishes the cold would numb his ears off—frankly, he's sick of hearing Klaus talk. It astounds him yet again how he had missed his brother so much just a day after his death.

"You're the only one who can see me, or has that slipped your mind?" Klaus is standing next to him, eyes on the light that's shining through Caroline's window

"How can it, when you keep reminding me every time I try?" Kol retorts. "You can bugger off now, you've had me commit the plan to memory already."

"Just here to make sure you don't stray from the plan," Klaus says benignly. "I have a backup just in case."

"I can't very well have an intimate conversation about you with you hovering around me." He shoves Klaus but ends up stumbling—this new thing with Klaus' transparency hasn't drilled its way through his mind as a fact yet. "Can't let it get to your head."

"Kol," Klaus says in amazement, "I'm dead."

"So I've heard," Kol responds, feeling a migraine coming on. He makes his way to the side of Caroline's house and clambers easily onto her roof, groaning when he hears Klaus behind him. For a ghost, he hasn't mastered the art of creeping at all.

"What are you doing?" he hisses through his teeth, waving Klaus off like some bad smell. "I told you to leave!"

"My fate rests in your unreliable hands," Klaus says petulantly. "Forgive me for not trusting you."

"You're forgiven, now leave. Shoo. Undead being, off to the other side with you!" Kol flourishes his arms but Klaus stays put, throwing him a You're ridiculous look.

Kol responds with a You're a dick grimace and turns back to the window. "Now what, I just knock?"

"No!" Klaus splutters, wanting very much to throttle his brother. "You wait for an entrance. Have you not been listening?"

"I'm sorry if I don't make a habit of stalking baby vampires." Kol's getting tired of this really quickly. "Now what was this entrance you were talking about?"

"You listen for a sign that she's been talking about you, or notice how her lip quivers when she's sad, or how her fingers brush her hair out of her eyes, which reflect her emotions so transparently, by the w—"

"Whatever, anything useful in that gob of yours?" Kol snaps. "And why would she be thinking about me, anyway?"

Klaus sighs. "I clearly meant me."

"How very specific," Kol snorts. "And I would put your words to good use, if her curtains weren't closed."

"Then make a noise or something, draw her suspicions out!"

"I thought I was supposed to wait for an entrance?"

Klaus has murder in his eyes, and he's about to showcase some of his newfound ghostly talents when Caroline's curtains miraculously part and she pokes her head out, right through Klaus' shoulder.

"Seriously? An Original? On my roof?" she asks in disbelief. "What the hell are you doing?" She wrinkles her nose, taking in his angry expression and how close to the edge he is. "…Talking to yourself. Are you trying to commit suicide on my roof or something? Bad move, buddy. I mean, I appreciate the poetry of the moment and all, but you didn't seem too mentally disturbed at Klaus' funeral the other day—"

"Yes, about that." Kol steps forward, trying to ignore Klaus' goading look in his eyes. "You need to let me in."

Klaus slaps his palm to his forehead.

Caroline's eyes narrow. "Now why would I do that?"

Kol reaches into his pocket and pulls out an intricate bracelet; the streetlamps glinting off of it in Caroline's shocked eyes. "So I can give you this."

"Where'd you get that?" Klaus splutters, almost falling backwards.

"How'd you know about that?" Caroline splutters, stepping back from her window. Her hands grip her curtains like she's about to yank them closed, and Kol's shoulders fall.

"No, wait—" He pockets the bracelet again, Caroline's eyes following it the whole time. "I just—found it along with all those drawings he has of you."

"You're a bigger creep than your brother."

"I resent that," Kol says, watching Klaus peep into Caroline's closet and flop down on her bed out of the corner of his eye. "First of all, I would never rummage through your closet without your permission."

Caroline blinks. "Klaus did that?"

"That was one time," Klaus snaps indignantly. "I was trying to look for a place to hide my drawing!"

"Just as I would never force myself into your house," Kol continues. "Well, just this once. To give you this." He dangles the bracelet in her face again.

Caroline sighs and draws back. "Come on in."




"So what's the history behind this?" Kol asks innocently once his feet are firmly planted in the room. He hands Caroline the bracelet and tries not to notice the way she cups it in her hands.

"Nothing worth explaining to you about," Caroline snaps, turning it over and over again in her hands as Klaus sighs unhappily from her bed.

"Touchy." Kol grins. And flops down on her bed, right on top of Klaus. "So how's life, sweet Caroline?"

She doesn't answer, so he looks to Klaus helplessly. The older (and dead-er) Original just shrugs, goading, "Go on, then. Like how we practiced."

Like how we practiced, Kol mocks, turning back to Caroline, who finally realizes he's still in her bedroom.

"Why are you still here?" she asks. She places the bracelet in her jewellery box and closes the lid gently. "You did what you came to do."

Kol glances at Klaus, who hasn't faded away into oblivion or gone out in flames or whatever dramatic exit he'd thought up in his mind. Sighing inwardly, he makes his way to Caroline's vanity, fiddling with her perfume bottles and Polaroid photos. "Have I upset you, sweet?"

"That wasn't in the script." Klaus sits up immediately, crossing his arms over his chest. "Stick to the script, Kol."

Kol ignores his brother, shifting in his stance so he's eye to eye with the blonde. "You came to my brother's funeral. Why?"

("The motherfu—the script, Kol.")

Caroline looks away, brushing her hair out of her eyes. "Who the hell do you think you are?"

Kol offers a devilish smile and takes her hand in his own. She keeps her wide eyes on his the whole of three seconds it takes for his lips to reach her skin.

"I'm Kol Mikaelson."




Again, Kol wakes up to Klaus slapping ice across his face.

"Useless—bloody—get the hell up, you son of a—" Klaus is snarling in between kicks aimed at the bed. "What the bloody hell was that?"

Kol sits up, rubbing sleep from his eyes. "You don't expect us to have a cozy little chat about you on our first meeting, do you? It's called breaking the ice."

"I'd like to break ice over your skull."

"Hey, I even got her to smile," Kol says with a taunting smile.

"At my expense!" Klaus growls, burying his face in his hands. "Why didn't whatever power above attach my spirit to Elijah? Even Rebekah would be more help to me than you right now."

"Well, in that case," Kol grumbles, and hitches his covers back over his shoulders. "Good night, you ungrateful prat."

Klaus burrows himself inside his brother, who lets out an uncomfortable cry at the coldness. "Get up!"

"Fine!" Kol slams his lights on and throws himself out of bed. "What is it, brother? Why her? Of all people to keep you from crossing over, it's got to be her, the baby vampire."

Klaus frowns and turns where he is. "It appears I let myself get too attached to her when I was alive."

"No shit, Sherlock."

"I never did find out how she felt about me."

Kol snorts, "Stop being insecure. She came to your funeral, that's feeling enough."

"Yes, but I'm still here!" If Kol hadn't been so sleepy he supposes he would have laughed at the sight of his older brother stamping his foot in frustration. "What does that mean? It's clearly not enough."

"What is it about her that's got you moaning like a pansy?"

"I just don't know, Kol," Klaus groans, dropping his head in his hands. "You should have seen her the night of the ball, she was shining; effervescent. She's beautiful, and strong, and full of light. She makes my head spin."

Kol snorts. Such a child.

If he hadn't been so sleepy, he supposes he would have found it ironic, their reversal of roles.




"I've got this covered, brother," Kol mutters from the corner of his mouth. (He's mastered the art of talking under his breath so people don't think he's insane or something.) "You can leave now."

Klaus isn't amused. "You're going to mess this up."

"Do you want me to? Because I will, if you keep hovering."

"Very well," Klaus says heavily, cursing his luck once again. "But I'll be right at that booth over there. Listening intently. Very intently."

"Wouldn't expect any less of you." Kol says over his shoulder as he makes his way through the crowd towards the bar.

"You again," Caroline says flatly when Kol appears beside her. "Come to regale me with more tales of Klaus' unfortunate werewolf transformations?"

"Well, there was this one time Elijah forgot to bring a change of clothes for him—" he can feel Klaus bearing holes in the back of his head, "—but let's leave that for another time."

His eyes drop to the gin in front of her. "Drinking at noon?"

"None of your business."

Kol lets out an inaudible breath and rolls his eyes heavenwards—oh Klaus, you are an idiot. "Mind if I join you?"

"What if I said no?"

He drags a stool nearer. "Wouldn't stop me."

Caroline keeps the smile off her lips as she nudges his drink towards him. He picks it up without a second thought.

"So what's our topic of discussion of the day?"

Kol smirks, lowering the now-empty glass. "You, of course."




Klaus has to admit (although rather begrudgingly) that Kol's doing a good job.

So far, anyway. He's managed to get Caroline drunk off her stool, blurting out her life story and long list of exes at an alarming rate. He does wonder why Caroline would allow herself to get so inebriated around Kol, but not him. Never him.

"Did you know?" Caroline raises a shaky finger, her hair falling into her eyes, "that my mother has never gone to one of my cheer competitions? Not once—not ever."

"Our father's never gone hunting with Nik," Kol says blandly.

"Like, the only time I ever remember her asking about school is in…" She squints, and along with it comes that adorable (wait, what?) head tilt. "August. Yeah. When she asks me—get this—when school's starting again."

Kol takes a sip of his rum and Coke. "Our father travelled all the way to Africa once. He came back with homemade elephant-hide gloves for us, but he conveniently forgot Nik."

"God," Caroline slurs, both elbows on the counter, propping up her cheeks like a child. "Why do you keep mentioning Klaus? It's like… you ask me something, then you relate it to Klaus. I didn't know Klaus' favourite colour as a kid was pink. Did they even have pink back then?"

"The sky at dawn. Nik's favourite time of day."

Klaus leans forward in his seat, eyebrows fusing together quizzically. How the ruddy hell did Kol know that?

"Huh." Caroline runs her finger across the rim of her fourth glass of gin. "I always pegged him for a midnight guy—sneaking up on grandmas and stealing candy from babies."

"Oh, Finn's always the sneaking kind. Made him a good pirate."

"What about you?" Caroline asks, sipping her drink. She's barely holding herself up now. "What's your talent thingamajig?"

"Annoying Nik." He shrugs, eyes on the far corner of the bar. "Keeping Bekah company. We're the youngest, so naturally we end up with each other most of the time."

"I wouldn't know. I'm an only child." Her eyes turn glassy. "Dad and Steven were going to adopt a girl. But then…" She sighs, shaking her head. "I've always wanted a baby sister."

Kol makes a face. "Eh, they're not that grand."

Klaus steps up between them. "I think you've done enough for the night. Let's go."

"But she's utterly pissed at the moment," Kol says, waving her way. Caroline doesn't seem to notice him talking.

"Let's go," Klaus says with unusual gentleness, and Kol just nods curtly, tossing some bills on the counter to cover his and Caroline's drinks. He's gone in a flash, but Klaus lingers.

"You know what they say." Caroline shrugs at Kol's retreating back. "You always want what you can't have."

"Don't I know it," Klaus says as his hand goes straight through her curls.




part two up whenever the hell i feel like it.