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Brotherly Bonding

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Klaus had always liked to imagine that he was meant for more delicate roads. Not that he'd ever admit it, not that he wouldn't feel foolish saying those words as he hooted and hollered with scab covered knees. He could already imagine the reaction it would garner. Laughter? Confusion? Or would it be the usual dismissive silence, thrown like a bone towards a dog who hasn't been house trained yet?
He could readily admit that he was no Allison (Was there a magazine that she wasn't on the cover of by now?) and he certainly was no Luther (A total lap dog, but everyone knew who he was). Klaus was a glorified Ouija board with all of the drawbacks and no want of the ‘benefits’. Who wouldn't find a bone thin 15 year old with a half baked stubble and the biggest of mouths attractive?
Yet here he was in the middle of the night with Diego in his room, the two of them hunched over their bag of stolen treasures. More accurately, makeup Klaus had nicked from Allison’s vanity. It was a skill that he was getting worryingly proficient at. It wasn't much in the grand scheme of what she had. Some eyeliners, an eye shadow quad, a few tubes of lip gloss, and a bottle of almost empty Maybelline mascara. It was a pretty small haul, all to be returned while she was sleeping of course, but Klaus could feel his heartbeat against bruised ribs nonetheless.
“I could be sleeping right now,” Diego frowned, dumping the contents out onto the floor. “I could be doing anything but risking my ass for this.”
“But you love your dear brother too much.” Klaus grinned, ignoring the warning glare sent his way. He busied himself with pulling out a paint can to sit on (Absolutely stunning paired with a brown paper bag and absolute privacy) and shrugging out of his pajama top. It would be a shame if they got busted for something as easy as getting powder on his shirt. And just maybe he was proud of the three chest hairs he had accumulated in the past months. It's not like he was bragging, but he got them before Diego and was totally bragging.
“I still don't know why you couldn't have done this yourself. “
“You have better eyesight and honestly I'm not too jazzed by the idea of poking my own eye out with this.” He picked up the pencil liner, feigning a jab in Diego's direction. The other brother didn't seem to buy it but if this actually bothered him he didn't comment. No, instead he just took the pencil from Klaus’ hand and uncapped it in his own.
“Never done this before. Probably won't come out great,” Diego slid his thumb over Klaus’ eyelids to ease them shut, pausing before beginning the drag of pigment. It was almost uncomfortably dry as it tugged at his skin. “Hope you're at peace with looking like a clown.”
“I mean, if you can look in the mirror every morning.” That earned him a poke against the corner of his eye, any actual harmful force absent from the contact. It was silent work after that, the only noises being the uncapping of tubes or an occasional focused grunt from Diego. It was almost warm.
A sticky sort of wand pressed into a glide over Klaus’ lips, tacky and cold. He opened his mouth to comment, mouth stretched into a grin before-
“If you make the joke I think you're going to make, I'm putting a hole through your hand.”
So his mouth shut, hands gripping the edges of the bucket. Klaus didn't actually mind it that much, the quiet. If anything he appreciated the absence of any ghostly calls, dulled by fumes and the pain medications he'd begun to slowly slip from the kitchen cabinets. Slow yet good work. It'd be worth it, at least. He thought it would be.
“Okay, you can look.” Diego sighed with a final decisive click. Klaus opened his eyes, lids fluttering at the sudden weight atop his lashes. He didn't feel too different in all honesty, but that may have been due to him just kind of watching Diego for a second.
“My eyes feel weighted, shit.” He laughed, stumbling up to head towards his mirror. Full body, a blanket fastened around the front. Klaus reached forwards to tug it off. Well, he reached forwards. Just let his fingers brush over the cloth, chipped nail polish catching on the worn fabric. As if he sensed the sudden apprehension, Diego spoke up.
“I did better than I thought I would, man. You, you don't look bad.”
That was news to him, but it was enough to get him to yank down the blanket, letting it crumble to the ground. And maybe it took him a second to look towards his reflection, maybe Klaus feared seeing more than the faces of him and his brother. Perhaps he was afraid of realizing that he wasn't meant for these kind of beautiful performances, too dirty and twisted to have even considered this turning out in any way that wasn't laughably dumb. So he sucked in a breath, counted back from thirteen, and looked up.
That was the first word that came to Klaus’ mind as he stood there, looking at himself in the dim light of the room. His face was still knobby and thin in the way that teen boy's faces tended to be, eyes smudged with black and blue. Spidery black lashes that he could, much to his strange delight, feel with each settling blink. Shiny pink lips stretched into a tentative smile. It definitely wasn't the best makeup job out there. It was barely even good. But Klaus couldn't help letting out a slow grin, spinning in front of the mirror.
“I uh, you like it, right? This is all you needed me for,” Diego broke the silence, hands shoved tight into his pockets. “It suits you, I guess. If you're into this shit.”
That stopped Klaus from his motions, his thin digits pressed up against his own cheek. It wasn't something he had been expecting to hear, at least, not that blatantly. How was Klaus supposed to respond to that? What could he say?
Floorboards singing lowly, he just shuffled forwards and wrapped his arms around Diego. There were only a mere five seconds of struggling (New record!) before he gave in, sigh warm on Klaus’ shoulder as he relaxed into the embrace. It was more than a little awkward, hands hovering and feet shuffling, the two of them clearly out of practice. But Klaus would be the world's biggest liar if he said that he didn't love it.
“Thanks, Diego.”
“ ‘s nothing, bro. Don't uh, don't worry about it.”
In the morning Klaus would wash his face and creep into Allison's room to return her things. He'd dress his mirror and drip paint into a paper bag, breathing it in and collecting little white pills for supper. He would keep his tongue too loose, his actions too wild, until no one but Mother would bother with looking to him. He would wear his little black mask and his little black tie and fight against the whispers (screams) of ‘Klaus Klaus Klaus’. He would be Number Four.
But for that night he was beautiful, and really that’s all that mattered.