“You have three sisters today,” Klaus says in the middle of his daily morning routine, smearing eyeliner all over his waterline.
“Girl kinda day, huh?” says Ben. “Gotcha. Pronouns?”
“I don’t really give a shit,” Klaus says.
Klaus eyes a pill bottle.
“If you even dare I’ll fucking punch you.”
“No you can’t. Ghost, remember?”
Ben’s incorporeal form physically whacks her on the back of the head.
“Ow! Jesus, Ben!”
“Shut the fuck up, dumbass,” Ben says.
“You ruined my makeup!” Klaus cries as she looks in the mirror, seeing the random line of eyeliner now drooping down her cheek. “Asshole!”
Ben snickers and rolls his eyes. Klaus is such a piece of shit. Ben loves his sister a lot.
“You have three sisters today,” said Klaus with a mouthful of dry cereal, a box of Cheerios in hand.
“Okay,” said Five, before going back to whatever he was doing.
“..That’s it? No signature snarky response from ol’ Número Cinco?”
“I don’t have the time for that, Klaus.”
“Uh, yes you do. Apocalypse has already been avoided, remember? Which means you have precisely enough time for my gender bullshittery.”
“Okay? I really don’t give a shit, Klaus. Gender is fake and you’re a bastard either way.”
Klaus laughed. “Now there’s the Five I know and love!”
Five just grunted. “Whatever, Klaus. Pronouns?”
“Thought you said you didn’t give a shit.”
“I don’t. Whether you’re a boy or a girl or something in-between doesn’t make a difference. That being said, I’m not going to fucking misgender you, because you’re my sister and I care about you, and even if you weren’t my sister and I didn’t care about you I still wouldn’t misgender you, because while I’m not above murder I am above being a transphobic prick. Now, please free me from the hell that is admitting I care about you, please god.” A pause. “Oh fuck oh fuck Klaus why are you crying-”
“That’s one of the nicest things I’ve ever heard anyone say to me.”
Five paused. He’s not really used to being called nice, and especially not when what he had just said involved multiple curse words.
“Just- Just answer the question, dumbass,” Five said, not even able to hide the undertone of sibling fondness in his voice no matter how hard he tries.
“Any pronouns,” Klaus said with a little smile, “I don’t care. I’m just happy you asked, Five. Thanks.”
Five sighed, not used to being shown thankfulness, or even anything positive directed towards him.
“Yeah. Sure. Now fuck off, I have errands to run.”
“Can I come?”
“I’ll buy you coffee.”
“Do you even have money?”
“Yes! I- I have a twenty. That’s enough for coffee, right?”
“Let’s go, Klaus.”
“You have three sisters today,” Klaus says, not looking up from what he’s doing.
Luther pauses. “No?”
Klaus rolls her eyes. “Yes.”
“..I don’t follow.”
“Luther, brother dear, remember when I was fifteen and during all of June I wore a trans flag like a cape? I got in trouble with ol’ pops that month. Worth it.”
“..Oh. I didn’t think-”
“What? Thought it was a phase?” Klaus asked with a little snort. “I’m your sister, today, dear ol’ Luther. Get used to it.”
“Klaus, I- I don’t really understand.”
Klaus sighs, “Figures-”
“..But you know what, it doesn’t matter,” Luther interrupts, finishing his thought. “I can’t imagine what being you is like, but just because I don’t understand it doesn’t mean what you’re going through is, uh, fake. I support you, Klaus. If you’re happy, I’m happy.”
“Oh. That was.. Surprisingly eloquent. Uh. Thanks.”
Luther just gives him a hesitant smile and pats a big hand on his shoulder. It’s awkward, Luther’s awkward, Klaus’ awkward. They were never that close growing up. Klaus can tell Luther isn’t exactly sure what the fuck he’s doing, but here’s the thing- He’s at least trying. He’s certainly trying, he’s putting in a conscious effort, and honestly, that’s all Klaus really wants. Luther’s awkward and clumsy and not really Klaus’ favourite brother ever but he’s trying so it warms Klaus’ heart anyways.
“You have three sisters today.”
“Klaus, that’s not how math works-”
“No,” said Klaus, before pointing at herself. “You have three sisters today.”
“..Oh!” said Vanya, lighting up with realization. “Okay, right, sorry. That makes more sense.. My brain didn’t work, I stayed up.. Way too late. Found a new piece to play but it’s really complicated, and.. Sorry, I’m rambling. Pronouns?”
“I don’t give a shit.”
“Okay,” said Vanya. “Thank you for telling me, Klaus.”
“..Klaus? You good?”
“..Is that all? Nothing else to say?”
“Uh,” said Vanya, nervously shifting her weight from foot to foot. “Should there be something else I should say?”
“N-No, what you said was fine, perfect even, uh- I just told Luther the same thing and he. Had questions.”
“..What? Why? You’ve always been like this.”
“Like..” she gestured to him, “Klaus. Like, uh.. When we were fifteen. You went the whole month constantly wearing that trans flag like cape- You had that little genderfluid pride pin on your Black Parade jacket.”
“..You remember that?” Klaus said. “You actually paid attention, you noticed that?”
Vanya smiled. “You weren’t the only one of us celebrating Pride Month, Klaus.”
Klaus lit up then, grinning. “I fucking knew it! I fucking knew it!”
Vanya chuckled a little, and they grinned at each other in solidarity- Sibling to sibling, queer to queer.
“You have three sisters today.”
Alisson glances up at her. “Klaus, we’re a little old for playing dress-up, but I guess- Well, it’s been a while, so I can’t promise it’ll actually look good, but if you really want-”
“No,” said Klaus. “I- I never told you this, but that’s not just a code-word I said as a kid when I wanted you to give me a makeover.” He paused. “You have three sisters today.”
Alisson’s eyes widened. “Oh! Oh, that makes much more sense. You’re genderfluid, aren’t you?”
Klaus snorted. “What gave you that idea.”
“Probably when we were thirteen and you burst into my room, shouted GENDER IS FUCK at the top of your lungs, and asked me for a makeover,” Alisson said with a smile.
“Oh, right. ..Y’know, that makes a lot of sense.”
“Well, thank you for telling me, Klaus.”
“...Wanna get a makeover, anyway?”
“Thank fuck,” Klaus breathed, “I thought you’d never ask.”
“You have three sisters today.”
Diego mouths some words and counts on his fingers. “No, I have two.”
“..Okay, different approach then. You have three brothers today.”
“..No, I’m doing the math, and uh- Yeah, it’s four.”
“No,” says Five, not looking up from his book that was probably about quantum-physics or some shit. “You’re both wrong. Two brothers. One brother, if you only count the alive ones.”
“Two?” asked Klaus with a curious tilt of her head.
Five turned a page of their book. “Like I said, gender is fake,” he began, “So why should I have one?” He glanced up at them. “Get it through your thick skull, Diego. I’m agender. Klaus is genderfluid. I thought that was obvious.”
“Ohhhhhhhh,” said Diego. “Okay, that makes more sense. Three sisters, two brothers, and a sibling. Got it. ..How do you guys want me to refer to you as?”
“Any pronouns,” said Klaus.
“He/him or they/them,” Five said.
“Okay. Got it. So you’re both trans?”
“Evidently,” Five said dryly.
“Okay. As a cis guy,” Diego said, “please punch me if I say anything stupid.”
“I’d happily punch you even if you didn’t,” said Five.
“Aye aye, Cap’n!” said Klaus with a goofy grin and a mock salute.
Klaus smiles, and Diego can’t help but smile back, and Five rolls his eyes but their two siblings can see the begrudging fondest in their expression.
“I’m a girl today,” twelve-year-old Klaus Hargreeves whispers in front of a mirror.
He’s a girl sometimes, and he’s a boy sometimes, and sometimes he’s both and sometimes he’s neither. Genderfluid, it’s called, but he’s not brave enough yet to say it out loud. He’s still young and confused and scared. Because it’s scary, knowing there are people out there who don’t accept you, when you’re barely even able to accept yourself.
But it’s the little victories that help him through it. Stealing Vanya’s skirts, daydreaming before he falls asleep, secret little makeovers with Alisson that will never be seen by the sun.
He’s not brave enough to tell them yet.
So for now, he says quiet affirmations to himself in the empty morning air.
But one day, he hopes, he’ll tell them. He hopes he’ll be okay with calling himself a girl without that feeling of guilt and wrongness, hopes he can be a girl or a boy or neither or both in front of the others.
But for now, he’ll just have to wait until he’s ready.
He’ll be ready one day.