Klaus has been having a rough year, a rough thirty years if he’s being honest. There are ghosts all around him except for the one that he wants to see the absolute most.
He’s on the ground, sobbing and clutching Dave’s dog tags when Ben shows up for the first time in ten months. He’s sitting cross-legged on the ground next to his brother, “Klaus…What’s wrong?”
Klaus sits up. “Nothing’s wrong Ben, I’m really excellently super great.” He sees Ben roll his eyes.
“You’re obviously not. Where’d you go? I couldn’t find you.”
“I-“ Klaus starts, but instead of finishing he clumsily gets to his feet and starts to stumble his way to the Academy. Ben doesn’t say anything else to him, but when he glances back Ben’s right behind him.
Back at the Academy the first thing he does is riffle through his jacket looking for something to take the edge off. He swallows four pills dry and then stumbles to the bathroom.
He needs to get clean, and that’s thought makes him choke out a hysterical laugh, but Dave’s blood is all over him, and it makes him stumble over his own feet and want to break down again.
He feels like shit, like the worse come down he’s ever had, even worse than when he was expected to be a solider while going through withdrawal when he first got to Vietnam.
Five comes to talk to him, and Klaus doesn’t know what got into him, it all starts to make sense when it turns out Five’s just looking for the briefcase. The briefcase that Klaus loves and hates all at the same time.
Ben is in the back seat of Diego’s car telling Klaus that Diego seems like he actually worried about him. “If you won’t tell me what happened, talk to Diego.” A mean little voice in Klaus’s head wonders if he’ll ever get fucked up enough to shake Ben. It’s only happened once and that was after he drank six 4 Lokos in a row.
He sees a VFW and he thinks, ‘Alright let’s be the cliche Vietnam vet.’ Diego stops the car and he gets out, even though Ben is telling him to stay and tell them what’s wrong.
Despite being a veteran, Gordon doesn’t actually like VFW halls very much. He’s there that day to meet with Tim, a Marine who lost both legs in Iraq, and is having a hard time adjusting. Tim likes to meet at the VFW because Tim likes to drink, which Gordon doesn’t love, but Tim only shows up about a quarter of the time anyway.
He hears the door but instead of Tim it’s some scrawny guy in leather pants with lacing up the sides of all things. Gordon watches him shrug off his ridiculous looking fur trimmed coat and lay it across the bar. He gets himself a shot and walks over to the 173rd’s photo on the wall.
Gordon glances around and everyone is starting at him now. He doesn’t pay them any attention at all, while he stares at the photo of the 173rd, his shoulders shaking. Maybe he’s a son or a grandson?
Some other guy comes in soon after him and Gordon cannot believe that he picked the day where all of the crazies invade the VFW. The two are talking by wall, but god damn Stu can never leave anyone be.
Leather Pants turns and Gordon thinks that he absolutely must be seeing things. Then he hears his voice, yelling at Stu calling him an asshole and a village idiot. There’s only one scrawny bastard Gordon knows who is that fucking dumb, even though he went missing in action over 50 years ago.
“Hargreeves!” Gordon shouts.
Leather Pants turns to him and his brows knitted in confusion.
Stu’s red in the face, “You know him?”
“He’s one of my mentees. Sam’s grandson. He been going though some stuff since Iraq and I asked him to meet me here.”
That’s how Gordon ends up sitting at a table with Klaus Hargreeves, who was officially declared AWOL by the military and un-officially declared MIA by the 173rd back in 1968, and his brother. It’s weird but Hargreeves was always a weirdo, he knew it the very first time he met him; and that was before he made a dead girl’s ghost materialize out of thin air in front of her mother while they were in Hue.
Then there’s the tattoo, the one that almost everyone in the 173rd got some version of, and when he took a hold of Klaus’s dog tags and reads David Yasgur he knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that this was somehow his friend from the war. Somehow in 2019 and somehow looking the exact same he did in 1968.
“Sam never had kids,” Klaus whispers to him.
“Oh, I’m so sorry Hargreeves, did you want me to let Stu kick your scrawny ass? Because I can call him back over here.”
Klaus’s brother, Other Hargreeves Gordon thinks to himself, is sitting there wide eyed looking between the both of them. “Can one of you please explain to me what’s going on?”
“We-“ Klaus starts and then he starts to cry.
Gordon gets the Hargreeves brothers out of the VFW and into his car. Klaus is in the backseat wiping his eyes, smearing his eye makeup all around his face, and looking so damn young. Like the kid who asked if Gordon knew where they were the night they met in Vietnam all those years ago.
“Klaus,” Gordon asks, looking in his rearview mirror, “Is this more of your freaky spooky powers shit?” Klaus nods, rubbing his eyes some more.
“Sorry, but, what’s going on here exactly?” The brother, Diego Gordon remembers him introducing himself as, asks. He’s riding shot gun but he’s half twisted in his seat so he can look back at his brother.
“Hazel and Cha-Cha kidnapped me,” Klaus tells his brother. “Hazel and Cha-Cha are, like, time traveling assassins trying to kill our other brother,” Klaus tells Gordon.
“Did you time travel?” Diego asks and his brother nods, “Where?”
“A Shau Valley, 1968.” Gordon says, and suddenly everything about Hargreeves makes more sense. “Is that why you didn’t know where we were? And why you said you were ‘kind-of drafted’?” Klaus nods again. “Why didn’t you tell anybody?! We knew about your ghost powers, and then you started to float. How is this any worse?”
“What does he mean you started to float?!”
“I told Dave,” Klaus tells Gordon.
“Hargreeves,” Gordon sighs.
“Klaus,” Ben is suddenly sitting next to him in the backseat of Gordon’s car, “How long were you in Vietnam?”
“Ten months,” Klaus tells him. Diego and Gordon share a look.
“Are you talking to one of your ghosties now?” Gordon asks him and thinks that it’s so strange. Not that there is a man talking to someone he can’t see, a ghost of all things, but that it’s just like being back in Vietnam and listening to Hargreeves argue with what seems like nothing that he can’t speak Vietnamese.
Klaus sighs, “My brother Ben.”
Diego is having a hard time wrapping his head around everything he’s learning. Klaus was in the 60’s for almost a year. Klaus sees and talks to Ben. Klaus knows this seventy year old guy who saved him from an ass kicking because they served together fifty years ago. Klaus can float.
“How can you conjure Ben when you’re messed up?” Diego asks him and sighs when Klaus shrugs.
“I can’t get rid of Ben. I’ve only got rid of him one ti-“
“Hargreeves, you’re using again? After you spent three weeks shivering in the jungle and puking everywhere?” Gordon asks sternly, Klaus shrugs again and leans his head back.
“I have some post traumatic stress that I am self medicating.”
“Come here,” Gordon tells him and when Klaus leans between the two front seats he smacks him on the back of the head, just for old times sake.
Their weird catch-up catch-Diego-up-to-speed ends when Diego sees Hazel in Griddy’s parking lot of all places. Diego starts to open the car door saying something about following him but Gordon puts a hand on his arm. “I’ll take you.”
That’s how he ends up trailing a time traveling assassin with his buddy from 1968 and his brother. They follow Hazel back to a motel and Diego tells them his plan.
“This isn’t going to make you feel any better!” Klaus shouts after his brother. He leans between the two front seats, “Hazel and Cha-Cha killed Diego’s lady cop girlfriend.”
This is the first time that Gordon been able to get a good look at Klaus, “Hargreeves, you look like shit.”
“When you went missing, did you just come back here?” Gordon asks, Klaus nods and then it hits Gordon. In Klaus’s weirdo timeline Dave just died. Gordon’s had fifty years to come to terms with everybody he lost, but it’s fresh for Klaus. “That at least explains why the military couldn’t find any record of you.”
Klaus sighs, leans back and opens his door, “I’m going to see what Diego’s doing.” Gordon curses and follows his dumb ass friend.
They catch up with Diego and Gordon asks, “So, what’s the plan Other Hargreeves?”
“I told you two to wait in the car,” Diego tells them. He can’t handle Hazel and Cha-Cha and worry about a seventy year old and his brother at the same time.
“Yeah, but you also told me that licking a nine-volt battery would give me pubes.”
“We were eight.”
Gordon sighs, wondering not for the first time how Klaus was able to make it this far.
“I need you guys to listen to me, okay?” Diego tells them grabbing a hold of Klaus’s arm and walking him back down the steps, “For once in your life I need you to listen to me,” he tells his brother.
It obvious to both Klaus and Gordon that they aren’t going to listen to Diego. They walk far enough that they’re out of his line of sight and then they go back the way they came. It’s a good thing to when they pull Diego out of the way of Hazel and Cha-Cha’s bullets.
Gordon already didn’t like Hazel and Cha-Cha already but he likes them even less when they head back to his car and they have slashed three of his tires. “Son of a bitch,” Gordon says, “Insurance won’t cover this.” Nobody responds to him, Hargreeves is too busy being a drama queen flailing around and kicking one of his flat tires.
Gordon doesn’t know how he started his day with him and his wife making egg sandwiches and chatting about their oldest granddaughter’s engagement, and ending it going after time traveling assassins while driving an ice cream truck.
Gordon tells Klaus and Diego to brace themselves and then he crashes the ice cream truck into Hazel and Cha-Cha’s car. Which is how he finds himself squished between Klaus and Diego in the back seat of another car.
Diego is cradling one of his arms to his chest and Klaus is reaching into his coat pocket for something. When he pulls out a pill Gordon slaps it out of his hand.
“I thought you said no more of that shit? Remember, when you almost got your ass shot off puking in Hue?”
“That was then,” Klaus tells him reaching into his pocket again. Gordon slaps him in the head this time. “Stop hitting me!”
“You told Dave you once you got it all out of your system you were done.”
Klaus opens and shuts his mouth a few times. “We both know I’m not good enough for all that.”
“Dave thought you were,” Gordon says honestly. Dave thought that the sun shone out of Klaus’s skinny little ass. Klaus swallows hard, a far away look in his eye. Then his hand drifts back down to his coat pocket, “How much shit do you have in there?!” He grabs Klaus’s hand, “Remember Saigon? I’m pretty sure I could still kick your ass.”
Klaus stares straight ahead for a few minutes before he nods, but Gordon still keeps a hold of his wrist.
“I’m sorry,” another one of Klaus’s seemingly infinite number of brothers, asks from the front seat, “Who is this?”
Gordon ends up at Klaus’s giant house. Diego is with Klaus, and he uses their phone to call his wife. He tells her that one of his mentees was having a hard time and needed someone to stay with them through the night.
Once he’s done he finds Klaus sitting on a couch with his head in his hands, Diego is keeping an eye on him and taking care of his arm. The big one, Luther, is standing against a wall watching everyone.
“You know,” Gordon says taking a seat next to Klaus on the couch, “Curtis always said that the Umbrella Academy Klaus was you. Of course, none of us believed him.” Klaus turns his head to look at him, “The Seance never floated around.”
Klaus laughs, “Curtis was always crazy.” Gordon gently taps Klaus on the top of his head a few times.
“You know, you’d be able to conjure Dave if you were sober,” Ben tells him, having put some of the pieces together.
“Shut up!” Klaus yells at him.
Ben crosses his arms, “You know I’m right.”
“Fine,” Klaus says to thin air. Gordon knows he’s talking to someone, probably his brother Ben, but his two living brothers both look confused and worried.
“Klaus?” Diego asks.
“Can you do me a favor?” Klaus asks Gordon, ignoring his brothers.
That’s how Gordon ends up tying Klaus to a chair. “I wish I could say this is the weirdest shit I’ve done for you.”
Klaus laughs, “Yeah.”
“If you’re just back from ’68, why do you need me to tie you up? Aren’t you still-”
“I have so much stuff here, Gordon, I need to not be able to get to any of it.”
“Do you want to hear what happened to everyone?” Gordon asks Klaus who is starting to fidget. Klaus nods and Gordon starts to tell him about the rest of the 173rd.
Later that night Gordon has Diego show him Klaus’s room and he starts to ransack it looking for all of the hidden drugs. Diego stays and helps him and Luther eventually comes and asks what they are doing. “Helping that stupid bastard see his boyfriend again,” Gordon answers him, laughing when Luther’s eyes go wide.
The next morning Gordon goes to check on Klaus who is sleeping with his head tilted back still tied to the chair, he starts awake when Gordon shuts the door.
“Luther wants all of you downstairs,” Gordon tells him starting to untie the rope. Gordon leads Klaus to sit on one of the couches, he starts fidgeting with Dave’s dog tags and Gordon sees the sister, Allison she introduced herself as, look worried for a split second.
Gordon was only half paying attention to what Luther is saying, but then Five pops in out of nowhere.
“Wait, wait, wait.” Gordon asks, “The world, I mean the whole world, is ending in three days?”
After everyone has left Klaus comes and sits next to him. “You should probably get back to your family.”
Gordon nods, “You’re coming with me.”
Klaus shows him to his father’s cars and tells him to take his pick. They’re silent on the drive back, Klaus is chewing his fingernails and he’s starting to sweat.
“Did you marry Daisy?” Klaus asks him remembering Gordon telling them all about the girl he had at home. Who he was going to marry as soon as he got back.
“Sure did,” Gordon smiles thinking about his wife.
When they get to Gordon’s house Daisy is in the kitchen talking on the landline. She smiles when she sees her husband and she keeps smiling even when she catches sight of Klaus. “Baby, I’m going to have to call you back, your father just walked through the door.”
Gordon introduces them and while his wife fusses over Klaus, asking him if he wants any breakfast he heads upstairs for a quick shower.
When he heads back downstairs Daisy has Klaus sitting at the kitchen table, a cup of tea in front of him. They’re gossiping about Stephanie’s fiancé. Daisy is acting like it’s perfectly normal that Klaus is facedown on the table while they chat about destination weddings.
Gordon gives his wife a quick kiss and she smiles at him. “Well boys, I’m off. I’ve got some big clients coming in today, and I have to get ready.” She grabs her purse, “Klaus, honey, try to eat some of that toast. It will make you feel better.”
“Big clients?” Klaus asks him, still facedown.
“She volunteers at the library. It’s toddler story time today, and the elementary school is coming after lunch.”
Klaus peers up at Gordon with a smile on his face.
An hour or two later Gordon has moved Klaus to the living room where he is still facedown but it’s on the coffee table now. Gordon is watching Live! With Kelly and Ryan.
Klaus has picks his head up and then flops onto the floor to watch Kelly and Ryan give an interview. “That’s Allison’s piece of shit ex-husband,” he tells Gordon turning part way to see him. He looks next to Gordon and waves, “Look, Ben, it’s our ex-brother in law!”
“Klaus! Get home now.”
“What?” Klaus asks, and it’s a testament to how used to his weirdo powers they got while they were in Vietnam because Gordon still doesn’t look surprised by Klaus talking to thin air.
“Diego, Allison, and Five are going after Vanya’s boyfriend. But Luther’s having a breakdown. You need to go help him.”
“Wait. Since when does Vanya have a boyfriend?”
“Klaus,” Ben claps his hands together, “There is no time! Get home. Now.”
Klaus turns to Gordon, “Can you give me a ride?”
Klaus hasn’t had enough time to really miss the 173rd, but when Gordon stands up ready to help him out no questions asked something burns through his chest. And all of a sudden Klaus feels bad, he couldn’t even stick out the rest of their deployment with them after Dave…After Dave.
“Trust me, you don’t want to get mixed up with Umbrella Academy bullshit,” Klaus tells him after Gordon gets out of the car after giving him a ride.
“Klaus,” Gordon tells him, “The 173rd sticks together.”
“But I didn’t stick with you! I left! I didn’t tell anyone!” He runs his hands through his hair, “And, look, the world is going to end in three days. My siblings think that we can stop it, but I’m not so sure. Apparently the first time around we all ended up dead. You should stay here with Daisy and get your kids here!”
“Klaus, if I help you then I won’t have to worry about only having three days left with my family.” Gordon stands up and starts pulling Klaus to his car, “Besides, I know how you are, I’ve got your back.”
When they get back to the Academy Luther is laying on the living room floor, back leaning against the bar, a bottle in each hand.
“Luther?” Klaus calls, “Luther, are you drinking? And you busted into Dad’s liquor cabinet. He’s going to be so pissed!”
Gordon does’t even bat in eye when Hargreeves’s smart mouth gets him in trouble. He does put a hand on Luther’s arm and starts trying to talk him down when Luther starts to choke his brother.
Gordon ends up with a giant of a man trying to curl into his side crying against his neck. Gordon listens to his whole story and finally just lets him cry.
Klaus is sitting on Luther’s other side, “If, if there’s anything I can do or-“
Luther cuts him off, sitting up and looking at his brother, “I wanna be like you. I wanna be Number Four.”
“No, you don’t.” Klaus and Gordon say at the same time. Then Klaus tries to talk his brother out of doing something stupid. It doesn’t work and they hear Luther slam the front door.
“Well that went well,” Ben tells Klaus, leaning against a bookshelf. Klaus just hisses at him.
They drive around the city looking for Luther, but they’re not having any luck. “He’s the size of a house, he won’t be hard to find,” Klaus says in a mocking voice from the back seat. He sees Ben turn to face him from the front passengers seat, arms crossed over his chest.
“Who are you talking to?” Gordon asks keeping an eye on the road and an eye out for Luther.
“Well leave Ben the hell alone and keep your eyes peeled, Hargreeves.”
It starts to get dark. Gordon is going to keep driving around looking and Klaus and Ben are going to go looking on foot.
Gordon is back at Klaus’s crazy house napping on one of the couches when he hears voices. Pogo had offered him use of one of the spare bedrooms, but he said that after Klaus got back he was heading home.
He sees Luther and some girl kissing and stumbling their way upstairs. A few minutes later Klaus comes in the front door. He shakes his head and lays down on the couch opposite Gordon, throwing him a exasperated look.
“Now you know what it’s like to deal with a Hargreeves, Hargreeves.”
Gordon hasn’t heard from Klaus all day, even though the little bastard said he would call him to let him know what was going on. Daisy says that she and he sister are going to catch a movie and invites him to go with them, but he tells her that he’s worried about one of his mentees and wants to check on them.
When he gets to the giant Hargreeves house, he knocks and Pogo lets him him. “Mister Gordon, how nice to see you again.” He sees Five sitting at the bar, with a mannequin, drinking a margarita. Diego is passed out on the floor.
Gordon cannot believe that these people are real and that this is how they live their lives.
He goes to find Klaus, and to knock his head in for not calling him, when Klaus finds him. Klaus fills him in on everything that happened with Allison and Harold Jenkins and the apocalypse being off. They go and sit in the living room and Klaus asks him why he cleared his room out.
Klaus is still fidgeting and his nails are all bitten down to bloody stubs. And his sister is laying unconscious after being attacked by his other sister’s boyfriend who was living under an alias and is now dead. Which stopped the apocalypse.
Gordon has only been involved with them for about a day and already he’s understanding why Klaus would want to do drugs.
Gordon starts to tease Klaus about being a junkie and every other thing under the sun. Klaus gives it right back to him. And Gordon thinks back to Vietnam again, where the 173rd would do this exact thing with each other after hard days and close calls.
Klaus asks more about his kids but eventually they lapse into a comfortable silence. Klaus springs up when he hears the front door open. A woman walks in and when she sees Klaus her face crumples. “Klaus,” she chokes out.
“Hey, Vanya, hey, are you okay?” This makes the woman start to cry, she whispers Allison’s name, “Mom and Pogo fixed her right up she’s going to be alright.”
“Vanya!” Diego says running up to his two siblings, “Are you alright?”
“I didn’t mean to!” She cries. Gordon leaves Diego and Klaus in the living room with their sister. He figures she’ll be more comfortable talking without him being there. He passes Luther on the stairs and asks him about Allison.
Luther takes him to Allison, who has gotten cleaned up, and she seems happy to see him. Gordon likes her well enough, she seems to be the most adjusted of the Hargreeves siblings. She asks about Klaus and Vietnam and Gordon tells her some embarrassing stories about her brother.
Diego knocks on the door frame a while later, “Family meeting.” Allison grabs his hand and Gordon helps her up and escorts her after Diego.
There is chaos in the living room when they get there. Vanya is standing behind one of the couches, Klaus has his arms around her holding her close while he and Luther yell back and forth at each other. Diego goes to grab a hold of Luther’s arm, who shrugs him off violently. Klaus still has a hold of Vanya and they both move together until they’re standing behind the bar.
When Vanya sees Allison she lets out a noise like a wounded animal, fresh tears spilling down her face. Allison goes to Vanya’s side and pulls her into a hug. Klaus still isn’t letting go of Vanya and Vanya has one hand gripping Klaus’s tightly.
Klaus’s eyes dart between Luther and Vanya, Diego stands between Luther and the rest of his siblings.
Gordon stands just outside of the room, taking everything in.
That’s when Five walks through the front door.
Gordon watches Five watch his siblings for a few minutes, until Five shakes his head walking to the room screaming, “What the hell is going on here?!”
There is more arguing, now it’s between Luther, Diego, and Five. Allison writes on her pad and holds it up to her brothers who ignore her. Klaus is standing up hands in his hair talking to nothing, well he’s probably talking to Ben Gordon guesses.
Vanya is sitting by herself on a couch with her arms wrapped around her torso, trying to give herself comfort. Gordon sits next to her and introduces himself. “I’m a friend of your brother’s,” he tells her which makes Vanya bite her lip looking between the three arguing, “No, not them. That one,” he says point to Klaus who is shifting his weight from foot to foot.
This startles her, “How-“ but then she cuts herself off.
“It’s a long story,” he says, but then he tells her.
After he’s told the short of it the boys have moved their argument to the foyer, but then Vanya starts to tell her own story. Klaus and Allison are listening in, but either Vanya hasn’t noticed or doesn’t mind. When she’s done Allison comes and sits next to her, taking her hand and smiling at her. She shows Vanya her pad where she’s written ‘I’M NOT MAD AT YOU. I LOVE YOU, VANYA.’
Vanya bites her lip and pulls her sister into a hug. When they part Allison turns the page and starts writing. ‘WE’LL HELP YOU W/ YOUR POWERS’ she shows her sister.
Vanya, Allison, Klaus, and Gordon move down to the kitchen. Klaus makes them all coffee and two hours later the other three join them.
Luther looks cross, especially when he sees Allison and Vanya sitting next to each other at the kitchen table taking turns writing on Allison’s note pad.
Five claps his hands making everyone jump. Gordon stands up straight from where he was leaning on the counter talking to Klaus who is sitting on top of it. Klaus hops down and goes to stand in back of his sisters, Gordon stays where he is but keeps an eye out for if he’ll have to step in.
Five grabs Vanya’s cup of coffee and drains it, he sets it roughly down onto the table and lays down the law. “Okay, here’s what’s going to happen. Luther’s not all the way happy about it, but we’re going to figure out how to help Vanya.”
Allison nods and writes something down, she slides the pad to Five who nods, “Yeah, we’re going to help each other.” Allison smiles and pulls Klaus and Vanya into a hug.
When Gordon is certain that the Hargreeves siblings are for the most part done with the drama of the day, he makes his goodbyes. Klaus says that he’ll walk him out. “And, since I’ve found you don’t think that I’m not going to be on your ass to get yourself together,” Gordon tells Klaus.
“I know, I know,” Klaus says laughing, “I missed you too Gordie!”
Gordon is about to say something else when Klaus stops. His eyes are wide and he covers his mouth with his hands. “Dave?” He asks gently, then a smile breaks out across his face, “Dave!” And then Klaus is running to nothing.
Gordon shakes his head, a smile on his face. “Gordon!” Klaus calls over to him, still smiling, gesturing at the empty space beside him, “Gordon! Dave says ‘hello’!”
“Hi, Dave,” he waves to the empty air Klaus is gesturing at. Klaus is talking a mile a minute, paying him no attention.
Luther walks up to Gordon and whispers, “Whose Dave?”
Gordon laughs and claps Luther on the shoulder, “Part of the reason I got two stress ulcers in Vietnam.” Luther looks even more confused, “’ll tell you later. Don’t worry, I’ll be back.”
And Gordon knows that it’s the truth.