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On Our Way to Okay

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“Hey Diego, sorry, I know I always call you when I worry about Klaus, but he hasn’t answered his calls like he usually does and it’s been two days, and he’s leaving me on read so I know his phone isn’t dead, um can you just check on him for me?”

“Uhhh yeah. Sure. Should I be worried?”

“I don’t know, I haven’t heard anything particularly concerning lately, it could just be something stupid but I’m worried. Let me know. Love you Diego”

“Love you too, Allison.”

Diego pulled of the highway at a NOCO, buying Gatorade and Chips Ahoy. Even if nothing’s wrong with Klaus, it’s not like he won’t appreciate his favorite foods. Diego finished the drive to his apartment, phoning him twice, both to voicemail, ringing through. He got to Klaus’ makeshift apartment, and paused, gathering myself. This has only happened a few times, but the worst was when Klaus was found passed out on his floor after not eating for four days.

Diego opened the door taking in the sight of Klaus’ apartment. It was a shabby joint, typical for a kid in his early twenties. A cheap studio apartment that he’d probably be out of within a few months once he ran out of money. There were at least a week’s worth of dirty dishes lying in the sink, all the lights were out, silence ringing through the apartment.

“Hey! Klaus? Allison sent me to check on you? Are you okay?”

No response came. Setting down his bags, Diego entered the room further, flicking on the living room lights. Nothing happened. Knocking lightly on the door frame, Diego paused. There was a rustle.

“Hey Klaus, you okay?” A muffled groan answered, he turned on the light and Klaus flinched at the sudden brightness. He was lying on his bed, curled up facing the wall, blanklets entangled around him. He rolled over, swollen bleary eyes searching the room. Shit. He looked awful.

“Hey bud,” Diego whispered, lowering his voice as Klaus started bringing his hands to his ears. He turned slightly more towards his visitor, eyes focusing more or less. “Klaus when’s the last time you ate?” He just blinked, a hand running wearily over his eyes.

“Hey, hey Klaus, it’s Saturday evening, Allison called me, she’s worried that you haven’t been answering her calls. Now I don’t know if you’ve taken something or you’re just hungover, but something is clearly wrong and I want to help. It’s a big step to move out and I know you’re going through a lot after Ben, so I’m not just gonna leave you.”

Diego started picking up clothes off Klaus’ floor, tossing them onto the chair that seemed to be a makeshift laundry basket. “Klaus?”
“Um, I had some coffee Tuesday night, and I haven’t taken anything, I’m actually trying. I got out uh but yeah. It’s okay. Just a rough patch.”

“Well considering you haven’t eaten in four days, probably more cause coffee doesn’t count as food, and you look like you’re either sleep deprived or have just been crying for the past few hours, I’d say it’s a pretty rough patch.”

“I’m fine Diego.” Klaus pushed himself up, sitting, leaning against the wall. He made a move to stand up, but paused halfway, sitting back down with a sigh.

Diego sat down next to him. “Klaus. I know you. You’re not fine. You haven’t been fine for 6 years. I also know you’ll die trying to prove you’re okay, or making stupid decisions to feel okay. It’s okay not to be.”

Klaus sighed, eyes glassier than before. “I hate this Diego, I hate myself. I thought it’d get better once I got out of the house and away from dad and all the memories but it just… hasn’t, and I can’t -- .” His voice broke, he leaned back against the wall, eyes shutting, hands gripping the cheap sheets.

Diego backed up to face him. “Can I touch your arm?” Klaus nodded, eyes still closed. Diego reached out grabbing his upper arm, lightly squeezing his bicep. “Hey, you’ll get through this, you always have, and I’m here for you, and so are Allison, and Vanya, we all want you to be okay.”

His eyes opened, fixing Diego with a stare. “If any of you cared you would have made it obvious years ago. Maybe when your brother started doing drugs. Or when he couldn’t sleep because the stupid ghosts wouldn’t shut up! Or when I came back half-conscious from the mausoleum. You know I haven’t been okay! You don’t even care that I’m alive!”

With this he calmed. A sadder expression on his face, looking exhausted from his brief outburst. He broke eye contact, watching his hands fiddling with the bedsheets. “Sorry, I just… it’s a lot right now.”

“That’s okay I get it. I’m here for you whatever you need…. plus I brought you cookies.”

Klaus smiled slightly. It might be okay after all.