After one of the most extraordinary childhoods in the world, Klaus Hargreeves looked up one day and realized that if he didn't move out quick, he would somehow be the (discounting Luther) last remaining member of the Umbrella Academy. And he couldn't have that.
Five had been the first to go, running out that fateful morning when they were thirteen and never came back. Diego left the day they turned eighteen, only stopping to officially say goodbye to Klaus. Vanya, while not even a part of the academy, went next after she got Dad to pay for some music school and quietly moved oncampus. Allison's monthly commercials and guest spots becoming more and more frequent and her mission attendance decreasing, and then it was recurring tv roles, and then a small part in a movie, then she was the star of a movie, until one day she moved to California.
And as much as he hated leaving Ben, he could not be the last to leave. It would be an insult to himself. So he found a part time job as an apprentice for the costuming department of some community theatre, asked Allison for money, which she happily supplied, more than willing to help her brother get on his feet, and bought a tiny studio apartment.
He waved goodbye to his brothers and flew away forever, his bags floating behind him.
He returned six months later, for Ben’s funeral. Allison and Diego told him not to blame himself. After all, they all left.
Some people would be upset to find out their father is dead from a news broadcast on a bunny-ears tv on the corner counter of their workshop. Klaus Hargreeves is not one of them. Then again, some people's first reaction wouldn't be, ’Oh my God, I thought he was a vampire.'
But when have the Hargreeves ever been like most people?
Arriving at the Hargreeves mansion, Klaus flies above the roof and drops by the courtyard, but stops at Ben's statue before entering his childhood prison. "Hey, bro."
"Damn, I really hate this statue." He grimaces as the hallucination speaks.
"It's been awhile." Klaus tries to continue.
"We rid here on the same bus."
"I miss you." He says, sincerely.
"Really? You seem kinda sick of me." Ben snarks.
"Shut up! It's one thing to hallucinate your dead brother while playing Mario Kart, another while at your Dad's funeral."
"You can't make me!" Ben smirks when Klaus pouts.
He pouts harder for a second, before floating up to his childhood bedroom window. With a flick of his hand, the window glows blue, and opens at his command. His room hasn't changed. All his things are still there. Fairy lights, makeup set, art easel, etc. The walls are still covered in his handwriting. Most people would have gotten a journal, and yet Klaus scribbled ramblings above his bed. To each his own, as Klaus likes to say.
He sighs and drops on his bed. He'll come, stand around his family for awhile, break into song and dance, get his inheritance, hang around a bit, steal the spotlight, touch a few hearts, change a few lives, and leave forever until the next funeral.
You know, normal family get-together shit.
So being around family again.... is unpleasant to say the least. Diego seems to be ignoring him, Vanya looks like she wants to be literally anyone else in the world, (he makes sure to wave and smile as a show of support) and Luther keeps rambling on about Dad. Who apparently had a favorite spot, go figure.
This is boring, and Klaus really, really wishes he had a cigarette right around now, so he decides to have fun seeing how far he can push Luther. "Will there be proper servings at the event? Tea and scones, perhaps? Cucumber sandwiches are to die for! I've been cray-ving!" He sing-songs.
Not that it matters, Klaus already knows how the service will go. Pogo/Luther tries to say something nice about, Diego curses his name, punches fly.
"What? No." Luther shakes his head. "It's a- look, we need to talk about more important things. Like, Dad's death."
"Here we go again." Diego scoffs. Klaus vaguely wonders what kind of fight they had whenever that conversation came up.
"He sounded on edge." Luther reveals, like that's legitimate evidence. "Told me I should be careful who to trust."
"Luther, he was a paranoid, bitter old man who was starting to lose what was left of his marbles." Diego states.
In the weirdest way ever, this brings Klaus a fuzzy, nostalgic feeling in his chest. It has been years since he last saw Luther and Diego go at it, and seeing them like this again brings back memories. While the rest of his siblings always found it annoying when the top numbers would measure dicks, Klaus always thought it was kinda funny. Not like the majority of his childhood is shit he likes remembering, so he'll keep the decent parts if he can get them.
"Look, I think we should go through Dad's recent notes to see if there are anything out of the ordinary." Luther suggests.
Klaus gasps, mockingly. "Is Number One suggesting we break into Daddy's things!?"
"No! Just... he kept so many secrets, this could be the only way we'll ever get answers!" Luther defends himself and Klaus has to ignore Ben gesturing to himself, as if trying to convince Klaus once more that his hallucinations were real. But it's hard after years of pledging loyalty to Diego. He spent much of his teen years ignoring whatever the hell Number One was saying.
He manages to will himself to listen just vaguely enough to know that Luther thinks it's a good idea to ramble about Dad's stupid monocle. "So whoever took it, I think it was personal. Someone close to him. Someone with a grudge."
"Where are you going with this?" Klaus finally asks, because listening to Luther gets to hard sometimes.
"Isn't it obvious Klaus? He thinks one of us killed our father." Diego says, glaring at Luther as he steps forward. Luther looks around the siblings anxiously, not even trying to deny it.
"You do?" Klaus scoffs. "And I'm the one who needed a therapist?" He mutters.
Luther talks more, and Klaus fails to listen more, just wanting to leave, so he starts floating above his seat on the couch. He slowly ascends higher and higher, not listening to his brother, whatsoever.
"Dad must've- I wasn't finished!" Luther calls up to him when he's on the ceiling.
"Don't mind me!" He yells back, before moving towards the window. "I just need to murder Mom, but I'll be right back, I swear!"
The sounds of footsteps beneath him tell Klaus that he's not the only one ready to escape the interrogation.
After that fiasco, Klaus went up to the kitchen, since Allison and Diego both seem like they want to be alone right now, and no way was he going to talk to Luther after that Scooby-Doo meeting. Jesus, when did he get so few siblings. He was supposed to be one of seven! Wait.... Oh right, Vanya. Anyway, he lights a cigarette and rests on the ceiling for a little while.
“I thought you were quitting!” Ben yells from the floor.
“This is what family does to me!” He yells back.
Still, he floats back to the floor with a little kick to the ceiling for his back heel. A long departure from when he got stuck up there as a child. At the time, his telekinesis developing in small, but steady doses and levitation just kinda happened randomly. Good Ole’ Five had previously called him ‘unambitious’ for not trying harder. He was twelve and just barely knew what that meant, but it was enough to make him at least try to touch the top, safe in the knowledge that no one would see him if he messed up. Unfortunately, that was his mistake, because he made it to the ceiling, and then saw the bottom, and froze on the spot. For hours.
Eventually, real Ben came into the kitchen calling for him and he weakly called for help. Real Ben just cheered for him to come down himself, bitch. But Ben was technically his little brother, so he slowly kicked himself off the ceiling and began the descent down at a pace that would the tortoise impatient. At some point, Ben’s encouragement got the attention of their other siblings, who had apparently all been searching for him when he missed training. He went lower at a slightly faster rate, until Luther could reach him from where he stood on the table and he felt secure enough to finally let go and nearly pass out on Luther’s shoulder. Everyone saw their dad writing in that notebook, not smiling, but pleased. No one pointed it out when Klaus beamed into the crook of Diego’s neck as Number Two took him from Luther.
The memory makes him do a flip, despite levitating on a regular basis.
“You know, if you really wanted Luther off everyone’s back about Dad, you could always....” Ben tilts his head to the urn hanging by the bar.
Klaus scoffs, “We’ve been over this, Benny-Boy.”
“Never call me that.” Ben sighs
Klaus lazes about and rests his feet at the kitchen table, despite easily being able to rest them on the thin air, and goes through several more cigarettes over the next hour.
Children behave! That's what they say when we're together.
Klaus looks up, wondering vaguely if he was hallucinating the sound.
It's a thought, but nevertheless, Klaus floats his body off the table, to a standing position. Imaginary or not, Klaus has never been one to deny a dance party.
I think we're alone now. There doesn't seem to be anyone around.
As always, his feet don't touch the floor as he twirls around the room. He eyes Dad's urn of ashes from the other side of the room. Well, grief has made him so regretful that he never had a true father-son bonding experience in years. So then he floats the ashes closer to him, as he still sways to the song several feet above the floor.
And then we tumble to the ground and then you say, I think we're alone now.
He lets Daddy orbit around him as he spins higher and higher and higher, eventually bringing it back to his hands and waltzing with the urn intimately. He then lets go and floats it around him once more as he begins pumping his fists.
The beating of our hearts is the only sound!
Klaus is ready for another two minutes of this, but his dance party is cut short when thunder booms and objects beneath him riot. He drops to the ground, just in time to see various pots and silverware sticking to the wall. He looks out the window and sees a blue light show.
“Am I doing that?” He asks himself.
“No, I don’t think so.” Ben replies, eyebrows wrinkling, as though working on his homework. But what sense did that make? He was the resident blue-glowy boy Jean Grey after all! So it had to be him. Apparently his siblings agreed as seconds later, shouts came flying.
“Klaus, what’re you doing?!”
Oh, hell naw. Klaus may have been the reason his sibling’s things spontaneously went missing as kid, but he was not about to be accused of turning the mansion into some scene from Paranormal Activity.
He runs outside, where Vanya already is. His other siblings show up and he holds up his hands defensively. “I didn’t do it, I swear!”
They all stare at what seems like a ball of blue fire. Fire can be put out! He levitates a fire hydrant from the house and with a squeeze of his palms, empties it dry into the flames. It does absolutely nothing. Well that’s embarrassing.
“You’re sure you’re not doing this!?” Luther asks, only screaming because of the chaos.
“I can’t do this!” Klaus insists, gesturing to the suddenly darkened daylight.
“Okay,” Luther nods. “It could be a black hole. Or maybe a temporal anomaly. Everyone get behind me.” He pushes Klaus back.
“Get behind us!” Diego corrects.
Allison looks back at him with concern, possibly still believing he was somehow the perpetrator. He mouths that he didn’t do it once more. Not that he blames her for her doubt. After all, floaty things did only fit his category of expertise. And the only other person that they know of whose powers were shown by glowing blue was.....
“Uh- is it just me, and my beautiful, coo-coo mind, or does everyone else see.....”
Okay.... it is CRAZY fun to write telekinesis and levitation. I mean, I’m really using it more as like an X-men-y, ‘I’m just hanging around the house, except I have superpowers, I ain’t getting up get a snack’ kinda way, but it’s so much fun!
In which the siblings are concerned when Klaus stares at nothing.
Ben missed Five a lot after he left. As a child, it was often lonely being the only one who hated his powers. While Luther and Diego used their powers to rise the ranks of the team, and Allison used hers to get everything, and Klaus used his for fun, and Five for research, Ben got a monster living in his stomach. Not much you can benefit from that. Vanya might have been the one without powers, but was the one cursed with powers. And cursed with a family who relished in their powers one way or another.
But Five.... Five got it. Sure, his brother loved his powers as much as the rest of their siblings, but he was the only one who Ben could talk to about how much he hated the Horrors.
As snobby as Five could be, he got it. It was often easy to forget that despite the ambition, there was a boy who included Vanya when he could, who waited patiently for Diego to get his sentence out, who gently helped coax Klaus down the ceiling and then encouraged him to do it again (even if it got him beat up by Two). Who understood Ben.
That's why it's a doozy seeing him again after all these years, making a sandwich, looking exactly like he did the day he left. Not counting the oversized suit and a coldness in his eyes that hadn't been there before. Ben feels a pain of regret that they'll never have what they once had once more, with him being dead and all, and Klaus not believing he's real yet.
"So, are we gonna talk about what just happened? It's been 17 years!" Luther says.
Five scoffs. "It's been a lot longer than that." He says and jumps when Luther stands in his way.
"I haven't missed that."
Honestly, Ben didn't either. Not when Klaus's levitation was getting stronger by the day. Two brothers cheating to get to the top of the stairs was too much. Especially when their father encouraged them to use their powers to get ahead. Damn did Ben miss having someone with him in dead last.
"Nice dress." Five says to Klaus, who's floating crossed legged, a foot above the table.
"Danke!" Klaus says instantly.
"In the end, I had to project my consciousness forward into a suspended quantum state version of myself that exists across every possible instance of time."
"That makes no sense."
"Well, it would if you were smarter." Klaus holds up a hand, sending a blast of his telekinesis, effectively freezing Diego and stopping him from attacking Five. Diego glares at him, but Five tuts approvingly at his developments.
Also, apparently Five is 58.
"Guess I missed the funeral." He eyes a newspaper.
"How'd you know about that?"
"What part of the future do you not understand?" Five snaps. "Heart failure, huh?" Luther and Diego give conflicting answers and Five clicks his tongue. "Nice to see nothing's changed."
Ben looks at Klaus and his brother meets his eyes before shifting back to his living siblings.
"I wouldn't say nothing."
Dad's funeral itself finally comes, and as Klaus guessed, Pogo made a big shot speech about how great Dad was, and Diego responded by pointing out what they all knew; Dad was the fucking worst. And Luther and Diego wrestle. He holds out an arm to keep Five safe (He can't help it! Five looks like he's about to board the Hogwarts Express!), to the grumpy old man's annoyance. A punch flies and Ben's statue falls. Klaus acts quick and grabs the memorial with his telekinesis, and pushes it back to standing position.
"Why would you do that?! You know how much I hate that statue." Ben whines. Klaus has to restrain himself from smiling. As weird as it may sound, he kinda loved his dead brother's hallucination.
Yes, Klaus knows that is unspeakable levels of screwed up, but sometimes it feels so real. Ben seems so much more real than anything else he's ever imagined. With everything else, it was scary. It was as though his own fragile mentality was turning against him, creating awful, horrible nightmares no child should have to endure. But Ben was different though. Ben is nice, he acts like he cares, he tells jokes, and makes sure Klaus eats his vegetables. Maybe the fact of the matter is that Klaus simply couldn't imagine an evil, crazy version of Ben.
And Klaus knows it isn't real, but he couldn't help it. He's knows how wrong it is. Knows he's crazy. Lord knows his therapists have told him as much.
As a child, their father would regularly force Klaus and Vanya to take monthly checkups with a payed therapist to make sure their different mental issues stayed in check. He would tell if his pills were still keeping the visions at bay (Quite happily, he might add), and she talk about her emotions. (Specifically what she felt, not the shit that made her feel that way.)
When Klaus first told them about seeing Ben, they said all the things he already knew. That Ben wasn't real, it was just grief, he shouldn't entertain this hallucination, it would be an insult to his memory. And he knows it's true. That the real Ben is gone forever. Ben would never be so snarky, such a mother hen when he was the shy baby brother who was always so timid during interviews. Klaus is just insane and he knows it.
That was why being around family hurt so much. When it was just him and Ben, it was so easy to forget that his visions weren't actually real. But around his real siblings, it was like guilt built up in his chest every moment he was around them, rising up within his chest until it was just barely bearable. His family is a constant reminder of how insulting the friendship he has with his pseudo brother is. Especially when said pseudo brother tells him to let his real brother's memorial fall and break.
"Klaus!" He jumps and turns to Allison's concerned gaze when she rests a hand on his shoulder. "Everyone's going back in..... You were just sorta staring at the air."
"Oh." Klaus says quickly. "I'm not seeing anything!"
"Okay." She nods, but still eyes the empty space he was staring off into warily. "Okay. But Dad's dead, everything's just...." She sighs. "Just.... tell me if you start hallucinating Dad, okay? I don't.... I know how horrible your visions can get."
Klaus smiles in an attempt to soothe her. "Of course, now lets go in, the rain is killing my makeup!"
They walk in arm in arm. He even walks on two feet to match her height.
They sit by the bar and Klaus flicks his fingers to grab a couple cups and pour them both drinks. A wave of nostalgia comes over him as he recalls using his telekinesis to steal a bottle of Dad's liquor for them to experiment when they had been seventeen. The end result was two heavily hungover makeup-covered child soldiers, at the receiving end of a couple extremely harsh punishments.
Klaus took a sip of the wine. "So, we have got to catch up."
"Agreed." She smiles.
"How's Claire doing?" He asks. "I haven't seen her since she was born!"
Allison's eyes light up, the way a person's eyes do whenever their entire world, entire being is put into one singular being. "She's doing great! The smartest in her class. The entire kindergarten really. At least that's what her teacher says." She smiles into her glass. "When I told her where I was going, she begged me to take her with. But...."
"But you don't want her associated with this hellhole." Klaus finishes for her.
Allison looks down but nods.
"I get it." He assures her. "Though a hundred bucks says Luther would look like a kicked puppy if you ever told him that."
Allison chuckles. "You know it's not any of you. I'd love for all you to meet her." Klaus smiles at her. “But... honestly?” She looks ready to talk about something meaningful. He nods in encouragement. “Honestly, I’m afraid you’ll all meet Patrick and realize that just maybe, the tabloids aren’t as full of shit as everyone thinks. It’s just.... we fight all the time. We even sleep in different rooms. And I mean....”
“Allison,” He says gently. “if you can’t be in the same room without going all verbal Luther and Diego on each other, you should really think about why you’re still together.”
“For Claire.” She says certainly.
Ben rolls his eyes. “So what? It’s better to raise her with two fighting parents? If you both love her enough you’ll be civil in divorce. Married life is probably just stressing you guys out.”
Klaus repeats this (with a slightly kinder phrasing). By the look in her eyes, she seems to be thinking this over. Five chooses that moment to jump in.
“An entire square block. Forty-two bedrooms, 19 bathrooms, but no, not a single drop of coffee.” He says like a single drop would actually satisfy him.
“Dad hated caffeine.” Allison says
“Well, he hated children, too, and he had plenty of us.” Klaus points out, causing Allison to laugh.
“I'm taking the car.” Five declares.
Klaus and Allison share a look. “Where are you going?”
“To get a decent cup of coffee.” Five says.
“Do you even know how to drive?”
“I know how to do everything.” He says and jumps away.
“I feel like we should try and stop him, but then again, I also just kinda want to see what happens.” Klaus tells her and Allison actually nods in agreement. After awhile, Diego comes in next.
“All right, I guess I'll see you guys in, what, ten years? When Pogo dies?”
“How do you know all that experimenting hasn’t increased Pogo’s life span by a billion years?” Klaus asks. “I’m pretty sure most monkeys don’t live this long.”
Allison rolls her eyes. “‘Sides, none of that matters if you die first.” Klaus always had to hand it to her for her sass. Even as kids, she didn’t take anyone’s shit.
“Love you to, sis.” Diego begins walking away. “Hope the reporters are nicer on your next movie than your marriage.”
Wow, this family just obliterates anything below the belt. Nevertheless, Klaus gets up, glancing briefly at his sister and follows him. “Are we leaving?”
“No, I'm leaving, me by myself.” Diego insists roughly.
“Oh, fabulous! I'll get my things.” He begins skipping away, but briefly pauses with Allison. “Are you-“
“I’ll be fine.” She assures. “Besides, I should see if Vanya’s still around. I at least want to seriously have a talk to her about our childhoods. Face to face.”
Klaus nods before turning to gather his stuff, but turns back once more. “Hey, uh, how long will you be in town.”
Allison perks up. “Not sure....” Then she smirks. “Shopping date?”
Ben sits in the back of his brother’s car, hood up, not talking. Being back in this horrible place was exhausting, and it felt like he and Klaus had taken four steps backwards. It is awful, but being around family always reinforces Klaus stance that he was simply bonkers and Ben was just a byproduct of his poor mental state. It was a lose-lose no matter what. Either never talk to any of his other siblings ever, or constantly have Klaus tell him he was an insult to his own precious ‘memory’.
"Take me to the pharmacy. I need to pick up more medication." Klaus’s eyes shift to Ben, who scowls at him.
"You're still seeing things?" Diego flickers to Ben, but he knows he just sees an empty space. Klaus nods. “Ben?” Diego whispers. Klaus nods again.
“I’ll drive you home too.”
Klaus just ignites Allison’s maternal instincts and.... that's all I have to say about that.
Edit: Okay, I need someone to explain to me how to get rid of the end note from the first chapter. Why is it still there?
Mostly similar snowglobe scene, but Klaus uses more sense than he would, and Five gives some insight.
The next morning, Klaus woke up with a slight hangover, but safe in the knowledge that the family drama was officially over. Diego will go back to being a rare (but plausible) occurrence, Vanya will go back to wherever she goes nowadays, Luther will find some way back up Dad's ghost ass, and Allison will go back to L.A.
Save a shopping date, the Hargreeves' family curtain has called. Until the next wedding/funeral!
He's not worried in the slightest about going shopping with Allison. They've been having brother-sister shopping dates since the seventh grade. Or at least since they would've been in the seventh grade, if they went to middle school. Anyway, at first, it was catalog shopping, but as they grew older and bolder, they started sneaking out to go shopping for real, like the way it is in the movies. Needless to say, Klaus is actually excited to see to that once again.
He floats over the back of his coach, and rests his sweet tush on the cushions, and has the remote and a beer floated to him, satisfied that he didn't burst in to flames during their brief family reunion. Good thing that's over now. Forever.
Suddenly, a noise he can't quite describe, but seems familiar, draws him to reluctantly open his eyes to see Number Five staring at him, unimpressed.
Oh right, Five fell out of the sky. He thought that was a dream.
Klaus straightens. "Mi hermaño!"
He wants to see if Five is still ticklish after all these years, but decides better. Klaus doesn't wanna die today.
"Put on something decent." Five orders, not leaving any room for argument. "You have to be my dad."
Klaus blinks. “I refuse to do any paper work beyond signing my name wherever he tells me too!” He points to Ben, who rolls his eyes.
“Undercover.” Five rolls his eyes and huffs.
Well, not like he has anything better to do. "Give me twenty bucks.”
“I’m not paying you.” Five sneers, like he’s stupid.
“That’s how you wanna play? Okay. Pay me in advance."
"Like I said to your son earlier, any information about the prosthetics we build is strictly confidential. Without the client's consent, I simply can't help you." Lance says with finality.
"Well, we can't get consent if you don't give us a name." Five says, his patience flickering out by the minute. The world ends in a week and he has to deal with customer service.
"Well, that's not my problem. Sorry. Now, there's really nothing more I can do, so-"
"And what about my consent?" Five turns to Klaus who is standing up now. He tries to warn his brother, with his eyes, that he better not fuck this up.
"Excuse me?" Lance asks.
"Who gave you permission-" Klaus begins faux-crying, pointing to him, "to lay your hands on my son?"
"What?" Five and Lance ask simultaneously.
"You heard me." Okay, Five won't interrupt this. Honestly, he was desperate and the worst case scenario is they get nothing more than they would’ve from his little show. Plus, it was a long ass time since he witnessed Klaus doing something like this.
"I didn't touch your son." Lance says defensively.
"Oh, really? Well, then how did he get that swollen lip, then?" Where is he going with this?
"He doesn't have a swollen-" Klaus punches Five in the face. Five glares murderously at his brother. This was his thanks for letting him play while he’s trying to save the world?
"I want it. Name, please. Now."
"You're crazy." Lance exclaims.
"You got no idea." Klaus chuckles and Five admits he has a point, his brother eyes a snow globe on Lance's desk warily. "'Peace on Earth.' That's so sweet." He seems to brace himself, and flicks his forefingers into his hand and the globe crashes into his face.
Klaus groans and rubs the cut on his forehead, spitting out the glass. He winces, but catches himself and like a switch, turns on a character. "God, that hurt!"
Lance shakily grabs for his phone. "I'm calling secur-" The phone quickly flies into Klaus's grasp. "What the hell!?"
Klaus gasps into the receiver. "There's been an assault in Mr. Big's office, and we need security, now. Schnell!" He floats the phone neatly back to the receiver. "Now, here's what's gonna happen, Grant."
"Not anymore." Klaus says. Five doesn’t question it.
"In about 60 seconds, two security guards are gonna burst through that door, and they're gonna see a whole lot of blood, and they're gonna wonder, 'What the hell happened?'” Five can tell this is gonna work, and begins smirking. “And we're gonna tell them that you-" Klaus starts crying, "beat the shit out of us.” He starts sobbing over-dramatically before sighing. “You're gonna do A-May-Zing in prison, Grant. Trust me, I used to do volunteer art classes there for community service.... maybe I could start again and we can have lunch! We’ll have chicken. You and me, Grant. The prisoners will love it. Oh, my God, you're gonna get passed around like a... you’re just-you’re gonna do great. That's all I'm saying.”
“Jesus, you are a real sick bastard.” Grant says, and Five agrees. Yeah, he might not of seen his brother in 30+ years, and his memories may paint him as a helpless, yet overpowered kid, but by God does he have an extreme side.
"Thank you." Klaus says, spitting out another glass shard.
Five finds almost humorous how Grant flinches away as Klaus looms over him. Five can see his brother float a few centimeters off the floor for affect. He just can’t see how anyone could ever find his little brother intimidating, at least without showing off his powers. Even before the apocalypse, and he aged thirty years older than him, Klaus always felt years younger than him. Despite annoyingly being a literal .01 millisecond older than him.
Klaus though nothing like Ben or Vanya, somehow belonged in their category of ‘protect at all costs’. (‘And didn’t they do a great job without him!’ Five thought bitterly thinking of reading of Ben’s death in Vanya’s book) He was too immature, not meeting his potential as Dad said. He needed someone to push him. Someone who wasn’t Dad or Luther, but Allison and Diego seemed content with babying him into uselessness.
“Oh, that's strange.” Grant says staring at the computer, drawing Five from his thoughts.
“Uh, the eye. It hasn't been purchased by a client yet.” Grant says. No, no, ugh!
“What? What do you mean?” Five says, hopeful the situation was salvageable.
“Well, uh, our logs say that the eye with that serial number-“ Grant starts. “This can't be right. It hasn't even been manufactured yet. Where did you get that eye?”
The damn eye hadn't even been manufactured yet. Five always knew saving the world would be an uphill battle, but he at least hoped for this one lead to go somewhere. "Well, this is not good."
Klaus floats next to him to sit on the stairs outside the Meritech building. And God, he feels literal pride at that. Before he left, he always thought of Klaus's levitation as a simpler version of his powers, but that fascinated him. As kids, Five felt like he was the only one who cared more that their brother would occasionally fly three feet in the air and less about babying him after he fell when he clearly wasn't injured.
But now Klaus was floating when he could easily be walking, where as Five has to drive places. Remorsefully, he wonders if he would be jumping at the same rate had he never time traveled.
Klaus sighs. "I was pretty good, though, right? 'Yeah. What about my consent, bitch?'" He tries to joke. It pisses Five off. The clock was ticking to save his family's lives, he doesn't have time to joke around.
"Klaus, it doesn't matter." Five says shortly.
"What? What? What's the big deal with this eye, anyway?" Klaus asks, making Five bristle.
"There is someone out there who's going to lose an eye in the next seven days. They're gonna bring about the end of life on this Earth as we know it." Five tries to explain, assuming Klaus doesn't care.
"What?" Five says, annoyed.
"Did you just say life on Earth was going to end in a week?"
"Oh, yeah." Five says distractedly. Okay, maybe he can find something on Grant to blackmail him or something. "When I time traveled to the future, I traveled to the last day of March. Or at least close to then. The bodies were still fresh.” He pushes down as shiver, remembering how scared he had been finding his family dead in the debris all those years ago.
"So you're saying, the world ends in seven days.” Klaus repeats.
"That’s what I said." Five says, irritated. He doesn’t have time for this.
"This isn't a joke?" Klaus says to be clear.
"No, it's not.” First, Vanya disregards his story, and now Klaus is looking at him like he’s grown a second head. So he stares into Klaus’s eyes, leaving no room for miscommunication. “The world ends in seven days, and I know because I spent decades in that hell. I grew old there wishing I could go back to the prison of our childhood, because it was that much better. And I have to figure out how to stop it, so can you leave?!"
Klaus hesitates, staring at him deeply for a good ten seconds, but slowly floats his body up and leaves without touching the concrete below him.
"Diego! Diego, the world wends in a week! Ends. The world ends in-The world’s not gonna wend. Is wending even a thing?"
Okay, my brother and I are skipping the last two days of school, so today was my first day of summer! And I wanted to celebrate by posting something! I was gonna post something with one chapter, but I can never just write a one-shot like a normal teenage fanfic writer, and it has to be super long! And I seriously just didn’t feel like finishing it today. So I wrote this instead! I hope you enjoy! 😘.
You know, I would’ve finished it earlier, but it’s ALSO my Dad’s birthday, and I’m not kidding, last year, my family literally left for the Philippines in the morning. Without him. (Visiting Mom’s family) I just wanted to share that
A family meeting is called.
Honestly, I’m not in love with this chapter, it was kinda a drag to write, but it’s necessary plot-wise, and I think I did a good job through my lack of inspiration, so here it is!
Also I kept Luther from the first part of the family meeting. Just because I forgot about him. And then I didn’t.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Five fixes his glare on both Klaus and Vanya. "Okay, which one of you snitched on the end of the world?"
"Be fair. He said the world would 'wend', not end." Diego chuckles, teasing, and taking the whole scenario far too lightly for Five's liking. Not that he likes anything about being ambushed by four siblings who think he's insane.
"There were so many W's!" Klaus whines, and Five kinda, sorta wants to stab him a little bit. He does not need an intervention at the moment, and he absolutely does not appreciate their concern.
Allison rolls her eyes, as if to say 'Boys!' She takes a deep breath and gives him a nurturing, gentle look that Five does not appreciate either. At all. "Look Five, we just need to get the facts." Allison says sternly. "After the amount of details you gave to Vanya, we would just like a full picture. No one's saying they don't believe you."
"Vanya didn't believe me!" Five snaps. And truth be told, that hurt. He spent forty three years in the wasteland that was the post-apocalypse, all for the small hope of getting back to, and saving, his family. For his favorite sibling to disregard all that, forgive him, it stung.
"Yeah, well, Vanya never got ice cream after beating up the Eiffel Tower." Diego rolls his eyes and Vanya shrinks in on herself further. Five resists throttling him. Couldn't he see that it was lines like that that coerced Vanya to release her hated book in the first place?
So Five attacks him. "Diego, my tolerance for idiots is particularly low at the moment, so could you please leave until I could rebuild an immunity."
Diego glares at him, but doesn't go for his knives like the day Five returned. Instead he bristles. "Trust me, I'd love to be anywhere else, but instead I either gotta shove your ass in an asylum, or build a survival shelter."
"Diego!" Allison bursts out, and Five resists the urge to punch him ten times the pressure Klaus gave him just hours ago. "I thought you believed him?"
"I'm on the fence." Diego snaps.
"Why would he lie?" Klaus asks, in that innocent, kiddie voice that hides his inner psychopathy.
Five sighs, assuming that he childishly told the others of what little Five told him, and naturally their other siblings blamed Five for scaring him or something. It happened more often than he pleased as kids. Countless scars from the apocalypse, suddenly erased when he returned, and yet he still has the one on the back of his neck after Klaus told Diego that Five wanted him to touch the ceiling for the second time.
Since Ben and Vanya weren't found in the rubble, Klaus was the closest sibling he had that was found in the rubble, as the first three Numbers always felt more like competitors. Didn't mean he wasn't the most annoying man-child in the world.
Was it telling that the only person who seemed to believe him that easily was the schizophrenic who was knitting a scarf at the breakfast table when Five last saw him alive?
"Five," Vanya murmurs, shrinking in on herself. "I-I-
"Vanya and Klaus both told everyone about your.... behavior." Allison finishes for her. "Given everything we may be ready to believe you, but you have to fill in the blank spaces. Okay?"
"I. Am. Not. A. Child." Five grits. "Is that clear?"
"Um.... yes." Allison blinks, almost confused, possibly not realizing she was using her mothering voice, but Five doesn't elaborate. "But, back to what I was saying-"
"Just go on."
"Okay, this prosthetic eye. Why is that important to the end of the world?" Allison asks calmly.
"It belongs to whoever ends the world." Five simply supplies.
"But you don't know who that is?" Diego scoffs.
Five glares at him, but he has a point. He honestly doesn't know why Luther was holding that eye. The only obvious explanation was, of course, that he ripped it from a bad guys socket.
"It's my only lead."
"You spent decades in this apocalypse and your only lead is a fake eyeball?" Diego says sarcastically.
Five's wrist tighten. "I was a bit busy trying not to starve to death." Plus there wasn't much of any clues that he could find. The only place he knew for certain to look was the academy, and anything that wasn't destroyed was inconsequential.
Allison pats his arm, in a clear show of empathy. He pulls away. "Okay. Okay, but if you really don't how to stop it, why not come to us for help? I mean why did you only tell Vanya, who wasn't even a member of the academy," Five bristles as Vanya bites her her lip, "and Klaus, who you barely gave any details to. Dad did always say we would save the world one day!"
Five pauses, swallowing the lump in his throat. He should have known better to involve any of them at all. He was so pissed that Klaus put him in this situation. "You can’t stop it. No one can.”
“But you can?” Diego scoffs. “Got an ego problem, brother? Nice to see some things never change.”
"You clearly weren't ready in the first timeline." Five bites back, refusing to let Diego get him flustered.
"Well maybe we didn't know in the first timeline!" Diego suggests and Five averts his eyes, not ready to open that can of worms. What other reason would this estranged, mismatched mess forcibly labeled a ‘family’ still be together eight days after the inheritance was collected and the grave was spit on? But then Klaus perks up.
“Five....” He whispers. His eyes flicker to the side for just a moment before continuing in a horrified tone. “Earlier... you mentioned dead bodies.” And Five knows, there’s no way out of this. As much as he hated reminders of that awful day he ignored Vanya’s concerned headshake and ruined his own life, it all had to come out.
“Yours.” Five closes his eyes. “Your body.” He points to Klaus, and he knows by Allison’s gasp and Diego’s sudden stillness, he has their full attention. “And his.” He points to Diego, and Klaus lets out a cry of protest. “And hers.” He points to Allison, who has already clasped her hand over her mouth in horror. “The eye was in Luther’s hand. I buried you myself. I never found Vanya or Ben, for obvious reasons.” Five ducks his head.
His brothers and sisters don’t speak. They just take in what Five has told them. But tears do form in his two sisters’ eyes, and Diego’s arm snakes around Klaus’s waist.
Loud but slow footsteps boom from above them and Luther appears at the top of the stairs. He spots them and his expression turns to that of confusion. "What are you guys still doing here?"
"There's a ninety percent chance the world's gonna end before next Monday." Diego calls back.
Luther blinks, and in dazed confusion, murmurs, "Tomorrow's Monday."
"Next Monday, pay attention!" Diego snaps back.
"Find Five right now, and hug him!" Ben orders after Five jumps out on them, again, Klaus might add.
Klaus glares at him, and praying his family was too freaked out by Five's backstory, and the likely threat of an impending apocalypse, to notice, jerks his head to the side and mutters, "That's your answer to everything!"
By some miracle, or stroke of bad luck, no one hears him.
"So what are we thinking, guys?" Luther sighs. The strongest brother is clearly trying to squeeze himself into the leading position, despite just showing up. He seems a little more than disgruntled at the fact that no one tried to get him for their family meeting/intervention despite being in the house where it was occurring while the majority of his siblings having their own houses in the city. "Is he telling the truth?"
"Luther, no one just lies about shit like that!" Allison says with a shaky voice. "God, he was thirteen! No wonder he is the way he is, while we were finishing off Dr. Terminal, Five was trying not to starve to death and mourning us!"
"Didn't Dad always say time travel would mess with his mind?" Vanya says so quietly, most of their siblings don't hear her. But Klaus did.
"I mean, yeah, but a) we're Hargreeves, of course the world ends the same week we throw a family get-together. B) How did Dad even know that? He probably just didn't want to deal with the thought that Five could go to the past and be smarter than him." He smiles and resists giggling hysterically at the thought. "And c)" Klaus pauses, thinking for a moment, "well Dad always did say we were destined to save the world!" He finishes, despite the contradictions between two letters.
"You mean you guys were meant to save the world." Vanya mutters, reminding Klaus of her book and he winces.
As children, their father lumped their mental evaluations together. Of course, their dad almost always chaperoned, so it wasn't really a bonding experience. But whenever they did get a rare moment of privacy, Klaus wasted no time striking a conversation to banish the boredom. He once even invited her to do nails with him and Allison, but he forgot about it for ten years until her book reminded him.
It wasn't much. It wasn't anything. But it got him a decent review in her expośe. Doesn't mean he didn't cut off all contact he barely had with her after it was released and the entire world learned the finer details of his schizophrenia.
But he doesn't say that. Instead, he turns back to his other siblings' argument. And Christ on a Cracker, their family tree must be a cactus, because everyone could be such a prick!
"The world is going to end! Why shouldn't I want to be with my literal child!?" Allison says, fuming out the ears, surprisingly glaring at Luther in a way she only did when her favorite was less than civil to someone she deemed hers to protect. As children that included Klaus (It happened with him the most often), Ben (Level 10 rare, Luther was honestly the most protective of Six), and shockingly Vanya (They weren't close, but even then Ally wanted to protect her).
"If we're to believe Five, we'll need to be practical, Allison." Luther says in calm tone that probably comes off as patronizing to a Queen like Allison. And it shows.
"I am being practical. Do you think I'm going to leave you all defenseless?!" She rolls her eyes. "To fix this, we'll need the full force of the academy, but if all else fails, I at least need to spend humanity's potential end with my little girl."
"As much as I hate siding with Number One," Diego sighs. "how can we save the world if we have to work around a babysitting schedule?"
"Not it on diaper duty!" Klaus quips, mostly to see if forced humor might soothe her.
At some point, between all the fighting and migraines, Vanya mutters to herself, so quietly only Klaus beside her can hear above the screams, "I really would've preferred a 4 o'clock lesson over this."
"Well, you wanted to be included." Klaus whispers.
I’m actually in Los Vegas for a summer vacation. Which is exciting, but my tablet is using a hotspot, so here’s hoping it doesn’t let me down while posting.
"Okay, this shouldn't be impossible." Luther rants. "The first time, we must've underestimated just who or what we were dealing with."
"Right. Besides, Five's a tiny time traveler in shorts, Luther and Diego never stopped fighting crime, Ally does her own stunts, and I use my powers everyday." Klaus goes over, floating beers to everyone for show. Everyone but Luther accepts. "That's a lot to deal with."
“Right, so battle strategies.” Luther ignores him. “Since Dad knew something about the end of the world, we should start there. I’ve already been searching Dad’s notes for clues about his death,” Everyone else rolls their eyes, including Allison, “I’ll start looking for clues on the apocalypse.”
Diego glares at him. “Yeah, okay. I’ll be doing something not pointless and find Five.”
Luther huffs but doesn’t complain. “Klaus, Allison, go check the surveillance footage, I was just going there when I walked in on you guys.”
Klaus and Allison smile at each other.
“W-what can-“ Vanya murmurs.
“Just be here when Diego and Five get back. You were always besties, he’ll listen to you.” Klaus quickly tells her. It would be easier if she went to find Five herself, but she’d need to be protected, and no one’s stupid enough to not expect a train wreck by sending her with Diego.
Klaus has never been in the surveillance room before, and of all the things he expects to feel during the mission to save the planet, he doesn’t expect to feel so fuzzy.
The Hargreeves family had terrible childhoods. That was not a secret. But the sight of teenage him and Diego playing candy poker inexplicably makes him smile. There’s recordings of Dee baking with Mom, him knitting a forever unreceived Welcome-Home scarf for Five. Even of everyone taking turns for Luther to give them all piggyback rides when they were eight and Vanya was still included.
While Allison stares at footage of her and Luther, he stares at eleven year old Real Ben standing on a couch cushion as he and Little Klaus attack each other with pillows. Klaus looks down. They used to be so close, but they drifted apart as they got older and Klaus’s powers grew stronger.
“I know, buddy.” Fake Ben murmurs. His heart clenches.
"Your father stopped recording years ago." They turn and find Pogo at the doorway, looking at them affectionately. "But I still come here from time to time. When I'm missing you kids."
And Klaus can't help but have a flutter of affection for their honorary uncle. Yeah, he was loyal to Reginald to a fault, but at least he loved them. And never let them think otherwise. With a father like Sir Reginald Hargreeves, it too easy to forgive Pogo for his complacencies.
Allison, however, is more conflicted, stating in a cutting voice, "Most families have home movies to look back on, we have surveillance footage."
She points to a recording of him proclaiming himself as king over those alley cats he used to let in, and snorts.
"Oh, look! Me and Ben!" Allison says, excitedly. On the screen, it shows little baby Ben and Allison playing on the stairs. They look so happy, so innocent."I miss him so much."
Ben looks at her sadly, then turns to him. "We were looking for this leprechaun doll. We both wanted it, so we had Pogo hide it. Finders keepers. But I knew Allison didn't like things not going her way, so when I found it, I hid it."
What an odd story to give to something. Honestly, Klaus gave up trying to explain the psycho details his mind makes up.
"Give her the doll." Ben begs. "Please just... just give it to her."
Klaus bites his lip, and ignores Ben, reminding himself that he wasn't real. He instead tries to focus on whatever Allison was saying about Vanya.
"You don't have to tell her, just go to the back of my closet and give it to her!"
He didn't like telling people about the delusions of his dead brother.
The only people who knows (or knew) about Ben are his therapists, Diego, Vanya and his father. The only reason Vanya knows is because she could overhear him through the door at therapy (the hug was nice though), and Diego only knows because Klaus got drunk at a bar once and it made his powers wonky so the police was called and Dee jumped on the case. The night was a blur, but Klaus still remembers his big brother's stricken face when Klaus said he was talking to Ben, too hammered to separate delusions from reality.
It was more painful than the hangover.
He tried to tell Diego that Ben wasn't like the terrible delusions that used to make him crawl into Diego's bed until he was twelve. That Ben looks normal. He just didn't tell him about how close they were, how fucked up they had gotten, how much Klaus fucking loves that hallucination.
And since he didn't, he can tell that Diego didn't quite believe that his delusional brain produced something not totally horrifying.
"Klaus?" Allison asks. "Are you okay?"
Klaus catches himself and smiles warmly. "Fine, it's just that the sudden rush of good, scary, awful childhood memories can really shut a feller up."
Pogo sighs sadly. "I have to ask Master Klaus," He seems to brace himself, as though he really didn't want to say what he was about to say. "Have you ever hallucinated poor Master Ben."
"Pogo!" Allison says sharply, in a warning tone. She and Pogo share a pointed look.
Why did Pogo emphasize 'hallucinated'?
"He knows." Ben breathes. "All this time, he knew!"
Klaus ignores Ben and puts on a smile. He doesn't want to hurt either Allison or Pogo, so he lies. Luckily he is an excellent liar. To tell the truth, Klaus should be the one with four Oscars.
"Calm down, I've never seen Ben."
Allison seems relieved, but Pogo looks disappointed. Klaus gives him a questioning look as Ally glares at him.
Why would Pogo be disappointed if all things? Unless-
He quickly shakes himself from the thought before he can finish it. No good can come from falling down that rabbit hole.
Instead, he decides to follow where Allison's attention is at the moment as she approaches the monitor with a horrified look on her face. "Oh, God."
“That doesn’t mean anything!” Diego shouts. This isn’t happening. He hoped that getting rid of that stupid monocle would keep things away from her, but apparently not.
“She’s right there and she isn’t doing anything!” Luther argues. “You can’t just say that isn’t a little suspicious!”
“You really think Mom would hurt Dad?” Vanya asks.
“You haven’t been home in a long time, Vanya.” Luther says softly.
“If Dad was poisoned, it would’ve shown on the coroner’s report.” Diego snaps.
Luther stares at the screen, stepping closer. “Wait.... look, when Mom sits down he has the monocle, she stands up, monocle is gone.”
“So, she was cleaning it. Why are we even back on the Dad got murdered train?” Diego asks tiredly, he really doesn’t want to work with his family after all this time to prevent their future deaths and have to worry about Luther killing Mom or something. “I thought the Earth’s clock was ticking. Still don’t know where Five is.”
“That’s the thing!” Luther says. “If Grace could kill Dad, that means something’s wrong with her. Who knows how far she can go.”
Everyone can see what Number One is implying. Allison looks at him in alarm. Even she thinks he’s lost his damn mind if he thinks Mom destroys the world.
“Luther, please tell me-“ She starts.
“If Five thinks the prosthetic eye belongs to whoever-“
“I’ll save you the trouble.” Diego growls. “They aren’t the same damn color.”
“So what? You think Mom’s gonna go all.... any movie about evil robots destroying world ever on us?” Klaus chuckles in disbelief and shakes his head. “That’s ridiculous. She wasn’t even made to do things for the world, she was made for us. So if anything we should be scared that she’s gonna-“
“What Klaus is trying to say is-!” Diego interrupts him, because that was a disaster waiting to happen. “You’re crazy. We’re not shutting down Mom.”
Klaus nods in agreement.
“It’s better safe than sorry.” Luther growls. “I don’t think you understand the stakes. Every single person on the planet destroyed because Number Two wanted to take the chance.”
“Guys, I know Mom’s not gonna destroy the world.” Allison starts. Diego can feel a ‘but’ coming up. Even at his stupidest, Allison still thinks the sun shines out of Luther’s ass. “But there must be something wrong with her to just do that.”
“So what?!” Diego grits. “We scrap her like a broken vacuum cleaner.”
“Maybe!” Luther shouts. “We can’t take any risks when it comes to this apocalypse. If there is a chance Mom could be dangerous-“
“We’re all dangerous.” Klaus points out. “Maybe one of us destroyed the world. You gonna kill any of us?”
Diego grins at him.
Luther bristles, but turns to Diego. “Really? You know you’re not just risking you, or me, or Klaus,” Luther emphasizes that last one, knowing what it would do to Diego. “You’re risking every single person you and your vigilante work has saved.”
Fists and knives fly before anyone can say a reply.
Vanya runs out of the mansion by herself. It’s one thing to witness her brother’s fighting outdoors in the rain, another when furniture is involved. She doesn’t doubt that her other extraordinary siblings will do just fine managing those two.
She walks past the side and pauses. A man around her age is looking around her family’s dumpster. He doesn’t look like the type to dumpster dive. He just looks like a dude. Normal shirt, no scars, nothing.
He’s too ordinary to be dumpster diving.
The man looks up and Vanya doesn’t realize he’s looking at her. She’s not used to people seeing her, especially not strangers.
“Oh, hi!” He says in a normal voice, as if he isn’t standing in her Dad’s garbage.
In which Leonard is in-universe nicknamed; ‘The weird garbage man.’ I’m not one for arrogance, but you’re welcome.
Okay, so this might be a weird chapter. Last chapter, the family meeting was actually supposed to be in the morning of episode 3, and just Allison shows Luther the video but Klaus calls up Diego but that changed to make it more driven by the plot, so then episode 3 was a total blank slate and I have no idea what to do until the Hazel and Cha Cha attack.
I mean I guess I could just quickly explain that the second family meeting happened the next morning, but it feels so much like the same day, so.....
And so I went through a recap of everything that happened in the third episode, and I quickly realized that I already obliterated every plot thread, so all that was left to do was go from what was already there. For awhile I considered just having the fight a day earlier, because... Butterfly Effect! But, nah.
I made an AU where Klaus was protected, and loved, and happy, and powerful, because I wanted to. And you know what else I want? People to look at Leonard Peabody, and think; No.
So, as Miss Vanya would say; I figured, why not?
Vanya blinks and stares at the weird garbage man for a good ten seconds. He chuckles softly and says, "This is the part where you say..."
She looks at him confused, but realizes he's talking to her. And trying to be cute, which is weird because he’s standing in her family’s dumpster. "Oh.... uh, hi." She says blandly.
"The name's Leonard Peabody." He smiles at her, in that awkward way that Allison or sometimes even Klaus would give her. The kind that tells her the other person wants to make an effort to be nice to her, but there's a certain forcefulness to it all. "I was just trying to find my things. I got evicted from the apartment across the street and my shit isn't in their dumpster, so I'm just checking around."
Why is he standing in a dumpster?
"I'm..." Vanya winces. She shouldn't tell him. "Allison." What the fuck is wrong with her? He looks surprised by that, but he tries to hide it. It's subtle, and she might have not even noticed if he wasn't standing in her family's dumpster. But she did. Shit, he probably knew where he was stealing from.
Oh no. What if he hurt her? Would her brothers and sister even notice? They were right there inside and yet so far away. If he does something really bad, would they even care? She clearly couldn't do much to save the world, besides get the heroes their coffee. If anything she was in the way. Oh God, just being present at those family meetings where no one could hear her was a step up for her sibling bonds, no one would care she was gone!
The only people who knew she so much as existed before her book were Five, who she hasn't seen in forever and was probably so upset that she didn't believe him, and Klaus, who hasn't talked to her in years before this afternoon.
"Are you okay?" He asks. Vanya didn't even realize she was hyperventilating until now.
She blinks, and breathlessly gestures to the path she was going on, before bolting up the street.
"God, looking back on it, I feel like such an idiot." Vanya mutters, taking a sip of her orange juice. Allison smiles and nods in sympathy. It's so weird having her sister here, in her apartment. But she just showed up at her doorstep, stating that she wanted to check up on her after she ran out on their brother’s fighting, and what was Vanya supposed to do?
Allison takes a bite of her pancakes and says. "Don't be. The world's ending, we're all at the ends of our seats. When I called Claire, I wouldn't let Patrick hang up for an hour, and I wouldn't say why, and of course, that turned into a fight...."
Vanya blinks, she figured that all that talk about Allison and her husband fighting was all just.... tabloid gossip. "Oh. So it's-"
"True." Allison admits, though she does not look happy about it. "I guess. It's just.... he was nice when we were just hooking up, and then we got married, and I would leave him if it wasn't for Claire."
"Wow." Vanya blinks. "I never would've thought that you'd have- with your powers, uh-"
"I don't do that." Allison snaps. She looks almost defensive. Vanya swallows. Come to think of it, Allison stopped using her powers on their family a long time ago, not that it stopped her from using it to become one of the most famous people on the planet. Anyway, Allison looks away, and gets back to the subject. "This Leonard guy is probably just some petty thief who figured he was safe to dumpster dive after Dad passed."
Vanya nods. "Probably. I just got so jumpy." Allison sighs, but looks at her with something too nice to be pity. And Vanya knows pity.
"Look, the end of the world is coming, and as much as distractions are brutal, Dad always taught us to never overlook anything out of the ordinary." Allison explains, and Vanya winces, no wonder they overlook their ordinary sister. "He's probably nobody, but he was digging around the house the same week the world ends, we should check it out."
Vanya nods, embarrassed that she didn't know about such a battle strategy.
"If his story checks out, he's a lot more dismissible. We'll have to at least check out his alibi." Allison states, as though going over something at a meeting. "You're sure he said he lived in an apartment on our street?"
Vanya nods again. Allison takes another bite. "We'll check it out after breakfast.
"You and me?" Vanya asks, shocked. Allison wants to go on a mission with her? Extra-ordinary Vanya?
A part of her expects that same, awful look of pity and a clarification that Allison meant with one of their special brothers. Instead, Allison smiles, and repeats. "You and me."
Not a single Leonard matching Vanya's description was recently evicted from any apartment buildings.
Allison sighs, a random man was sniffing around their garbage the day they find out the world is ending. She'd be an idiot not to investigate. But bringing Vanya along.... it was a cautious risk. As children, before their first mission, they had been told many times why Vanya couldn't come with them. She didn't have powers, she was ordinary, she'd get hurt!
But now that they were adults, surely it was okay. So long as she stayed close to her sister and was quick to spit out a Rumor, what could possibly go wrong? Besides, they were searching near their house, where their brothers were. If things get too out of hand, they'd come. But none of that would matter if this creepy garbage man would just be normal.
She almost told Vanya to stay home and let her handle this stupid, unimportant mission. The memory of her at thirteen being so alone in her room while she and their brothers played together made her change her mind.
“Well, that was time consuming.” Vanya sighs, she looks embarrassed, though doesn’t know why. “I’m sorry I-I dragged you acro-“
"No, no, it was fun!" Allison assures. "As kids I would wish all the time that we had another girl on the team. You know, someone to roll my eyes with when the boys got too boy-ish." They both snort. "The closest thing I ever got was Klaus, and no matter how many skirts he sews for himself, he's a boy. Believe me, I've run tests." She shivers at the memory of- No, she is not going back there. Vanya just laughs. Allison looks down when she realizes how unfamiliar the sound is.
"You know, when we were kids, I was so jealous that Klaus got two powers and I didn't have any." Vanya chuckles slightly.
Allison laughs. "Do you remember when we were ten and you wouldn't talk to him for weeks after-" She stops suddenly. Did Vanya remember? If she did, it didn't come up in her book, so maybe-
Vanya nods. "After you suggested he stole my powers for himself."
Allison nods, relieved. She can't help but feel accomplished her sister's light mood. She wanted that atmosphere to stay for as long as possible. And then an idea struck her.
“Hey, so since we never found this Leonard guy, he’s officially to sketchy to not further investigate.”
Vanya bites her lip. “How do we do that?”
Allison sits up straight. “Well, at some point we’ll have to bring this up at the next family meeting, but until then, I’m putting you charge of researching him.”
“What?” Vanya asks. “But I’m-“
“More important than you give give yourself credit for.” Allison interrupts. “The name he gave you is probably fake, but it’s at least a place to start. But promise that if things get bad you’ll get out of there and come to us.”
Vanya nods, not quite believing this is happening. Honestly, neither does Allison, but the happiness hiding in her sister’s dumbstruck expression makes it worth it. “Deal.”
They sit and eat their lunch happily, chatting about idle things. Allison pushes down the dread in her stomach. Surely, this is just precaution. This garbage man isn’t really dangerous. Right?
The day for the Hargreeves brothers was a slow one to say the least. Diego and Luther argued a lot about Mom, with Klaus as the bored-out-of-his-mind mediator, the nostalgia wearing off completely. Luckily his little hallucination was there to help. He's pretty sure they're still fighting, because Diego would die for Mom, and Luther would die before admitting defeat.
So Klaus went out to find Five, staking out the Meritech lab. And he was introduced to his mannequin sister-in-law (Klaus doesn't judge), and then left them to it, for many reasons. Five is still mad at him for spilling on the end of times, they seem to have their shit figured out for the day, and Klaus may be into some kinky shit, but he does not need to get in the way of whatever his brother and that Dolores chick are getting up to.
So now he’s just hanging in his room, waiting for the other shoe to drop. Or hat, or glove, whatever the expression is. Or at least he would, if Benny would shut up!
"I'm telling you, Klaus, Pogo knows. Of course he does, he's more under Dad's spell than Luther." Ben breathes.
"Well that's just absurd!" Klaus says flippantly. "Absurd, I say! Absurd!" He lounges as though laying in hammock, except without a hammock, just the familiar glow of his powers.
"Could you take this seriously!?" Ben rolls his eyes. "Maybe if you ask him about it, he'll tell you the truth!"
"Or he can send me to an asylum. I'm good!" Klaus dismisses, waving his goodbye hand.
"Oh come on!" Ben bitches. "Of all the times to lie to yourself, the impending apocalypse is not a good one!"
Klaus snorts and flips him off. "How exactly is learning I was lied to my entire life about a useless ability gonna save the world?"
Ben glares at him with steely eyes. Oh shit, Benny was mad at him. "Well I'm sorry that talking to my fucking family is so pointless in the grand scheme of things. And you know, even the guy who figured everyone was better off with you being gaslighted thought there was something useful about them. Right?" He bites.
Klaus glares back, but vaguely recalls being fourteen, his father instructing him to not take his meds for a morning and then asking if he was hallucinating Five. Like even his mental illness was a science experiment to poked and prodded. Then again, could it be that- don't!
"Okay, lets just say I do see dead people. If Dad knew, no way in hell was he gonna get rid of them." He points out, desperately latching onto the matter at hand. “So leave Pogo out of this.”
"Why not?" Ben snaps. "Think about it. One day, you were ripping apart walls by accident and yet couldn't lift a grape by actually trying. Then all of a sudden-"
"Dad got me a therapist and actual brain help.” Klaus rolls his eyes.
“Have you ever even asked yourself what's in those stupid pills!?” He asks angrily. Klaus sighs, he really doesn’t like fighting with Ben. But Klaus, and Ben (who is technically an extension of Klaus?) both need to get it through their heads that Ben is not real. His therapists always told him that believing his illness is real is the first step to getting thrown off a cliff. That actually reminds him of something he can use.
"When I was fourteen, Dad pushed me off a cliff."
That gets Ben's already attained attention as his brother blinks at him. "What?"
"When I was fourteen, Dad took me for a drive in the woods and stopped off at a cliff. It was fourteen feet up high, there was another cliff on the other side, and he told me to fly to the other side. My powers were getting stronger, but in the heat of the moment, I froze. I guess I took too long, because then he sighed, and I was falling."
"It didn't work. I didn't levitate."
"I was freaking out." He admits, pushing down the memories of how scared he had been. Wind crashing onto his skin, the cold, hard bottom getting closer and closer by the second. "I couldn't think straight. I was convinced I was going to die. I even peed myself." He chuckles, though nothing's funny. "But, I guess the fear made my powers act out. Fear always used to that. I did manage to remember something from my other training, and I managed to grab a whole bolder from the bottom, and fell on to that. Strained an ankle, though. You remember those six weeks I wasn't on any missions."
Ben nods, looking sick. "Luther said it was actually a good thing. When you started going on missions again-"
"I was that much better at flying." Klaus nods. "Levitation is a good skill to have when your dad screws up your leg. Maybe that was the training exercise." He snorts and rolls his eyes, ignoring the aching in his chest.
"You never told me that." Ben breathes in disbelief.
"Well, I need to make a point." Klaus sighs and closes his eyes. "Dad doesn't trade weapons. You know I know? I'll never forget what he said to me. He said, 'Yes, yes, very impressive Number Four, but we weren't studying telekinesis, we were studying levitation. We'll have to do this again, tomorrow.'" He mimics in an awful British accent. "So, yeah, he wouldn't.”
They stare at each other sadly for a moment, neither saying anything. The silence was thick. Deafening. The horrible memory washing over them.
Finally, Ben opens his mouth to speak.
Too bad the gunshots interrupt him.
BAMF! Klaus. And the hunters become the hunted.
The Umbrella Academy's first mission went off without a hitch. Luther, Diego, Allison, and Five wasted no time showing off their powers to the unsuspecting criminals. Ben was put on lookout until they needed a massacre. Klaus's powers were still unstable on a bad day so he mostly just stuck to making fun of the bad guys with his siblings.
At one point, while he had been away from his siblings and a grown man pointed a gun between his pubescent eyes, and hesitated for just a half second. Klaus likes to think that he was hesitating because he didn't want to kill a kid. Unfortunately, that was his mistake.
Klaus still remembers the feeling of shock when the bullet stopped midair when his hand came up, and turned back to the assailant. It was the first person he ever killed. Not the last.
Though the eight knives that slashed through the criminal probably helped, so....
Klaus quickly runs to investigate, and ignores Ben following after him. He meets Luther on the way to the gunshots. They spare each other quick glances before finding two people in stupid looking masks shooting into the library. Luther wastes no time grabbing one of them behind the throat and throwing her. Klaus floats his way to the other one and pushes the weapons out of his hands.
His telekinesis was strong, but he still needed to prepare himself before lifting and throwing actual living orgasms (organisms). He instead uses it to turn household objects into weapons to throw at the bastard’s head.
Just as the criminal brings his hand to Klaus's throat, he flicks his hand and sends the freak flying into the wall. Luther quickly picks the man up, and throws him next to his friend. Klaus closes his fist and pins their clothes to the spot. It's easier than their bodies. Plus, it's funny watching them squirm in their outfits. He briefly hears a woman's voice, but that doesn't matter.
Diego has already come out from behind the couch. Luther doesn't miss a beat. "You're welcome."
"I was doing fine!" Diego insists, even though he clearly wasn't.
Luther scoffs. "Oh, yeah, you really had them-"
Diego takes none of it and bickers back. "Ever hear of a rope-a-dope!?"
"No, but it sounds adorable." Klaus breaks in their ill-timed quarrel, Diego glares at him for not taking his side, which is unfair because this was the first damn time. "Can we focus on the-" He stops when he turns to where he feels his telekinesis doing its work and finds the gunmen missing, just a few scraps of their clothes remaining. "Where did they go?"
Both his brothers snap their heads up and turn to where they were. But that was their mistake as they were quickly met with more gunshots.
Klaus acts quick and flicks the gun away. He could only grab one, so he went for the smaller one, the woman, dragging her across the floor. But he miscalculates and she swings a punch at him once she's close enough.
Diego and Luther are immediately on her, and she fights back with shocking strength and swiftness. Klaus lands a revenge blow just for kicks.
"Hey, where'd the other one go?" Diego asks when the woman is almost out of it, but not really. And, Jesus, were these people superhumans too? She was way too resilient. Maybe they should take off her mask and see if she's their age. Klaus always was curious about those other superhero kids. Anyway, back to the people trying to kill them all, they didn't know where her friend was.
Exchanging glances, they wordlessly agreed to split up, which would be a horrible idea in a horror movie, but they have superpowers, so it's probably okay.
He finds the other evil bad guy frantically searching upstairs for something. Klaus doesn’t know, nor care what. He floats behind him, all cool-like, and for a second, watches as the dude studies one their Dad’s silly, ironic human rights awards. He holds up his hand and the award strikes the idiotically unsuspecting man in the face.
They’re close enough that he could have struck a blow on Klaus’s beautiful face had Klaus not flicked his wrist and stopped it midair, but the guy surprises him and kicks his ribs. He quickly grabs a bat from across the room and starts defending himself with it. He sacrifices a few glasses from the dining set to throw at the bastards head.
A knife swiftly appears behind from the corner and stabs the guys in the shoulder. Diego punches him, but he takes the knife from his shouder and aims for him, so Klaus quickly flicks it out of his hand and crashes an entire fruit bowl into his head.
Except they were standing at the railing and he falls off the ends. Diego tries to keep his grip, but fails. Klaus sends a blast of his telekinesis to soften the fall. He never liked killing people. The brothers share a look and check over the railing, to see him still alive, still conscious, and crawling away.
They run down the stairs and find he somehow already evaded them. They run the direction he had been crawling, which leads to the main staircase, where they find Luther laying on his front side on the floor, back at the main staircase and help him up. Okay, Klaus uses a lot of telekinesis with that, but Diego doesn't need to know that as he suggests Luther take up a diet.
They get him to his feet, just as they notice the woman standing at the upper floor, just staring at them. Like a psycho. Before any of them could do anything though, she runs off. They hear a crackle and suddenly the chandelier is falling above them. Luther quickly pushes them out of the way.
Klaus reaches out his hand and stops it from falling on his brother at the last minute, and throws it onto the staircase and out of the way. He can hear the psychopaths running out the back door.
"Mom, we need to check on Mom." Diego insists, panting, always one to make Mom priority numero uno, but still asks. "Where were the girls?"
Luther rolls his eyes and says, "Still following their garbage lead. Not that you've cared to ask."
Diego scoffs. "If the lead's so bad Number One would call it garbage-"
"No! They're looking into some guy they found-"
Klaus sighs and floats above the fallen chandelier, and makes his way to his mother. He finds her sewing in her favorite chair. Or maybe it was assigned to her, but Klaus doesn't care. "Mom?"
She smiles brightly when he sits next to her. "Hello, Dear."
“You, you know, not dead?” He asks, even though she clearly is. Luther and Diego’s bickering is a lot less funny after being shot at, so anything to get the hell away from them. And to calm his mind. High emotions tend to make his powers a little loosey-goosey.
“Of course not, Sweetie!” Mom smiles even wider, because she’s Mom. “Why ever would you ask such a thing?”
Klaus frowns. “Because of the psycho murderers that just broke in?” She blinks, but doesn’t look like she’s processing what he’s telling her. “The ones that were just shooting at us three musketeers down there?”
He looks at her in utter confusion, and gasps as he sees her sewing into her own arm and not sensing a thing. And suddenly Klaus realizes that maybe, just maybe, Luther wasn’t just being crazy when he went on and on about how broken Mom must be. From the very beginning, Mom was programmed to detect things that she might need to protect the kids from, and administer help in any way necessary if needed. That includes gunshots.
One of his earliest memories was of sneaking to his bedroom window after curfew to look at these ‘pretty squiggly sky paints’. They were fireworks, it the Fourth of July, but he must have been like, three or four. Young enough that Mom had just been created, because soon enough she was barging in to his room, picking him up to carry him with the first half of his brothers and sisters in her surprisingly strong robo-arms, and then getting the other half to bring them all to panic room.
Their father tried to stop her many times, but she pursued on, and even shoved him and Pogo into the panic room with them. Mom probably thought she was hearing gunshots and just insisted that this was where they needed to be until the kids could defend themselves. In hindsight, it was hilarious, even if he thought the squiggly sky paints were trying to kill them all, and he quickly made his siblings as scared out of their minds as he was, to their father’s annoyance.
Dad must have made adjustments to her programming because that never happened again. Which sucked since it was years before he could stay up that late with his family. Pogo taught them to play cards.
Wait, that’s it! If Mom is broken, she just needs to be fixed! For the first time ever, Klaus actually wishes Dear Old Dad was there, because someone needs to find out what’s wrong with her. Oh well, fingers crossed Pogo will do. And if that fails, well, Diego loves Mom enough to read a hardware book. Honestly, so would he.
Allison struts through the front door like she owns the goddamn place, and has the balls to look concerned when she sees Luther and Diego disheveled and fuming at each other, and the stupid chandelier laying on the staircase.
“Shit, what happened!?” She asks, all freaked out.
“Shit happened!” Diego rolls his eyes. “Nice of you to join us by the way!”
Luther ignores his remarks and walks past him, “Two psychos just broke in and attacked us. They managed to escape, but I did learn from one of the attackers that they were looking for Five.”
Diego scoffs. “Yeah, probably almost died. Too bad there wasn’t anyone who could just say the magic words and get them off our asses there to help.”
“Diego!” Luther bites but softens when he turns to Allison, of course. “How did your thing with Vanya go?”
Allison doesn’t seem all too concerned when she says. “Couldn’t rule him out. These assailants, how’d they even get away?”
Diego growls. “They got away because we were tired from the hand-to-hand combat. Not that you’d ever need to know when all you needed to say was a couple sentences and they’d be gone. And if your stupid garbage crap wasn’t worth a five-word explanation, why did it take the whole damn day?”
Yeah, he’s being an ass, but he needs a target to take his anger out on, to keep from freaking out about those freaks getting away. Luther is obviously an easy option, but so is Allison.
As kids, they fought a lot, even if they shared the title of Klaus’s favorite. Nowhere near as much as he did with Number One, but still a lot. Some times over her faith in Luther. Some times over Klaus, because as a kid he thought Allison was trying to turn him into a girl to make up for their only other sister being useless. Yeah, okay, he was wrong. Not that he would ever admit that, ever, but it’s something. He isn’t proud.
“We had dinner, Diego! Is that so wrong!? To want to share a day with the sister we neglected our entire lives!?”
Diego growls some more. “Maybe it is! The world is ending, Five dropped out of the sky, you two want to kill Mom, and people are just showing up at our front door with guns and masks. Now is not the time to be stroking poor Number Seven’s ego. You wanna stop being a shitty sister? Fine. Just pick a better week.”
He stalks off, probably to find a different way upstairs since that pesky chandelier was still in the way and it would kill the mood to ask Luther to move it already.
Because seriously, I cannot understand why Diego couldn’t just get his Mom fixed up. I mean, yes, it was all very emotional, but he didn’t even try to figure out WHAT was wrong with his mother. And honestly, in this universe, they probably have more of a reason to want to get rid of her, because they’re all paranoid about the world ending. But still.
Also, simultaneously dreading and anticipating next chapter.
She’s had to. It was necessary. She had to. Things are better now. She had to. She had to. She had to. It was necessary. She had to.
So, I have a flashback sequence in this chapter, and I know that most people normally put flashbacks in italics, but I can never read large chunks of writing in italics. I mean sentences, fine. Several sentences? When cut in with normal text. But maybe that’s just me.
Now, if it makes anyone feel better, I had to re-talk myself into this so many times since, like, Chapter Two. And that’s because of you.💫
I have just been on an angst choo-choo train these past few days! *sigh*
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
The next morning, Klaus goes to see if Pogo found out what was wrong with Mom. He left his mother in Pogo's care for the night and collapsed in his childhood bed. He was done for this night.
There were too many questions. What's wrong with Mom? Who were the assassins? Why did they want Five? Who owns the stupid eye? How do they stop the end of the world? It's all so much, Klaus just had his first battle in eleven years, he was sleepy. Fight him.
"What do mean you her hardware 'just malfunctioned'?" Klaus asks. How does something his father make malfunction? He would die before complimenting his father, but Reginald Hargreeves did not tolerate things that malfunctioned. Not robots, not children. At worst, he didn't factor in something that wasn't lethal. Like the fireworks incident, or the fact that children needed to be loved.
"Your mother was created decades ago Master Klaus," Pogo says gently. "Malfunctions like these are bound to happen."
He should be relieved. His mom will be repaired and Luther will, you know, not murder her, but there's a gnawing feeling in his chest. Daddykins wouldn't miss something like that.
Then again, lingering symptoms of Stockholm syndrome and Daddy issues aside, Dad did not mean enough to Klaus for further investigation. Luther'll look into it once he hears the story.
He turns to leave but Pogo stops him. "Master Klaus? Might I ask a question?"
"Knock yourself out." Klaus replies. That was a weird expression now that he thinks about it. What does gaining approval have to do with being knocked- Oh, he gets it.
Pogo clears his throat. "Since returning to the mansion... well, your hallucinations. Have you ever had delusions of your father now that he's passed? Just out of curiosity." Klaus frowns. They've had this conversation before.
Everyone was so worried for the effect it would have on his schizophrenia after Benny died. Pogo, Allison, there was a lot of concern that he would start hallucinating Ben, which he did, but when he said he didn't, Pogo pulled him aside and suggested decreasing his pill use, which was ridiculous, but whatever, he got over it. Pogo was, after all, the closest thing they'd ever have to a father.
"No." Klaus shakes his head, not even having to lie. "No, I haven't."
"He wants to ask Dad for advice!" Ben calls from where he lounges on the couch, too bored not all too invested in their conversation. Like when he discovered Klaus could talk to him, the shock wore off and now it's just an annoying fact of death.
No, not death, he's not real.
"Are you sure?" Pogo says in calm voice. "Well then, i-it seems you’ve grown a tolerance. Perhaps you should decrease usage-“
“Why would he do something like that?” A voice behind them snaps. They turn and Allison stands, giving Pogo an unhappy look.
“I was just-“ Pogo seems so nervous. To be fair, Allison’s Mama Bear aura is horrifying.
“Just saying something ridiculous?” Allison crosses her arms. “That would only hurt him. You know what his schizophrenia does to him, why do you-“ She shakes her head and turns to Klaus, her expression softening. But something in her eyes says, ‘Don’t listen to him!’
He wasn’t going to.
“Yes, well, Master Klaus is old enough to care for himself. He makes such smart decisions for himself.” Pogo says, and Klaus almost chokes. Who pokes a Mama Bear? Does he have a death wish.
Allison looks like she's gathering patience, but quickly starts smiling again. Klaus feels the tension in the air, but brushes it off. “So what’s for breakfast?”
Klaus tells her about Mom as they share leftover morning waffles that Mom prepared the day before, and like he is, she’s more than a little suspicious.
“Doesn’t Mom’s recharging station search for bugs?” Allison points out. “When we were kids I got in trouble for touching it.”
Pogo clears his throat. “Yes, but that was also having malfunctions.”
But Klaus was raised by two British dudes. He knows how to decipher bullshit from sophisticated, fancy talk. And what Pogo just said was not exactly difficult.
“Convenient.” Allison deadpans. “And why wasn’t that fixed?”
“Your father simply had more important matters to tend to, unfortunately.” Pogo says in a gentle voice that Klaus is beginning to not buy.
Pogo blinks. “Well, the research Master Luther was sending from the moon-“
But Allison seems done with Pogo’s bullshit. “You’re hiding something.” Pogo gives her a look. “About Dad. About how he died, and you’re not telling us?”
“No!” Pogo insists. “I would never- your father simply prioritized some things over others, Miss Allison. Now he raised you to-“
Allison’s angry glare intensifies. “Dad couldn’t handle seven imperfect human beings, he wasn’t gonna go on with an imperfect machine!”
“Allison!” Klaus protests, in shock of his sister’s short temper, even though she is the most impatient creature he has ever met.
“Your father was a great man, how could you just-“
"I heard a rumor you told us what really happened to Dad!" Allison finally snaps. Klaus looks at her in shock. Allison never uses her powers on her family unless it was life or death. Then again, the world was ending, so it was, potentially, life or death.
"Allison-" He starts.
The white mist settles in Pogo's eyes as he starts speaking. "Your father believed the world would end in several days. In a plot to bring you all together again, he orchestrated his own death, and set up evidence to make it appear that he had been murdered, so that you kids could unite and save the world as a team."
"What!?" Klaus, Ben, and Allison say in sync.
"Dad killed himself?" Allison says with a dropped jaw. "No, he killed himself and framed our mother!?"
"Dad knew about the apocalypse." Klaus puts a hand to his head. "And not, 'You're all going to save the world someday, now clean the bathroom, it's essential!' knew. He was so sure that he killed himself!"
"Why do we trust him with things?" Ben whispers.
Allison turns to glare at Pogo. "You knew about this? And you didn't tell us?"
It's morbid and shocking and so, so funny. Years of torturing and mind games, and yet his swan song beat them all. Or would have if it weren't for Ally. Jesus, they were pushing thirty and Dad couldn't let them go without one last mindfuck. With that, Klaus actually huffs out a laugh and shakes his head. Allison puts a hand on his shoulder, grounding him. He takes a few deep breathes and calms down.
"Klaus!" Ben snaps. "We need to tell the others!" Klaus nods. Ben always knows what to do.
"I'll call a family meeting!"
He floats away and doesn't look back. Ben follows him.
As Klaus leaves, Pogo turns to her.
"I'm still mad at you." Allison says simply, ignoring the voice in the back of her head calling her hypercritical. "And for your information, we already know about the apocalypse, so your precious murder mystery has been nothing but a distraction."
Pogo looks confused. "How were you already-"
"Oh, get this, Five grew up in the apocalypse." Allison scoffs, trying not to think about how if he just told them- But she's at least somewhat self aware. "Any more secrets you want to tell?"
She hates herself the moment it leaves her mouth.
Allison sighs, wishing they could just talk about the weather or something. Why couldn't he just let it go and move on? If Klaus doesn't see Ben, he doesn't see Ben! It's better this way!
"I must say, Miss Allison, your brother has grown into his powers quite well. Not as advanced as your father would have liked, of course." Allison scoffs. Klaus could have lifted the entire North America up to space and he would never be good enough for their father. None of them would ever be. Though that was kind of relieving.
Pogo gently takes her hand across the table. She narrows her eyes but doesn't pull away. Despite it all, she does love her uncle.
"He's not a little boy anymore. And you're not a little girl." Pogo sighs. "Perhaps, it's time-"
"No." Allison grits and pulls her hand away. Absolutely not. Never. Not after-
"You know it always was your father's intention to reinstate his full powers once your brother was ready for it."
She didn't want it to be this way. She didn't want to do this. She has to though. She just needs to make things okay. Make him okay. She has to.
"Now, Number Three." Their father's strict voice comes from behind her shoulder, and a cold hand pushes her forward.
Allison moves slowly, hesitant in a way she never was before. Because that isn't her. Because she is the princess of the palace. She is gonna be a superhero. She is a future movie star.
And she is also a big sister. Even if took her twelve years to start acting like it.
At the moment, the one millisecond separating her from Klaus might as well be one decade, or one thousand years, but it doesn't matter.
Not when her little brother looks at her with giant, teary eyes that were normally so full of life, so full of excitement. How many times did he have to pull himself together from this mess to the loud, annoying creature she thought she knew so well? He should never look like that. And he never will again, she realizes. That's why she has to do this. She has to.
Father clears his throat and she takes in a deep breath. She has to.
How did it come to this?
"I-I-I heard a rumor...." She stutters, "you forgot," Here we go, "you can see," She looks deep into his tearful expression, "dead people."
She watches that white mist enter his eyes and disappear.
Allison never gave much thought to her brother's creepier powers before. They just seem so.... useless. It wasn't like she could see what he saw, and he has better powers, so who cares? Half the time she thought he was just messing with them.
She never would have thought-
"And!" Father draws.
She winces, remembering the second part of her rehearsed sentence.
"And-" Allison repeats, "And I heard a rumor," She has to, "you think," She winces at the cruel words picked for her, "you're just," It's for the best, "crazy."
She watches her words enter and cloud in her baby brother's red eyes, and when it clears, Klaus's green eyes stare blankly ahead for a moment, she holds her breath, and he blinks up at her. Confusion.
"What do you remember, Number Four?" Father's voice booms.
His eyebrows wrinkle at the question, before realization hits his face like the dread in her belly. "Nothing." His eyes blink rapidly, as though trying to put something together. She holds her breath. "Was she Rumoring me?"
Dirty, rotten relief blooms like poison ivy in her chest.
"A simple test to see if her powers work on other extraordinary individuals, Number Four." Father lies, so smoothly. "You volunteered, not that you'd remember."
"Oh." Klaus nods. He seems to buy it. Allison does her best to smile. This'll be fine. Everything will.
"You both are dismissed until your other brothers return with Mister Pogo and Number Seven." And with that, he leaves, as though they didn't just erase a vital part of his son's life in less than thirty words.
She looks back at her little brother. He seems so.... casual, like there was nothing wrong. Like nothing was ever wrong, and it's the biggest lie Allison has ever told, but if nothing was wrong with him then everything was right. She made everything right.
Allison speaks and everything is okay. And her brother is okay. Through a lie. A terrible lie that erased a part of him, but still a lie that took away all that terrible stuff.
It's not her fault, he needed it. He is better now. So why does she feel so sick?
She decides right then and there that she hates using her powers on her family. So after she Rumors the others and Vanya, she'll never Rumor her family again. Not to be the first in the bathroom, not to be left alone, not even for Dad.
Only when it's absolutely necessary.
"Was I crying?" Klaus asks, because he probably has a headache. He was. He was crying so hard, and Allison couldn't make it stop. And then she could, and now he'll never cry like that again.
Allison will make sure of that. Because it's necessary.
"Part of training." In a way, it's true, but she brushes it off, though it kills her. "I'm really sorry."
He looks at her in surprise. Allison can't blame him. Number Three has never been the type to say sorry. Never been the type to be sorry for him.
She's gonna fix it. Like she fixed him.
She had to.
"Hey, remember when you almost fell on your face wearing Mom's shoes? Thank God you can fly. Kinda." She means it in more ways than he knows. If her brother wasn't so bad at his other powers, nothing would have changed. She wouldn't have fixed him.
He looks at her confused. "Yeah."
They were never close before. Because Allison was an idiot who didn't care how badly her brother was hurting.
"Wanna raid her closet before the others come back?" His eyes light up. She can tell it's genuine.
Soon, she'd be a superhero. Someday, a movie star. From this day forward, a sister.
It was necessary. She had to. Things are better this way. He's better this way. She had to. She had to.
"Well, he's not ready."
Hi...... Surprise! 🤗
(Please don’t hurt me.)
I’m of the opinion that while Luther’s probably my least favorite, he’s still not a bad person. He was loyal to an abuser, but only because he was abused.
That being said, he is really damn easy to write as unsympathetic. Seriously, I will write a sentence, intend to show how brainwashed he is, and reread it and want to punch him. I rewrote a bunch.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
After staking out with Diego of all people, and finally finding Five to get answers, he was not expecting their next family meeting to be like this, even when Klaus was the one calling it. With a bell.
"Dad would never-" Luther stutters. He looks to Allison to see what she thinks of all this, and he can tell that she's calming herself down, probably because she was told before them, but other than that, she seems almost neutral.
This is absurd, Dad would have told him, he was Number One. The one who stayed loyal, and respected his memory, and trusted his judgement. Surely if anything was wrong he'd be the first person to know. Or at least he'd know. After all he's done he must have earned it by now! No, Dad would tell him. Dad would tell him.
But why would Pogo lie? Especially under a Rumor. "He showed no signs! He wouldn't do something like this!"
"Your father needed an excuse for all you children to return home, and knew that only something catastrophic could convince all of you kids."
"Why wouldn't he tell me?" Luther asks. Did not think he could trust him? He always tried so hard to be the ideal son, even as all his brothers, and even Allison gave up on Dad, Luther was the one who always believed that what they were doing was for the greater good. Had that not been enough?
'Maybe it's about why you stayed.' Diego's annoying voice from that argument they had in Five's van rang in his head, but Luther quickly told him to shut up.
"I don't know, Master Luther." Pogo sighs. Luther suddenly felt angry. Pogo just kept vital information about their father's death from them, and as a result, they repeatedly got distracted from the apocalypse, and he was suspicious of his own mother.
"So what? He thought we were gonna see a sketchy video and we were just gonna band to together and save the world cause we're still stuck up his ass after twelve years?" Diego scoffs, and Luther has to restrain himself from starting another fight with him while they're still indoors. He seriously can't show a little respect, even now?
Five rolls his eyes and ignores Diego. "So the Old Man really knew about the end of the world, huh?" He asks Pogo. "How much?"
"I'm afraid he didn't tell me, Master Five."
"Typical." Klaus pipes. "I feel as though a lot of unnecessary stress would be had if Dad just.... picked up a phone! Some of us have occupations that think their in mourning right now! It's super annoying."
Luther kinda agrees with the first part of that statement, which is a weird feeling, but than he just got lost.
"What do you even do for a living?" Five rolls his eyes.
"Community theatre wardrobe manager and costume designer." Klaus says cheerfully. Luther does not even know what that is and he doubts Five does either. "It's so rewarding, I get to yell at less stylish people than me all day, I love it. Hey! I technically have more leadering experiences than Luther! That means-" He knows for a fact how that would make Luther feel.
"No." They all shut him down automatically, but of course, Diego seems more amused than anything. Learning their father killed himself is actually a joke to these people. Luther swallows down the anger in his chest at that, but is quick to take control of the conversation when he gets an opening.
"Okay, look, I've been searching for Dad's research from my mission on the moon for awhile now, but I think it's-" A high pitched noise rudely interrupts him, and Five quickly grabs a beeper from his left pocket.
"That's Grant from Meritech, an update on the eye." Five distractedly explains. He stands up. "I have to check this out." He jumps away before Luther can interject.
He turns to his remaining siblings, but before he can come up with any orders to give them, Diego stands as well. "Well, if that's all-"
"It's not." Luther says.
"I think someone has a job to finish." Diego level a soft glare at Pogo, because of course he's more upset that the one person they all trusted messed with their mother's programming than assisting and hiding their father's suicide. "I'll supervise."
He and Pogo wordlessly start walking in the direction of their mother's charging station, Luther tries to stop them by saying. "Hey, wait! I wasn't done yet." But Diego ignores him and keeps walking.
However, Pogo does stop for a second and turns to him. “Might I suggest you should ask your other siblings to look through your father’s other notes as well. Perhaps he’ll find clues you looked past, your brother’s always been such an out of the box thinker, hasn’t he?” Pogo murmurs in a really low voice. Luther thinks he’s just trying to make things better about Dad.
“Pogo!” Diego snaps. Pogo hurries away, with a quick glance past Luther’s shoulder, probably to the others.
Sighing he turns back to Klaus and Allison. "Okay then, back to my research-"
"Uh, I think I should debrief Vanya." Allison says and hurriedly grabs her purse and Luther looks at her in shock, this is Allison, she always has his back. Unless of course it’s about one of their ‘little siblings.’ He reminds himself semi-bitterly. But she gives him an apologetic smile. "Sorry, but I told her I’d meet her for breakfast and I missed it.”
“You spent all of yesterday with her!” Luther argues.
“As opposed to thirty years of-“ Allison takes another deep breath. “I don’t want her to be alone while something world-ending is going to happen.” And she walks off.
He sighs and waits for Klaus to assign himself a mission because no one wants to listen to the mission leader. Klaus’s eyes shuffle to the side, but it seems more out of awkwardness than one of those annoying delusions, so Luther figures he’s safe.
“Uh... I’m gonna find my research from the moon, but you look through Dad’s other notes.” He says awkwardly. “I already did, but there might be something I missed about his death or the apocalypse.”
Klaus blinks. “That’s it?”
“Yes!” Luther says, almost offended. Klaus just shrugs and flies away again, hopefully to Dad’s office. Luther shakes his head, because what did he do to deserve this as his world-saving team.
"He killed himself?" Vanya nearly chokes on air when she finds out. Allison can't blame her.
"I know." Allison shakes her head, closing her eyes and taking yet another deep breath. The news itself is shocking to the core, and even if Allison still feels so angry when she thinks about everything he put her and her family through. Most girls would be upset if her last conversation with him ended in her cursing him out of the phone because he suggested experimenting on her infant daughter.
No, she’s not upset because her father killed himself. She's still calming down from her fight with Pogo. Klaus says he's never seen Ben, so that should be it. They shouldn’t still be debating this after almost two decades.
Allison misses Ben so much, but communicating through a secondhand means would be so painful for everyone, it would obviously mean giving Klaus those horrible memories back, and as much she wants to speak with her poor brother, she knows he deserves a better place, to finally have the peace he was so devoid of in life.
Klaus deserves to be happy and Ben deserves to have his memory peacefully put to rest. Besides, she likes to think there is a heaven as well, and Ben definitely belongs in Paradise.
She shakes herself out of it and tries to focus on her conversation with Vanya. “So, finds anything about weird garbage man, yet?”
Vanya perks up a little bit. “Oh! I looked up people named Leonard Peabody who have lived in the city, and I found that there was a Leonard Peabody born somewhere in Canada on the exact same day we were born.”
“What?” Where did she get Canada from? Vanya hands her a document resting on her counter. She looks at it and immediately notices that something is off. “Vanya, this says that Leonard Peabody died when we were two from.... an avalanche.”
Vanya nods. “In June.”
Oh. He gave Vanya the name of a dead toddler, who probably superpowers. After sneaking around the dumpster of the Umbrella Academy.
“Oh.” Dammit Garbage Man.
Luther already spent hours searching through Dad's notes way back when they thought Dad's part in the apocalypse was just Luther being as much of Daddy's Little Boy-Toy (said with love) as always, so Klaus personally doesn’t think reviewing those notes is going to be very useful, but he’s got nothing better to do, and Ben will probably be more annoying than usual if he doesn’t do something.
It’s just that Dad wrote so many notes! All about torturing minors, it was depressing as shit. How could Luther be so brainwashed that he could go through all of this, read those matter-of-fact, ‘I am scientist, you are rat’ notes about his family, and not vomit? To be fair, like them all, he actually went through some of this shit, so he’s probably wired to be accustomed to it, but how gone was he by now?
Unwilling to look at his childhood memories any longer, he down at the trash and gets an idea, because Luther probably wore gloves and used a microscope when reading Dad’s precious data, so there was no point going through any of those. He floats all its objects into a straight line in the air.
“Really?” Ben bitches, because of course he does. “Now’s not the time to start another art project.”
Klaus gives him his favorite finger with one hand before sticking in the other. “Not for art, Benny-Boo. Always check through suspicious people’s garbage, it’s a fact of life. Oh! I hope Vanya ends up going through weird garbage man’s trash as revenge! That would be funny.”
He quickly finds a piece of paper at the beginning of the line. It wasn’t even folded.
My Dear Old Friend,
As my passing draws near, I fear the children will be tempted to investigate what is beyond what is necessary for their mission. As a result, in order to keep certain details about the children under wraps, I suggest you take the more secretive notes and hide them. Do not destroy in case of emergency, but do please hide the notebooks where they would never happen to stumble upon. I am aware of your distaste for the location, but I would our old lab, where I created you. Remember, it is essential this data remains preserved, but hidden. I trust you to do this.
Klaus stares at it. He rereads it once, then twice. So Dad’s secrets are unraveling at once, huh? Probably not, maybe one eighth, but it’s something. He looks up at Ben. “Do you remember the address of that lab Dad owns and never uses? The one about Pogo.”
Ben shakes his head. “He probably has a record of it laying around here somewhere. What does it say?”
Klaus lays the note down on Dad’s desk so Ben can read it, and starts to look for Dad’s record book. “Shit. Do you think it’s about the apocalypse.”
“Well why on Earth would Papa keep secrets about a thing like that?” Klaus says sarcastically.
Ben moves his head side to side to say he has a point. Klaus finds the records with a tiny, “Ah-ha!”
“We should tell the others.” Ben suggests as he opens the window in Dad’s room to fly to the lab. “Or at least question Pogo.”
”Talk, talk, talk.” Klaus murmurs. “All we’ve done today is talk! It’s almost brunch time! We’ll ask Pogo ‘what the fuck’ when I’m not so stir-crazy.”
Ben rolls his eyes. “At least tell Diego so he’ll know where you are. Maybe he can question Pogo.”
“He’s Diego, he’s gonna come with.” That’s actually a fun thought. They always did have a buddy cop dynamic as kids, maybe-
“WHEN WILL THE LIES END!!!!!!!” Luther’s voice booms from somewhere else in the house. Klaus and Ben both look up, and simultaneously look back at each other. That could be Diego’s problem.
"I guess I'll just go myself."
“And with me.”
“Right. Wait, no!
Okay, before I forget, AGAIN, does anyone want to suggest superhero names for Klaus in this universe, since the Seance doesn’t really work, does it? When I started this story, I wanted it to be in honor of my telekinetic inspiration, Wanda Maximoff, because I love her fight scenes, so ‘The Witch’??? But I don’t think people in 2002 would make signs and shit about a boy nicknamed after a female monster. Or maybe they would, I don’t know what it was like then, I was born in 2003.
It’s not even a vote, just whichever name I like the most.
I experiment with Villain POVs. Specifically as they plot to murder poor gaslighted lgbtq+ death machines. Oh, and entire lives are rocked to the core.
Thank you all for your suggestions on Klaus’s superhero name. Ultimately, I don’t think I was suggested anything that I really particularly loved. (Anyone who suggested something.... I love you, don’t be overly offended, I accidentally revealed last time that I am a teenage girl). I decided to just go with The Witch. I know, I said it wasn’t a vote, but some people like it.
But there’s still the media situation, so I came up with this little diddy/ headcanon I couldn’t find a place to fit in: All the superhero names were code names, because their numbers were kinda their real names to Hargreeves, so they came up with them themselves.
Allison was convinced this was her path to fame, planned her name out as a publicity stunt, and so she made her name mean business, at least to a preteen. Luther didn’t really get it and just liked space so he made that his name. Five didn’t care like with real names, so his siblings just decided without him to call him ‘Boy’ during missions. Ben was not excited about being a hero, and in his angst called himself the Horror. Klaus got really excited and alternated between names, all the suggested names, starting and ending with the Witch because decided to screw gender conventions and go with his first pick. Diego was coming up with a knife-based name but Klaus came up with the Kraken from his secondary power, and he just went with it because he didn’t care that much, except he cared a lot and figured that if his little brother thought it was awesome, so would villains. And the entire time, Vanya was just listening in on them from the other side of the door, wishing she could tell them the codename she came up with for herself; the White Violin.
The fans just sorta goes with it and figures the kid who can fly can do what he wants. There are protesters though, but like anyone who points out that this goes against basic child labor laws, the fans are like, ‘whateves!’ But like all things in this fic, it’s for the power of good this time.
Also, anyone who reads this chapter and thinks they may be a trypophobe, be cautious if you look it up. The first thing you’ll get is pictures.
She doesn't even like donuts. Why Hazel insists they work here so badly is beyond her, but they've spent the whole damn morning here, going over some boring girl's autobiography, because Hazel 'wanted to get out more'.
This would be easier if they had some sort of witness, but the only sitting ducks in that freak show was some monkey they dressed in a blazer, and some bitch that was a lot heavier than she looked and just kept trying to get back to her chair. According to those freaks' sister, that was a robot, so....
Hazel and the waitress flirt and she rolls her eyes because what is Hazel trying to get done by humping with this old hag? But she catches something out of the corner of her eye that makes her stop. Punching Hazel's arm, she observes that crazy guy from last night flying past the goddamn window.
"Him? I don't know about this." Hazel grunts. "That twig is the one who threw around both of us, twice," Cha Cha rolls her eyes, "without touching us."
"So we'll be sneaky, follow him without letting him know we're there, and when he's least expecting it take him out.”
Hazel looks at her strangely. “I thought you wanted a hostage?”
Cha Cha smacks him with her notepad. “I thought you wanted to avoid another ass-wiping? These guys have superpowers, the less of them, the better.”
"Fine." Hazel sighs, rolls his eyes, and starts to exit the booth, waving to that waitress as he moves towards the exit.
"That book said the schizophrenic could fly above that whole mansion, so we need to be-" Cha Cha rants as they run out to their stolen car.
"He's getting on the bus." Hazel interrupts.
They arrive at their Dad's old lab and scour the area. Klaus had found a blueprint in their father's files. It takes an hour or so, but with Ben’s encouragement, because he doesn’t believe Ben is real so why would he trust his judgement as lookouts or some shit, Klaus and Ben manage to search every little nook and cranny, and yet find nothing.
"Hey, we haven't checked here.” He points to a tiny little closet-like area when Klaus suggests finding another place. Klaus nods and flies down to the area.
The closet is gross and dirty, and when the light switches don’t work, Klaus looks at it like it wants to swallow them up and trap them there forever. Ben knows that Klaus has always had issues when it comes to dark places. On paper, it shouldn't matter because Klaus can just check to see if the notes are there with his telekinesis, but nerves really do a number on his powers.
"Sorry." Klaus sighs. "I'm sorry. I don't even know why I-" Ben shakes his head.
"It's was just one of those weird sensitivities and phobias everyone has." He says because talking and bantering always helps Klaus brace himself. "Diego had stage fright as a kid, Luther was ping-pong barfer, and... okay, I don't know if this is still true now that he's an assassin or whatever, but when we were kids, he was trypophobe."
"A what?" Klaus asks. "A trypho- What would that even be!?"
"Five is averted to looking at arrays of holes." Ben supplies happily. "Or at least he did."
"Five is afraid of holes?"
"Five was nauseated when looking at several holes.” Klaus snorts.
Someday when all his siblings are dead, or if Klaus ever accepts that he's not crazy, hopefully through a giant scandal that publicly destroys Dad's reputation more than Vanya's book already did, his brothers and sisters are gonna be really pissed to know that Ben told Klaus a lot of their secrets out of desperation. And technically Klaus told him a lot of theirs, but he also didn’t think Ben was real, so.
Klaus seems to be better and sends a blue blast that travels throughout the dark room. It stops somewhere and Ben can see the way his glowing hands twitch before he pulls and a bin filled with what looks like folders comes flying out the door, flies through Ben (Thanks Klaus!), and stops in mid-air.
Klaus sits in a ratty, old Rollie chair. Ben doesn’t bother trying to read over his shoulder because he has been told that his presence over Klaus’s shoulder makes him nervous when reading. Mostly any none-porny magazines and work-related musical theatre scripts. But then Klaus jumps back as though physically pained.
“Oh my God. Oh my God. All this time?” Klaus says in a horrified voice. He appears to be reading the same line over and over again like he can’t believe it, and then rampages through the pages, as though trying and failing to process something.
“What? What is it? Klaus!”
“He lied. They all lied! Since we were kids, little kids, and we just never knew!” Klaus rants. “It’s those pills- those fucking pills! He- They repressed this!” Ben shouldn’t feel excited at that. He shouldn’t.
Klaus finally takes several deep breaths, turning to him with giant eyes.
"Vanya has powers."
"Dammit Reggie, if that even is your real name, how many more lies are there! What had to happen to make you like this!? Did your mother not love you? Because guess what, it is entirely possible to grow up with just the worst parent ever and not be completely, and totally awful."
"Klaus, you're rambling." Ben informs him. "Will you start making sense!"
"When has anything in our lives made sense Ben!" Klaus says, and shifts so his brother can see what he’s seeing.
Vanya has powers. Vanya has powers. Sweet, little Vanya, who cried when she caught him and Diego stepping on ants for fun, and used to fall asleep on his shoulder those nights their monthly check up sessions had to be scheduled after dark. Short, sad, annoying, vulnerable Vanya had powers so deadly, Dad had to drug out a four year old.
He scrolls through the pages and catches words and phrases like, 'dangerous', 'over-emotional', and 'uncontrollable' and all the things he'd never associate with his sister and feels sick to his stomach. He quickly kneels to pick up the other folders and pauses. A single yellow folder rest on top, the only label was a small piece of scotch tape labeled '4'.
"Klaus?" Ben asks behind him and he quickly hides it with Vanya's folder, knowing Ben would have a field day with this
"We have to tell her." He says quickly. Ben nods in agreement. But then his expression shifts and Ben screams. “Duck!” He does as told and just barely misses the bullet flying his way.
It’s the bitch from last night. “Motherfucker!” He rolls his eyes, because of course they pop up again. He mentally pulls the gun from her hand. The woman charges over to him and he flies back before causing a bookcase to falling on her. She tries to swiftly move out of the way, but he doesn’t let her.
“We don’t have time for this, run!” Ben advises. Klaus nods again and floats out into the hallway.
"Klaus, the other one!" Ben screams but Klaus can already feel the sharp pain shooting across his abdomen. He falls to his knees, and maybe it's just his panicked-state, but the world around him explodes in blue and sends the assassins, the notes, an-and Ben? What? Must be another hallucination.
Anyway, everything and everyone all go flying and Klaus clutches his wound. His vision blurs and Klaus barely registers what’s happening. But he does register that now would be a damn good time for a spontaneous stroke of luck. Or mercy. Or a miracle.
“Alright! Alright! I’m here!” A very young, very pissed off girl’s voice says.
The phone in Vanya Hargreeves' apartment starts ringing, and she is quick to pick it up. She's on it about a second or two before handing it to her superhero sister.
"Oh, shit." The Rumor sighs. She looks at her sister apologetically. "Luther is.... having a crisis. Klaus already bailed and Diego's.... Diego. I need to go."
Vanya doesn't look very upset and appears to give her an understanding smile as the Rumor rushes out to leave, once more leaving her all alone. Or so she thinks.
In his defense, Harold did not think he would be hiding in her closet before they came back.
He read Number Seven's book countless times whilst in prison, analyzing every little vulnerability he could use against them. From insights about their training sessions from Vanya's perspective, to Spaceboy and The Kraken's venomous sibling rivalry, to the horrifying nature of The Witch's schizophrenia. Hell, he even dissected the stupid details like the six picking their own code names, blissfully unaware that those names would eventually be globally revered.
It was funny, how they were all as weak as anyone else and yet they got to be superheroes and he didn't. He didn't really care about Vanya herself very much, but he knew what she went through. Still, he needs to make the Umbrella Academy suffer, and since she made it very clear that pretty much no one in that family cares about her, he didn't think about her much beyond her biography.
Even then, it wasn't enough. He needed notes, data on the Umbrella Academy's strengths and weaknesses. He knew from her novel that the Hargreeves mansion was filled to brim with security cameras, so the closest he could get to without dropping on their radar was, humiliatingly, the dumpster.
That all went to hell though, when he caught Vanya Fucking Hargreeves staring at him like she was having a stroke and couldn't beg for help. He had hoped he could charm his way out of it. Her book made it pretty clear that Vanya was pretty damn needy.
Then she gave him The Rumor's name and ran for it, so he knew he was screwed.
He knew from her book that the only sibling to play with her during her tween years was Number Five, the only one to talk to her during the teens was Four, and apparently the only one to spend time with her as adults was Three. Of course, friendships fade over time but that doesn't mean subtracting her from the equation won't hurt at least some of them.
The Rumor left her all alone. What happens next is honestly pretty obvious when you look at the facts. It just makes sense. His perfect revenge plan is falling apart at the seams. All because of Useless Number Seven.
Vanya Hargreeves is a nuisance getting in his way, and Harold Jenkins knows a thing or two about getting rid of those.
God doesn’t pawn Klaus off to dictators and deals with him herself.
January 4th, 2002
It is to my great disappointment that I must conclude it is extremely unlikely that Number Four will achieve the full potential of his ability to commune with the dead. The boy is irrationally afraid of his gift, lacks the will to progress further, fails to ignore the poltergeists when it is unnecessary, or even worse, when concentration is mandatory. The mausoleum has only seem to make these issues worse, for some indiscernible reason. The breaking point, however, is that his hatred of his clairvoyance is now interrupting his practices in levitation and telekinesis.
Reginald sighs and pulls out his phone to request an update from his chemists on Number Four’s medication. So much potential!
Well, at least he used a completely different notebook for his boy's ghost abilities.
Everything seems to stop. Blue glow consumes all around him. From his spot on the floor, laying in his own blood, Klaus blinks up at the source of the voice, a young girl, in a spring dress and garden hat too. With a quick glance to the people he has trapped on the walls, he sees Ben is also very, very confused, and the assholes are sharing looks of utter horror.
"I told you this was a bad idea." The grumpy man says. So Klaus probably isn’t imagining her.
Klaus and Ben stare at each other, both probably at a loss for words, which is a first for Klaus, and the first for Ben in a long-ass time. Suddenly feeling a whole lot clearer, he turns his head back to the strangely bored little girl.
"Uh-" Klaus starts. "What are you doing here, Sweetie?"
"Don't patronize me." She says bluntly. “It’s bad enough I have to dwell down here for the time being. I’d have liked this meeting to take place upstairs, but you are just that stubborn. You hold on to the ground. More than you should.”
"Sorry." Klaus replies quickly, in a daze. She holds out her hand, and thinking they were shaking hands, Klaus took it. The girl pulls him back to a standing position however, and Klaus isn't sure how it was possible, since he's been shot and bleeding out, plus she's a kid so how-
Ben screams bloody murder, and Klaus whips around. He follows Ben's horrified gaze to the floor and stares at his own body on the floor, open-eyed and covered in blood. He shrieks.
"Am I dead?" Klaus asks, dread crashing in as he turns away from his, well, dead body.
"You're Klaus." The little girl says simply. "You're whatever you want to be." He looks down at her, and notices something he didn't before. The hat, the bluntness. He focuses on that, because it's a lot easier than looking at himself laying there, dead and bloody.
"I know you." Klaus blurts out. "I-I was a kid, eight I think, cause I just found out I had powers. I tried to fly in my room, but one of those fucking hallucinations- I freaked and fell and hit my head, and I had a dream I was in this-
"You didn't just find out you had powers, you found out you had more powers." The girl interrupts, quite rudely.
Klaus blinks. "I-I'm- I only found out about my powers when I was eight. I guess they were stubborn,"
"Ugh." She rolls her eyes. "You really are delusional." With that, she grabs Klaus's forehead, and presses her fingers hard into his head.
Daddy told him it would make him better. He wasn't so sure.
Klaus wants out, he wants to leave. They were touching him now. He doesn't know how, but there are dirty hands pulling at him, tearing his clothes, scratching his skin. Blue light burns his eyes. And he can't breath, he can't breath. He hates his life, hates his powers so much. He needs an escape, he needs to do something.
The mausoleum's giant wall falls to the ground with a heavy thump, his hand glowing blue, and he doesn't stop there. Countless grave stones fly in the air as he sobs, trying to escape and being pulled back by heartless spirits. And then he's pulled away from them, and he's in the sky, floating higher and higher, and away from the ghosts.
It doesn't last though, and he's on the ground again, although away from them, and promptly passes out, so tired that not even the voices could keep him conscious.
He wakes up in the limousine ride home, his father excitedly scribbling in that stupid notebook.
"I knew special training would make marvelous advances in your abilities." Dad says when he notices his son has woken up.
Klaus gasps and pulls away, falling on his knees and scooting back, panting hard. "What the fuck was that!?"
"How you got your powers." She said simply. "Well, the ones you were allowed to keep five years later."
He looks around. The wall people have been set free, and the assassins don't seem to see him, but are very freaked out. Ben is looking at him like he's an alien. Or a ghost.
Getting back to the girl, Klaus shakes his head. "No.... no, I would have remembered that."
"Then how did you find your powers?" The girl asks. "You can't tell me that they just popped out of nowhere one day after a long time of nothing?
"I just... I don't remember." He admits. Why doesn't he remember? After all, when they were eight, he remembers Vanya being super obsessive about finding her powers. He was the last of his family to find them, why didn't he care more about figuring them out?
Sure, Klaus remembers the wonder and joy he felt when the first few weeks after getting them, and feeling absolutely useless as a powerless kid with a mental illness, so why wasn't the discovery the most memorable moment of his life?
He helplessly turns to Ben, who looks like he does when they do puzzles together. "I remember Dad telling us about your powers. It was surprising but...."
The little girl must see his internal dilemma cause she says. "Yes, the little memories would've remained to coincide with the whole crazy thing, just altered. At some point you'd wonder where your schizophrenia suddenly came from and realize your family figured it out before you so much as had a bad dream. The more incriminating memories went out the window though. Well, not out the window, more like.... in a tiny little box, with tape and a lock, to be hidden in a trapdoor in a basement somewhere, and both doors are also locked, and only two people have the key chain." She explains.
"Go on!" Ben says, interest peaked. "What else?"
"Two?" Klaus asks, ignoring Ben.
The little girl sighs and rolls her eyes. "You don't need me to spell this out for you, Klaus. Honestly, you don't need her to undo it, you just don't want to. Pardon my language, but you're kind of a badass. With powers that source from the mind. It would've taken work when you children, but nowadays, you're just a stubborn force of nature, aren't you?"
Klaus's head was spinning. "What are you talking about?"
Ben doesn't seem to deem that question necessary when he takes a step closer to the little girl. "Who? Who are you talking about? Who else knows?"
The little girl huffs, and grabs both their foreheads.
"Help me, Klaus!"
Today's special training was a lot better than it usually was. Sure, he was still shivering, still too horrified to do anything, but it was better.
Allison was there today. He didn't know why, but twenty minutes in, Dad came back with the same questions, but this time, when Dad declared he’d stay there for many more hours, he threw her in, and she was there, and they spent the session wrapped in each other's arms.
She wasn't talking though. He doesn't think she could, because she looked like she was trying, but he couldn't hear her. Though that could’ve been the ghosts, at some point she managed to Rumor him to sleep, but he knew the ghosts wouldn’t let him sleep peacefully.
Allison walks towards him slowly. Klaus is still crying, and he doesn't bother hiding them from Allison. She's already seen enough, no point in pretending anymore. But she’s crying too. His powers made his sister cry. His overconfident, bratty sister was devastated and he hates it. He hates everything about his powers.
It wasn't just that his powers were developing so slow. His telekinesis would burst out at bad times, never in control. If he didn't get it together quick, Klaus wouldn't be allowed on missions, and that made them really, really mad at him. They just couldn't understand, even Ben, and on top of the horrible training, it was turning him into something.... bitter. It wasn't fair that he was cursed with such a horrible power.
“I-I-I heard a rumor...." Allison stutters, "you forgot," She’s Rumoring him? “you can see," Their eyes meet, this isn’t happening, it couldn’t, "dead people."
A blankness crosses his mind. He doesn’t know what’s happening, but-
“And!” Father booms, making him jump.
“And-and I heard a Rumor,” What? What was Allison doing? “You think,” She’s Rumoring him? In front of Dad? “You’re just,” He hates that she always gets whatever she wants, “crazy.”
A blankness crosses his mind. He doesn’t know what’s happening, but his sister is standing in front of him and he blinks up at her. What was happening?
Klaus has a headache.
They both stumble back, away from the girl. Klaus struggles to catch his breath, and Ben has a look of utter horror on his face that slowly morphs into anger.
“That bitch!” Ben exclaims, more pissed than Klaus has seen him in a long time.
“Ben!” Klaus scolds, because, no, Allison wouldn’t.
“She knew!” Ben bites. “She knew all along, during every fucking mission. I died and she didn’t try to contact me!”
"She wouldn't do that!" Klaus insists. But even as he says that, he remembers the tears in Allison’s eyes that horrible night. Oh shit, he remembers that horrible night.
Still, he refuses to believe his sister would lie to him for so long. From puberty onwards, they had always been close. Their siblings always assumed it was because of their shared love of makeup and clothes, which was fair as it was probably that at first, at least for him, but it was more than that. His sister always seemed to be the one who was the most concerned with Klaus's mental illness. She had a certain patience for his schizophrenia the others didn't, not even Diego until he was old enough to truly understand. Always the first to show fear whenever things got too bad. Always ready with a hug and any show of support.
Klaus hyperventilates, despite not needing to breath, and he shakes his head. “No. No. This is... this is a psychotic break. I-I have issues, this- you people, it’s- I’m insane.”
"You still don't believe me?!?!" Ben shouts and Klaus jumps. The little girl is pretty unphased, and just twirls her finger next to her head, a clear sign she thinks he's absolutely marble-less.
Bad mental timing.
“Ben! I can’t-“
“You can’t what!? Figure out what’s literally being thrown in front of you, again and again and again!?” Ben screams, his voice raw. “No, you owe me this much.”
“I owe you!?” Klaus repeats.
"Yes!” Ben screams. “Because you know what?! I didn't have a cool backup power to make Daddy wave a wand and get rid of the nightmares. I was alone. You left me alone. You got a magical drug that got rid of the big, bad monsters and then flew all along the rainbow to the gold or Oz or something." Ben says bitterly. "I didn't. Do you know how lonely it was to spend your childhood dreading every next mission? Every next tv spot where your brothers and sister flaunt their amazing abilities like a talent show, while you're left in the corner, pushing down the literal monsters in your body?"
"Ben." Klaus breathes. Tears are slipping down his cheeks by now, and Ben would probably end having the same problem if he were still alive. No, real.
"Congratulations, you got an out. And once again I'm the one cursed dealing with the power nobody wants to deal with."
They stare at each other in utter dreariness. This was so tiring. He was tired. Tired of being told he wasn't crazy, tired of reminding himself that he is. So damn tired.
"Okay, okay, okay." Klaus whimpers takes several deep breaths and wipes the traitorous tears off his face.
Ben seems to be calming himself down. "Look when you're dead, you can lose a lot. A future. Your friends. Your family. My gift is having anyone else who can still be my family. Despite the disbelief, and the antics, and all of this and everything, I love you. More than you know. I really, really want you know that it’s real when I say that."
When he was twelve years old, there was no greater truth to Klaus Hargreeves than the seemingly unchangeable fact that he could talk to the dead. There was also nothing he'd love more than to believe the lie that this unchangeable fact was not true.
And at twenty-nine years old, the greatest unchangeable truth in Klaus Hargreeves' life that he did not believe was that his best friend was his very real, but very dead, brother. There was also nothing he'd love more than to believe that the brother who he should've been there for when he was alive, and yet he has spent the past twelve years, five months, one week, fourteen days, seven hours, thirty-six minutes, and thirty-one seconds with, give or take, was very much real and did truly love him.
"I love you." His once so distant brother said.
And in an instant, memories of the first decade of his life; the torture that was the mausoleum, the screams of mutilated men and women screaming for help he couldn't provide, and his sister taking it all away with one simple sentence.
And with an equal amount of joy he felt at twelve years old, when he instantly realized why his sister accompanied him to his special training, Klaus Hargreeves finally realized the beautiful, unchangeable, beautiful fact that his visions of his deceased brother was absolutely, unchangeably- “Oh, fuck.”
In an instant he's forced back into his body. The assassins don't notice when his eyes snap open, and seem to be arguing over something, it doesn't matter what. Klaus quickly gets rid of both their guns, and moves to sneak attack them.
But he doesn't. And instead he turns back to Ben. "I love you too."
Yay! It happened! 😬
In between two intense info dumps, I manage to make Patch and Klaus BFFs.
I think we needed something light between... everything. It might not start that way, but it gets there. Klaus needs a quick break, man.
Oh, and also;
Left side of my brain: Does the plot really need Eudora to show up?
Right side of my brain: Does the plot say Eudora can’t show up?
Leftie: Well, no, but-
Rightie: DAMMIT CHRISTINA, JUST DO IT!!!!!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
She and Chuck are about to go on their lunch break when her scanner goes off, radioing in about several alarms going off at some long abandoned science lab somewhere on the East side of town. Probably some annoying kids trespassing on a dare or something like that. No reason for her to jump on the case.
But she knows for a fact that despite not being entered since before they were even born, the building is owned by Diego's dead father, so Eudora immediately takes the case, and even lets Chuck continue on with lunch without her, just so she can make sure Hargreeves doesn't traumatize a bunch of teenagers playing a game truth or dare with his leather vest of knives.
Plus it's been two days since she last used her taser Hargreeves at that donut shop, so she has to.
The sons of bitches whip around, and one of curses when they see him alive and healthy like the day he was fucking born. They reach for their weapons that were no longer there as Klaus hurls a blue tinted pullout chair at them.
They dodge it and go running in opposite directions. Since the guy was the shooter, Klaus goes after him first. Because he doesn’t like that he was murdered.
He quickly floats ahead of the freak and halts right in front of him, stopping him in his tracks. The man nails a punch on him and Klaus sends a dusty old computer at his face, and the psycho just pushes it off him and gets back up again, shin kicking Klaus before he can do anything in response.
“Police! Come out!” He hears a woman’s voice call. They both look in the direction of the voice and in his distracted state, Klaus is punched again.
It’s obviously not the deadly bitch woman’s voice, so Klaus sends the assailant flying down the steps and abandons his opponent, pointlessly hoping the fall will break his neck or something, to fly up and look for the innocent cop who was gonna get caught in the crossfire. He’s always been the type to care more about innocents than criminals.
He makes eye contact with the woman from his place mid-air, and she seems to trust him, maybe recognizing him from his glory days as one of many child soldiers who made a bunch of tv appearances. She lowers her gun ever so slightly.
Her head snaps to something in front of her as she focuses her gun on that and slowly moves forward, saying things he can’t quite hear, a lot quieter than before.
He floats across the room and watches from the ceiling as the Lady Cop backs the man back into one of the glass cages their Dad probably used to experiment on Pogo because he’s Reginald Hargreeves, of course he did. Where was his friend though?
His eyes scoured the ground, and he caught sight of the woman assassin sneaking behind her, having found the previously discarded gun, and was aiming it at the back of her head. Nope.
Klaus tears the gun from her hand and it breaks against the wall. Lady Cop whips around, and Klaus makes sure to trip the male to keep him from causing more headaches.
Lady Cop shot her gun at the woman and hit her thigh, sending her to her knees. Klaus took the opportunity to flick his fingers twice. Once to open the cage door, and twice to send her flying into the cage next to her buddy.
Klaus laughs triumphantly and floats down to Lady Cop. “Thanks!”
“No problem.” She says. “I better take these freaks in to the station.”
“They aren’t normal criminals!” Ben reminds him. “We should take them home and have them interrogated or something.” Klaus nods and repeats the information.
“Ugh, you people are all the same.” Lady Cop glares at him, making him feel weirdly small. "I’m not- Where did they go?"
"Oh, come on!"
Of course, Hazel and Cha Cha somehow managed to escape the cage that was sealed by both heavy locks, and Klaus's telekinesis, without breaking glass, and making no noise to the two trained ex-child soldiers, and the badass lady cop. Because why wouldn't they?
"That’s it. I’m taking my goddamn lunch break." Lady Cop deadpans. And truth be told, it's time for his too.
For no reason in particular, they have lunch together. His life just changed for good, he might've just had a hang out session with God, Real Ben was Ben all along and is still around, his sister lied to him his entire life, and his other sister was also lied to her entire life, and he is the only person who can tell her, but he is hungry and Lady Cop offered to pay.
"Thanks again for the backup Lady Cop. You seem nice. I'll just tell you now, there may be a good chance that I can see dead people." Klaus admits. "Either that or I've officially given into insanity. Pretty sure Dad's been faking a mental illness since before I got pubes. Not from a lack of trying though!" Klaus rolls his eyes dramatically. "Me and the pubes thing, not Dad and the gaslighting. Well, not to me at first anyways. Our sister, though...."
“That sounds in line with what I’ve told.” Lady Cop nods. "Call me Patch though."
"Klaus." He says back.
"I know." She replies. "You had Thanksgiving at my house once or twice." Klaus looks at her in confusion.
"Diego's ex who was too hot for him!" Ben fills in and Klaus gets it, feeling guilty for forgetting her when she was so damn awesome. "Oh!"
Patch chuckles. "Your dead brother jog your memory?" Klaus nods happily. "Well then, I hope you aren't insane."
“Me too.” Klaus smiles as Ben rolls his eyes, as if he can’t believe Klaus would still have his doubts after all that, which is fair, he does remember everything now, but still. "I never really let myself.... I really did believe it, but I really do like having Ben around. We’ve bonded beyond breakability. I'm an unstoppable force, Ben is an immoveable object. Together.... we're- uh... peanut... butter and jel-"
"What? What are you talking about?" Ben interrupts him.
"I'm sorry, I guess I didn't want it to seem like we were enemies.... and I just started a sentence without knowing where it would end!" He defends himself.
"Tell me the PB&J thing isn't true though." Klaus says.
"Dibs on peanut butter." They smirk at each other. Eudora looks at him strangely but shrugs.
"Well, there’s only one way to figure it out.” He picks up the folder labeled under his number and flashes it to her. Before he even opens it he pauses again, and he remembers what it would mean for him if that little girl who might’ve been God was telling the truth. “Oh my God, our Dad brainwashed me my entire life and I didn't even realize!" Klaus rubs his forehead. "And Ally was an accomplice! I mean she had her reasons but-" He stops himself.
He doesn't really know what to say about Allison at the moment. On one hand, he knew what Dad forced her to witness all those years ago. The things she was forced to witness him go through. And after everything they’ve been through, he knows she did it out of love. On the other hand, this wasn't just the last cookie she stole from him when they were ten and he won a bet. Klaus couldn't just let this slide, she needed to-
He doesn’t know, he just.... it isn’t okay. And he knew that. Even if he really, really wanted it over half a lifetime ago, it cost him and Ben a lot of time with their family they’d never get back. And the realization that Allison knew all along and lied to him for most of their lives hurt. No way around that.
“Allison?” Patch asks and starts chuckling. "You just know Diego's gonna be himself about all this and try to punch her or something. He got kicked out of police academy over how hard my sparring partner hit me. Which they're supposed to do."
Klaus smiles. "When we were kids, I tried to levitate all the way up to the kitchen ceiling and got so scared, I was MIA for half the day. When I came back to Earth, I was pooped and he tried to carry me to my bed himself, even though I was barely any shorter than him. Luther had to intervene but it’s the thought! It was the only time he crawled into my bed at night.”
“I’m not surprised.” Patch rolls her eyes sort of affectionately if Klaus is not mistaken. “You were always his favorite.” She reveals to his delight.
“He’s gonna be pissed if he ever finds out we’ve been telling his secrets to the world all willy-nilly.” Klaus warns her. She snorts.
“So tell me a another secret and even it out. That way neither of us have to tell him anything.” Patch suggests with a devious look in her eyes. “I can only imagine he has a large safe filled with just horrifyingly humiliating secrets.”
He shifts his eyes as if looking to see if anyone is spying on them. Just Ben, who seems to have gotten bored by their conversation and has taken to watching the clouds, which he just does sometimes. Like a lot. So Klaus leans in.
"Diego is amazing at cuddling." He whispers to her.
"Diego is.... amazing at cuddling." Patch nods and Klaus figures she already knew that but she was still laughing. "Hey, you gotta ride to that mansion?" He points to himself questioningly even though she was obviously talking to him.
"Just the bus, are you offering?" Klaus says.
"Yeah, I wanna see the look on Hargreeves' face when you tell him this stuff." Patch admits, standing up and gesturing for him to follow her to her car. “If you don’t get nauseous, you can read that in the car.”
“I can fly, I can’t afford to have vertigo.” Klaus says and stands up himself, taking a moment to look back at the notebook, his memories were clear, but this, this was the final confirmation. Or maybe even just an explanation. His only way of knowing why his father did what he did.
Glancing back at Ben, they smirk at each other.
“Coming?” Patch calls back.
Also, he’s pretty sure he just made a new friend.
Oh my God.... In-universe, Eudora technically has a superhero name. And by that logic, Leonard has a villain name.
Diego's brother is a weirdo, but he's an entertaining weirdo. Diego never went into a lot of detail when it came to his brother's schizophrenia, or any of the stupid shit that happened in his past, and Eudora never asked. Hargreeves was not a positive person whatsoever, but he only ever really liked to talk about the decent parts of his childhood, so mostly his mother's existence, Ben's kindness, and Klaus's adorability. (He never used the word adorable, but Eudora sees through him.)
As a result, Eudora's not sure how to respond when Klaus Hargreeves tells her he might see ghosts. He says so himself that he might just be insane, but she has heard some of Diego's stories and knows that the Hargreeves family are all fucking weirdos. Worst case scenario, she's making sure a man having a mental breakdown makes it home to his family safely.
As the car stops at a red light, Eudora takes a chance to check up on the infamous Klaus Hargreeves. He's jittery, that much is clear by the way his hands shake as he goes through that notebook he mentioned earlier.
"You okay?" She asks.
"Oh yeah!" Klaus smiles unconvincingly. "Just... the sudden rush of tragic childhood memories and all that!"
"Well, if that's all."
He sighs. "I think the little girl.... did something. Or maybe it's me-"
"I think it's just now hitting me..... the memories." Klaus confides. "I mean, at first it was just that they were true, and what that meant, but now..... I was a kid. We all were, I guess, but- Well I guess it always felt like no one really believed me about the ghosties." He's still smiling, but it seems strained. "I just- I don't- It hurt, okay? Before anything, I need to get Allison to Un-Rumor them, I guess. Except, she apparently knew and didn't say anything for decades and-"
"And you suddenly don't know her as well as you thought you did." Eudora murmurs. Klaus nods.
When they arrive at the infamous Hargreeves mansion, Klaus glances at her and quietly requests she leave him to talk to his sister. She sits on a couch, calls Chuck to make sure he covers for her, and waits. So this is where Diego Fucking Hargreeves grew up?
She looks for any indication of that fact. There are no pictures of rowdy little boys that they no doubt were. No dusty trophies from childhood contests. No clue that seven, then six, children grew from infancy to adulthood in this place. Sure, Diego told her his childhood was a dark and lonely time, but deep down she always thought he was being over dramatic. He made Reginald Hargreeves sound cartoonishly evil.
On the wall, Eudora takes note of kiddie training cards on the walls with instructions on knife throwing.
“Eudora!” Speak of the devil. She turns and Diego is looking at her in shock as though he was the deer caught in headlights with a tall-ass blondie and a little boy in a school uniform standing behind him. “What are you doing here?”
"Well, it was my lunch break, and long story short, I ended up paying for your brother's lunch as well."
"Klaus!" Diego calls. "Why is my ex-girlfriend in the living room!?"
Eudora glares at him. "So.... I've been degraded to ex-girlfriend now?" She asks slyly. The little boy seems like he's enjoying this very much.
"You know what I mean."
"And I resent that." Eudora sighs. "By the way, your brother might need a therapist. Or he sees dead people."
"What!?" Diego barks and she repeats herself slowly. It’s kind of sweet how he looks like he’s about to vomit.
"Great, so now they have another mental breakdown to deal with." The little boy grumbles as he takes a sip from his mug. Eudora hopes he's drinking juice or something.
“Allison!” Klaus’s voice calls from somewhere else in the mansion. He’s come back. Allison looks worriedly back at Luther, afraid she’s leaving him while he’s still vulnerable after everything Dad did to him.
“Go.” Luther smiles at her. “You’re amazing. I think I’ll go check the others.” They share a loving look at one another before going their separate ways.
“You wanted me to find that note, didn’t you?” Klaus’s voice says, and when Allison enters the room, she sees he was talking to Pogo.
“What note?” Allison asks. When Klaus turns to her, she sees the tenseness in his posture. He’s nervous bout something, she can tell. “What?”
Klaus and Pogo share an anxious look, and turn back to her. “Guys?” She asks tentatively.
Klaus sighs. “Ally.... Ally.”
“What?” They were alone together and they are acting very strange to her. Pogo better not have-
“I need you to lift your Rumor on everyone.” Klaus blurts out. “I need- I know I can see dead people, and I know you knew about it.”
She thinks her heart might have stopped in that moment. She blinks, not one, but twice. She pushes it down because she has to and finds anger makes a damn good substitute.
“You told him!? You told him!? Pogo! I-” Allison bites and in her anger, aims below the belt. “I thought you were all for keeping Dad’s secrets!”
“Incorrect.” Pogo says sternly. “Your father merely instructed me to dispose of the notes once his wishes were accomplished. Additionally your father requested I find ways to aide you kids on your mission, and I truly believed your brother would make the most of his assignment to search your father’s office. What befalls next is anyone’s guess.”
“Dude.” Klaus breathes in astonishment at the dedication to discovering loopholes. “I- Really?”
“Why would you put so much work into that?” Allison asks bluntly. The most frustrating part is that if just one thing went wrong, she wouldn’t be in this situation.
This was all so much. Too much. Memories crash into her. Father telling her to swallow that pill, walking her to a graveyard, seeing him barking demands into that stony building and tossing her in when he seemed disappointed. Her brother screaming and thrashing and clawing like nothing she’d ever seen before, the feral look in his eyes, trying to Rumor him to sleep and not being to. Not being able to so much as tell him it’s alright because she couldn’t say anything. Rocking him to some sort of calmness on that hard, cold concrete.
She can’t. She can’t-
"I lied, okay!" Klaus exclaims. Allison freezes, turning back to him.
"About what?" Pogo asks.
"Everyone knew how bad my 'hallucinations' were. I didn't want you guys to think I was seeing someone everyone was grieving for the same way." Klaus admits. Oh no. "And besides.... I really, really liked having Ben around, and I didn't want
No. No, that can't be possible. "The pills-"
"I don't know." Klaus says. "He's the exception to every rule." Allison and Pogo share a look. Ben? No. No, Ben couldn't be. He doesn't deserve all their adulthood bullshit, he can't-
What if Klaus is lying?
She hates herself for thinking this, but what if he's lying? Klaus denied being able to see their poor brother so many times in the past. Why would.... To be fair, if she found out she could talk to the dead, Ben would definitely be the first thing on her mind, but Ben should be happy, in heaven, with flowers and clouds.
No, Klaus wouldn't lie about that.
"Look, you Rumored everyone into forgetting about my powers, can't you just undo it?" Klaus asks impatiently.
"It's not that simple!" She protests. Well, on paper, it was. In the past, Allison was able to do just that on the rare occasion it was needed. But it was always difficult and requires focus.
"Well the little girl said it was!" Klaus yells.
"What? What little girl?" Allison asks with furrowed eyebrows.
"Allison." Klaus says with finality. "I remember.... I remember being a kid, and being scared a lot. I-I don't think- You took that away, and I was happier when you took it away. But it's a part of me that I needed to express at times and I couldn't."
She bites her lip. It was already over. Klaus knew and he wanted this. Point blank told her what he wanted her to do. Who was she to deny him that when it’s his power? The only thing she can do is respect that, even though she knows how bad it hurt him in the past. Fuck.
"Klaus!" Diego's voices calls. "Why is my ex-girlfriend in the living room!?"
Allison looks at him questioningly. Klaus waves it off and starts looking even more desperate. "I know I didn't give a thumbs up before you did it. Maybe I wasn't in the right state of mind and maybe I would've still said yes, but you didn't know for sure and you didn't ask. Well now I'm asking you." He looks at her pleadingly. "Please."
Ever since that horrible night in that crypt, she always found it hard to say no to him, so when he gestures for her and Pogo to follow, she does.
The walk to the living room is way too short and when they enter, she can see the concern on Diego's face, the confusion on Luther's, and annoyance on Five's. There's also a woman there who Allison assumes was Diego's ex. Had she been in a better mood, Allison would have commented on how easy it was to get who dumped who.
It's a secret she kept for so long. Maybe too long. Since they were twelve year olds. Before Five disappeared. And truth be told she had every intention of taking that secret to the grave and even longer than that. The only time she ever considered coming clean was when Ben died, but she quickly reasoned how badly that would end.
Looking at her family now, she remembers the awful words she had to speak over and over and over again to people she loves. Because she had to.
As a kid, their father had Pogo distract Klaus from any of their brothers as he called them all, including Vanya, into the infirmary one by one as he had Allison Rumor them into forgetting Klaus's powers. She remembers that the weight of the guilt made her feel so so nauseous, and yet, she didn't complain. Allison was so convinced it was right that she willingly took on the shame of knowing something they didn't. She didn't want to do it, didn't want to make her family forget or just alter a part of their lives, their team, but she was so sure it was right.
But now, as an adult, Allison finds herself nauseous at the thought of undoing all that. She steps in front of the crowd. Diego pays her no mind and turns to Klaus. She was never close to him by any means, but she never doubted Klaus when he said their knife-loving brother was a closet Mother Hen.
She's Rumored groups before, but it would sometimes backfire and only Rumor one person of said group. So she crops the new girl from her vision, prepares to raise her voice louder than she would've, and with a straight back, picks her words wisely.
"I heard a rumor you all remember that Klaus can see dead people. Like before I Rumored you to forget."
A rush of memories strike him like a bolt of lightning and it was as if a fucked up home movie played in his head in a single second.
Diego remembers. Remembers bursting into Klaus's room when he was screaming his head off when they toddlers. Remembers countless training sessions where he was jealous cause all Klaus had to do was talk about what the dead people were like. Remembers fucking thanking Allison when they were eight and she Rumored Klaus to shut up for a night after the eighth time coming home from his special training. Remembers being bitter that useless little Klaus got one-on-one time with Dad and came out with better powers than him.
Remembers all the times Klaus would crawl into his bed and just cry about how scary the ghosts were. Remembers rocking him to sleep and kissing his forehead on so many nights. Remembers feeling so helpless and so exhausted between restless nights and days of training that he wanted to slap his baby brother and just make him be normal. Remembers wondering why Klaus always went to him when there was nothing he can do.
And then; 'I heard a rumor you forgot that Klaus can see dead people.'
Remembers it all being cleaned away to a few sad memories of comforting Klaus with his schizophrenia, altering the first few years of Klaus training with them to Dad still testing him for powers, changing all his thoughts of Klaus having weak powers to him having no powers until one day he suddenly did.
Things that always seemed to have a normal, mundane explanation suddenly had a dark twist to it. He remembers that not long after, he asked Klaus about why Allison was suddenly playing cool big sis to one of the lowly Even Numbers, and Klaus saying she felt bad that their father made her Rumor him for training and that she's actually 'super nice!'.
Diego hates many, many things. People who literally stop in their paths to smell the flowers, when people leave by saying 'Gotta jet', the ocean.
And he will admit that he has, on occasion, made exceptions to these shitty things when it came to his siblings. But this might be it. He might hate his sister. He said that before, when Vanya wrote her own obituary, but it might be true this time.
At first, she was a way to get a clingy Klaus off his back for awhile, just like Ben, but she didn't like reading, and gave him girly shit. Then Klaus's powers got more and more dangerous and Diego realized there was a war to be fought with his sister.
She won before he even knew there was a competition at all. The first ten minutes of caring about Klaus, and she did what he couldn't do in an entire decade of nightmares.
By brainwashing their fucking brother.
THAT GODDAMN BITCH!!!
"You goddamn bitch!"
I was gonna make Diego finally scream all the way at her, but I got carried away. Next time! Byyyyyeeeeeee. 👎
(I’m so sorry.)
This is an odd development. One variable he didn't see coming. Why the fuck should he have seen this coming? Who would see their sister making them forget the fact that their brother can see ghosts coming?
Still, one odd development.
In the hindsight of seeing just a few snippets of Klaus as an adult and the year between the Rumor and Five's departure, it was easy to figure out a motive. His curiosity about his powers improved dramatically after the Rumor, he became less jumpy, and he stopped trying to be a caricature of a happy person and just was. Plus Klaus learned how to take things seriously enough when the time was right. Kind of.
Father was pleased.
Five almost respects how Klaus has already pulled out a cigarette while they were processing. Wait, was Klaus getting into drugs before the Rumor? Jesus.
"You goddamn bitch!" Diego growls and Allison's actions and its implications hit him like a freight train.
"What the hell, Allison?" Five snaps.
She flinches at their statements and maybe that's why he finds it funny when Diego explodes on her.
“What the fuck is wrong with you! No! What the fuck is wrong you? How could you- you let us all believe he was crazy! You made us forget about his fucking powers! Christ, everyone was always all, ‘Ooh, look the girl, she’s a girl, she probably loves everybody!’ And I even bought it, but now I get it! Your whole Team Mom act was just a way to make up for taking a sharpie to our childhood memories.”
“He was happier this way.” Allison replies quietly.
“No, I don’t want to hear it. Fuck you.”
Five sighs. Children.
There has to be some explanation. There has to be. Just like there’s probably some logical explanation from Dad, but she can’t explain it properly because Diego’s going off on a tangent as always. He’s Number One, he should be the one to find the reasoning.
“I always knew you were a self-serving bitch, but I at least thought you when not to be a fucking idiot.”
“Shut up, Luther. What? Didn’t find the time to mention it while you were getting mani-pedis?”
"What?!" Diego snaps as he and Five glare at him. Allison almost looks relieved when she meets Luther's gaze, but shockingly he doesn't look like he's comforting her.
"Maybe we should ask her why she did it!" Luther suggests. "And Dad too, okay?"
"Your brother couldn't handle the ghosts as a child and it only would've gotten worse if he retained the ability after you kids started fighting crime." Pogo says sorrowfully. "His powers are very strong, and they could only either grow or whither.”
"Yeah, yeah, we get it, Dad's the worst." Diego growls and Luther resists the urge to roll his eyes, because it's like he's trying to see the worst and just ignores the good in their father, but it's not the time. "But we at least thought our fucking sister knew better than to keep up with his mind games now that we're adults." Diego bites but then seems to think about something.
"Or maybe... that's it!" Diego perks up. Everyone's attention is on him completely. "Maybe... you do know how fucked up this is. Maybe you didn't when we were kids, and maybe when you did figure out that gaslighting our brother makes you a horrible person, you decided to... not mention it.”
"Diego!" Diego's ex-girlfriend scolds.
"That's enough!" Luther orders, and that's exactly what he said at the funeral where they fought over their dead father's ashes. He knows where this story ends up.
"Oh! Enough, Number One?" Diego mocks. "Of course you'd want to defend your girlfriend- or was it your sister? I can't remember!"
"Diego, shut up!" Luther yells, because Diego has no right to act like he knows-
"Oh, but you weren't in on it!" Diego smiles venomously. "You know, all these years I thought the Wicked Witch of the West here was the one who thought the sun was shining out of your ass, but it was the other way around all along!"
"I mean, you were just her lost little puppy in a handbag all these years." Diego scoffs. "And she repaid your undying loyalty by not trusting you with the truth about our little brother for seventeen years! Jesus man, that's gotta sting. I feel bad for you, your heart must be breaking into tiny little pieces right now."
"SHUT UP!!!!" It hurt. It did. Badly.
"Dad had to traumatize her to get her to agree!" Klaus snaps, and Luther and Diego are forced to quit their fighting. It's the first thing Klaus has said since the Rumor was lifted.
Luther goes over what he just said. They were twelve year olds when this happened, what could Dad have done that made her do something like this to her own brother? And then lie about it for so long?
"Klaus," Diego huffs. "you don't have to defend her."
Five grunts. "Would anybody else grow a braincell? Look at the facts. Sweet, little Klaus who hid behind Diego when he saw a mouse in his room was on a downward spiral. I think we all remember the burnt out joints now." Luther flinches and looks down uncomfortably.
He did remember the joints. And the stolen alcohol. Jesus, they were twelve. At the time it was so easy to blame it all on Klaus, he was too silly, too weird, and not strong enough. They all had to train, Klaus was just too weak to suck it up and had to turn to all that garbage. But after seventeen years of not remembering all that, Luther wonders if that was really Klaus's fault. He wasn't strong enough, but wasn't it Luther's job help people who aren't strong enough?
"All that shit stopped with the Rumor." Five continues, cutting off his thoughts. "Of course she justified it. For decades."
"Oh!" Diego says in mocking delight. "Is that right? The princess managed to fix the family screw up, and so all's good! Yeah, I bet it all felt so great knowing you were the reason the Umbrella Academy didn't have a teenage junkie on their hands! Oh, and since you brainwashed the creepy death kid who always insists on getting bubbles when he takes baths, yeah, you should probably just get to playing fashion models with him, nothing's wrong!"
"That's not it!" Allison snaps. "You weren't there! You didn't see him!"
"I know why you did it." Klaus says uncharacteristically somberly. Luther spent his entire childhood wishing Klaus would take something seriously without even remembering a time he was literally incapable of doing so, and now he is, and it's one of the most unsettling things he has ever seen. "I don't know why you couldn't tell me."
Allison doesn't seem to know how to respond to that, which is unfortunate because Luther would also like an answer.
"Look, this is all very fucked, but we have other stuff we need to threaten to kill each other about." And with Klaus lays out several folders and notebooks.
Klaus lays all the notes on the table for his brothers and Patch to flock to like a bunch of seagulls about to attack an unsuspecting beach-goer and his chocolate sundae who just so happened to be closer because he can fly, and that's especially sad because said flying beach-goer didn't even want to go the beach because he sunburns too easily, because he's pale as a ghost (ha) but his dead brother who he thought was fake, but treated like he was real, which was good cause he was, wanted to see the ocean, and so he-
He collapses on the wall and slides to the ground. Allison looks at him in concern, and he decides to fuck it, and gestures for her to sit next to him.
She looks at him questioningly, and Klaus can't help but lean over to whisper in her ear like a child to tell her a secret. Klaus is sick of secrets.
"I'm not the first person Dad did this shit to." Klaus whispers. "Vanya has powers." Allison turns her head and looks startled and confused for a second before he nods, confirming the batshit craziness he just dished out.
"Vanya has powers..." She repeats. "how is that even-" The look Klaus sends her is gives it away. "Oh, God..."
And Klaus really wants to curl up on her like they were kids again talking about cute boys, but he doesn't. He wants to tell her it wasn't her fault. They were four when she did it to Vanya, too young to get what she was doing, and probably too young to remember it by the time they were old enough to understand the weight of a Rumor like that.
Silently, he wonders if Allison would have done it to Vanya and kept it a secret from everyone if Dad poked in the right places, like he did with Klaus.
"You have to be one to tell her." Klaus says quietly. Allison glances at him, not entirely surprised or unwilling just sad.
"Okay." Allison replies back, and that should be that, but Klaus keeps talking, and he isn't sure if this is the right thing to do or just petty revenge, but he does something.
"I'm sorry. I know it's different for Vanya, but.... You were never gonna tell me were you?" Klaus asks, and Allison doesn't reply, just hangs her head. "And now you never can, and we both have to live with that. You lied to me every day. You lied to us all every day. And I had to find out from a little girl who might have been God, in an abandoned science lab where my chimpanzee uncle was mutated into my billionaire father's butler, that I can see dead people, after being shot at by time assassins who want to end the world in a few days. Do the right thing and tell her the right way. Because if you don't, I'll tell her myself."
"I really am sorry."
"I know." Klaus murmurs. "But you’re sorry you did it to Vanya and sorry it had to be that way with me, and I have an issue with that."
Allison looks down, deep in thought.
"You goddamn bitch!" Five's voice yells at them.
"She was four!"
Klaus still loves his fucking sister, okay?
Sometimes he wishes he had Diego’s capacity for overwhelming anger. Even right now his face is hot pepper red and he’s shaking all over as he turns from his notes to glare at Allison.
Oh, she’s so screwed.
I think there’s something to be said about how they’d all react to what happened.
Klaus was part confused, part in denial, part sad, and for the most part just rolls with it. Diego is pissed off as hell, because he’s Diego, but he’s kinda sad because as a kid he couldn’t help Klaus himself, and channels that into more anger. Five is very calculated, and analyzes the situation, but he’s Five, so. Luther just wants to believe the people he trusts are trustworthy, and it always hurts him.
We will find out what that Garbage Human Being did to Vanya soon enough, I swear. Maybe not next chapter, but....