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hang on to your hopes, my friend (that's an easy thing to say)

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study your face and fade the frame

too close for comfort now

 

The first time Diego sees him again, Klaus is wearing Allison's clothes - he's wearing her skirt, to be precise - and doesn't look heartbroken as he should. As they all should.

(Luther is the only one who looks honestly sad. Sad and angry and a little bit paranoid but that last thing is not exactly news. Vanya looks sad too, but then again she always looks sad. Allison is quiet and composed as usual.)

Klaus waltzes into the room like he's been around the mansion for the last few years, just like he owns the place and everyone can see he's clearly high, as usual. Luther groans, Allison rolls her eyes, Vanya doesn't say anything. Diego is the only one who actually notices the slightest hint of something behind Klaus' eyes.

They don’t all look sad but they all look brooding, that much can be said. It's just that brooding isn't exactly the look children should have upon the news of their father's death.

That's what happens when your father is a dick, Diego figures. They all look like they lost a part of their life - but not a part they actually miss. To some of them it's clearly a relief - Klaus doesn't even try to hide it and honestly? Diego feels the exact same way.

Their father just died and no one looks actually sad - that alone should really tell something about how fucked up their family is. Was. Still is.

"I figured we could have a sort of memorial service in the courtyard at sundown. Say a few words, just at Dad's favorite spot."

"Dad had a favorite spot?"

"You know, under the oak tree? We used to sit there all the time. None of you ever did that?"

Luther is the exception to the rules. But then again Luther has always been dad's number one.

 

but at the end you're not too bad

can someone tell me if it's wrong to be so mad about you

 

"Hi mom," Klaus smiles a bit wearily and kisses his mother's cheek. No one else is around and he can enjoy some quality mother-son time. Sort of. She looks exactly the same way she has looked every single day of his life and honestly? Klaus doesn't mind that. She's reliable and he likes reliable. No one would say that about him - after all there's nothing reliable about a junkie who can talk to dead people - but he does like the way his mother is always the same.

He also loves the way his mother is the only one in that house who doesn't look at him like he's either a dead cockroach on the floor or a broken thing that can't be mended.

"They don't look at you that way," Ben tries to mediate but Klaus doesn't even bother looking at him. They both know it's true.

"Hello, Klaus. Would you like bacon and pancakes this morning?"

"I'm not really hungry but thanks," Klaus sits down at the table and starts fidgeting absentmindedly with the napkin right in front of him.

"But breakfast is the most important meal of the day," Grace chirps and Klaus is tempted to ask her if the most important meal of the day would have any benefit right after drugs and alcohol.

"Hi mom," Diego enters the room and looks positively shocked when he sees Klaus sitting at the table. It's seven a.m. in the morning and that is most definitely not a Klaus hour.

"Hello Diego, dear. I made your special breakfast."

Diego blushes almost vehemently and Klaus is suddenly very interested in what's happening right in front of him.

"Smiley pancakes, Diego?" Klaus snickers and just a few seconds later a fork flies right past his left ear.

"Shut the fuck up, Klaus.”

 

pack and get dressed before your father hears us

before all hell breaks loose

 

Growing up with Reginald Hargreeves as a father meant learning to survive and adapt. Survive and adapt was sort of like an offhand family motto - and Diego thinks it makes perfect sense, to be honest. Survive and adapt like they're nothing more than weird specimens. Because that's exactly what they are.

Growing up with Reginald Hargreeves as a father probably meant something different to each and every one of them, but to Diego it always meant that. Survive and adapt. Stronger, faster, better, stronger, faster, better until there wasn't even a slight chance of being punished for not being good enough.

(Except he's never been good enough. Except he’ll never be good enough. No one of his siblings is ever good enough. Even fucking Luther is never good enough.)

Growing up with Reginald Hargreeves as a father meant thinking only for himself: adapt and survive and there isn't another way to survive except thinking for himself, that much is clear to Diego. All those lessons about how they have to work as a team don't really matter.

Trying to do something when their father is punishing someone is never a good idea. And his father likes to punish them - even if he insists those are not punishments, even if he says it's for their own good.

Diego learns to adapt and survive. Diego learns to look away, learns it's better not to get involved. Learns what happens when someone tries to speak up to Reginald Hargreeves - the one time Ben tries to intercede for Klaus and ends up locked in his room without food for two days.

Survive and adapt and Diego is fully aware that sometime during this process his heart hardened - and he can't stop thinking that maybe that was exactly what his father wanted.

After all Reginald Hargreeves has always been good at manipulating his own children.

 

it takes all my time to be in love with you

it takes all of my time, what do I do?

 

"You didn't notice Klaus was gone," Five says without any inflection in his voice and yet, just as everything else he says, those words sounds like a fucking judgment.

And Diego has a million comebacks to that particular criticism. No one really noticed Klaus was gone - there are four other siblings, he's not in charge of keeping an eye on the junkie brother. Klaus is always gone somewhere, it's not like this was the first time he disappeared without telling anybody - and it's not like this was the first time he came back days after without telling anybody. And it's not like Diego keeps track of his movements.

"Neither did you,” he goes with this one, hoping it’ll be enough to make Five leave him alone.

"I'm not the one in love with him."

"What the fuck are you talking about," Diego snorts, keeping down whatever emotion is now stirring in his stupid heart. In love. With Klaus. He has never heard of something so stupid before. And this comes from Five, of all the people. He's supposed to be the smart one.

"Please, do keep on with the denial. It's so dumb that it's actually entertaining," Five snickers and Diego honestly wants to punch him in the face.

"No one else noticed he was gone! You didn't notice!"

“I've got other things on my mind."

"Still."

"Still, you didn't notice Klaus was gone."

But the fact is that this isn’t true. It's even worse than that. Diego did notice - and dismissed the thought because he was sure Klaus was somewhere getting high - and didn't do anything. And he could've done something. He knew Klaus was missing and he didn't do anything.

(Klaus was missing, Klaus was being tortured, Klaus was being hurt, Klaus was waiting for someone to help him and no one came, Klaus was alone.)

When he finds out about Eudora, things just spiral further down.

 

and I can feel the numbness accompany my plight

and I know that someday soon I'll see you


"What the fuck are you doing?" and yes, it comes out a shit-ton more aggressive than Diego would've want but, fuck it. Coming into the bathroom and finding his own brother underwater for far too long does certain things to one's head.

"Shit! Shit, fuck, Diego! You really scared me!"

Klaus' eyes are wide open and it doesn't really take that much for Diego to understand he's already high again. Well, fuck it.

"I scared you? You scared me, dumbass! What the fuck were you doing underwater for so long? Breath-hold diving in the fucking bathtub?"

"Did anyone ever told you you swear a lot, when you're angry?"

“No fucking shit, Sherlock."

Klaus doesn't answer and Diego doesn't really know what to say and suddenly there's silence in the bathroom. (And silence means Diego has to deal with his thoughts and his feelings and he doesn't like it at all, he can't throw knives at his feelings. He tried. It doesn't work.)

“So what, you just like to burst in while other people take baths or what?"

"Asshole," Diego swears again because the answer to that question is... complicated. Diego can see the signs of physical violence on Klaus' body and that doesn't really fucking help. He has a certain amount of experience with violence and Klaus... Klaus is pretty banged up.

"Are you okay?" he settles for asking the dumbest question that was ever asked in the history of all the asked questions. Klaus knows, too. He's looking at Diego with a humorous look and Diego suddenly feels really fucking stupid.

"Am I okay? I'm amazing, thank you very much. Splendid, just grand."

"Fuck you. I know what happened."

"Don't know what you're talking about, dear brother."

"Klaus. I'm here, if you need something. If you need to talk. I'm here,” it’s not much and it doesn’t make up for what Diego didn’t do, but it’s something. It’s something.

 

tomorrow is another day

and you won’t have to hide away

 

Two is locked in his room and everything is dark and he likes it that way. It's the perfect mood for his current brooding feelings and no one is going to tell him otherwise.

(He's not really locked in his rooms because they don't have the keys to their doors. Their father keeps them and uses them to lock them in when somebody feels still foolish enough to defy him. Or maybe just when he's in a bad mood, Two still hasn't figure it out.)

There's a knock on his door but Two doesn't answer. He's still focused on reenacting exactly what happened before: the way his father looked disappointed, the way One looked silently smug, the way even Seven looked at him with pity in her eyes. Just because he missed a mark. The one fucking time he misses a mark.

"Can I come in?" Four asks when he's already inside and Two rolls his eyes.

"You're already in."

There's silence on the other side. And that alone is really weird: Four usually talks way too much. There's silence and then suddenly there's another weight on the bed, right beside him. Two almost holds his breath when he feels Four snuggling up next to him.

"I think you’re good at what you do. You're amazing at what you do, really. Dad is… just dad. And Mom thinks you’re great,” Four whispers in his ear and Two tries not to think about how that makes him feel. For multiple reasons.

“Mom thinks everyone is great.”

“Yeah, duh, because she’s a great mom,” and that actually manages to get Two to laugh. Four seems happy with the results and Two... Two doesn't really want to kick him out of his room, for once.

 

gonna rock it up roll it up

do it all, have a ball, saturday night

 

It's nothing different than what usually happens in that house. It's always been like this and it will always be like this: they're a bunch of freak with a fucked up sense of how relationships should be like - romantic relationships, family relationships, friendship relationships, every fucking relationship - and it's always just a matter of time before someone says something that makes someone else hurt.

But Diego and Luther? Oh, God, Diego and Luther really are something. Usually Klaus is pretty good at ignoring them but lately things started being different. Klaus has been different. Everything has been different.

"Oh my God, can it with the toxic masculinity, will you?" Klaus comments offhandedly, like he always does, like he has been doing for his whole life. So nothing new under the sun, right? And yet Luther doesn't react well. At all.

A few seconds later Klaus is literally pinned to the wall, a huge hand around his throat and the weird feeling of his feet not touching the ground. And the weird feeling of having already lived through a moment like this. And it fucking sucks. Again.

"What do you care? What do you want? Why are you here and not somewhere getting wasted? That's the only thing you're good at," Luther growls in his face and Klaus would very much like to answer but he really isn't in any condition to do so. Mostly because he can't fucking breathe. "You're useless and cause nothing but trouble and you still think you have to say something every time."

There's something wrong with Luther and it's pretty obvious. Not that he's usually the best brother in the world but- this is a bit too much even for him. Klaus can hear Allison shout something but he can't quite make up what that is.

And then, suddenly, Klaus can breathe again.

"Don't fucking touch him again," Diego spits out and Klaus is aware of two things. One, Luther is bleeding a shitton of blood. Two, Diego is holding Klaus in his arms.

 

time, time time, see what's become of me

while I looked around for my possibilities

 

"Don't tell me everything is all right because I saw you in there, you were crying like a baby!"

"'Cause I lost someone!"

Shreds of that conversation still haunts Klaus' mind every time he thinks too much - and fuck, does he think too much all the fucking time. All the fucking time. Maybe it's a new part of his power. Could be. There's so much he doesn't know. "You're my greatest disappointment, Number Four, you only scratched the surface of what you were truly capable of."

Well, fuck that too. Like he needs something else to worry about, right now. With all this things about the world ending and him trying to sober up.

"I think you're doing the right thing," Ben says calmly, as usual. Klaus guesses being dead might actually be good for your anxiety. He should try, some time.

"Am I?"

"I think so. You want to see Dave again, don't you?"

"Do I?"

"I thought you did?"

Klaus doesn't answer right away and dives in his bed, trying not to think. But again: he always thinks too much. Always had. If he didn't think that much maybe he'd be happier. Maybe he'd be a bit more like Luther.

(And yet when he thinks about Luther the night before - Luther trying his best to be like him, trying his best to be carefree and happy and, fuck, it's so obvious Luther doesn't have the slightest clue of what it means to be him - Klaus guesses they both had it wrong this all time. They're both equally fucked up.)

And he should really get rid of the secret stash of pills under his bed, before the urge to be numb again gets stronger than everything else.

"I thought I did too. I mean, I do. I do want to see Dave, I've been trying to see him for all this time. I'm basically sobering up for him," Klaus lets out a shaky laugh and he can almost see the worry radiating through Ben's body. Soul. Whatever. "But what if things get worst, after I see him?"

"What do you mean?"

"What if I feel worst, after I get to see him? I mean, I'll obviously feel worst. He's gone, he's not coming back, he's gone for good. The only person I've truly loved more than myself. Gone. And I can see him, all right, but I can't get him back. Exactly like you, you're here and I see you all the time but I can't bring you back and it's not the fucking same, Ben!" Klaus can feel the verge of a panic attack approaching and the need to grab one of those pills gets even stronger.

He bursts out of the room because for once he doesn't want to fuck up things. No one follows, as usual, except for Ben. No one of his siblings is even aware of his struggles - and then again, what’s new about this.

He'll always be alone in this.

 

when the thunder and lightning come

i know that you’ll be by my side


"Hey, Two..." there's a whisper in the dark of the room and Two suddenly gets up, wide awake, ready to sprint to action. It takes him a few minutes to realize nothing is really happening - no alarm blaring, no Mom waking him up, no dad barking commands.

There's only Four, standing on his door, looking at him with a strange look in his eyes.

"What do you want, weirdo?"

"Can I sleep with you?" Four asks with another whisper and Two would like to tell him no right away and send him back to his room. He'd love to do that. Mostly because he's sleepy as fuck and really wants to go back to his dreams.

But Four' voice is weird - weirder than usual - and Two is a goddamn softie.

(Everything changed so fast, everything is different and no none had really any time to adapt, first with Five running away and disappearing and then- then with Six dying. They didn't have time to adapt and Hargreeves most definitely didn't have the time for such foolishness like feelings. After all, they had work to do.)

"Yeah. But I need my sleep so be quiet," Two caves in and a few seconds later Four is already tucked in under the blankets, right next to him, snuggled up against his chest.

"I'll be quiet," Two doesn't believe it for a single second but it's too late, now - damn his soft heart and damn Four’s begging look.

"Two..." Four whispers a few seconds later and Two rolls his eyes. Right on cue. "I can't send Six away, can I?"

Two needs a few seconds to understand exactly what the fuck Four is talking about. "You mean Six is here? Right now?"

"He's always here. Even when I'm not focusing, he's always here," and Four doesn't need to explain that this hurts or why that hurts. It takes a few words and the look in Four’s eyes for Two to understand.

"I think you could ask him to leave you for some time, if you need it. Six will understand."

Four doesn't answer but Two can feel him slightly relax against his chest and a few minutes later he's almost sure Klaus is asleep.

 

i light another cigarette

learn to forget, learn to forget

 

"You know what it's like? Sometimes I get excited because there’s something Dave would love to hear and I get to tell him and then I remember he’s gone. And it's even worse because I don’t-" Klaus takes a deep, shaky breath like he's trying to fight back tears and Diego has to force himself to look away. "I don't think I have the right to be here. To get to see those things that would make him happy. I should be the one-“

"But you aren't, Klaus. You're here, you're alive-“

"Shut up, Ben, I wasn't talking to you."

"Is Ben- Ben's here, yeah, obviously. Hi Ben," Diego still has to come to terms with the idea that Ben is usually wherever Klaus is. Not that this is the strangest thing that happened to them in the latest few hours.

"Yeah, Ben's here and he's being the usual pain in the ass," Klaus complains, getting an outraged look from his brother as an answer.

"I get it, Klaus. I get how that's like. I get how much you miss him. Sometimes I wake up and I completely forget she’s gone and for a few, blissful minutes everything's right. And we weren't even a thing anymore.”

Diego is aware Klaus is looking at him with... surprise, at the very least. The thing is Klaus is probably not used to this, to someone sitting next to him and telling him I know how you feel, I get it, you have a right to feel that way. And he's definitely not used to Diego being the sibling who's good at comforting people. Because he really isn't.

(To be honest there isn't one, they're all pretty shitty in this particular department.)

"But Ben is right. You're still here. I'm still here. Eudora wouldn't want me to feel like I don't deserve to be here and I'm sure Dave wouldn't want that too."

"You remembered his name," Klaus sounds genuinely surprised and that makes Diego's heart clench. Klaus shouldn't be so surprised for a simple thing like that. Klaus shouldn't look at him with that almost grateful look only because Diego remembered the name of a person so important to him.

But then again, Diego is probably the only person who knows about Dave. And that means Klaus only felt comfortable talking to him and that is a fucking huge responsibility.

"Of course I remembered his name. He was special to you."

"Can I ask you something?" Klaus whispers and Diego wonders how fucked up is that Klaus' voice, when he's not high or drunk - sounds so much like when he was a kid. He feels the sudden need to protect Klaus and he doesn't exactly know what to do with that information.

"Shoot."

"Do you think I can do this?" Klaus' voice breaks and it almost break Diego's heart too.

"I think you can do this. I think we both can do this. I just think we need time to heal.”

 

running just as fast as we can,

holding on to one another hands

 

"You can do it, you’re stronger that the addiction,” Diego says in his best pep-talk voice. And it's not great, he knows. It's not like he's used to giving pep talks. They should get Luther there - except Luther is shitty at that too and would absolutely make everything worse.

"I’m really not,“ Klaus laughs humorlessly, with that kind of laugh that makes Diego's stomach clench painfully. It sounds more like a sob than a laugh. Diego doesn't want to hear that noise coming from Klaus ever again.

"Yes you are. And you can't bullshit me, I'm your brother and I know you," Diego stops him before Klaus manages to say anything in protest. "You asked me to help you and that's exactly what I'm doing. Helping you. Because I'm a charitable soul."

"You've chained me to the bed, how's that something a charitable soul would do?"

"You asked me to!"

"I asked you to tie me to the chair, not chain me to the bed!" Klaus trashes weakly against the headboard and Diego doesn't know if that's because he's feeling weak because of withdrawal or if that's because he doesn't actually want to get away. He surely hopes it's because Klaus is still on board with all this.

Diego stays with Klaus for the entire process - now that there's no apocalypse to stop and no murder to avenge and nothing for him to do but mourn his losses and, God, he doesn't want to do that. He really doesn't. And it's painful and exhausting and terrifying and the most difficult thing Diego has ever done in his entire life.

"Diego?"

"Don't ask for drugs, I've already told you. And honestly? The fact that you think I'd cave in for a blowjob? Disrespectful."

“I wanted to thank you."

"... Don't mention it.”


maybe another day you'll want to feel another way, 

you can't stop crying

you haven't got a thing to say, you feel you want to run away

 

"Dad please! Please don't do this! Please don't leave me there again, please, please, I promise I'll be better, I promise, please-“ Four's voice almost breaks in the middle of begging but that doesn't seem to impress Reginald Hargreeves at all. On the contrary.

"Not another word, boy. You'll stay in the crypt as long as it takes you to be better."

There isn't kindness in his voice. There isn't pity nor regret nor even the slightest hint of sympathy. And it's not something new so Two shouldn't be surprised at all.

But then again, his father is about to lock Four in a fucking crypt for hours - if he's lucky, the last time it was a whole day - and as much as Two doesn't want to admit it, that's way worse than what Hargreeves usually does to him.

Four is screaming, now, on the verge of a panic attack, and it's almost painful to watch. He's kicking and screaming and Two is sure he's hurting himself. But their father is inflexible and nothing seems to get to him.

Six tries to say something but then he seems to remember what happened the last time he tried to do that - he suddenly looks paler than usual and walks away with guilt in his eyes.

The screaming quiets down as their father drags Four out - and it's not because his brother has stopped shouting, not at all, it’s just that Two can’t hear them anymore - and for a few seconds Two almost feels better.

Then he pictures Four, all alone in the dark with everything that must be going on in his head, and everything comes back.

"Dad, please... let him out. There has to be another way-"

"What are you still doing here? You have your practice, number Two. Don't bother me with your ridiculous ideas.”

 

two can be as bad as one

it's the loneliest number since the number one

 

The first time they kiss is out of desperation.

Klaus thinks it's natural to feel so drawn to Diego. They both lost someone important, they both feel like shit. Diego is the only one who apparently gives Klaus the benefit of the doubt and Klaus is the only one who tried to talk to Diego - actually managing to survive all of that knife-throwing, life-threatening act. Klaus thinks it's natural to feel so drawn to Diego.

(And there's no denying he always sort of felt that way. He's okay with his own feelings. He likes to think he's okay with his own feelings - and that alone probably means he really isn't -, he likes to think he accepts them like he accepted being gay. Gracefully. Like he does everything else. Gracefully. And he can almost hear Ben's laughing and, you know what Ben? Fuck you.)

Diego helped him with the sobering up and Klaus helped him with the share your feelings part because it turns out Diego is pretty good at restraining people and pretty shitty at confronting his own feelings. Not that Klaus is better, mind you, but at least he's not afraid of crying.

So they spend time together and they talk and they cry together and they share memories - and Diego is actually a good listener when he wants too. And Klaus never talks about Dave with anyone else - except for Ben but Ben doesn't really count, does he? Talking to Ben feels almost like talking to himself - and Diego can be so awfully understanding when he wants to and Klaus feels things he shouldn't really fucking feel and everything is so very fucking confusing.

And then there's a kiss - a slow, desperate kiss, an unusually wet kiss because they both were crying a few moments before.

"I need more time, I can't-" Klaus immediately panics and once again Diego manages to surprise him.

"Me too. I get it, don't worry, there's no need to panic."

He needs more time. They need more time. But Klaus already knows this will be something.

 

hear me prayin', all on that day

sinnerman, you oughta be prayin’

 

“Sometimes it feels like I had my one lucky shot at love and that’s it, you know? That’s it, I’ll never have something like that again. Anything like that. And it’s true, isn’t it?” Klaus laughs humorlessly, keeping his eyes locked on the ground. “There was only one Dave in the whole universe. There was only one you in the whole universe so obviously I’ll never have what we had.”

“I think you’re right, Klaus. There was only one me, you’re right,” Dave whispers in his ear, right next to him, and Klaus can almost pretend he’s right there, still alive and with him. “There was only one me. So the key is not trying to find another me.”

Klaus sighs and huffs and keeps his eyes fixed on the floor but eventually caves in. “Okay, I know what you’re saying, wise man. I get it, really, I do. But I don’t know if I want that. I don’t know if I want someone different, when you were already perfect.”

Dave doesn’t answer and the room is suddenly quiet - too quiet, Klaus doesn’t really like silence, not when silence usually means his thoughts get more intrusive than usual.

“I don’t want different. I don’t want anyone else, not right now. But I also can’t stay here with you forever, can I?”

“Well, you could. I wouldn’t force you, you know. But that wouldn’t make me very happy.”

“That’s not fair.”

“I’m dead, everything’s I say is fair.”

“I miss you so fucking much.”

“I know, sweetheart.”

 

it is such a fine and natural sight

everybody's dancin' in the moonlight

 

"Hey shithead, what are you doing?" Two asks with a subtle snark in his voice and Four gets his revenge by not even looking at him. He knows that Two doesn't like to be ignored - he knows his brother very fucking well and knows what buttons to push.

"Hello? Earth to Number Four?"

"What does it look like I'm doing?" Four finally answers, without even opening his own eyes. "I mean I knew you were dumb but this is pretty easy even for you."

"Nice try. You know One is the real dummy."

"Yes, Two, but you are a close second," Four snickers and by the end of the sentence he's openly laughing. Two doesn't look impressed, though, but that doesn't mean Four actually manages to stop giggling.

"What are you doing?"

"Oh my God, Two, seriously? I'm dancing, it's not rocket science!"

"Yeah, I was talking more about what you're wearing," Two claps back immediately and it takes Four quite some time before he actually remembers that he's wearing a dress. And high heels. Well, shit. He doesn't know how to answer that question and honestly? It shows.

"You're not so funny anymore, uh?"

There's a bit of a storm in Four's head and he hates the fact that Two knows him well enough to see right through him. (And that's not true, he doesn't really hate it. But it's making him feel more vulnerable than he'd like - especially because he really does feels comfortable with what he's wearing.)

"I'm wearing clothes and you're still dumb," he finally manages to spit out. Two doesn't look impressed. This probably wasn't one of his best remarks, Four has to admit it.

"Don't let dad see you in these particular clothes. I don't want to scrap you up with a spoon from the floor," Four would love to laugh but that does sound like something that could happen. So he doesn't answer and sighs with relief when Two leaves the room.

“I think you look great. Shithead."

And that may have made Four blush just a little.

 

won't ya kiss me on that midnight street?

sweep me off my feet singing, "ain't this life so sweet?”

 

"Do you remember when we used to dance to this song?" Klaus asks with an almost daydreaming voice, slowly swaying to the sound of music with his eyes closed and the most relaxed look Diego has ever seen on his face.

And maybe it's just because Klaus isn't high - because Diego is actually pretty sure he saw him far more relaxed than that, drugs usually had that effect on Klaus; but this time is different and that is most definitely a different kind of relaxed -, maybe it's just because Klaus seems honestly happier than usual. And it's weird and amazing at the same time, it's strange and scary and unbelievable and this? This particular moment is the best thing that ever happened to Diego in the last fucking months.

"How could I forget?" Diego laughs because it's the simplest thing to do, because everything else he'd like to do would require an amount of courage he doesn't have.

Klaus looks happy. And no, it's even more than that, Klaus looks serene. And Diego wouldn't want anything different for his brother. Klaus doesn't look like he's on the verge of death, Klaus doesn't look like he just cried his heart out, Klaus doesn't look like the only way he has to survive is stuffing his body full of drugs and alcohol.

Klaus looks happy. Klaus has never been more beautiful than in this particular moment, swaying to an old song they used to dance to when they were kids. Klaus has never been more beautiful than in this particular moment, eyes closed and a tiny smile, lips slightly parted as he hums along the lyrics of the song.

Klaus has never been more beautiful and Diego has never wanted to kiss him more than he wants to kiss him now.

 

me and you and you and me

no matter how they toss the dice, it had to be

 

Diego doesn’t remember the exact moment he decided he wanted to kiss Klaus again. A decent kiss, this time, not a messy wet kiss. Not a kiss out of desperation. A nice kiss. And what the fuck is a nice kiss, Diego doesn’t know. He should probably know, he supposes, but when it comes to Klaus everything is different. More challenging, for sure. In a good way.

Diego tries to analyze everything he’s feeling like he would do with one of his cases at work - and are they even called cases when the one solving them is a vigilante? He knows he’s stalling once again but answering dumb questions in his mind is easier than what he was trying to do before - and in retrospective that probably wasn’t one of his brightest ideas.

So, what does he know? He knows he’d like to kiss Klaus, that’s for sure. He knows he wants to kiss Klaus. He also knows thinking about kissing Klaus doesn’t feel like a betrayal anymore  - and he thanks God for that, because feeling guilty on top of his own mourning wasn’t exactly fun.

He knows Klaus would want to kiss him. At some point in the future, at least. But when, exactly, Diego doesn’t know. And he sure as hell doesn’t want to drive Klaus away because it’s too much too soon.

(Even though it isn’t really, isn’t it? That’s not the case, not really, not when they both have had feelings for each other since they were kids.)

There are so many variables and so many things to consider and so many factors to weight in that for a brief second Diego actually thinks about asking Five for help. Then he pictures Five’s expression in his mind and decides not to.

But fuck, this is hard. Feelings are hard. Way too hard. Why is he even trying, though? It was way easier when he was pretending not to have feelings and dealing with his said nonexistent feelings by punching criminals in the face.

“Diego?”

“What? Who? What?” Diego stammers like the fucking dumbass he clearly is, because Klaus is standing right in front of him, looking gorgeous as usual, and- fuck. Klaus is standing right in front of him - and he’s now laughing at him and Diego can’t even manage to look bothered because Klaus laughing is, as always, one of the most amazing things in Diego’s life.

Klaus laughing without any trace of sadness or misery in his voice, Klaus laughing without that lost look in his eyes. It’s amazing and Diego wants that for the rest of his life.

“Have you seen Five?”

“Can I kiss you?”

Klaus asks a normal question in the same exact fucking moment Diego blurts out that embarrassing thing he just said. And why the fuck did he said that, for God’s sake? Why the fuck?

Klaus isn’t answering - of course he’s not answering, you stupid shit, what the fuck was that? Why did you ask him if you could kiss him? Who asks that sort of question? Why the fuck did you do that? - and Diego starts frantically planning his retreat.

“I… uh. Fuck. I mean,” frantically is the key there. “Forget it, okay? You said you were looking for Five? I haven’t seen him. Five, I mean. I haven’t seen Five. But I can help you look for him, I think he might be somewhere-”

“Yes, you can.”

“What?”

“Yes, you can kiss me,” something in Klaus’ eyes twinkles and that makes Diego’s stomach knot in a weird but really fucking awesome way.

“Are you sure?”

“Absolutely positive.”

When they finally kiss it feels like something entirely new.

 

tonight, i'm gonna have myself a real good time

i feel alive and the world i'll turn it inside out

 

“Do you wanna go out?” Diego blurts out - out of nowhere, really - and Klaus looks up from the book he’s reading with his usual teasing look. And fuck if Diego doesn’t love that look.

“… Are you asking me to leave? Gee, Diego, that’s a bit heartless even for you.”

“No you fucking dumbass, I meant like go out with me.”

“But we go out all the time.”

“I meant like on a fucking date, you fucking wanker.”

“Oh my, you’re so romantic.”

At this point Klaus is openly snickering and Diego’s face is a lovely shade of red. “It’s your fault, you’re fucking maddening.”

As much as Klaus enjoys making fun of his brother, he’s not entirely heartless and Diego’s question was… actually kind of nice, come to think of it.

“You know I don’t need to go out on a date with you, right? I mean, we’re brothers, I already know everything that there is to know about you. Even more than I should, if you ask me.”

“It’s not about that,” Diego replies and his eyes dart around the room like he always does when he’s anxious. That’s one of the many things Klaus already knows about him. “It’s… I think you deserve it. I think you deserve to go on dates and do stupid shit like eat dinner in fancy places and being gifted flowers you don’t really know where to put.”

Klaus’ heart clenches in a way he doesn’t immediately recognize. It takes him a few good seconds to understand that it wasn’t painful. It takes him even more to understand he’s feeling good. Serene. Happy. In love.

“Diego?”

“Yes?”

“Let’s go on a date.”