Title: Promise of Forever
Fandom: The Vampire Diaries
Pairings: Kol/Anna (other canon pairings)
Author's Note: I was updating this fic and the site decided it would be more fun to replace the first chapter with the second one, but it's here now! Thank you so much to Mark Question for letting me now what was up, I'm so grateful.
He had memories that weren't his.
And he didn't know they were there until he saw her.
One minute he was minding his own business at the bar, drinking away the day and the boredom, and the next he was looking up after feeling the strangest sensation crawling up his spine. He didn't remember much about being human, but he remembered the feeling of someone staring at him, the feeling that he was being watched and hunted. He had spent over a thousand years as a vampire being the one to cause that kind of feeling, so it was with great unpleasantness that Kol turned his head around to find the source of his discomfort.
And what he found wasn't anything special.
She was just sitting at one of the lower tables in the dining area, by herself with a glass of water and a closed book lying forgotten next to her hand. She was staring at him; completely uncaring that he had caught her, and didn't move a muscle when he caught her eye. Kol raised an eyebrow at her; she licked her lips and looked away.
Kol's upper lip pulled upward slightly in confusion and disdain, turning back to the bar and back to his alcohol and downing the remaining contents of his glass in one go. The moment he set his glass back down onto the bar he remembered; he remembered the feel of lovely pale skin beneath his hands, the smell of spiced tea, the contrast of black hair fanning out across a white pillow.
But it wasn't his memory.
The sound of glass breaking startled him back to reality; he glanced around, breathing hard, only to catch the scent of his blood in the air. Kol looked down at his hand, covered in blood and pieces of glass. He winced slightly at the sight, turning his hand over, palm up, and pulling a rather long sliver of glass out of his hand.
He held the lone shard up to his eye level, rotating his wrist and watching it catch the light. With a start he realized that the girl sitting at the table behind him was the girl in his memory.
The memory that wasn't his.
He twisted around, zeroing in on the table she had been in seconds ago. It was empty, glass of water still untouched, her book left behind. Kol's eyes narrowed, pushing himself away from the bar and out of his chair. He ignored the concerned looks he got from some of the wait staff over his hand as he crossed the room to the table she'd been seated at; his hand ghosting across the cover of her book.
"Hey." Kol looked up and around, raising his eyebrow at the human - Matt, was it? - who'd gotten his attention. Matt nodded casually at him. "You lookin' for Anna?"
Kol blinked, unmoving. "Who?"
"Uh...Anna. The girl who was sitting here."
He raised an eyebrow. "I suppose." Matt shifted uncomfortable from one foot to the other, but to his credit that was about as phased as he got from Kol's unwavering stare.
"She's staying in the hotel a couple blocks away." Kol frowned, genuinely surprised by the freely given information.
"And you know this how?"
"She's friends with Jeremy Gilbert." Ew. Nonetheless, Kol shrugged and turned away, feeling that was thank you enough; he left the Grill without another word, hesitating for a moment outside the door as he decided which way to go. But what was the point in even thinking about it? The images in his head just then had been nothing but random, and unimportant.
With that in mind, Kol turned on his heel and started in the direction of home. It was only a little past noon, and while the town was bustling, it was still far too slow for him. They were setting up for Founder's Day in the park as he was walking by, something that both nauseated and amused him. Nik would love it, for no other reason than to make a mockery of their town's little traditions.
"I hate it here."
Kol's head snapped around, his breath hitching in his throat as he stopped dead in his tracks. That voice had breathed directly in his ear, it had been real and...Kol reached up to run his hand across the back of his neck, unnerved. It had been a woman's voice, soft and almost childlike; it had sent shivers down his spine and it was...
It was real.
He had no idea how he got home so quickly, but he was sure it had something to do with the massive panic attack he'd had in town. Slamming the front door shut, Kol followed the sounds of his brothers to the living room where Finn and Nik were sitting together.
Playing video games.
"The hell?" muttered Kol, slowing his walk down as he rounded the couch. Nik glanced at him, quirking his eyebrows in greeting and going right back to his game.
"I'm teaching Finn about Halo."
"Yes apparently this is essential to functioning in the 21st century."
Kol snorted, dropping into the couch. He was silent for a moment, debating on whether or not this would be something he should tell his family. But it wasn't that big of a deal...no not really, he'd just been hallucinating. That's perfectly normal.
"Something's going on," said Kol slowly, watching Nik and Finn play video games. They were ignoring him, which he hated, but this was important and he needed them to hear him. His eyes narrowed at their backs. "Are you listening to me?"
"Not in the least, baby brother."
Kol rolled his eyes, irritated, tapping his fingers against the back of the couch impatiently as Nik and Finn went back to their game. "Do I know someone named Anna?"
Nik barely spared a glance back at him, but Finn snorted with interest, sliding to the edge of his seat as he continued playing. "With your attention span, who knows?"
This was true. It was quite possible that he'd met her in the past and she just hadn't stood out enough to leave an impression on him. But why would he be so fixated on her now? And no matter how hard he tried to think he did not remember her. The images he'd seen and the voice he had heard had all felt like memories, but they were not connected to anything else. They were suspended.
The reaction he received this time was on the opposite end of the spectrum. Both Finn and Niklaus turned their heads to look at him, abandoning their game to stare at him with identical expressions that Kol couldn't name. Then they glanced at each other and Finn was the one first to shrug.
"Not that I know of. Niklaus?"
"Can't say it sounds familiar." Kol stared at them, his lips parted in disbelief.
They were lying to him. Straight to his face. But instead of being angry, like he figured he should be, all Kol felt was confused as to why. There shouldn't be any reason to lie to him, especially if there was nothing the matter .He stood, shaking his head.
"Whatever. When you both feel like telling me the truth I'll be in my room."
Finn and Klaus watched Kol go with baited breath until he was out of earshot before Finn looked at his younger brother worriedly. "You don't think-?"
"No, he can't be."
"But if he is..."
Klaus' eyes narrowed in thought. "It shouldn't be too hard to find her."
Anna brushed her hair behind her ear as she made her way into her hotel room, flipping on the lights and tossing her bag onto the table near the door. She was exhausted. Between helping Jeremy with the Founder's Day float and running into Kol...God, she hadn't expected to see him ever again let alone anywhere near Mystic Falls.
She shook her head firmly, refusing to think about Kol or anything related to him. It wouldn't cause her anything but pain getting involved with him again. Besides...it wasn't like he even recognized her-
She froze, her eyes going wide as she recognized the voice behind her. She didn't dare turn around, too afraid to see what his expression was and too afraid to know what he was going to do to her. But she couldn't help it, she had to know. Anna turned slowly, her fingernails digging into her palm to prevent her from bolting like a rabbit. If she still had a heart it would be thundering against her ribcage. And even worse, he wasn't alone.
"Klaus," she said, returning the greeting softly. Her eyes flickered to his brother. "Hello, Finn."
"We heard you were in town and thought we would come by and say hello," said Klaus, his tone friendly enough. Anna stepped back, leaning away from him.
"No you didn't."
"I'm hurt, Annabelle-"
"No, you're not."
"-that you would think so low of me," Klaus continued as if she hadn't spoken. His eyes narrowed slightly, the corner of his mouth quirking. "Can't a man say hello to his sister-in-law without being accused of trying to kill her?"
Anna stopped, her nostrils flaring angrily as her throat tightened. "Don't call me that."
"Then you do know why we're here," interrupted Finn, stepping in front of Klaus and advancing on Anna. She backed away quickly, stumbled when the back of her knees hit the edge of her bed.
"I didn't know he was here," she whispered desperately. "I'm sorry-"
"We know, Annabelle," said Finn gently, reaching out to help her to her feet. His hand lingered against her arm for a moment before he stepped away. "But we love our brother, and this is for the best."
"You know you can't kill me..." said Anna hoarsely. "Not without-"
"We're not going to kill you, Anna," grossed Klaus, shaking his head like she was the most ridiculous thing he'd ever come across. "We just you to understand that you need to stay away from Kol."
"I know better than anyone," snapped Anna. "Okay? At least he doesn't have to remember, I have to live with this-!"
"Shh, Annabelle," soothed Finn gently, placing his hand on her shoulder and stilling her. "No need to make a fuss. We just wanted to say hello."
Anna shook her head. "You shouldn't have undaggered him, Klaus."
Klaus rolled his eyes, grumbling. "That wasn't exactly my choice." he sighed, gesturing to Finn and heading for the door. "But I apologize for not alerting you about his...revival."
Anna wrapped her arms around her waist, nodding and following the two Originals to the door. "I can try my best to stay out of town, but I have friends here," she shrugged. "I was here first."
"See that you do," snapped Finn, though not unkindly. Klaus opened the door and allowed his brother to exit first, lingering to look back at Anna seriously.
"It has been a very long time since we've had to go through this, Annabelle," he said. "Don't fuck it up just because you miss him."
Anna's temper snapped, stalking forward, she slammed her hand against the doorframe, blocking Klaus' way out. "I love Kol more than you have ever loved anything," she hissed. Klaus' eyes narrowed at her, his chin rising stubbornly. "I have proof of that, you have a doppelganger. But Elena's not Tatia and you don't suffer whenever you see her, so don't threaten me, Niklaus."
Klaus moved closer to her, his eyes flashing dangerously as he bent his head to speak down at her. I could say the same to you, Anna," whispered Klaus. "My brother's happiness is everything to me."
Anna drew back, her eyes wide and tinged with fear. "You would kill us both?"
"If it comes to that," he vowed, placing his arm on Anna's wrist and jerking it free from the door. He pushed her back against the wall and stepped away. "So lovely to see you again, sister."
Klaus swept out without another word, leaving the door hanging open behind him and leaving Anna breathing hard against the wall where he left her. She could feel hot, angry tears collecting in her eyes, and with a strangled cry she slammed the hotel door closed and pressed her forehead against it. Her shoulders shuddered violently as she tried to suppress her tears.
She hated it here.