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four wedding (planners) and no funeral in sight

Chapter Text

Allison was under an inordinate amount of stress, but that was a given considering it was the week of her wedding and they still didn’t have a florist. Or decided if they wanted a band or a DJ. Or a finished seating plan. Or even had a pair of shoes for her to walk down the aisle in.

Allison loved Patrick with her entire heart. He was the sweetest man she could possibly be marrying. However, perhaps he was too sweet, in that he was of no help at all in helping her make decisions. “Whatever you want, love, I want this to be the wedding of your dreams.” Which was a lovely sentiment, but in reality just meant that Allison was the one having to make every single decision in planning the biggest night of their lives.  

In conclusion? Stress.

And so, when one of her estranged siblings arrived on her doorstep in a weird leather holster and with something that looked suspiciously like blood on his hands, she was not in the best of moods about it.

However, this was her brother, and she really hadn’t seen him in years. Not since she’d left the Academy, anyway, and although his face brought back memories that she would rather remain buried, it also brought back some happy memories. Of secret sleepovers in each other’s rooms, of earnest talks in the middle of the night, as well as constant well-meaning trash talking each other, and eating far too many of Griddy’s Doughnuts whenever they could sneak out. Stuffing their faces and making fun of each other- normal, sibling stuff which made her heart ache, but in a good way.

So, instead of shutting the door in his face, she simply took a moment to collect herself before greeting him.

“I hope you’re not planning on wearing that to my wedding.”

Diego smirked as she side-stepped away from the door to let him in, “Good to see you too, sis. How’s the wedding planning going?”

Allison sighed dramatically, almost Klaus-like, which gave Diego all the answer that he needed. She always upped the drama when she was trying to hide her true emotions, whether intentionally or no. Theatrics were a brilliant way to pretend everything was ok.

Unfortunately, her brother remembered this about her, and reacted accordingly.

“That good, huh? Anything I can help with?” he said to her over his shoulder, while peering curiously at seemingly everything he walked past.
Always the detective.

After a moment of contemplation, Allison shrugged her shoulders. Realising that Diego was too focused on her cat-shaped clock to notice, she spoke up.

“I honestly have no idea. Everything’s kinda crazy, I’ll be honest, but I don’t want you to worry yourself about it,” she smiled, “as long as you show up on the day, I’ll be happy.”

“Ah, Allison,” Diego replied, flopping down on her couch, “you’ve never been one to need help, have you? You can get anything you want as soon as you ask, but you don’t know what to ask this time, do you?”

“I’m not sure what you-“

“Give me some credit here. It might have been a while, but I’m still your brother. I can tell that you’re stressed, Ali. Give me something you need done, I’m free for the rest of the week anyway.”

Allison frowned, “what about your fancy detective job? I thought you’d be too busy-“

Diego waved his hand at her, effectively stopping her from talking.

“Eh, they gave me the week off. Just for you, sis.” He said, winking casually, but there was something odd about his reply that put her on edge.

Probably just the stress talking. Everything seemed to be putting her on edge recently.

“Basically,” Diego continued, “I’m at your beck and call until your big day. What do you need done?”

“OK, OK. Um, help me decide this then. Band or DJ?”

Diego didn’t even pause before replying, “Band to walk down the aisle, and first dance, DJ for everything else.”

Allison blinked in surprise. That actually sounded- Well, it sounded nice.

“You have the money for that, right?” Diego continued, and it should have sounded spiteful but it didn’t, it was just questioning, “Big-shot actress like you, why not go all out?”

She nodded slowly. The idea was developing in her head, and the more she thought about it the more she liked it.

The benefit of a DJ would be that they could play literally anything, and they could get one that did requests, and then the band to walk down the aisle to- that would be a dream, such a lovely touch to have live music playing the wedding march. She could picture it now, the rows of friends and family, her in her beautiful dress with the band behind her, and Patrick standing by the priest, looking gorgeous as always but ten times more than usual, if that was possible, in his suit, and his hair done properly rather than just slicked back, and-

“Hello? Earth to Allison?” Diego had stood up at some point during her daydreaming, and was clapping in front of her face, “So does it sound like a good idea or nah?”

Allison grabbed his wrists before he could clap them again.

“It sounds perfect, Diego. Thank you.”

Diego grinned, “Great! So, when can I meet this Patrick guy?”

Allison’s eyes widened at the prospect, that, nope, she could not handle today, no matter how much she loved and had missed her brother, that was not a good idea just yet-

Is what she was thinking, before Patrick’s car drew into the driveway and she knew that there was no chance she was getting out of this.

Wonderful timing, Pat.

And so, she sighed dejectedly, “Right now, it would appear.”

Diego rubbed his hands together menacingly, looking like a cartoon villain.

“Excellent,” he muttered to himself, and Allison immediately regretted every decision that had led to this moment. At the very least, she regretted letting Diego into her house today.

At least it isn’t Klaus, she thought to herself, before she kissed Patrick in greeting and began mentally preparing for the train wreck that would undoubtedly follow.

Chapter Text

The day after Diego’s impromptu interrogation of her fiancé- because, yes Diego, that was an interrogation, not a friendly conversation- Allison wanted nothing more than to relax. However, that was decidedly not going to happen as soon as she heard someone shouting her name whilst she was browsing for shoes.

Turning around to face the shouter with a carefully sculpted, absolutely dashing smile, she was prepared to greet the excited fan, maybe sign an autograph or two, and take a photo, before politely going on her way. She was not, however, ready to greet her second estranged brother in two days.

Unfortunately for her sanity, that was exactly who she was facing.

“Klaus!” She offered as that very sibling ran up to her, adorned in a black mesh shirt, a floaty pink tulle skirt and an excessive amount of jewellery. He was nothing if not dramatic.

“The one and only, sister dear!” he replied enthusiastically, hugging her close. His necklaces were cold and dug into her skin, but she couldn’t find it in herself to mind much. Klaus had that effect on people.

Or maybe just her? Who knows.

“What are you doing here?” she said, when Klaus finally let her go. Whilst she enjoyed the hug, it had been getting difficult to breath.

Also, it had alerted her to just how scarily thin Klaus was, and prompted her to give him another look over. He was, in fact, tall and far too skinny, shivering from the cold- which the mesh shirt probably wasn’t helping, but Klaus was always one to choose fashion over practicality. Much like herself, to be fair. He looked pale, and his eyes were sunken.

His appearance, although disheartening, wasn’t surprising- she’d known for years about his drug addiction, all of them had, and she’d payed for rehab enough times, as well as recently enough, to know that he hadn’t quite kicked it yet.

And so, yes, the majority of his somewhat bedraggled appearance was unsurprising. However, it was his eyes that caught her attention. The last time they had seen each other was when they were eighteen. For about three years before then, Allison couldn’t remember a time when Klaus’ eyes hadn’t been glazed over, pupils wide and unseeing, caught up in his own world away from the ghosts and the pain. This time, however, his eyes- his eyes didn’t hold the drug-induced haze that she had been expecting.

So maybe- maybe the last stint in rehab hadn’t been a waste of time?

She didn’t mention anything, not just yet. Maybe he just hadn’t found a dealer recently. No point getting her hopes up over nothing.

“-and then I tried chocolate pudding and, boy was that a bad idea, it was so painful, never doing that again-“

Right. Klaus did have a tendency to ramble. His stories were always entertaining, however, no matter how horrifying or crass. So she tuned in, letting him talk on as she led them through the mall. They fell into step together easily, and Allison listened intently while Klaus told his stories.

It was as if nothing had changed. Klaus talked, Allison listened. Klaus refrained, either intentionally or otherwise, from telling any stories related to his drug habit, which Allison was grateful for. It was nice to catch up without any expectations. While she would do what she could to help him, it was also nice to remember that Klaus was something other than his addiction.

They found themselves sitting in a café together, somewhere in the quieter end of the mall where they were unlikely to be disturbed. It wasn’t quite Griddy’s, but it was somewhere she liked to go where she wasn’t likely to be bombarded by fans.

“So, what have you been up to sis?” Klaus grinned at her, resting his head on his hands and looking up at her, expectantly.

“Oh, you know, my life has essentially revolved around this wedding for the past couple of months, so there’s not much to tell unless you want to hear about the boring side of a wedding,” she laughed, but Klaus just kept looking at her earnestly.

“So how’s that been going? The big day is this week, right? You excited?”

Big, doe eyes.

“Extremely. Stressed, nervous, terrified work too,” she joked, trying to keep the tone light.

Klaus smiled widely, “Brilliant! I have my whole outfit planned out, y’know, I can’t wait for you to see it! And, oh!” He clapped excitedly, his rings clacking together, “I can’t wait to see your dress! Is it white? Or have you gone for something more-“ Klaus leaned in conspiritually, “-avant garde?”

Allison snorted. She’d forgotten just how overly-dramatic he could be. God, she’s missed Klaus.

“No, no, I went for a classic white dress. Boring, I know, I’m sorry to disappoint.”

“You don’t look very sorry,” Klaus said accusingly, “But that’s fine, because you shouldn’t be- you’ll look stunning no matter what.”

The sincerity with which he spoke had Allison stunned, but he pushed on despite her silence.

“So! How about accessories? Come on, Ali, I want to know everything. And, oh! Oh! Shoes!” Klaus jumped up in his seat, excited, “Tell me about the shoeeeees Ali!”

Allison almost burst into tears then and there. God, of course he would bring up the shoes. It was Klaus, after all, and Klaus was just as passionate- if not more passionate- about fashion than her, which was really saying something.

“I-“ she cleared her throat, looking down at the table, “I haven’t- chosen any shoes yet.”

She looked back up to face him, letting their eyes meet. They stared at each other for one beat, two. And then-

“You haven’t WHAT?” Klaus spluttered out. The only other patron, an old woman at the opposite side of the café, turned to look at them startled. Allison nodded in apology, and she turned back to her meal, muttering angrily to herself.

Klaus paid her no mind, although he did lower his voice.

“How on Earth have you not chosen shoes yet? That’s one of the most important parts of a wedding! And your wedding is in-“ he checked his non-existent watch, “six days!”

“I know, Klaus, I know, which is why I’m finding it so hard to decide,” she sighed again, slumping back in her seat, “I just- I haven’t been able to find the perfect pair.”

Klaus let out a whine, whether in pain or solidarity was anyone’s guess. Nonetheless, he reached out a hand in comfort, which she took, before he met her eyes again.

“Then I promise you, that’s what we’re going to do today, oh sister of mine.”

Allison frowned, “No offence, Klaus, but I’ve been searching for literally months. Why do think you’ll be so much more successful than me?”

“Because, my love,” Klaus smiled,“you’ve been searching in all the wrong places.”

“And you know exactly the right place?” Allison replied, reasonably sceptical.

Klaus simply continued to smile, beginning to look a little manic, and all Allison could think was “oh dear god, what have I gotten myself into?” Before following Klaus out of the café.

-

Turns out, the ‘right place’ was a thrift store about a three mile walk from anywhere that Allison would generally venture. They were now in a part of the city that Allison hadn’t been to in years, with the smell of piss and alcohol on the streets, the sounds of police sirens not quite distant enough for her to be comfortable.

“So this is where you think I’ll find a pair of shoes? For my wedding?” She crossed her arms.

“Ah, my love, my light- don’t knock it before you try it. This shop is a haven of all things good and holy.” Klaus spread his hands, hitting a clothing rack in the process. The sound of the hangers clattering together was overwhelmingly loud in the silent shop.

Allison simply raised an eyebrow, sceptical.

Klaus, to his credit, did a wonderful job at pretending not to notice.

“Now it may be a little small-“ he said, bumping into another rack of shirts, “but it has charm, and is filled to the brim with wonderful clothing. And they just so happen to have an entire room full of shoes, if you’ll be so kind as to follow me.” He held up a hand, not turning around, and waited.

Allison, however reluctantly, took it, and he squealed with excitement before leading her up a winding staircase that led, she presumed, to the next level of the store.

Allison remained sceptical, right up until Klaus pushed back the fringed curtain separating them from the next room. Which-

Wow.

As Klaus had said, it was full to the brim with shoes. Literally- floor to ceiling, wall to wall of just shoes. Every kind, every size and shape possible, they appeared to have it. Impossibly high high heels were in one corner, while in another there were all different shades of pumps. There was an entire wall dedicated to floral shoes of all kinds, and yet another to different colours and sizes of polka dots. It was truly a sight to see.

Allison was stunned into silence. She had apparently died and gone to Shoe Heaven.

She turned to Klaus, who was simply beaming at her. He rubbed his hands together (in much the same way Diego had the other day) and nodded at her, all business.

“Let’s get to work, shall we?”

-

They were in that shop till the sun went down. Klaus spent hours interrogating her on what she wanted- heels or flats? Pointed or round-toed? Patterned or plain?

Klaus was surprisingly efficient when he wanted to be. He’d narrowed it down to a collection of 10 pairs of shoes, which were all sitting in front of her now.

“I just-“ Allison exhaled, frustrates, “I don’t know Klaus. None of these feel-“

“Perfect?”

She nodded, and he closed his eyes, thinking. She had been elated at the sight of so many shoes, but now her mood was coming down and she was feeling dejected all over again. She should just choose from the options Klaus had laid out, logically, she knew that, and they were all lovely options. But none of them felt right.

After a moment, Klaus’ eyes snapped open. He jumped to his feet, and Allison did the same- although perhaps a little less elegantly.

“What? What is it?” she questioned, but he just ran towards the door, barrelling down the staircase. She followed, heart racing.

He reached the front desk, where the owner didn’t look at all surprised to see him. Perhaps this was a regular occurrence.

“Mr Jimmy! How are you?”

Before the poor man could reply, Klaus hurried on, “Listen, so you have those shoes I asked you to hold back for me a few months ago?”

“Which ones?” Mr Jimmy- if that was his name- replied, unfazed.

“The, uh, the tall, pretty blue-ish ones?”

The man reached below the desk and, after a tense moment of him burrowing around, pulled out a shoebox, making Klaus scream in- hopefully- delight.

Allison watched this whole process in wonder before Klaus turned to her, holding said box open.

“Look! I can’t believe I didn’t think of these before, but I think you’ll love them. They’ve never been worn, some lady handed them in because she got the wrong size and the company didn’t do returns. They’re not what you described, but-“

Allison shushed him, looking in awe at the shoes in front of her. She picked one up gently.

Klaus was right, they didn’t match the description Allison had given him, not quite, but looking at them, she found she didn’t mind at all.

They were gorgeous.

The shoes were suede, in a beautiful shade of baby blue that took her breath away. The inlay was a golden colour, with matching golden thread. They were stiletto heels, with an ankle strap that had a dainty golden buckle that would tie in perfectly with her jewellery on the day- the day of her wedding. Because, yes, these shoes were perfect.

“I wanted to give them to you for your birthday,” Klaus said shyly, shyer than she’d ever heard him, “But, we didn’t see each other so I thought I’d save them for another occasion. Is this- is this it?”

She remained silent as she put the shoe back in its place, carefully folding the lid back down. Tear pricked at the corners of her eyes, but she refused to cry over a pair of shoes.

“They’re perfect.”

They stood there beaming at each other for goodness knows how long, until the owner coughed from somewhere behind Klaus,

“Closing up soon, you find what you were looking for?” he asked, voice impatient and more than a little irritated- probably because they’d been in his store for hours and hadn’t bought anything yet- but Allison’s mood could not be dampened.

“Yes, Mr Jimmy, we certainly have!” Klaus exclaimed, slamming the box down on the counter. Allison winced.

“Great. That’ll be $40.”

And wow, for a wonder shoe- that was pretty cheap. But still, she wasn’t sure Klaus could afford it, given his. Habits. And also distinct lack of a job, which Allison, while she liked to think the best of her siblings, was not so sure had been remedied yet. And so she went to offer up her purse, however-

“Perfect!” And Klaus pulled out a small wad of cash, handing over about half of it before returning the rest to wherever the hell he had pulled it out from.

Exchange done, they left the shop.

“I could’ve paid, you know. They’re for my wedding after all.”

“Oh, I know you could have sister dear, but this was my treat.” Klaus smiled.

“I’m sorry if this is rude, but-“ she cleared her throat, “I didn’t realise you had a job. Or money to spare.”

“A little rude sis, but not wrong,” Klaus laughed, taking it good-naturedely, “I don’t have a job. Yet, anyway. Working on it. That money is mostly made up of change that people have handed me on the streets thinking I’m homeless, and some I stole from dear old dad.”

Allison snorted. Of course, stealing from dad was something Klaus always loved to do, and she didn’t grudge him for it.

“Well, as long as you’re getting by,” she conceded, “and. And are you?” Serious talk time, she couldn’t put this question off any longer, “Getting by, that is. I noticed that you’re not…” she paused, unsure how to phrase her next statement. She didn’t want to sound accusing.

“High as a kite? Off my head on the good stuff?” Klaus offered, and Allison nodded a little stiffly, “Ah, my love, just for you! I wanted to be present for your wedding, so I’ve toned it down this week. Itching terribly, but good ol’ Benny boy is keeping me right.”

She ignored the comment about Ben, pushing on “And what about in the future?”

Klaus, paused thoughtful,

“We’ll see I guess. For now,” he grinned, “Let’s get these beauties back home!”

He held the shoe box up dramatically, skipping down the street.

Allison laughed after him. Maybe, things would be ok. Maybe not. Guess they’d just have to wait and see.

But for now, the future looked bright.

Chapter Text

Allison now had a pair of shoes, thanks to Klaus, and a finished seating plan, having finally managed to get Patrick to help her with it. His family was fairly easy to figure out, and Allison had decided to simply put her siblings on the same table. She wasn’t trying to keep them away from her friends, or Patrick- not anymore, at least- but it would be easier to control the chaos if they were all together. Plus, she wanted them all at the table closest to her, for sentimental reasons, and if they were on the same table that would be just a little bit easier to organise.

Now she just had to hope Diego and Luther wouldn’t bite each other’s heads off. That is, if Luther showed up at all. She wasn’t even sure that he’d gotten his invite. Because he still lived with dad, who she decidedly did not want at her wedding, she’d given it to a waitress at Griddy’s in the hopes that Luther still went there every once in a while. The hope was dying out a little, as she still hadn’t heard back from him, but it hadn’t fizzled out completely. Not just yet.

Allison still hadn’t booked a band, despite having decided to go with Diego’s plan. The DJ had been easy, but the band- she was going to be walking down the aisle to their music, and having her first dance. She had to choose right.

A knock on the door startled her away from her laptop, where it was open on a website for an Elvis Tribute band. Not quite the vibe she was going for.

Sighing, she answered the door, and got a strange sense of deja vu when she saw who was standing there.

What was it with her siblings and showing up unannounced after years of radio silence?

Come to think of it, she wasn’t sure how they’d all managed to get her home address.

But, somehow they had, as was evidenced by her sister now, standing awkwardly on her doorstep. In the rain. When had it started raining?

“Hi,” Vanya waved shyly, and that was enough for Allison to pull her into a hug. Totally just to get her out of the rain, not because she’d missed her sister like crazy or anything.

“God, Vanya, you must be freezing! Come in, come in,” she ushered her inside, pulling of her raincoat and hanging it up by the door.

She closed said door, and the pounding of rain on the driveway quietened to a dull drumming.

“Can I get you anything- a hot drink to warm you up, maybe?We have coffee, tea, hot chocolate?” She offered.

Vanya considered her for a moment,

“a hot chocolate would be nice,” she replied softly, oh so softly, god Allison forgot how quiet she was.

“Hot chocolate coming right up,” she smiled warmly, hoping to put Vanya at ease. It worked.

A little.

Vanya followed her to the kitchen like a lost puppy, obviously unsure what to do with herself. Which, to be fair, made sense, considering she’d never been to Allison’s house before.

“So,” Allison started, filling a saucepan with milk and turning on the gas. Do it properly, or not at all, was how she approached her hot chocolate making “How are you? It’s been far too long, I’ve missed you!”

“I’m good,” Vanya replied, “I missed you too.”

They fell into silence after that, and it should have been awkward, but instead it was- nice. It was nice having her sister back, and doing something as domestic as making hot chocolate made Allison feel all soft and gooey inside.

She started chopping a bar of dark chocolate, before putting it in the microwave.

“Dark chocolate is my favourite,” Vanya said timidly.

Allison grinned, “I remember.”

They didn’t get many sweets at the Academy. Once a month was the rule, if they’d all behaved in training, and if Vanya had progressed enough with her violin practice. Once a month, Grace would go out and buy each of them some kind of treat- of their choosing, once they knew what to ask for. They all tended to change what they wanted month by month, but after Vanya had a bar of dark chocolate for the first time, it was all she asked for, every. Single. Month. It was kind of cute, really.

Vanya relaxed even further at the evidence that Allison did actually pay attention to her. Cared for her.

Good. Allison didn’t want her own sister feeling uncomfortable in her home.

They fell into silence again while Allison took the melted chocolate out of the microwave and added it to the hot milk.

Once it was poured Vanya took an offered mug, while Allison went about the kitchen searching for whipped cream and marshmallows. Again, Allison Hargreeves did not half-ass things.

“Do you want anything in it? Cream, marshmallows?” She asked, adding those very things to her own cup, “Are you driving?” Vanya shook her head, “Good. Do you want some whiskey in it?”

Vanya’s eyes widened, before shaking her head again. She did, however, agree to the cream and marshmallows.

Allison led the way to the living room and sat down on the couch, Vanya not far behind.

Allison went to take a sip, before pausing. Should she-?

“Yay, sisters?” She said cautiously.

The change in Vanya was instant. Quiet, timid and wide eyed one second, to beaming from ear to ear the next.

“Yay, sisters,” she replied simply, and they clinked their mugs together.

They were silent as they each took a sip from their hot chocolate, during which they both failed miserably at avoiding getting cream moustaches. Making eye contact, they both giggled. Giggles turned to full blown belly laughs, both of them barely managing to get their cups down on the table before breaking down. Vanya clutching her stomach, wheezing slightly, and Allison in tears from laughing too hard. At what, exactly, neither of them were sure. Maybe it was just the elation of seeing each other after so long. Far too long.

When they’d calmed down, Vanya, in her new found confidence, gestured to the laptop that Allison had left open on the coffee table. It was still open on the page for that damn tribute band.

“Looking for a wedding band?” Allison nodded in reply, “I have to admit, not quite what I expected, but. Well, whatever floats your boat, sis.”

Allison snorted and closed the tab.

“Not what I expected either, but at this rate, it could be what I end up with.”

Vanya hummed in sympathy,

“Having trouble?”

“You could say that,” Allison picked up her cup again, taking a long sip.

“You know, I could- I could help out. Maybe,” Vanya offered, and Allison turned to her expectantly, “I know a lot of people in the music scene, I’m still a part of that orchestra too. Maybe some of them would be willing to step in?”

Allison continued to stare at her. Why on earth hadn’t she thought of going to her sister before?

Right. Estranged.

Vanya rambled on, nervous now, “Of course, you don’t have to, I totally get it if you don’t want me to interfere, this is obviously really important so I don’t want to intrude, I-“

“Vanya,” Allison butted in, and Vanya stopped talking abruptly, “That sounds amazing. Do you know anyone who would be willing to do it at such short notice though?”

Vanya nodded thoughtfully, before smiling, “Yeah, yeah I do. I’m- I’m sort of- dating someone? They play cello in a quartet and I’m sure if I asked they would-“

“Hold up, dating someone?” Allison say up excitedly, “Oh my god, I need to know everything? When did you meet? What’s his name? Wher-“

Allison cut herself off just as suddenly as she’d started, “Sorry. Didn’t mean to interrogate you, I totally get you wanting to keep that part of your life-“

“It’s ok,” Vanya hurried on, “We met at orchestra,” she paused, “Her name is Emma. I was planning on bringing her to your wedding as a guest anyway, so you’d have met her there whether she was playing in your band or not.”

Allison blinked once, twice.

“Emma,” she rolled the name around her tongue. It was a nice name. Decidedly more- feminine, than she’d been expecting, but. Nice. And the way Vanya said it- it was clear this woman made her happy, which, when it came down to it, was really all that mattered.

“So do you think she, and her quartet, would be willing to play? Four days is super short notice to get something organised. I also don’t want to take your girlfriend away from you, I want you both to enjoy the night as much as I want a nice band.”

Vanya nodded, “They do weddings all the time, so they’ve got the wedding march down like second nature. And they all love a challenge, especially Emma; I’m sure she’d love to do it. She adores playing, she’d probably enjoy that more than sitting with me throughout the entire ceremony,” she paused, “not that I think it’ll be boring, of course-“

“Oh, it probably will be,” Allison laughed, “Bring a book or something, Patrick loves giving long speeches.”

Vanya smiled widely, “I’ll keep that in mind.”

She looked up at the clock, brow furrowing.

“I’m sorry, Allison, I need to get going, but I promise I’ll talk to Emma about it,” she stood up, Allison following suit. They made their way to the door.

“No problem sis, and,” she grabbed Vanya’s coat from the hook, “keep in touch this time, yeah? Sisters got to stick together.”

“Yeah, OK,” Vanya grinned, “Yay, sisters?”

“Yay, sisters,” Allison replied with a matching grin, pulling Vanya into a hug.

Her siblings, for all their faults, were surprisingly good at wedding planning, it turned out. Over the years, they’d all been shockingly bad at keeping in contact- whether intentionally or unintentionally (although the former was more likely, unfortunately)- but when it mattered, they all pulled through. Allison couldn’t be more grateful.

Her grip on Vanya tightened. Sisterly hugs were perhaps the best thing in the world, and Allison was going to hold onto this as long as she could.

Chapter Text

It was three days before the wedding. Vanya had called to confirm that Emma and her quartet were willing to play for their first dance, and the wedding march, and at a much cheaper price than she’d been expecting. Having your sister dating one of the quartet members seemed to have knocked down the price considerably.

With that done, nearly everything had been sorted out, and Allison was almost- almost- calm.

Or she would be, if it weren’t for every damn florist in NYC refusing to arrange for their weddings.

She’d had one sorted. She had. Months ago, in fact, it was one of the first things she’d organised. Then, the florist she had booked had gone out of business, and they promised they would find her a replacement, but then they never called back and Allison was too deep in organising everything else to focus on it and now-

Now she was three days before her wedding, and she had no flowers.

She’d tried everything. Some florists were fully booked, some said they couldn’t do it at such short notice. They told her “if you’d come to us sooner” and she hung up the phone (after thanking them for their time) on all of them.

Now, she was hitting her head off the table in pure misery.

One last call, she promised herself. One last call, then you can-

She didn’t know what she could do then.

She picked up the phone anyway.

“Buds Flower Shop, how can I help you?”

Allison had been ready to jump right into the spiel that she’d been doling out to all of the flower shops before this one, but the voice on the other end of the phone had her blood running cold. It couldn’t be.

Could it?

“Luther?” She asked tentatively.

There was a long silence on the other end, before the same voice replied, just as cautiously, “Allison?”

She slumped back in her chair. This- this was not the sort of reunion she’d been expecting.

“Luther,” she repeated, stumped, “What are you- when did you- what?”

She knew Luther had a love for plants, and flowers. She didn’t entirely understand it- plants didn’t agree with her, she had tried looking after some before and could never seem to keep them alive- but when they were younger he spent hours with his head in books about botany and flower languages and all that kind of thing. That’s why she’d made their fort in the greenhouse, because she’d known he loved it up there. In late night sleepovers, when they were alone, he’d tell her about how he wanted to become a botanist one day, or maybe a gardener, or own a flower shop. Anything that would let him be around plants as much as he could.

But, he also refused to leave the Umbrella Academy, to leave dad. And with dad- well, dad would never let them pursue their own interests while living under the same roof as him. It was do as he ordered, or leave.

And with Luther’s refusal to leave, she’d assumed his dream had died out, the spark gone, buried under the need to follow the rules, a need for the next mission. But, maybe-

She shook herself out of her own head. Maybe Reginald was letting him do this. Luther has always been his favourite, after all, so maybe he got some leeway. Or maybe Luther was going behind his back, finally. It wasn’t her place to ask, not anymore. If she asked, and Reginald didn’t know, it could freak him out and make him quit, and god, that was the opposite of what she wanted.

What she wanted was for Luther to leave Sir Reginald Hargreeves behind for good, alone in his big, fucking hell-hole of a mansion.

But that wasn’t her decision to make. And so, she didn’t mention any of this.

“Could ask you the same thing, Ali,” Luther was saying, and she could almost hear his smirk. The little shit.

“I’m calling to book flowers for my wedding,” she replied eventually. This was going to be a very slow conversation if they kept pausing for as long between every reply, “Why are you the one answering the phone?”

She nearly hit herself for asking. After all that internal struggle, and the question just slipped out. Goddamnit.

“I got a job here,” Luther answered, as if it was that simple, “How come you need to book flowers so close to the day? I thought you’d have organised this months ago.”

“So you did get my invite? How come you never answered?”

“Because I wasn’t sure I would be welcome.”

Allison scoffed, “Of course you’d be welcome, you idiot. I sent the invite, didn’t I?”

“Yeah, but I thought that it was out of obligation. We’re family after all,” he said and, goddamnit Luther-

How could he not know how much she cared for him?

“If that was the case, then I’d have sent one to dad,” she replied smoothly. Well, almost. Her voice caught on the word ‘dad’, but either Luther didn’t notice or he simply chose not to mention it.

“I guess that’s- that makes sense,” he coughed. He didn’t start a fight about not inviting dad, as she’d expected him to. Instead he just continued the conversation, “So, uh, can I still RSVP? Or has my seat been taken?”

“Of course you can. You were always going to have a seat, whether you replied or not.” She said.

It was true, Allison hadn’t even thought twice about leaving a space for Luther. It just felt wrong; even though he’d never replied to the invite, it felt wrong to take him off of the seating plan, so she’d never bothered.

“OK. OK, great. I’ll be there,” he promised, voice thick. Allison pretended not to notice. They were good at that, it would seem.

“So,” he said, once he’d collected himself, “about those flowers.”

Allison couldn’t stop her grin. She was very glad this was a phone conversation, or else Luther would think she was an idiot.

(Little did she know that Luther’s grin was just as wide)

Chapter Text

Allison was getting married in-

oh god five minutes oh god ohgodohgod 

She had her dress and shoes on, hair done to perfection. Her veil was pulled back from her face as she re-applied her lipgloss for the twentieth time. All the guests were seated, and she wasn’t sure who had shown up and who hadn’t yet but she’d been told by one of her bridesmaids that the room was full so there was that at least. Plenty of people to watch her stumble through her vows, most likely cry, and watch as she and Patrick professed their undying love for each other.

It would be funny, except she really did love Patrick with her whole heart and so in reality it was just nerve-wracking.

Sitting in the limo they had rented, just outside the venue, all she could do now was wait.

Her hands shook as she once again went to apply the lipgloss. It wouldn’t surprise her if they shone as brightly as a disco ball by now.

Another, much steadier hand, reached out to stop her.

“I think you’ve applied enough,” Grace told her, taking the applicator out of her grip. She smiled softly, “You look amazing, darling.”

“Thanks, mum,” Allison breathed out, “I’m just- so nervous. I didn’t think I would be this nervous. What if something goes wrong?”

“It’s ok to be nervous. This is a big day, after all. But you’ve planned this to perfection, my dear,” Grace assured her. She reached out to hold her hand, “Do you love Patrick?”

“Of course,” Allison replied instantly. It was the one thing she did know for sure.

“Then everything will go smoothly. The dress, the flowers, even the guests- none of it matters right now. All that matters is that you are sure of your love for each other, and everything else will fall into place.”

Allison nodded, before smiling tightly, eyes watering a little. She let out a short laugh, “God, you’re going to make me cry before I even get to walk down the aisle.”

“What’s this about crying?” came a voice from just outside the car. Nicki leaned in through the open window, “you’d better not have ruined your make-up already, ah spent ages on that!”

Allison smiled widely now, shaking her head in reply, “No, Nicki, the make-up is still perfect.”

“Good, can’t have you walking down to meet Patrick with tears tracks down your face. People’ll think ya don’t wanna get hitched.” Nicki grinned manically. God, why was this her best friend again?

Music started coming from inside the church. Five minutes were up, it would seem.

“Oh! That’s our cue!” Nicki swung the car door open, bowing low as Allison, then Grace, stepped out, “You ready boo?”

Allison simply nodded, and Nicki went about organising the bridesmaids in line behind her. Somebody handed her a bouquet- sweet peas, tied with a pale blue bow to match her shoes. The pretty little flowers were a beautiful mix of pinks and blues and purples. She took a deep breath in- they smelled amazing too.

Grace hooked her arm around Allison’s.

Deciding who was going to give her away had been hard. Reginald was never an option. She could have got one of Patrick’s parents, but his dad was already walking Patrick and his mum wasn’t able to make it to the wedding- she was on holiday in Greece, with her boyfriend. Also, Allison had a feeling she didn’t like her much anyway. So that option was out.

She’d considered getting into contact with her birth parents, but then, they’d sold her to Reginald when she was a baby and never tried to contact her since, so it was unlikely that they cared at all.

She even briefly considered asking one of her siblings to do it, but choosing between them would be chaos, so that was ruled out too.

That left Grace, or Pogo. Getting to speak to them without Reginald knowing had been hard. She had managed to phone the house when she heard the news that Reginald was alway on some kind of business trip- reclusive billionaires leaving their mansions was a big deal to the press, who knew? And Pogo has answered. While it took some convincing, he finally agreed to keep at least the location of the wedding a secret from Reginald.

Pogo couldn’t leave the grounds for long enough to attend, but Grace- Grace could, And was willing to. While her primary objective was to look after Reginald, her secondary objective was to take care of the children. And Allison needed her.

Allison had mixed feelings about Grace. She’d raised her, and shown them love and support and even named her, for goodness sake. But, she was a robot. No getting around it- she was literally programmed to do all that. How could she really love them, if it was all code?

And yet.

She was here, holding her arm, giving her advice- good advice- on her wedding day. That had to count for something.

So Allison held onto her arm. Grace smiled at her, warm and bright and happy, and Allison smiled back.

The doors of the church opened, and Allison took a shaky breath. There was no more shouting, not even any quiet murmurs.

She walked up the steps, and the guests stood up as she approached. The music paused. She looked at the sea of faces, there solely to support her and Patrick. Old co-stars, directors, photographers that she had modelled for. Friends she talked to every day, and some she could go months without talking to and then meet up with and just click. Patrick’s family, some she’d met and some she hadn’t, smiling as if she was already their daughter, niece, aunt, sister. Welcoming and kind.

And then, right at the front- her siblings. Diego, Klaus, Vanya, and Luther, all standing together looking proud. Three empty seats were next to them- one for Grace to take, one left for Ben, and one for Five. Sentimentality would be the death of her.

Patrick was standing under the arch at the end of the aisle. God, he looked beautiful. They met eyes and his face lit up at the sight of her- and she was sure that hers did the same.

She looked to her right, where the band was sitting. She nodded to them, and they began to play again.

Deep breath. She took a step forward. A step towards her siblings, towards Patrick, waiting for her at the end of the aisle. A step towards their new life together.

A step towards the future.

She was no longer nervous. All she knew was that Patrick was waiting for her. Waiting at the alter, at their wedding.

They were getting married.

And, as she put one foot in front of the other, she couldn’t think of anything else that she could ever want.