Klaus was no stranger to comments. His whole childhood was documented in a book for God’s sake, make it two now. And the moment he escaped that he met countless people, dealers or otherwise, who questioned him even more.
He heard everything from, “hey weren’t you in that Umbrella thing?” to “fucking whore.” Sure it hurt but he was used to it, or, more truthfully, he was used to drowning it out. Insults didn’t seem that bad when you had pills, and screaming. It was like his life was a game show. Everyday there was a new screaming ghost demanding the answer for why it met its demise. So he would spin the wheel, but every answer was more self destructive than the last. Family screw up for 800. Speaking of said family, that’s where most of these issues started. How could it not, he was raised by a narcissistic prick, and the closest thing to a father figure was an advanced chimpanzee. Not exactly ideal.
While confined to their hell of a home, it was much harder to walk away from everything. The only time he was every alone was in the mausoleum- the only place where his father didn’t have cameras. Of course he still was accompanied by an entourage of screaming corpses, but they were all too far gone for their words to have any merit. They served more as a white noise, a horrible blood curtailing white noise, but white noise nonetheless. It’s funny how fear is his best coping mechanism, and cheapest for that matter.
It seemed like every time he was actually in the house, he was the one put down. Vanya was a strong competitor that too, but she was more ignored, just another shadow in the background. She was the quietest of those, but also the only one, that was until Ben, that Klaus felt sympathetic for. But the few times he tried to include her, or generally treat her like an equal he got a good olde trip to the mausoleum. So he just learned to drown her out too.
Klaus remembered very few moments from his life, the drugs took most of it, but the rest were all just set aside. Another shadow in the background. All of the things Klaus let go, the others latched onto. Every failure on a mission, every time he would get screamed at by Reggie, every time he fell. That one particular incident was the hardest to get off his mind, for Christ’s sake, it was a pair of shoes. But he couldn’t correct anyone else’s opinion, and after those eight weeks, it’s not like anyone would believe him. Sneaky bastard.
Klaus did the only thing he could do. Be louder than his demons. Be more rebellious than his own fears. Forget the things that kept him tied to his old life. But oh, he wasn’t expecting it to ever it get this far.
Vietnam. What a wonderful vacation.
He’d never paid any attention during their history lessons with Pogo. Why would he? He heard more personal stories from every spirit that gathered around him. But none of them prepared him for this.
All those ghosts knew that being drafted was a possibility. Of course he didn’t. He should have been shot down on the spot. All of the soldiers had the option right there. But he managed to get by, with very few questions.
And governments wondered why they eventually found spies in their ranks.
Of course he knew that he should have opened the briefcase again, and escaped this hell hole, but to be honest adrenaline acted like ecstasy to him. One drug for another, right?
So Klaus floated from the tent, to the bus, and eventually to a field, a delightful change from different shades of army green.
Dave, that was his name right?, was the only one who even noticed his existence. Normally Klaus would have talked his ear off, just another way to sort out the people who could actually bear to be around him, but instead he lived in a state of denial. That was until a man started screaming at the group of soldiers Klaus was packed into. He hadn’t even realized that people where around him. He blamed it on withdraw.
“Listen up. Welcome to A Shau Valley, your home for the next twelve months, and then the tour is over. So listen to what myself, and everyone else here says, and maybe you’ll leave here in something other than a body bag.”
Wasn’t that just inspiring?
The man took to pacing in front of the troops, calling out any who avoided eye contact. Klaus instantly knew this was going to be a problem. Authority was never a thing he understood. Maybe body bags were comfortable, wouldn’t that be fun, if he died here what would happen in the present, future, whatever it was. Would they all just forget about him. Would that be better? Before he could get too lost in his thoughts, the screaming man came up to him and the two locked eyes. Klaus instantly straightened up, and the man moved on.
“Those of you who decided to stay for another year are in charge. Each of you will move up a rank. Meet me back here after these FNG’s get set up. Dismissed.”
The men around his moved around, and for the first time since he got here, he really felt the extent of the time in the motel. Turns out the Vietnam heat was not good for lighter burns. Who would have guessed?
That’s when Klaus realized, half of the soldiers that just passed him were dead, fading into the shadows again.
First went driving, now he couldn’t even tell who he would be shooting at. And yeah shooting, he hadn’t done that in years. The Academy has trained them all for every weapon, everyone expect Vanya, and then Klaus. Alcohol and lethal weapons was not a combination that his father trusted. Not for his own safety, but no, any damage to the other soldiers. Christ, his life liked to be literal. But he was already haunted by the people his siblings killed, he couldn’t kill them himself. Then they would never shut up.
“I really screwed myself over, right Ben?” He asked instinctively. He looked around, only to see other soldiers were busy putting up tents, nurses bustling around in what looked like a medical tent, and food being prepared on a large table, no Ben.
He wasn’t born yet, of course Klaus wouldn’t see him, but it didn’t make it any easier to try and do basic motor functions without his conscience.
Klaus did a quick spin on his heels, trying to figure out where to go. His options were pretty limited, he was forced to leave his briefcase back with someone called Chaz, so for the moment he was stuck here. Klaus resolved to try and find this Dave guy.
For somewhere doomed to a bloody war, the place was actually quite beautiful, much better than the dark alleyways he used to sleep in, though no less dangerous. Klaus went back to looking down at his boots, the horrible things that they were, while he thought of a plan. Ben would be so proud of him, he couldn’t say that often so he took that as a win. Find this Dave guy, who should tell him where his briefcase is, get back to his time, and get high enough to forget that all of this happened. Maybe not in that order, because over to his right where already a group of five men smoking.
He veered towards them, softly humming to himself, because he realized he doesn’t have his headphones.
Did anyone even notice he was gone? It wasn’t like Ben could tell them. But the lady cop, Patch, was a friend of Diego’s, maybe he knows too. But then why did he not bother showing up, and by the sound of the gunshot from behind him, she wouldn’t be able to tell him. So he was stuck here until he could get that briefcase, that is unless someone opened it. If they did, he was screwed. He hummed louder, and tapped his hand against his thigh, anything to distract himself. Soon it turned into more of a performance than a distraction, and earned him several glances from the men around him. But did he give a single fuck? No. He’d never see these people again.
He closed his eyes, and spun lightly, remembering everything that Allison had taught him during her musical theater phase. It would have been much better with one of her skirts, and full makeup. God he missed those girls nights before Vanya was complete alienated, and Allison was an advocate for almost incest. It was one of the only chosen memories that he kept, and he was sure he wouldn’t have anything like that again. He’d tried with Ben, but he was always more content to just read.
Klaus hummed the final note, and laughed softly at himself. He got dropped 50 years in the past, and the first thing he does is dance around the base. Maybe he was high right now, and all of this is just some long hallucination. Maybe his whole life has been imagined. I mean he has fucking powers for God’s sake.
Then a square punch to his face brought him back to reality. Klaus opened his eyes to see a tall man in front of him.
“Can I help you? Or do you just enjoy punching people for kicks. I mean we all have our kinks, but that one was a little sudden,” Klaus said, gently rubbing his jaw. The man did not seem amused.
“You have a real nerve to be here, you know that?”
“Yeah people say that a lot. So I’ll just be on my way, exsqueese me,” Klaus said regaining himself. He did a quick wave of his ‘Goodbye’ hand, and took a step forward.
The man stuck out his arm, which was surprisingly muscular, and Klaus backed up again. He’d been in enough clubs to recognize a fight, and this wasn’t looking great.
“People like you shouldn’t be out here with us, but then again, a bullet to the chest seems pretty fitting.”
Two more men came up from the background. Klaus had thought they were dead by the scowls, but no, they were just pissed that he was here. Join the club.
The first man looked over at the other two. “You think we should teach him a lesson?”
The one on the right smiled with glee, and cracked his knuckles. The one on the left, a little more charismatic, still scary nonetheless.
“That’s really not necessary, I was just leaving,” Klaus tried again, this time turning the opposite direction. The man on the right grabbed his wrist, and pulled him back. Klaus stumbled more than usual, maybe because he hadn’t eaten in two days. The same man pushed him to the ground, where he landed on a spot on his back littered with bruises.
Klaus looked up at the man, and through gritted teeth said, “Ow. Very welcoming company here.”
“Can’t even put up a fight.” The man on the left scoffed. He made eye contact with the other two again, and they nodded in unison, before turning back to Klaus.
Klaus went to protest, but a boot rammed into his side, injuring one of his already bruised ribs.
“Fucking fairy,” The tallest of the three stated, before he to kicked him in the side. Klaus could taste the blood in his mouth, but swallowed it desperate to not let the men think they had any more of an advantage. He was at a fucking military base, how was no one coming to tell them to fuck off. Klaus turned his head, and saw the group of smoking men looking at him on the ground. Sure he looked pathetic at the moment, but Klaus felt like he had a pass.
The groups eyes were cold and devoid of emotion, like they’ve seen this a million times. Maybe they had. Reginald had done the same thing. He’d make him brawl with Luther until he couldn’t breath. Grace would stand to the side, her eyes blank, but her lips in a slight frown. While dear Old Reggie would stand and watch as his children broke each other’s bones. When they were six, whoever won the most fights got a free day outside of the Academy with Pogo. It was almost always Luther or Diego, though Allison did win a couple of times. Klaus didn’t know at the time that this wasn’t a normal thing, until the ghost of a mom sobbed in infirmary as Klaus was getting patched up. He felt the same powerlessness now, all the odds against him. It wasn’t his fault that he got these powers, wasn’t his fault that he got captured, it wasn’t his fault that now one noticed. Unless it was. It wasn’t like he was the most trustworthy person, but they hadn’t even bothered to check to make sure he was okay after fucking assasins came into the house. Klaus tried to stand up, but the men seemed content to be assholes, and kicked his arm so he fell back down.
“What was that snowflake?”
The man walked closer and looked him dead in the eyes. Klaus breathed in, and kicked the man's legs, causing his knees to buckle slightly. The shortest of the three drew out a handgun from his waistband, and Klaus froze in his awkward crouch on the ground. The man’s finger hovered threateningly over the trigger.
“Reese, Wilkins, Grey, stand down,” came a strong voice from behind Klaus. The man in front of Klaus put the gun away, and stepped back not without first sending a glare at Klaus. He made a mental note to avoid them at all costs. The three turned to leave, and Klaus let go a breath he didn’t know he was holding. The man from behind him, turned out to be Dave. At least he did one thing on his plan.
“Are you alright?” Dave asked, holding out a hand, still eyeing the men to make sure they had left.
Klaus grabbed it, and winced as he pulled himself up. “Yeah, just peachy. Thanks.”
“Did they hurt you?” Dave turned forward to look at him. He looked kind, kinder than someone should be here, but it was welcoming.
Klaus put his hand back down at his side. “Not more than before.”
Dave looked concerned, and eyed him up and down.
“I do hope you realize your bleeding from your side. Come on, the medical tent is this way.”
Dave turned, and did a wave to follow him. Klaus sighed. Getting back would have to wait.