five is pissed.
five is pissed because no one else seems to care about their brother like he does. special training always does a toll on the other kids, sure - five has to push himself to his limits with his powers until he collapses, choking on his own vomit, ben doesn't like to talk about his, though the fact that he always comes out covered in blood must say something, diego's involves a large tank of water that he's locked in, allison rumours her nannies in different languages and if she slips up, she gets slapped, and luther lifts weights that are too heavy for a twelve year old, even a twelve year old with superstrength.
but no one hates special training as much as klaus does. his training is the only one that involves him leaving the house. luther calls him a baby after he comes inside, his fingernails bleeding and his knees scraped all to hell, his face paler than it should be and tears streaming down his dirty cheeks. reginald always seems disappointed, lingering behind klaus like a ghoul, and five wants nothing more than to punch his bastard of a father in the face.
a knock on the door pulls five back into reality, and he wipes his sweaty palms on his shorts, shuffling to go open the door. it's ben, he knows before he even opens it, gesturing for his brother to come inside. there's something eating at ben, he notes, the way his shoulders are tensed and his head is down, the way he convulses as the Horror tries to break out, his arms protectively wrapped around his stomach, the edge to his voice that sounds almost inhuman as he speaks.
"klaus," he groans out, pressed against the door, "his special training is tonight and the Horror won't- They're worried for him, a-and i-" he sucks in a pained breath, "- i am, too, five," he rushes out, writhing, and five.. five is worried, too, although he'd never mention that aloud.
"it's alright," he chides quietly, reaching out for ben's free hand. "i've got a plan. is diego coming?" he asks, squeezing ben's hand, and ben nods. "good. i'll wait for him, then."
ben tries to respond but he chokes, his face screwed up in pain, and five frowns, stroking his thumb across ben's knuckles, hopefully distracting him from the Horror's twisting and pushing. they sit in silence, save for ben's heavy breathing, until a familiar knock and the twisting of the doorknob signifies diego's arrival. he shuts the door firmly but quietly behind him, and flops down next to ben, an eyebrow quirked.
"ben said we had something important to go over." he's flipping one of his knives, making it do figure-eights in the air; one of his nervous habits, five remembers. he shakes his head, then nods, glancing at ben and then at diego.
"klaus will be taken for his special training by pogo in around ten minutes or so." he starts, going over his plan once, twice, thrice in his head, making sure everything is perfect. "with my spacial jumps, i can follow them from a distance until we get to wherever he's going. i need to see where they're putting him. klaus isn't usually like that, he's practically catatonic until the next day."
diego hums quietly, looking skeptically at five. "and you're telling us this, why?"
the boy scowls. "because, you buffoon, klaus is our brother and when he's coming home like that, i've reason to worry. i need you guys to cover for me if pogo or reginald come back to the house, and i can maybe try to help klaus. understand?" ben nods fervently, and diego sits back against the door with a satisfied smile, ignoring the insult. "good."
sure enough, the gentle thuds of pogo's footsteps pass five's room, stopping at klaus's. the doorknob turns slowly, quietly, and pogo's hushed voice tells them exactly what they need to know. klaus's footsteps echo throughout the hallways, and five stands, ready to move to the window so he can watch them go.
ben's fingers circle around his wrist and he looks down, into the scared eyes of his brother. "be safe, five." he pauses, then smiles and nods assuringly.
"trust me, ben, i'm not going to let them catch me." he promises, and as diego takes ben's fingers from their brushing grip on five's wrist, the plan is set in motion.
it doesn't take long for reginald and pogo to leave the house with klaus in tow, and as soon as it's clear, he gives a thumbs up to ben and diego and steps forward, his hands flashing blue as he rips a hole in space. he stumbles out of the makeshift portal and almost runs face first into a tree, but he steadies himself and narrows his eyes, peering around and watching as they make their way to the cemetery. klaus is crying, trying to wrench his way out of reginald's grip, begging him to let go, he doesn't want to go.
the mausoleum, five remembers with a start. that's the only reason they'd be going into the cemetery. with klaus's ability to see the dead, it makes sense. anger rises in five's chest, red, red, red.
he's enraged, breathing in shakily and his hands sparking blue, but he quells his anger for now and follows silently. he cannot believe reginald is locking klaus in a mausoleum - but he can. reginald is a sick bastard who cares about no one but himself, and tortures the children he bought for his own personal gain. he's corrupted and selfish, it makes sense that he'd lock his twelve year old who can see ghosts in a tomb for hours on end.
klaus is screaming, shrill and loud, begging reginald not to put him back in, promising to better, and pogo opens the doors of the mausoleum. 'of course pogo would help,' he thinks bitterly, making a mental note to bring it up to pogo sometime in the future, and he watches as reginald plants his hands on klaus's shoulders and pushes, turning away as the boy falls and cries out in pain.
five clenches his fists and takes a deep breath in, trying to steady his racing heart and calm down. being angry will do nothing good once he's in there with klaus. he waits until they've left the cemetery, reginald's head held high and pogo staring down at his feet - he feels bad, serves him right - before he blinks into the mausoleum. he's disoriented, but only for a moment, and as his eyes adjust to the dark, he spots him.
klaus is panicking. five recognises the signs of a panic attack - his fingers are curled in his hair, twisting, tugging, pulling, and his eyes are widened, knees tucked up to his chest. he's staring straight at five, shaking his head, a desperate string of no, no, no, no,'s slipping out of his mouth. he's crying, crystalline tears marking silver streaks down his cheeks, and five wants to do nothing more than wipe them away.
"klaus?" he calls quietly, stepping forward. his brother kicks and screams, clapping his hands over his ears. five recoils in shock, but steps forward, holding a hand out for his brother to take. "it's alright," he says, voice impossibly soft, "i'm here, klaus."
"n-no! shut up, shut up, you're dead, get back, don't hurt me," he sobs, his voice scratchy from crying and screaming.
oh, shit. he thinks five is dead? no wonder he's freaking out. "klaus," he says again, "can i move closer? i want you to feel my heartbeat. i'm not dead, i promise. i'm here to help."
klaus's breath comes out in short bursts, his chest rising and falling in a staccato rhythm. he shakes his head, and so five sits down, tucking his feet underneath his legs and humming quietly. he's not good at this, at calming people down from panic attacks, and he wishes he had ben with him. klaus is closer to ben than he is with five, so ben could have helped more with this than five can.
he grits his teeth and taps his fingers against his kneecaps, trying desperately to figure out how to calm klaus down. he's flinching at the unseen figures in the tombs, shrieking and shrinking away from five, and his gaze never stays on one thing for too long. five is quickly becoming frustrated - not at klaus, never at klaus, but at the simple fact that he cannot help.
he moves a bit closer, watching klaus's unfocused gaze linger on him for a moment, and he holds a hand out again, patiently waiting for klaus to take it. he'll sit here as long as it takes. after a brief moment of quiet, intercut with soft sobs that slip from klaus's mouth, he begins reciting the iliad, the poem reginald forces them to memorise.
a few moments pass, and klaus's trembling hands enter his line of sight, two fingers pressing against the pulse point on five's wrist. once he feels the steady thump-thump of five's pulse, he cries quietly, wiping tears off of his cheeks and gesturing for five to come closer. five pauses in his recital, shuffling forward on his knees, and klaus's head hits his chest.
he's firmly pressing his ear against the right side of five's chest, listening to the rhythmic beat of his heart and sobbing into his vest. five cups a hand over his head and shuffles until his back hits the cold stone of the mausoleum walls. he cradles klaus to his chest, rocking his brother back and forth and continuing with the iliad. it seems to have worked before - at least, five hopes.
he pauses for a breath, noticing klaus's trembling has gone down a significant amount. the worried expression on his face morphs into one of gentle pride, and he waits until klaus squeezes his eyes shut before he speaks again. "when did this start, klaus?" he asks, and his brother coughs, burying his face in five's chest; he's trembling again, five realises, and his grip on klaus tightens ever so slightly.
"when i was e-eight. it was just for a few hours at first, but now he leaves me overnight with the ghosts and they hate me and they want to hurt me and don't let them hurt me, five, please," he says, voice frantic and high, and five nods.
"i promise i won't let them hurt you. never ever, klaus." he tells him, and klaus starts crying again, though this time out of relief. five rocks him back and forth as he sobs, carding a hand through his hair gently and soothingly.
footsteps on the asphalt outside of the mausoleum make klaus jump and push five away, wiping his face. "you- you have to get out of here, dad can't find you in here with me, he'll hurt you. you can, you can come back after he leaves."
five scowls. "as soon as he leaves." he reluctantly obliges, pressing a kiss to klaus's forehead and blinking out of the mausoleum. his ears pop and he worries his bottom lip between his teeth, listening as reginald barks out, "three more hours," despite klaus's pleas, he doesn't let him out. burning-hot anger rises in five's throat, but he swallows it down, clenching his fists.
the doors slam shut, and five blinks into the tomb again. klaus is back in his arms instantly, and five settles back into position, protectively pressing klaus to his chest. "as long as i'm here, klaus," he murmurs, voice steely and his eyes hardened, "you'll never be alone here again."
klaus looks up, eyes pleading and full of emotion. "you promise?" he asks, hopeful, and five smiles, holding up his pinky finger and letting klaus link their pinkies together.
and then five breaks his promise a year later, because he's arrogant and prideful and he hates taking no for an answer. the day after he runs away, reginald leaves klaus in the mausoleum for a week.