The day was going slow for Klaus. Ben and Luther were on a mission, Diego was training with Old Man Hargreeves, Allison locked herself in her room after breakfast, and Vanya had disappeared to practice her violin.
Klaus had no one to bother, no one to talk to.
'Well,' he thought, ' he could go and spend time with Mom'
Groaning, Klaus rose from his position on the living room sofa and stretched; back arching and joints popping. Klaus started towards Grace's "room."
As Klaus made his way upstairs, he listened. The only sound was his footsteps against the creaking stairs. It was one of those rare occurrences where everything in the Academy was silent. He couldn't he Luther and Diego's near constant bickering. He couldn't hear Old Man Hargreeves daunting footsteps or voice. It was blissfully quiet. Even the dead were silent.
Klaus finished his trek upstairs and continued towards Grace's charging station.
"Klaus, dear!" Grace beamed, setting down the blanket she was crocheting. "Would you like something to eat? It's only ten thirty and lunch starts at noon, but I'm sure I could work up a snack for you." She offered, her smile never leaving it's position.
Klaus smiled, a warm feeling erupted in his chest. "That's ok, Mom. I just wanted to spend some time with you."
"Of course, Dear. I was just crocheting this blanket for you, before we started talking. Would you like to help?" She asked, reaching for her hooks and yarn.
Klaus scooted closer, excited to be receiving something from his mother. "Yes, please." Grace gave him directions to keep the blanket off the floor, and to help her switch out her colors.
A comfortable silence fallen over them as Grace worked, and Klaus helped before Klaus spoke again
"When will Luther and Ben be back, Mom?" Klaus asked. Been and Klaus normally went on missions together and hadn't ever been as completely separated as they were now. It was their first mission apart from each other.
"They should be back soon dear." Grace assured, placing her hand on Klaus' shoulder, gently squeezing. A reassuring gesture that everything would be alright.
The hours droned on and soon it was time for lunch, and still there was no sign of Ben or Luther or Old Man Hargreeves. Normally, it relieved Klaus when there was no sign of Luther or Hargreeves, but now it only worried him.
Klaus was sitting in his room when they arrived; music blasting through his headphones. The music flowed through Klaus, making him twist and twirl with the beat.
He didn't hear Diego start shouting for Grace. He didn't hear Allison crying.
When the song stopped, and the flow his body and the music created stopped, Klaus opened his eyes, startling so bad he dropped his music player.
"Christ on a Cracker, Ben!" Klaus gasped, hand to his chest, as if to calm his racing heart, "don't scare me like that."
Ben didn't say anything, he just stood there to the left of the doorway.
Klaus picked up his player and set it on his bed, then turned to walk out the door, "Come on, Bentacles, let's go get some food in you." And with that he walked to the kitchen.
Klaus looked back to see if Ben was following and smiled when he saw him a few paces back. He continued down the hallway, and walked down the stairs and into the kitchen. "It's probably been hours since you've eaten anything, huh?" Klaus sympathized, walking over to the cabinet containing the bread. "I'll make you one of Vanya's famous marshmallow and peanut butter sandwiches." Klaus smiled.
Klaus sighed, "Looks like you'll have to make your own sandwich, Benny Boy."
"Klaus! G-get in here!"
Shaking his head, Klaus raised his voice, "I'm coming!" Muttering under his breath, Klaus left Ben to fend for himself in the kitchen.
"Well," Klaus scoffed, "it seems you are having a lovely little family meeting without me." He looked to everyone in the room.
"There's something y-you need to k-know," Diego didn't meet Klaus' eyes as he walked into the room, keeping his gaze to the floor. "about Ben."
Dread settled heavy in Klaus' stomach, he turned to look into the kitchen, where, sure enough, Ben was still standing. "What about Ben?"
Diego looked to Allison, who bit her lip, "Klaus, something happens, something bad." She looked to Luther who was on the couch, looking at his hands.
"Ok, how about everyone stops beating around the bush and spit it out alre-"
"Ben's dead." Luther.
Klaus' mouth opened. Closed. Opened. Closed.
One minute dragging out to become thousands.
Ben is dead.
Klaus turned to face the kitchen completely, eyes wide and wild, desperate. "Ben."
"He was protecting me." Luther said, voice empty. "We thought we had completed the mission and had started to head back to the Academy when one of the criminals on the ground pulled a gun and shot at. Ben noticed before I did and jumped in front of the bullet. The-" Luther took a breath, eyes unseeing. "The bullet hit him in the chest, killed him instantly."
"No." Klaus moaned, looking at Ben, really looking at him for the first time since he first saw him. It was barely noticeable, the wound. He was wearing all black so it blended.
"No, no, no!" His hands went to his hair and pulled, eyes squeezed shut. If he couldn't see him it isn't real. Isn't real. Ben was fine, he was just in the shower and Luther and the others were playing him. What day was it? Was it April Fool's already?
Klaus didn't listen to the voices of his siblings asking if he was okay, he didn't listen to Ben, who finally became aware enough to interact, no. Klaus ran to the stairs and up to his room, hands firmly clenched over his ears.
Its not real.
They were lying.
Slamming the door shut, Klaus sank to the floor, tears streaming down his face. He slammed his head against the door, it's not real.
A sob escaped Klaus when Ben spoke.
~Klaus, it's okay. I'm okay.~
It's not real.
He'll be out of the shower soon.
Against Klaus'better judgement, he opened his eyes and then immediately shut them, tears streaming and ugly sobs erupting out of his small body. Wracking his frame.
Ben's not fine.
The bathroom door is open, and the shower had never been turned on.