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Five, Finally Alive

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None of them remember how it started. All they really know is that it quickly became a Thing™ and, like most Hargreeves things, it got competitive fast.

After the apocalypse that didn’t happen, they had to work on being a real family again. 

It was all thanks to Luther. Or, more accurately, it almost all went to shit because of Luther, but at least he got them all in the same place to talk. 

Once he put Vanya inside that horrible sound proof chamber in the basement, that summoned the rest of the family home with urgency. 

Luckily when Allison came down, still weak from almost dying, and when five appeared and threatened Luther with promises that only a time assassin could actually keep, he relented and Vanya was freed. It probably also helped that the whole ‘Dad sent me to the moon for nothing ’ wound was still fresh on his mind.

Regardless, Vanya was let out and the family gathered in the living room for a long, long talk. 

Not everything was aired out. There were still some scars that ran too deep in their relationships, and secrets that were not ready to be shared yet, but enough was discussed. Enough to prevent the looming apocalypse, at least.

Vanya was pissed. At everyone. She wanted to kill Pogo, wanted to burn the house down and run away, wanted her siblings to feel the pain that she had been feeling for so long, but she was also just mad at herself. Her heart was filled with hatred and rage, but it was just as full of love and caring. 

The guilt from hurting Allison was enough to get her willing to talk things out like civilized adults, and Number Three herself had no ill feelings towards her. 

Luther still wanted to make all the rules, be in charge and in control, but when it came down to him against the only five people in his life that mattered to him, he was willing to compromise. He may be a little slow, but with the help of his siblings he got around to understanding that Vanya was not inherently dangerous and talking through everything as a family was, although painful, a lot less painful than the destruction of all life on the planet.

Allison was healing. She didn’t hold grudges, that just wasn’t her style. The look on Vanya’s face when she had initially lost control was an image stuck on her mind, preventing her feeling anything but guilt about the entire situation.

The whole family felt guilty, in their own ways.

Klaus was also healing, along with Diego. Their healing however, was in the more emotional sense. They grieved together but not together, in that they were both grieving over loved ones lost, but they were not doing it with each other.

Vulnerability was not a trait that came easy to the Hargreeves. So while they both nodded to each other in understanding and sympathy, they did not talk about it and they did not lean on each other to help the other get through it.

Five was going slightly insane. His emotionally stunted siblings had somehow managed to be the cause of, and the prevention of; the apocalypse. 

The commission couldn’t do anything. The time had passed and the world had not ended, they could do nothing more. There was no one they could kill that would cause it to happen again, not now.

Perhaps immediately after Vanya was released, they could have done some damage, but Five had disrupted the main office enough to give them time to train her in the most basic aspects of her powers. Train her enough to not destroy the planet.

Well, training wasn’t exactly the right word. 

They talked, bonded, went through Reginald’s notes, grilled Pogo and Grace for every piece of information that had been held from them, and called in a family therapist. 

Throughout all this, Vanya gained control over powers, but not mastery. Much like playing the violin, she learned to pluck before she learned the bow, only going to exercise miniscule amounts of power at a time, instead of going all out all at once. 

So while she was definitely not fighting crime anytime soon, she gathered enough control to learn the notes. Enough to calm herself down should any Commission agents try to goad her into exploding everything again. 

To keep it short, everything was wrapped up fairly nicely. 

The apocalypse was prevented, the Commission had given up (at least for now), and the siblings were healing in their own ways all together as a family.

Months and months after all of this, Allison’s voice had healed enough to talk with a light rasp. Luther had practiced relinquishing control and listening to his siblings, rather than talking at them. Diego, while honoring her memory and never forgetting Eudora, moved on from her. Klaus -and Ben, Klaus had managed to find the courage to tell the family about him during one of their therapy sessions and, with a lot of help from Dr. Martin, the family listened to what he said- had been working on controlling his powers alongside Vanya. 

He did not move on from Dave as fast. 

When your whole ability is to see the dead, death loses its inevitability and erases the fear that comes with it. Klaus had never really had to grieve anyone before, never learned how. 

Dave was dead and not showing up.

Grieving a loss is hard enough for a regular person, but it was even harder for a grown man who was experiencing it for the first time and with the only person he ever truly, deeply loved with his entire being. The others tried to help as much as they could, but this was a journey he had to take alone.

Five was meeting his family again for the first time, reintroducing himself and learning who these new versions of the siblings he remembered are. And trying to let go of the apocalypse. The event had been his entire life, and now it was gone. He had a lot to think through.

And Vanya…

Well, she was doing as well as you’d expect.

So while things were far from perfect, and actually still pretty far from good, at least it wasn’t the end . They were all broken, but there was no choice but to keep moving forward. 

Everyone stayed at the mansion, hoping to create new memories that would overshine the darker ones they shared there. Also, a family therapist visited them once a week for an hour session. 

She honestly deserved a fucking crown for putting up with them. Superpowers and time travel aren’t exactly covered in a Psychology class, but she was an absolute angel that the siblings couldn’t help but love. It had been very rough at first, but Linda was good at her job and the results were indisputable. If nothing else, the Hargreeves could at least relent that things had improved since speaking to her, so as long as the data supported her addition to their lives, they could not disagree with it.

Things were… Tough. Not bad, not good. Just tough

Which is probably around when the pranks started.

It began with little things, plastic wrap over the toilet seat, whoopie cushions on the couch, but like everything with the Hargreeves it quickly became an all out prank war.

They had been raised in competition, of course this little bit of fun would become one too. 

It was the perfect sibling bonding activity for them. Just enough rivalry to be familiar, but also casual enough that it didn’t start any actual fighting.

The family had its hierarchy, with Luther and Vanya unsurprisingly low on the scale. They were… Not good at it.

The pranks One and Seven did were the kind you saw on TV as a kid. Unoriginal, but classic. The only reason they really participated at all was because, well, it was fun . And a competition, so of course they couldn’t just not compete. 

To everyone’s surprise, the best pranksters and the ones that were currently at the top of the leaderboard (not that anyone was keeping score) were Allison and Five. 

For Allison, perhaps it was her experiences with Claire that got her so enthralled with the idea of a prank war. It was childish, and so it reminded her of the daughter she continues fighting the courts every day to see.

As for Five, he never really grew up.

To be fair, none of the Hargreeves were known for their emotional maturity, but they at least had the experience of moving out of the house and trying to make it in the real world. Five had exactly zero experience in the real world. 

He went from isolated child soldier, to even more isolated last man on earth, to a completely batshit crazy time traveling agency that turned him into a brutal serial killer. So no, he’d never quite had the chance to grow up in regular society. 

He may have years on the rest of his siblings, but those years were spent completely and utterly alone in every sense of the word. All at the same time, he was a fifty-eight year old man and a thirteen year old. Not even just metaphorically. He was literally fifty-eight years old, but also indisputably thirteen years old.

So, a childish and harmless competition such as a prank war was perfect for him. Something other than the apocalypse to put himself into wholeheartedly. He was having a blast, though he’d never in a million years admit it to the rest of his family. 

Klaus and Diego, while definitely the most enthusiastic, were not on the same level as Allison and Five. Although they were the most excited, pulling as many pranks as they could, they were not as… calculating as the other two. They could be smart… in their own ways… sometimes… just not in this.

Anyways-

All of this led them to where they are now, the unspoken leaderboard tied between Numbers Three and Five. 

Luckily and unluckily for everyone, powers were not off limits. Unfortunately, some powers were better for pranks than others, which is another reason Allison was doing so well. 

Sure, maybe she should be more cautious of using her powers so casually, but maybe the practice will slowly chip away at the power trip she usually gets when using them.

Like everyone else in the family, she was practicing the basics again too. It helped, using powers for small things, things that didn’t hurt anyone. 

So while she carefully avoided using her power to prank Vanya, not wanting to trigger her, she delighted in using it on her other brothers. 

Silly pranks were for the best after all, rumors that made everyone in the family laugh but also weren’t making fun of or bullying the victim of the prank. 

And she just thought of the best prank to pull on her grumpiest sibling. 

Tied for first, pranking Five was only natural, and given how serious he is, this prank might get him to loosen up a bit.

The timing though, was everything. 

Five was smart and constantly alert. She couldn’t rumor him while he was awake, knowing he’d teleport before she could even say “ I heard~ ” but rumoring him asleep was also difficult due to him being an incredibly light sleeper, and that's only when he actually does sleep.

However, the insufferable little psychopath had a vice-

The family didn’t bother trying to get him to stop drinking. None of them could tell the old man what to do, not even with Vanya asking nicely. 

Allison needed only to play the waiting game.

Maybe waiting for her thirteen year old brother to get so drunk he passes out just so she can rumor him is somewhat immoral… or maybe it’s just pure genius.

Either way, too late to back out now.

“I heard a rumor~” Allison began, a stupid shiteating grin on her face, “You could only speak in rhymes.” 

 

-

 

Five woke up gradually, as he usually does when hungover. 

His mouth felt dry and his head foggy. He didn’t think he’d had that much to drink last night. Just a few shots with Klaus as a celebration for him being half a year sober. 

Yes, he saw the irony in that, but Number Four was sober from the harder stuff. Alcohol didn’t count if it was drunk with family , is what he’d argued. 

That was his first mistake; thinking he could do ‘just a few’ shots with Klaus of all people. 

His second mistake was, because he can’t resist a challenge, agreeing to Klaus’s stupid suggestion of a playing a drinking game.

He should’ve known better than to try to win as a prepubescent boy going up against an alcoholic who spent the entirety of his twenties in crack houses and clubs. 

No matter, nothing coffee couldn’t fix. 

The boy assassin slipped off of his perch on the living room couch, shoving off a blanket that someone must’ve put on him while he slept. 

The thought was both tender and nauseating. Being touched that his family cared about him so much, but also being horrified at the prospect of someone coming up to him without him noticing. 

With heavy footsteps, Five made his way into the kitchen. It must’ve been around noon, because Allison, Klaus, and Diego were there eating lunch. His sister smiled evilly when she noticed him enter the room. 

Uh-oh. That probably meant there was a prank set up somewhere in this godforsaken kitchen. 

Five made sure to be extra careful as he brewed his coffee, keeping an eye out for snakes in cans and other corny shit like that.

As much as he’d like to believe he’s above the childish nonsense that has taken hold of his family the past few weeks, he cannot say that he is. 

It was fun. It reminded him of the time before he left the academy. Back when they were all just kids trying to maintain any semblance of a family.

A pang shoots through his skull, reminding him of his current hangover. Klaus, the bastard, looked completely the same as he always did, showing no signs of the hangover he should be having. The seance sent him a knowing smirk.

“Need some Tylenol Fivey? I guess your tolerance just isn’t what it used to be, old man.” He teased, but thankfully still tossed Five the painkillers. Five glared as he swallowed two pills with his coffee. 

“My tolerance is fine. We just won’t do shots next time.” The boy spat back.

Diego turned to Klaus, “You did shots without me?” 

“We were gonna invite you! Maybe next time wait a bit before you go out vigilante-ing all over-” 

The two bickered, but Five was focused on Allison who had a befuddled look upon her face. She mumbled to herself, what Five thinks was “I guess a forced rhyme is still a rhyme.”

Five narrowed his eyes at her, too tired to look into whatever she was talking about. He took another sip of his coffee.

“So what’s the plan for today? I know Luther’s slipping away, and you know what they say: when the cat's away, the mice shall play,” He blinked, before shaking his head and leaning against the kitchen counter. A little bit more than what he was going to say but that’s fine. 

Klaus giggled like a little girl though, “You sound like a children’s book,” the lanky man snorted as he got up from the kitchen table, taking his dishes to the sink.

Diego just raised an eyebrow.

“Well, Vanya’s at work right now. I guess you already heard Luther’s headed out of town,” He counted off his fingers as he went, “Allison and Klaus are gonna do… something, and I’m going out to meet with a contact in the police force.”

It was Five’s turn to raise an eyebrow at that. By ‘contact in the police’ Diego actually just means he’s catching up with an old friend. The family was slowly letting down their collective barriers, but some of them (cough cough, Diego) were still having trouble with addressing relationships to other people.

“So then Klaus and you, what are you two gonna do?” His eye twitched as he addressed Allison. 

After Klaus’s comment, he was made uncomfortably aware of his sentence structure. Apparently knowing that something was up did nothing to change it.

Despite asking Allison, Klaus chimed in to answer.

“Well we were going to have a girl’s day but Vanya decided not to come. Which means we have an open spoooot,” He sing-songed the last words moving his arm around to lean his elbow on Five’s head. The younger (older?) pushed him off in annoyance. 

“Why didn’t Vanya want to go? I doubt she’d just say ‘no,’” and he did doubt it. 

Their seventh sibling has taken to saying ‘yes’ any time anyone invited her to anything. Suppose a lifetime of being ignored makes people desperate. It only became a problem when she started to say yes to things she clearly didn’t actually want to do. 

They were still working on honesty with the family therapist. Big shocker, siblings raised following strict orders found it hard to say ‘no’ to things. 

He could practically hear Reginald’s voice in his head: ‘Don’t let something as silly as personal feelings or boundaries get in the way of working as a team! You will do as you are told!’

He’s glad the bastard’s dead.

“That’s for Vanya to tell you,” Klaus said cryptically, ignoring the others when they looked towards him in questioning, “Either way, they’re not coming! So that means you get the chance to bond with your favorite movie star sister and fourth favorite brother.” 

Five noticed the way Klaus used ‘they’ pronouns when referring to Vanya, but didn’t comment on it. Maybe it really was for them to say. 

“I’d rather drink a bucket of lava than smell like your shampoo guava.” 

His reply felt unnatural, and he finally realized why he sounded so odd. He kept rhyming what he said for some reason. Just to be sure, he said another thing with a specific not-rhyming phrase in mind.

“Although, I guess that’s better than orange-” Before he could continue, his voice stopped. It just stopped coming out. He frowned and tried again. 

Well then there was his proof. Nothing rhymed with orange.

But why the hell would he be speaking in just rhymes? That made no sense? It was stupid and childish but when he spoke, it was like he was compelled to-

Oh .

His face contorted with annoyance as he whirled on Allison.

“Sneaky bitch. You did this, you insufferable witch!”

The other two brothers gaped at him in shock but he ignored them as he glared at his manipulative, evil, conniving sister. All she did was bite her lip in an attempt to muffle the laughter that was bound to break out at any second.

Whoa, whoa,” Diego stepped in between the two, “Those are some strong words Five, what did she-”

“Sonofabitch rumored me! Fuck you, Number Three. You’ll fix this if you know what's good for thee.”

Rather than joining in with Five’s side of the argument, both Diego and Klaus’s faces lit up like Christmas trees as they finally realized what was going on. Klaus let out a loud ‘HA’ and went over to high five Allison, who was no longer holding back her laughter. They cackled together wickedly, whereas Diego just let his lips quirk up a bit.

“Stop laughing you shitheads! Or else I'll make you wish you were dead.”

To his horror, his cheeks were beginning to heat up in embarrassment as he blushed. Of all the dumb pranks she could pull, it had to be this? It wasn’t even particularly clever or funny! Although, now that he’s thinking about it, maybe that’s exactly what made it so funny to them. 

“Relax bro, it’s just a prank.” Diego drawled, knowing exactly how annoyed Number Five was with this.

“Yeah it’s no big deal, you little shitheel. HA! I can do it too, see!” Klaus sent himself into another wave of laughter, occasionally reciting words that rhyme with ‘see,’ while Allison finally composed herself enough to speak.

“I’m in the lead now Five,” She grinned like the cheshire cat, which only made Five want to smack her even more, “But I’m willing to negotiate.”

He gritted his teeth, “What do you want? To jaunt? To flaunt?” 

“I’ll retract the rumor at the end of the day, if you come jaunt with me and Klaus.”

“Rot in hell.” He snapped his mouth shut before he could continue speaking.

“He sounds like a little leprechaun,” Klaus giggled, leaning into Five’s face, “Oh Fivey, you have no idea how adorable this is.”

Diego had to hold Five back as he jerked towards Klaus with a hiss. The seance just hissed right back.

“Make him stop and we can shop.” He reluctantly rhymed, “But once this day is done, you will speak of this to no one.” The boy made sure to promise a threat in the look he then gave his siblings. It was a glare that worked wonders on most people with a sense of self preservation. To Five’s agitation, his siblings were unnerved.

Allison clapped her hands once as she stood up and Klaus squealed as he came around, corralling Five forward to start their day.

“Oh buddy, we are gonna do a lot more than just shop. This is gonna be the best girls day ever.”

Five did everything he could not to look back at Diego for help. It would just be one day. Surely it wouldn’t be that bad. He could do this.

As they neared the front door he felt sweat begin to bead on his forehead. 

He’d just not talk and it would be fine. And sure he was going with them for a girl’s day, but he didn’t have to participate, he could just stand by and watch or something.

Besides, they were right. It’s just a silly, stupid prank, emphasis on the stupid. No big deal.

Right?

 

-

 

Turns out, his two idiot siblings really did have an entire day planned out. Allison even had a schedule written out on her phone with intermittent alarms to keep them on track.

It began with going to the mall to shop. They needed to get the materials for their ‘girls day’ but of course they couldn’t just go, they had to get ready to go as well. Five was already exhausted. They hadn’t even left the house yet. 

“What do you think kiddo, blue or green?” Klaus held two different shirts over his chest as he posed in front of Five. 

Allison was enough of an adult to get ready to go out on her own, but apparently Klaus needed supervision. 

“The green looks like slime, the blue is just fine. Stop asking me for advice or I won’t be so nice.” Five gave the man his signature angry smile, a perfect mix of sardonic and pissed. 

All Klaus did was sigh delightedly and put on the blue shirt. 

“You know, I think this will be fun. When’s the last time you had a self care day like this? Wait, did you even have self care days in the apocalypse? What would you even do for that, like, take a bath in running water or something?” Klaus rambled as he moved around the room to put on the rest of his outfit.

“The apocalypse sucked,” Five paused. Even rhyming about it like a preschool teacher didn’t make his past any more bearable, “But I didn’t self-destruct. I did what I could to survive, but I didn’t exactly thrive. I was mostly grateful to be alive.”

“Jesus, Five.” Klaus frowned sympathetically, but also obviously just remarked so that he could add on to the rhyme.

Five rolled his eyes and got to his feet, moving towards the door.

“Are you done? You talk a ton and we should run. Let’s get this over with and collect our sister, that wicked wordsmith.” God, every sentence out of his mouth made him want to shoot himself in the skull. 

It wasn’t even like it was good or poetic or anything. Anything that rhymed worked, it didn’t have to sound good. He’d wished Allison had at least rumored him into rhyming with grace instead of this sloppy work.

He decided to go back to his original plan of just not speaking.

Once they confirmed Allison was ready, the three of them got into her car and drove to one of the numerous malls in the city. He didn’t talk to either of them throughout the ride, stewing in his own anger alone in the backseat. 

Luckily, it seemed that even with the months that their family had been trying to get close to each other again, Klaus and Allison still had a lot of catching up to do. Although not actively part of the conversation, Five listened in. 

Much like his other siblings, Five was not super keen on talking about his emotions, or his past, or really about anything pertaining to himself. As much as he wanted to get to know his aged up siblings, he also didn’t want to have to talk about himself in return for them opening up.

Listening in like this, Five could get information on how his family was doing without actually having to give anything up.

Even though the two didn’t exactly discuss deep subjects on this half hour car ride, it was still nice to hear the little things that they talked about. 

For example, Allison just finished telling a story about an audition she wanted to go to, to get back into her career and general life outside of the Umbrella Academy. She was excited because it was a role for a small indie film which she hadn’t done before, and she would not be using her powers to secure the role this time. She wanted to test her merit as an actual actress, not just a fraud.

It was nice to hear about how much his family continues to grow. Even after everything was over, it wasn’t really over. It would never be over. They would just keep becoming better versions of themselves continuously until, well, Five doesn’t know what then. Klaus might know. Afterlife and all that. 

Despite the long drive, they arrived at the mall entirely too early, in his opinion. Everyone got out of the car and strutted into the mall like they owned the place. Well, Allison and Klaus did. Five walked in awkwardly behind them.

“So! We’re inbound to browse around for wares abound,” Deep breaths. Do not give in to the temptation to murder everything in the immediate vicinity, “To where shall we bound? Respond before I make another sound.” He gives them the most menacing squint he can muster at the moment.

Klaus twirls back around and goes to grab his hand but Five dodges and jabs his brother in the ribs before he can make contact. The taller man crumples in on himself with a yelp of pain but retains his grin, seemingly unbothered by the reaction. 

“Well mein bruder, I’m glad you asked-”

“I’m not.”

“Hush, I wasn’t finished,” Five has to physically hold himself back from smacking Klaus upside the head. 

“What I was saying- is that we are here to get supplies. And maybe a little bit of clothes shopping just for the hell of it, who knows?” He flips his hands in the air, giving an obnoxiously large shrug.

They continue on walking, his siblings herding him towards a store filled with suspiciously sparkly decor. Maybe Five really is an old man but is this what kids these days think is fashionable? Sure, Delores appreciated sequins but at least the dresses she wore had class. This is just… gratuitous. 

He looks distastefully at a row of brightly colored jeans as they pass, apparently knowing exactly which section they want to look in. At least he wouldn’t have to buy anything. 

Thankfully the trio did not spend too much time in that store, with Klaus planning on stopping at every store in the mall at least once and needing the time to get to all of them, so Five’s eyes were only assaulted by the glittery rainbow of fabrics for a manageable amount of time. 

The next store they go to is more moderate, seemingly less of a store specifically catered towards young women. There was a section with clothes that would actually fit Five if he were looking for any. He’s perfectly content with the familiar Umbrella Academy uniform. It reminds him of the glory days. 

However, it appeared that Allison had other plans as she ushered the two towards the child’s clothing section. A scowl found its way to his face.

“Nope, nay, I say. Cease going this way. Your other games I shall play, but push this further and you’ll pay.” 

Despite his clear threat, all he looked like was a kid reading from a children's book. Allison was decidedly unimpressed.

“Yeah I’ll pay for whatever you pick out. Girl’s day includes all of us getting stuff Five. Plus, you desperately need a new closet.”

Klaus nods along, “Very true, brother dearest. You can’t seriously plan on only wearing that old uniform every day until you grow out of it,” He adds, incredulously.

Five flushes because that is exactly what his plan is.

It actually goes even further, with him deciding on asking Mom to tailor the schoolboy outfit to fit him as his new body continues to grow.

That is,if his new body is going to grow. He’s still not quite sure how his consciousness ended up like this, but if his theories so far are correct then this new body may not be aging outwardly at all anytime soon. It requires more testing.

In the meantime, his siblings take his silence as consent and drag him further into the endless clothing racks.

Any hope of this day going by quickly flies out the window as he watches the pile of things for him to try on steadily grow. 

Allison at least, is picking things that coincide with his preferred style. Klaus, the demon, is picking clothing seemingly at random yet with such precision that Five has to wonder if he had what he wanted in mind before they even got to the store.

With entirely too many items of clothing, they push him into the dressing room with their finds and demand that he comes out to show off each outfit as he tries them on. For what feels like the hundredth time today, Five holds himself back from physically attacking his family. 

“Now give us a twirl, we have to see this look from all angles.” Klaus motions with his fingers as Five steps out of the room dressed in a sad excuse for a business casual ensemble. 

The ex-assassin glares at Klaus through the mirror and pointedly ignores the giddy spark in both of his siblings’ eyes. Sure seeing his family happy fills his heart with a raw feeling he thinks is love, but at what cost?

“Lucky I don’t twist your fingers off. I can’t resist the lingering thoughts.” Forced rhymes, those are somewhat more bearable than the Dr. Seuss poems he’s forced to say. 

Klaus’s only response is a slightly hysterical giggle, as if he can’t believe the gift that’s been handed to him. Five can’t quite believe it either, but vows after today to erase his memory of the next twenty four hours. 

Not risking more prose, Five silently turns back into the dressing room, closing the door hard enough to rattle the rest of the stalls. Wearily, he looks back towards the pile in front of him. Might as well get this over with.

 

-

 

To Five’s relief, after allowing them to buy him some of the things they picked out for him they don’t make him try on anything else in the other stores. A wise decision on their part. 

It only makes the rest of the trip slightly more bearable however, as he is still asked advice on the outfits they try on. 

Allison steps out of the dressing room of another store, Klaus sauntering out of the stall right next to hers and they wink at each other. Five sits, unimpressed as they strut up and down the short hallway, giving him quite the show. They’re wearing identical jumpsuits and matching heels. 

It is incredibly endearing, but Five would never admit that. 

“Truly stunning,” The boy drawls, “Were you more cunning, you’d have the fans running.”

Psshh, you’re just saying that~” Klaus waves off, clearly accepting his words at face value and ignoring the obvious sarcasm laced within them.

“Alright you caught me, you look like clowns, at least three, shitting on a tree that is filled with bees.” If anything, at least his insults are getting even more creative. And nonsensical. 

Klaus pouts but Allison simply flips her hair and raises an eyebrow.

“Bold words from a fifty year old man in schoolboy shorts.”

Five stands up with a glare at the ready.

“You little-”

But the Hollywood actress doesn’t listen to the rest of his threat, spinning around and closing her dressing room door behind her. Klaus just sends him an air kiss and follows in her footsteps.

Five does not let out a growl as they ignore him. And he definitely does not pretend to catch Klaus’ air kiss and rip it into tiny pieces even though the other isn’t even watching him.

That would be childish.

The deadly former time traveling assassin would never do that.

After an indeterminate amount of time which felt like days to Five, they finally, finally finished with the clothes shopping and moved on to a different type of store.

His first thought upon walking into the next store is, dear lord this place stinks . Apparently it’s a ‘good stink’ but Five holds a hand over his nose all the same.

It’s filled to the brim with soaps, perfumes, and other scented body care products. Five only hopes they don’t plan on taking a bath together as if they’re toddlers again. 

Luckily they don’t force him to get things for himself here either, instead simply holding items in front of him and using his facial expressions to decide whether to put them back or not.

Unfortunately Five didn’t really have to practice hiding his expressions in the apocalypse, so he was very receptive to their strategy. Working for the commission could only help so much with his acting. 

Together, the two evil, terrible, sneaky, demons collect a basket of face masks, scented shampoos and soaps, lotions, and a few other things that Five will most definitely protest using. 

They don’t spend too long there, thank god, and once that store is over with they at long last leave the mall, arms filled with bags of varying sizes.

Only when they’re in the car driving back does he realize that the day has only just barely started. Instead of towards home, Allison drives them directly to a grocery store.

Snacks for later tonight, they explain.

Five has a… complicated relationship with food. Since coming back and stopping the apocalypse, he’s gotten slightly better with it, but he still does not eat nearly as much as he should. 

To be quite honest, he just forgets. The ache of hunger pains is so familiar that he barely notices it anymore, only really going to eat meals when someone reminds him or when he feels particularly dizzy and drained.

Food is fuel and that’s all. 

To his siblings, this is unacceptable.

“What do you want Five? We’re absolutely getting cookies and chips, but is there anything specific you want?” Allison asks kindly, and it’s so sincere that he almost forgets to be pissed off at her.

“Yeah what are you craving right now?” Klaus tacks on, his words less caring and more… enticing. As if he’s the devil offering a wicked deal, instead of just asking his brother what he wants to eat.

Five hums in thought as they slowly walk through the aisles. He doesn’t really care for taste anymore, way too used to bugs and expired canned foods. After eating that crap for more than half his life, he kind of lost his pickiness when it came to food.

It’s all in the mind. If he pretends that this beetle tastes like a chicken nugget, then it does.

It doesn't.

Really, the only thing he cares about is what the food can provide him with.

Which is why he loves coffee so much. It has caffeine that gives him the energy he should be getting from regular meals. What other food could be useful to him?

“I like coffee,” Five decides on finally, expecting the usual exasperated responses. 

His family seemed to have a problem with his caffeine addiction. They know they can’t stop him from drinking it, but that doesn’t stop them from berating him for it every chance they get.

“Sure, any specific kind you want?”

Five does a double take when he sees both his siblings smiling patiently towards him. He did not expect it to be that easy.

Allison reads his expression easily, and Klaus explains, “Girls day is not about physical health Fivey, it’s about mental health. Self care day! Treat yourself, get anything you want!”

Five raises an incredulous eyebrow.

“If that were true, wouldn’t we be popping pills with you?”

Klaus lets out a dramatic sigh, “Obviously there are limitations you little shit. Shut up Ben.” He hisses to the side, causing the other two siblings to blink.

It still takes some getting used to, acknowledging that their dead brother really is always with them. Or at least, always with Klaus. 

“Then.. Just coffee. And marshmallows and… toffee? And Oreos.” Five wracks his brain for the things he’d always wanted to try but never got the chance to, “Strawberries and whipped cream. Oh! Fresh cherries and ice cream.”

Now that he started, he finds it hard to stop. Regardless of his opinion on flavors, he is an extremely curious person. There are a lot of things that he never got the chance to even try. 

His siblings look surprised for a second, making Five feel slightly embarrassed. He's about to take it all back and just go with the coffee, but then they each grin so bright that he feels the need to squint under their radiance. 

“Yeah! Come on, if you see something you want drop it in the cart.”

And then they go.

It’s effortless, the way they act like actual siblings together. Allison and Klaus bickering between tortillas and salsa or regular potato chips, before reaching an agreement when Five suggests they just get both. 

He begins hesitantly, adding small things to the cart and looking cautiously towards Allison for a reaction. But every time, she just smiles and nods, or simply raises her eyebrows and goes back to debating flavors with Klaus. 

By the end of their trip, the cart is full of a mix between complete junk food and fresh produce that Five hadn’t had the privilege of eating since he was actually thirteen years old. 

Feeling the most relaxed he has all day, Five helps as they load up the car, which is slowly losing room for anything else. He hopes they don’t have any more stops because he’s not sure if they can fit anything else in the trunk.

This day might not be so bad. Sure he hates that he’s spouting unintentional poetry every time he speaks, but he’s getting kind of excited to get back home and try all these new things. 

He doesn’t say anything, trying to hide his newfound eagerness as he thinks of the bath he’s probably gonna get to have when they get back.

“What’s next?” He asks in what he hopes is a bored tone.

Short sentences like that are the best too because there’s no room to rhyme.

Klaus chuckles evilly in the backseat, winking at the empty seat next to him. Electing to ignore him, Five trains his gaze out the window, feigning indifference. 

Allison’s grin also has a sharp edge to it as she pulls out of the grocery store parking lot. The relaxation he just started feeling quickly goes away as he looks back to her, eyes not leaving her face as he waits for a response.

“Allison. Are we done?” He asks slowly and deliberately. 

Her grin only grows, and Klaus sticks his head up between the two front seats, “Not quite kiddo.”

Before Five can snap at him for calling him ‘kiddo,’ the other two lock eyes and, in unison, cheer;

“Manicures!”

Oh.

Oh hell no.

Five deadpans as he looks between them.

“Oooh I love this song!” Klaus screeches, interrupting any response Five could possibly have to the reveal. He reaches forward and cranks the volume until the car is vibrating with the bass in the song.

Unable to emote, Five turns his head back so he’s looking out the window, still stone faced. 

Shit.

This day is far from over.