Exams? What exams? Oh, you mean the ones I have tomorrow?

I am such a lousy student.

Hope you enjoy :)

Why does he keep doing this?

His back aches from the fall, but only a little. He supposes he had it coming. No bone in his body could ever really shatter or break, but he makes a good show of his imaginary injuries, nonetheless.

He even makes Damon believe he might have harmed him. He likes it when people lunge at him and take out their anger on him. He becomes the centre of their world, for a tiny moment. They're not thinking of anything or anybody else. They are in the present, with him. It's a rare luxury.

In general, no one is ever bothered with his presence, no one finds him likeable enough to be around. He doesn't mind it, for the most part. He's made it that way and once you've assumed a character it's quite hard to let it go. Years and years of rehearsing the same part cements a certain image. It's his second skin. If he tried to be different now, no one would buy it and they'd be right not to. He has to keep acting the way everyone expects, the way everyone predicts he will.

But he can act out.

He can at least demand attention by being an even bigger nuisance than usual. Does anyone ever deserve whatever pain he inflicts on them? No. Does he do it for fun? Half the time yes, half the time no, but it's more of a long-term goal to make people interested. He wants them to take notice and have a reaction. It doesn't have to be a good one.

The problem is, once you act out, what is left afterwards is contempt and solitude. The denouement is always an open stage where he stands in the middle and everyone else, including the audience, stares at him disapprovingly, embarrassed for him and for themselves, for having watched such disgrace. And he's ashamed and happy and he's trembling all over. But then the eyes lower, the crowd dwindles, the circle around him grows wider and wider and he's left alone again to rehearse, until next time. With every performance, however, the audience grows smaller. Maybe they're tired of the same play, maybe they have other commitments, but he knows it's not the same. Every time he makes a scene, people tend to shake their heads and turn away disgusted, waiting for him to be finished.

But as time goes by, he is left more and more with an almost empty theatre.

This, for him, is a sign that he must try harder.

Anyone else would just stop making a fool of themselves. But he keeps going. He thinks the answer lies within him; that he is not reckless enough. He makes himself even more unbearable.

And tonight is no different.

Damon did him a favour. How long could he have drawn out his mismatched attempt at having fun with his sister's date? Who was he kidding? He had wanted someone to find him. Preferably Rebekah. That would have been even better. She wouldn't have pulled any punches.

But Damon did just fine. He even took him by surprise. Kol almost fought it, until he heard the steps in the hallway and realized they would all come out and it would be quite advantageous for the both of them, because this other vampire needed someone's attention too.

He lets go and Damon snaps his neck. Well, as far as snapping goes...

He feels his bones moulding back into place in less than a second, but he remains in the same position, smiling like a little child.

Kol walks around town aimlessly, massaging his neck for the sake of appearances - well, not even that - he's actually trying to relive the moment, that moment when he was powerless, when his life might have changed. He fails, but he keeps touching the spot.

He thinks the night is young and it might be worth spurring a human this time around. Imagine letting one of them go at him, not holding back, not even realising what he is.

The notion gives him a tingling sensation.

Yes, he'd feel just as dissatisfied and empty afterwards, but what was his life if not a series of planned distractions?

He thinks of going to the Grill. Every mindless drone seems to spend their nights drinking at that tavern. They are just waiting for an opportunity to prove how "brave" they are under the influence of alcohol.

But just as he turns a corner, he sees someone rushing out of one of the houses, banging the door behind them loudly.

She, because it's a young girl, starts walking towards him really fast, holding a bag over her shoulder, her eyes gleaming with purpose, her mind clearly elsewhere.

He knows it's not a good idea to pick on a girl, but he can't miss any chances. Not when they are coming straight at him. He steps right in front of her, blocking her way.

"You seem to be in a great hurry, darling," he purrs, flashing his teeth.

He makes a mental note of her house so he can come feed on her later to reward himself if he doesn't do it now.

The girl frowns, unimpressed, staring him up and down.

"Yes, actually, so I don't have time for this, the Grill is just around the corner," she retorts, swerving past him without looking back.

Kol is a bit taken aback at her impatient, snappy tone, but only momentarily; he is used to it, after all.

He grabs her arm and turns her around, but he immediately senses it was a mistake.

She yanks her arm out of his grasp with the force of an avalanche and glares daggers at him.

"Vampire, is it? Klaus' half-breed or just a visitor?" she asks, facing him directly.

Kol is once again baffled. How exactly does she know he's a vampire? Is it that obvious? All he did was touch her. And she knows about Klaus and his little army. He stands back, trying to put all the pieces together.

"The former," she gathers, narrowing her eyes. "Did he send you on an errand?"

Kol breathes out impressed. "Let's say I were, what would you do about it since you seem to know everything?"

There is a bit of a challenge in his tone. Maybe he is buying some time to figure out who she is and what she knows, or maybe he wants to provoke her.

"I would burn your brains out," she states nonchalantly, folding her arms.

Kol takes a moment to process what she said. He stares at her as if he doesn't quite believe she's being serious. A mere mortal could hardly offer him what Damon failed to. He does want to be dragged down in the mud, but she is no match for an Original, even one that is willing to be defeated. But her confidence is admirable. He hasn't seen anything like it.

"Burn my brains out? Goodness, you're a dangerous thing, aren't you?"

"You'd better run back to Klaus. You have no business in this town," she tells him, ignoring his comment.

"And who are you to decide whether I have business here or not?"

"I'm the person you'll be running away from in a few minutes," she retaliates, glaring impatiently.

Kol lets his head fall back as he bursts out in laughter. He wonders how someone so small and pretty, living in a small town that still hosts Pagan holidays and beauty peagents can give such self-assured threats.

He likes it. He really likes it. If he riles her up enough, she might just be as uncontrolled and impulsive as Damon.

"Not until I get a taste, sweetheart," he teases, taking out his fangs. He grabs her neck and pulls her by her hair, but before he even knows what is happening or what he's doing, something resembling a powerful torrent pushes him back and he is hurled against one of the lampposts.

His body crashes into the pavement. His back aches once more.

He tries to lift himself up, smiling doggedly, when the same force pushes him on his back again and he sees her looming over him, her hands extended over his body like two sharp scythes about to reap his very soul.

He sees his arms and legs twisting and bending right in front of him, his body writhing from an electricity jolt he can't feel. But as soon as it reaches his head, he feels every single part of him and every bit of pain. He feels everything for the very first time.

He yells in misery when she increases his agony by lifting him up into the air.

When she drops him back down, he doesn't have to pretend.

It's close to the denouement once more, but this time, it seems that his protagonist won't survive the climax.

When she finally lets him go, he feels he is still under her spell, or that his limbs will forever remember what it was like to be under a witch's command.

Rebekah used to joke about it; how he's never felt a witch's touch. They all fear it. They all seem to shrink from it. Their mother never laid a hand on him.

Well now, he's been broken, the way you'd break in a wild horse.

The girl seems to relent at the sight of his degraded state. She steps away from her victim, watching him crawl on his hands and knees.

"You're an Original, aren't you?" she asks, tilting her head sideways, as if he were as harmless as a bug.

Kol spits out his own blood and leans against the lamppost shakily. In a few moments he'll be all right. But at the moment, his entire world is crumbling down.

"What - gave - it - away?" he asks, panting.

"Klaus' hybrids have left town and the council would know about any visitors. And you are Esther's son. I felt it."

"You know my mother. You know my brother. And now you know me," he concludes in resignation. There is a pause. "Would you like me to introduce you to the rest?"

The girl raises an eyebrow in curiosity. She seems to guess what he already knows; that he is the family clown, the jester, the character.

He is the original among Originals. L'enfant terrible.

"Half I've already met and half I've carried around in coffins. I'm not impressed," she replies evenly.

Kol wipes away the blood from his mouth and rubs his face in amusement.

"Who are you?" he asks impatiently. He can't quite believe she's real.

"Bonnie Bennett," she replies without any hesitation. He spells it out in his mind. It has a certain ring to it.

"Now, go back to your family and tell your mother we have unfinished business," she orders him sternly.

He can't help the colossal smirk that threatens to tear the corners of his mouth apart.

"Am I to take orders from you then?"

"Yes," she states boldly. "Unless you want to go back in that coffin."

Kol knows now not to take that threat lightly. But he is unable to move. His back is glued to the lamppost. The stage is empty, but for the two of them. There's no audience, no show, no contempt, no shame. What is he supposed to do now? Where can he go from here?

It's not a play. It's not fiction, it's something tangible. She's a witch and he's never had a witch in there before.

Should he run or should he stay?

The novelty overwhelms him.

"You weren't invited to the ball?" he suddenly asks, stepping forward.

"I intend to crash it."

Kol's smile breaks through. "Ah, something we have in common."

She is right; she is the person he's running away from, a few minutes later.

Esther sees him bursting through the double doors as he enters the main hall, a determined, contented look on his face.

"Oh, mother dearest!" he yells, waiting for the people to gather all around him in curiosity. What will he do next, they wonder.

Yes, what will he do next?

"A visitor is coming to see you! She threatens to have us all back in our coffins come morning, including our darling little hybrid, Niklaus."

The people who know stare at him in utter horror, those who do not, exchange confused glances.

He inhales the smell of victory as he hears his mother's glass of champagne fall to the floor with a soft chink. Elijah and Nick are burning a hole through his back and Finn is shaking his head in dismay. Rebekah is trying to hold her mother.

L'enfant terrible has struck again. He really has done it this time.

But he has found a punishing, unforgiving muse.

And when Bonnie Bennett comes to wreak havoc tonight, he will be watching and savouring.