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You Aren't Alone In This Eternal Punishment

Chapter Text

Klaus was distracted when they had first grabbed him.

His music was blaring in his ears as he got out of the bath and wound a towel around his thin, pale body. He hadn’t even gotten the chance to reach his room when an arm wound its way around his neck and squeezed until black spots swarmed his vision and his consciousness left his body.

When he next awoke, he was in a dark and confined space. The high he had gotten earlier was fizzling through his body, adding to the disorienting feeling he had. His mind was cloudy and it was hard for him to make out any details. He was just glad that the space seemed small enough to the point where no ghosts could fit with him.

He floated around in his mind until he heard voices and the space above him grew lighter. Two people were towering over him, one wearing a pink dog mask and the other wearing a blue bear mask. His body let out an involuntary shiver. He didn’t mind being scantily dressed, but he wished he had grabbed his coat so he could shield his body from both the cold, and from the blank stare of their masks.

He was lifted up and thrown over the blue mask wearer’s shoulder. His hands were tied behind him and his shoulders were aching, wanting the pull of gravity to let them hang, but his shoulder blades protested with each step the man took. He was too out of it to look at his surroundings as he was carried into a cheap two bed motel room and deposited in a creaking wooden chair.

He squirmed around in a failed attempt at comfort before he was slapped and his hands were unbound before being taped to the chair arms. The back of the chair wasn’t too particularly tall, and so when Klaus went to lean black, his head lolled on his neck and his spine popped as his shoulders protested the stretch.

He was then tortured for several hours.

.oOo.

He didn’t know how long it had been since he had first been taken, but he could tell his torturers were getting real impatient with his lack of information. It was as if it was his fault his siblings never told him anything.

Yes it was. He giggled at the thought. They didn’t tell him anything because he was always high. He doesn’t regret it though. Okay, just a little bit, he didn’t like being tortured after all. They probably didn’t even know he was missing, didn’t care to check if he was alright and safe in his room, high out of his mind. That thought made something sink inside his empty stomach. He was coming off of his high and nothing was as entertaining as it was when his head was above the clouds.

Ben was hanging around the room, jumping on the bed. Klaus felt bad that his brother was sticking around. This wasn’t fun for any of them. Well, it might be for his torturers. He giggled again. His body was on fire with withdrawal, and also because three packs of cigarettes had been put out on his arms and thighs.

He was glad he got this moment of reprieve as his torturers left, but at the same time, he hated being forced through withdrawal alone with nobody but Ben. The ghosts were getting louder. There were so many of them, crowding around his chair in a circle, chattering about their deaths at the hands of his torturers in different languages.

His wrists were getting sweaty from the duck tape and he was glad he knew how to dislocate his fingers as he popped his thumbs out of their sockets and slipped his damp wrists through the slick duck tape confinement they were previously encased in. He took a second to pop his thumb joints back into place and looked wildly around as he tried to stand up and tripped over his weak feet.

He rolled around and noticed a stray screw on the discoloured carpet in front of him. He looked over to Ben who was silently watching as Klaus freed himself.
“You could help you know.”
“You and I know better than anyone that I damn well can’t touch anything, and you seem like you’re doing just fine making your escape.” Damn, he had a point.

Klaus made his way to the screw and looked around.
“Any clue as to where this would go, oh dear deceased brother of mine?”
“I know almost exactly what you do.”
“What don’t I know?”
“That you’re a dumbass.”
“Well, I already knew that.”
“Then I suppose that my knowledge is on level with yours.”
“Brilliant.”

He spotted the vent on the wall next to the window and looked down at the screw sitting innocently in his hand.
“Bingo babe.”

He made his way over to the vent and pried it open and his hopes rose when it came off easily and he dove into the space. He grabbed the suitcase there and wiggled his way through the ventilation system, feeling like a spy from one of those movies he had snuck in to see.

When he emerged on the other side he looked around and hoped Ben was following him as he darted across the empty parking lot and to the bus stop, throwing himself on one of the empty seats in the large vehicle.

He sighed, finally able to breathe. His body had kept the shake he had gained through withdrawal, but he felt better than he had in a long time. He was sober again and he was free. He looked around and noticed the lady sitting across from him was staring. He looked down at his burned and bleeding body before noticing he was still only in a towel and he had his legs spread wide. He smirked and shifted his legs open wider and winked at the lady who blushed and smiled before turning away politely.

He snickered and looked down at the case in his arms. It was black leather and felt expensive under his fingertips. He couldn’t wait to pawn this and get some money for another hit. He would need it after the torture he just went through.

He opened the case and was encased in a blue flash, not too unlike when Five would jump around using his powers.

When he next opened his eyes, it was too a dirty, dimly lit tent. He had fallen next to some sort of cot and some guy was looking at him in a state of utter confusion. He supposed he too would look like that at someone who had just fallen from nowhere.

Then, in a flash, alarms started going off and helicopters sounded in his ears. Shouting started and army fatigues were shoved into his arms.
“On your feet soldier, we’re expecting a raid.”

What the absolute fuck.

Chapter Text

As it turned out, he had landed in the middle of the Vietnam War. 1968 to be precise. He had showed up in the tent of the 173rd airborne platoon, the sky soldiers. He had been somewhat adopted by them and he felt loved for the first time in his life. That is why he tucked the weird time-travelling briefcase under the cot in their tent and hoped that nobody else touched it.

.oOo.

He could feel himself falling in love.

Dave Katz. Beautiful. Brave. Smart.

Klaus loved him with his whole being and then some. Dave loved him back. They were in love with each other and they were planning on starting a farm back in the states when they finished serving. Klaus of course could leave when he wanted, he didn’t have any papers or documents stating he was required to be there. But he wanted to stay with his pseudo-family.

So he stayed. He learned vietnamese. He learned how to check a rifle for ammo, to point and shoot at the enemy. He learned how to tune out the blaring sirens and the loud whooshing of passing helicopters and jets. He learned to spot landmines before they were set off. He learned what it meant to fight for one’s life on the front line. Most importantly, he learned what it was like to be appreciated and loved by those around you.

One morning, before they were sent off on their round to the front lines, he sat with the boys in the tent silently. Sam, Josh, Jimmy, Chuck, and Dave were sitting in a circle around him pensively checking their equipment, making sure the ammo in their guns was loaded properly. Jamming could be a death sentence, they all knew that.

Klaus sighed, a heavy feeling in his stomach. He could tell something bad was going to happen and he could only imagine what it could be. Somebody amongst them was going to die and he could feel it. He selfishly hoped it wasn’t Dave.

Dave, who loved him back. Dave, who looked past all of Klaus’ shortcomings and downfalls. Klaus wouldn’t know what he would do if any member of their platoon died. They had all been there when Klaus arrived and hadn’t died yet. It had only been a year and yet, he couldn’t imagine life without them now.

.oOo.

Dave was dead. His brilliant, loving Dave had died in his arms and he didn’t know what he was going to do. He kept screaming for a medic that couldn’t come. His gaze jumped wildly around and he watched as the rest of his platoon was gunned down.

Blood covered his hands as he dragged Dave’s body to each and every member of the sky soldiers. None of them were alive. He could see bits and pieces of Sam’s skull in the tree behind his body. Josh lay face down in the dirt, blood pooling under his rapidly cooling body. Jimmy was missing his fucking legs and in their place were charred masses of flesh where legs used to be attached. Chuck’s body was rifled with numerous bullet holes, like one of those targets Diego would practice his knife throwing skills on, but this time it was bullets in a human. A human who he was friends with. A human who had a family back home, and friends he hadn’t had the chance to drink with for years.

Klaus couldn’t think as he crawled his way back to camp, Dave’s dog tags tucked gently around his neck, he took the other’s dog tags too. They deserved to be remembered by somebody who was with them when they died. Their bodies would never be found either, he had heard from some higher ups that the whole area was going to be bombed by Agent Orange, making the surrounding area toxic.

When back at camp, he dug under the cot he had shared with Dave and grabbed the briefcase.

His aching body and soul were consumed by the blue light once more and he was hit by a crashing wave of hopelessness as he traversed through time.

Chapter Text

When he stopped feeling like he was going to lose all of his internal organs, he opened his eyes and was met by the familiar sight of the bus he had boarded a year ago. He got off at the next stop and sat there, numb to the surrounding stimuli. He faintly heard Ben calling his name before he felt a sharp pain on the back of his head and his world was nothing but the cold comfort of the surrounding blackness.

.oOo.

When he finally clawed his way into awareness, he was strapped to another chair. In front of him were the pink mask lady and the blue mask man. He felt a sense of deja vu hit him as he took account of his surroundings.

“Good thing there is a tracker on the case, or we would’ve been in a world of hurt,” the blue mask man said to his partner.
“Just shut up, we have work to do.” The two looked directly at him. “Where did you go off to and when were you there.” He laughed at them. Nothing mattered anymore.

“Nothing matters anymore, so what’s the point in me telling you, what are you gonna do? Are you gonna use your stupid little case and reverse time so I never went back there? I can’t let you do that. I’m not telling you.” He got punched in the nose for his troubles.

Whilst in Vietnam, he had gone sober for the most part, binging in his consumption of alcohol with the others and ignoring the itch under his skin demanding something more than what he was getting. Now though, he was clean and the ghosts that had surrounded him the first round of torture were back. Ben had yet to reappear at the new motel and Klaus found himself missing the only sibling that ever gave a shit about him.

The torture had begun with that single punch to the nose. This time it did not seem as though they were looking for information, but rather punishing Klaus for what he could only imagine was the briefcase debacle.

.oOo.

Diego was worried.

Which isn’t unusual, he stays worried all the time, but he just hides it. However, he found that this time, his worry was warranted.

It was a week and a half after what was supposed to be the apocalypse. They figured out that it was their mistreatment of Vanya that was the cause of the apocalypse. She had really strong powers that their father had hidden from a young age and were only just now coming to light. Vanya had started freaking out and had almost killed Allison, but her aim was off and instead cut down the curtains.

With that close of a call, Vanya had been shaken and was knocked out of her anger. Allison had taken her back home and they had all gathered around her and apologized for their behaviour when they were younger.

With the apocalypse diverted, everyone was suddenly reminded of the disappearance of Klaus a week later when a family meeting was called and nobody could find Klaus; much to the annoyance of Luther and Five.

“Well where the fuck is he?” Five shouted. “You all were the ones here! When was the last time anyone saw him.” They all looked at each other.
“I can’t remember,” Allison stated sheepishly from where she was perched on the arm of Vanya’s chair.
“The last time I saw Klaus was the family meeting we had about whether or not we should turn mom off.” Ah, Vanya, ever the observant one.
“That was what, before the house got attacked by Hazel and Cha Cha, right?” he said, this was not looking good for Klaus.

Diego threw a knife into the banister.
“So, Klaus has been missing for nearly two weeks and we are only just now noticing?”
“Calm down, Diego. Klaus has always been disappearing and reappearing when he pleases, like a stray cat. How were we supposed to know he was missing?”
“No, Luther. We just didn’t give a shit. I looked in his room and all of his stuff is still there, including that ratty coat he would never leave behind. He was taken from this house, most likely by the same people that attacked the academy, and none of us cared to notice. Now he has been gone for two weeks and is probably dead.”
“Diego is right,” Five started. “Klaus is probably dead.” What the fuck. “Hazel and Cha Cha are the most renowned assassins the commission has, if they took Klaus, there isn’t much hope for him at this point. No pro would leave a target alive for longer than necessary.”

Diego threw another knife, this time it hit the wall. Vanya jumped and Alison wrapped an arm around her shoulder.
“So are we going to go try and find the body, or are we gonna let it rot somewhere unknown and just leave it up for chance when it resurfaces?” Five sighed at Diego’s statement.
“I guess we should find the body before some random kid does.” The shortest sibling jumped into a ring of blue and reappeared by the staircase. “If we are gonna attempt to find Klaus, we need to search his room for clues.”

.oOo.

In the end, it took another week before anything was found. Five, Luther, and Diego went to the motel the two assassins were first spotted at. When asked, the desk clerk told them that they had checked out after four days, but the man had left the name of another motel in case his lady friend came by and asked.

The motel name given to them was for a rundown trash can of a place. It was isolated, near a roadway. One car was in the parking lot, most likely for the manager. Five had said something about this being a good place to dump a body nobody would care about.

Diego felt something drop in his stomach. Guilt. He hadn’t noticed Klaus was in trouble until after he was probably dead. He hadn’t had the chance to sit down and apologize and talk to him. He never knew how little he actually knew about his brother. The five siblings had grown closer with each other after they had averted the apocalypse. Klaus’ chances of growing closer with his family were slashed. If he really was dead, which was becoming more and more of a reality as they kept searching, then he had lost his chance of being understood forever.

Five led the way to the manager’s desk. After a thorough questioning riddled with threats, the room number was given. Five once more led the way to the abandoned motel room. Luther kicked the door open and they entered.

The room smelled like stale blood and sweat and they knew they had the right room. Diego thought it was strange there wasn’t a rotting smell. If Klaus was dead he should have started rotting by now, and the thought made him want to be violently ill. Five checked around the room for the assassins, looking behind the doors and in the bathroom. Luther lifted both beds up, trying to see if Klaus’ body was stuffed into the box spring. Diego slowly approached the closet. A growing sense of anticipation bloomed in his heart as it started racing.

He stopped in front of the doors and looked at Five and Luther who were now silently watching him. They nodded and Diego took a deep breath. He draped his hands over the knobs and pulled the doors open and almost vomited.

Klaus was sat on a chair stuffed in the corner. His skin was pale and his body was emaciated. Clothes that didn’t match the scene and were covered in blood were dropped unceremoniously around his chair. He was covered in his own blood and sweat. His mouth was sewn shut with thick black thread and the puncture wounds were an angry red. Infected. His eyes were glazed over and stared at the wall. Diego placed two reluctant fingers on his skinny and bruised neck and was shocked to find a slow pulse.

He dragged the chair out of the closet corner and ignored the gasp from Luther and the softly spoken “shit” from Five.

They needed to bring Klaus to a hospital before it was too late for him.

Chapter Text

Klaus had no clue how long he had been stuffed in that closet, but one thing he did know was that he was dying. He could feel his organs shutting down and eating themselves. So it didn’t come as a surprise when he blinked and he was no longer in the closet and he was no longer in pain.

He had died.

He looked around, hoping to see Ben who had been silently keeping vigil over his tortured body so that no ne'er do well came in and abused it any more.

He did not see Ben, but what he did see was peaceful. He saw the blue sky and the small fluffy clouds drifting by. Or at least, he thought the sky was blue. He blinked and everything turned grey. He slowly sat up and noticed that none of his injuries stung when he moved and he jumped up. He could feel the dirt beneath his bare toes and he dug them into the soft, damp earth. He breathed in the sweet smelling air. Trees and talls grasses lined the dirt path he found himself on.

This is the place he had wanted to live in with Dave.

He saw a cabin tucked deeper within the trees, but before he could make his way over, he heard the ringing bell of a bicycle and he stopped before looking down the lane. A little native american girl in a flowy white dress stopped in front of him.
“Hello,” he said, high off of the saccharine atmosphere.
“Almost didn’t see you. Keep on riding around here. So pale and all.” Her sentences were choppy and she sounded like she didn’t know how to talk to people. He hummed in response. “They don’t have any sun down there?” Well, when you are trapped in a closet for a long time, then the tan you had gained from your days fighting and running in the jungle kind of fade and go away.

“Down there? Where am I?” He didn’t know if this was hell or heaven, or wherever the fuck people went after they died.
“Where do you think?”
“I’m not sure. I’m agnostic, so-”
“Doesn’t really matter. You can’t stay here.”
“Why not?” Why was he not allowed a moment of peace from his neverending torment.
“To be blunt, I don’t really like you all that much.”
“Mmm, yeah me neither. But wait a minute, Aren’t you supposed to love all of us?”
“Where’d you get that idea.” He was either speaking with God, or Satan. “I need you, so I can pick and choose.” What the fuck does that mean? “And you don’t rub me the right way.”

“Wait. So you… you made us? You made me?” Definitely God.
“Well, I made everything else, so I must’ve made you.” Klaus only laughed. “Why? Do you have another idea?”
“Maybe. A couple. I don’t know.” He started to pick at the flowers in the basket attached to God’s bicycle.
“Well, then, keep them to yourself. Time is flying, so hurry up. He’s waiting for you.”

The air left his lungs. Dave was waiting for him. His beautiful Adonis, Dave. The one true love of his life, Dave.
“Who is?” He gasped out. God didn’t respond, but she pointed towards the cabin. He imagined living in that cabin with Dave over the winters and cutting wood for the fire. Drinking hot cocoa snuggled up in front of the fire. “Dave.” God smiled and he laughed as he started running towards the cabin. His suffering was over. He could finally be at peace with the one true love of his life. He couldn’t stop repeating his name as he got closer to the small cabin.

He opened the door and another bell sounded. He was not in the cabin, he was in a barber shop.
“Dave?” He called out in confusion. He sighed and looked around. Pictures of the members from his platoon were hung neatly along the wall. He sat down in the only chair that was turned to him. A black cape was hung around his neck and he startled. A warm towel was wrapped around his face, blocking out his vision so he couldn’t see who the culprit was. He hoped it was Dave joking around, but in the back of his mind he knew that that was not what was happening.

“What in God’s name took you so long?” That was the voice of his deceased father.

He had quite forgotten his dad had died, being caught up in his torture and then the war, and then more torture.

His father started piling his abuse on him, telling Klaus how disappointed he was that he couldn’t conjure him days ago. Father smeared shaving cream on his face, and continued the conversation as he gave him a shave.
“You were never just kids.” His father said. His voice was stern and unwavering as he made the declaration that they were never children, just experiments. Animals to be tested on. Undeserving of love and affection. Nothing but numbers. Klaus had always known, but having it said so outright, so plain and clear, he felt his insides twist painfully and his brain thrum against the back of his head. He had never been loved by this man. Not even a modicum of care was afforded for him. “Now you listen to me Number Four, what I am about to say is of great importance…” And then nothing. His father was gone. The world was turning to sand around him and he heard, like over a store speaker, God’s voice demanding he was out of time and that he was to be going back.

Back to where? Back to the closet where he would surely die again? Back to the pain and agony of being alive? Back to being forgotten and unloved by every living person around him? What a fucking gyp.

Chapter Text

They had arrived at the hospital. Luther was carrying the limp figure that Klaus had turned into. Not even a whimper came from his sealed lips as his body was jostled around on the drive there. Luther kept throwing guilty looks to the figure in his hulking arms, but the looks were wasted as it seemed that Klaus didn’t comprehend the situation he was now in.

Five tapped his foot anxiously, or impatiently, against the hospital tile as Klaus was wheeled away on a gurney by a team of nurses and doctors. Diego could do nothing but stare at the television in the corner, hoping for a distraction from the harsh reality that his brother was dying.

.oOo.

Allison and Vanya had arrived an hour later, bringing a change of clothes for each of the boys (though no one had checked if they had grabbed any of Klaus’ possessions, the thought conveniently drifting from their self centered trains of thought).

Vanya gasped and hid in Allison’s side at the sight of her brother. A feeding tube was in his nose and he was hooked up to many wires and IV’s in an attempt to better his already poor condition. His eyes were still opened and glazed as he stared emotionlessly at the wall next to him. Butterfly bandages and a thick gooey ointment were placed over the puncture wounds in his lips. His body was hidden under thick white bandages and several blankets.

Chairs were gathered by the five siblings and placed along the side of the bed closest to the door. Diego was the closest to Klaus’ head and periodically he would have to turn away and close his eyes, the sight of his brother in pain too much for him.

.oOo.

Klaus knew exactly what was going on around him, but he was numb to it. Uncaring whether or not he was saved. He just wished he could die in peace. Wished he would stay dead and be with Dave. Maybe what happened before was a fever dream? Maybe it wasn’t real and his mind was just coming up with twisted machinations as a source of entertainment in that dark, humid closet. He really hated his brain sometimes.

At the same time, he couldn’t make himself believe it was fake. How could he have put together a heaven if he never had peace in his life before? He couldn’t have imagined the calm atmosphere he had experienced. In his heart, he knew it was real.
He was thrown from his thoughts as Ben came to stand right in front of him. He placed a gentle hand on Klaus’ forehead.

Klaus had strengthened his powers while in Vietnam after he got sober. He was terrified at first. Dead children would crowd around him and were able to physically tug on his army fatigues and ask in both vietnamese and broken english why they had to die. Eventually, he found out that he could send them to the afterlife using his powers, pushing the blue energy into their shadowy, intangible beings until they burst with pure, white light. He hated sending them to the afterlife with unfinished business after the third time he sent a ghost away and they came back.

When a ghost came back after being sent to hell or heaven, they were usually broken. The experience of an eternal paradise, or an eternal torture was too much and they ended up skipping like a scratched DVD, or like a warped vinyl. They would repeat their message or intent and glitch before repeating the same phrase with an empty look in their eyes, different from the unending anger and anguish they usually possessed.

This new understanding of his powers made it easier for him to experiment and try and see if he could allow some spectres to touch him, and others to stay incorporeal. After mastering this characteristic of his wide array of powers, he allowed only Ben to touch him in the hospital room.

Ben was the only sibling that was there for him through thick and thin. He was there when Klaus was overdosing, he was there when Klaus had had to sell his body to get enough money to eat, let alone buy drugs. Ben was there through all of it and still stuck around. That is more than any of his other siblings can claim, and it might just be because he is dead, but Ben sticking around is the only reason Klaus hadn’t killed himself yet. Not that he could die anymore.

Chapter Text

Klaus mumbled to get Ben’s attention.
“Ben, who is here?” Ben knew that his brother didn’t want to look and clue the others in on is awareness. He couldn’t face them. He had told Ben of his time fighting in a war and gaining actual brothers from his fellow soldiers before his torturers had sewn his mouth shut for talking. Seeing his war brothers die just drove in how little his real, adopted brothers cared for him, with the exception of dear Ben of course.
“Allison, Vanya, and Five have left, probably to get some coffee, you know how they are.” The comment fell short and Ben’s small smile fell off his face at the lack of reaction from the brother he had watched getting tortured. “Another ghost just entered the room.” He stated, though he knew Klaus could feel the little girl’s presence.

The new ghost seemed to be six years old and had bruises marring her soft skin. She had two blonde pigtails in her hair and a scowl on her face. She was barefoot and her feet were dirty. A yellow sundress completed the look, and if it weren’t for the scowl, Ben would’ve thought her an angel for how innocent and young she looked.
“Hello,” Ben said, not leaving Klaus’ side. “My name’s Ben, what’s yours?” The scowl fell off her face and she looked down at herself before looking at Klaus and looking back up at him.
“I’m Honey. You’re dead too.” Ben was taken aback for a second. Some ghosts, especially the ghosts of children, were loathe to recognize the fact they were dead. Not that Ben could blame them, of course.
“Yeah, I’m dead.”

There was a pause as he watched Honey get closer to Klaus. She stopped to look at Diego and Luther who were both sitting in their chairs in various states of zoning out. Ben felt a deep anger rise from within him at their siblings. They didn’t give a shit about Klaus. He used to think that they just had a hard time understanding Klaus, but still loved him. And then Klaus had gotten taken from their home and they didn’t notice. Klaus escaped and Ben watched as he disappeared for an hour then came back a different person, only to be kidnapped again and left to die for two weeks without a peep from his siblings, who were enjoying some “family” time and forgetting all about their dying brother. They didn’t give a shit about Klaus. They made that apparent.

He was so lost in his mind that he didn’t notice the little girl standing next to him until she tugged on his sleeve. He looked down at her and she made a grabbing motion, obviously wanting him to pick her up. Ben was once again taken aback. No ghost ever seemed aware enough to interact with him, nevermind a dead kid. Nonetheless, he picked her up and propped her up on his hip. She set her head down on his shoulder and watched Klaus silently as he stared off at the wall.

“You aren’t like the others.” Ben startled at her sudden words.
“How so?”
“The others don’t ever talk back. Hey what year is it?”
“Oh, um, it is 2019. Why did you wanna know the year?”
“It’s been fifteen years. It’s my fifteenth anniversary.” Ben was confused.
“Anniversary for what?”
“Dying.”
“Oh, um, I’m sorry?”
“Don’t be, it happens to all of us, literally.” Ben nodded and started bouncing up and down with Honey still in his arms.
“Why are you here? Because if you’re here to bother my brother, then I’m afraid I’m gonna have to tell you to leave.” The girl shook her head and grasped Ben’s hoody.

“I’m not here to bother him. I float around to any place that grabs me every year on my death anniversary and this year, it was this hospital. I’m not usually away from my family. I have to watch out for my little brothers you know.” Ben nodded in understanding.
“I get it, I have to watch over my siblings too. If I’m not there, they will do something truly stupendous and possibly world ending.” Honey giggled before growing somber and leaning further into Ben.
“Can I ask what happened to your brother in the bed?” She whispered in his ear. Ben was thankful she seemed to understand that Klaus could hear her.
“I don’t think I should tell you every detail, but it was very violent. Some bad people did this to my brother and left him in a closet to die,” Ben whispered back. She nodded.
“Is it okay if I talk to him?” Ben looked wary but stepped closer to Klaus.

“Hey Klaus, I have a little visitor here who would like to talk to you, is that okay?” Klaus looked at him and Honey before giving a small nod.
“Hi Klaus, I’m Honey.” She gently touched the side of his head and patted his curls. “You look a lot like my little brother Steve. He was three when I died. He is turning eighteen this year. He has gotten so big. He has super curly hair like yours. I wish I could tell him it’s okay. So I’ll tell you instead. It’s gonna be okay. It’s gonna hurt, cause everything hurts, but it’s gonna be okay.” The little girl looked solemnly at the wall where Klaus was still looking. Then she looked at Ben who set her down on the bed right next to Klaus.

The moment was interrupted by a violent outburst from Diego who growled and threw a knife into the wall right next to Ben’s head.
“We could’ve done something about this before it got this far!” he shouted to no one in particular.
“Stop being so sensitive, Diego. Sometimes bad things just happen.”
“This is something we could’ve stopped, Luther!” Both Diego and Luther stood up and faced each other. “I already explained that we should have noticed he was missing two weeks ago! We should have tried looking for him, and we didn’t even give a shit enough to account for him after the house got attacked and mom died.” Klaus let out a small whimper. Ben didn’t know their mom had died, and apparently neither did Klaus, because how could he have known?

Ben walked closer towards his two arguing brothers. Honey was still sitting on the bed and stroking Klaus curls. She gave him an understanding nod and he continued towards Diego and Luther. Maybe Klaus would give him enough energy to become corporeal and tear his brothers a new one for their carelessness.

Five jumped into the room before he had the chance to even attempt it.
“What are you two arguing about now?”
“We should’ve done more to look for Klaus.”
“Shoulda, woulda, coulda.” The teen sniffed before taking a sip of his coffee. “We did the best we could. Nothing we could’ve done differently would have resulted in the avoidance of the apocalypse. Ipso facto, it wouldn’t have mattered if we found Klaus sooner or not. We didn’t end up needing him. We had more important things to tend to.”
“We stopped the apocalypse over a week ago, we could’ve started looking for Klaus sooner.”
“Five’s right, Diego. We didn’t need Klaus to stop the apocalypse. Besides, we all just assumed he was out getting high again, how were we to know that this time it was different from all of the other times he disappeared or ran away?” Diego had apparently run out of things to say as his face grew red with rage. He took a step closer to Luther, knife already in hand. Five stood by the door, ready to leave at the first drop of blood.

Ben felt helpless and looked back to Klaus who had tears streaming down his eyes. Honey was whispering assurances to his brother and Ben stepped back over to Klaus and held his ear next to his brothers moving mouth.
“He is right you know, I am no good, useless. I can’t do anything right, everything I do is a mistake. I wish God would have let me stay after I died.”
“Nothing they said was true. You are single-handedly the strongest person I know. Not many others can go through what you did and still make it out.” Klaus wasn’t listening as he still muttered.

Honey suddenly grabbed both sides of Klaus’ face with her small six year old hands and moved his head so he was looking at her.
“As my grandma would say, get off the pity pot. So what if they think your useless. What they think doesn’t matter. I just met you and I know you are a good person. So what if you died, I died too. Ben’s dead. You got to come back.” She started crying. “You can still talk to all your brothers and sisters. My littlest brother doesn’t even know about me!” She rested her small forehead on Klaus’. “I’m sure you know by now that no one’s opinion matters, but it still hurts. You gotta find the people in life who have a good opinion about you. Surround yourself with the people who make you feel good inside, make you feel special, and if your siblings aren’t the ones who do that, then leave.” At this point in her speech, Klaus, her and Ben were all crying.

Diego had left the room and so had Luther and Five.

Chapter Text

Honey was a smart girl. She had been smart when she was alive, and had gained even more knowledge when dead.

She had died when she was six years old. This was an unchanging fact. Her family still hadn’t found her body. This was also an unchanging fact.

Before she had died, she had an odd life. Her parents were part of a local theatre troupe and were constantly busy writing scripts, rehearsing shows, and playing music. They were also busy forgetting they had children. Honey and her two younger brothers, Joseph and Steven, were periodically left at her grandmother’s house that was located in a bad part of town.

This grandmother was forgetful and often did things like forget there were children in the house and take several sleeping pills before passing out for the next several hours. Due to this chaos in her life, Honey had learned to be independent at a young age. She already knew how to cook macaroni and cheese from the box and how to make sure her brother’s had eaten before she did.

Due to her self sufficiency, the adults around her assumed she had known that some things should only be done by adults. In this case, wandering alone outside. She had made sure her brothers were taking their naps and she went outside so she didn’t have to smell the rotting insides of her grandmother’s dilapidated house. She also had to bring the mail in, because her grandmother had often forgotten to check it and there were sure to be several bills that needed to be paid.

Her brief stint outside turned out to be treacherous as she was picked up from the curb by two adult men.

Honey remembers every vivid detail of the events leading up to her death as well as her death itself.

One. She was grabbed by the shoulder by one of the men and placed in a white, beat up van with no windows.
Two. She screamed and cried.
Three. She was slapped and restrained, her tiny wrists bound behind her.
Four. She was taken to another run down house far away from anything, with only trees surrounding it.
Five. She was dragged inside by her bruising shoulder and tossed on the ground.
Six. She was beat up and kicked around, her cried delighting the men that took her.
Seven. She was thrown in a closet with several other children her age.
Eight. She starved to death with the others.
Nine. One of the men got caught and the building got burned down with the bodies inside.
Ten. The ashes got scattered in the wind, never to be recovered by anyone ever again.

After her death, Honey decided it was her duty to make sure her brothers were watched over.

While watching over her brothers, she watched as her parents already deficient marriage fell apart even more and the arguing happened in court instead of the kitchen. She watched as her father turned to heavy drinking and her mother throw herself into her job as a lawyer. She watched as her father had another child, a son, with some random woman. She watched as her mother attempted to find love in different boyfriends, all to end up with her in tears when it broke off. She watched her father settle for a woman he had met years ago in high school. The woman moved in to her father’s house, the woman’s children pushing aside her beloved brothers who didn’t understand why this was all happening.

She watched as her mother fell into financial ruin trying to be the best mother she could to the two children she had left. She watched as her father tried to kill himself, only to be brought back from the brink of death and fall into a deep state of paranoia.

She watched her brothers grow up and forget they had a sister that took care of them in the first place.

.oOo.

Fifteen years after her initial death, Honey took to floating around random locations on her death-a-versary. This year, she had found herself in a hospital somewhere in New York. She wandered around, peeking in every room and seeing only the bad type of ghosts. That is, until she found the room that contained Ben, and his brother Klaus.

She stepped into the room, intrigued by the state Ben was in. He looked alive, and certainly more cognitive than the ghosts she had met previously. She approached the new ghost and talked to him. She looked at his brother, surprised he could see the dead. He was a broken soul though. Honey had seen her fair share of angst and anguish among both the living and dead. This time, she could try and make it better.

She requested to talk to the newly dubbed Klaus, and ran her small hands through his tangled curls. She almost cried, remembering her youngest brother, Steven, who was now physically older than her. She whispered sweet nothings to Klaus, hoping to stem the tears dripping down his face as his brothers fought over him in the room like he wasn’t there. Honey felt a wave of protective instinct come over her, and she knew that she would do anything to help this man who reminded her of her brother. She was a big girl, she could do this.

.oOo.

After her impromptu speech, she curled up against Klaus, still stroking his hair. The man was silently weeping and begging for the dog tags of his fallen brothers. She looked over to Ben who stepped over and asked if she would keep an eye on Klaus while he went to retrieve his brothers possessions from where he had been found. She nodded and waved him off.

Shortly after Ben had left, a girl walked into the room sheepishly. Honey was immediately on the rise, she was taking her new job very seriously. The girl stepped up to the hospital bed and sighed before sitting down. She was a very plain, mousy girl who looked scared of her own shadow. Honey felt she could only pose a threat through her words, though she didn’t think the new girl capable of that.

“I know you probably can’t hear me right now, Klaus… But um, I wanna say I’m sorry. I don’t know if the others told you, but I was the one who almost started the apocalypse. I didn’t notice you were missing. I’m sorry. I’m sorry I wasn’t looking for you after the others calmed me down and apologized. I also want to say thank you, for not treating me badly when we were younger. You, Five, and Ben were always the only ones there for me, and then Five disappeared and Ben died and you lost it. I was never there for you, all those years I could’ve helped you, and I chose to ignore you. I even wrote that horrible book! I regret so many things, but I especially regret what happened between us. I’m sorry.”

Honey looked over to Klaus, and noticed him blinking away tears slowly. She quickly looked over back to the girl as she got up from the chair and rested her hand on Klaus’.
“I gotta go see where Allison went, I’ll be back later Klaus.” And then she was walking out the door. Honey thought that was selfish. Starting emotional conversations and bringing up forgotten feelings, only to leave when convenient for her and not the other party she had inadvertently affected with her strong words. She was going to have to fix the damage those words had created and returned back to stroking Klaus’ hair and cooing reassurances to him.

Chapter Text

Klaus couldn’t think clearly, he had nothing grounding him to the moment other than the little ghost girl’s hand still in his hair. His hands kept twitching, itching, reaching for something he knew was not there. His uncaring siblings wouldn’t have thought to grab it for him. He needed them. The dog tags.

He needed the dog tags of his brothers with a feverous fervor. His heart started beating in time with the throbs in his head, or was it the same thing? Klaus didn’t know. All he knew was the weight of Dave’s body on his shoulders, the sight of his dead comrades, and the acrid stench of freshly spilled blood mixed with the sweat from their unwashed bodies and the muddy ground rich with the bone and sinew provided by those fallen in the past.

His hand clenched and unclenched indiscriminately, no pattern stuck out to his pain addled brain. He needed something to keep him in the here and now. He wanted Dave to hold him and tell him that everything was going to work out in the end. Even though it didn’t.

.oOo.

Back in Vietnam, about four months in, Klaus went to the disco with the boys in the platoon. Now, Klaus had been to raves, parties, drugfests, concerts, you name it he’s been, but Klaus had never been to a 1960’s disco in war addled Vietnam.

Another factor in this new equation was his sobriety. Klaus had not taken any drugs since the day before he was kidnapped by the blue masked man and the pink masked lady. His not-so-newfound sobriety was slightly wavered by the many shots he had with the boys and Dave, but at least it wasn’t hard drugs, he told himself, and continued on his tipsy path.

Dave was the biggest difference from any other party Klaus had previously been to. Never before had Klaus waited this long before admitting his feelings for another person. He had been keeping a close eye on David Katz, that beautiful son of a bitch, ever since he first landed in Vietnam and woken his Adonis up from one of the only moments he had to sleep. However, the reason for his patience was tied to the homophobic rhetoric of the times.

Klaus had always been free and open about his sexuality and his comfort with his more feminine side, but he quickly shoved his personality down a couple levels when faced with the possibility of imminent death if his true nature were to be revealed.

Getting back to the scene, Klaus shook his head vigorously before downing another shot and joining the crowd on the dance floor. Some pop song from the times was playing, but either Klaus didn’t recognize it, or he was too drunk to remember the name.

He was dancing with a vietnamese girl and enjoying his brief interlude from the raging war he was supposed to return to in a couple days time, but that wasn’t important in the moment. What was important was Dave, who was now dancing with him instead of the vietnamese girl. Dave placed a hand on his upper arm, slowing his flailing dance moves until they grew still under his unwavering, solid presence.

Dave had an intense look in his eyes and Klaus knew at once that something was going to happen between them. They both briefly took stock of their surroundings and were relieved to note that Sam, Josh and Chuck were passing out in the booths lining the far wall, all piled together in a tangle of limbs guaranteed to leave them sore in the morning. Jimmy on the other hand was getting handsy with a lady in the corner, and Klaus quickly checked to make sure everything was consensual on both sides before turning back to Dave.

They walked each other to a sectioned off part of the club, obviously for set aside for scandalous acts, most likely to make a quick buck. Klaus couldn’t blame them, he had done the same for reasons less worthy than theirs. In the present though, the cubby area they were in was perfect. Dave wrapped his strong arms around Klaus waist and Klaus sunk closer, deeper, into his grasp, relishing in the feeling of being both loved and lusted after. He draped his skinny arms around Dave’s broad shoulders and didn’t stop moving closer till there was an inch of space between them.

Klaus looked into Dave’s eyes and melted at what he saw. He rested his forehead against Dave’s and took a deep breath, focusing on the space they occupied together, on their mixing breaths. Dave smelled like sweat and cheap whiskey and dirt, but Klaus couldn’t get enough. He was glad he was sober, he wanted to stay like this forever, wanted to commit everything to memory in case it was ripped from him like every other good thing in his life. Eventually, Dave rested a hand on Klaus’ cheek, the hand calloused and rough against the soft stickiness of his sweaty face. Their lips connected and Klaus couldn’t concentrate on anything else. He belonged here. He fit here. This was his place.

.oOo.

Klaus was thrown from the pleasant memory by the jangling weight of the dog tags. His hands hurriedly wrapped around the chains and held on as tight as he could in his weakened state. He looked up to see Ben and the little ghost girl sitting together and talking quietly, Ben was sitting on the chair next to Klaus’ bed with the girl perched on his lap. Ben would’ve made a good father if he lived.

He watched the two for a moment more before he felt his eyelids grow heavier. His panic had been stemmed with the arrival of the dog tags. They were all that was left of his fallen friends, brothers, and lover.

He closed his eyes, relieved he had that piece of them back safely with him.

Chapter Text

Diego had never been known for his patience, in fact everyone he had ever met had commented on his inability to wait for things. He knew he had a problem. He knew he had to wait on certain things, but knowing this didn’t make it any easier to wait for Klaus to be released.

.oOo.

After his argument with Luther and Five, Diego decided his best choice of action was to leave the scene. He had been seeing red and could focus on nothing else but the voice in the back of his head telling him that killing Luther and Five were probably not the best course of action. This was seconded by Klaus. His broken brother had been awake and crying the entire time, muttering and mumbling to someone about something. Diego wanted to reassure Klaus, but knew he couldn’t.

Now though, as he sat outside the hospital room, he wished he had stayed. When he had last entered the room, a nurse was checking on the unconscious man and was about to take something from his clenched fist. Diego had stopped the nurse and walked over to his sleeping brother. His face was twitching and he was mumbling in his sleep. Diego rested a hand on his head before walking out. Looking at Klaus reminded him of his own failures, failures he was having trouble coming to terms with.

Later, during his brooding session outside of Klaus’ hospital room, Vanya, Five, Luther and Allison approached. Diego was immediately on his guard. Nothing good can come from the gathered approaching of the four horsemen of the apocalypse. Diego had no time to laugh at his good joke before Luther opened his big dumb-ass mouth.
“Diego, all of us have talked, and we feel it’s for the best if Klaus is released from the hospital and finishes recovering in the infirmary at home.”
“Mom would be able to focus all of her attention on him getting better, and we all know he doesn’t like hospitals.” Allison said, her voice taking on a note of understanding, but the main tone was pleading. He hated that their moments of bonding over the span of “Not-pocalypse” had been torn down with the discovery of Klaus. Last week they had all been getting along, for the most part.

“I wouldn’t have disagreed with you, so I don’t know why you’re taking that tone with me, Allison. Don’t look at me like that Luther, or I will remove your stupid money face from your stupid monkey head.” Maybe that was uncalled for, but Diego was still angry and he had no other outlets except his siblings, and Luther was the easiest target to pick on.
“I will throw you across—!” He was cut off by Allison smacking his arm.
“Enough, both of you, if you haven’t remembered, we are in a hospital right now, and I will not have you two acting like the children you are!”
“It’s not as though these troglodytes understand the concept of behaving in public, you are wasting your breath Allison.” Five snarked, arms crossed, foot tapping away on the white tiles beneath them. Vanya shrunk behind Allison as Luther and Diego both shot murderous glares over to their physically younger brother.
“Just go sign those damn release forms or whatever and lets get him home,” Diego said, directing his words to Vanya and Allison, the only two with concepts of how to interact with normal everyday people.

His siblings walked away, Luther trailing helplessly behind Allison and Five sticking close to Vanya as he had been since the aversion of the “Not-pocalypse”.

This is where Diego finds himself currently. His foot tapping on the tiles in the same rhythm Five had tapped earlier. His knife was in his hand and he was fiddling around with it, flicking it this way and that. His knives were the only constant in his life, and even now they brought a familiar comfort with them he had never gotten the chance to mull over. Maybe he should see a therapist.

 

.oOo.

Ben had been sitting for awhile. Honey was silent from her perch on his lap. Klaus was mumbling in an uneasy sleep. The room was quiet, but Ben’s mind was not.

Diego had come in earlier and had stopped the nurse from taking the dog tags, something Ben had been worrying over but could physically do nothing about with Klaus’ lack of consciousness. Ben had no clue what Diego wanted. One moment his brother was helping Klaus and trying to understand him, and the next he was intolerable and leaving. It was jarring to say the least, and he knew that the inconsistency was not beneficial to Klaus’ recovery.

He could hear the muffled arguing of his siblings on the other side of the thick hospital door. They were ever set in their selfish ways of thinking and Ben was tired of the skipping record of words they spouted from their fruitless lips. None of it was with Klaus in mind. He found himself hating his siblings.

For years after his death, he had wished to be alive, solely to talk and interact with them, but now, he only wanted to be alive so he could smack sense into them. He supposed that they could try and make it up to Klaus, but they wouldn’t. He knew they wouldn’t. They hadn’t so far. Saving Klaus from his condemned life and subsequent death in the closet wasn’t making up. It was the humane thing to do, even a stranger could have done that. No, making it up to Klaus would have entailed the dog tags were grabbed, that they paid attention to him when he started crying, that they did literally ANYTHING to make sure Klaus was okay. And they didn’t. They didn’t give a shit about him and Ben was filled with an inconsolable rage. He wanted to take The Horror from deep inside his being and rip his siblings apart. It was what they deserved.

Honey patted him on the cheek, garnering his attention. Somebody opened the door. It was the exact people he had wanted to tear to shreds and pieces. Allison stepped in first, an awkward smile on her face in an effort to placate anyone who could be in the room other than Klaus. Ben wasn’t amused with her showmanship. Following Allison, was Luther, then Five, then Vanya, and then finally, Diego. Ah, the siblings of the hour, not.

Ben watched them, wondering what they wanted.
“They suck.” Ben couldn’t help the startled laugh that fell from his mouth at Honey’s deft summation of their characters.
“Yeah they do. I can’t believe it took me years to realize that.”
“Are they gonna do something to Klaus?”
“If they try, I’ll stop them.”
“How? You’re dead, you can’t do anything.” Ben’s promise sank onto his shoulders until he remembered his new ability of touching corporeal things when Klaus was awake.
“I’ll find a way, we just need to be patient and trust that everything will work out in the end.”

Chapter Text

Honey watched as the siblings convened around Klaus’ sickbed. Her stomach felt uneasy, which was an odd thing when you are dead.
“Does anyone see a wheelchair?” One of them said, her hair was blonde and curly and she absolutely towered over Honey’s small form.
“I’ll go grab one,” the mousy girl from before said before leaving the room.
“Someone help me with all these needles, I don’t think I can do it.” A man with a scar on the side of his head said.
“You big baby, you can kill people and work with knives, but you’re afraid of needles,” the short boy said before scoffing, “pussy.”
“I’m not a fucking pussy, I’m just not fond of needles.”
“Enough you two, we have work to do.”

And then Honey stood next to Ben and watched as they unhooked and unstuck wires and needles from Klaus’ limp form. Not for the first time, Honey felt helpless. She hated this. The heart monitor, which had been steadily beeping in the background, had flatlined as the wire got pulled from Klaus’ skinny chest. Blood pearled up from his pale skin as the IV was removed. The cannula under his nose was removed, producing a soft swooshing sound of oxygen being rhythmically released. The feeding tube was pulled from his nose and left discarded on the bed. At this point, Klaus had woken up, weak and panicked.

He thrashed around, trying to rid himself of the clutches of his uncaring siblings. Soft cries and pleas fell on deaf ears as Honey watched in horror whilst they pinned the healing man down until the mousey girl came back with a wheelchair. Klaus had given up fighting and was resigned to his newfound fate as he was picked up and deposited in the wheelchair. His skin prickling up from the cold air of the room. She noticed he was clutching one of his arms against his chest, something, the dog tags, in his hand.

Honey jumped as she felt a hand on her ‘bad’ shoulder. She looked up to see a silently crying Ben. Ben had promised he would do everything he could to keep Klaus safe from the brutal treatment of their siblings, and now he was seeing the direct consequences of his failure playing out in front of him. It must be unbearable, so she didn’t comment when his grip on her shoulder got tighter, and his hiccuping sobs grew louder.

.oOo.

Klaus had woken up after being violently thrown around and was only aware of what was happening when he was tossed into a wheelchair and the loud voices of his conversing siblings finally registered in his pain addled brain. He could feel the cold, cheap stainless steal of the dirty dog tags in his tight grip, anchoring him to the moment and not letting him drift off into painful memories laced with a hope he didn’t want to believe in anymore.

He tried looking for Ben, or even Honey, as his siblings walked past the front desk and out into the cold air of the April evening. Being outside was jarring. He didn’t know how long he had been in captivity, but it was long enough to forget the smell of fresh air, the feel of the breeze, the sight of the sky. He didn’t know how much he missed it till he had a taste of it. Not long later, he was being stuffed into the backseat of a car. In his head he joked that they should just throw him in the trunk like the blue mask man and the pink mask lady. He looked up and saw Honey sitting on the floorboard of the car, Ben was sitting smugly phased into Diego, who was shivering. Klaus huffed a laugh, he loved Ben so much. Who else would cheer him up when life got to be too much?

He looked and saw Five was driving. He wasn’t any good at it, he kept hitting bumps in the road that threw Klaus around in his seat. His siblings had apparently not cared if he were buckled or not. That was funny too.

.oOo.

When the car finally rolled to a stop and the engine turned off, Klaus had figured out their plan. The looming building that was the Umbrella Academy met his sight and he let out an involuntary shudder. The halls of this place were crowded with his childhood spectres and he did not want to come face to face with his nightmares, amongst others. He tuned out his siblings voices, not in the mood to entertain them. That’s all he was to them, a useless junkie who was, at best, entertainment, and at worst, a nuisance. Either way, he held no value to them as a team member and they had made that blatantly clear through their treatment.

Diego opened his door and yanked his body out, cradling him against his chest with a grunt. Klaus was certain he wasn’t as heavy as Diego was making it seem. He was carried into the basement and into the cold clutches of the infirmary. Mom was waiting for them, a clean starched white apron covering her crisp white blouse and pink polka dotted skirt. Her red smile was bright and Klaus felt himself relaxing under her warm gaze. He was set down on the cold sheets of the bed and Diego took mom to the side to talk as Ben and Honey caught up with him and were waiting next to the bed to talk.

“Hi Ben, Hi Honey, how are you both? Hanging in there, I trust?” Ben smiled and took his hand as Honey scrambled on top of the bed and resumed her stroking of his hair.
“We’re doing okay, better than you, I suppose.” Ben threw back. Klaus smiled. He closed his eyes and sunk into the stiff, unused mattress.
“I’m not doing that bad, just a little tired.”
“You should get some sleep then, we will watch over you, won’t we Ben?” Honey’s child-pitched voice washed over him soothingly.
“Thank you, m’lady, your valiant efforts will not be wasted. I commend you for a job well done.” A goofy grin spread over his face and he did little to stem it. Humor felt comfortable to him, he could always joke and deflect the bad things away.

Diego walked out of the room and mom came over to hook Klaus up to a heart monitor and an IV. He barely felt the needle enter his skin, as he felt his mind drifting away in his jovial mood.

Chapter Text

Ben’s smile fell of his face once Klaus closed his eyes and fell asleep. This was not going to work. This treatment of Klaus? Fucking over. Once more, Ben felt rage swell inside of him. Honey scrambled off the bed and tugged at his sleeve, a similarly angry expression marred her angelic face.
“What are we going to do now?” Ben didn’t know, he didn’t know what they were going to do, he just knew what the objective was. Operation: get the rest of the pig-headed hargreeves to fucking acknowledge Klaus, was in motion for planning.

The problem was, they didn’t have a support system. They were dead, and the only one who could talk to them was the person they were trying to protect.
“We will figure it out, but we need an ally.” Honey tugged at her pigtail and sighed loudly.
“In all of my fifteen years being dead, I haven’t met one soul who could speak to the dead. You and Klaus have been the only ones to talk to me since I died.” The finality and desperation in her voice stirred the anger in Ben, mixing in a thread of unbearable sadness. He had been lucky his brother could talk to the dead. If he had been alone like that, still watching his siblings tear each other apart, he would’ve gone crazy.

That still didn’t answer the question of who they were going to ally themselves with. All the other ghosts Ben had met hated Klaus for being unable to give them the peace they desired. He groaned loudly. They were getting nowhere! But where were they supposed to go? He had no idea and the anger was rapidly abating, replacing itself with a lazy, hazy mixture of dread and hopelessness.

He crouched on the ground, arms hanging lazily out in front of him, crossed at the wrists. Honey crouched down too.
“What are we looking for?” she whispered, much like the child she looked the part of being.
“I guess I’m looking for answers.” She nodded at his response, her face now holding a pensive look.

Klaus mumbled some in his sleep, breaking the long pause of uninterrupted silence. Ben ignored it, knowing that if something was truly upsetting his brother, Klaus would give a stronger reaction.

.oOo.

After an hour of Ben letting his mind wander in the silence, Klaus ket out a keening whine, uncharacteristic of his usual nightly noises. Ben was immediately on the defensive, ready to protect his brother from whatever might be causing him to make distressed sounds. Honey jumped up too, clambering on the chair nearby to get a better look at her surroundings. Ben looked around in a panic, not seeing anything unusual. His confusion was dampened, only to come back in full force as he rested his eyes on his brother’s unconscious body.

Blue light was moving around under his skin, moving from vein to vein, crawling slowly from his feet up to his head before moving down to his hands and finally escaping through his pale, skeletal fingertips. A wave of blue light crashed through Ben’s body, knocking him to the ground.

He made contact with the ground and was beyond shocked to feel pain blossom on his shoulders and the back of his head. He looked over to Honey to make sure he wasn’t the only one.

Honey, who had previously been standing precariously on top of a chair, had toppled over in the wave of blue and had taken a nasty spill, her head conking on first the side of a nearby cabinet, before bouncing off the ground like a deflated ball. The resulting wet crunchy sound that was made was painful to hear. Ben crawled over to the girl and cradled her form in his arms. Her eyelids fluttered and she whined.
“That hurt, Ben.” He chuckled softly, glad that she was dead and not gravely injured. She sat up and rubbed her head, a pout on her lips.
“You gonna live soldier?”
“I’m already dead.”
“We’ve lost another one.” They both snorted before quickly losing all humor. Whatever had just happened was not a common occurrence and was definitely something that needed to be investigated.

Ben poked Klaus’ arm and was rewarded with a zap. Ben had been shocked by simply touching Klaus. He looked at Honey, she nodded and touched Klaus’ dangling hand, yelping when a shock was swiftly delivered to her tiny hand. She looked up at Ben with wide eyes, clearly unsure of what to do next. Ben could share the sentiment, he had no clue what was going on.

Another wave of blue light rippled through his brother’s injured and weak body. His limbs and muscles twinged as it traveled, going through the same pattern it had before. Ben braced himself as the light got closer and closer to Klaus’ fingertips. The wave of energy was stronger this time, blowing Ben across the room, Honey went flying over head before crashing in to the wall.

When Ben next stood up, he felt something warm dribbling down his face. He reached up and touched it, his hand coming away bloody. He was bleeding. How was this possible?

He looked around frantically and spotted Honey right next to him. A big gash was torn through her forehead and bleeding profusely. Bruises littered spots where no bruise had before occupied. It didn’t look too good. Her dazed eyes rattled around the room before resting on a spot across the way. Then they grew.

Sound tricked into Ben’s ears. It was a sound of shocked men. He tried to stand up and found his body uncooperative, his knees like unset jam. Honey wasn’t faring any better in his arms.

When Ben finally got his composure back together, he looked towards the direction of the sound and came face to face with five very confused, very alive, very bloody soldiers.

Chapter Text

Dave had died.

He knew he had died because he could feel his spirit leaving his body, rendering him light headed and weightless.

He vaguely remembers his last moments. He remembers Klaus’ stream of never-ending comments and his boyish grin when they made eye contact. He remembers a blinding pain hitting him squarely in the chest. He knows for a fact he will never forget the feeling of his warm blood gushing out of the hole in his chest. His body had grown cold and was only brought a little comfort by Klaus as he laid limply in the other man’s arms.

And then there was nothing. He was floating, drifting, wandering. Meandering directionless through the darkness, through the universe, the never-ending cosmos. He felt like he was under water.

.oOo.

He remembers, back home, the local swimming pool he had taken his little sister to. She had been sick a lot, and wasn’t allowed outside too often per doctor’s orders, but Dave would be damned if she didn’t enjoy herself just that one time.

They had sat out in the blazing hot summer sun, their feet bare and submerged in the lukewarm water. Neither had a swimsuit, but Dave was about one second from jumping in the water clothes and all.

A group of girls giggled behind him and he purposefully ignored their attempts at his attention. He wasn’t interested in whatever they had to offer. His sister, Leah, was in a pink and yellow sundress that their mother had made the other day. She was sitting next to Dave, her small head resting on his arm. Her golden curls tickled the skin there, and Dave had to focus not to fidget.

That afternoon had been lazy and perfect. Especially when Dave had just said enough and picked Leah up before jumping into the pool, the small girl tucked in his arms. When they surfaced, Dave laid on his back, floating on the water; Leah curled up on his chest.

Leah hadn’t survived the following winter. Her body grew too frail to support her anymore and she finally passed in her sleep. Dave’s mother was beside herself with grief. His father grew distant and mute. Dave weathered through his grief, he had to in order to keep things at home running smoothly.

It was two years later that he was drafted into the Vietnam War. He had hidden his homosexuality from everyone, tucked it nicely and neatly inside of himself, right next to the grief for his dearly departed little sister.

He had been in ‘Nam for five years when Klaus entered into his life. Dave knew the moment they met eyes that he was it. Dave was going to fall in love with this man.

They had fallen in love with each other, they belonged to one another. Dave had never felt so loved in his life, he cherished every second he was with Klaus.

Then he had died.

.oOo.

He didn’t know how long he had been floating in the darkness, but it was enough to forget minute details of his life, like his first high school crush. His first grade teacher, his first kiss, his seventh birthday, all gone from his mind with the cool calm deterioration time had provided everyone with.

Then he wasn’t aimlessly floating. He was flying. He was speeding towards something and he felt something for the first time in awhile, fear and uncertainty.

Where was he going, when was he going to get there, why was this happening, why now?

His question was answered when he crashed into a large room, his surroundings unfamiliar. What was familiar was the sounds of his brothers. His brothers in arms were with him. He sighed in relief before going on alert.

Klaus was laid out in a bed in front of them. He looked thin, pale, covered in sweaty bandages that were starting to unravel. Dave rushed to his bedside, confused as to why Klaus was in this state.

What was happening?

His brothers stopped their jovial meeting and Dave was immediately looking around for a threat. A man around their age was standing weakly at the foot of the bed. His nose was bloody and his arms and legs were shaking badly. A small girl was cradled in his arms with a bleeding wound on her head and covered in bruises. The man tried taking a step forward and collapsed, his knee locking in the process. Dave could understand, he felt pretty bad too. Everything felt… too much.

.oOo.

Once they figured they were getting nowhere by just staring at each other, they carefully sat in a spread out circle on the ground. The bleeding man followed suit, the girl still clutched to his chest protectively. It reminded Dave of Leah. He missed her.

He looked down, his hands were covered in blood and grime, presumably from the battlefield. He looked over to Sam, and Josh, and Chuck, and Jimmy. Usually, they would be fooling around and cracking jokes, but at the moment their faces were straight and dead serious. He could understand, they were trained soldiers and if shit got to be too much, they compartmentalized. Maybe he was doing the same thing.

When he finally shook himself from his thoughts, he realized that the thick silence that had draped over them earlier had thickened like the pudding his mom made when Leah couldn’t eat solids anymore. He cleared his throat, earning the eyes of all in the room. Even the little girl looked over at him. She looked like she was doing better than before.

“Hello, um, my name is Dave, lieutenant colonel of the 173rd platoon, the sky soldiers.”
“I’m Sam, uh, First lieutenant of the 173rd.”
“Jimmy, captain, 173rd.”
“Hi, I’m Chuck! I was the hmmm, I was a staff sergeant of the 173rd. How are you?”
“And I guess I’m Josh, just a regular sergeant, enlisted in the 173rd in 1966.”

The two strangers looked confused, probably due to the head wounds both possessed. Dave shrugged in his head, he introduced himself, and as the official leader of this outfit, he was the first one to speak.
“What are your names?” He added a smile at the end, he didn’t want to intimidate them and lose their only in.

The man looked down at the girl who had shifted and was now sitting up in his lap, the wound had slowly stopped bleeding, leaving her with a stained sundress and blood on her face.
“I’m Honey, uh, I don’t remember what those ranks mean.” She looked up at the other man who cleared his throat in shock.
“Oh uhm, I’m Ben, Number Six of the Umbrella Academy.”

And it was at that moment that a groan sounded from the bed next to them. Everyone was on alert again.

Klaus was waking up.

Chapter Text

I am a creator.

From these hands, my hands, creation bursts; sprouts freely like gushing waters.

I am not a god, but rather a creator. My creations had given me a label and fought over which label was right.

My counterpart, for everything needs balance, is death.

Death isn’t necessarily my antithesis, but rather a companion, a helper, and most importantly a friend. I trust Death implicitly. Without Death, I would hold on too long to my creations and never let them go, causing harm to them.

.oOo.

The first time I met Number Four, he was five years old. He had developed his powers at an early age, and I watched him as he babbled to the spirits that couldn’t quite reach the threshold of my realm. He was special. I loved him more than anything I had ever created. He was important.

His powers were clearly a burden though. The man who had adopted him was intolerant of any behaviour that resembled normal childlike glee. He also wanted Number Four to develop his powers, push him to see how far his powers went.

I had known every power the 43 children had possessed. Before they were born, Death and I had outlined what their powers were to be. They needed to be born in order to restore balance. One of the benefits of being a creator was seeing what was going to happen at all times.

Death and I had seen so much badness and evil running rampant, creating chaos in a poor impression of my powers. Something needed to change, and that was the birth of the 43. Some had simple powers, like being able to pick up heavy things, others had more complex powers like turning sound waves into physical energy and manipulating the elements.

Out of all 43, Number Four was my favourite.

When he died the first time, I was heartbroken. Reginald Hargreeves had hypothesized that he would be able to manifest spirits easier if he was surrounded by only them for a prolonged period of time. The spirits had torn him to pieces and I could only watch as his soul flickered into my realm a few feet away.

I had no form before this, and so panicked and chose the vessel of a little girl I had grown fond of years before.

The boy was confused and crying, so I tried to cheer him up before sending him back to the realm of the living, sad that he had to go, but knowing his powers would destroy his body and other spirits could inhabit it if it lay unoccupied for too long.

.oOo.

As the years went by, I watched as Number Four, now known as Klaus, grew addicted to drugs to block out his powers. I knew this would come back later and produce unexpected results. His powers could grow uncontrollably too fast.

He died several more times over the years, never remembering his brief visits to my realm. I kept the same vessel, in hopes he would remember the advice I had given to him.

He never did.

.oOo.

The last time he had died, it was so much like the first time I almost cried.

He woke up the same as any other time. This time he sounded different, more aware, though he still had not remembered his previous forays in my realm. I admit, I was in a bad mood and had not treated Klaus like he had deserved. It had broken my heart to be forgotten by the only being I had created that I had loved.

(That is to say, I loved all my creations, but I loved Klaus just a little bit more. He was able to go between all known realms, even if he hadn’t learned how to control it yet.)

I had left him with a false hope for his dead love, and then I presented him with his father. They needed to talk, Klaus needed to learn more about his powers, time was running out for him and if his powers got too out of hand, bad things could happen.

.oOo.

I watched again as Klaus’ siblings, five of the other 43, disregarded him. It wouldn’t be too long now until his power was uncontrollable and tore everything apart.

He was carried back to his childhood home and given a fluid that advanced his power quicker than it should. His power was swelling up in his veins, looking for an outlet. I could only predict something bad was going to happen.

So, in an attempt to sate his need for release, I sent the souls of his love and his closest friends to him. His power latched on to the souls of David Katz, Honey Wilson, Benjamin Hargreeves, Samuel McIntosh, Joshua Price, Charles Amadeo, and James Wilkerson and brought them back to life.

I was happy his powers were finally being used properly, but I was unhappy that they were coming out in such a harmful way, there was bound to be a backlash.

Klaus would go crazy. His mind will be unable to handle this new facet to his powers and he will have a total mental shutdown. When this happens, his powers will go rampant. If that comes to fruition, I need to take him to my realm to recover before his actions are irreversible.

Death entered into my realm at that moment. His cowboy hat cocked to the side as his festive poncho blew in the wind. The landscape changed around us. It was no longer the forest I favoured, but rather the desert at night. This was Death’s favourite place to be and it reflected in our surroundings. Stars fell as he stepped into his spot next to me, his spindly figure towering over the little girl form I still possessed.

“He has brought them back to his original realm.”
“That he did. There was no other way.”
“The consequences are unforeseen. I have not seen the timeline of this action yet.”
“Neither have I, dear Death, but alas, we must be prepared to support our baby. If that means keeping him in our realm until he can properly control his powers then so be it. I will keep him as long as he needs.” Death sighed and plopped down on the rapidly cooling sand, a joshua tree sprouting up from behind him to support his weight as he leaned back.

“I always knew you loved him the most.”
“You can’t lie and say you don’t. I can tell that you love him too, for as much of a nuisance as he is.”
“He can’t stay forever.”
“I know.”
“You must tell him when he first gets here that he cannot stay forever. It will do him no good.”
“I know I know, why are you telling me this?”
“Because you get too attached when he comes, you forget things. You also forgot that his vessel in that realm will be unoccupied. Something could inhabit it.”

“I could place a blank soul into it, and place his body in a stasis. Nothing can come in and the blank soul won’t be able to make any trouble.”
“Sounds like you’ve planned everything. Have you been planning for this for years?”
“I had to come up with a plan in case anything untoward were to happen and he got stuck here for too long. I can't let anything happen to him.”

Death sighed again, kicking his feet out in front of him. The spurs on his boots rolling, producing a clicking sound as he whistled. The wind picked up, blowing my form’s hair around. I sat down next to Death, who has been my only companion for so long.

The stars of Death’s landscape were breathtaking, not that I needed to breathe.

Chapter Text

Klaus’ eyes were open and rapidly scanning the room.

Ben was beyond worried for him. His powers had just brought back seven people from the dead. What was going to happen next?

The man on the bed moaned and whined and whimpered, his limbs thrashing around, eyes unseeing. Dave and Sam stood up along with Ben, each determined to make sure Klaus was okay.

Klaus’ brow grew feverish and his hands grew clammy and cold. His skin grew paler, and it looked as though something vital was being yanked out of his chest for how much he was thrashing around.

Ben grasped on to one of Klaus’ hands, a steady hand on his brow. The action was mirrored by the man Dave, who seemed to be very attached to his brother, but Ben didn’t know how the two met. Except he did.

When he was retrieving the dog tags for his brother, he had looked at the names displayed on each of the five tags. David Katz had been on one, his name displayed next to a Star of David. The others had their names proudly displayed on the cheap metals. Ben had felt saddened by looking at them. For Klaus, that was the last little piece of his fallen friends. A grimy piece of metal to remember them by.

Ben was jolted back to the present as Klaus gave one last thrash before falling unconscious, his eyes pale, his face a display of the horror he must have felt.

Ben ran a hand through his curly locks before stepping away. Dave took his place and got closer to Klaus, placing his forehead against the tacky skin of the other. Ben didn’t catch the whispered words between the two, he felt like he was intruding. But he knew he was needed at Klaus’ side too, and so took a seat on the other side of the bed.

.oOo.

Being alive again felt weird. Honey looked down at her small hands and shivered. The air in the infirmary was cold and she was only wearing a sundress. Her fingers were grimy and she hated the texture of the accumulation between her digits. Her head felt swollen.

Ben had held her in his arms after she had hit her head on the wall, but when Klaus woke up, he set her down gently to tend to him.

Honey felt terrified for Klaus. His heart had started beating erratically, not sticking to any particular rhythm. His thrashing and twisting had been accompanied by wails of horror. She distantly wondered if anyone else in the house had heard them.

She looked around for a moment. The soldier men were all huddled around Klaus’ bed, the one who started talking first had a grip on Klaus’ hand and had placed his forehead against the others.

Now, Honey may have died at the age of six, but she had been dead for fifteen years after that, making her now twenty one years of age. And for all of her twenty one years on earth, she had never seen such a look of adoration on somebody’s face for another person. This Dave guy really loved Klaus and so Honey was sated in the knowledge he would never intentionally hurt Klaus.

The now alive girl looked down at her bare feet and wiggled her dirty toes. She was waiting for the other metaphorical shoe to drop. She may be alive now, but what next? Should she go back to her family?

Her family had never loved her. She had always been a guardian, a protector, never the person to be guarded or be protected. That was why she had died earlier in life than anyone else she had known. She had guarded and protected her brothers into adulthood, and they were doing just fine now despite the rough start they had.

She felt a stinging burn behind her eyes and her nose started to hurt. A thick lump made itself known in the back of her throat. She had forgotten what this meant, but it couldn’t be any good. Something wet and hot dripped down her face and her vision grew blurry.

She wasn’t needed anymore and she had no place in the world. Klaus had all the protectors he needed and she was once again forgotten, left without a purpose.

.oOo.

A few minutes after she had started crying, one of the soldiers came over. She was quietly sniffling, hating herself for being so weak. Nobody ever came if you cried.

“You okay, kid?” He crouched down in front of her. Honey couldn’t make out his facial features, but she was certain it was the one named Jimmy. That was her dad’s name. She shook her head. No, she wasn’t okay. She rubbed her eyes, smearing blood on her small hands. He sat down against the wall and patted the spot next to him. She wobbled over and plopped down in the spot, her dress fluttering in the action. She had forgotten that clothes could do that.

“What’s wrong, sweetheart?” He patted her head, and she relished in the touch. The only person to touch her or show her any modicum of affection in her twenty one years of life/not-life had been Ben.
“What do I do now?” She sobbed, her voice warbling like a sparrow in an attempt to stay quiet.
“Well, Darlin-” His answer was cut off by the arrival of Ben and Klaus’s siblings.

The five had all piled in the entrance way, looks of shock spattered across their faces like sticky jam on a slice of bread.

Honey’s sadness was quickly replaced with anger and she shot up, wiping her tears away as she marched back over to stand in front of the bed. They were not going to touch or bring harm to Klaus, not if she has anything to say about it. And now she can. She can protect him because she is alive now.

The tall lady was the first one into the room, closely followed by a really big man. Then the knife man, then the boy, and then finally the mousy girl.

“Who are you people? What are you doing in here?” Honey went to take a step forward, but a hand on her shoulder stilled her. This was a wise decision as she still carried the wounds from her death, as well as a shiny new gash on her forehead. Not to mention she was the smallest person currently occupying the space of the room. She would have been crushed and obliterated in an instant and she had just been brought back to life.

“You guys must be the most selfish people I have ever had the dishonour of knowing.” Ben had stepped forward, anger coming off of him in waves.
“And who are you exactly? Are you here to take Klaus, cause news flash, you aren’t gonna get anything from him,” the big man said this, as he shouldered his way past the tall lady.
“I can’t believe you don’t recognize me, Luther, but then again I’ve been dead for the past thirteen years.”
“Ben?” This came from the knife man.
“Spot on.”
“How are you here? We’ve missed you so much! You’ve been… gone for thirteen years!” The tall lady came forward, arms outstretched to Ben. They had completely disregarded everyone else in the room. That is, excepting the boy who had taken to studying the soldiers and Honey with a stoic, unwavering glare upon his youthful brow.

Honey looked back at Ben just in time to witness him stepping away from the tall lady the moment before she could embrace him.
“Don’t touch me, hypocrite.”
“Don’t call her that,” the big man, Luther, said; once more shouldering in front of the tall lady.
“Oh, don’t worry, I can call her much worse.”
“Why are you being so mean, Ben? You never acted this way when we were younger,” Knife man piped in with possibly the worst thing in the world to say.

Honey watched as the bursting anger on Ben’s face seemingly disappeared and replaced itself with a dangerous smile.
“You mean the time before I had died? Torn to pieces by the thing inside of me? Why gee, thank you Diego for pointing out the obvious. I guess I must have changed after dying and then watching all of you turn into the lowest of the low. Your selfishness knows no bounds and takes no survivors. I’m surprised more people haven’t died because of all of your actions. I know for a fact that I would have wanted to die if I hadn’t passed already.” Everyone in the room looked shocked. The emotion was splayed plainly across the sibling’s faces and was slowly etching its way onto the soldiers in the room.

Honey thought they deserved it. She looked around, always falling back into her habit of silent observation. Klaus’ eyes were still open, they must hurt from being open for so long. Honey snuck around the bed, closer to Klaus’ head. She didn’t want to bring any attention upon herself. She found a short stool tucked under the bed and pulled it out quietly. She knew how to keep quiet and keep attention off of herself. She climbed up and peeked over the edge of the bed, looking closer at Klaus.

The skin around his eyes was red and heavy purple bags accentuated the colour. His mouth was barely open, his breathing regular. The quiet monotonous beeping of the heart monitor made sure that his heart was beating rhythmically. No cause for concern there. Honey ran a grubby hand through his ruined curls, his hair was thick with grime from leaving it unwashed for too long. This was not aided by the thin sheen of sweat laid thinly atop his skin. She pressed a kiss to his forehead, much like a prince to a princess in the stories she had read years ago. Honey supposed that she had always been a knight in those stories. Not the ones in shining armor, but rather the one that gets sacrificed first, that lays down their life so that the knight in shining armor can rise up victorious and get the object of their affections.

She closed his eyes, like people do for dead people in the movies she saw years ago. She thought that was rather ironic seeing as she had been dead not one hour before. And Klaus wasn’t dead, merely resting, getting ready to face the harshness reality brought to oneself. She ignored the others as she argued, their petty arguments were nothing she wanted to be a part of. She was a protector, not an aggressor. She would not leave her post, even if she had to die again for it.

Chapter Text

“You guys must be the most selfish people I have ever had the dishonour of knowing.”

The feeling rise up from within him like a crescendo, a fine operatic performance of pure unbridled rage. All thoughts regarding the soldiers and Honey dropped from his mind. He WAS going to protect Klaus. He WAS going to tell his siblings just what he thought of them. He WAS going to make them pay. They were going to be sorry after he ranted at them.

He watched Allison approach him with her arms spread wide in acceptance. He watch the proceedings almost as if he was a ghost again. He had no autonomy in this situation. He was simply along for the ride, wherever his body took him.

Just before Allison could reach him, he took a step back, towards Klaus’ hospital bed, an unconscious instinct after being attached to him for thirteen years.
“Don’t touch me, hypocrite.” He almost laughed, her face had fallen so quickly after he said that. He kept his straight face, fire still wild in his deep set eyes.

“Don’t call her that,” Luther said, the dumbfounded look on his face was also hilarious. He could say whatever he wanted he had every right to call them out on their poor behaviour over the years. He had been there for every broken promise, every back handed attempt at helping Klaus. Their maltreatment of Klaus (and to a different extent, Vanya) was deep and had been occurring for years. And sure, Ben had been guilty of not caring about Klaus, but then he had died and only then truly understood the horrors Klaus had been exposed to.
“Oh, don’t worry, I can call her much worse.”

“Why are you being so mean, Ben? You never acted this way when we were younger,” Diego explained, his voice angry as it had always been, he took a careful step closer to Ben as though Ben were to lash out at any moment and hurt them. And he could. He could let out his “Horror” and let the creature out of him like it so desperately wanted. He wouldn’t. He would however rip into them with his words.

“You mean the time before I had died? Torn to pieces by the thing inside of me? Why gee, thank you Diego for pointing out the obvious. I guess I must have changed after dying and then watching all of you turn into the lowest of the low. Your selfishness knows no bounds and takes no survivors. I’m surprised more people haven’t died because of all of your actions. I know for a fact that I would have wanted to die if I hadn’t passed already.”

They looked at him in shock, betrayal written plainly in their eyes and faces.

Good.

It was what they deserved.

“H-how d-d-dare yo-you.” Diego’s anger grew, and his stutter made a reappearance, but it couldn’t be an even match compared to Ben’s incomprehensible fury and hatred.
“Yeah, I’m going to dare,” he spat. “I’ve watched for years as you guys ignored and ridiculed Klaus. You never once thought to help him, and if you ever did, there was an ulterior motive that ended up much worse than the original help given!” He took a deep breath “Your kindness and caring is a double-edged sword and always comes with a price. One day, you will be face to face with whatever saw fit to let you exist in the universe, and you will have to justify the space you’ve filled. Can you confidently tell me that they will not condemn you to eternal damnation for your misdeeds?”

The room was silent except for the slowly beeping heart monitor. He could hear the quiet sobbing of Dave as he clasped tightly onto Klaus’ hand. He could hear Honey whisper comforts to both Dave and Klaus, like the cherub she was, the angelic presence she possessed.

The quiet tampered down his anger, quickly losing the adrenaline fueled momentum. He deflated and felt a hand on his shoulder.

That was going to be something to get used to, human touch.

He looked behind him and saw Chuck and Sam. Both carried concerned looks in their eyes and he sighed.

“If you aren’t going to help Klaus, then you can leave. We will talk later, but right now he needs me.” And with that, his siblings deflated as well, mirroring his defeated stature. He was never going to get it in their thick skulls that Klaus was worthy of love and other emotions besides annoyance and misplaced anger.

That seemed to be a common emotion among them; anger.

The siblings all took one last look at the occupants in the room before leaving, Five opting to jump instead, the blue light concentrating around his body for a split second before he was gone.

.oOo..

Klaus felt heavy. As though his entire being were being weighed down by the world. He was trying to understand what was tormenting him. Was it the thought that there was nothing worse in the world than to lose your mind? He looked around, the minuscule movements almost too much for his weak body to handle.

And all around him were the cosmos.

Galaxies bursting with endless colour, the rich robustness of the empty space. Purples and reds and blacks and blues and pinks exploded and mixed and shifted together, white specks of stardust stark against the backdrop. It would have been peaceful, and he would have taken a moment longer to appreciate the untouched beauty, but it was so loud, nothing could have prepared him for the loudness of wherever he was.

Where was he?

“I have never seen a soul as hardened as yours,” an arcane voice sounded from seemingly nowhere. Klaus tried to look around to find the owner of the voice, but he couldn’t find the energy to move around. The loudness blanketing his form had quieted down when the voice spoke. “I have seen many a hardened soul, but yours, you have always been special.”

And then everything shifted and it felt like Klaus had been moved just a foot to the left as the cosmos fell away and in its place, a desert arose. Klaus was standing barefoot in a scape of endless sand, his toes digging into the warmth of the minuscule grains underfoot.

A tree rose up in front of him, but he didn’t know what kind of a tree it was.
“Welcome to my realm, Klaus Hargreeves.” A tall man, taller than Klaus, stepped out from behind the tree. A white cowboy hat graced the top of his head, a dark brown blanket thing with geometric patterns was draped over his broad shoulders, dark brown cowboy boots were on his feet, the gold thread accentuating the golden spurs. Klaus didn’t have the chance to ask any questions before the man spoke again.

“I understand you will not be here for very long, as this is just a place atween where your headin’ and where you just came from.”
“What is my original destination?” His mouth felt like he just ate the sand he was standing on.
“You’ve been there many times, but only for short periods. I know she is going to try and keep you longer though. Don’t you worry, Ace-high, you’re still above snakes, but listen here, I know she ain’t gonna do it, so I'm fittin’ to have’ta tell you the rules round these parts.”

The man got closer to Klaus, though his facial details were hard to make out. He wasn’t really getting what was going on, but he figured he could listen to the cowboy guy and try and make sense of his situation.

“Son, I can see you’re all down but nine, so let me explain some things to you. This is the bone orchard, a soul ranch iffen you will. This is where those yellow-bellied cowards that bother you go when they ‘pass on’. Although, it looks mighty different from this here desert, but I’m treatin’ you to my favourite spot, not many can say that.

“Now, looky here, you’re about to go to the creators realm, which is mighty different from mine, but the point is, it is to my understanding that the Big Bug intends to help you out with those troubles that’ve got y’all weighed down. Now, I’m askin’ no adds from you exceptin’ that you don’t go hurting her feelings too bad. She’s someone you can ride the river with. I’ve never met anyone who is as sound on the goose as she is, and that’s saying something. So looky here, don’t go getting all big in your trousers and start thinkin’ your ready to leave camp before she says you are ready. She knows what’s best for you, so listen to her, and we won’t have any problems.”

Klaus didn’t know what have of the cowboy’s words meant, but he felt like he got the gist. He nodded to the cowboy.
“Glad to see you aren’t all abroad, well, let’s get a move on now, got places to be. She’s expectin’ you.”

Chapter Text

Diego felt his face grow red in shame.

Ben was absolutely right. He had been selfish and self-centered. They all had.

He was pacing around in the main sitting room, the other siblings gathered on the couches near him. Allison and Vanya were mumbling to each other, most likely about Ben’s rant towards their earlier actions. Luther was silently fuming, his large body scrunched into the crevice between the couch cushion and the couch arm. Diego had no clue how the large monkey man had managed to fit. Five was lounging at the bar, drink in hand, mannequin positioned on the bar top next to him, a plastic arm wrapped around his shoulder.

Diego had had enough.

“He was right you know,” he announced to the occupants of the room. They all stopped what they were doing and stared at him. Five broke the silence with a snort.
“Why don’t you sign up for the protect Klaus brigade then. I’m sure somebody will accept your application.” His cynical, pre-pubescent voice was too much for Diego and he threw a knife across the room, piercing the forehead of the same deer head he had hit the day of their father’s funeral.

“I’m sick and tired of our behaviour. Ben was right. We didn’t give a shit about Klaus before, I’ll admit it, I’m guilty. But at least I’m admitting it instead of pushing off as another one of Klaus’ many problems.” Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Vanya move to get up, as though she weren’t also guilty. Because they all were.

“What do you propose to do and fix it then?” A voice came from behind him. Everyone jumped up and got into battle positions before getting a good look at the speaker.

The same little girl from earlier was standing at the door to the parlour, a look of silent challenge written across her blood stained brow. A soldier still in his blood stained fatigues stood silently behind her. He had taken to looking around the grandiose room.

“Who the fuck are you?” Five asked, drink still in hand. The girl turned to him and looked him up and down before looking away.
“I’ll repeat my question: What are you going to do to fix this, fix the distance you put between yourselves and your brother?” Her voice did not waiver once while asking the question, despite the fact that she didn’t look all that threatening and could easily be killed by anyone in the room. Allison cleared her throat and the girl’s eyes immediately fell upon his sister.

“Yes?” the girl asked, a small eyebrow quirked up, dried specks of blood flaking off and into her long, dark eyelashes.
“I shou-, we shou-, that is, I think that we should talk to him, you know, get to, um, know him? Figure out wha-what’s wrong with him,” Vanya said, hands fluttering nervously at her sides, interrupting a still silent Allison.
“Yeah, I agree with Vanya, we talk to him and get to know him, maybe even include him in family nights.” Diego chanced a look at the little girl and saw cold anger flood her cornflower blue eyes.

The girl took a step forward into the room and everyone tensed. Stark bruises littered the girl, made more apparent by her stepping into the light. A thick, heavy, ugly mark rested on her shoulder, creeping up her neck and down her arm, disappearing under the dirty, stained yellow dress she had on.
“Disgusting,” she whispered, her small voice carrying around the large, silent room. “I’m not going to get into it, I know Ben already gave you the dressing down you deserve. I will, however, tell you what you really need to hear.”

She took another step in the room, her voice growing heavier with each word in her last sentence. Her eyes scanned the room, making contact with each of Diego’s siblings and finally himself. Nobody dared to move.

“Klaus will leave. He is going to think real good and hard about your treatment and your blatant flippancy, and he will leave and never come back. What you girls just said, it isn’t enough. Do you care even a little bit about him? Because if you can’t find it within yourself to care, then let him leave, but do not assume you can keep him here. We will stop you.”

Diego stood, dumbstruck, silent. What was he supposed to say to that? That he was sorry?

“I’m going to repeat my question as well; who the fuck are you?”
“That doesn’t matter. I have no place in your petty squabbles, I am merely a protector.”
“Who’s your goon?” Diego had almost forgotten there was somebody else standing behind the little girl. The soldier stood up straighter, an ingrained habit most likely from whichever war he was in.
“Samuel McIntosh, First lieutenant of the 173rd platoon, the Sky Soldiers. Klaus’ Brother in arms. Now, may I inquire as to who I am addressing?”

Samuel crossed his arms, a serious look on his face. Diego realized that the information given wasn’t a lot to go off of, he knew next to nothing about the man except he was apparently “Klaus’ brother in arms” which made no fucking sense, as if Klaus had ever even considered being in a war.

“Allison, Number Three, The Rumour.”
“Luther, Number One, Spaceboy.”
“Number Five, The Boy.”
“I’m Vanya, or Number Seven.” And then finally, it was Diego’s turn, he tightened his already crossed arms and leveled a glare, mad at himself for not being the bigger person. But it was hard, and all these emotions were bubbling up inside his chest and he had never found a way to deal with them except turning it into anger and taking it out on those around him. He was trying not to do that, so he closed his eyes and took a deep breath, focusing on the words in his mind like mom had taught him.
“Diego, Number Two, The Kraken.” He always hated his code name, his ability to go for long periods without breathing was not something commonly known, his ability to throw knives was more his thing and wished it was reflected in the name.

The little girl— “The Protector”— cleared her throat, gaining the attention from everyone in the room once again.
“Now that we all know everyone’s names, I will repeat myself. Get better or he will leave and you will never see him again. Simple. As. That.”

Diego didn’t know what to feel, because on the one hand, he loved Klaus, he was his brother. But, he hadn’t seen him in years, didn’t know him. Is sticking around really the right choice?

He recalled the many times in their childhood where Klaus would break the rules and get punished. He recalled the many times his brother had gotten in trouble so that the rest of them were free from the vindictive punishments of their father. He had gotten in trouble to make them all smile. He hung around Vanya and listened to her play for hours when no one else did. He tried so hard to be a family with them and they didn’t care or notice that they forgot him when he had his jaw wired shut and was forced into silence. Didn’t care when he was missing for weeks, being tortured.

Diego could feel tears sting the backs of his eyelids and felt a sob bubble from his throat. He quickly swallowed down the sob and blinked hard to get rid of the threatening tears.

He watched as The Protector girl drifted out of the room with Samuel at her heels.

Chapter Text

Ben sat down heavily on the floor, legs splayed out in front of him.

Honey had just left with Sam, leaving him with Josh, Jimmy, Chuck, and Dave. Dave had fallen asleep, his hand still clutching tightly on to Klaus’. The other soldiers were quietly chattering to themselves and glancing around the room.

Ben took a quiet moment to observe the men. Josh had thick dark hair that stuck up in some places and smooth caramel skin. He looked to be in his early thirties. His hazel eyes were deep-set and Ben thought him very handsome. Jimmy had wavy light brown hair and brown, down-turned eyes. Freckles dotted his face. Jimmy looked to be around his forties. Chuck had curly, dirty blonde hair, his hair had obviously grown, but the traces of a military cut were still prevalent in the style. He had grey almond shaped eyes and looked to be around Ben’s age.

‘Oh right,’ Ben thought as he watched them glance around confused, ‘they were only just brought here. They probably have no clue where they are, or what the year is.’ He cleared his throat and stood up, earning him the attention of the soldiers.

“I just want to apologize. You guys just got here and probably have no clue where you are right now, or what the date is.”
“Yeah, having that information would be nice,” Jimmy quipped with a smirk. Chuck elbowed him in the gut from where they were sitting.
“It isn’t really that big of a deal,” The man insisted, an Italian accent could be barely heard. They all waited patiently, silently prompting Ben to hand over the information. Jimmy had an eyebrow quirked. Josh had a small smile prevalent against his neutral expression.

Ben cleared his throat again, a nervous tick he had developed as a younger child but had forgotten about due to his position as a ghost.
“Well, um, right now we are in New York, United States. Inside the house Klaus and I grew up in.” The soldiers looked shocked when they heard the hospital-like room they were in was in fact a home, and Ben’s home nonetheless. Another clearing of his throat. “The date is…” He had to take a second and think, it had been a little bit since the apocalypse, and he had nearly lost track while sitting with Klaus for weeks in that dingy motel room. “April 26, 2019.”

Looks of genuine shock spread across the soldier’s faces.
“So you’re telling me I have been dead for nearly 50 years?” Jimmy asked, all cockiness gone from his face.
“I never got to meet my daughter, she’s probably married with kids and grandkids now,” Chuck lamented, tears springing up in his usually cheerful eyes. Josh sat with an expression bordering between sorrow and anger. His strong jaw was clenched and he was obviously trying to taper down an outburst.
“For what it’s worth, I’m really sorry.” Ben cleared his throat again, uncomfortable with the atmosphere that had grown thick and heavy, cultivated by the many revelations being had. Jimmy stood up and placed a firm hand on his shoulder.

“Don’t worry about it, son. It’s either this or being dead, and I can say with much certainty that being dead is not all it’s chalked up to be.” Here, the older man chuckled, but the short laugh had a melancholy tone. “I wonder if the little girl told Sam the date yet, boy he’s got it comin.” The other’s snickered along.
“Who is the little girl anyway, is she also a resident of this establishment?” Josh asked.
“Not really, she just got sort of involved when Klaus was first taken to the hospital.”
“How did that end up happening? Aren’t her parents worried about her?” Chuck asked, clearly distressed for Honey.
“She was a ghost, a lot like I was. From what I can tell, she doesn’t have any parents. She said she had some brothers, but she’s also been dead for fifteen years.” Everyone shook their heads sadly, they all knew that you couldn’t just go back to how things were after something like being dead. They had all been able to live at least a little before their deaths, but Honey had only been a child when she died. Ben had no idea how she died, but he could only assume the stark bruises she carried played a part in her demise.

He sighed and sat back down in a nearby chair, having forgotten he was standing.
“If you all want to explore, feel free, but my siblings are probably still around so be careful. I can stay with Klaus and Dave.” Chuck and Josh looked around before agreeing. Jimmy simply leaned against a wall, waiting for his companions before leaving with a smile.

.oOo.

Josh felt like he was standing in the middle of the ocean.

He had just been told that he had apparently been dead for fifty years. His mom had died fifteen years before he joined the Vietnam war. He had been fighting for close to four years before he had died, which is pretty impressive, lasting that long.

Ben, Klaus’ brother, had told them they had free reign to explore and so he followed Chuck and Jimmy.

These men had been like brothers to him. He will never forget the moment he had first met Klaus on the bus ride the day after the other man had just gotten in the country.

Klaus was the one person who strengthen their bond with each other. They had been friends, but Klaus’ friendliness and need for help pushed the six together and they were all better for it.

He sighed and followed his brothers and gazed in awe at the surroundings. Klaus talked a lot, but never really about himself.

.oOo.

Chuck was a young guy. He was only twenty eight after all.

He had just settled down and was about to start a family when he got drafted overseas. His beautiful wife, Andrea, had been five months pregnant when he left and had sent a photo of his beautiful baby girl after she was born. She had blonde curly hair like him, and got her mother’s beautiful blue eyes.

That’s why he felt so protective of the little girl, Honey, when he first saw her. She looked so similar to his daughter, it was hard not to imagine her as his.

Chuck was always a fun loving, easy going guy, but at the moment, looking at the cold surroundings of his brother, Klaus’ childhood home, he couldn’t help but fall silent as he shivered.

He really hoped Klaus would be okay, he missed his brother.

.oOo.

Jimmy was a confident man, but his confidence was more like a protection that had, for the most part, left him in this new era of the world.

He was just glad he was able to provide a modicum of comfort to the others. He always saw himself as a father figure to the others. He was the oldest after all, and his fellow brothers were all young. Hell, Klaus, Chuck, Dave, and Sam hadn’t even hit thirty and here he was at fifty three. He felt old.

He felt even more like a dad when he saw the little girl crying. He had a daughter, but by the time he left for Vietnam, she had moved out, same thing with his son. His wife was distant and often time cruel, so he signed up to go overseas to escape her. His kids were safe and now, in the future, he could do what he wanted without the worry of going back to his wife, or getting killed by strangers in the night.

And so he walked with two of his brothers.

Chapter Text

When Klaus finally reached the Creator’s domain, he was pleasantly shocked.

Instead of the cool forest he had visited not but one week prior, he was on a warm beach. The tide was high and the salty, cool water splashed over his bare feet. He sunk his toes into the wet sand and watched as tiny crabs dug their way out of the ground and up the bank into the shade of some nearby rocks.

Two small, lazy clouds drifted slowly through the endless baby blue sky. He took a deep breath, his eyes stinging in the salty air.

Everything was in colour this time, not a grey-scale like the forest.

Klaus looked around, searching for the Creator as the cowboy had told him. She was bound to be here somewhere.

And there she was, a wide brimmed, white sun hat adorned her head, and she was clad in a yellow one-piece swimsuit with a sheer cover draped on her small shoulders. She was watching him carefully with an indiscernible look in her dark eyes.
“Are you just going to stand there, or are you going to help me finish my sand castle?”
“What san-” but before he could finish his question, a rather impressive castle arose from the sand, half of the walls left unfinished. The Creator plopped down in the warm, silky sand, causing a poof of dust to rise in the air and get carried away by the gentle sea breeze. Klaus shrugged and plopped down creating a similar burst of dust.

He looked down at himself and for the first time noticed what he was wearing. Instead of the thin, white hospital gown he had been carted around in, he was wearing a pair of navy blue swim shorts that stuck to his bony thighs. Around his neck, he could feel a cord that looped around and attached to a matching white sun hat.

When he looked back up, the Creator had already started forming a part of the sandcastle, a bucket half full of salty water next to her.
“Why am I here again? Did I die?” The Creator stopped patting the sand and looked down at her dusty, bare knees. She looked back up, towards the sky, as though waiting for an answer to drop down and hit her on the forehead.
“You haven’t died, not yet anyway.”
“Then why am I here?”
“Your powers were being tampered with and were growing too dangerous for your body to handle. In order to protect your physical body and those around you, I channeled the stray power into a creative energy and then placed a blank soul in your body, taking your soul here to recover.” The Creator took a deep breath.
“But what does that mean? Who was tampering with my power? What did you do when you channeled it? Whose soul is in my body right now?” Klaus was quickly growing frantic.

As suddenly as when he came into the realm, storm clouds came rolling in from the horizon and the waves grew choppy rather than their peaceful rhythm. Birds cried from on top of a crop of rocks. A raindrop fell and hit Klaus’ cheek. And then, it started pouring.

Thunder boomed and lightning flashed; a cacophony of sound and light altered the seascape around the two.

Klaus shivered as the cold, hard drops of rain pelted him from above, quickly soaking him to the bone. He barely noticed as his hand was grabbed. He stood up at the hand’s beckoning and was dragged along somewhere. A lone beach house sat ten meters away, a wind chime blew noisily in the wind and the wooden porch creaked. A solitary rocking chair swayed in the tumultuous wind as the Creator dragged Klaus in to the house.

Klaus could feel tears coming on, but blinked them back, adamant that he would not cry for such a silly reason.

The Creator came back into the living room with a fluffy towel. She did not look like she was the tiniest bit wet. Her clothes were different than earlier. She was wearing a heavy green knitted sweater and a pair of black trousers. Klaus accepted the towel and wrapped it around his lithe form. It was too late, the cold had already sunk deep into his bones and his teeth chattered noisily. The Creator snapped her fingers and a fire started going in a fireplace. Klaus looked down and saw he was wearing grey sweatpants and a burgundy knitted sweater.

Comfy and Soft.

The two silently sat in front of the fire. The Creator sat down on an armchair as Klaus curled up next to her feet. She ran her fingers through his curls and he sighed.

“I’m Sorry.” The voice jolted Klaus out of his newfound drowsiness. “I should have explained things clearer and slower. I shouldn’t have gotten upset with you.”
“‘S alright…”
“I’m afraid it isn’t but thank you anyway.” She paused before clearing her throat. “I will answer any questions you have now, but please go slower. I can only answer one at a time, okay?” Klaus nodded.
“What did you mean when you said my powers were being tampered with?”
“Years ago, before you left home for the first time, Reginald was working on a medicine that enhanced the powers of the 43 children. However, his formula fell short and resulted in your brother, Luther, being turned into what he is now. After that incident, he worked ceaselessly on improving it. One year before he died, he perfected it and placed it in the medical wing. I suspect that Grace didn’t realize what she was doing when she grabbed the IV bag, as it contained the formula instead of the other normal IV bags.”
“Okay, let me get this straight. Reggie made a drug that makes our powers more potent and I was given it mistakenly?”
“Correct.”
“What happened next?”
“Well, after so long muting your powers, your body went into an overdrive sending out too much power. Your body couldn’t maintain that level of energy, especially being injured like that. So, in order to keep both your body and soul intact, I wove your energy into the spirit world, allowing individuals close to you to come back to life.”

Klaus sat silently, unable to comprehend the sheer magnitude of what the Creator was telling him.
“Wh- who d-did I bring back?” His voice wavered through the question and ended in a scared whisper.
“You brought back David Katz, Honey Wilson, Benjamin Hargreeves, Samuel McIntosh, Joshua Price, Charles Amadeo, and James Wilkerson. Right now, David Katz and Benjamin Hargeeves are sitting by your side. The others are exploring the Hargreeves mansion.”

Klaus sobbed in relief. Every single one of the people the Creator had listed were important to him.
“When can I go back to them? Can I go now?”
“I am afraid you must stay. The power is still rippling through your unoccupied body and will only become potent when your soul completes the circuit. It is not safe for you until the IV is changed and the medicine cycles out of your body. For now, you can stay with me and develop your powers, you might need them in the future.”

“So your saying I can’t go back? I can’t see my brothers?” He just wanted some comfort. He wanted to see them again. It hadn’t been too long since he had seen them die, and their demises were fresh in his memories. He needed to go back and make sure they were real.

“You can go back when it is safe for you.”

And then, the Creator grew. Her arms and legs grew longer. Her hair grew shorter and curlier. Her skin turned darker and darker. She was a woman now, with ebony skin and a gorgeous afro. She was draped in a golden maxi dress with peasant sleeves. Her majesty rippled off of her in waves. She wrapped her long arms around Klaus and squeezed him.

Klaus found himself unable to hold back his tears and let the dam break, his thin arms reaching around to clutch at the back of her dress.

Chapter Text

Ten minutes after Honey had told off the Hargreeves siblings, she found herself in a hallway on the second floor that had numerous paintings on display.

Honey plopped down tiredly onto the borne settee positioned carefully in front of the grand wall. Sam had silently followed the little girl as they trekked through the large house and sat down next to her.

They basked in the silence. Honey observed each individual painting, wishing desperately she was taller so she could see the paintings near the ceiling. She sighed and leaned back against the purple, velvet upholstery. Her stomach ached.

“I’ve never really had a chance to look at art like this before.” The little girl jolted upright at the sudden claim that had broken the near perfect silence that permeated the area.
“Why not, did you not have any museums?”
“Well, I did. I’m originally from Chicago, and we had a gorgeous museum building, but I guess I was just too swept up in my life I didn’t take the time to slow down and appreciate it.” Sam ran a hand through his mousy brown hair. Honey nodded.
“I’ve only been to the museum twice, but I loved it. I wanted to be an artist when I grew up.”
“Why can’t you be an artist now?” Honey looked down at her fingers and picked at her chipped and broken nails.
“I guess I had accepted that I would never achieve any of my dreams after I had been dead for a year. What’s the point of being attached to something that is no longer feasible? It is a silly wish anyway.”
“Hey now, look at me.” She tilted her head in his direction and made eye contact with the soldier. His eyes were dark blue. “Nobody’s dreams are silly, or stupid, or whatever. You are alive now. You can become an artist still.” Honey sniffed and dropped her gaze back to her small grubby hands littered with small scars from six years of carelessness; further damaged when she tried to scrabble her way out of that piss-reeking closet she had died in.

“I guess you are right,” she admitted quietly.

They sat in another long minute of silence before it was once more broken. Though this time, instead of voices, it was broken by a loud rumbling coming directly from Honey’s stomach. Her face went red and Sam laughed.
“You hungry?” Honey shrugged.
“I guess I’m hungry.”
“Let’s find the kitchen. A house this big must be overloaded with food.” Honey’s eyes grew big at that. She hadn’t ever been in those big, stocked kitchens she had seen on the cooking shows. When she was alive, she had wished so badly that she could have lived in one of those kitchens, wished she could curl up on the warm tiled floor and never grow hungry ever again.

The two stood up and Honey went to grab Sam’s hand before she was hoisted up and deposited on his broad shoulders. She giggled and wrapped her skinny arms around his forehead. Sam stepped forward and they made their way to the kitchen.

.oOo.

After searching for thirty minutes, the two finally reached their destination.

They stopped in the doorway and watched as a lady from the 1950’s danced around the space, obviously busy doing something. The lady stopped suddenly and turned to face the two unbidden guests.

“Hello dears, is there anything I can help you with?” A sweet grin was plastered on her face and Honey thought she looked artificial.
“Well ma’am, we were hoping to catch something to eat. Only if it’s no trouble, of course.” The lady’s eyes lit up when Sam called her ma’am and her smile grew more genuine, softer.
“Oh it is no trouble at all, I’ve been puttering around trying to decide what dinner should be. Though I have no clue how many people will be present for the meal. Oh dear, we might need to bring more chairs into the dining room.”
“Oh, me and the boys can help you with that, ma’am. I know five people will be there if that’s alright with you. I have no clue if Klaus’ other siblings will be coming.” Honey did the math in her head and realized Sam had left two people from the ghost brigade out of the dinner count.

“What about the other two? There is seven of us,” she whispered into his ear. He patted her arm.
“Don’t worry, I’m sure Davey and Ben won’t want to leave the infirmary. They’re the type of people that need to be there at all times.” Honey nodded, blushing as her stomach rumbled again.

“Oh, do you want me to make you a snack?” The lady asked.
“Yes please, miss. But I can’t eat too much.”
“You don’t have to worry about spoiling your dinner appetite.”
“I’m not worried about that, but I might be sick if I eat too much.” She knew this from experience, though was adamant she would not experience it again.
“Why would you be sick?” Sam asked, his voice heavy with concern. Honey rested her chin upon his head.
“Well, I haven’t eaten in awhile. It took probably four days before I starved to death, and then I hadn’t eaten a day before that. So my stomach wouldn’t be too happy with a lot of food.” The lady looked sad, but she still had her smile. Her eyes were sad.

Before she could do anything, Honey was picked up again, this time she was hugged. Sam wrapped his strong arms around her and she melted into the touch, winding her arms around his neck and tucking her head into his neck.

‘This is what a father would do,’ She thought sadly.

“Well, then, no worries. I can make you some broth to sip on that won’t be too much for you, alright?” Honey nodded, her head knocking into Sam’s strong jaw. He set her down and she walked up to the nice lady.

“Thank you, miss. My name is Honey, nice to meet you.” She held her hand out, but went to retract it after seeing the state they were in. Before she could fully pull her hand back, the lady grabbed her hand in a delicate grasp.
“I’m Grace. It is very nice meeting you, Honey.” The little girl nodded before returning to Sam’s side. “You are welcome to invite the others into the dining room. I should have dinner prepared shortly. Could you send Diego in here? I would very much enjoy his assistance.”
“Yes ma’am, that I can do.”

He walked up to the woman and grabbed her hand before kissing it. “I apologize mightily for not introducing myself earlier ma’am. My name is Sam McIntosh, at your service.” Miss Grace pulled her hand back and held it up to her face shyly, giggling at Sam’s boyish, but polite, greeting.
“It is a pleasure to meet you Mr. McIntosh.”
“Please, call me Sam.”

.oOo.

Honey was left alone in the mighty dining room as Sam went to inform everyone of the upcoming meal. She clambered into one of the high backed chairs and kicked her feet back and forth. She should probably wash her hands before dinner.

With this goal in mind, she climbed off the chair and walked out of the room, wondering where a bathroom could possibly be. As she turned down a hallway she caught sight of something walking just ahead of her.
“Excuse me!” she called down the hall. The figure paused and turned around. Honey gasped.

It was a monkey!

The monkey was wearing a three piece suit and a pair of half-moon spectacles. A cane was clutched with both hands in front of it.
“May I help you, miss…?” The monkey spoke.
“Uhm, do you know if there is a bathroom I may wash up in before dinner?”
“You just passed it. Turn around, take a left and it is the fourth door on the right.” The monkey nodded, satisfied it had answered the question and waited for further questions.
“Will you be joining us for dinner?” she sputtered out.
“I am afraid I am preoccupied with other business that requires tending to, thank you, however, for the invitation.” With that, it turned back around and kept on walking.

Flabbergasted, Honey turned around and ran the rest of the way to the bathroom.

What would a real-life talking monkey be doing here?

Honey had never seen a real life monkey before, only on television. She didn’t know they could talk, or have other business to attend to that they couldn’t join dinner. She would’ve been delighted to see the monkey have dinner with everyone.

The little girl went up on her tiptoes and washed her sticky paws before turning the faucet off and drying her hands. She ran the rest of the way to the dining room and resumed her position on top of the chair, kicking back and forth.

Chapter Text

Grace was a robot. She was not designed to feel anything that could make her even remotely human.

Over the years, however, her coding grew and developed and she installed new unwarranted programs to her database (without Sir Reginald’s knowledge of course). She had started to understand basic feelings just after her poor boy Luther had been changed.

After his operation, Grace had gone to sit on her seat and she cried. Before this, she had not known whether she could cry. But alas, the water coolant from her processor located in her head had sprung two identical leaks where her eyes and sensors were.

She looked up at the painting of a woman, the woman she had looked up to for years, and knew deep down that the woman would be proud of Grace for making it this far, for growing this much.

And so Grace cried. She cried for Luther, who had been irrevocably changed. She cried for Diego, who still hadn’t found where he belonged. She cried for Allison who never found out a way to develop connections with others without the aid of her powers. She cried for Klaus, who never got the help he needed, who, in his endeavor to help himself, ultimately sacrificed himself because of his powers. She cried for little number Five who got up and never came back; Grace had chosen a name for him when she had given the others their’s; his name was going to be Elijah. She cried for Ben, who died before he could grow up, even though he was the sweetest little man Grace had ever the pleasure of meeting. She cried for Vanya, who had been manipulated by her father and had never developed a strong connection with her siblings or Grace.

The crying had been cathartic, and only the first step in her development of becoming more human.

.oOo.

Four and a half years later, Sir Reginald died.

It was of his own doing, though one of his last requests of her was odd. He asked that she take his monocle for cleaning the moment before his death. Grace knew she couldn’t disobey Sir Reginald, even in death. So, she took the monocle and cleaned it. She did not return it to his cooling corpse, it was an act of defiance after his passing.

.oOo.

Two days and seven hours later, Diego came home. This marked the return of the other siblings. Grace was overjoyed that they were back home, where they belonged. Sir Reginald was dead and could no longer hurt them.

Then Five came back. Her little Five. Elijah, in her mind. He didn’t look a day older. Her smile grew wider and she felt happy. She felt content. She almost had all of her children back. A piece of her heart was missing with Ben’s absence.

.oOo.

The next handful of days were tumultuous and ever-changing. At times, Grace wished she could return to those quiet days in the past, but she wouldn’t trade her children for anything.

.oOo.

Her son was missing. Klaus was gone.

He had been taken after Diego turned her off. She wanted to weep. So Grace went to Klaus’ bedroom and sat on his messy bed. His clothes were still there, his shoes still there. Grace wanted to weep at the state of his shoes. She had failed in taking care of him. They were ratty and hole filled and were not enough to protect his poor feet from the harshness of the outside world.

She stood up and walked around, a few drops of blood were splattered on the floor with reckless abandon, like someone was in a fight. Grace collected the sample and tested it. Klaus’. The nearby bathroom still had water in the bathtub, dirt collected in the bottom of the porcelain vessel and she knew Klaus had been taken during his bath from their house. She could do nothing about it except mourn.

.oOo.

When Klaus was brought back, Grace choked back a sob and got straight to work making her sweet precious baby comfortable. She wiped the few escaping tears with the back of her hand and busied herself with Klaus’ care. She did not notice anything was wrong with the IV bag she grabbed.

.oOo.

After getting him comfortable, Grace went to her place of ultimate comfort, the kitchen. When things got bad, Grace was never allowed a room to escape to, but she knew Sir Reginald would never deign to come to the kitchen. He had claimed it was “a woman’s place”, and that it would be too much to ask of a proper gentleman to step down from his role as breadwinner to finagle with mundane tasks like taking care of the residents of the house.

So that is where she went when she felt any emotion that she knew Sir Reginald would shut her down for.

She danced around, trying to bring some semblance of happiness to her heart. What should she make for dinner? She should make something nice. Almost all of her children were back and she hadn’t had the chance to cook for them all since they were twelve. Back then Sir Reginald had demanded silence during dinner. But she had read somewhere that family dinners were full of stories and jokes and laughter.

She felt two presences step into the kitchen and she stopped dancing, forcing herself to look more robotic to cover for her genuine joy as was habit.

“Hello dears, is there anything I can help you with?” In front of her stood a young man, most likely two years younger than her children, with a little bruised dirty girl perched on his shoulders. They were interested in something to eat. She should probably get started on dinner.

Their conversation grew and she learned that the little girl’s name was Honey and the man’s name was Sam. How sweet. Her plans for dinner were changed as she talked to them. There were apparently many more people joining than she expected. She should make a roast. Then little Honey said she couldn’t eat much because she had starved to death. Grace’s heart stuttered.

Are they still dead? All likely signs point to yes, but when Grace clasped Honey’s grubby hand, she felt a pulse and felt warmth. She was not dead. Nonetheless, she would comply with the request for something not too heavy. Perhaps a soothing broth for Honey and Klaus. Yes, that would work.

.oOo.

She made the roast, she made the broth, she made green beans and a salad and rice pilaf and mashed potatoes. She made enough for an army.

Diego, who had come down five minutes earlier, was tasked with helping her carry the large dishes into the larger dining room. Before this though, she made two plates and one bowl of broth and took them up to the infirmary. She had heard Honey and Sam whisper about two others staying with Klaus. They must be his friends, though Grace had no clue where he had met friends like these.

She stopped in the doorway to the infirmary. A man was asleep with Klaus’ hand clutched in his, his head laying gently atop Klaus’ thin shoulder. It was the other person that made her stop.

Ben sat in a chair on the other side of Klaus’ bed. She would recognize him from anywhere. Her baby was here. Her family was once more complete.

“Mom?” Tears were dripping down her face as her smile grew wider.
“Yes, baby?”

Chapter Text

Honey sat there as everyone started swarming into the dining room. Sam sat to her left and Jimmy to her right. Across from her, sat the tall woman, Allison.

When she looked up, Allison gave her a weak, pitying smile. Honey did not like it when people pitied her. She may look six, but she was 21 almost 22 years old. She was a big girl and she could handle things without the pity of others. The big man, Luther, sat at the head of the table on the other side of Sam. On the other side of Luther, sat Five, and then Allison, then Vanya, and then Diego. Grace sat at the other head of the table.

On the side she was sitting on, the order went: Sam, then herself, Jimmy, and then Chuck and Josh who squeezed into one space as they didn’t want to separate from the other.

Food was placed on the table and the feast started. Honey was a little skeptical that Grace had made that much food in such a short time, but nonetheless it looked and smelled really good. A bowl of broth was placed in front of her and it smelled rich and fragrant. She hadn’t had a home cooked meal in a long time.

When she was still alive, her mother was the one who cooked as her father had an eating disorder. She and her brothers were all vegetarian and her mother made vegetarian dishes like hearty soups and green stir frys. Then she got too busy trying to support a family and had been too tired to cook. Honey took over cooking but could only really make macaroni and cheese from the box. The meal, while different in the foods made, reminded her of when her mom cooked and they would eat together at the table.

Awkward silence rested over the group as food was dished out onto individual plates and first bites were had. Honey took her spoon and sipped at the broth, marveling at the full bodied flavour it possessed. Tears sprang to her eyes and looking at the soldiers next to her, she could see them quietly holding back the tears.

“How is everything? Is it good?” Grace asked, her eyes jovial at the prospect of people enjoying her hard work. Diego laid a hand over hers.
“It’s really good mom, you outdid yourself.”
“Why, thank you, darling.”
The silence came back as the soldiers tried not to let the others see their reactions at something to eat besides gross MRE’s. The other side was silent presumably so they wouldn’t give too much information to the outsiders.

Honey sipped slowly at her broth, careful not to eat it too fast and give herself a stomachache. This garnered pointed looks from the members of the table, excluding Sam and Grace of course. After all, wouldn’t she prefer the rich, boisterous roast to a simple, hearty broth?

She couldn’t stand the silence, but her stomach dropped at the thought of saying anything. She was luckily saved by the clearing of someone’s throat. She looked up from her bowl and saw Vanya had a hand clenched in front of her pursed lips. Everyone paused in their meal to look at her. She opened her eyes and gave an alarmed, sheepish look towards Grace who just smiled.

“Umm, so what brings you guys here?” Her eyes scanned the soldiers and her. Jimmy took pity on her and his deep voice washed over the table.
“We’re Klaus’ brothers, we will always be there for him. Klaus is here, so we are as well.” The other soldiers nodded and Honey looked around at them before nodding with them.
“What is that supposed to mean? We are Klaus’ family. He doesn’t have any other brothers besides Diego, Five and I,” Luther piped in from his place at the head of the table. He glared at Sam who got the short end of the stick by sitting next to him.

‘What about Ben?” Honey thought, sad that he had been conveniently forgotten.

“Not literally, he means we are Klaus’ brothers in arms. We fought together. Hell, we’ve saved each other’s lives more times than I can even count,” Chuck said, an uneasy grin on his face.
“What do you mean you fought together?” Diego questioned.

“He means that Klaus fought with us in Vietnam, he was with us for a good twelve months, which is longer than a lot of the poor fuckers who get drafted. Though, lately, I’m coming to realize he had never been drafted,” Sam answered, getting a dirty look from Jimmy for cursing around Honey. She didn’t mind though, she herself frequently cursed.

“That’s impossible, Klaus couldn’t be in the Vietnam War. He wasn’t even born until 1989,” Allison interjected, her face angry with disbelief.
“Yeah, that would have been impossible, but after everything that has happened, I think that is the last thing I would find unbelievable, though it is one of many.”
“What do you mean ‘everything that has happened’? What else has happened?”

Honey noticed Five completely ignoring any of the proceedings as if this was not new information. She stared at him until he made eye contact with her. She narrowed her eyes and gestured to the adults in the room with her eyebrows, her gaze concentrated on his unwavering face. He finally glared back and went back to eating and ignoring.

“I mean ‘everything that has happened’ as in I was dead not even two hours ago!” Chuck yelled, promptly shutting up the entire room.

“Can you repeat that please?” Vanya said, her face confused.
“What Chuck means to say, but failed to explain, is that every single one of us has been dead for longer than a decade until earlier. All that I am inputting is that one moment I was floating in darkness and the next, I was coming into awareness and was in the infirmary with my companions and a very distressed Klaus.” Honey didn’t think she had ever heard Josh speak out loud like that before, his voice was soothing and airy, though it contained a very down to earth knowledge about it.

All of the siblings looked shocked, and eyed every single one of them. When their eyes reached Honey, they must have realized how young she had died as their eyes grew wide and stayed on her for a second longer, eyeing the bruises on her form.
“How did you all die then?” Luther asked. The others looked at him as if they couldn’t comprehend how stupid that question was, how insensitive it was.

“I’m not going to pretend like that wasn’t the worst question in the world, because it was, but I will answer you. It will be almost therapeutic. I, uh, I-I got sh-shot in the head. Right h-here,” He said, voice wavering as he pointed to a mark above his right eyebrow. Somebody sucked in a breath.

“I agree. It will be therapeutic. I stepped on a landmine. Legs got blown off. Y’know how it goes.” Jimmy laughed, but it was an uncomfortable thing that crawled from the back of his throat. He looked down at his lap, as if confirming that his legs were still in fact attached to the rest of his body.

“I got cornered and shot to shit, I guess. Never stood a fucking chance. They sent us in on the last call. We were gonna be moved out the next day to a new area because that area was becoming overrun by the Viet Cong.” Chuck looked bitterly at the remnants of the food laying on his plate.

“I agree with Chuck, we never stood a chance. We were nothing more than mere cannon fodder in the grand scheme of things. However, I will say that our survival was never guaranteed and I knew that when I joined. I got shot a few times and then ambushed and stabbed near the tree line.”

All the soldiers had said something and now everyone’s eyes were sitting, resting, waiting, upon her figure. They demanded an answer for their unquenchable quest for knowledge. They would never un-know the information given. Vanya looked a little sick at the overload of their deaths.

She cleared her throat. Somebody gulped (though maybe that was just her imagination). The atmosphere was a tense one paved by gruesome death stories that were nonetheless fascinating coming from the mouths of the men who were killed.
“I was kidnapped and then beaten and starved to death with other children. The building burned down and with it, my body. They only ever found one of the men. The other got away and I was forgotten.” Nobody spoke, though everyone felt bad.

A heavy weight fell upon their shoulders and the silence once more grew oppressive.

They sat in silence for a long time.

Nobody spoke.

Nobody ate.

The only sound was the ticking of the grandfather clock in the corner. Honey was growing mad listening to it.

Then the silence was interrupted.

Footsteps.

Footsteps pattering through the empty halls and towards the dining room. Everyone grew tense and a couple of the Hargreeves siblings got into a defensive position.

The footsteps stopped at the closed door and then they opened.

On the other side, stood Ben, sweating and panting.

“Mom,” he got out. “We need you in the infirmary. Klaus is awake.”

Chapter Text

When Klaus first opened his eyes, he did not know what to expect.

The Creator had kindly informed him that the medicine had run its course through his body and his soul was allowed back inside.

However, this interim had not been but a few hours in the real world yet had felt like a month in the spirit world.

The Creator had given him tools to use. Breathing techniques to keep him calm as he talked and persuaded spirits to go into other realms. But he also had found he was capable of so much more.

He could levitate, and he could move objects, and he could summon spirits and make them tangible. He could dismiss the spirits and send them to rest in the final realm.

A voice in the back of his head had only confirmed that his father was right in thinking him a disappointment and failure. His fear had taken over his mind and driven him to extreme levels he would not have had to be at had he the proper tools to cope with his powers. He would never have been able to dream up the powers he now possessed if it weren’t for his dad’s cruel ways and evil-scientist-like inventions that could alter the course of reality.

Now though, he was ready to go back to where he belonged.

He wanted to see Ben, and Dave, and Honey, Chuck, Jimmy, Sam, Josh. He wanted to see his mom again. He wanted to see Pogo and he wanted to ask him questions. There was so much more to living than he had previously thought.

Before, he had lived only for the dead. They had ruled his life. Now, it is the living that is keeping him captivated. He no longer feared death (though the thought of any of the people closest to him dying again made his heart feel weird in his chest).

So, when he woke up he did not know what to expect and so was confused.

He had no clue what would happen when he would first return to his body.

Pain.

Insurmountable pain.

His eyes weren’t working right. Everything was blurry. His lips stung and he could taste iron in his mouth.

He could remember what it felt like to have his lips sewn shut.

He could feel the thread pulling through the skin, which was worse than the initial run through of the needle. He remembered not being able to make a sound because of the gun pointed at his head. Oh god, he could feel the dirt and sweat and grime accumulate on his tired, tortured body.

He had too much. He couldn’t handle anymore.

Then, he was there.

Beautiful and sweet Dave was there. Right in front of him. His body had cooled off in to a buzzing numbness that made tears prick at his eyes. His right hand felt heavy, like something was in it.

He couldn’t find the strength to move his head to look at it.

His ears were ringing and it made him recall all those moments he would hide underwater in the bathtub. Back then he would hide from anything and everything.

He hid from his dad, from his siblings, from Pogo and mom. He hid from the ghosts and their wails and moans. He hid from his addiction, from drug dealers that he owed money to. The bath was his safe place and his ringing ears provided comfort where someone else might find concern.

He felt a pressure on either side of his face and the weight from his hand was gone. The pressure forced his head around until he was looking to the side.

“-aus… Klaus! Are you… me? -Aus… me?”

He couldn’t hear what his beloved was saying. But it was going to be okay, everything was going to be fine.

.oOo.

Dave had been dreaming.

He dreamed he was at the beach with Klaus and his little sister.

They were walking together, Leah perched on his shoulders and Klaus clinging to his side. He could hear gulls cry and smell the salty air from the cooling waves.

The sun was setting and it set the sky in tones of purples and oranges and navy blues and pinks. He looked over and saw Klaus looking at the sun and they both stopped to admire the sight. He could feel hot tears running down his face. But he let them fall.

These tears were not sad tears, but happy ones. This was what he had wanted in life and he was determined to get something at least like it back in reality.

And then, he woke with a start. Something was calling his attention.

“Dave, wake up!” He looked wildly around at the sound of Ben’s hushed voice.
“What? Why’d you wake me up?” His voice was gravelly with sleep.
“It’s Klaus, I think he is waking up.” And sure enough, he saw his love’s eyes fluttering and heard moans squeaking from somewhere deep in his throat.

When his eyes finally opened, they were hazy and his hazel eyes were cloudy from unconsciousness. A moan once more sounded from his throat and his eyes went wide in panic.

Dave held on tightly to the other man’s hand and tried to pour his strength into the other. He leaned forward and pushed himself into Klaus’ line of sight.

“It’s gonna be okay, baby. We’re gonna be fine.”

He looked over to Ben who glanced at the two of them before coming to a decision.

“I’m going to go and inform the others that Klaus is awake. Maybe mom can find a way to help him.” Dave nodded his acknowledgment and watched as Ben left.

Klaus had calmed down significantly compared to where he was a second ago. His eyes were still hazy, and now sweat beaded upon his brow. He hadn’t had a shower yet and he could tell when he placed his hands on either side of the man’s face and turned his head towards him.

“Klaus. Klaus? Are you with me? Klaus? Are you with me?” Dave let go of his head and it lolled to the side for a second before resting on one of the many pillows on the bed. Klaus had a goofy grin on his face. Dave could tell that it hurt though. The many bandages lining his lips were pulled taught and ointment oozed from the sides.

“Is… gon’... oka… y?”
“Yes baby, it’s gonna be okay now. You’re safe. We love you. I love you. We will protect you. It will be okay.”
“Ok...ay?”
“Yes baby, yes.”
“‘Ave… Loh… v… you.”
“I love you too baby, but you need to stop talking. You’re bleeding again.”
“Srry.”
“It’s okay baby. It’s gonna be okay. Ben went to go get the others. We have been waiting to see you again. We missed you.”
“Mssd… you… too.”

Dave heard a herd of footsteps coming closer. He drew away from Klaus who whined in response.
“D’n’t… lea-ve… plea-ssse.”
“I won’t leave you baby, I promise. I won’t leave you ever again.”

He wasn't going to leave Klaus to the mercy of anyone else ever again.

Chapter Text

With the coming of Klaus’ consciousness, the house was thrown into alarm. The occupants of the table jumped up simultaneously (with the exception of Five and Luther, who had decided they firmly did not care). Food was forgotten and chairs were pushed back as Ben panted in the doorway after delivering his news. The soldiers and Honey gathered around him, concerned for his well being--after all they had to stick together (you don’t die and then come back to life without some feeling of camaraderie towards others like you). He waved them off and made his way towards the infirmary--he was not going to let Dave deal with all of his siblings at once.

They hoofed it to their two brother’s, and screeched to a stop in the doorway.

Every single one of Ben’s siblings (excepting Klaus, of course) were sitting on one end of the room. Ben walked over to Dave, confused.
“Why are they all sitting over there like that?”
“Klausy mousy decided they were interrupting the moment so he sat them down with his powers I guess, they were too shocked to say anything.” Ben nodded and looked towards Klaus, who looked faintly nauseated.
“You doing okay, Lucky?” Chuck asked, strolling nonchalantly over to the hospital bed.
“‘Bout as good as I can be given the current situation. Certainly been worse, pretty good though.” He sniffed and brought a hand to his nose.

Ben had to do a double take. Klaus’ injuries looked weeks old, even though they had just been bleeding yesterday. He figured it must be some facet of his new found powers, but it was shocking. With everything going on, he had forgotten the weeks of torture that he had to watch Klaus endure. He looked down at the ragged black shoes he had forgotten to polish the morning he died. He couldn’t make eye contact with any of his siblings, it was too much for him.

It was apparently too much for them as well, seeing as they were sitting there confused. They hadn’t even put up a fight.

“What next, what are we going to do next?” Josh questioned, his voice giving Ben shivers. He didn’t realize the handsome soldier had been standing so close to him. He however, did raise a very important question.

They had all been dead for over ten years, they wouldn’t be able to do anything without papers which currently stated they were dead. They would have to stay at the Umbrella Academy and never go out, and Ben was growing panicked at the thought--he couldn’t go through his childhood again, Reginald or no.

Klaus cleared his throat--no doubt it was dry after being unconscious and dehydrated.
“Actually, I have an idea.”

.oOo.

“I don’t want to stay here anymore, and I know for a fact Ben doesn’t either. I haven’t spent a dime of my inheritance yet, and Ben hasn’t either--hell we probably have half a billion dollars between us right now.” He chuckled at the faces of his brothers around him. Ben’s face was priceless, his eyes wide in shock and his jaw hanging low. He must have forgotten he would receive a part of the inheritance too, now that he was actually alive to receive it. And wasn’t that a kicker--Ben was alive again! Klaus was getting giddy over the plan.

His last day with the creator, they had hatched a plan. He had been nervous and anxious to come back, because as Josh had said: what were they going to do next?

“So we take the money, and we move somewhere else. Somewhere new. A pretty little house in the woods, just like you and I talked about back in ‘Nam Davey.” He peered into his love’s eyes, and saw hope shimmer in them. They were going to make it. No more pain. It wasn’t necessary.

“We have enough money to find someone to forge papers for all of you and we can live in peace for the rest of our lives.”

They all exchanged smiles. Until they were interrupted by someone clearing their throat. They looked over at the still sitting Hargreeves siblings.

“What about us? You’re just gonna leave us here to rot?”

.oOo.

Diego was fuming. Klaus was going to take their money and start a new life away from them, away from his family?

Of course he was, Klaus was always the selfish one out of all of them. Always demanding attention, always wanting whatever he wants and disregarding anything anyone else wants. He couldn’t believe it. He wasn’t allowed to leave, if they had to stay there then so did he.

“Leave you there to rot, like you left me to rot in that motel closet for two weeks? I haven’t forgotten about that little ‘I forgot Klaus again’ number.” Diego watched as a weakened, but surprisingly not injured Klaus sat up and wobbled around in his hospital bed. “I have every right to take my money and leave, and so do you. So there isn’t any ‘rotting’ except the rotting of your decrepit souls. Please leave us alone. Haven’t you caused enough grief already. I just want to live the rest of my life in peace.”

.oOo.

Dave looked at the love of his life and smiled. They were really doing it. It was hard to believe they weren’t in some kind of dream, that he wasn’t still in Vietnam about to go back onto the front lines just to die all over again.

He knew life was going to be harder going forward than he realized, but he now had the option to go forward--which was more than he had in a long time.

He placed his hand on Klaus’ grimy hair and ruffled the curls, feeling a hand tug at his fatigues, looking down and seeing the little Honey girl. He smiled and picked her up, propping her on his hip before resuming his stroking of Klaus’ hair.

They were gonna be alright.

Chapter Text

Two months later.

Klaus huffed as he dropped the last box onto the hardwood floor below him. He plopped down, legs splayed in front of him as he wiped his brow with the bottom of his tie-dye shirt. The June weather brought upon them a heatwave that could only be cut through with no clothes and ice cold glasses of lemonade.

He closed his eyes and fell back, groaning as his head clunked against the floor. He opened his eyes again and looked up at the slowly spinning ceiling fan. It was a new sight, but one he would get used to with time.

He heard a laugh from above him and rolled his head to see Dave’s boots and when he looked up, saw his beloved’s laughing face.
“Almost reminds you of ‘Nam, eh mouse?” Klaus chuckled at that dumb nickname that only Dave called him.

.oOo.

They had gotten drunk two nights after their first kiss back in 1968 and were lazing about the shitty hotel room they only barely managed to afford at the time. They were significantly lacking in clothes and they shared a cigarette as they stared up at a ceiling fan, not unlike the one Klaus was staring at presently. After a few minutes of comfortable silence, Dave had started to laugh, spurring on Klaus, who was definitely not immune to Dave’s infectious laughter.
“What are you laughing about, lover man?” he had asked.
“Just thinking about terms of endearment… Like the really silly ones I’ve heard other couples call each other.” They started to laugh again.
“The truly awful ones too, like just something that rhymes with their first name. I heard this one girl call her boyfriend ‘Tony Boney’.” That earned another explosion of laughter and spurred them on to name more.
“Klive Blive”
“Lucy Juicy”
“Hahaha, Davey Wavey” Klaus snorted. Dave grabbed a pillow and smacked him. Through their laughter, and the swooshing sound of smacking pillows, Dave managed to choke out:
“Klausey Mousey.”

.oOo.

Back in the present, Klaus was in the process of standing up, made even more dramatic by his flailing arms as he propped himself first on the box, and then Dave’s waist, before finally getting his feet under him in a manner that ignited an onslaught of laughter from both Dave, and their audience.
Honey walked over with two large glasses in her hand, handing them to the adults before leaning against Dave and Klaus’ knees and wrapping her arms around them. With their free hands they ruffled her hair almost in sync.

It was everything Klaus had ever dreamed.

They had spent the last two months recovering from the very busy few days after their resurrection. There were papers to gather. There was money to transfer. There were houses to search for.

Eventually, they found an older house on the east coast in North Carolina, near the beach in a small wooded area. It had six bedrooms, three bathrooms and a wrap around porch. It was perfect. Everyone had their own room (with the exception of the near inseparable Klaus and Dave power combo, and the rapidly developing Josh and Ben romance).

Honey gained seven new father figures, and had been enrolled in a small school not too far away.

The soldiers had been gradually acclimating themselves with both the 21st century, and with being a civilian after years at war. This was helped along by a therapist who had been clued in by every single one of the men and was further helped by a begrudging Five, who had finally found a way to return to an older body after skipping through time and not learning his lesson in the first place.

Klaus’ powers, for the first time in his miserable life, were manageable and he was finally at peace with the world and with himself. Ben had found that the Horrors in his stomach had disappeared with the return of his life, as if Klaus had not brought them back, only him.

They were now in the process of buying things for the new house and moving what little the two Hargreeves owned from the mansion to their new home.

Klaus took Honey’s hand, and Dave mirrored him as they walked outside to watch the sun set. Klaus sighed happily and rested his head upon Dave’s shoulder.

The others joined them and shared jokes and stories as the cooling night breeze rushed through the trees around them.

There was peace, and it was perfect.