I'm trying my best to characterize Kol through the very little screen time and development he had on the show. I can't seem to help but to take this a little OOC because aside from Finn, Kol was the least developed of the originals. So, I hope you guys like the way I'm taking his character…

Xxxxxxx

Stefan had just walked back into the boarding house when he was attacked. The plan had all gone sideways. The originals were all still alive and now they had even more to worry about. Granted, he was beginning to think that Klaus would never kill him. Klaus had been making those threats for ages but they'd all turned out to be empty.

What he was really worried about at that moment was Kol and Damon. While he still didn't really believe that Damon actually cared about the original, Stefan had locked his brother up again. There was a part of him that felt guilty for that, that wondered how far he was going to let himself take this revenge.

He didn't have long to contemplate how Damon was going to react when he saw his brother again. As soon as he stepped into the parlor, there was a blur of movement and he was thrown across the room, smashing painfully into the bookcase there.

He was up in a moment and was fighting back. Stefan hadn't actually fed properly in a while, not since he'd threatened to drive Elena off the bridge so the fight didn't last long. He found himself pressed against the wall beside the bookcase he'd crashed into with his brother's forearm digging into his throat. Damon's eyes were blazing with fury.

"What the hell is wrong with you?" Damon got out through gritted teeth.

"They need to die," Stefan answered. Damon growled and then tossed Stefan across the room again.

"You really are an asshole, Stefan." Damon was on him as soon as he landed, grabbing his collar and pulling him close. "How far exactly are you going to take this?"

"As far as I have to." The determination was still there but it faltered slightly when he caught something else in Damon's expression, something other than anger.

"And then what? When you've destroyed your life just to take down Klaus? Then what are you going to do?" He let go, shoving Stefan back.

"Klaus already destroyed everything," Stefan stated.

Damon's fists clenched. "So tell me what happens, Stefan? What happens if you get what you want? What happens after Klaus is gone?"

Stefan sighed, his shoulders slumping slightly. "I don't know. What I do know is that there is no going back to before."

"So that's it? You're just going to…" Damon trailed off and, if anything, he just looked angrier. "Is this going to end with you out again at sunrise without your ring?"

Stefan considered that a moment. He considered everything. All the people he'd killed when he'd left with Klaus. How he'd terrorized Elena when he'd finally been ordered back to Mystic Falls…

"Maybe," he finally answered, truthfully. Damon lost it again at that and let loose a punch that threw Stefan back a few feet. Damon turned immediately after, heading for his liquor cabinet and snagging a full bottle of bourbon. He didn't bother with a glass, instead taking a long drink straight from the bottle.

"Revenge all you care about now, is it?" He asked with a scowl.

"It's all I have left."

"You really believe that, don't you?"

"Oh, come on Damon," Stefan started, irritated. "Elena hates me for what I almost did to her. I've killed so many people…I can't control it anymore."

"Yeah, life sucks. Maybe we should all take the easy way out." The words were scathing and Damon dropped down in the chair nearest the fireplace.

"You don't understand-"

"Oh, shut up, Stefan! I get it. You feel guilty and it's easier to focus on revenge than that. It's so much easier to fucking blame Klaus and go after him than…I don't know, try and deal with your own damn life…"

"Damon-"

But Damon stood, cutting him off and got in his face again. "The bitch of it is that I agree with you, partly. I want Klaus dead just as much as you do. But I'm not willing to kill Elena to achieve that goal."

Stefan blinked, surprised. He got the message clearly in those words. Stefan had been willing to let Kol die to get to Klaus. They weren't the same, he'd thought at the time. He'd heard Elena's words, heard her say that she thought the thing between Damon and Kol was more than another one of Damon's flings. He hadn't believed it himself. He'd been pretty damned sure that Damon loved Elena.

He wasn't even sure, in that moment what he would have done even if he'd believed it. He'd been living for the revenge since Klaus had released him from his compulsion. It had been the only thing he could think about for a while now.

"You're a fucking coward," Damon stated, his glare heating up again.

"What?" Stefan gave a start, anger sparking in him as well.

"This was all on purpose, right? You pulled that shit with Elena so she'd hate you, right? Then you can run out into the sun and what? Nobody would care? Because you think it'll be easier that way?" He shoved the bottle of alcohol into Stefan's chest. "Go on and destroy yourself, Stefan and I know you think your life just can't get any worse but I'll make sure it does if you pull any of that shit you tried with Kol again."

He walked away then, and Stefan watched him go without moving. After a moment, he took a drink from the bottle and dropped down on the couch. The conversation had taken a surprising turn. He'd expected anger, he'd expected threats. What he hadn't expected was the new insight into whatever it was Damon and Kol had.

The guilt that had taken root in him from the moment Klaus had lifted his compulsion-and even before that-expanded. He and Damon were continually hurting each other, had been since they'd first met Katherine but it wasn't something he'd ever enjoyed.

He'd thought several times, since returning to Mystic Falls, that he wished they could stop doing that, that he wished they could go back to the way they'd been before Katherine. He did not want to destroy whatever tenuous connection he and Damon had managed to form since they had both returned to Mystic Falls.

It was ironic that, according to Damon, the best way to destroy it was the kill Klaus, the vampire they'd been trying to figure out how to kill for months.

Xxxxxxx

"You're leaving, are you?" Kol was watched his older brother from his seat.

"Yes, for a while." Elijah did not turn to look at him. He'd been brooding what had happened with their mother.

Kol had tried to connect that as well. He'd tried to be something other than angry at what his mother had done. Rebekah had been hurt. Hell, even Klaus had been but all he'd been was angry and even that had faded after her plan had failed.

He'd even wondered how fucked up that made him. He didn't really care, in the end. He didn't care about her. He felt no connection to her. He'd played along with her idea of them being a family again because of Elijah, Rebekah, and Klaus but that had been the only reason.

"You put too much stock into all of this," he spoke up finally.

"Into what?" Elijah turned to face him, a frown on his face. "Into family?"

"Maybe." Kol shrugged. "Maybe people put too much stock in blood." His lips twitched involuntarily at his own words.

"So it wouldn't matter to you? That we are family?"

Kol's expression twisted a bit as he thought about it. "Nik stuck a dagger in my chest and left me to rot in a coffin for near to a hundred years. I have no doubt he'd do that again if I get in the way of something he wants. I don't hold grudges, Elijah, but I also don't care to hold positive feelings of family and loyalty to someone like that."

"And myself? Rebekah?"

Kol considered him a moment. And maybe Elijah and Rebekah were the only ones he'd ever felt any sort of familial connection towards. Rebekah hated him in a way that was entirely sisterly. They had been the youngest and had spent their human years bickering and chasing after their older brothers.

And Elijah…Elijah had always been so damned forgiving, so understanding. How easily he'd forgiven Nik had been testament to that.

"Perhaps you've made your own family, yes?" Elijah asked. He came to stand before Kol, and put his hands on his younger brother's shoulders. "I do hope you are happy."

"I know," Kol answered with a roll of his eyes. "I also know that you'd say that even if I was the one who stuck that dagger in your chest instead of Nik." He stood, and considered his next words for a second, but, in the end, decided he didn't care how they sounded.

"It's probably why you'd be the one I'd miss most." He paused, and grinned. "Even if it makes you the biggest idiot in this house."

Elijah almost smiled at that and reached out to grasp one of Kol's shoulders again. "Take care of yourself."

Elijah was gone a second later and Kol had no other reason to stay in the house.

Xxxxxxxxx

When Damon made his way back into the boarding house later that night, he'd drank enough that he was feeling that comfortable buzz. It was as close to drunk as he could get without downing enough booze to kill a normal person.

He'd found Ric at the bar and knew something was up with the teacher but neither of them had spoken about their respective problems. It was one of the reasons he liked drinking with Ric. Other than the fact that the man was probably the only human Damon had ever met who could manage to keep up with him.

And he'd needed to get a little bit drunk after that conversation with Stefan. Not that it was much different than some of the ones he and Stefan had had in the past. He'd maybe even been expecting this out of Stefan at some point after he'd gotten free from Klaus. Self destruction was one of Stefan's defaults.

But it didn't piss him off any less. He was pissed at Stefan for always dealing like this. And he was pissed at himself for being anything other than angry. For the thought that Stefan had only started down this road because he'd been trying to save Damon's life. Plus, as much as he had claimed to hate Stefan over the century and a half since they'd been turned, he'd never actually been able to let Stefan die.

Not for the first time, he wondered if this fucked up town with all of its fucked up residents were going to eventually drive him crazy. Dysfunctional didn't quite cover it. He'd hated himself before. Hated what he was and wished for something he could never have again.

Still, when he made it up to his room and found Kol lying on his bed, reading whatever book Damon had left on his nightstand, when Kol automatically pulled him down on his bed, and when he was arching up with Kol moving above him and inside him, he figured there were some pretty awesome perks to being what he was.