notes | season 4 is ridiculous, but kol is back being logical and insane and trying to not get everyone murdered by murdering less important people and i love it.
summary | kol and his bat and his crazy and his family issues try to save the world. caroline is having a really bad day.
Kol isn't crazy. He's just smart enough to make people think he is.
"Bekah," he says, around a mouthful of gore, "tell me you're not crying again."
"Nik is going to dagger you if you don't stop this Jack the Ripper business," she sniffs. Kol doesn't think sobbing over your victim is proper protocol for murder, and he's been killing people for a while so he considers himself a bit of an expert, but Bekah can't control herself once she gets going so he rolls his eyes and lets her sob into the girl's bloody throat. "Elijah's vanished; you can't leave me, too."
He drops his date and starts picking bits of flesh out of his teeth, already bored, "Calm down, woman. You'll like me better in a coffin. No more jokes about you being a strumpet."
"Kol." Rebekah's messy today — there's a smear of red along the cut of her jaw that runs back into her hair. "I'm being serious."
"I am, too," he says. "Do you honestly think I don't know what Nik's going to do? Do you honestly think that I don't want him to do it?"
Rebekah blinks once, twice, and the limp girl in her arms tumbles sideways into the couch cushions. "What?"
Kol sighs, because honestly, how is he the only one in this family with any sort of intelligence, "Mikael's getting too close, sister. Think about it: who'll be the bigger threat? Klaus, who's a hybrid, who's faster and stronger than any of us, who's evaded him for centuries, or me, the brat daggered in a box?"
"That doesn't even make sense!"
"I'm sick of running, and this century is, quite frankly, a bit of a bore," Kol deadpans. "So, wake me up when things get interesting, yeah?"
"You are a lunatic and your supposed plan is madness and— is that why you've been killing so many people?" She's across the room, tugging on his sleeve suddenly, her eyes still damp. "Is that what all this business has been about?"
"Uh," Kol says, "clearly."
"Oh my God," Rebekah mutters.
Three days later, Klaus 'takes him by surprise' at dinner with a dagger to the back while Bekah complains about her crème brûlée.
"I didn't want this, Kol, but you've left me no choice," Nik says raggedly against his cheek, the sharp prick of the blade against his spine.
"Aim a little to the left or you'll just hit bone," Kol grumbles, since he's the only one with medical training that doesn't consist of ripping off faces with his teeth, "also, your cooking is abysmal."
In retrospect, Klaus probably lets him crumple into the truffle on purpose.
It isn't his best plan, true, but it works, and when Bekah wakes him up a century later, when things most certainly have gotten interesting, Mikael is dead and Klaus is sufficiently terrified when he walks into the living room with a smirk.
Klaus can plot with a goal in mind, can manipulate everyone around him for his one big mission, but Kol's better at it, better at thinking about the bigger picture, better at pretending Klaus scares him.
So when the Salvatores and their merry band of misfit friends decide they want to find the cure that will raise someone who will kill them all Kol decides he needs a plan. A few plans. Plans A through Y, most likely.
The first two don't go so well. Apparently, Denver means as much to Jeremy as it does to Kol: so, nothing. And the Bennett witch has too many friends and too much power for him to kill - and he'd tried, he really had, and he's still a bit smug about the dark bruises that had spread across her pretty throat - so he needs to regroup. To think.
More importantly though, he needs leverage.
This is why Caroline Forbes is currently waking up in his stolen car.
"Oh my God," she groans into the seat cushion, "did you really kidnap me? Like, seriously? I am in the middle of planning senior prom."
Kol rolls his eyes, even though she can't see him from the backseat. "You say that like it's supposed to mean something to me, darling."
"Oh, joy, more pet names," she snarls. Kol can hear her struggling to sit up despite all the vervain in her system, imagines the blood matted into the curls of her hair. He'd gotten a little carried away when he'd grabbed her — sometimes, he forgets how much fun attacking pretty girls is and she'd fought back which had been even better and if he remembers anything from what Nik has said to him about Caroline, it's that she's feisty and witty and a little bit cruel.
"Best get used to them. We're going to be together for a while."
"Kill me now," she deadpans, and her nails clink against the door handle. Kol casually flicks the child-locks. "Motherfucker."
"Such language from a lady." He swerves into oncoming traffic because driving is so boring sometimes, what with all the rules. If they get pulled over, which they probably will because Kol gets pulled over quite a bit, he'll just compel the officer. Or kill him. Maybe both.
"You drive like a lunatic and I have been in a car with an angry Stefan." She's tucked into a tiny little ball against the window, right behind him, grinding her teeth. "People are going to realize I'm missing in, like, an hour, you know that right?"
Kol pulls back into the proper lane and takes the next exit. "Well of course they will, sweetheart, that's the point."
Caroline hisses. "You are insane."
"I prefer the term diabolical."
And honestly, with everything Nik had told him, he should have expected it, when he came to a stop at some dingy little gas station and twisted to tell her to be good or he'd have to kill a lot of people.
"I prefer the term blind," she says, with a smile like a knife, and digs her thumbs into the corners of his eyes.
Afterwards, he says, "I hope you know, these seats are Italian."
He's staring at the nasty little bloody stains lining the headrest while Caroline smirks at him from behind a vervain gag like she's hilarious. Kol growls, "I could kill you and none of your friends would be the wiser," and she straightens up a bit, but she's still giving him sassy little grins for the next two hours.
"I should have kidnapped Elena," he mutters, "she would have been much more agreeable."
Caroline puts her foot through the back of his seat and the toe of her boot digs into his tailbone. Kol turns on the radio and settles on a country station when he realizes she hates the music and wonders if he should just snap her neck.
The glare she shoots him makes him decide against it; this is just so much more fun.
"So," he says cheerfully, when Atlanta starts to roll into view, "you're probably wondering why I've taken you when we haven't even said two words to each other, aren't you?"
Caroline squints at him, a cute little furrow between her brows that reminds him of Bekah, then flops onto her side and rolls over so her back is to him.
"You are the very essence of maturity," he deadpans. "It baffles me how I didn't notice it until now."
Her arms are tied behind her, so it makes it all too easy for her to flip him off. Kol turns up the volume on the radio and drives a little slower so he can drag it out. Caroline finally shifts so she's staring at the sunroof and sighs. It's a sigh Kol knows well, one that is as patronizing as it is annoyed. It's his sigh. This may be a problem.
"Well, I'm not telling you now," he says, and Caroline shrugs like she doesn't really care which, well, maybe she doesn't. Hadn't Nik or Bekah made a comment that Caroline's been tortured a handful of times before? She certainly doesn't seem like she has, what with the bright, sunny disposition and the snark. Maybe she's as crazy as he is. "You'll just have to wait. I hope the suspense doesn't kill you."
Caroline's jaw has been working since she moved onto her back and he hasn't been able to figure out why. Then she spits out the gag so it presses against her chin and sizzles, and says, "I do," with complete sincerity and then Kol knows he definitely has a problem.
She swings upright, legs curled under her in her shorts, and the gag slips down to rest on her shirt. Dry, cracked skin heals slowly at the corners of her mouth. She says, "so tell me what the big, evil plan is, crazy pants," like she's asking him about the weather.
"Your friends are idiots," is what he starts with, which probably isn't the best opener given the flat look she levels him with, but he isn't exactly trying to be charming. "If they raise Silas trying to find that stupid bloody cure, they're going to get us all killed."
"Isn't that guy just supposed to be like, the vampire version of the Boogeyman? You know, like, don't eat that village of innocents or Silas will get you?"
Kol blinks, hard. "What in the ever loving hell is a Boogeyman?"
Caroline does that sigh again. "Omigawd, just get on with it."
"Anyway." Kol speeds up close beside a semi and gets a bit of a thrill in the way Caroline squeaks and moves away from the window. "Ripping off Jeremy's arms didn't work, trying to kill the witch didn't work—"
"You're an asshole for that, by the way," Caroline says, "Bonnie's got bruises and it is nowhere near scarf season."
"Tragic," he sneers. "My other plans failed, so plan C it is. You're close with the Salvatores and Elena, and my brother fancies you, so as long as I've got you hostage their search for the cure is at a standstill."
Caroline sounds only moderately horrified when she says, "until when? Forever?"
Kol laughs. "Don't sound so excited, love. No, not forever. See, if I can't stop them from searching permanently, then I'll have to find a way to destroy Silas instead. Understand?"
"That's… pretty sneaky," Caroline says slowly, "but how is that going to stop everyone. And what makes you think they won't keep at it while you're off on your bonding road trip of doom with me?"
"Elena and Bonnie wouldn't want you to come to harm," Kol says, running a light, "neither would Stefan. Elena controls Damon and Jeremy, Shane needs everyone else to get anything done, Stefan has partnered up with my sister—"
"—so that takes care of her. Nik is enamoured with you, so he'll quit looking, but not for long, and I may have compelled a couple of your friends to kill themselves or Jeremy should anyone try to look for the cure before I come back."
"So you see," Kol turns towards her, grinning wide as the car swerves and Caroline lunges for the wheel, "I've bought us some time to perhaps prevent the apocalypse."
"My hero," she deadpans, half across the center console, breathing a little wild even though she doesn't need to.
Kol smirks down at her, a shark's smile, with all his teeth, "when exactly were you planning on telling me you'd gotten your hands free?"
Caroline tenses. "Um, when I, like, maybe possibly broke your neck at the next gas station?"
Kol beams and lets her crawl into the front seat only because he knows the vervain has made her too weak to take him without the element of surprise. "We're going to get along splendidly."
Caroline pulls on her seatbelt, probably out of habit, tucks her hair neatly behind her ears, and mumbles, "why do all the raging psychopaths in my life say that? Seriously."
Kol doesn't reply, just turns off the radio, and she exhales something that sounds like finally. "We're going to Atlanta, in case you wanted to know."
"I didn't," she says primly, "but thanks."
"We need to see a witch—"
"It's always with the witches with you Originals—"
"—only I don't know where exactly she is."
"So we're playing Where's Waldo in Atlanta?" She raises her eyebrows at him. Kol keeps an eye on her tiny, potentially lethal hands. "Not exactly how I wanted to spend my Saturday."
"It's like you think I care or something," he drawls, and that's about when she kicks the car door right off the frame and throws herself out after it, tucking into a rolling blur of white-blonde and denim.
Kol stares up at the sunroof, braking. "Oh, not this again."
She doesn't make it very far — the vervain is still heavy in her blood, and she's slower than him already, so she really only makes it about halfway across a field towards a barn before he tackles her around the knees.
"Get off me," she snarls, "before I end you."
"With what," Kol snarks, "your eyeliner?" and promptly gets punched in the face. He jerks back a little, shakes his head, opens his eyes, and gets head butted. "Bloody fucking hell, where did you even learn—"
Caroline twines her leg around his hip which is distracting for exactly a second but then she's hooking her foot behind his knee and rolling them, digging her elbows up under his ribs as she sits on him.
Kol's getting hit in the head with a rock when he finally gets his bearings, reaches up, and turns the bones in her wrist into dust. Caroline bites her lip but otherwise does nothing except slither off of him like some kind of seductive, homicidal cat.
There's a long pause where she's cradling her wrist while it heals and he's wiping the blood dribbling from his temple off with his sleeve. Then, "a rock? Really?"
"I was improvising," she says sullenly.
"Next time, don't." He drags her to her feet, squints into the distance at the black speck that is the car, and sighs when he sees other black specks with red and blue flashing above them pull up. "Looks like we'll be on foot from here."
Caroline groans and gestures to her feet with the hand he doesn't have in a vice-grip. "Have you seen these boots? These are not hiking boots. These are the exact opposite of hiking boots."
Kol is unsympathetic. "You should have thought of that before you broke my car."
Caroline growls. Kol snorts, then rummages around in the grass for a few seconds. "What are you— is that a bat?"
"Same one I used on Damon," he says fondly, resting it against his shoulder. Caroline side-eyes it as they start walking. "I quite like it."
"You are the Norman Bates of vampires," she says seriously, like that's supposed to mean something to him the way all her other pop culture references are, and Kol smiles winningly at her in response. "Oh my god, stop doing that, that is terrifying, I will scream—"
"When that vervain wears off, I am compelling you to shut up," he mutters, and Caroline stiffens next to him.
They don't say much the rest of the way to Atlanta.