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Grim Adventures of Broken Toys

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The first thing Ben does upon realizing he’s fully corporeal is kiss Klaus square on the mouth.  It’s probably not a very good kiss - he’d died a sixteen-year-old sheltered shut-in. Not a whole lot of kissing going on. But he goes for it without really thinking about it.  Just---grabs him up and lays one on him, catching the taste of Klaus tongue against his own when he gasps.

 

This is, of course, right after punching him the very same mouth, so Ben can sort of understand Klaus’ confusion.  After all, Ben is confused and he's the one who did it. He blinks down at Ben, big grey eyes stunned wide open. “Uh.” Bens hands are curled into his drab, grey sleeveless jacket. “Dude.”

“Fuck,” Ben thinks, a little madly, before he blinks out altogether from the shock of it.  

 

He doesn’t really go anywhere when he’s not with Klaus. He doesn’t exist anywhere else. He knows why and he’s half certain Klaus must know why too.  After all - the other ghosts don’t follow him. They can be conjured, yes, but Klaus rarely does it so willfully. Rather, they appear as they are, where they haunt.

 

Klaus never conjured Ben.  Rather, Ben’s haunting Klaus.

 

Unintentionally, of course. That...doesn’t really change anything.

 

When he flickers back, there’s no sense of time between then and now, but he can tell it’s passed without him.  Klaus is huddled with the rest, looking more squirrelly than normal as he insists why locking Vanya up is a terrible idea. The nature of her powers, new and unknown must be terrifying after all.  He catches Ben’s eye, and his gaze is bright and wild.

 

***

 

It isn’t until after everything - until Klaus really did conjure ben, and animate him, pulling at the Horror inside of him like a puppet on a string.  For all that Ben had zero control over them - he’d never felt they were more tamed than when Klaus took over. The dust hasn’t even settled on the theater around them when Five is catapulting them through time and when the dust settles on that ----

 

Well. Ben’s not corporeal anymore, so what does it even matter?

 

So they don’t talk about it.

 

Until they do.

 

Ben’s perched on the edge of the bathtub while Klaus shapes a goatee that Ben’s only a little bit jealous of. He had no facial hair,  barely had hair on his balls when he kicked rocks. There’s a joint hanging out of Klaus’ mouth - hard won, in terms of sobriety. He’d argued that it was fucking legal, and he could hardly fucking OD on it.  It wasn’t like it numbed him completely and the high wore off faster than aught else. Shockingly, it had been Diego to rally for him, saying if weed was what kept him off the other shit? The hand-over was worth it.  Besides, he’d reasoned, the worst Klaus did when smoking weed was eating literally everything in the fridge, and a little weight couldn't’ hurt him.

 

So there’s a joint hanging from his lax mouth. He sucks in sharp little bursts, letting curling, hazy blue twists of smoke escape the opposite corner of his mouth.  Klaus has a steady hand as he shaves his cheeks clean save for the tidy lines framing his mouth. He hadn’t worn a beard since before Vietnam, had kept the lone mustache like some kind of homage to Dave.  Ben’s not sure how he feels; the goatee had always made Klaus look sharp-edged and almost dangerous. Deadly, like one of Diego’s knives. It isn’t a bad look, not at all, it just made Klaus look...Grown.

 

Sometimes Ben is hungry to be grown.  Some times...he’s hungry for other things.

 

Everything about Klaus is shades of grey, his hair, his skin, his eyes.  Everything, but the pink of his mouth, and Ben...Ben’s only seen that color pink in a late summer sunset.  Klaus is pretty, and maybe Ben only think so because Klaus is pretty much both the beginning and end of his whole world. Maybe it’s Stockholm Syndrome. Who the fuck knows? Ben thinks Klaus is pretty and he can’t remember if he thought that way before he died but he also can’t imagine he didn’t.

 

He watches Klaus hold the joint between two long fingers like a simple cigarette and pat off the remaining shaving cream from his face with a towel in the other.  There’s a mist to his eyes, but nothing so frightening to ketamine or cocaine. This one - this one Ben doesn’t mind. It doesn’t make his head spin as he fights to cling to consciousness, his own or Klaus’s, it didn’t matter anymore.  It’s hazy but sweet, and he thinks he must be high too, maybe Klaus is projecting, as he watches his brother brush his teeth with a rapt sort of attention common in people rubbernecking car crashes.

 

Klaus wipes the toothpaste from the corners of his mouth with the back of the hand holding the joint. He takes a drag, sucks it in real deep until Ben’s lungs burn in sympathy. He has his hip cocked against the sink, the sharp cut of his hip bones a distraction from his pink mouth, where they peek out over the low rise of his trashed black jeans. He’s not wearing a shirt. Ben hides his gaze behind the shadow of his hood.  

 

“So,” Klaus says, blowing smoke directly into Ben’s face. It makes his eyes burn, and his lungs itch and that alone should be a warning but Ben’s head is still swimming. “You kissed me.”

 

“I---”

 

Klaus drops to his knees in front of Ben and Ben holds his breath very stupidly.  He---he is definitely high. He can’t seem to look at any one thing, and his hands feel clammy and very, very real. “You punched me in the mouth,” Klaus says again, and they’re eye to eye like this, it’s all very unsettling. “And then you kissed me. With tongue.”

 

Which. What! “ You were the one that used tongue.”  As soon as he says it, he realizes what’s happened.  It’s a very Klaus bait-and-switch tactic of getting someone to admit. Ben’s seen Klaus mind-fuck a number of people with similar tricks and feels foolish for falling for it. “Fuck.”

 

“Okay, yeah. That part was me.”  He brings the joint to his lip but last minute turns his hand and holds it out to Ben.

 

Ben...Ben doesn’t move. He holds himself very still. “You know I can’t.”

 

Instead of arguing, Klaus just presses the joint to Ben’s mouth and God---he can feel where it’s wet, still damp with Klaus’s spit and he sucks in a surprised little smoke-filled breath. He doesn’t cough or sputter, but he does let it sit in his lungs for a long moment before expelling it all in a rush. “ Fuck .”

 

“I’m sorry I didn’t figure it out sooner.” The intensity in Klaus’ eyes is almost too much. They’re too bright, where they sear into him. “I’m a shit.”

 

“How are you----” Because Klaus is doing it. It’s all Klaus. It was Klaus the first time and it’s Klaus now.

 

“Asking me how I do this is like asking where the Monsters go when they’re inside you.” Klaus doesn’t look away, just stays right where he is between Ben’s thighs, where he’s kneeling on the floor in their dirty, downstairs bathroom. “It’s better if we don’t actually know.”

 

“You can do it on purpose now though?” He tries...He tries not to sound hopeful. It’s probably not easy and Ben  - well. He doesn’t want to get used to it.

 

“Yeah. Yeah - I think I can.” He takes another hit off the joint, even as his other hand moves to cup Ben’s jaw and when they kiss, Ben breaths in - shotgunning, his mind supplies. That’s what this is called.

 

For a brief moment, in Klaus’s hand - Ben is a real boy.

 

This time when Klaus slips his tongue into Ben’s mouth, he’s a little more ready for it. He still trembles where Klaus holds him in a single hand. They’re---he’s fucking kissing his brother. He’s kissing his brother in their childhood bathroom after having been dead several years. He’s still dead. But also here. He can taste the mint of the toothpaste, and feel Klaus’ fucking spit where it glides over his bottom lip and it’s hot - like, physically fucking warm- and it’s been so long since Ben’s felt anything but nothing at all.

 

He’s---

 

He’s fucking hard .  His dick his hard. He’s real enough to achieve the blood flow for that to happen. And yeah - he’s been turned on as a ghost before, but the sensation is mostly horribly uncomfortable. This is---This is---

 

Klaus kisses him a little deeper, joint still caught in his fingers. He turns Ben’s head - he manhandles him to the correct angle - and licks right back into his mouth.  Ben knows that Klaus has experience. Ben has witnessed a lot of that experience, unfortunately.  Klaus is a very, very good kisser.

 

“You were real and your first instinct was to kiss me,” he says when he finally stops kissing Ben.  There’s nothing accusatory in his voice, although he sounds very, very smug. “Got a little torch burning for me baby brother?”

 

“We’re the same age, asshole.”

 

“Sure we are.” Klaus kisses him again. Ben is caught between his hands like a fluttering fucking bird. “I can do this all night long.” God - and he can. Ben knows he can. 

 

“You’re my whole fucking world.” It comes out grumpy, but painfully honest all the same. “You’ve been my world since we were kids. And I punched you first.”

 

A hand cupping his cheek sinks inside of is hood, fingers tangling into Ben’s hair. “You’re really real,” he says like he isn’t making it happen. “Fucking wild man. Let’s make out more. That was going rather well, I think.”

 

“Wait--Really? Just like that.” Because it should be more complicated. They’re brothers. Also, Ben is dead. “This is kind of fucked up.”

 

“Yeah, but fucked up is what we do.” He pulls Ben’s hair and it hurts in a way that makes his blood sing. Nothing hurts anymore. Ben feels his toes curl. “You’re my best friend you know.”

 

“It’s gotta be Stockholm, right? Right?”

 

“Maybe,” Klaus agrees because when nothing terrible is happening, he and Ben actually get on quite comfortably. “But I’m shockingly okay with that. Can I touch your dick? Like, I am physically capable of touching your dick, but is that something you’re into? Because it is something, as I'm sure you're aware of, that I am very into. Not yours specifically, although that too, given the opportunity, I think---”

 

He’s been sixteen for a while now and sixteen is a terrible fucking age. He feels his face heat - and the warmth will never not be wild. No one’s ever touched his dick before. He hasn’t in fucking years. “Um---”

 

It’s that moment that Diego burst in, something or another falling dead silent off his mouth as he stops, standing awkwardly halfway in the bathroom. “Uh---Uh. I--- What.”

 

“Baño ocupado, mi hermano,” Klaus sing-songs, flicking ashes directly onto the floor. “Unless you want to join.”

 

Blushing is a very stupid thing  that Ben does not miss at all about being alive. “Klaus!”

 

“Join what?” Diego asks, sounding very strangled. “Because it...it looks like you’re making out with our dead brother. Hi....Hi Ben.”

 

Ben waves, rather stupidly, and shrinks back into the deep shadows of his hood. “Yes, yes, join or leave.” Something electric blue crackles over Klaus’ skin and Ben feels it in his fucking balls like he’s never felt anything else. Klaus feels...powerful. Dangerous. “In or out, Nipple Ring.”

 

Almost on reflex, Diego cups his left pec, before scrambling out backward from the bathroom, pulling the door shut behind him. “This family is fucking weird!” He calls out.

 

Klaus just laughs, as he stubs his joint out on the sink and lets it rest by the taps. “Where were we?”

 

“This isn’t normal,” Ben argues, but Klaus is slipping off his hood and kissing across his jaw and he hasn’t felt actual touch in so fucking long that...Well.

 

Klaus stops the kissing, though his hands remain. He leans back, still a little hazy-eyed, still a little wild. “I’m game if you’re game, brother mine.  It’s not like you haven’t watched me jerk off.”

 

“I looked away.”

 

Klaus laughs and moves to press his cheek to Ben’s cheek, the new scratch of his beard against Ben’s smooth skin oddly pleasing. “Not every time, you didn’t.”

 

And fuck - that’s true, and he knew that Klaus knew that but he was hoping he’d have the decency to not call him out on it. “I died a virgin .” Being dead was mostly boring. Sometimes his curiosity got the best of him. Whatever. Klaus put a lot of weird shit up his ass, sometimes it was hard not to gawk.

 

“Understandably, I am not your first choice, I know,” Klaus says, with that air of diplomacy that never makes any sense in the situations he chooses to employ it. “But I’m the only one who can and honestly - I kinda liked it when you watched---”

 

“I fucking knew it,” Ben says, vindicated and flushed. “You always---”

 

“I always what,” Klaus asks, with narrowed eyes when Ben can’t finish. “What did I always do, Benny Boy.” His hands have left Ben’s hair in favor of gliding artfully up his spread thighs and no one - no one - has ever touched him there.

 

“You always came harder,” Ben says in a rush, eyes fluttering closed. He can feel-----He can feel .  And it was true. When Ben watched - those times that Klaus definitely knew he was watching - Klaus would come so hard he’d shoot straight across his own fucking face and then he’d just lay there panting, messy and careless. He’d fall asleep like that, dick out, on top of his covers where Ben couldn’t escape the image. Fucker.

 

“Whatya say, Benny?” He leans back just enough to really look Ben in the eye. “You wanna make out or what?”

 

He’s dead, okay? He died a sixteen year old virgin. Klaus is his own life. And yeah, maybe it’s Stockholm, and maybe Klaus is his brother but Ben does actually want to make out with him. He’s been dead a while. “Yeah, okay,” he murmurs, shuffling forward to meet Klaus’s mouth.

 

It’s kind of fucked up but...Well. That’s kind of their family motto at this point.

Chapter Text

“Well why don’t you ask him   for yourself ?”

 

Diego looks up from the high shine polish of his blade, where he’s testing its balance on two fingers. Klaus is staring at the empty space on the couch, with a wry lilt in his smile, haphazard emphasis lilting every other word like a see-saw. He’s sprawled out, taking up more than his fair half, with his arms spread wide over the back. There’s hardly any space for someone else to sit, but they wouldn’t anyway, for fear of sitting on Ben. Ben who most certainly is crammed into the sliver of couch Klaus has allotted him.

 

Diego slides the blade -sufficiently well balanced- back into the case and frees another. “I thought you could make him like---real, now.” Diego has definitely seen him; that scene in the bathroom hadn’t been the first time, nor the last. But for all that he had , he hadn’t often. Klaus himself can be something like a ghost. He always had a limited capacity for interaction. He reminded Diego very much of a cat - he came and went as he pleased, as like to crave attention as he was to resent it. As like to bite the hand that pet him, within a breath of butting his head into it.

 

“He’s always real .” The way Klaus turns to look at him - body perfectly still except for the Linda Blair twist of his head - is unsettling. “Just because you can’t see him, doesn’t make him any less real . Like air, or the homoerotic subtext in classic literature.” He frowns, brow scrunching as he turns back to the not-empty space beside him. “I’m not being mean. I’m being somewhat spicy .”

 

Klaus is...Well. Klaus is always unsettling. It’s the nature of him, really. He’d been an odd child that had grown up into an odd man and it has nothing to do with the physical eccentricities about him - the clothes, or the make up, or the skeletal curl of his long, stretched body. People on the street found Klaus odd, but knowing him - well. Knowing him didn’t solve any mysteries. Diego thought he understood, the best anyone really could.  Klaus had one foot in a world no one else could see. Klaus was unsettling because he wasn’t fully settled in any one reality.

 

“I thought you could---make him visible now.” Diego doesn’t actually think Ben isn’t real, just because he can’t see him. It’s still hard to wrap his mind around, given that Ben was dead for years - but...Ben’s there. Not always, but then, none of them are. Diego just has to keep that in mind. “Since...You know.”

 

Since the Almost-Apocalypse, when Klaus had gotten a power-up no one saw coming. In the long term, it was just as shocking as Vanya. At least - Diego thought so.

 

“I caaaaaan ,” Klaus drawls, vowels curling lazy from his mouth. “But he’s shy. You are too, don’t lie . You’re a big shy baby who likes to creep over my shoulder and accuse people you’re staring at of staring.” His grey eyes volley between where Ben must surely be, and where Diego is sitting awkward and adjacent. “You’re all very overwhelming for poor little ghost boys.” He winces, shifting slightly to the side. “Stop hitting me! Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should--- ow ! Dammit Ben, you know I bruise like a peach! This is abuse .”

 

He watches Klaus rub at his ribs, pulling up the fishnet crop top to reveal a faint red mark against anemic skin, just below a pale, pierced nipple. The couch doesn’t move at all, where Ben must be sitting. Diego will never understand how he can be tangible and intangible all at once but he knows it for truth all the same. “So he can uh...Interact, even if he isn’t visible?”

“Poor, precocious little ghost boys,” Klaus corrects himself. “Yeah, he can. But mostly only with me.” He unfolds himself up from the couch, and his body casts long, spider-leg shadows across the room at angles that don’t quite make sense. “He asked me why you stare at me.”

 

“I don’t stare at you.” He doesn’t. He doesn’t . He’s just watching. Watching is what he does.

 

 One of you is lying,” Klaus sings, the disaffected essence of his voice making it very clear that he doesn’t give a single shit which one it is. Diego watches Klaus hold his Hello hand out, palm upward, long fingers stretched and expectant. “Come on, Casper. Brother dear here needs to see you.”

 

He doesn’t blink into existence the way he blinks out, Diego thinks. He bleeds into color from Klaus’ fingertips, a faintly washed version of the brother he remembers. Ben is sixteen-shaped, but Diego can’t ever recall his brother being sixteen.  Ben had been born into this world a terrifyingly old soul. He doesn’t hold Klaus’ hand, but lets his own fall back into his lap. His hood is down, pooled over his shoulders. He’s little in a way that still takes up space,and Diego has always suspected that was the Horror inside him.  Ben is sixteen-shaped, but he’s every bit as old as any of them, (but not older, not like Five). He’s sixteen, but old, little but vast.

“...hi.” It’s not said quietly, not exactly, but it’s said in small a way that still seems to catch echos over the high ceiling.

 

“Hey.”

 

“Riveting,” Klaus interjects, prowling the room. He touches everything as he goes, dragging fingertips over every glossy, wooden surface, every spine of every book. There’s something menacing about the way he moves, at times. Diego is no stranger to stalking through the shadows, prefers it even to other mean of travel. Klaus though....Klaus slinks with a grace that belies the spastic, screwy front he puts on.  Diego suspects it’s the absence of drugs, the absence of clouds in his eyes. Klaus slinks, like a cat, and the shadows seem to reach for him, casting him in a haze of darkness that only makes him seem brighter.

 

“It makes sense,” Diego says suddenly, eyes skittering from Ben’s face where it’s turned to his lap, back to his knives. “That you might be shy.”

 

The wrinkle in Ben’s brow is very familiar and Diego’s heart hurts at the sight of it. Quiet, but stubborn - Number Six. “I’m not shy. I’ve just been dead for years.”

“No one ever talks to you .”  Sometimes Five talks to himself. Product of post-apocalyptic living. Some habits are hard to break. “We all talk to you through Klaus.” He doesn’t tell Ben he’s sorry. He doesn’t think Ben wants to hear it. He is sorry though.

 

Klaus’s head jerks to look at Diego, sharp as the cut of his jaw.

 

“It’s fine,” Ben says eventually. He’s not looking at Klaus, but...Klaus still nods. There’s a synergy between them that maybe only several years dead company creates. “It’s fine. It would probably be easier to talk to me if you could see me. I just---”

 

“No,” Diego interrupts as gently as he can. “No, you don’t need to do that. We know you’re there. That’s enough.”

 

“Do you want to go on the roof with us?” Klaus asks, apropos of nothing at all.  Diego would think it a casual question if it wasn’t for the thunderstorm intensity in his grey eyes.”

 

“Isn’t it raining?”

 

“What are you? The Wicked Witch?” Klaus doesn’t wait for the room, just glides his merry way out toward the stairs.  Ben wavers a little, the farther Klaus goes. Diego doesn’t think it has anything to do with distance between them, but rather Ben’s disinclination to be visible on his own.

 

“Are you going to the roof?” Diego asks, setting his knives aside. Ben nods, looking shifty and hunched. “Then, I guess I’ll meet you there?”

 

He gets a nod out of Ben, and only half his attention and Diego thinks that’s it but then Ben just looks at him. “You do stare,” he says, before flickering right out.

 

He climbs out the attic window, stretching his legs to meet where the roof is flat and even.  Klaus is on the second peak, straddling the spine of the roof. He doesn’t look at Diego, but holds a hand out all the same.  Diego takes it, not necessarily because he needs it but because Klaus is never one to offer help readily.

 

He doesn’t mean to let himself be pulled up, but Klaus is deceptively strong. Technically, Diego knows this. He’s seen the vicious, scrappy way Klaus can fight, but there’s nothing to his body that says he should be able to haul 200lbs of man up an incline while also holding himself balanced.  He pulls Diego so fast, he almost loses his footing, feet slipping slightly against the old slick roof tiles. Another hand, that he couldn’t see if he looked, presses against his back and he suddenly he’s fine. Stable with his back pressed against the chimney stack.

 

With reckless grace, Klaus spins himself, nearly kicking Diego in the head so they can face each other. He’s smoking, joint held between his thumb and forefinger, cupped protectively beneath the rest of his hand.  After seeing Ben - a glimpse into the reality of what being a Necromancer really meant- Diego sort of understood the drugs. Seeing Klaus pull at the things inside of Ben had been terrifying and..well. He’s was a cop - almost a cop - and in the grand scheme of things, marijuana is harmless. If Klaus can sustain some semblance of sanity off a little weed, Diego’s not going to say shit.

 

“Hold this,” Klaus says suddenly, handing the joint over to Diego. Diego does, more on reflex than anything, throwing himself back against the chimney stack just in time for Klaus to push himself up on the roofs spine, and step right over him.   Klaus is all legs, and so when a foot plants itself against the brick, Diego is startled but not surprised.  Klaus stretches up, hooking his fingers over the stacks top. He launches himself up, nearly kneeing Diego in the mouth, but then he’s found his perch, legs dangling on either side of Diego’s head.

 

Diego tilts his head back to look up at him and finds Klaus peering down with a Cheshire cat smile and an open, expectant hand.  Just to be a shit, Diego doesn’t give him the joint back. He brings it to his lips and takes a hit, holding in the desperate, childish urge to cough or sputter. It’s not exactly his first, but it’s been a damn while.

 

Klaus---Klaus looks surprised. He folds himself forward, practically in half, with his arms hanging down like a rag doll. “I shouldn’t be surprised. Bad boy is your aesthetic.”

 

“It’s not my---this is protective gear.” They all give him a hard time about his suit, even Five who still wears the Umbrella Academy sports coat. Diego takes another hit and thinks about passing it to Klaus. Instead, he looks...sort of everywhere. “Ben?”

 

Ben bleeds back into color beside him, leaning around the stack. He has a hand curled under Klaus’s leg and he is very, very close to Diego. He takes the joint with the other, wordless for all that he’s staring right at Diego with a furrowed brow. When he’s done, he passes it up to Klaus without looking.

 

“This is nice,” Klaus says, kicking his foot - the one Ben isn’t holding steady - a little. On instinct, Diego grab sit, pulling it over his shoulder and pinning it to his chest at the ankle. Klaus doesn’t comment. Or wear shoes, apparently.

 

He’s right though. It is nice.

Chapter Text

Klaus wouldn’t exactly call himself the King of Weird. First off, were he any royalty at all, it would be Queen of Weird, but that's not the point. .

 

He gets freaked out, though. Like any normal person. You know - any normal person who can see ghosts. It wouldn’t be so bad except ghosts are fucking irrational, emotion-driven creatures with limited cognitive ability, most of the time. The only time they’d ever been even remotely tolerable is when he himself became an irrational, emotion-driven creature with limited cognitive ability, usually with the aid of drugs, good sex, or blunt force trauma.

 

That’s right. You think sniffing coke out of an ass crack is a low way to lose a ghost - try smashing your face into a kitchen counter just to make them stop fucking talking. Sniffing coke out of an ass crack was a good time in comparison. Not in comparison too, but he’s not suppose to admit that anymore. He’s suppose to look back on his drug use with zero fondness and no regrets. Which is a crying fucking shame, because that kills like eight out of ten of his best party stories. Boo.

 

It’s whatever. The ghosts are quieter now. They’re afraid of him now. Klaus couldn’t tell you why, but Ben could. There’s something about him, so says his ghostly brother. Something big and frightening, something scary. Klaus can’t really sense it in himself, but Ben wouldn’t lie and the ghosts don’t scream at him anymore. They loiter always at the edge of his vision, but they don't scream. One day - One day Klaus thinks he’ll be ready to talk to them. Help them, the way he’s probably supposed too. Not today though. Not yet.

 

“Are you really certain this is necessary?”

 

Klaus would take offense at the question, really he would, except Ben’s fluttering in and out like he can’t even keep himself whole with Klaus’ hands on him, and really - what’s to be offended about? Ben knows how flighty Klaus can be, after all. It’s a legitimate question. But he is certain, and Ben is very, very compelling like this. Klaus is fairly certain he’s never done anything to make the world a better place, but he can say he’s made it a little prettier just for putting that flushed look on Ben’s face.

 

He isn’t even doing anything. He’s got his body pressed against Ben, Ben pressed against a cold stone wall, and that’s enough. Ben is just very easy, and it’s a novelty because Klaus? Klaus is not easy. Klaus is...difficult. Klaus is used. Ben is several years past his expiration date and still all fresh and fucking green. Ben gets hard when Klaus drinks suggestively through a straw. Klaus sometimes needs to be choked to come. Less lately, but then - he’s less numb.

 

Ben is squirmy, and solid beneath him. He’s every bit as lanky as Klaus, but stops short about three inches or so. Klaus doesn’t hold him down, doesn’t pin his wrists like he might some bar floor fuck. Ben wouldn’t like it and Klaus has better things to do with his hands, like push them up Ben’s shirt to feel his belly jump beneath Klaus palms. He can feel the beasts that lay within and they writhe and purr when Klaus touches them here.

 

They like Klaus. They want Klaus to open Ben up and set them free . They want to play, they want Klaus to play. They’d remind him of a puppy demanding walkies if they didn’t whisper in a language as old as Death itself, one that Klaus seems to know like a milk tongue. They sound good ; violent and dark and promising. They speak to the dark things inside of him, the dark things that also want to play. And so Klaus pets at them a lot because it’s dangerous and delicious and he has poor impulse controls when it comes to things that both feel good and can also hurt him.

 

Ben hates it and craves it all at once and doesn’t yet know what it means to embrace both those feelings, doesn't yet know how. Klaus knows the signs. Maybe it’s nature, maybe it’s nurture (maybe it’s something about the backward way the world spat them out before their father chewed them up) but like calls to like. Klaus can fucking smell the need to just submit on Ben, can taste it in the air around him. The Horror could never be controlled, but Ben could, can, wants too and Klaus knows what that feels like. It’s a hunger, maybe for a heavy hand, maybe for a hug. Klaus knows which way the wind is going to blow them eventually but Ben...Ben’s still too jittery to get past a hand job. So, not yet.

 

It’s okay. Klaus can be patient. For family. Certainly not for anyone else.

 

“It would be good for me,” Klaus tells him, which is very selfish but also true. “To---to---” Vanya suggested he replace the bad memories of his childhood with good ones. He’s been going going to therapy vicariously via Vanya and she’s got a few good ideas. “To re-establish what this place means to me.” He says it just as he gets his cock lined up with Ben's through all their mutual clothing. Timing really is key. Ben is really squirmy.

 

“The mausoleum,” Ben manages to say, all breathy and virginal and already half-gone. It’s kind of hot, Klaus won’t lie. Ben looks needy . It’s nice to be needed. Klaus isn’t in control of much in his life, frankly - but Ben? Mmm. Ben’s his boy . “Where our father use to lock you up? The focal point of all your childhood trauma?”

 

“Yes,” Klaus agrees very readily and he could be agreeing to anything, so he hopes whatever Ben asked is a question best answered with yes. “Seeing you come in your pants right here is a way better memory than all the times I spent pissing mine.” He rolls his hips a little, feels the fight blow right out of Ben along with all air in his lungs. He’s absolutely going to come in his pants and Klaus will probably not come at all and it’ll still be better than about 76% of the sex he can remember having. “C’mon,” he coos, soft and pretty and pleading. Ben kind of likes the trashy falsetto tone, the wheedling one that walks a line between coitish and baby . “C’mon Benny. C’mon, c’mon, c’mon. ” He punctuates every syllable with a long, crushing roll of his hips. He’s hard, and riding up against his brother is really doing it for him. He won’t come - he’s a fucking pro - but he won’t stop until Ben’s knees give out. “Give it up, Benny. Lemme have it.” He nips at his jaw, too gentle to hurt and Ben makes a noise loud enough to wake the dead.

 

The dead, he will add, who are trying really hard to give them privacy while they commit pseudo-incest on their graves. Nice of them.

 

“ F--f--fuck.” He’s shamefaced and red cheeked as he closes his eyes tight. His fingers are curled into Klaus’ jacket, knuckles white with the force of it and he’s shaking so pretty, he’s trying so hard. It’s a little game, one Ben doesn’t even know he’s playing, not really, not yet. One hand flies loose from it’s death-grip on Klaus to slap, open-palmed, against the stone wall. “ Shit .” He goes, very briefly, completely invisible - but Klaus can still feel him. Can feel the resistance of his body beneath his own as he comes so pretty, the bow of his body going perfectly taught. Klaus kisses his mouth open, licks across his tongue, and revels in the absolute deviance of the moment. He just made his baby brother come in a fucking cemetery.

 

While his other brother watches.

 

Klaus is a realist. He’s met God, after all. Karma has blessed him this absolute wealth of little boys who don’t know what they want yet, who think Klaus has the answers. And maybe he does. Of course, they’re his brothers. God would salt a fucking cosmic favor with that spice because God is a bit of a cunt. Whatever. He’ll fuck his brother. He’ll fuck both his brothers. He’ll fuck your brother, he doesn’t give a shit about it. Or about God and God doesn’t give a shit about him and that copacetic relationship is working just fine.

 

Klaus is a gift .

 

He ignores Diego, where he creeps just out of sight, and returns his attention back to Ben who hasn’t quite checked back online, mentally. Diego will be addressed separately. Ben is still a little needy. “Five whole minutes, little buddy. New record.”

 

“Shut up,” Ben mutters, his eyes still closed but the mutinous tone in his voice is a known quantity and makes Klaus smile.

 

He lets Ben tremble a minute, come down, come back to himself. He touches Ben's face, softly, sweetly, because that’s what Ben needs right now when everything is still so new and tender and sticky. Not just his dick, but these experiences themselves. Ben has watched all of the fucked up things Klaus has done in his life, but he’s never really tasted them. He’s so shiny-sparkly-fresh , Klaus feels...minded to keep him that way. Not virginal; Ben wouldn’t thank him and Klaus is patient now but he really just...wants to get up in that, really he truly does. He just wants everything to be good, to feel good. He doesn’t want the world to turn Ben bitter, the way Death hadn’t even managed. He doesn’t ever want Ben to hunger for numbness, only for Klaus. He wants Ben to have all the things Klaus didn’t when he needed them most. He wants to take care of him, which is odd, in and of itself, because Klaus can barely take care of himself.

 

Sex though. Klaus is pretty good at that. He can give him that.

 

Diego's in his car, where it idles just outside the wrought iron gates. Klaus knew the gurtle-rumble-chuff-chuff of the engine very well now because his brother is a lurking lurker who lurks. Klaus can feel it the second Ben notices, the wavering, watery way he shimmers in and out is a pretty solid tell. Sometimes Klaus can’t tell when other people can’t see him because he can almost always see him. He lets his hand slide to the back of Ben’s neck, and knows he must look like a fucking lunatic. “Fine. Go ahead and hide, you big baby.”

 

“I just came in my pants!” His voice is tight, that embarrassed edge bred specifically at sixteen. “I can’t talk to Diego when I just---” He makes a face and Klaus sort of wonders---where the come will go? Like, if he does his little cease-to-exist thing, will he come back clean? There’s a lot of intricacies to this ghost shit that even he doesn’t fully understand.

 

“You riding with us or you meeting me at the house?” Klaus asks, ruffling Ben’s hair a little before fixing his hood. Sometimes hiding in the shadows of his hood is enough for Ben. Sometimes not. “You want shotgun?”

 

“God no .”

 

“You want me to sit in back with you?” He usually does. It seems rude to make Ben sit in back all by himself. Plus, Diego can't hit him if he's in the back. Klaus knows that Diego is just rough because he doesn't fully understand his desire to put his hands on Klaus and violence makes his poor wittle confused brain feel better. He'll solve that rubix cube when the time comes. Not today. Today - Ben.

 

Ben hesitates. Thoughtful, as always - Ben thinks about every question he’s asked, before answering. Klaus wishes he had the mental power to be so considerate. He does not. “No,” Ben says, after a fashion. “No.”

 

“I’m gonna fuck with all his presets.” Mariachi music, NPR and Christian Rock. No...no. Christian Talk Radio. He'll press his thumbs into the bruises where Diego is sure to elbow him, later. Probably while Benny watches him fuck up into his own fist.

 

Ben touches his arm and it’s unsettling as it is thrilling, even still. “You...didn’t...”

 

Ben is talking about his boner. Ben is talking about his boner all shy-like, like he hasn’t seen seen a drag queen shove a Xanax up Klaus's ass. Ben is fucking adorable. He looks down at his dick, prominent and dressed to the left. “Eh. It’ll keep.”

 

“Klaus.”

 

Klaus steps back, just enough to put a little space between Ben and the erection in question. “I mean, feel free to give me a handy, but Diego is totally watching and it’ll look pretty weird if my dicks waggin’ in the wind. My o-face is not subtle.” Ben flickers again, but Klaus still sees pink steal across his cheeks. “It'll keep,” he says again. “I’m in no rush.” I’ll wait, he doesn’t say. Doesn’t need too. Ben gets it. Klaus can wait until his dead, sixteen but not sixteen year old brother is ready to touch his dick. He’s not gonna rush him. Klaus is a fucking gift, like that.

 

Ben side eyes him a little, as he comes back into view. He looks a little devious, a little smirky . “Diego could...”

 

“Oh please - Diego is even less ready to touch my dick than you are, Benny-boy. At least you know you want too”

 

Ben doesn't argue that, and it's only because he's this close to post-orgasm. “You could----” Find someone else.

 

“I’m good,” Klaus cuts him off. “You can watch me jerk off later.” He can tell by the way Ben looks down very suddenly that the thought alone, the promise, was enough to get him going again. Get him hot again. Get him hard, again , already. Fuck. He really is just too easy. Klaus laughs, and throws an arm up over Ben's shoulder. He isn't sure if Diego can see Ben right now, but he’s never let looking like a lunatic stop him from doing anything, and so he won’t let it stop him from touching up on his brother.

 

Diego doesn’t startle as they approach the car. Ben ghosts himself into the back seat, clearly invisible to all that aren’t Klaus. Klaus opens the passenger side door, but doesn’t climb in. No - he’s gonna make Diego look at his boner first. Ben looks very unamused and Diego just looks downright squirrely, all wide-eyed and twitchy. “It's $10 for a BJ, $12 for an HJ, $15 for a ZJ.”

 

Diego looks away from Klaus’ dick, blinking a little like he isn’t even sure what's happening. Klaus is use to seeing that expression on people. “What’s a ZJ?”

 

Climbing into the car, he laughs. “If you have to ask, you can’t afford it.”

Chapter Text

Ben’s been dead...a while. There’s a specific number to the years, months, weeks, days, minutes, but Ben doesn’t know them and he doesn’t know how to ask so he doesn’t. He’s just been dead a while .  He can see it in the lines of Klaus’ face, the way his body is very much a man's body.  Ben feels old - Ben feels thousands of years old, some days. Never when Klaus has his hands on him though, then he feels exactly sixteen.  It’s good as much as it isn’t and he really doesn’t know what to do with that juxtaposition, except try not to embarrass himself but even that’s proven futile. It’s just his luck that Klaus seems to like it.  Ben trusts that much - Klaus has been into some weird fucking shit over the years. So it’s not hard to believe he’d be into fucking his dead brother.

 

(And the crippling bout of premature ejaculation. Klaus seems to like that too.)

 

Christ .

 

The byproduct of being dead, and having only Klaus for company for so very long is that...Ben isn’t so great at...being a person. Peopling, Klaus had called it. Ben does not excel at Peopling .  He forgets to talk to the others, even when they can see him. He forgets that he doesn’t have to whisper everything into Klaus’ ear.  Even as only a ghost, he tried to be quiet for Klaus. Especially when other people were around. So sometimes Ben forgets that the others can see him, can hear him, can speak directly to him and he finds himself curling up over Klaus’ shoulder to press words into his ear.  Klaus will laugh, and the others will look - at Ben. And Ben will remember...he doesn’t need to speak through Klaus. But he’ll remember it too late, panic and poof , Ben’s invisible again.

 

He’s not shy .  He just forgets. Sometimes, it’s just easier to stay invisible. Then he can’t forget he isn’t.  It’s...it’s not really fair to the others though. They miss Ben, and he misses them too, he does. It’s just...he forgets.

 

Diego though - Diego had told him that he didn’t need to be visible, and he seems to have really meant it because he always checks with Klaus.  Ben around? Klaus will tip his head in whatever direction Ben might be - he’s always honest too, which is mildly shocking. Klaus is honest with the accuracy of weathermen.  But in this --- for Ben. Klaus is honest with Diego, for Ben.

 

Klaus, Allison, and a bemused Vanya are all sprawled out in one of the upstairs parlors having girl time. Facials, and mani-pedis, and sex talk which Ben can...physically not handle being around to hear. It turns his skin into a livewire, just thinking about sex. It’s horrendous and he hates it.   He knows about every sexual thing Klaus has done in the last ten years, doesn’t need the play-by-play and vehemently does not care to hear about his sisters doing...anything.  Sure...He...does things...with his brother. And Klaus is his brother.  Not by blood, but by life. Life made them brothers. Death made them something else. Ben would like to think they wouldn’t do what they do if he was still alive but he’s not even sure that’s true. Not if the way Diego looks at Klaus is any indication.  Or Allison and Luther. Apparently, siblings just isn’t a deal breaker in this family.

 

The thing is...Even if Ben hadn’t died...He can’t imagine letting anyone else put their hands on him.  Can’t imagine ever exposing himself like that, letting all his careful controls waver even the lightest.  He certainly never expected Klaus to be the one who could, never not once. But he’s hardly sorry.

 

He’d always thought it would be best if he was just alone. But then - he never had a chance to be alone. He had Klaus. And now, he can’t imagine not having Klaus. Klaus is absolutely a security blanket Ben will never give up. Klaus is safe.

 

Still. He doesn’t want to be around for their sex talk. He really, really hopes Klaus doesn’t talk about him .  Can’t imagine there’s anything good, or especially compelling to say.  So far, Klaus has made him come in his pants on about eighteen different occasions. One time he managed to get his hands in Ben’s pants. Over his boxer-briefs. And Ben lost it before he even touched him.

 

Klaus had actually...He’d actually taken his hand right out of Ben’s pants and shoved it into his own, swearing through his teeth and coming about as fast as it took Ben to get hard again. And Klaus? Klaus had looked so ridiculously pleased to be standing there, with his hand in his pants around his soft, spent dick. Ben doesn’t get it, but he’s reaping the rewards of Klaus’ apparent lunacy, and so he won’t ask and he won’t complain.

 

He could just go . Leave them be to do their thing, girl talk and the like. Blink back whenever like no time at all has passed. He could. But he doesn’t. He lets himself wander instead, out of the parlor and down the stairs. He can still feel Klaus like a comfortable tether. A leash. A collar. Most days, he can hold his own form, visible if not tangible, feeding off whatever makes Klaus..well... Klaus .  It’s a little harder to hold a corporeal form, but he thinks...he thinks that might come with time. Or perhaps just as Klaus grows into his gifts.

 

He drifts across the landing to the nearest open door and peeks in. It’s Diego, sitting cross-legged on the couch in front of the ancient TV.  Diego looks up, though Ben’s certain he hasn’t made any sound. He smiles, eyes crinkling at the corner. He looks...genuinely happy to see Ben. Ben fights to hold himself in place, even though it’s hard. It’s hard , when they’re looking right at him. Any of them.  “Hey! Hey. It’s....” He laughs a little, and Ben almost backs right out of the room. “It’s good to see you.”

 

“Sorry.”

 

“No, no.  I don’t need to see you,” Diego is quick to say, and Ben knows that because Diego talks to him all the time, whether he can see him or not. “It’s just nice is all. Klaus not around?”

 

Ben makes himself step fully into the room. “Girl time,” he says shortly because Diego is looking right at him.   “They’re talking about sex,” he says accidentally because it’s on his mind. It’s always on his mind, since he kissed Klaus. It was on his mind before - it just hadn’t felt so...possible.

 

Diego makes a face, and shifts over on the couch - it’s an invitation. To join him. Ben hasn’t been alone with any of his siblings since he died. Not to their knowledge anyway.  “He probably won’t talk about you, to them. He knows you wouldn't like it.”

 

He makes himself sit down, makes himself sink into the cushions, instead of vanishing from existence as he’d much prefer because he doesn’t want to talk about how Diego knows what they do. Watches. “He would,” Ben says, very much awkward. He’s just glad his voice had mostly settled by sixteen. Mostly. “Like to talk about it, I think. He likes to talk.” Brag .

 

“Yeah,” Diego laughs again. He looks...well. He looks delighted to be talking to Ben and it’s just...it’s a lot. It’s nice though. He misses them too. “He does. Regardless of whether or not anyone is listening.”

 

“I’m always listening,” Ben shrugs.  He doesn’t think the others fully grasp how he’s been at Klaus’ side since the moment he died. Haunting him .  How much of Klaus madness might have been Ben’s fault. How seeing his dead brother every single day might have been hard .  Might have driven him to the deep end. Ben had tried to leave, really he did. But he never could. Not permanently. He always came back to Klaus.  And eventually, that became a comfort to both of them. Eventually . “He even talks in his sleep.”

 

“Do you need to talk about it?” Diego asks suddenly, shifting his body so he’s fully facing Ben, instead of the abandoned TV. “I know you talk to Klaus, but...might be hard to talk to Klaus about Klaus.”

 

“Klaus loves talking about Klaus.” Ben blinks at him, feels the color fade out at his fingertips and tells himself sternly no . Diego is talking to him. And Ben will remain where he is. “Um.”

 

Also...Ben kind of does want to talk about Klaus.

 

Diego grins with all his teeth and it’s like looking at sixteen-year-old Diego all over again. Boyish and charming. “Yeah?” That’s the thing about Diego. In opposite to Klaus - Diego never pushes.

 

 Nooooo ,” Ben pulls his hood up over his head and yanks the drawstrings as hard as he can until he’s completely hidden. “But also...yes.”

 

“You really are shy,” Diego says, sounding very much amused. Ben sort of wants to hit him - brotherly affection - but he only hits Klaus and he’s not sure what touching Diego will actually do when he can barely look living-people in the eye. Touching one. Terrible idea.

 

“I’m not .” He sounds petulant and embarrassing even to his own ears and it’s enough to have him freeing himself from the ridiculous confines of his hood to stare at Diego. “I’m not! I’m just...And Klaus!”

 

The boyish grin goes hard, and Diego looks at him sharply. “He’s not making you do anything you don’t want too, right?”

 

Which! What! Ben’s sort of disappointed in Diego for even asking. It’s Klaus. And also, Ben’s dead . You can’t make him do anything. “He wouldn’t. You can’t honestly think he would? And even if he would, he can’t, physically. I can just...Leave.”

 

“I know that he can be persuasive,” Diego argues, very mildly. He’s not wrong. Klaus is charming like sociopaths are charming. There’s an aura to him that does not lend itself to trust, but a veritable rabbit hole of intrigue. It’s hard not to follow him, just to see what he’ll do next. He’s also very pretty. “He’s older, he probably has a subconscious expectation when it comes to sex. And I know when you’re sixteen...you don’t know what you want, so it’s easy to let someone else decide for you.”

 

He can feel himself blushing, can feel the hot rush of it in his cheeks which means he’s fully corporeal. “He’s...been very patient.”

 

Diego is still skeptical and Ben wishes that wasn’t a reasonable response. “ Klaus .”

 

“I don’t understand it either,” Ben gives in, throwing up a hand. It’s all very dramatic and teenager and he’s thirty dammit, kind of.  Time is really weird when you’re dead. It’s been years, but also he just died. “We haven’t even---” He stops, very suddenly, the whole of his body going hot and tingly. He can’t tell if he’s embarrassed (scratch that, he very much is). Or just--- Just .

 

The tension in Diego’s shoulders leaves, and then he’s just back to grinning. “We need some bro time?”

 

“To talk about our brother's sex life. Which is also my sex life.” Ben looks at him skeptically. “This family is really fucked up.”

 

“I like to think Dad’s rolling in his grave.” Reaching out, Diego pats Ben on the thigh and----

 

And Ben gets very, very bright. Just for a second. “ Shit .”  Oh no. Oh please no.

 

“That was weird,” Diego says because he doesn’t know that Ben now has a fucking boner. Because his brother touched his thigh. Not the brother that usually touches his thigh. A different one.

 

“It’s fine,” Ben says tightly, drawing his knees up to his chest and making himself as small as possible on a single couch cushion. “Do you think it’s weird?”

 

“You and Klaus? Absolutely. But I think there are worse things than weird.” He reaches out, tentatively this time, and curls his hand over the back of Ben’s neck and his hands are calloused and rough the way that Klaus’s really aren’t. It’s a brotherly touch - Ben remembers Diego doing it when he was alive. Diego pulls them a little closer and Ben goes, even though he’s so hard it fucking hurts .  He thinks he might actually - he is not going to come in his pants from this. He is not. “If it makes you happy...You deserve it, okay? Don’t let anyone make you feel bad about how you feel happy.”

 

He lets go of Ben and Ben breathes out hard. “We haven’t even...”

 

“Had sex?” Diego asks, very gently, and the word sex on his mouth makes Ben feel stupid and sixteen.  “That’s okay. If this was a normal relationship,” he tells Ben, very carefully and the R word sounds oddly large where it floats up between them. “You guys haven’t been together very long.”

 

“We’ve been together since Dad bought us.”

 

“It’s okay that you haven’t had sex,” Diego says, instead of arguing that. Ben forgot what it was like to have a brother. He’s always had Klaus, but...well. That’s different.

 

“We haven’t...done anything.” Which isn’t exactly true. They’ve done things .  Klaus likes kissing Ben until Ben can’t fucking stand it anymore. Klaus can kiss Ben for hours if given the chance. Ben can usually make it about...eight minutes.  He likes Klaus on top, body pressed over him, calling the shots. Diego wasn’t wrong; it is easier when someone else decides. Doesn’t mean Ben doesn’t want it though. Ben...Really, really does. “We haven’t even...taken our clothes off.” He says all of this to his knees. His knees will not judge him.  Diego will probably not judge him. Ben usually doesn’t care if people judge him - he’s got ancient eldritch monsters for intestines. Sex is just...weird. It’s a weird thing that makes him feel weird, usually in a good way, sometimes not and he suspects this is a teenage hormone imbalance he’ll never grow out of. Great

 

When Diego doesn’t say anything though, Ben has to look at him. Just a little, up through his lashes. This just proves it - Ben thought it wa weird, that they hadn’t...anything.  Diego clearly agrees Diego looks bewildered. “At all ?”

 

“We don’t usually make it that far,” Ben tells him, somewhat pained, into the sleeves of his hoodie. “ I don’t usually make it that far.”

 

It takes Diego a second, Ben can see the gears working on his face. “Oh,” he says, and then again after a beat. “Oh! No - that’s normal. When it’s new. That’s totally normal.’

It doesn’t feel normal. It feels horrifying. Not tentacle monster horrifying, but could-the-ground-just-swallow-me-whole horrifying. “Nothing about this is normal.”

 

Diego laughs, but it’s kind. It’s brotherly. It makes Ben feel kind of stupid and young though. He’s just as much thirty as the rest of them! “It’s normal when you’re sixteen. When your body is sixteen,” he corrects very quickly.  

 

Which is probably true but doesn’t make Ben feel better. “Klaus body isn’t sixteen!”

 

 Klaus comes in his pants, too?” And...Diego sounds... weird .  Which is fine. He feels weird. They’re bonding .

 

“Solidarity,” Ben mutters, darkly.  He wavers, in and out, furiously uncomfortable. He needs...Klaus. He needs to creep behind Klaus shoulder, in the shadows of his hood where it’s safe. “I don’t want to talk about this anymore. This was a mistake.”

 

“No no no,” Diego says in a rush, throwing himself forward. He collides with Ben, just as Ben stretches is legs out.And....And... Oh no. Then he’s just...on top of Ben. On the couch. This is...Fucking terrible, Ben thinks.   “I’m sorry, I wasn’t--- Hey, hey. You came to me to talk about this, we talk----”  He can see it in Diego’s face, the second he becomes aware of Ben’s erection where it’s pressed between them.  “It’s normal,” he says, very quickly. “It---its--- W-w-we’re talking about sex. I use to get hard if I passed a suggestive table leg . We didn’t---We didn’t have people to talk to, when we were younger, but I bet if we did...I’d have been the same way. This is normal. Don’t go. Talk to me.”

 

Which would be easier if Diego wasn’t laying on him - on his dick - his whole body pressing Ben down.  He’s bulkier than Klaus and Ben doesn’t hate it. He should---he should go find Klaus. But the feels-good part of his brain is sort of winning out over the mortified part.

 

Ben grabs the front of his hood and pulls it down over his face. “Please get off me.”

 

“Do you promise to stay?” Diego has both his hands planted on either sides of Ben’s head, and they’re...they’re probably close enough to kiss.Brother , Ben tells himself firmly. Brother, brother, brother.  “I want to help.”

 

He should just go. He should just poof right out of existence for a little bit, if only so he can forget how conflicted he feels right now, desperate to leave but also to come. Brother , he tells himself again. Wrong brother! “If you don’t get off me,” Ben says, very evenly. Flatly. He was never embarrassed as a ghost. He wasn’t quite...disinterested. But he didn’t feel things like he does now, not quite. He thinks his brain might be overloaded, because he can barely breath, let alone think. Diego is on top of him. The same way that Klaus is often on top of him. His brain gets the difference. His body does not. “I’m going to come in my pants.”

“Oh,” Diego says, and Ben feels him ease up, very, very gently. “I---Sorry. I didn’t mean too---”

 

“This is why Klaus and I haven’t----” He shakes his head, and wraps both his arms around his face where he’s still sprawled on the couch.  His boner is probably very obvious, but he just...cannot think about that right now. “Shit.”

 

“You’re just a little sensitive,” Diego tells him, calmly. “It doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Some people like it.”

 

“Klaus----” And whoops, no. They’re here to talk about Ben. Not Klaus. “ I don’t like it.”

 

Diego doesn’t touch him again, but Ben sort of thinks he wants too, as he watches Ben curl himself back up the couch and bring his knees to his chest. “I know it doesn’t make you feel better...but it is normal. It might be...It might be a little more intense for you, given that---”

 

“Moonlight as a dead person.” Ben stares at him. “Do you think...do you think if I stayed...physically here more often...”

 

Diego nods. “You said...that you don’t feel much, when you’re invisible. And nothing when you blink out entirely. So maybe...when you’re corporeal...your body just goes into overdrive.”

 

“It’s hard,” Ben says, and then blushes furiously. Diego, to his immense credit, does not laugh. Klaus would have. Klaus would have made a very easy pun, paired with a sleazy smile and maybe flashed some skin until Ben was squirming all over the place. But this is Diego. “I forget you can see me, sometimes. It’s been so long. And then one of you asks me a question directly and I panic and vanish. But I could...I could try harder.”

 

“You wanna go take care of that?” Diego asks, tilting his head to Ben’s mid-section. “Might help.”

 

Ben blinks at him. “By myself?” Judging by Diego’s expression, that was not the right response.

 

“You mean you don’t ?” Diego somehow looks even more bewildered at that. “Buddy, that’s probably like....eighty percent of your problem. I jerked off like five times a day when I was your age. Don’t you remember?”

“No,” Ben says honestly. “I think I usually just ignored it.” He had tried, a few times, but the way it felt....was too close to losing control.

“Christ--- don’t do that ,” Diego, tells him very seriously. “It’s perfectly normal. Healthy. I mean - I still jerk off every day. Sometimes twice, if I’m particularly tense.”

 

Jesus Fuck, Ben thinks. He’s... Wet . He can feel a damp patch growing where his dick is pressed against his belly. “You think that would help,” he says, using everything he has to maintain some level of neutrality. . LIke he doesn’t care that Diego jerks off.  Sometimes twice. Every day. He’s probably jerked off today. With the same hands he put on Ben.

 

“Yeah, yes. Absolutely.” Diego nods very seriously. “Get yourself off a few times before you and Klaus...” He swallows. “It’ll clear your head, if nothing else.”

 

“Thank. You.” Ben says, very stiltedly. “I should...” He laughs, a little hysterical hiccup escaping him. This is fucking absurd. “Should I go do that?”

 

“If you and Klaus are going to---”Diego blinks, a little to himself and Ben gets distracted by his throat, the way it rolls when he swallows. “It couldn’t hurt.”

 

“I’ve never.”

 

 Legitimately  never?” And there it is - not judgment, but incredulity and Ben wants the floor to eat him. “Not even when you were actually sixteen?”

 

“I wasn’t sure if I liked how it felt.” Ben looks away, staring shrewdly into the low burning fireplace. “I wasn’t really... We didn’t exactly get a sex talk.”

 

“No,” Diego concedes. “That’s part of the problem here, I think.”

 

“It felt good, but it also made me feel...out of control. So I thought...I probably shouldn’t.” Ben wasn’t even...he wasn’t even particularly sure it was normal when it first started happening, thirteen or so. He wasn’t sure it wasn’t something about the monsters.  Sometimes the things they did...they felt good. And it was always more frightening than the things that hurt. So when it started happening a lot - Ben had thought...It had to be them. He couldn’t control it, after all. It had to be them. “By the time I figured out what was going on...Well. I still thought it was probably for the best that I didn’t.”

 

“Benny,” Diego says, all small and hurt sounding. “I wish I hadn’t been such a dick as a teenager. I wish you could have talked to me. You never brought it up to Klaus?”

 

“I thought there was something wrong with me.” Some of the embarrassment  has burned away. Like - he’s already dug himself this deep and Diego hadn’t pointed and laughed. So. Maybe it’s safe. “I didn’t want him to worry. He was already...” Slipping off a deep end, by sixteen. Not drugs yet, but reckless behavior and a spiraling bout of depression and anxiety. Then Ben died. And it got worse. “You think it’ll help?”

 

“It won’t hurt.” He stops though, even as he said it. “Are you still worried about Them.”

 

“No. Mostly.” They were calmer now, with Klaus holding him in place on a plane of existence none of them fully understood. They liked Klaus. Too much, sometimes, Ben thought. “I don’t think so.” Already, he wasn’t sure.

 

Diego took pity on him. “Alright buddy, come on. I got an idea.”

 

“I don’t think this is a good idea,” Ben disagrees, having no clue as to what the idea actually was.

 

But Diego was having none of it. He grabs Ben’s hand into his own warm, dry palm and tugged at him. Not...not roughly. Not even insistently. “C’mon, Benny.”

 

C’mon Benny, c’mon. Let me have it. Give it to me.

 

Now...Now was not a good time to be thinking about the things Klaus said while Ben was trying not to come. “Diego. This is a terrible idea.”

 

“Look - I usually jerk off in bed or in the shower,” Diego explains, tugging Ben to the bathroom. “So take a shower. Relax. And I’ll be right outside the door.”

 

Which...isn’t a great way for Ben to relax, honestly. “ Why ?”

 

“If you feel like you’re losing control, or anything - I can get Klaus.” Diego shrugs, like it was nothing to play lookout for Eldritch monsters while your brother tries to jerk off for the first time, explicitly because he would like to eventually be able to touch his other brothers dick. Totally normal. “Klaus can control them, right?”

 

“They’re calmer, with Klaus.” Calmer was maybe...not the exact word. They watched Klaus like cats watch laser pointers.

 

Diego raises a single brow, tilting his head forward, leading Ben to the answers he wanted. “But you don't want Klaus here for this.”

 

It would get it over quicker, that was certain. “His presence is largely counter productive to what you’ve suggested I attempt.” Ben sighs. “He’ll put his hands on me and I’ll forget what I’m suppose to be doing, okay?”

 

“Okay. So...I’ll only call for him if you think you’re losing control.” Diego shoves him into the bathroom, crowds right up behind him as he reaches into the shower to turn the taps. “You won't have to worry that way.”

 

“What if you don’t hear me?” And okay, so maybe Ben has been worrying about it more than he thought. That or the brain to dick ratio is skewed again. Klaus would be proud.

“I’ll wait right outside the door,” Diego assures him.

 

“So I should just...” He looks into the shower, steam already beginning to build up around them. “Relax.”

 

“Enjoy it.” Diego cups his hand over the back of Ben’s neck again, and Ben enjoyed it a little too much to be honest. “It’s healthy, and normal and it will absolutely help. Stay in there as long as you need too. I’ll be right here.”

 

“It probably won’t take that long.”He was too keyed up already, too hot under the collar and cup of Diego’s hand. “Sorry.” He didn’t fully understand the compulsion in him to apologize, or even what he was apologizing for. Except, perhaps, for being sixteen. It was a lot to apologize for. Sixteen fucking sucked.

 

Diego shook him a little, firm but playful, where he still held Ben in place. “Normal,” he said again. “Shit, if you get off too fast, just go for round two. You’re young. I’m sure you got a few in you. I wasn’t doing anything important anyway.”

 

“Oh my God,” Ben wheezed, feeling his face turn to fire. His stomach jumped, as he hunched his shoulders. “Shut up. 

 

“Right outside,” Diego rapt his fist against the door. “Do your thing. Take your time. Holler if you know...tentacles are trying to eat you.”

 

“This is an awful idea.” But Ben still unzips his sweater, pausing only when Diego forgets to leave. He hovers, hand over his belt buckle.

 

Diego turns sharply, and throws open the door. “Right. Yeah. I’ll be...Right outside.”

 

***

 

When he re-emerges however long later, weak kneed and dazed, Diego is still there. He gives Ben a once over, from where he’s leant against the wall. “All good?” Ben opens his mouth, finds words beyond him, and just sort of...stands there.  He feels very, very solid in the Real World, very corporeal, very tangible. The billowing cloud of steam that follows him from the bathroom smells like six gallons of jizz and Ben doesn’t have enough of anything left in him to feel the least bit sorry, embarrassed or ashamed. “Jeeze, Ben. You leave anything for Klaus?”

 

“No.” No...No definitely not. If Klaus so much as touches his dick, Ben will probably pop right out of existence indefinitely. “But that’s okay.”

 

Diego pulls the bathroom door closed behind Ben. “It is?”

 

“Yes,” Ben confirms, as he tries to figure out how to get one foot in front of the other. “I can’t come in my pants if I can’t come.”

“Solid science.” Diego slaps Ben on the back, and laughs. “But I don’t think Klaus is going to be happy. Please don’t tell him this was my idea. He won’t thank me.”

 

“He might,” Ben tells him, dazedly. He has no idea what way he’s walking down the hall. He’s come-drunk in a way he’s only ever seen on Klaus. He feels...gutted and stupid but very, very good. Diego has good ideas. Klaus will never believe it. “If I’m not distracted by my own dick, maybe I can finally focus on his.”

 

“Oh. Oh .” Diego pats his shoulder again, an awkward, stuttered beat. “Well. Um. Go get em’, buddy. Find me if you need a look-out.”

 

And that’s right. That’s...Ben would not have done this on his own. He would not have. Diego made this happen. “Thank you, Ben says, awkwardly. “Maybe you’re right. Maybe...maybe weird isn’t the worst thing you can be.”

 

“My life has never been weirder,” Diego agrees with a dimpled smile, as he leads Ben the right way. “But it’s never been better, either.”

Chapter Text

Seeing Ben is...

 

It’s hard sometimes.

 

Diego is always happy to see him. Every single time, it’s like seeing him for the first time since he died.  There’s always a jarring little shock, seeing his face. A slight disconnect of knowledge. Ben’s dead. Ben’s alive. Ben’s not really alive. Ben’s here.

 

Perhaps the biggest disconnect though is that Ben is frozen in memory at sixteen.  Seeing him doesn’t help. But he isn’t; he’s just as old as any of them. He’s had a life, in a way. He’s grown, in a way. Diego doesn’t know him. Just like he doesn’t really know any of them.

 

He really doesn’t know Klaus.

 

Klaus who has what looks like a baby brother pressed up against a wall in one of the dustier, disused hallways  of the house. “Enough girl time,” Klaus says, crowding right up against Ben, hip to hip. “Guy time now.”

 

“I don’t think what we do can constitute as guy time.” Ben sounds a little breathless.  His hair is still a little damp at the tips, curling up like Diego remembers, from his shower.

 

“I don’t see any girls around, do you?”

 

“I don’t think--- Oh, fuck.”

“Good. Don’t.” Klaus is sucking a mean looking hickey into the curve of Ben’s shoulder, tugging hard at the collar of his shirt to reveal more skin. “Did you shower ? You smell good.”

 

Ben squirms a little, as Klaus continues to chase new skin with nipping little bites. “Do I not....Normally?”

 

Klaus doesn’t answer and Diego wonders - do ghosts even have a scent? “You smell like Diego.”

 

“I used his soap, yours has glitter in it. Klaus .” Diego watches Ben struggle to get a hold of himself. To focus. So he can touch Klaus’ dick.

 

He...He shouldn’t be watching. He just...can’t fucking stop. There’s---duel thoughts grab hold of him. Klaus thinks Diego smells good, and Ben used his soap. They’re both stupid thoughts, but there they are, dancing around his brain.

 

“Benji, babe.” Klaus drags his mouth up Ben’s neck, and licks across his cheek. Diego can almost feel the slide of it against his own skin and it makes him shudder to match Ben’s trembling shake where he stands. “What do you want?”  He palms the front of Ben’s pants - and Ben is hard, regardless of his forty minute escapade in the shower. Ben whimpers, whole body curling like it hurts in the best of ways. “Oh, Benny boy. What did you get up into the shower without me?”

 

Ben was honest when he said once Klaus had his hands on him, he had zero control. Ben, who was usually so composed. Ben, who Diego had seen red-faced and squirming today on the couch. Ben, who had always been so mild and quiet. Ben who Diego really doesn’t know. “I jerked off like six times, fuck .”

 

Six times. In a row. In under forty minutes. Fuck.  

 

“Without me? But I always let you watch,” Klaus pouts, just a little and Diego thinks about that - thinks about Ben watching, all curled up in his corner, while Klaus gets himself off. Klaus is...Klaus is into some pretty fucked up shit. Diego wonders how much Ben’s seen. All of it, probably.

 

“I wanted too---I wanted to----Fuck, Klaus. Please .”

 

“I can’t tell if you want me to stop or continue, you gotta give me more to go on,” Klaus laughs, but to his credit, he stops rubbing Ben through his pants and Diego feels...sort of bad for doubting Klaus would do right by their brother.  He can see them both in perfect profile, from his place at the end of the hall. They look...good.

 

(It is weird. It’s very weird. But they look happy, like this. They looks less haunted. They look good. Maybe that’s why Diego can’t stop watching. Maybe.)

 

Ben blinks, like that little inch of space Klaus has gifted him is almost enough to get his senses right. “I don’t want to...I’d at least like to touch you for once .”

 

There’s a new curl to Klaus’ spine that Diego’s never seen, and doesn’t understand. Klaus is tall, but not to any extreme. Still, he manages to loom in a way that doesn’t quite make sense. He presses his forehead to Ben’s and grins with all his violent, white teeth. “All you had to do was ask.”

 

“I have asked!” Teenage indigence had its own tenor, Diego though, in sympathy.

 

“No you haven’t,” Klaus sings, dragging his hand down Ben’s chest, fingers catching on his zipper. “You’ve alluded to the fact that my dick exists . But you’ve never told me you wanted to play, baby.”

 

“Oh don’t call me that,” Ben flushes, turning such a bright and brilliant shade of red, Diego’s amazed he doesn’t pass out on the spot. “Jesus Christ.”

 

“Baby boy,” Klaus amends. “My apologizes. You want to touch my dick, Benny? Be my guest. I’ll never tell you no.”

 

“So...you’re going to let me?”

 

“Sure, I’m a gift like that,” Klaus says, with a genuinely incredulous laugh. “Sure, I’ll let you get me off. I’m very giving. Super generous of me, really. How ever will you repay me---”

 

“Can you just shut up and undo your belt buckle, that thing is like a Chinese finger puppet and we both know it.” That...That somehow sounded more like Ben than anything Diego had heard all day.

 

“Wait---You wanna do this right here?” Klaus seems a little surprised, hands hovering over his ridiculous buckle. “We can go to my rooms.”

 

Ben looks at him. At Diego . Where he’s hidden in an alcove, perfectly still, perfectly silent. “Here’s fine. “

 

What .

There isn’t a whole lot of talking after that.  Klaus gets his buckle undone, and Ben gets his pants pushed down to his thighs. Klaus is hard, Diego can see the silhouette profile of that too. “It won’t bite,” he tells Ben, with a little laugh. “You don’t have too, Ben. Turn around, and I’ll come on your ass. I’ve been meaning to try that.”

 

Fucking shit fuck.

 

“Uh, maybe later,” Ben says, sounding every bit as winded as Diego feels. He gets his hand around Klaus though, drags it up from the base to cup the head and Klaus swears, and slams both hands against the wall, bracing himself, bracketed around Ben.

 

“Baby boy,”  he croons and his voice...does things to Diego.  Klaus holds himself very still, as Ben figures out a shaky pace. “God, Benny .”

 

“Tell me what to do,” Ben mutters, looking up at Klaus face. “Klaus--- tell me what to do .”

 

“Use your other hand too,” Klaus instructs, eyes closed.  Diego can see the tremble in his arms, elbows bending as he brings himself a little closer to Ben, fucks his skinny little hips up into Ben’s grip. Ben does as he’s told, getting his second hand around Klaus’ cock, and twisting. “Aww, shit Benny. Just like that. Harder, you can---”

 

“Fuck fuck fuck,” Ben chants, hips twitching a little.  He’s getting off on it, the little shit, and Diego--- He hardly has any room to judge. Diego has his hands in his pants holding way to fucking hard, desperate not to come.  “ Oh my God. 

 

“I’m gonna come all over you,” Klaus tells him, almost meanly through clenched teeth, except that it sounds like a promise and Ben makes a sound like he’s fucking dying . “Fuck, can you---”

 

Except Ben seems to know exactly what Klaus wants, because he pulls one hand away and spits into it.  Diego’s balls twitch. “Fuck, baby boy. You’re doing great, you’re doing---”

 

“Don’t call me tha---”

 

Ben doesn’t get a chance to finish, as Klaus swoops down and steals a kiss that seems to absolute wreck him. He still has both his hands gripped fiercely around Klaus’ dick but he’s lost all ability to move them, though it’s hardly stopped Klaus. Klaus who was fucking up into those hands at the same pace he seemed to be fucking his tongue into Ben’s mouth.

 

Klaus wretches himself away and Diego can see the fight in it, the force in it. He grabs Ben's face, until his mouth purses, his other hand still planted against the wall as his hips drive hard, faster and faster. “ I’ll call you whatever the fuck I want.” He kisses Ben’s mouth, where it’s still caught in his grip and he laughs . Bright, and sharp, and menacing. Diego can feel it slither all over his skin and settle in his balls, and Ben---Ben’s hips are moving too, helplessly against nothing. “Because you like it. But you don’t like that you like it.” He shakes Ben a little, before letting him go, fingers digging into Ben’s hair instead, almost gently. “That’s okay. One day - you’ll love how much it makes you squirm.” He licks Ben’s face again, and it’s filthy, it’s fucking...But Ben shudders all over and Diego grabs himself by the balls before he fucking loses it. “You gonna come for me, Benny? Or are you completely spent?”

 

“I---I--might,” Ben admits, through clenched teeth and closed eyes. “Fuck---” His hands begin to move, struggling to catch the punishing rhythm. “ Fuck .”

 

“Next time,” Klaus says, with more composure than anyone in the fucking room. “Next time, you’ll have both our cocks in your hands, how about that? You wanna come all over my cock, baby boy? Maybe you could lick it up, let me come on your face?”

 

“Klaus,” Ben wheezes, losing all motor function in his hands again. Klaus takes pity on him, it seems, wrapping one of his own, long-fingers hands around Ben's and holding them tightly in place. “Christ. I wanted too---I was gonna---”

 

“You’re doing great,” Klaus says again, using his other hand to push Ben’s shirt up. “You’re doing so good for me, baby boy. Look at you, you’re trying so hard .”

 

Ben shudders, holding still for Klaus to use, and it’s---it’s fucking pretty . “Diego said---”

 

A sharp, punctured sort of sound escapes Klaus, as his fingers ball in Ben’s shirt almost cruelly. Ben moves into it, forced to follow the pull. He doesn’t seem to mind. “What. Diego said what--- You were talking to Diego?”

 

“He said if I jerked off, I could probably last longer for you.” He says it all in a rush, like ripping off a band-aid.

 

Klaus laughs a little, head falling back. The curve of his throat, the cut of his jaw; there’s something especially suggestive about the the lines of his body that Diego should not be aware of. “Big brother give good advice? You gonna last for me?”

“I am really fucking trying,” Ben manages and he sounds thirty, in a way that his body cries sixteen. “Is it always going to fucking feel like this?I feel stupid. Like I’m going to fly out of my skin if I don’t come right now .”

 

Still laughing, Klaus looks down between them, three hands wrapped ‘round his cock. “I really fucking hope so, because if a handy feels this good, I cannot even imagine what fucking you is going to be like.”

 

Ben makes a noise like he fucking hurts and Diego---Diego fucking gets it. At some point, he’s stopped trying not to come, and shifted into grinding his cock into the palm of his hand. It’s not elegant, or especially mature, but it’s all he can manage in the stuffy, cloistered confines of the closet alcove.

 

“In time,” Klaus tells him, with an air of superiority that he just...deserves. Because Diego’s going to come, watching his brothers fuck around in a hallway, and Ben looks about five seconds from absolutely losing it and Klaus---Klaus looks like he could go for hours. “Think you can come on my dick, Benny? I’d really fucking love that.”

 

It’s---It’s fucking filthy. Klaus is fucking filthy .  Shameless and decadent and fucking filthy . But the way he’s embraced it makes him something more. Something mighty, rendering the rest of them all prudish and plebeian. A deviant god among men.

 

“Uh huh,” Ben manages, but he can’t free his hands until Klaus lets him.  Klaus, who doesn’t stop stroking his own fucking dick while Ben scrambles to push his pants down low on his pale, hairless thighs. He’s shy where he holds himself and Diego...Diego shouldn’t want to see his dick as bad as he does, but he does. Here he is. It’s weird. It’s fucking weird.

 

There are worse things than weird. Like...like voyeurism.

 

“Baby boy,” Klaus whispers, in that high-low sing-song tone of his. He presses his forehead to Ben’s, keeps their bodies just far apart that Diego can see shadowy silhouettes of their whole bodies in profile. “Shit, you’re pretty.”

 

“Please don’t.”

 

This time when Klaus grabs Ben’s face, it’s far more gently. “It’s okay if you like it Benny Boy, I won’t tell. You can be pretty for me.”

 

But Ben’s still tense, eyes clenched shut as he holds his own cock, making no move. “It’s ridiculous.”

 

“Fucking come on me, already.” Klaus kisses the corner of his mouth. “ Pretty, baby boy.”

 

“I hate it,” Ben mutters, but he’s working his hand up and down his dick now, and Diego subconsciously matches the pace. “I hate it, I hate it, I hate it----”

 

“You love it,” Klaus sings. “And I love how much it makes you squirm. You’re already close, aren’t you? How many times have you come, Benny? And you’re still gonna give it up to me like a good boy.”

“Fuck you,” Ben wheezes. “Fuck, Klaus---”

 

Klaus crowds up close, gets his cock right up against Ben's. “Fuck next time, I hate waiting. Get your hand around both of us--- shit .”

 

And that’s all it takes for Ben to come, spilling hot and wet all over Klaus’s dick.  He’s not quiet, not at all. Klaus kisses him through it, fucks up between their bodies, fucks up into the mess right against Ben’s pale, bare belly. “Fuckin’ pretty,” he says, against Ben’s mouth. Ben’s not so much kissing back as struggling to stand and breath at the same time. “You did so good, Benny. So good. You want me to come?”

 

“Please.” Ben whimpers, over-sensitive where Klaus is just not stopping. He’s got a come-sticky hand still caught between them, the other balled into a fist, shaking against the wall.

 

Klaus smiles, as he leans in to press his cheek against Ben's. It’s sweet, tender almost. But his smirk curls wickedly and Diego feels his blood go hot. “Not until Diego does.”

 

Diego does. Instantly .

Klaus keeps his promise, laughing as he comes clear up between their bodies. He’s still laughing as he kisses Ben’s mouth, kisses all over his face, and licks the streak of his own come from where it’s striped Ben’s cheek.  He presses it into Ben’s mouth with one last kiss. “Good boy.”

Chapter Text

Ben’s his boy.  Benny’s been his boy for as long as Klaus can remember. Since they were children. Since they were both boys.

 

Ben’s his boy the way he’d never been anyone else's. Certainly not Sir Reginald.

 

Ben doesn’t have Daddy Issues, Klaus will attest to that much. You have to have a dad to have daddy issues, and like Klaus - Ben never really felt that connection. Not like Luther, or Diego; they saw Sir as Father, and it haunts them still. Allison less so - she had bigger fish to fry.  Vanya...Maybe. She certainly didn’t address it in her book.

 

So no - it’s not Daddy Issues that make Ben shudder when Klaus calls him pretty, calls him good . It’s nothing so skin-deep.

 

It’s what happens when you’re six out of seven . When you’re six out of seven, and seven gets left out of the picture. The literal picture, even. It’s what happens when you’re told that you’re very, very special, but also the least special. Six, out of six, in Sir Reginald's eyes.

 

Six, whose gifts were mighty but impractical.  Six, who could never fully control Them. Six, who died without ever managing to please Sir. Six, who died a disappointment.

 

It’s a bunch of fucking bullshit.  Ben’s gifts are beyond all of them - maybe even Vanya’s.  Ben’s gifts are thousands of years old, violent and hungry and untamed. Ben is, in Klaus’ opinion, just as capable of destroying the world. Ben’s got a monster living inside of him - even this far beyond the grave. Ben is extraordinary. One through five, they can do things. Ben doesn’t do things. He is his gift.  Sir Reginald never understood that.

 

Ben had tried so hard to be good.  He pushed himself so far, just to see that fleeting glimpse of approval in Sir’s eyes. Those little flashes of pleased surprise that seemed to grow fewer and farther between as they grew older.  Ben tried so hard to be what Sir wanted - he died trying. He died wanting .

 

Ben just wants to be a good boy.   It’s all he ever wanted. It’s all any of them ever wanted; to be good. But Ben - for all that he’s followed Klaus in and out of every day for the last thirty-something years, he’s a little bit sixteen. And that desperate, hungry need for validation still burns in him.  It’s in every single one of them -- but it’s in Ben a little different, and Klaus is there for it. He’s there for him.

 

Ben doesn’t like how much he likes it. But that doesn’t stop Klaus from petting him softly, from telling him he’s doing so good.   If validation - praise - is what Ben needs, Klaus can give him that. It isn’t difficult. It isn’t a hardship. Not when Ben needs it so much.

 

It’s good. It feels good. Watching Ben’s face go blotchy red, watching his eyes squinch shut, his teeth clench as he fights how much he loves it, as he trembles and shakes so pretty.

 

They’re in the TV room, something old and uninteresting playing on the screen. Diego’s on the other end of the couch, and Luther's passed out cold on the chair, head tipped back, snoring faintly.  Five’s on the floor, belly-down, feet up like the thirteen year old he is, watching what Klaus thinks might be a conspiracy theory documentary on the assassination of JFK.

 

TV has always fascinated Klaus in an abstract sort of way, before drugs had proven more fascinating. It had always served as a weird glimpse of what life would be like without ghosts floating all the fuck around. Just living people, living lives, lovely and unaffected, milling about without the dead judging the state of their socks-- fucking wild , man.  There’s a ghost outside the mansion right now, crooning soft, smokey jazz tunes.  They don’t usually creep so close anymore, not since the Apoca-not, but this one’s earning his keep, and so Klaus has decided to let him be.

 

Ben is on the floor. He’d always preferred to sprawl his legs out in front of him in a gangly vee.  He really is pretty, long limbed and lean in a completely different way than Klaus. Klaus is...Klaus is skeletal, even with the little bit of muscle he managed to scrape together while in ‘Nam.  Klaus is taut skin over sharp bone. Ben is pretty. A little bit baby-faced, with eyes that have always seemed to grave. Ben is willowy. Or maybe Klaus is bias. Who the fuck knows.

 

“This is such a bunch of fucking bullshit,” Five decides, waspishly. He pushes himself up in a maneuver that makes Klaus knees ache in a way reserved for post-thirty. “That man is a fucking quack. Christ. I need a drink.” He blinks out in a wave of salty blue, leaving them all without so much as a by-your-leave.

 

And then there were four.

 

Without even a side-eye toward Luther, Klaus reaches out to dig his hand into Ben’s hair, tugging his head back to expose his throat, mouth parted and pink. He catches Klaus eye, but doesn’t struggle in the soft grip.  Klaus doesn’t need to use force with Ben, not when they’re like this.

 

He curls himself forward to kiss Benny, almost upside-down but not quite Spider-man. It’s an awkward angle, but Klaus likes the helplessly open way Ben’s forced to keep his mouth, with Klaus hand dug tightly in his hair. He can’t kiss him deeply, but he can kiss him. He can kiss the corner of Ben’s mouth, softly, just to feel his lashes flutter like butterfly wings.  He flutters under Klaus’ touch, and draws his knees up to his chest. So easy, Benny-boy. So easy .

 

“Guys,” Diego says roughly, and Ben startles. Klaus looks up, glaring Diego’s way. Diego doesn’t usually interrupt, but maybe he only likes to watch from the shadows.“I mean - should you be doing that? With Luther’s right there?”

 

“Allison is riding that space-dick on the reg, dude.” Klaus holds Diego’s eye and licks down Ben’s temple, long and slow and wet . Ben squirms, but he still can’t move , not with how Klaus is holding him. He also doesn’t ask Klaus to stop. He holds very still, like a very good boy. He likes it when Diego watches him be a good boy, Klaus had recently figured out. It’s icing on his good-boy cake, a second layer of validation. Klaus needs Diego to be a good fucking sport about it. “This is practically innocent in comparison.”

 

“Innocent,” Diego snorts. “Right.” He does squirm, squidging up in his seat and turning his gaze back to the TV.

 

Klaus shakes Ben very gently, before releasing his grip on his hair. “Benny’s still innocent,” he says, breathing the words right into Ben’s open mouth. “A little bit.” If your standard of innocence is gauged by penetrative sex, Ben’s innocent and Klaus hasn’t had sex in like eight months. He might as well be a born-again virgin at this point.  Ben tries to kiss him, even as he speaks. Klaus likes it so much he gives in and licks his bottom lip, quick and sweet. “What’s a little kissing between brothers?”

 

“Incest, mostly,” Diego mutters, curling his fingers into the arms of the couch. “Christ.”

Which - Klaus has been very patient with Diego and his Diego-Issues. The Daddy Issue - those are easily fixed with a few dirty kinks. The Diego-Issues will require a little more manhandling.  Ben’s in a good place though, Ben’s starting to get it, even a little bit. So tonight- tonight Diego .

 

He tilts Ben’s head back to a more comfortable position, cards his hand through his hair and tugs just a little more. Ben has fluffy hair, and Klaus is a little bit high, a little bit tactile . “Stay?”

 

“I’m not a dog ,” Ben mutters, but he settles down against the couch, and rests his chin on his knees. “Can’t fucking tell me what to do.”

 

And that’s true . Klaus can only suggest. Ben can decide on his own if he’s going to play. If he’s going to be good. That’s the nature of the game, in a way.

He pushes himself up off the couch and Diego tracks his movements with his eyes, keeping his head trained in the direction of the TV. He’s not fooling a single fucking soul in the room though, except for Luther who is still asleep.  Klaus lets his feet rise up off the floor as soon as he’s behind the them, ghosting across the old, dusty carpets until he stands behind Diego’s end of the couch. It’s easy to settle down, dig both his hands into the soft, plush give of the velvet cushion, just to feel Diego startle, and jerk. He doesn’t move though - not a single fucking inch. Doesn’t whip around and tell Klaus to fuck off, like he’s often so ready too. Doesn’t put Klaus in a headlock and drag him clear out of the house. No - he stays. A nother good boy .

 

God - Sir Reginald really fucking broke them. What a fucking mess. Klaus though - Klaus likes life messy, and so this works.

 

Klaus settles in, curls himself over Diego’s left shoulder, until they’re chest to back with the chair between them, cheek-to-cheek. “Tell me, brother mine. Do you watch Luther and Allison too? Did he get a monkey dick too, is it proportionate? Does he have tiny balls? I’ve always thought he’d have fucking marbles---”

 

“I--- God, no.” He shudders, appropriately disgusted, like bestiality is the line in the sand. Incest, kinda hot. Monkey-fucking, god no . “I’m not some fucking---”

 

“You’re a nasty motherfucker who gets off on watching your brothers come all over each other,” Klaus interrupts, very rudely, very meanly. He turns just enough to bite Diego, not particularly gently, on the jaw. “You’re fucking disgusting, Diego. I bet you’re hard right now, you fucking sicko.”

 

“Klaus,” Ben says, tentatively.  Ben barely understands his own needs, and so it’s not so wild he doesn’t understand what Diego needs. “Maybe...”

 

“No, no,” Klaus tells him, softy, sweetly. “It’s okay, Benny boy. Diego appreciates the truth. Don’t you, brother mine? You like honesty. You like it when I tell it like it is, huh?”

 

Diego trembles, head falling back against Klaus every so faintly. Klaus hadn’t realized --- Diego had been waiting for him to make a move, apparently. Huh. “I---”

 

“You’re filthy ,” Klaus licks his cheek, just like he does to Ben - but it means something different altogether for Diego.  It’s degrading, it’s dirty . Diego shudders all over, hunching forward, even as he grips the arm of the couch, a soft, broken groan ripping out of his chest. “Getting off, watching me and Benny. You fucking touch yourself, don’t you? You had your hand in your pants, didn’t you? In the hallway. And when Ben was in the shower, when you told him to---”

 

“No, no not then---”

 

“Oh?” Klaus pushes himself up over the low back of the couch, so he can curl himself around Diego’s shoulder. Diego, who still won’t look at him. “Why not?”

 

“I had t-t-too---I was m-m-making sure he was okay.” Diego stutters, cheeks burning a dusky rose beneath his olive skin. Klaus almost breaks, almost forgets what this is about. Nothing destroys Diego more than his stutter. Klaus almost tells him it’s okay, that he’s okay - but that’s not what Diego needs. “That he was s-s-safe.”

 

What Diego needs is for Klaus to just ignore it. Ignore it like it’s nothing, because that’s exactly what it is. Klaus doesn’t give a shit about Diego’s stutter, and Klaus is in charge here.

 

What a novel fucking concept - Klaus in charge. Makes him hard, it really does. Gets him off. He’s just as fucking broken as the rest of them.

 

He turns a curious eye to Ben, who’s staring at his knees. “Benny?”

 

“To make sure I didn’t lose control,” Ben explains, hugging his knees. He doesn’t like Klaus right now. He’s upset, sickened maybe, by the way Klaus is talking to Diego. Klaus has seen that far-away look on Ben’s face before, through a haze of booze and pills. It’s not a great look. “He was helping me.”

 

“Benny, look at me. Look at us,” Klaus calls to him. Ben is so needy. Klaus sort of loves it in a way that is most definitely not healthy. Ben needs Klaus like no one ever has - certainly not Sir.  Ben needs Klaus, and Klaus gets off on it. But shit - there are worse things than liking being needed. Klaus pays it back by giving Ben what he needs. It’s okay - well, it’s not okay - but it’s good. “C’mon, baby boy. Benny. Benny. Don’t ignore me. I’ll have to yell, and then Luther will wake up and wonder why Diego has a boner.”

 

Ben does, turning just so, to look at the pair of them through the dark sweep of his lashes. He’s pissed, and Klaus just wants to kiss it off his mutinous face.  “You’re being a dick . You need to---just leave him alone. This isn’t necessary.”

 

Ben’s protective of Diego. It’s----it’s fucking cute. Klaus can’t fucking stand it. Sweet, pretty Ben. A good fucking boy.

 

“Diego,” Klaus says, holding Ben’s gaze.  Diego makes a noise, but doesn’t speak. He’s so tense, it makes Klaus hurt just looking at him. He loops an arm around Diego, holding him in a gentle, unchallenged headlock. He scratches his fingers through Diego’s neat-trimmed beard, smearing spit across his cheek. Filthy, filthy, filthy. “You’re disgusting,” he says, very softly this time, very sweetly, turning just enough to kiss his reddened cheek. Diego closes his eyes, and holds himself very still. Bingo . Never let it be said Klaus can’t hit a target too.  Diego could flip Klaus straight over his shoulder, slam him down on the floor and boot stomp his face in. He whimpers a little, instead.  “You’re filthy. You’re a vile fucking pervert.” He never breaks Ben’s gaze. Ben whose shaking so faintly, fingers biting into the dark, black denim of his jeans. “It’s nice, isn’t it? It’s easy? To just give in to all those awful, deviant things you want? But you can’t - because you’re Diego, and you have to be perfect . You have to be Number One.”He kisses Diego’s face, and then spits on him. “But you’ll never be number one, because you’re Number Two.”

 

Ben sucks in a breath, and Diego--- might be crying. Like---like actual tears, big fucking salty tears. Christ . Klaus---Klaus should not fuck the couch, but he can barely remember why.



There’s no actual God that could stop Klaus from swooping in and licking up those tears, even as they freefall down Diego’s face. Fuck . This is a new kink, even for Klaus, but he is fucking here for it. “No one cares if you’re perfect, Di. Not here, not like this. don’t care. You wanna give in to this fucking filth, I don’t care.  I’ll fuck you up , Diego. I’ll fucking wreck you.” Diego’s panting now, shaking so pretty, and Ben looks rapt . “You wanna be just like me, big brother ? Dirty. Filthy. Fucking ruined ?”

 

Diego - Diego groans , sinking harder into the couch, head falling back against the curve of Klaus’ neck. He turns into it, plush mouth brushing against Klaus jaw. “I should...This isn’t...”

 

“He likes it,” Klaus tells Ben, very clearly, because there are times to be leading, and there are times to be blunt. Ben needs gentle hand holding, coaxing, validation. Diego needs straight-facts, no-nonsense, a sense of practicality in all presentation. “You wanna call me a slut, Diego? Wanna hold my mouth open and fuck my face? Pull my hair? Choke me? You wanna take control. You wanna tell me what to do? I’ll let you. I’ll fucking love it. You want that?”

 

Klaus can see an actual wet patch forming on his pants, where he’s so hard, so fucking wet. Fuck. Klaus----Klaus isn’t a good enough person to deserve such a fucking gift . “Fuck, please, I don’t----”

 

“Or do you want me to call you a slut?” Klaus asks, petting his face, tears burning both their skin.“A filthy fucking slut who's going to come right here .”

 

“Luther---”

 

“Sleeps like the dead.” It’s not Klaus who says it. It’s fucking Ben. Sweet Ben. Good Ben.

“That’s right, baby boy,” Klaus tells him, catching his eye and smiling. Ben flushes, all pleased and horny and perfect. “Why don’t you come over here?” He suggests because good boys get rewards, Klaus is just a giver like that. “Right here.” He tilts his head toward the space beside Diego’s knee. “Why don’t you...help our brother, here. You just help him out....Out of his pants, even. And I’ll keep watch.”

 

“You want me to jerk him off,” Ben surmises, frank and even and very Ben. Klaus almost can’t tell he’s holding his thighs tight together in a hope to not lose it without being touched. He’s looking at Klaus though, for something - for approval.

 

Klaus smiles wide, closed mouthed, and shrugs his shoulders. “You said it, not me. But isn’t that a good idea, Diego? Benny here gets your dick out and I remind you that you’re fucking trash, and you find out how good it feels to sink so fucking low.”

 

“ Nnng ,” Diego says, closing his eyes as Ben creeps closer on his hands and knees.   Without being asked. Without being told. Because Klaus doesn’t have to tell Ben to be a good boy. He wants to be.

 

“ Aww shit Benny,” Klaus almost whines because while he is very good at sex and sex related things, he’s not a fucking saint . He’s not hardened to it, not disaffected. Not even slightly . “Fuck, that’s good. Jesus Christ.”

 

He kneels in front of Diego, looking up at Klaus with wide, bright eyes. Like this , he asks without a single word. Like this?

 

“So good. So fucking good. C’mon,” Klaus breathes out, holding Diego a little too hard. Not quite choking him but----well. That can be explored later. “Fuck, there you go. C’mon. You know what to do.”

 

Ben touches Diego over his pants first though, palms right up his cock where he’s dressed to the right, makes a point of stopping where he’s wet, where he’s sticky. One of Diego’s hands fly to grip at Klaus’ arm, hard enough to hurt. Hard enough to leave marks and if Klaus wasn’t achingly hard already - that would fucking do it . He grips Klaus’ wrist so tight, all the little bones grind together, searing his nerves and making his skin go tight and it’s been...so...fucking long that Klaus loses his composure for just a second, breathless and stupid and so terribly turned on. Nnng .

 

They’re all very fucked up, okay? But they’re fucked up together . They’re broken pieces, missing pieces, but they come together. They’re going to come together.

 

Then, Ben takes Diego’s dick out.  

Diego throws his head back, knocking hard into Klaus jaw and Klaus doesn’t mean to hold him tighter - kinks like strangulation should be communicated extensively before engaged - but he’s also holding Klaus’ arm in place. It’s not enough to cut off his air supply, but the threat - the promise- seems to be enough for kink-baby Diego.

 

“Show him Benny,” Klaus instructs, through a terrible, vicious smile. “Bet you he’ll get off faster than you, Bentacles. You think?”

 

“No, not at all, definitely not, are you fucking kidding right now,” Ben says, honestly, even as Diego wheezes a sharp, “ fuck you. 

 

“Ah ah, deviants don’t get to argue,” Klaus admonishes him, forcing himself to sound light and not seconds from fucking the chair. He slaps Diego very lightly --degradation over pain- on the face, watches precome well up at the tip of his dick, watches Ben’s eyes get wider as he licks his lips - ugh, such a good fucking boy. Klaus sort of can’t wait until Ben suggests cock-sucking. I mean - he’s going to fucking wait but God .  He cannot fucking wait. “Unless they want to tap out.”

 

Diego laces his fingers with Klaus’s, maybe to keep him from slapping him again, maybe to break his fucking knuckles.  Either way, he does it even as he fucks up into Ben’s fist. “Make him---with his other hand---”

 

“We don’t make Benny do anything,” Klaus tells him, helplessly breathless now. “He does them because he wants too. Because he’s a good boy. Ben?”

 

Ben doesn’t - maybe can’t - say anything at all. But he does spit into his other palm before wrapping it around Diego’s dick. “ Fuck, fuck, fuck .”

 

“You take much longer and I’m going to get bored ,” Klaus drawls, like he isn’t grinding up against antique Bergère velvet. “Maybe Benny’s not doing a good enough job?” It’s a double edge sword, Klaus knows - knows by the way wounded way Ben looks up at him suddenly, cheeks a pretty pink, mouth open. “Is that it?”

 

“No, no, no,” Diego rushes out, hand slipping where it’s still gripping the arm of the couch. “No - no he’s fucking perfect. You’re fucking perfect. Shit. Fuck . I---I---” Diego closes his eyes and Klaus doesn’t even know where to look. Ben or Diego - they’re both making for very attractive and distracting pictures. “He’s grinding up against my fucking shin. He’s fucking hard .”

“Of course he is,” Klaus says, with a breathless laugh. If this were a different kink, he’d call Ben a bad boy and tell him he wasn’t allowed to come until Klaus said. But that’s not the name of the game, and Ben, no matter what, will always be a good boy to Klaus. “Because he’s doing so good,” he says, with a sweetness that borders on mocking but always makes Ben super rabbity, super wet. “I, for one, absolutely love it when he comes in his pants. Love it,” Klaus says, emphasizing the words with wet, smacking kisses to Diego’s face. “Do you know why?”

 

“ F--f--filthy ,” Diego manages, and Ben looks about five seconds from deciding he’s ready to suck dick. “It’s fucking filthy.”

 

“Yes,” Klaus agrees. “It really fucking is. And it feels so fucking good. Baby boy never disappoints.”

 

Ben, who genuinely never disappoints Klaus, and who is terribly, terribly smart and intuitive - catches Klaus eyes and very deliberately spits on Diego’s dick.  Diego comes so fast it makes Klaus’ balls draw up in sympathy and that seems to be all Ben needs, spilling before Diego’s come has time to drip down his hands. 

 

“Shit,” Klaus says. “Christ, Ben. That was---”

 

But, before Klaus can tell Ben exactly what that was - fucking gorgeous - Luther makes...a noise.  Ben vanishes with an audible pop, and Diego scrambles to cover his dick, yanking his stupid turtle neck down with his one free hand.  Klaus is still hard, and boner-stupid, so he doesn’t actually manage to detangle himself from Diego before Luther is blinking his eyes open.

 

“What the hell guys,” Luther says, and Klaus has something sharp, something sarcastic on the tip of his tongue in defense, something about Allison, something about monkey-sex, but Luther continues before he can speak. “Can’t you guys ever just get along?” He pushes up from the couch and stares down at Diego. “How’d Klaus even get you in a headlock?”

 

“I am a man of many talents,” Klaus argues, making no move to release Diego. Diego, who is obviously come-drunk. “Now leave, so we can finish this argument like men.”

 

“Whatever,” Luther grumbles, leaving like the big, innocent, ignorant lunk he is. “You’re both fucking weird.”

 

Diego turns his head up just as Klaus looks down at him, and they’re both wide eyed, with four brows raised between them.  He’s not...He’s not really sure who kisses who, but it hardly matters. He’s fucking kissing Diego. Wild .

 

“B--Ben,” Diego manages to sputter out and it’s sweet, it’s just really fucking sweet of Diego to think of Ben. “What about Ben?”

 

“He’s probably watching, he’s a bigger creep than you are,” Klaus tells him, while leading him bodily down on the couch.  Klaus scrambles right over the back, plonking himself roughly down onto Diego’s spent dick. “I viscerally need to come. I don’t require viewer participation, but you are more than welcome to help.”

 

“Can I like --- Ben in the hall, before. You were---” He can’t even fucking say it, without his cheeks burning a dull red. “Uh. Fucking his fist.” But he can say it. And it sounds like a fantastic idea.

 

“Why the hell not,” Klaus says, gamely, like he isn’t dying inside for someone to touch his dick already. “You’re such a fucking creep, I fucking love it.” Makes him feel a little better about himself, if it’s being honest. A little, not much, but Klaus does love a little nugget of superiority now and then, and hey - Diego’s into it, so why the hell now.

 

Diego’s hands are bigger than Ben's. Klaus spits into them for Diego, and feels an interested little twitch from Diego’s dick, where Klaus is fuckin’ sitting on it. He leans forward, curling himself over Diego, to brace both hands on the arm of the couch for leverage.

 

“How fast I come is entirely up to you,” Klaus lies.

 

Diego takes it for a challenge though, wrapping both is big stupid hands around Klaus at once and God . His grip is firm, and calloused and he twists each hand in opposite direction to match Klaus thrust. “Oh,” Klaus says, biting his own fucking lip. “Oh---fuck. Yeah that’s good. Shit. I really thought it would be harder to get you to touch my dick, I was pretty good with just coming on your face or something. 

 

“You can ---uh. Do that. If you want too,” Diego manages to sputter out, doing something with his palm over the head of Klaus dick that makes him see actual fucking stars.

 

He’s...He’s fucking up into Diego’s fists, with the explicit intent to make as much of a mess as possible. Ben’s probably watching. Benny needs praise. Diego needs to give in to imperfection. Klaus needs them both to need him. They’re a fucking mess, but they’re a mess together and it’s so fucking good. It’s so fucking good.



He hopes, whenever he fucking is, that Sir knows. 

He fucking hopes he's disappointing. Klaus hopes he's disappointing and disgusted and horrified. 

Look at all these shiny toys you bought and broke, he thinks, as he comes straight up Diego's chest, across his open, panting mouth. 

Klaus hopes, with the petty, vicious, blue-burn manic mist, that Sir is fucking haunted by it. 

Chapter Text

“You scared him off.”

 

Klaus isn’t really listening, not particularly invested in the conversation, and so Ben kicks him the leg of his chair, hard, just because he can.

Not even bothering to look up from his crinkled newspaper, Klaus rolls his eyes. “I didn’t scare him off. He’s marinating in his self-loathing.”

 

Which...Diego does like to fucking wade in a constant puddle of angst, Klaus isn’t wrong. Ben’s not going to point that out though. He might not be wrong, but Ben still feels like he isn’t entirely right. “I just think you laid it on a little thick.”

 

Klaus turns the page, sending sparkling dust billowing out from between the sheets that glitter in the sunlight where it pours in from the shutters of Sir’s office. Klaus loves Sir’s office. Klaus loves...doing things, in Sir's office.  As far as Ben can tell, they’re the only ones who ever dare come here. And they do... come here.“I didn’t,” he says, in a disinterested tone. “I assure you.”

 

“I just think---”

 

“Benny,” Klaus says, closing the news paper. It doesn’t snap like a book would, just flops with wobbly, limp pages. The emphasis is still the same. Ben holds himself still, the nickname taking hold like a fucking spell . Klaus looks at him, gives Ben his full attention and it’s...it’s heady and frightening. One, because Ben isn’t entirely comfortable with any attention on him. Two, because it’s Klaus, who isn’t typical to give all of his anything to anybody.  Especially his fractured, fractal attention. “Diego is not like you.”

 

Which, yes, Ben understands that. It’s just that, Diego’s sort of straight fucking vanished as thoroughly as an actual ghost. Ben hasn’t seen so much as a Diego shaped shadow since...what happened. “I know---”

 

“I know that you know , but me thinks that perchance you don’t know-know , if you know. What I mean.” He smiles, pleased by his spill of words, and hunches forward over the great, fearsome desk that Sir loved so much. Poor posture had drove Sir absolutely mad, and Ben thought Klaus sort of reveled in keeping his body in an awkward disrespect at all times. “Interrupting Diego’s festival of man-pain will scare him off. Patience,” Klaus tells him, all superior and mighty, which is a fucking joke. Klaus is the least patient person Ben has ever met. Instant gratification took too long, what Klaus wanted, Klaus wanted yesterday. Except, it would seem, where Ben and Diego were concerned. “You’re freaking out because you don’t understand why Diego would like to be spit on, and called disgusting.”

 

“I don’t fully understand why I like that you like when I come in my pants,” Ben tells him, taking some small victory in the fact that he gets it all out evenly and without rush. “So no, I can’t say I understand why anyone would like that.”

 

“For the same reason you like being a good boy.” Klaus waits for Ben to argue - to beg not to be called that - and Ben...really wants too. Except...It isn’t what Klaus wants, and Ben wants to be good. For a second, Klaus almost looks...tired. And Ben almost feels bad . “Diego puts a lot of stress on himself to be perfect. To live the dream Sir laid out for us. He’s out there - creeping and kicking ass. But he’ll always be Number Two. He’ll neverbe Number One, and it’s always going to fucking haunt him, and fuck him up. So it’s...it makes senses, that he needs somewhere he doesn’t have be anything. Where the only thing that’s expected of him is for him to be nothing. That he can give in, and give up . Where the only way to be perfect is to be perfectly fucked up. He just wants to be free.”

 

“And you give him that, by calling him...names.” Ben can’t even imagine it. It makes his skin crawl just thinking about it. Klaus isn’t wrong, and maybe Ben didn’t fully understand it until he saw Diego practically begging to be used.  Ben does enjoy being good. It feels good, it feels clean, it’s comforting.

 

“To paraphrase, yes.” Klaus grins a little, and it wrinkles the corner of his eyes in such a warm, kind way - Ben can almost forget the way his tongue feels when it drags across his skin. Almost- but not quite. If he blushes, Klaus is kind enough not to call him out on it. “Lucky for him, I happen to be a goddamn expert on being absolute trash.”

 

“You’re not.”

 

“C’mon Ben,” Klaus laughs, throwing both his feet up on the desk as he sinks back into the chair. He crosses one boot over the other, and rolls his eyes. “You’ve been with me through the worst of it, which was most of it, if we’re going to be honest. I’m winning the cosmic limbo comp, with as low as I can go, baby-cakes. Dad bought me out of a Russian gutter, I’m just keeping to my roots.”

 

Ben needs praise, Diego wants shame. Klaus---

 

Klaus had always had the ability to see the fault lines in a person. To see the cracks in their soul where doubt and fear festered. It’s what makes Ben trust him, what makes Ben want to trust him, even.  Whatever Klaus has seen in him, it’s buried so deep even Ben isn’t sure of it.  Diego too, Ben thinks; he should trust that Klaus knows what Diego needs, even if he can’t wrap his head around it.

 

Ben can’t taste a soul on the air like petrichor.  He can’t hold a man's gaze and know the heart of him. Those are Klaus’ gifts, not the ones born of their peculiar nature, but simply the nature of him. But he does know Klaus. Ben can’t say he understands Klaus, not to any absolute, but he’d been at Klaus’ side for a very long time. And he understood a little bit, at least, of what drove Klaus. He understood the drinking, and the drugs, and the dangerous, reckless behavior. He understood the propensity for pain, where it bled into his pleasure. He understood that Klaus had a very hard time enjoying anything, unless it also hurt him. Pain was the price, because Klaus didn’t think he deserved it, if he didn’t pay.  

 

Ben is hungry to be enough,  just as he is. He hates it. Hates how it shapes him, how it hurts him when he isn’t.  He wants to fight it, flusters at the first flush of heat that burns up his spine when Klaus pushes his buttons. He hates how much he wants to be good, how Klaus dug it up like a corpse long buried. He hates it, but it feels so good.

 

And Klaus...

 

Klaus deserves good things. Good things that will never hurt him. Good things that cost him nothing, no price, neither pain nor pride. So, sometimes Ben doesn’t hate it as much as he’d like, because Klaus deserves good things, and Ben just wants to be good. So, sometimes...sometimes it’s not so hard, to be good. For Klaus. It’s not healthy, it’s not right, but it’s good , and that? That’s enough.

He is...he is not so good at initiating things. It’s easier when Klaus leads, when Klaus kisses him, or pulls him into the room, or looks at him in a certain way.  Ben’s still hashing out how things work, because Klaus isn’t playing by any of his old rules, the ones Ben knew like his own. Ben is...Ben is different from them. All the men that came before. And it’s comforting in the same way it isn’t. It makes Klaus unpredictable, paints a line Ben doesn’t know how to follow.

 

Still. Klaus...Klaus deserves good things.

 

So Ben rounds the desk, ignoring Klaus’ bemused smile, even as he hops up to sit on his fucking news paper. “Benny?”

 

It’s weird to be taller  than Klaus, and the new perspective doesn’t do him any favors as he reaches out for Klaus, with a nervous hand slipping over his neck to draw him in. Ben hunches forward to kiss him, catches the corner of his smile. He could say something - you’re not trash.  You’re my brother. I love you. But they all feel stupid, and plastic. So he kisses Klaus, and it’s just a band-aid to bigger problems, but it’s a start.

 

Klaus humors him, extensively, with teeth and tongue and roaming hands. Ben’s a little breathless which is such a fucking novelty, when Klaus finally leans back. “This isn’t a conductive way to find a job, but I do love a distraction.”

 

Ben peeks down at the corner of the newspaper exposed beneath his thigh. “Is that what you were doing? Why?”

 

“Because you wear the same jeans every day, and it makes me feel weird,” Klaus tells him, with a startling spasm of honesty. “You’re a real boy now, uh. Kind of. But I think it’s time we start treating you like one, don’t you think? So you know - your own clothes, shower stuff, your own weed, whatever.”

 

“We have a trust fund,” Ben argues, but he knows it’s weak. They do, each and every one of them, have a sizable trust fund. Even Ben still has one, in Luther’s name now. They all seem hard pressed to use it, though. That’s Sir’s money.  What they do draw from it seems to go entirely to renovations. But they also still see royalties from the merchandise still in market, and they seem a little less hesitant to spend that, maybe because...in a way...they earned it. They paid the interest in trauma and blood.

 

Allison used plenty to move, and get herself started. Vanya still pays her rent with it, and lives off the money she gets from teaching. Luther doesn’t have a job; he’s gotta be using some of it. Diego used it to go to the Academy, probably uses it to fund his turtleneck collection.  Five never had a chance, but he’s more than making up for it now in miniature versions of designer suits, booze and expensive, imported coffee.

 

Klaus though. Klaus never used it. Never, not once. Not the trust-fund, and not the royalties.  Not when he was jonesing so much he got nosebleeds from the migraines. Not when he had loan sharks busting his fingers over debt. Not when he was forced to sleep on park benches, or worse, find a hookup just for a warm place to sleep. Never, not once .  He didn’t balk at selling Sir’s shit right out from under him though; that had been something like a game, something petty and mean-spirited and fun.

 

“You don’t have to take care of me. I don’t even need to eat.”

 

“But you can,” Klaus says, with a wide smile and an edge to his gaze. “And so you should. And you should get to wear clothes you didn’t die in. Plus, everyone else has a job. I think...I think I’m suppose to have a job. I’ve had a job before, right? Like a real one. Have I ever paid taxes? Holy shit. Man it is fucked up that I’ve I have no idea. I am a terrible adult,” He laughs, like that isn’t absolutely tragic. “I mean, I was definitely earning money somehow.”

 

Ben...Ben does not bring up how Klaus made money.  It’s one of those unspoken things they’ve let die in light of Klaus new sobriety.  “Five and Luther don’t.”

 

“They’re not real people, they’re cartoon versions of real people.” Klaus lays his hands on Ben’s knees, pushes his palms up this thighs. “I think it’s time for me to be a real boy too, you know?” His thumbs dig deep into the inside seam of Ben’s jeans and he knows...he knows Klaus is just trying to distract him. He’s just...really good at it. Ben’s brain says, no, no, no focus . Ben’s body says fucking touch me . “Time to grow up a little. Contribute.”

He pulls himself forward until he’s flush in the vee of Ben’s legs, looking up at him through those thick, dark sweeping lashes. Klaus is pretty like women are pretty, Ben can’t explain it any other way. Klaus can look, in opposite of himself, terrifying and angelic all at once. Ben thinks of the bible, of the books on Christianity and Catholicism that Sir kept in tidy rows in the library, rarely read or acknowledged.  How they spoke of Lucifer, of the Morning Star, the fallen star. More beautiful and bright than any other. Who’d denied his father, and found himself cast out.  Ben thinks Klaus is beautiful like that.

 

“You use to dance,” he finds himself saying, just as Klaus is pushing his hands up Ben’s shirt, the soft, cool palms searing against Ben’s warm skin. The things inside him wriggles and curl, purring like cats, all pleased to be acknowledged. “You use to---” Strip . “That was a real job.”

 

Klaus laughs, even as he sinks his fingers deep into Ben’s side. Ben is not ticklish, not at all, and so he holds himself very still. “That’s my only  real job? Stripping?”

 

“I’m pretty sure they paid hourly, so you must have paid taxes.” Ben had prefered to to the other things Klaus did, but he didn’t say as much. “That one club was actually kind of nice. They didn’t even go full nude. The Aviary ?”

 

“Go figure. I have two solid skills. “On-point sass and shaking ass. One gets me fired, and the other...well,” Klaus laughs. “I wouldn’t call it a promotion.”

 

“You didn’t get fired. You just stopped going.” He’d hopped on a bus and ended up in Wisconsin. Hitch-hiked back in a haze of opium blue. Forgot he had a job all together, and lost about eight months to heroin and rehab. Ben leaves that part out.

 

He’d been good at it.  Klaus had always been unnaturally graceful in a peculiar way. His body moved in waves, and at times those waves crashed together, but everything remained fluid and fine all the same. He had liked dancing. He had closed his eyes and simply moved . Couldn’t hear the ghosts over the thumping of the speaker; he’d been happy there, even between the hits and highs. Ben had never cared for clubs, had found the sensory overload exhausting. So he usually spent the time suck there, simply staring at Klaus and the feline curve of his spine.

 

“Diego will be back,” Klaus says, apropos of nothing, with both his hands up Ben’s shirt. “Can I suck your dick?”

 

Ben blinks at him, losing any subject that isn’t Klaus sucking his dick because his body just established some pretty skewed priorities. “Um.”

 

“No pressure,” Klaus says, all sweet and nonchalant, as he pulls himself forward into the vee of Ben’s legs. “It’s just, you’ve had a boner for like ten minutes, and managed to carry on a full conversation. I think that means you’re ready for blowys.”

 

“Oh---oh.” God - and just like that, Ben’s completely lost all control to his dicks demands because they were talking and Ben...Ben needs to focus. But that ship has sailed on a sea of teenage hormones and Ben just wants his fucking dick sucked.“Um. Okay.”

 

“Points for consent, but the Russian judge gave you a four for enthusiasm,” Klaus teases, with kind eyes and a careful smile. Klaus is very careful with him, the way he is certainly not careful with himself. “We can go jerk off on Diego while he sleeps, if you want.”

 

“Why---why would we---” Except, given the very brief glimpse Ben witnessed into what Diego wants - he knows exactly why Klaus would suggest something so disgusting. “I don’t want to do that.” Klaus is easing off, not a stitch of fucking disappointment on his face. “You could um. You could---”

 

It’s a tangible shift, Ben watches it unfold in smooth steps. Klaus’ ocean eyes narrow, keen and curious, and the shape of his shoulders change as he moves forward, fingers spreading faintly where they’re painted over Ben’s knees. “I could what, Benny?” He asks, with a curl to his voice that makes Ben’s spine go liquid hot. “What could I do? Say it like a good boy.”

 

“Bl---blow me,” Ben manages, toes curling in his shoes as Klaus presses his palms up to Ben’s hips. “Fuck, Klaus. Please don’t make me beg.”

 

“I’ll never make you beg,” Klaus tells him, too serious for the moment, to serious for his smile. “I’ll just make you ask .”

 

“Please fucking blow me, oh my God .”

 

Klaus laughs, and pours himself out of the chair onto his knees. “Lean back a little, elbows on the desk.”

 

Ben obeys, even as Klaus undoes his pants, and the first touch is not gentle, not at all. It  takes everything Ben has not to give into it. Klaus shoves his legs further apart, makes rooms for his shoulders and it’s---it’s a lot . Too much. “I’m sorry if I come like...immediately.” Possibly before Klaus even gets his mouth near Ben’s dick if he keeps touching him that way.

 

Klaus laughs, but then the sound is gone, muffled by a full mouth and Ben---

 

Maybe yells. A little bit. Holy shit.

 

He’s seen, third person, Klaus enthusiasm when it comes to...to this. But he had no idea. No idea. It’s hot, and wet, and Klaus tongue is soft but insistent, pushing up on the underside of Ben’s dick.  He has a hand wrapped around him, even though Ben knows Klaus could take it all. Ben’s not very big. It’s just...that’s his lot in life. He’s not necessarily small; Klaus has sucked smaller. He’s just not very big. He’s not as big as Diego, not as big as Klaus, and he’d be sensitive about it except - except it’s hard to be sensitive about anything when your getting blown stupid.  Klaus lets his other hand slip low, cups Ben’s balls and tugs and Ben makes a noise he is absolutely sensitive about. He throws an arm up over his face, muffles all the desperate, gasping cries. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.

 

He has a moment of clarity when Klaus pulls back to breath. “You’re doing so good, baby,” he croons and Ben feels himself shake all over. “Look at you, trying so hard. You’re doing so good. Lift--lift your hips up, let me---” And then Klaus is leaning back, just enough to pull Ben’s jeans off. They get caught around his boots, but it hardly stops them. Klaus pushes right back between his legs, puts his mouth on Ben’s balls---

 

“Oh fuck,” Ben cries, back slapping hard against the desk. His head is hanging off the edge, he’s knocking all sorts of shit to the ground but nothing fucking matters, nothing fucking matters, he’s going to come, he’s going to---

 

Klaus wraps his fingers around the base of Ben’s dick and Ben’s still pretty sure he’s coming, he still feels like he’s coming but he can’t----

 

And then it’s all hot, wet heat, as Klaus sucks him back down, every fucking inch.  Ben throws both his arms over his face and fucking sobs, twitching up into Klaus mouth. He still feels like he’s coming, still feels like he hasn’t and has, all at once. “Klaus---Klaus---” He has no idea what he’s trying to say, he’s fairly certain he just died again.

 

Then----Klaus presses his thumb, just the pad of his thumb, against Ben’s asshole and that...that’s fucking it. He comes, long and hard and in staccato pulses, across Klaus tongue.

 

Klaus makes a noise, something sure to haunt Ben forever, sure to echo across his mind at inopportune times, leave him hard and squirming over breakfast. He makes a noise Ben’s heard before, a few times, when Klaus has been bent over a couch, or a desk, or park bench and he takes his hand away very, very quickly, shoves it in his own pants while Ben watches through lidded eyes and comes with all the force of a sixteen  year old boy.

 

Klaus...Klaus really likes giving head. Ben knew that, but he didn’t really know that.

 

“Fuck.” He says, staring up at the ceiling for a long moment. “ Fuck .”

 

Klaus laughs, close-mouthed, where his cheek is pressed against Ben’s bare thigh.

 

When he stands, he still has a hand full of come, and a look in his eye that makes Ben squirm. He tips his head to Ben’s jeans, carefully doesn’t speak, but waits while Ben sorts himself out onto wobbly, weak knees.

 

Ben...Ben already kind of knows where this is going, but he’s too come-drunk to say much about it. So he follows instead. Follows Klaus down the hall, knows what turns to take before Klaus makes them, until they’re standing in front of Diego’s door.

 

It’s not healthy, the way they play off each other. It’s not healthy, or particularly right. But it works for them. The pieces they’re missing in themselves are easily borrowed, easily shared.

 

Ben knocks for Klaus, and Klaus smiles, all pleased and satisfied. He doesn’t need to say Good Boy , Ben still hears it.  It’s easy to be good for Klaus. Klaus wants so very little.

 

Diego answers, looking appropriately sleep-rumpled at two in the afternoon for a nighttime vigilante. “I---Oh. Klaus.” He blinks, eyes slipping past Klaus and shit , Ben’s invisible again.

 

He makes himself come back, peers over Klaus shoulder. “Hey Diego,” he says, very carefully. “Klaus has something for you.”

 

Klaus laughs.

 

“What---”

 

Klaus laughs and kisses Diego, and Ben knows. Ben knows , they’re sharing his come between them and it’s fucking...it’s fucking gross . It’s gross but Ben...can’t help but watch.  Klaus slips his hand over Diego’s cheek, smearing come across his beard. He doesn’t stop until he’s digging his fingers into Diego’s hair, and pulling. It’s rough, violent in a way that Ben’s never been sure of, but Diego’s chasing the taste - the taste of Ben- with all these open-mouthed, hurt little sounds.

 

When they break apart, Ben couldn’t tell you which of the three looks more dazed.

 

Klaus slaps Diego’s face with a sticky, smacking sort of noise reserved for porn. “See you around,” he says, all saccharine sarcasm. It's very Klaus, and it makes Ben smile.  “ Slut .”

Chapter Text

Diego stands there - stunned and sticky.

 

Hard, and dizzy.

 

Slut. Slut. Slut.

 

It isn’t that he wants to be a slut, it’s not. Diego’s never been the sort to run around. Sure, he’s had his fun. He’d gone a little wild when he’d left the mansion, honestly. But just...just a little wild.

 

It’s just -

 

It’s just --

 

It’s just --- Well, Klaus is a good example of what it’s just , maybe too good of an example at times. Maybe a perfect example of why Diego didn’t go too wild. It’s not a vilification, it’s just an observation, and Diego would be lying if he said sometimes...he wished he could be more like Klaus, even nose-deep in drugs and disaster.  Sometimes Diego wished he’d lost it a little too. Wished he’d really fucking let go. If Diego went wild, Klaus went feral .

 

Klaus had set himself free .

 

Klaus had...Klaus had rebelled violently and with much enthusiasm...He’d jumped right off the deep-end and swam so far away from Father and his precepts, he’d come out a rabbit hole of booze and pills,  blissfully emancipated from all the barbs and tethers their childhood had snared them with. Klaus - did not give a shit .

 

Diego wants that. He wants that so fucking bad. To give in, not care, abandon everything that’s ever hurt him.  To just...to just feel good . And to chase those things that make him feel good. To live a life proving nothing to no one, to not be dictated by the words of a ghost, by the standard of a man who could never be pleased. And Klaus had--- Klaus had seen it in him somehow. But then - Klaus was always good for that. Klaus could find a weak spot in a person like a hawk found a mouse, and he could swoop and snatch it just as fast. Klaus had seen the weakness in him, the terrible hungry want, and he could have just as easily destroyed Diego with it, but he didn’t.

 

Diego doesn’t understand why he doesn’t.

 

Sometimes.

Sometimes.

Sometimes...Diego wishes he would.

 

How terrible a thing - to crave that kind of destruction. And Diego knows it’s because he can’t do it himself. He’s not strong enough. He’s not brave enough.  He didn’t always look at Klaus and see bravery, not at all, no, nothing so easy. But he sees it now. He sees what it must have taken to cast himself out, to rip himself off like a limb from everything he knew. From the comforts of home, even if those comforts were minimal and cold at best.  Diego clings to the comforts of his childhood - playing hero, saving lives. He’ll never give it up, and it’ll never be enough and for all that he knows that, it still fucking hurts .  Klaus accepted no fallback into his life, no safety net. He stepped out the doors of the Umbrella Academy and never looked back. Would rather sleep in a gutter than ring that bell.  He said no, no thank you, never again, and that, Diego thinks, was brave. Brave to do it, brave to maintain it even when it might kill you.  It would have killed a lesser man. It would have killed Diego.

 

But somehow - Klaus grew from it. Diego would like to think it was with the help of his brothers and sisters, but he knows, this...this is just another thing Klaus did all on his own.  Sobriety. Clarity. The hardness in his eyes that a year they'll never know him for bruised into place. They’re all haunted by their past, every single one of them. Luther, Allison, Five, Vanya, Diego - they are fucking haunted by their childhoods and the lives they fucked up all on their own.

 

Klaus is haunted by everything else, but never by the choices he’s made.

 

Diego wants that.

He wants to own his life like that.

 

And so Diego stands there, stunned and sticky and harder than he’s ever been in his fucking life.  And he makes a choice, a frightening, bright, terrible, dark, twisted, unhealthy, good choice to chase the things that make him feel good. To let himself have this thing...this one good thing. Klaus...Klaus will never ask anything of him. Klaus will never think he’s not enough. Klaus doesn’t care if he’s number one, or number one-hundred. Klaus doesn’t give a shit about Sir Reginald’s world, doesn’t expect Diego to play by their fathers rules. He’ll never be as free as Klaus, he’ll never cut himself away but...

 

But it might be nice to just...pretend, once in a while.

He thinks that might be okay, sometimes.

 

It might be okay.

 

It doesn’t feel brave. It feels selfish. It feels selfish, reckless, greedy---

 

It feels so fucking good.

 

***

 

Diego comes downstairs, several hours later. He’d waffled in the bathroom for a solid fifteen minutes, knowing that he should absolutely shower but...really just...not wanting too.  

 

Klaus wouldn’t.

 

Klaus hadn’t , actually. Klaus had wandered downstairs without so much as stopping to wash his hands.  Klaus, with spit and come in his beard, and a spring in his step.

 

So... Diego compromises. Washes his face. Brushes his teeth. Ignores his hair and the strip of his stomach where he’d made a mess of himself. And wanders downstairs.

 

Klaus is seated at kitchen table, cross legged in his chair. Ben, by contrast, is perched on the counter, curled over a little, like if he makes himself small, maybe no one will notice him.  Diego bumps into him accidentally-on-purpose as he passes, just a soft little acknowledgment, no eye contact, and drops down in the chair across from Klaus.

 

“Late night?” Klaus asks, all light and absent as he peers at Diego from behind a newspaper. “We didn’t hear you come in and we were up---When did we get to bed, Ben? Eleven? Two? Four?”

 

“Yes,” Ben agrees, very ambiguously, as he inspects a blueberry bagel held between two fingers.  They’d always been like that, always played off each other, always covered for each other without so much a blink between lies. They weren’t so much in each others pockets, as they were in a pocket no one else could breech.

 

Diego thinks...he might be in that pocket now.

 

“About six or so,” Diego admits, though a lie does consider itself on the tip of his tongue.  Klaus doesn’t care though, he reminds himself. Klaus doesn’t care when he left, when he came back, or what he did while he was gone.

 

“Hmm.” Klaus shakes his newspaper and hums to himself, and the indifference is...grating, in a strange way. A keen, needling way. The others always have something to say - that his vigilante nonsense is getting kind of old (Allison), that he should at least have a partner (Luther), that he should---

 

Klaus just makes fun of his turtle necks.

 

Diego smiles, and grabs an apple from the basket on the table. It’s too early for dinner, to late for lunch, but he’s hungry

 

“I have a job interview later,” Klaus announces, folding his newspaper into an awkward triangle and throwing it over his shoulder. It flutters, and sways, flopping in a mad mess near the door where someone (probably Luther) will slip on it later.

 

“It’s not a job interview,” Ben laughs, cheeks chipmunked with bagel. He kicks his legs a little, and takes another bite before swallowing the last. Diego doesn’t call him on it. He’s hasn’t had the luxury of eating for something like fourteen years. “It’s a cold call. 

 

“Are you saying they won’t take me back, Benny Boy? As I recall  - I was quite good.” He waggles his brows in a ridiculous manner, un-selfconscious to the constellation of his face and how it configures itself at any moment.  Klaus never cares if he looks ridiculous. Diego sometimes gets too nervous to smile. “Anywho, you wanna come? Both of you?”

 

“Hard pass.” Ben wrinkles up his nose. He has cream cheese on his cheek. If Klaus isn’t going to tell him, Diego won’t either. “Too fucking loud.”

 

“Where are we going?” Diego finds himself asking, accidentally agreeing to go without even meaning too.

 

“ Don’t tell him,” Klaus says in a rush, when Ben opens his (still full) mouth. “He won’t want to come.”

 

“Well now I definitely don’t want to come.” Except that’s a lie. Now he’s vaguely (desperately) curious to know what kind of place is both loud and would hire Klaus.

 

(It should be obvious. But it is not.)

 

“Well, I need to go wax everything from the neck down,” Klaus says, brightly. He slaps the table, and pushes himself up, chair scraping harshly against the hardwood. “I’ll see you in four hours. Wear your sex harness.”

 

“I don’t have a---” But Diego knows what Klaus is talking about, and he sighs. “It’s not a sex harness!”

 

“Re-purposed sex harness, sorry,” Klaus waves an airy hand.  He’s mostly out the door when he stops, bending backwards at the waist to peer back into the kitchen. “Benny, my buddy, my brother, my boy---”

 

“I’m not waxing your asshole.” Ben doesn’t so much as look up from his second bagel. “Figure it out.”

 

Klaus blinks at him with big, grey eyes and a spectacular pout. “Baby bo----”

 

“Yeah,  no,” Ben cuts him off, flat and even and no-nonsense. “Gonna stop you right there. Hard no. Firm no. Wax your own ass.”

 

“Don’t think I can’t, “ Klaus mutters, eyes drifting over to Diego. “I could lick my own asshole if I wanted. With a little bit of practice. Little yoga. I’m very flexible, you know.” And then he’s gone, just like that, leaving a searing mental image embedded in Diego’s brain.

 

Diego waits exactly...twelve seconds...to ask. “Has he ever actually---”

 

“No,” Ben snorts, having finished all of his bagel. He eyes Diego’s apple, like there isn’t a fucking bowl of them, but Diego caves all the same, tossing it to him across the table. Ben hums, and rolls it between his palms. “He can suck his own dick though,” he adds like an afterthought. Diego would be more inclined to believe the innocence in his voice, in his absent little smile if Ben didn’t spend so much fucking time with Klaus.

 

Diego fucking believes it when Klaus says Ben’s a good boy.  

Ben’s doing exactly what Klaus wants him to do.

And doing a very good job of it.

He’s fucking with Diego.

Great . Christ. Fuck.  

 

Diego should have stayed in bed.

 

***

 

It’s three hours later, three hours of Diego ignoring every thump and bump coming from Klaus room  (not imagining what he could be doing to create such a series of consistent noises), when there’s a knock on his door.

 

Klaus doesn’t wait for any response on his part, just steps right into Diego’s room. He’s got a towel around his waist, a pair of pants in one hand and a white plastic bottle of...

 

“Is that baby powder?”

 

“Yes, I stole it from Allison. I need your help.” He jiggles the plastic container, faintly, sending a shimmery mushroom cloud puff into the air. “PVC requires four hands and Ben refused to help.”

 

“PVC---” Klaus rattles the pants, rabbiting right into Diego’s space, into Diego’s room. “So like - Ass or crotch, how we gonna do this?”

 

“I---” Diego has no idea what’s happening here, but a vague sensation that he’s invited this chaos into his life. “I have no idea what you mean.”

 

“Which one do you want in your face?” Klaus asks, stoutly, throwing the bottle and the pants onto Diego’s bed. “You know - like when  you’re shuffling past people in a movie theater and you gotta make that choice. Are they getting ass or crotch? Only I’m letting you decide. Because I’m very generous.”

 

“I don’t want to decide.” Diego wants to know what’s fucking happening and why Klaus would invest himself in any kind of pants that require assistance to wear.  Except that’s not what Klaus reads from the situation or Diego’s face, deciding instead that it means he gets decide.”

 

“Alright.” He claps his hands, rubbing goodbye and hello together with a vicious grin on his face. “Ass it is.”

 

And then he whips off the towel.

 

Diego---Diego doesn’t look away. Which would probably be the normal, the healthy, the reasonable response to seeing your brothers dick.  But then, he’s already made the conscious decision to follow the things that make him feel good and he thinks...

 

Well.

 

Whatever happens here, Diego’s probably going to enjoy it.

 

“Wow,” he says, after far too long a pause. Klaus doesn’t even squirm under the scrutiny, perfectly confident in nothing but his skin. “You really did wax everything.”

 

“Even my asshole,” Klaus says, with a bright laugh. He flicks a joint free from behind his ear and holds it up and throws his naked ass down into Diego’s, throwing both legs up over the arm. “Give me a minute, I’m gonna need to smoke this before I have enough balls to put my balls in those.” He tips his head toward the bed. “They’re a fucking nightmare.”

 

“Why---Why wear them?” Diego has seen Klaus is some pretty explicit clothing, tight things, things that lace, things made of lace, things made of two bandaids and a rubber band.

 

“You’ll find out.” He extends his arm, holding out the joint and it’s not so much a challenge as a genuine offer.

 

There’s no reason not too, so Diego accepts. He doesn’t cough like he had the first time, or the last time, and he makes a show of blowing a one ring, and then another, into the air between them. Klaus blows him a fucking kiss in return. “You jerk off after I snowballed you with Ben’s come?” He asks, blowing smoke with every word and Diego is so caught off guard by the nonchalant question he does cough, on nothing but his own tongue.

“I---I----”

“I wanted you too.” He takes another hit and holds it in his lungs so long, Diego’s burn in sympathy.  

 

“Yes,” Diego manages, accepting the joint again from where it’s pinched between Klaus long, thin fingers. He shakes as he takes his hit, and takes his seat, sprawling back on the bed. He doesn’t look Klaus in the eye, as he pushes up his shirt. He still has come in the trail of hair leading down from his navel. “I didn’t even shower.”

 

“Fuck, that’s hot.” Klaus isn’t trying to sound sexy. There’s no coy curl to his voice, nothing sweet, nothing saccharine. He sounds impressed , and that - that- that makes Diego’s fingers clench in the fabric of his shirt. “You have my come in your hair.”

 

“That---that was yours?” He manages some semblance of evenness in his voice, like they’re not talking about whose home is where, like they’re not brothers, like Diego hadn’t desperately wanted to lick his own spit off Klaus face only a handful of hours ago. He takes another hit, longer and deeper, and sees Klaus smile a little.

 

“Benny finally let me blow him.  He wasn’t really in a place to get me off once I was finished, and I wasn’t patient enough to come find your pretty face so I could come on it.” He delivers every devastating word with the same conversational tone people use to talk about a new gym or a particularly good restaurant.

 

Diego swallows, and shakes his head when Klaus leans forward to pass the joint back. He should---Say something. Do something. Anything but sit there like a fucking idiot, wordless and wide-eyed.  He knows what he wants - he’s not entirely comfortable with it but he wants it all the same. He wants Klaus to tell him what to do, to put his hands on him. He wants to get on his knees and blow Klaus right now. He wants too. He just doesn’t know how to say it. How to put it out there. How to take the leap. Make it happen. Shit. “We should ---- Your pants.”

 

Klaus looks...disappointed. Not overtly, and maybe not at all. Maybe it’s just Diego projecting, maybe he just expects Klaus to be disappointed. But he sees it all the same, and it makes his stomach clench in a significantly fun way.  He unfolds himself from the chair and turns, the curve of his spine, the smooth pale expanse of his back all very distracting. “Grab my pants, would ya?” Diego does, handing them over wordlessly. Klaus bites the joint between his teeth. “Gonna need both my hands.” All Diego can do is watch, as Klaus first steps into the pants, and pulls the stretchy, sticky looking fabric up his pants. “Powder me, princess. This is a process.”

 

So Diego does - shaking hands puffing out powder between Klaus legs like his ass isn’t right in Diego’s face. It would be so easy to touch him. Klaus wouldn’t say no.  All Diego has to do is touch him. Just reach out and fucking tough him, hands on his waist, anything at all. Something.

 

He’s frozen, stuck, stuttering around in his own fucking mind.

 

Klaus pulls the pants up a little higher, gets them to his knees before they get stuck again. “Shitting fuck bags,” he mutters, hopping from one foot to the other - and it makes his ass jiggle, just a little. Klaus doesn’t have much to jiggle, has always been lean and tight. But his ass has a little bit of give to it that the rest of his body does not. Not much, just a little, nothing like a woman's, Diego probably has more going on (he does squats) but it’s enough to make his palms itch, enough to make his mouth dry. “Can you - just pull them up in the back maybe? If I can get them to my thi---”

 

He just means to touch. He really just means to touch, but his hands are shaking and he’s too fucking rough. Something about Klaus has always made him itch for violence. And so instead of touching, he knocks Klaus forward into the chair. He lands with his knees on the cushions, toes stretching to reach the carpet. “Buddy,” Klaus says, somewhat carefully, around his joint. “Diego?”

 

Diego---makes a noise. It’s not words, not at all, just something visceral and broken. He settles trembling hands on Klaus’ rib cage, lets them float down to his hips, lets his thumbs dig hard into the give of his ass cheeks. “I---” He still can’t fucking say it though. I want to--- I want you----

 

Let it never be said that Klaus has no empathy. He takes pity on Diego with a curve to his spin, a push to his ass that’s new and telling. “Yeah?” He says, taking the joint from his mouth and dropping it directly on Diego’s rug. He settles his elbows on the back of the chair. “So...Ass was a good choice?”

 

Diego’s not really thinking about anything. Not the teasing little spice in Klaus’ voice. Not the unlocked door. Not the cherry burning a hole through the carpet fibers.  He’s not thinking of any of those things when he lets his hands wander a little farther, chasing the heat that curls in his belly. He’s not thinking of the way Klaus can’t spread his legs any farther, trapped in his stupid pants, even as Diego spread his ass cheeks.

 

Klaus makes a noise, just as feral as Diegos, and pushes his ass out more, into the biting grip of Diego’s hands. “Fuck,” he says, and Diego watches his pink little asshole fucking flutter. “ Jesus Christ.”

Sorry , Diego thinks. “I want to fuck you,” Diego says, the disconnect between mind and mouth flayed wide open by the rosy little wink of Klaus asshole. Fuck.

 

Klaus jerks with his whole body, rearing back enough to grind up against Diego’s dick. “I don’t have the patience that will require. I could suck your dick instead?”

 

But no - Diego wants to watch his dick disappear between Klaus round little ass cheeks and it’s such a violently new thought, there’s no room for anything else in his brain. Off the deep end . “Can I fuck you like---”He has to say it, if he wants it to happen. He has to choose it. He has to mean it. “Like - in the hallway. You asked Ben. You told Ben----” God. He can’t fucking say it. He grinds up against Klaus ass instead and God---

 

He’s fucked people. He’s fucking fucked a number of people. Admittedly, all women. None of them his brothers. But this---just feels so fucking good. Grinding up against his brothers little ass, dick trapped behind denim, behind cotton - feels better than getting balls deep in actual pussy. What the actual fuck.

 

“Oh God, I don’t even remember what I said,” Klaus admits, sounding a little winded and a thrill runs through Diego. He did that. He made Klaus sound like that. “What did I even---It doesn’t matter. Holy shit - it doesn’t even matter. Just get your dick out and do whatever, holy fuck. Come on me. 

 

Diego shakes all over, has to stop himself with his hand on his zipper and breath. He won’t come in his pants, he’s not that easy, but there’s nothing to say he won’t come the second his dick so much as grazes Klaus’ pale skin.  He eases himself out, shoving his jeans down to his thighs and the first fucking press of skin to skin----

“Between my thighs,” Klaus tells him which sounds like a fantastic fucking idea honestly. “Come all over my balls”

 

“Oh my God.”

 

It’s a little dry, a little rough, but even that bite of pain makes it feel so good. Klaus is pushing back, content to give back as good as he gets and Diego can’t keep a good grip on him, no on his hips, not on his shoulders, so he grabs him by the hair and fucking yanks .

 

“Oh fuck,” Klaus says, breathless and faint. “That’s not---that’s not fair.” He pulls against Diego’s grip and fucking groans and shakes and drops a hand from the back of the chair to ---

 

Diego’s a little embarrassed at how much he’s just straight up fucking dripping between Klaus thighs. His fingers bite too hard into the curve of Klaus hip, and pull to hard at the curls of his hair and he fucks too rough into the space provided, knocking Klaus into the back of the chair, knocking the chair into the wall and the velvet does nothing to dull the thud but Diego---cannot---fucking---stop.

 

“God---fucking---dammit,” Klaus hisses, teeth rattling. “You fucking---you fucking slut. I thought---I really fucking thought until you were ready to get your fucking dick out for me, I’d have to wait for you to grow some fucking balls but you’re just fucking gagging for it, aren’t you?” His knees slip against the velvet cushion, and he loses his leverage as Diego slams into him, plastered up against his back. “Jesus ---You were fucking wet for it, weren’t you? Look at you, you really are a fucking whore for it----Oh, fuck shit, oh shit, oh shit---”

 

The new angle changes something, Diego doesn’t have the mental capacity to understand the physics - but instead of pressing up against Klaus balls, he’s fucking up against the tight furl of his asshole and he can feel it clench against the head of his dick---

Diego fucks forward with a little too much enthusiasm, kneels bracketing Klaus now on the cushion. Klaus barely has time to get his arm up against the wall before he falls face first into the plaster, and he still hasn't’ fucking stopped talking, he’s still spitting out vitriol and acid---

 

“---you really are a fucking slut---”

 

“---all over my asshole---”

 

“---make you fucking lick it up, you disgusting piece of---”

 

And that’s all it really fucking takes for Diego to lose it, spilling hot and wet right between Klaus ass-cheeks. It tears out of him so fast and hard, he feels three fucking vertebrae pop in his spine and he’s still not thinking when he drops to his knees and buries his face right between Klaus ass.

 

“You beautiful, filthy fucking--- oh my God, Diego, holy shit ---”

 

Rim-job, his mind supplies helpfully. He’s giving Klaus a rim-job. He’s licking his own come off Klaus asshole. Klaus, who is pushing back, riding Diego’s face and it’s so fucking--- so fucking raunchy. So fucking nasty, that Diego’s not sure he ever actually went soft.  He’s certainly not soft when Klaus abandons his own dick in favor of holding himself wide open so Diego can get deeper.

 

Come and spit slip through his beard, painting trails down his chin and throat and it’s vile, it’s awful, he’s already dripping come over his own thighs. He eats at Klaus ass the only way he really knows how - like a pussy - and Klaus is apparently fucking here for it.

 

It’s disgusting. He’s disgusting. This is --- this is fucking filthy.

 

“I’m gonna come,” Klaus says, hips rabbiting forward and back against nothing and the push of Diego’s face. “Oh God, I’m gonna come. I’m gonna---”

 

Diego thinks I should touch him.  

 

Diego touches him.

 

Klaus screams . He comes so hard he slips straight from the chair. Diego catches him, but only barely, both arms coming to grab him around the waist. They both tumble back in an ungainly sprawl and then it’s just Klaus ass- dripping fucking wet- pressed snug against Diego’s sensitive, hard dick. He doesn’t mean to pull Klaus tighter, doesn’t mean to fuck up into the mess ----

 

He’s just chasing what feels good. He can’t fucking stop.

 

He bites Klaus shoulder, sinks his teeth in so deep he feels the skin pop and give, as he comes, dick catching the rim of Klaus asshole, the fluttery clench of it turning everything white and electric.

 

***

When he comes back to himself, his teeth are still buried in Klaus shoulder, and Klaus is still tangled in his stupid fucking pants. He’s boneless in Diego’s lap which, a gangly sprawl of limbs and sweaty skin.

 

“You are....You are really good at that,” Klaus manages to say and Diego feels it all over his body. “You are just like---I really thought I was going to have to ease you into ass fucking but you’re just---gonna jump right off the deep end, aren’t you buddy?”

 

“This wasn’t fucking,” Diego argues, because Diego’s reflex is to argue with everyone, unfortunately. To recoup, he licks the bruised, tender looking bite mark on Klaus shoulder, and smiles against his skin.  Hopes and fucking prays Klaus is too fucked out to notice how fucking awkward Diego is. “When I fuck you, you’ll know it.”

 

He’s always known that sometimes doing the right thing won’t always be easy. But he never imagined doing the wrong thing would feel so good. He imagines, as he watches his own come drip down Klaus’ thighs as his brother stands before him - this is how super villains are made. It feels good though. And he can’t stop.

Chapter Text

The Aviary has strippers. Female. Male. The in-between. The gender-less. Multi-gendered. Black. White. Blue. Green. The emphasis was on the dance, not the body.  Which was a bit of a fucking nightmare, because Klaus had never been much of a dancer. He could move , though. Roll his body to the waves of the music, let it sweep him up, up, up and away.   Klaus had done it, high out of his fucking gord, and had made hella fucking cash. But that was then. That was then, those erstwhile years spent as a vagabond junkie with a perky ass and morals as grey as a sea storm sky.  That was when Klaus didn’t give a single shit. No amount of weed in all of Colorado could get him on the floor to peel his fucking clothes off while strangers pet his clammy skin, and tuck cocaine-cash in every nook and cranny and Klaus did lines straight off the floor, ass up, scoring more, now though.

 

(He remembers it though. Through the milk-sweet haze of euphoria, how good it had felt. So loud - so fucking loud - and it had pulsed through him, made him tingle all over. The warm drag of sticky palms sliding over his skin leaving prickling, tickling fire in their wake. The way the cool, slick floor felt like liquid against his back. How every inch of his skin felt kissed, writhing warmth curling up his spine, a tangible thing. The taste of the air, all honeycomb water wine, sipping sweetly on a dry, parched tongue. The way the world went soft at the edges in shades of charcoal and blue, sweeping up the manic mist that haunted his fingertips. Crisp, crinkling bills, static on his skin. Hands in his hair, pulling him in. Burnt-sugar kisses biting at his lips, deep biting nails kissing up his hips---)

 

That’s not him anymore.

 

He’s hot.

He’s confident.

He’s just not high enough for that .



So - The Aviary has strippers, down on the floor, on pedestals and poles. Klaus can’t---he can’t---

 

The birdcages are different.

 

There are thirteen - three in every corner and one in the middle.  

 

They sway a little, suspended on thick fuck-off looking cables at varying heights from the high, industrial ceilings with cranks that raised them higher, brought them lower, taunting the crowd below like wide-eyed, pawing cats.  Klaus grasps the bars as his cage lowers further down, searching out his dorky-ass brother in the crowd. He’s easy to find, like a dark little rain cloud in a technicolor sea of molly and mayhem. The harness looks nothing so violent, nothing so lethal without the knives tacked in. He’s tense, spine curled like a question mark, hunching his shoulders.  He’s not comfortable here. Not at ease. Klaus kind of likes it, likes how fucking helpless he looks in a sea of sparkling drag queens, dancers and sweaty, glittered skin.  The neon lights flash like lightning behind the haze of sweet, artificial smoke. Diego looks like Klaus feels and it gives him the push to stand up straight and throw his shoulders back.

 

He looks up at Klaus as if he’d yelled for him, and there’s a peek of perfect white teeth hidden behind his smile.

 

Bravado take me away, Klaus thinks, feeling shivery and cold all over. All he has to do is grab the beat and move but it’s hard without ketamine, morphine, anything , fuck.

 

The music cracks, and the cages sway and shift and Klaus is dead fucking center because Klaus is a novelty, and the world does like their freak-show. Klaus had a stage name, back when he did this, Klaus had a whole schtick .

 

Some places called him Ghost, played off his ashy, colorless skin like something fine, something ethereal and not something born of too much coke and too little vitamin sunshine. One of the clubs on the on the east side called him Devil Doll; he’d worn a lot of dresses, a lot of thigh-high socks there. The seedy strip joint by the docks called him Smoke, and he’d danced to everything from Patsy Cline to Gwar .

 

Mitch - the owner of The Aviary - had called him Ouji .

 

Mitch had known from the start exactly who Klaus was, took one look at the application he’d forced Klaus to fill out and narrowed his eyes. “Okay kiddo,” he’d said, all charm and yellow-smiles. “You the one with the ghost-thing.”

 

Klaus had raised both his hands and wiggled them, a sloppy smile of his own splashed like spilled paint up and down his face. “I raise the dead.”

 

“Well I need you to raise something else tonight.  You’re not the weirdest fucking thing I’ve hired. If you can shake your ass and smile, you’re hired.”

 

“Just like that?” Klaus had blinked at him, smile slipping. “What if I can’t?”

 

“Don’t think it’ll be a problem,” Mitch had laughed, with a critical sort of eye up and down Klaus’ body. It wasn’t greasy, wasn’t promising. It was business. “Don’t sell your ass out my doors, don’t get so coked up you can’t shake your ass. I ain’t care what brought you in, kiddo. We sell fantasy here, illusion. And I think you’re probably good at that.”

 

Klaus had felt an inkling of sobriety pass by his fried, and sizzling brain. “I do okay.”

 

“You need a stage name.”

 

“You gonna call me The Seance?” He’d laughed, tipping his head back just to let the cold air of Mitch’s office bite at his bare neck.

 

“Whoever you were, whoever you are? It don’t come here.” Mitch had reached across the table, palm extended and it was only reflect that raised Klaus arm and lead his hand to clasp over Mitch's palm. “ Ouji . You make em scream loud enough to wake the dead and I’ll put you in the cages, where the real monies at.”

 

Klaus had made them scream, but he’d never got the chance to cash in on Mitch’s problem. Until tonight.

 

Mitch called him fucking Ouji, and he’d always found that funny. But Klaus can’t wear it like a second skin anymore. Just like The Seance; they were all only ever comfortable coats to pull on just long enough to get out of the storm. It’s just him up here, him in the clouds, losing his high - but Diego’s there, looking up at him with his head cocked to the side like he’s fully ready to rescue Klaus from himself at the first sign of distress.

 

The music cracks, and the cages sway and the crowd screams bright and sharp like a fucking Siren sea chant. Klaus can’t tell the dead from the alive here --- they all just dance, swept up in the heart-beat thump of the baseline beat. The type of spirits that end up here were typically too high to realize they were dead anyways. Klaus wasn’t about to tell them.

 

The cage lowers again, and when it reaches the bottom, settles down on the pedestal, he’ll be in the crowd.



“Close your eyes,” Ben tells him, and it’s only years of Ben just randomly fucking being there that keeps Klaus from startling. “Close your eyes, Klaus. You’re freaking yourself out.”

 

No one else can see him, of course, but Klaus still keeps his mouth as still as possible as he speaks. “I thought you weren’t coming.”

 

“Luther bought me cheesecake .” Ben rolls his eyes - good boy be damned, he’s still going to fucking sass Klaus forever. “I could feel you panicking clear across town.” He touches Klaus face, brushes a thumb below his eye. “Just close your eyes, and breath. You loved this.”

 

“Yeah - when I was more baked than a Christmas fucking ham.” The beat hasn’t dropped and so his stall is not strange yet. The DJ will draw it out like roadkill until Mitch announces the cage drop. Klaus curls his fingers around the bar and stares down at Diego whose not smiling anymore. He forces himself to grin, unfurling his Hello Hand with a jaunty little wave. “Hella fucking drugs, mi hermano.”

 

“You don’t need it for anything else, you don’t need it for this.” Ben steps back as the music begins to rise and the lights fade from something bright to something hazy and blue. “If you don’t love it, you never have to do it again. But you love it. You were doing it today in a bath towel, to Fleetwood Mac. ”  

 

And that is true. That is a true thing that happened, only several hours ago.  Klaus loves Stevie Nicks. Her sweepy, lacy robe things give him feelings. “I love it, I love it, I love it,” Klaus echoes, letting his lashes flutter close. His heart’s still thumping too hard, but it’s catching the beat of another nameless song. “Okay. Okay. Right. Yes. Yee. Thank you. I’m good.”

 

“You’re good at this,” Ben says, curling up close to him the way he does when he’s nervous. The same way a toddler might share their fucking security blanket, share the thing that makes them feel safe. Klaus is...grossly touched, feels all sorts of fucking weird inside by the simple gesture. He turns into it, as naturally as he can, and brushes his mouth over Ben’s hair. Touching...touching doesn’t come naturally to them. But by God, in spite of God, they’re fucking trying. “Plus, Diego looks super uncomfortable.”

 

“I do enjoy when Diego looks uncomfortable,” Klaus agrees, faintly, letting his body sway to the music, to the movement of the cage.

 

“You got this.” Ben doesn’t quite move away, but he shuffles back just enough to pat Klaus heartily on the back. “It’s just like riding a bike.”

 

He fucking hopes it’s not! “I don’t know how to ride a bike.”

 

“I---Christ, our childhood is tragic. It’s just like---” he shakes his head, and throws up his hands and Klaus loves him in so many different ways it makes his heart ache. “It’s just like riding a dick.”

 

It startles a little laugh out of Klaus, and then it’s---it is easy. To just move. To roll with it, to wave with it, to the music and the lights and the high keening sound move him.  He closes his eyes, and feels Ben flitter out, but he doesn’t stop.

 

He moves, like a pendulum, a set, swirling rhythm. It feels hypnotic, the way waves rolling in on a sand-stretched shore can eat up your whole attention. The smoke weaves in, wrapping around the blue manic mist that always seems to chase him, candy-cane curl of pearl and periwinkle.

 

The cage lowers more,  bringing him closer to the crowd, all the girls and boys and therebetweeners writhing to a rhythm he’ll be expected to dictate.

 

“Introducing----” Mitch's voice bounces up and down his bones, echoing off the walls and the bars of the cage.

 

Introducing. Introducing. Introducing.

 

“Hypnotiq.”

 

He feels his feet leave the bottom of the cage at the same time the cage moves, and the heat of the bodies around him is soothing . He’s floating, he’s blue, he’s dancing with his eyes closed and it feels good. It’s like chasing a high, but a high that can’t hurt him. It’s hypnotic , and the baseline thumps to the beat of his heart. There are other dancers, in cages and on tables, but Klaus has a spotlight painted on him from every angle.

 

He peels his jacket off, lets it flutter to the bottom of the cage, peels his vest off and lets it join. The air is warm, and crackles over his skin and somewhere - Diego and Ben are watching.  The dead don’t stir, they just sway and nothing can touch him when the music eats him up.

 

He’s not much of a dancer.

 

But he can fucking move .

 

And so he does.

 

The cage sways and the cage moves, spinning him like a carousel, lowering him down and down and down until he’s met the crowd.  Klaus doesn’t look at them, just lets the heat of their rolling bodies crash across him breezy waves. The music is louder down here, but no hands reach for him, no fingers touch. Klaus can feel them, inexplicably , each and every single one of them, a living, beating pulse in the air and it makes him think of the ghosts, the ghosts who don’t pulse, the ghosts who take the shape of shadows, just the absence of life, sticky with the static of life that remains in their footsteps like gum on their shoes.

 

Klaus can feel---

 

Diego .

 

He opens his eyes and the absence of color sends him reeling .

 

Nothing but a sea of blue surrounds him, blue in every shade, and the manic mist that nips at his heels has risen up like rain falls down in shimmering pearls.  Diego stands out in sharp relief, still colorless, but familiar. He’s watching Klaus with a tangible heat, perfectly still in a mass of dancing, touching bodies. He is rapt , and the light dances white in his dark eyes.  Klaus has slipped over into the other-world and Diego is cornerstone that keeps him from floating away. Klaus dances, and the crowd moves to his beat, a slow-motion molasses, hot sticky sweet and Klaus can feel all of them - Every. Single. Soul.

 

When the cage is raised again, and Mitch meets him on the platform, Klaus isn’t entirely sure where he’s at. Mitch has a serious expression, one Klaus tries to emulate but loses to a slippery smile. “You’re hired,” Mitch says, as spritely teenage girls dressed in feather dusters sweep past him to scoop up bills from the floor of Klaus cage. They shove it all into a bag, a plastic shopping bag because recycling is cool - and hand it to him.  Klaus, with absent hands, takes a wad out for each of them - waitstaff tips out the hosts after all - while Mitch continues to talk. “Friday and Saturday - four shows a night.”

 

“Okay - but money.” It’s why he’s here. It’s why he got a job. To buy Benny more soft pants and soft pretzels. “The cash, the coin, the brass ----”

 

“Your boyfriend told me you’d walk for anything less than five-hundred a night plus tips.” Mitch has a hard look about him, but Klaus brain is still screeching past the word boyfriend . “I agreed.”

 

“Five hundred a night,” Klaus echoes, matching the amount of coke he could buy for that. It’s...a lot. “Just to cage dance?”  He could buy more coke than he could coke-a-cola, but that’s not him and so he just smiles. “No stripping. No tables, no poles.”

 

The hard look on Mitch’s face doesn’t change, but Klaus still thinks he looks disappointed. “Five hundred a night, Friday and Saturday, four dances per night, and an hour in the Perch, no dancing, just...entertaining the highlights.”

 

Which sounds like a fucking nightmare. Sounds like fucking---talking to handsy, rich, drunk men. The Perch was a balcony overlooking the floor, the dancers and the cages. Which would have been a fucking right party not so long ago,indeed Klaus had made a lot of friends in the Perch once upon a time. “Five hundred a night, Friday and Saturday, four dances per night, and two hours in the Birdhouse, dancing in a cage.” Where he is not expected to talk to anyone, but they are absolutely welcome to throw money at him. “And I want a table in the Perch for two guests of my choosing, any night I work.”

 

Mitch’s eyes light up.

“Plus tips,” Diego says, sidling up adjacent to the space between Klaus and Mitch, creating the most awkward triangle known to man.

 

Mitch holds out his hand and it’s so reminiscent of before that Klaus is almost afraid to touch it. But it’s different now. Klaus takes it, and shakes it. Mitch has an honest soul, Klaus can see it painted in blue now.

 

“Your boyfriend better not start shit,” he adds, turning a gimlet eye on Diego.

 

Klaus scoops an arm around Diego’s waist and cranes his neck to lick his a slick, wet stripe up his fucking face. “He’s not my boyfriend,” Klaus tells them very gleefully, feeling the fight in Diego, the flee instinct making his legs twitch. “He’s my brother.”

***

 

They end up at a diner, Klaus and Diego.  “And can I get an order of scrambled eggs?” He snaps the menu shut. “Someone’s going to join us.”

 

The waitress wanders away, as cups of coffee billow steam in serpentine spirals between them. “We’re expecting someone?” Diego asks, taking a straight sip of his coffee, black and flat and hotter than Beelzebub's liquidy-lava taint. Diego is a masochist, like that.

 

Klaus, who loves himself, dumps a fourth packet of sugar into his own coffee, filling every available inch remaining in the cup with cream. Ben simmers into place beside him,  wearing a soft, olive green t-shirt and sweatpants that absolutely belong to Vanya. He has no shoes on, and his hair is soft and fluffy in a way Klaus hasn’t seen in such a long fucking time. “I ordered you eggs.”

 

Ben settles back into his seat, and looks between Diego and Klaus with a far-away gaze. “I could go for some eggs.”

Notes:

Chapter Text

 

“I think this might make you my sugar baby.” Klaus tosses a crinkly sack of jelly beans - all black - onto Ben’s stomach, where he’s sprawled on the sofa in the office.

 

Ben holds a jelly bean up between two fingers, watching the glossy surface reflect the dusty light, with a keen edge to his gaze better reserved for inspecting diamonds. It’s just - black jelly beans . Klaus use to inexplicably leave three to five under Ben’s pillow every single day of the week but Sunday. He denied it vehemently, and called them rabbit poop. Ben would hoard them in a little glass jar under the floorboards in his closet until bad missions or bad training days.

 

And when these came and went, and he was scrubbed clean of any speck or spatter, Ben would tuck himself into the back of his closet and eat every single one until his belly ached and the taste of blood was gone from his mouth. It's such a vivid thing; a palpable push to the memory, pressing up against his chest that makes his tongue tingle with that thick, cloying phantom flavor. He can taste them from that memory alone, even as he holds them in his hand. Klaus is watching him, and Ben wants to say something...anything. To acknowledge that little expanse of time when they were kids and Klaus was still taking care of him.

 

“You’re a really good brother.”

 

Klaus blinks at him, half-way to unfolding himself into the desk chair. “What an unsettling thing to say to someone who wants to lick your asshole. Repeatedly.”

 

He hates the heat that bites at his cheeks. You’d think with all the times Klaus has made Ben come - and versa - he’d be less inclined to blush at the mention of anything sordid, but you’d be wrong.  In fact, Ben sort of things he blushes more now than he ever did. Ignorance might have been bliss, but you couldn’t burn the image of Klaus with two fingers up his own ass out of Ben’s mind with actual fucking fire.  And those are the things Ben thinks of, when Klaus looks at him even so much as sideways these days.

(And Klaus fucking knows it.)

 

Still - black jelly beans make for a sweet memory, and the overlay to all the fucking orgasms is just as jarring as you’d expect. Ben hasn’t exactly forgotten that they grew up brothers, but it’s somehow become secondary to whatever else they’re doing.  Maybe it’s the uncoupling of his life, Before and After death. He remembers being alive, but sometimes it’s like a watercolor painting, where it makes more sense if you’re not seeking out details. As soon as he tries, everything goes soft-touched, faces blur all one and the same, and the colors don’t stay inside the lines. He’s not forgetting - he remembers.  

 

He remembers what it felt to wake up Saturday morning to fresh blueberry muffins, the way Grace’s dresses smelled like lavender and circuit boards when she pulled him into a hug, and Klaus’ smile as he and Ben hunkered down in the bottom of his closet with flashlights and copies of Calvin and Hobbes lifted from the public library.  Diego growing inches faster than any of the others ( with even Luther chasing at his heels), the way he’d scoop them up like they weren’t the same age, and swing them around the yard until they fell into a dizzy, laughing heap.  Five shifting his peas to Ben’s plate, and stealing his carrots between Sir’s evenly timed up-glances from his newspaper.

 

It’s just that...that was then. And now is here . What does it matter that Klaus is his brother? It should bother Ben more than it does, should make him squirm at the moral indecency, but brothers was what life had given them and Ben knew death . Those things we had no control over shaped us less than the choices we made. Life. Life ! Life had made them brothers, but Death had made them choose . Ben chose to stay with Klaus, a half life better than no life with his brother . Klaus had let himself be haunted and every day they made those choices, again and again.

 

That’s so much more significant than what they do with their dicks.

 

“It was the postman,” Klaus says, out of nowhere, just as Ben’s sank his teeth into a bean. “The jelly beans. I got them from the postman, when he’d bring Sir’s paper in the morning. I’d trade them for one of Mom’s cookies, and I always saved the black ones for you because you’re the only person on Earth who likes them.”

 

Another memory; Grace in the kitchen with a line of small, porcelain plates and dainty cloth napkins. They were allowed two cookies every evening, with a choice of milk, cocoa or tea.  It was often the only moment of respite they were given, between lessons, tutors, and the private talent-driven studies they were constantly subjected too.  

 

It’s such a small, honest spill of words, innocuous on the surface but with unknown depths.  Ben can’t keep himself from replying in kind. “Because of the blood,” he says, the words out of order, as he swings himself up to sit right on the couch. “I liked them because of the blood in my mouth, after--- Black jelly beans were the only thing that ever covered the taste of it.”

 

Klaus takes a moment, so long the quiet between them starts to vibrate. He looks at the ceiling, he looks at the floor. He looks at his knees, the desk, the curtains, the door. He looks at everything but Ben. “I---I know.” And when he does look at Ben, it’s through the dark spider-leg sweep of his lashes. “I knew. About what he made you do. Your private lessons.”

 

“The ones we killed---” Ben makes a noise in the back of his throat, and Klaus stops. “I helped.”

 

“Not a single one.” None of them ever killed a single soul, not a single fucking soul, except Ben. “You didn’t. But they---They haunted you, didn’t they?” He should have known. He should have known .

 

“Sometimes.” He smiles a little, but it’s sad. “They were scared of you, so they usually stayed away. But some of them talked. And they told me---how you cried---”

 

He had. Every single time Sir made him do it - he’d cried. Bit, salty, gut-churning sobs. By the time he’d reached sixteen - he’d managed to control himself to a few rolling tears but even that made Sir’s mouth go thin, sharp with disapproval.

 

Klaus .”

 

“I cried too.” Klaus pushes up from the desk chair to join Ben on the squat, velveteen couch. “We talk about the crypts a lot, and Vanya’s starting to remember her time in the locker. But we don’t talk about you.”

 

Ben had never been much of a talker and for the most part - Klaus was the most understanding of this. “I have tentacles for intestines and I’m actually dead. What’s there to talk about?” Klaus makes a face - an indecisive one that tells Ben he wants to accept that and let it go but some familial sense of duty is about to object. Klaus is a caricature of a real person “Klaus...For real. I don’t even --- it all seems hazy, anymore. Like it was a thousand years ago. If I don’t think about it, I barely remember it and that’s a fucking gift, okay? Not one I’m looking to unwrap or unpack.” Somethings, Ben thinks with absolute irony, are better left for dead.

 

“I think I might be selfish,” Klaus says, from nowhere and beyond. “I don’t want to be selfish with you. I want to be...responsible and shit.”

 

And shit. “You’re not even responsible for me! Is that---is that what all this about? Klaus - you’re not responsible for me.”

Klaus had never been anything more than he’d been stubborn, and Ben knows that on a cosmic fucking level, so he should know the signs of Klaus digging in his platform heels. “I’m the reason you’re here.”

 

Which isn’t even - What? No. “I chose to stay.”

 

“No I---I know that . But I’m there reason you’re kind of alive again.” He throws his hands up, like that’s a final, inarguable gauntlet. See?

 

“That doesn’t mean you’re responsible for me! I could leave any time I wanted.” And he wanted to less and less those days. “You’re not responsible for me, okay? You don’t need to stress out about it.”

 

“I want to be.” Klaus is leant back on the couch, taking up more than his fair share of the small space. Ben just...looks at him, helpless to it. His arms are spread wide like some sort of personal Jesus on dusty sage velvet, with a backdrop of moth-eaten lace curtains in shifting shades of faded cream. He’s wearing last nights eyeliner, and glitter holds tights to the long, loose curls of his hair. When he turns to look at Ben, mouth drawn into a frown. “You took care of me a long time Ben. I think it’s probably my turn.”

 

“I didn’t even - I didn’t do shit.” Ben made things worse, honestly.  The constant visage of your dead brother could do that.

 

“If I could hear you, it made hearing the rest of them easier.” A hand creeps over Ben’s shoulder and then---they’re touching. In a non sexual manner. They’re...cuddling.  It’s somehow more obscene to him than anything else they’ve done. It’s innocent but terribly awkward, and Ben can feel the rigid lines of Klaus right alongside his own. They don’t know how to cuddle. Their father was a fuck and their mother was a robot.  

 

He’s not really sure what the fuck to do - so he does what he always does, and makes himself small.  Fits himself into the curl of Klaus arm, and lets his head come to rest on Klaus shoulder. Something unlocks in Klaus, and a smidge of the stiffness gives. “You don’t have to talk about it,” he tells Ben, as he curls into him, rests is cheek against Ben’s hair. “I fucking hate talking about it. But I think it’s healthy, you know.”

 

“Like what we did at the mausoleum.” Ben lifts his head up, knocking hard into Klaus’s jaw. “I don’t want to fuck around in the cellar. I don’t ever want to go back there.”

 

And Klaus is just there, looking at him with his big stupid eyes and then he’s cupping Ben’s jaw and it’s all just---not like it usually is. Not at all. It feels different. Heavy, like a blanket is heavy. Not...Not bad. Just new. Ben isn’t entirely distracted by anyone's genitals for one. But his heart’s still going too fucking fast and these are the moments that being a ghost seems so appealing.  Ghost-body never betrays him.

It’s...It’s weird to kiss Klaus, even still. But especially when Ben isn’t so out of it he can feel every fucking inch of his body.  He feels like --- he feels a lot like how he felt when Klaus would squeeze himself in beside Ben on the closet floor. Hot, and tingly and ready to fly out of his skin. Holy shit , Ben thinks. Did he have a fucking crush on Klaus as a child and just...didn’t know to fucking notice it until now? God - their childhood really was fucking tragic. “Feelings are stupid,” he manages to say, and feels Klaus smile against his mouth. “Everything is stupid. Your face is stupid. Oh my god, stop smiling at me like that , you look like a lunatic.”

 

“Feels? For reals? Feelings? Are you having...emotions, Bentacles? You gonna share with the class?”He rifles Ben’s hair, scratching his long, black nails across his scalp and it zips through his body lie he’s touched Ben all over. “ Feels , Benny. Chemical re-adjustments firing neurons off in new and confusing ways. Dopamine, oxytocin, testosterone---”He moves in a little closer with every word, wrapping himself around Ben like he’s the one with the tentacles. “Like a little meth lab in your brain, but instead of uppers it’s feelings and no one’s considering toilet bowl cleaner as a reasonable additive.” He gets Ben secure using both his legs and arms, and licks his fucking face because he’s Klaus and when he knows something works - he fucking works it. “Tell me. Tell meeeee. Tell me right now.”

 

“I already told you, you’re a good brother!” Ben squirms, but he’s effectively caged in the bend of Klaus arm, half curled into his chest.  Klaus---Klaus is the worst , is what Klaus is and Ben can’t help but fucking squeal as Klaus digs his fingers into the soft give of Ben’s side. “Fuck you! I’m leaving!” He could. He could. He could pop right out and Klaus wouldn’t stop him. Could stop him, yes, but wouldn’t. Klaus stops tickling him, if only to grab Ben’s wrists before he can retaliate. “ Klaus !” But it’s no use. Klaus is bigger, long-limbed and unexpectedly strong and Ben likes how it feels.  Doesn’t hurt that Klaus isn’t even trying to be subtle about the way his body moves, dragging up hard against Bens. He’s got a thigh between Ben’s leg that’s not doing enough, and he’s got his dry, soft palms all over Ben’s skin which is doing too much.

 

“I might have a few feelings of my own, you know. Rattling around. On the subject of you,” Klaus is a little breathless where he’s sprawled under Ben, holding his wrists tight in his own, pinning Ben back to his chest. He presses a kiss into Ben’s sweaty temple, breaths him in for a long while, makes him feel more real in the moment than maybe he ever did when he was alive. “Some of them brotherly. Some of them not.”

 

“Yeah, I can feel the ones that are not.” He takes a little pride in the dry tenor of his voice, like he’s not in a similar state.  It’s a Pavlovian response to proximity. He’s been mentally conditioned .

“It’s an affection-erection, Benny,” Klaus crows, grinding his dick up against the small of Ben’s back. “It’s my heart boner.

 

“Are you gonna touch my dick or what?” Ben mutters it into the daylight, eyes tightly closed. The rabbity, achey, desperate itch under his skin only seems to grow when Klaus puts his hands on him and Ben will do anything - anything - to not prolong this conversation. “I could blow you?”

 

“A compelling offer,” Klaus agrees, without so much as slowing the roll of his hips where he’s fucking up against Ben’s back. “But I have a better idea.”

 

And then - somehow - Ben’s face down on the couch. It’s such a sudden shift, he feels as if gravity can’t catch up, leaving him upside down and rightside up all at once. And then Klaus is there, with a soft hand on his throat, painting up to cup his chin, his pointy elbow buried into the cushion, holding himself up. He kisses Ben’s cheek, open mouthed. Ben holds himself still for it, fingers biting into the edge of the cushion where it meets the arm of the couch - holds himself still and waits for what Klaus will do.

 

Klaus breaths out harshly, hand still holding him so fucking gently. He drags his mouth - still open and warm and wet - over the curve of Ben’s neck. The pull of it, wet and warm, against Ben’s skin feels like too much and not enough, even with the whole of his body still pinning Ben down. It’s so many points of contact, so much pressure, so much heat, Ben holds his breath.

 

God , Benny.” There’s a tremble to Klaus voice, to the lines of his arms, that Ben doesn’t fully know how to appreciate. He presses his mouth hard to Ben’s neck, breathing harshly through his nose. “You don’t even---” He smooths a shaking hand down Ben’s body, lets it curl under his hip where he’s flush against the couch. “Fuck - you are just...You really fuck me up, baby boy,” Klaus laughs, soft, warm puffs of breath spilling on Ben’s skin. “You don’t even know .”

 

Ben doesn’t. Ben has no idea. Ben often wonders what Klaus gains from their...from the thing between them. Ben is inexperienced, Ben isn’t even real sometimes.  Alive. He can't do the things Klaus wants, may never be able to do the things Klaus likes. Ben can’t hurt him, not in the ways that make him go lax and soft and sleepy. Ben isn’t even really ready to blow him, gets nervous at so much as the thought of anything coming near his ass. Klaus - Klaus is very attractive, very charming, very sexual . Ben can’t keep up, has to have his hand held for literally every little thing, and Klaus holds it. Ben’s not really sure why.

 

“I’m not---” Klaus hand, the one beneath his chin, moves so slightly...just enough that the pad of his thumb presses against the corner of Ben’s mouth and it’s so fucking distracting, he almost forgets what he was saying. “I’m not doing anything.”

 

“I know.” Klaus laugh is a broken, wild thing. A real thing. “You’re so good for me. You are so good. Everything you fucking do---Christ. You’re a natural, you just---every time---”

 

The words are their own heat, and they burn him up in all the best and worst ways. Ben’s still not always sure he wants to be like this, this helpless desperate little monster hungry for scraps of affection, or praise. He hate it. He hates it.  But Klaus is so fucking...so fucking generous . He never asks anything of Ben, not really, and no matter what Ben choose - he’s always fucking thrilled . It’s heedy, hot, a liquid sort of thing that pools low in his belly and makes him want to be good .  Like that sort of want isn’t so shameful, not when it puts that shake in Klaus voice. Klaus likes all the things Ben doesn’t mean to do, and it feels so easy, Ben can’t stop.

 

He doesn’t mean to push back, raise his ass up to meet the push of Klaus dick. He’s not really thinking when he tips his head back, and follows the press of Klaus’ thumb, kissing it. There’s no intent behind the way he shifts his weight to his elbows, so he can get more leverage, but---

 

“Fuck,” Klaus hisses, grabbing his face too hard for only a moment, losing himself. It’s that. It’s that .  It’s that very thing - Klaus getting so fucking into Ben and all his virginal bullshit...that makes it easy. To be good. It’s a sexual synergy, the way it seems to bounce between them.  Klaus...Klaus had been with a lot of people that didn’t care if Klaus got off or not, so much so that Ben sometimes thought Klaus had a kink for the dismissal, like he sought them out.

 

But Ben and Klaus aren’t really like that. Klaus likes what Ben does - whether he means to do it or not. And Ben would tell himself its a fluke, it’s just sex - but he’s see what just sex is for Klaus and it’s not this.

 

“When you held your breath, just now.” Klaus shudders and Ben tries very hard not to grind himself into the couch. “Fuck, you’re too good. It’s too much.”

 

And because it all feels like to much to Ben, it’s nice to know that...that he’s not alone in the sensation.

 

“Look at you, already grinding on my dick.” Klaus presses sloppy, sticky kisses up his neck, dragging his teeth soft against Ben’s skin. He’s gentle with Ben, soft and safe and Ben knows what Klaus is capable of. Knows the bite of his nails can cut, the flex of his fingers can bruise, but never, ever with Ben. The tenderness is...it’s a lot. Makes him burn. “You’re a natural, baby boy. Sometimes I think  you were fucking made for this, you’re so good at it.”

 

Ben was made to play home to thousand year old bloodthirsty monsters. But who is he to correct Klaus, when Klaus is touching him all over?

 

The push of Klaus as he rides against Ben is absolutely going to be enough to get him off, no question. It’s a slow burn build, like something hot bubbling up and up and up and over his his belly. He balances on a precept, all squirmy pleasure and new heat. For the first time, a thought forms in his head, strong enough to make itself known. Ben usually doesn’t get ideas when they’re like this, too caught up in all the sweeping pleasure. This time,  though, he has a thought. There are too many clothes between them, all the places Klaus is touching bare skin burn better, burn brighter, and Ben wants more of that. Has the iota of patience even to say it, almost. “Do you wanna---” He says, struggling to get the words in his mouth. “Do you wanna---”

 

“Probably,” Klaus says, hiccuping on a laugh. “C’mon baby, tell me what you want?”

 

What you want.

What you want.

What you want .

 

Ben just wants to come, honestly. And make Klaus come. But he also wants more of Klaus skin on his own, and he doesn’t know how to say that. Doesn’t know how to want things, because if he doesn’t want things he can’t be disappointed. “Fucking -- Fuck---Klaus,,” he mutters, smashing his face into the cushion because he wants to say it, he wants to fucking say it but he can feel the heat in his cheeks already. He can’t talk when Klaus is driving him harder into the cushions, a mockery of sex that snaps both their hips and makes the world all soft and stupid at the edges. Ben’s fucking losing it already.

 

“C’mon, Benny,” Klaus wheedles in a voice that should annoy Ben. It’s like he’s talking to a child, like he’s trying to coerce a five year old to drink his fucking milk. He doesn’t hate it though. It makes him squirm. “C’mon, baby. Tell me what you want. I’ll do it. I’ll give you whatever you want.  You’re so good, you’re such a good---”

 

Such a good boy.

 

“Push my pants down.” He says it very firmly into the velveteen cushions, but knows that Klaus understood by the sharp, sudden way his body goes tight, and rigid.

 

“Fuck Benny, I can’t fuck you like this.” Klaus is breathless, as he pushes his weight to his knees and drags both his hands down Ben’s back just so he can shove his shirt up his spine and give him exactly what he wants --- bare skin and hot palms. “Fuck---” Fingers hook into the loose band of his sweat pants and Ben isn’t fucking thinking about anything but chasing that feeling when he pushes his ass up. “Jesus Christ - Benny, I’m not fucking you on the couch in Dad’s study. I’m---I’m probably not about to you...wait. No--- I mean there isn’t even lube in here---”

 

“Like you and Diego did,” Ben manages, pulling the words up from the rising heat in his belly. “You said you wanted too---”

 

“Benny, baby, boy---I want to fuck you stupid .” Klaus is on him again, one hand in his hair, the other bracing himself against the arm of the couch. “I wanna crawl so far up inside you, you fucking choke on me. I want to fucking bend you over everything, everything .  Sometimes I want to fuck you over the kitchen counter just so I can make you come while you’re eating blueberry muffins, okay---okay?”

 

“--okay,” Ben squeaks, so terribly, terribly hard.  He’d sort of known that Klaus was more than ready for that, but he’d never mentioned it. Certainly never so colorfully.

 

“I wanna spread you out and finger you until you cry, Benny. I think about it all the time.” Klaus sounds fucking--- agonized . He’s grinding himself against Ben again, slower this time, and with shallow thrusts like it’s not even on purpose, like he just can’t fucking help it. “I spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about what I can put in your ass, sometimes it’s my dick, sometimes it’s my tongue - sometimes it’s completely random things, I see them and I think ‘this would fit in Ben’s ass’ .  I wanna fucking lick your ass hole until you get bored and fall asleep, you cannot fully encompass how weird that is for me, and I have lost entire hours imagining you in Diego’s lap, riding him . Please...please please just tell me what you want, because I’m trying not to emotionally scar you with how bad I want you to sit on my face and suffocate me just a lil bit. Be good for me.

 

Ben’s holding his breath again and Klaus is shaking so bad, it rattles him. “I want---” Ben starts again, and feels Klaus dick fucking twitch, hard against his left ass cheek. “I want---”

 

“That’s it baby,” Klaus encourages him, but he sounds wild, feral and breathless. “That’s it, be good for me. Tell me.”

 

“Fuck. Please.” He’s got his hands on Ben’s skin again, curling over his ribs, thumb pressing gently into his shoulder blade. “I want---”

 

“You can tell me, Benny. I’ll give you anything you want.” Klaus curls himself down over Ben, and kisses his spine and Ben’s going to come before he ever gets a chance to say what he wants. “ C’mon. Say it for me, baby. Tell me.”

 

“Come---come on my ass?” It’s not exactly what he wants, but it’s all he can manage to say. “Like how Diego---He had you in the chair---”

 

Had me ,” Klaus...growls. It’s a growl. Klaus growls out the word. “I fucking knew you were watching.”

 

Yeah, yeah, whatever. Ben’s a bigger creep than Diego, maybe it’s why he’s never bothered to ask Diego why. “Can you---Will you---”

 

But Klaus is already shoving his sweat pants down, and spreading his ass cheeks and Ben feels the blood rush to his face at being so fucking exposed. “Good boy,” Klaus tells him wild and winded and reckless, it shakes through Ben, makes his balls draw up tight and hot. “Fucking---you are just so---” He spits on Ben’s asshole. “Shit--sorry. Sorry, you don’t like---”

 

Except. “I...I might like it,” Ben admits, in a small, floaty voice that doesn’t sound like him. “I might---” But then, there’s a finger pressing against his ass. Just a single finger tip , pushing, pushing and then---there’s a very small part of Klaus in his ass and Ben just...fucking comes.

 

He was doing so good too.

Klaus still has his fucking---still has a fucking finger (just the fucking tip) in Ben’s ass, and Ben can feel himself clenching and fluttering, like he wants more but --- “God,” Klaus groans, pressing down a little and it makes Ben cry out, still coming. “That is just--- Ben . Fuck.”

 

Ben pushes back.

 

“Fuck,” Klaus hisses, sunk unto the first knuckle into Ben. It’s nothing. It’s nothing , compared to Klaus’ dick, or even Diegos. Less than a tongue, his mind supplies and that’s--- Okay. Enough of that thought. “Fuck, Benny. Christ. I need---”

 

“Come on my ass,” Ben says again, no less clearly, no less pressed against the cushions. He’s just come, but he still fucking wants it. He’s still hard . “Please, please, I want---”

 

“Don’t beg,” Klaus chokes a little, pulling his finger out and that’s just---that’s to much to think about. “You don’t have to beg. I’ll--if you fucking want it baby boy, I’ll give you anything, Christ, let me just---” And he can hear it, the dry slap of skin against skins so familiar Ben think it might define him as a person. Klaus is jerking off.

 

“No no, stop,” he says suddenly, forcing himself up from the hidden depths of the cushion. “No, I want---”

 

Klaus stops, just like that, and it goes through Ben like a fucking bullet. Klaus stops, because Ben asked. “I can---”

 

“Do it like Diego did.” Even that much is hard to say. Ben is physically incapable of describing what he wants himself. He can’t. He just---cannot. “Like in his room, before you went to the club. I want it---” I want it, and nothing more. It’s what he wants.

 

“Diego was pretty rough,” Klaus cautions, his voice tight as he fits himself a little more deeply between Ben’s spread thighs. He gets himself in place though and the first press of his dick between Ben’s ass---

 

“Oh,” Ben says, out loud, accidentally. “ Fuck . Oh fuck!”

 

“You are just too perfect,” Klaus laughs, dropping down hard over him. He plants a hand right between Ben’s shoulder blades, presses him right down into the cushions and it’s so grounding, it’s so good .  His other hand, he hooks up under Ben’s hip, hauling him up to meet his thrust and he’s---

 

He’s fucking right up against Ben, not so very different than any other time, but it’s so fucking...it’s so much more .  Ben can feel it all, the slap of Klaus fucking balls where they bounce off his own is fucking - what the actual fuck.   The head of his cock drags over Ben’s asshole and that - that .

 

“I’m gonna fuck you just like this,” Klaus tell him, all a whispered hiss. “Sink right into your ass, I swear to fucking God, you’re gonna take it all Benny, I just know it.  God baby, yeah, like that---” He lets Ben’s hip go, but Ben’s still moving, pushing up and rocking forward to the motion Klaus has set in place. “Fuck, look at you - you are---God, Ben. Fuck .”  He moves his hand from Ben’s spine, to curl his hand over the arm of the couch. “I fucking---I wish Diego could see you like this.”

 

Oh. Oh God. Ben bites the fucking cushion, so startled by the sweep of fucking want that goes through him. His balls draw up and he thinks he might---actually be crying.

 

“Oh God - you, Jesus--- you like that .” Suddenly---Klaus’ body snaps and Ben can’t see or think, all he can do is feel. “God, you fucking---” And he’s fucking up against Ben in earnest now, chasing his own pleasure and Ben can’t even---he wants that. HE wants Klaus to come so badly. “You want Diego to see how good you are, fuck. You want him to see how hard you get me off.”

 

“Oh my God ,” Ben’s spine curls and he raises his head to breath, finds his jaw caught in the soft cup of Klaus palm and when a thumb slips between his lips well...Ben sucks. On instinct.

 

Benny ,” Klaus sobs, fucking faster, harder, and the head of his cock catches on Ben’s asshole again but this time Klaus comes ,  with the bite of Ben’s teeth sinking hot into his thumb.  Klaus doesn’t stop, fucks himself right through his orgasm, right through the mess of come dripping down Ben’s balls, and it’s the press of his chest to Ben’s back, the slide of their sweat, the kiss of their skin that makes him come a second time, spilling all over the soft green velvet.

 

He---He thinks he falls asleep. Ben’s not really sure. He’s floating in a place that is very much the real world, but it’s soft and hot again at the edges. Calloused fingertips brush the hair from his eyes and when he opens them, it’s...it’s  Diego .  With one hand in his hair, and the other laying very gently on the small of his come-sticky back, fingers drumming a steady beat in the mess. “Let’s get you cleaned up.”




Chapter Text

 

Klaus is sitting on the fire escape, with his feet through the bars, dangling over the edge  The curve of his neck catches the faint falling raindrops, and every single one followed the rise of his serrated spine. He’s shower-damp and bare but for a pair of soft looking sleep pants. Diego’s still not certain why Klaus pulled him into the office in the first place, but he’d already had a shower running, and it was hard not to help when Ben was sticky and doe-eyed, staring up at him with a heavy, sleepy gaze.  Diego hadn’t helped clean him up though - that had been Klaus. He hadn’t done much of anything.

 

It was---

 

Almost---

It was almost as if Klaus just wanted him to see .

 

(See the curve of Ben’s bare ass, filthy with tacky come. See the sated, open-mouthed expression on his face, the wild disarray of his hair. See the stain on the couch when Ben is gone. The way Klaus had made him, had left him for Diego to find. Had sent Diego to find. Fuck . And the look in Klaus’ eyes, as he closed the bathroom door in Diego’s face.)

 

Diego slides into place beside him, curling himself over the middle crossbar so it digs deep into his stomach just under his ribs.  Klaus is smoking, and he passes the joint to Diego without a single word. Diego takes it in the same vein, feels the burn in his lungs, but not the bite.  He lets the smoke escape through his nose, twin puffs rising into the soft, early night. He takes a second hit, just to feel Klaus smile beside him, pleased to spread corruption, chaos.

 

Diego is easily corrupted.

Klaus is easily chaos.

 

They finish the joint in silent, and when Klaus flicks the roach off the side of the fire escape, they both watch the cherry tip flitter and fall to the ground. “I always sort of hope it’ll start a fire and burn this fucking place to the ground.”

 

Diego has had similar thoughts throughout his years, but Klaus was always the one with a fascination for fire. “I mean---Our moms a robot - this house can probably put itself out.”

 

Klaus huffed and elbowed Diego in the ribs with the sharp point of his own elbow. “Anyone ever tells you-you're a bit of a killjoy, Di?”

 

“No.” Frequently, actually. Eudora called him Eeyore and a sad little rain cloud. Klaus has called him much, much worse, and so Diego lets it go without much huff. He’s a little mellow, a little high, a little horny and that’s a cocktail for weakness, in truth. “Allison wants to know if you’re growing pot in the basement.” She’d told Diego the door was locked, but she’d seen Klaus slipping down there wearing gardening gloves, of all things.

 

“Uh. Yes. The answer would be yes. Like. A lot . I’m growing a lot of pot in the basement. A sustainable, respectable Hargreeves amount. Harvest-ready in another two weeks. It’s a better use of the space than you know---what Dad did down there.”  He wiggles his fingers out in front of him, turning his palms up and down, rubbing them along his thighs and Diego knows the tick. He’s restless, he’s bored. He’s not jonesing, not as he used too, but there’s still a void that booze and pills use to fill, and he hasn’t found the right patch to fix the hole. It’s hard to watch and Diego wants nothing more than to reach out and grab both his hands, hold them between his own until they’re warm and still. But---he can’t. They’re not like that (Ben and Klaus might be like that).  “Horticulture is a hobby. Hobbies are healthy. Vanya’s therapist said so.”

 

Horticulture is not growing pot in the basement, but Diego’s not going to bring that up.  Klaus ability to nurture anything, even a houseplant, is well and beyond any of the other Hargreeves children (sorry Allison, but... well. You know.). Diego doesn’t have a leg to stand on; He couldn’t even keep the brine shrimp from his Sea Monkey tank alive as a child.  “You’re not growing pot to be healthy.”

 

“Okay, listen, Linda,” Klaus raises a hand between them, a single, long, narrow finger pointed up and then right in Diego’s face.  “That’s fucking fair. That’s a fair point. However , Ben smokes more than he eats and I heard Allison and Luther talking about buying him his own fridge.”

 

Diego snorts. Ben eats more than Luther, and as far as any of them can tell - something about being a ghost burns calories. “Yeah but I think he eats so much because he’s always fucking high.” He’s always soft, and sleepy, and small, but he looms behind Klaus a little less these days and laughs a little more.  Diego contains his satisfaction at such things because it would absolutely freak him out. It’s nice though - to see Ben like this. He’s certain he never has before. It’s a whole new Ben, not fraught with terror or anxiety, just a constant cloud of smoke and snacks. Ben’s living his life, and it’s good.

 

Klaus laughs, shrugging with the whole of his miles-long body. “He’s dead, Gogo, let him be happy.”

 

“Oh---” Diego feels a wince bite his entire fucking body. His cheeks are pink, he just knows it.   Gogo . “God, you haven’t called me that in years.”

 

Largely because they hadn’t spoken in years.

 

“Yeah well, I always thought it had a better ring to it than Kraken .” This time when Klaus' shoulders bump Diego, he doesn’t move. “Hey - you wanna make out or something?”

 

Diego’s not really - that’s not something they do and it feels left-field. They’re not like that (Ben and Klaus are probably like that).  That isn’t to say they haven’t kissed. They have. Klaus is a very involved kisser. It’s a full body experience. But they’ve never just kissed. Outside of the occasional girlfriend, Diego can’t say he ever has. He’s got nothing against it, of course, he’s just a little thrown by the question.

 

But Klaus isn’t looking at him, he’s watching instead, through his knees,  the stray cats scrounging last night's dinner from the dumpster below. And Diego thinks about how Klaus is one of the most indirect people he’s ever meant, how Klaus is blunt with sarcasm, blunt with humor, blunt with the offense, with shock and appall, with the things that will hurt (himself or others), but never, ever with anything of substance.

 

Getting a straight answer out of him is about as likely as washing spoiled milk out of a fucking crazy-straw. It’s a waste of time and will absolutely leave a bad taste in your mouth because just when you think you’ve got the last of it, Klaus is there, with a smile and a lie.  So, yeah... Klaus might be asking Diego if he wants to fucking make out , and he might really want to know Diego’s opinion on the subject, but in truth...Klaus just wants to fucking make out.  He’s not good at asking for what he wants though. None of them are. Yeah, no, he’s shit at asking for what he wants, but he’s frighteningly competent at deducing what other people want and Diego thinks...Well. Diego thinks that must be lonely. Like those people who throw everyone birthday parties, and then have to throw their own. It’s like breathing sentience into a reflection but never giving it life. It’s lonely.

 

So he fucking kisses Klaus, even if he’s not so sure about it.  Not sure if it’s what he wants, even less sure if it’s okay. Diego turns his body, and cups his palm under Klaus jaw, pulling him closer.  It’s not like it’s a hardship, kissing him. Klaus' mouth moves the same way his body does, in smokey, serpentine waves. He doesn’t kiss Diego the same way he kisses Ben (shallow, but biting, with both hands on his face and Diego probably shouldn’t know that, shouldn’t know the difference in the shades of pink between their tongues, but he fucking does). He’s not gentle with Diego, not at all, and he leaves his mouth just a little bit open, smearing spit between their lips. He licks at Diego, licks at his tongue, licks at his lips, licks at the corner of his mouth. He makes Diego chase him, hands curled loosely in the front of Diego’s jacket, not buried in his hair, turning him sideways.  It’s tailored in a way, Diego thinks, to suit him - it’s knowing, and telling. It’s a little bit dirty. No one’s ever kissed Diego like this.

 

He kisses Diego wetly , messily, dragging his mouth away just long enough to scrape his teeth over Diego’s jaw until Diego has to steal the kiss back.  It’s fucking--it’s just--- it’s a kiss meant for Diego, and no one else and that --- Diego hadn’t been expecting that.   Klaus isn’t just kissing, he’s kissing Diego .  

 

He pulls away with a sharp, shuddering inhale...because Diego forgot to let him breathe, shit . “You uh---You wanna go inside?”

 

Diego would. Diego would very much like to go inside and figure out where else Klaus can drag his tongue. But Klaus isn’t even completely hard, having probably spent a majority of himself on dry humping a different brother half-unconscious not even an hour ago.  And as much as Diego likes to come - half the appeal here is Klaus coming.

 

There. He said it.

(In the safety of his own mind)

 

(It’s just---Klaus is so fucking free , and it makes Diego hungry . Like he’ll fucking starve if he doesn’t get to see Klaus just absolutely lose it. The mess and the madness, and the slick, sticky smile. It all smacks of permission, a long, breathy vindication.)

 

And it would seem...selfish in a way. And Diego doesn’t want to be selfish, even though he’s certain Klaus would let him.  “No,” he says, grabbing Klaus by the hair. He feels his brother shudder, and yeah - it’s not exactly a fucking hardship, kissing Klaus.  It’s not a hardship to let his finger sink a little deeper, let them curl and pull, not when it makes Klaus twitch a little in his grip, lashes fluttering. Diego isn’t...it isn’t that....hurting anyone doesn’t come naturally to him, not as easily as you’d think, but Klaus...wants it the same way Diego wants Klaus to lick him everywhere. And Klaus is so accommodating, so fucking indulgent , that Diego can’t help but maybe wonder if that’s the real path to the deviant freedom he craves. To make oneself amenable, pliable, available, willing, ready . And that’s the heart of Klaus - ready for anything. A constant combination of insolence and fear, but ready all the same. Diego’s hungry for that . “This is good.”

 

Klaus grey gaze narrows but he extricates himself from the bars of the fire escape so that he can crawl into Diego’s fucking lap. He’s too big for it - they’re grown fucking men after all. But the weight of him, the tangible resistance of his streamline body is a marvel all the same.  He presses his skinny little ass over Diego’s dick, the cocky curl of his smirk too pretty for its own good. This time, when Klaus kisses him, the angle is new. He drags the tip of his tongue across the roof of Diego’s mouth and the sensation is deep and unsettling, shocking up his spine and settling deep in his balls.  He makes a noise - not exactly a manly groan - but Klaus doesn’t call him out on it. Klaus kisses into the smile, tilting his head so he can lick deeper, and the press of his tongue against Diego’s is so intense, Diego has to grasp the bars of the fire escape to hold himself up.

 

Kissing Klaus is an experience in self-reflection.

 

Klaus pulls back from the kiss without giving it an ending and Diego chases him, too hungry to feel foolish.  He flattens Klaus against the bars of the fire escape, presses into his mouth with bite .  In that instant, in that breathy, saliva-sticky second - Diego wants to make Klaus bleed .  It’s such a violent, hungry through, Diego steals his mouth away, and lets his teeth chase the cut of Klaus jaw, too roughly, too wild.

 

Klaus grunts as his head hit the bars, hard enough to have Diego wincing. But Klaus isn’t complaining. He’s rolling his skinny fucking hips and moving to the push of Diego’s mouth like he wants the teeth, the bite. “ Fuck , Gogo,” he hisses, tipping head back against the metal so Diego can drag his teeth hard up the line of his bare throat. Diego has him pressed so hard against the bars - he’s sure it’ll leave marks. He wants it to leave marks. He bites down on Klaus’ shoulder just as Klaus brings his hips up, drags the prickly sharp scruff of his beard over the skin until it’s reds and pinks and purples like a twilight sky. He licks it and feels Klaus whole body shudder against his.  “Your room is like---right there---”

 

Diego kisses him before he can plant any ideas in his sticky fucking brain. They’re kissing , goddammit and it’s just like Diego thought it would be.  Giving it up to Klaus - kissing like teenagers - it’s filling a hungry little void Diego didn’t even know he had. Maybe it’s because Diego greatly resented doing anything remotely teenager when he was one, desperate to be grown, to be a man .

 

“Kissing,” he manages to say, though it’s hard-won when Klaus gets his mouth on Diego’s again.  Maybe it’s because slamming your brother up against the fire escape and biting pretty supernova bruises into his tight-stretched skin isn’t exactly on par to teenage necking in the backseat of your parent's sedan. Maybe it’s a lot of things, but Diego’s not interested in dissecting them right now (later maybe, under the covers with a head full of hazy memories and a hand beneath the sheets because this is probably going to be one of those days when he has to jerk off twice, thirty years old or not). “We’re kissing,” he says again, between Klaus’ mouth pushing down against his own, open, hot and wet.  

 

Klaus gives in, put his hands in Diego’s hair and pulls so hard, they both come apart, a single breath chasing hot between them. Klaus blinks at him, a little cross-eyed with the proximity. “This is...actually kind of fucking hot,” he says as if he’s only just decided. He licks his lips - they’re a brilliant shade of pink against his pale face, swollen and tender looking. They look messy . Diego feels dizzy. “I mean, I knew I liked kissing, I just didn’t think you’d get so fucking into it.”

 

(It’s a theme in their family. They all think Diego is gloomy, a buzzkill, a killjoy, never here or anywhere to enjoy himself or anything. They think he’s angry and nothing else. And maybe he is, okay. Maybe he is. He doesn’t want to be.)

 

It just makes Diego want to get more fucking into it. He might actually growl, he doesn’t even know anymore. He’s pretty sure he comes close to headbutting Klaus though, as he slams him back against the bars and gets their mouths together again.  He gives Klaus no room to make a chase, kisses him hot and hard and long, so long, that when he finally drags his mouth away, Klaus sputters and pants, going a little lazy-limp in his arms as Diego kisses down his chest, smearing spit through sweat and---- fucking glitter.

 

(there will be glitter in his beard forever, he just knows it).

 

Ooooh ,” Klaus groans, slipping a little in Diego’s lap, the heave of his breath-starved chest so intensely gratifying, Diego has to kiss him again before he has time to catch so much as a gasp. He pins Klaus in place with nothing but the bulk of his body and the bars holding them thirty feet off the ground.  The harder he presses, the more limp Klaus becomes and it’s so fucking---

 

Fuck .

 

They don’t come up for air for a very long time, and the process of extricating themselves from each other, and then from the fire escape is an exercise in all the ways your body can hurt at thirty but God---

 

Diego’s head is completely empty.

 

Klaus walks directly into the doorframe, nearly does it again before Diego can turn him three inches to the left and through the door.

 

They’re clearly both better for it.  

 

So you know. Kissing . Wasn’t really a thing they did, but absolutely a thing they’ll do again.

 

They stumble their way back downstairs; Diego crams his keys into his jeans, his feet into his shoes.  “Get your shoes on, I’ll give you a ride to work.”

 

He finds Klaus ten minutes later, dragging eyeliner across his lower lid. Ben’s crashed-out in a pile of blankets on the floor, electric orange cheese puffs scattered across the carpet. “Is he okay?”

 

“He’s living the dream,” Klaus confirms, smiling as he shoulders past Diego. “Let me grab my jacket.”

 

Diego follows him, still a little hollow if not a little horny. “Klaus---Your shoes!”

 

“No shoes!” Klaus calls back, slipping around the corner. “I’m feeling very grounded right now.”

 

“You’re gonna get tetanus ,” Diego mutters, just as Klaus steps off the bottom stair, feet never so much as touching the floor. “Fucking show off.”

 

Klaus winks and floats out the fucking door.

 

***

 

Diego doesn’t come to the club every night Klaus works. That would be madness. And while Diego is old-hat at torturing himself, he recognizes his masochistic tendencies aren’t healthy. Tonight though, he snatches a stool at the bar and nurses two whiskey-sodas until they’re more melted ice than anything else and when Klaus heads up to the Perch, he follows.



The Perch isn’t like the other cages, dragged and dropped in tempo to the beat on a massive cable over the dance floor. The Perch, it’s a cage on a six-foot pillar that puts Klaus just out of reach. Diego follows in the entourage of bouncers and dancers that escort Klaus to the Birds Nest, overlooking the rest of the club. His brother is popular , which admittedly makes Diego feel weird .  He’s only just gotten to know Klaus outside of The House, and it’s like Ben - Diego just...doesn’t know his life. Oh - he knows Klaus . Klaus alone, Klaus among the family. But he doesn’t know Klaus among the world .  And whoever it is being handed delicately up into the Perch - Diego’s smart enough to know that no one here knows this Klaus either. Even the ones who greet him familiarly, back pats and kisses.  Just like Klaus does every day of his life, he’s dwelling among the dead. Except for this time, the dead is his past. Diego’s proud of him, in a way that makes his stomach hurt.

 

He takes his designated seat at a small empty table with a view of Klaus’ Perch and feels the music rise like a sea-tide. It’s not the same as below, with heavy thumping bass lines and electric fire. Here, the pulse slows down, like sound turned liquid and Diego pays no one any attention, raptured by the waves of his fucking brother's body. Klaus' feet haven’t touched the floor since they left the house and even with his dark eyes closed, he looks happy .

 

(Diego puts it in his own head to grow the resolve to kiss Klaus without invitation, but even the thought makes his heart race and his hands shake. Filthy . God but he wants too, and he thinks Klaus would like it, given the grin and the familiar spin of his hips.)

 

He’s got a bite mark, pretty pomegranate purple, spilling down like fingerpaint over his shoulder and collarbone. He’s still shirtless, shoeless, nothing but the same tight jeans, unbuttoned just enough to display his grooming preferences.  Diego can taste copper on the back of his tongue just looking at Klaus and his teeth itch to sink through that pale skin, to feel it pop and give, spill blood across his lips. He thinks, given the opportunity, he’d smear it straight down the skip-skitter landscape of Klaus’ ribs, just to see the contrast of red against white, all Christmas-come-early like a fucking candy cane.

 

Diego’s so caught up, so perfectly hypnotized by the opium-roll of Klaus spectral form, he doesn’t notice the body join him at his table until it speaks.

 

“You’re new ‘round here, yeah? I think I’d remember a face like yours.”

 

Diego drags his gaze away from Klaus. It’s a younger man, no older than Diego or Klaus, with long dark hair spilling past his shoulders in languid curls. Brown eyes, olive skin, a full, smirking mouth, and high, sharp cheekbones. Thin as a rail (thin as Klaus ), with a haze to his eyes that Diego wishes he wasn’t so familiar with.

 

“I came with him,” Diego tilts his head toward the Perch, where Klaus is making a very small circuit, dragging his Hello hand over the bars, eyes still closed. Diego wonders where he goes, when he closes his eyes like that.

 

The guy laughs, tipping his head back in a way that...that rubs Diego wrong. “Oh, I think quite a few of us here can say that, my friend. They call him Hypnotiq now; it’s very fitting, isn’t it? But I knew him when he was Devil Doll, Smoke, and just K on a corner. I’m Ezra.”

 

Diego doesn’t get it right away, doesn’t get it at all right up until the moment he does. Klaus has a past Diego doesn’t know, and part of it is checking out his nipple ring, where the outline presses against his thin black shirt. K on a corner. Christ.  “Diego.”

 

“Diego,” Ezra echoes, with a wide smile that reveals no teeth but twin dimples instead.  He’s attractive, Diego realizes. He’s attractive because he looks a lot like Klaus. Same high cheekbones, same slanted eyes, same sharp jaw, long nose, pink mouth--- Oh .  “Have you known him long?”

 

“Yes.” Diego resists the urge to look back at Klaus, at something familiar, something safe. Something that isn’t this vague doppelganger. “You?”

 

“Less these days,” Ezra admits, but his smile doesn’t change. He takes a drink from his highball glass, ice tinkling as the music shifts. “Take it from one man to another, Diego ; if you’re looking for anything beyond a very good time, look somewhere else.”

 

The way he’s looking at Diego--- the insulation is very clear. Look at me. “What’s that suppose to mean?”

 

Ezra simply shrugs, and even that smacks of Klaus.  It makes Diego uncomfortable, makes him shift and turn in his seat, too uneasy to leave himself even that much open. “It means what it means. Klaus isn’t...stable. He had a strange childhood, from what I hear. But if you’re looking for anything beyond getting your dick wet---”

 

“Stop,” Diego raises a hand. “I’ve heard enough.”

 

“He inspires that sort of faith, that vehement defense,” Ezra nods, diplomatically. The same way Klaus does when he’s being a little shit and knows it. “He really is very charming. Very pretty. And he knows it, and that makes him---”

 

“Whatever history you have with him, I can guarantee - he’s over it. He was probably over it, during it. ” Klaus had never been the sort to hold grudges. Even with their dad, Klaus just sort of...moved on. “So, do yourself a favor, and fuck off.”

 

“Cute. That’s cute. You’re cute , Diego. He’ll never love you,” Ezra laughed, swirling his glass. “Don’t fool yourself. He doesn’t even like you. He’s incapable of complex emotions. He’ll let you fuck him real pretty, steal your stash and accidentally let your cat out when he sneaks out at four in the morning. I’d say the sex wasn’t worth it, but I’d be lying. He is phenomenal . Still - I’d flash your big sad heart-eyes in a different direction, pretty boy. You can’t take him home to mommy. You can’t clean him up, pretty woman. He’s broken.”

 

Diego honestly considers breaking the guy's nose, he really does. But this is Klaus’ place of work, and it makes him happy and Diego’s not going to ruin that for him.  So he takes the guy’s drink instead, knocks it back, and sets it on the table. What would Klaus do , he asks himself. Say something witty, probably . Something psychologically damaging.

 

“Sorry Ezra, but time to move along.  Diego’s not into butt-stuff and you’re a giant asshole,” Klaus says before Diego gets the chance to say anything. He curls himself over Diego’s shoulder, one long arm reaching over him to cup his chin with those long, spindly fingers. With his other hand, he fishes an ice cube from the glass with one hand. He pops it between his teeth, crushes it with a smile, and presses a smacking, wet kiss to Diego’s cheek. “Is he telling you sad stories about how I didn’t wuv him ?”

 

Don’t kiss him. Don’t kiss him . Now would be the wrong time, but his mouth is so fucking close and Diego’s spent the last twenty minutes telling himself all the reasons he absolutely should. “You let his cat out. Dick move.”

 

“That’s not the only dick move I pulled.” Klaus seems to realize their proximity, eyes going a little wide. He touches Diego’s mouth with the pad of his thumb, doesn’t release him in the slightest, and turns back to Ezra. “Still not over yourself, huh?”

 

“Hello Klaus,” Ezra says, all pep and politeness. “You look good.”

 

“You look like you’ve been buying from Skinhead Steve again,” Klaus says in turn, with none of the congeniality. He’s still painted over Diego like a cape, curved body kissing the whole of Diego’s spine. “You know he cuts that shit with borax, right? You’re literally snorting laundry detergent. You might as well eat a tide-pod.”

 

Diego should...should probably laugh or something. Support Klaus in someway. Except Klaus is petting him, the hand holding his chin having slipped down to circle his throat, very lightly. It’s...distracting, and Diego doesn’t mean too, but he leans against Klaus, revealing more skin to be touched.

 

“Ezra here thinks he’s my ex-boyfriend,” Klaus says, laughing meanly. His other, non-throat holding hand has extended itself down Diego’s chest and is absently playing with his nipple ring. Christ . “Adorable, I know. Let a guy dick you a few times, and he thinks you’re gonna fuckin’ get married or some shit. Did he tell you I was unstable?” He’s turned Diego’s face towards his own, so close again, they could kiss. Diego can feel Klaus’ breath play over his open mouth. They’re in public. They’re in public , and people are looking. “Did he tell you I was dangerous ?” He asks, just as he pulls on Diego’s nipple ring.

“Weird childhood,” Diego chokes, twitching into everywhere Klaus is touching him. “He said you had a weird childhood.”

 

Klaus laughs, and the motion of his drags his mouth very, very gently over the corner of Diego’s own. He turns away, aims his cruel smirk Ezra’s way. “Don’t ever talk to my fucking brother again.”

 

Ezra startles, wide eyes still half-transfixed by Klaus roaming hands. “That's a fucked up joke, even for you, Klaus.”

 

“Yeah well, you really never did know me as well as you thought, Cosco-Klaus.” Klaus blows him a kiss. “You’re gonna need to lose like nine more pounds if you really wanna look like me, Ezra. And I cut my hair short last year, God - get with it.”

 

“I always told you it looked better long. We have the bone structure for it,” Ezra isn’t smiling, and the Klausesque curl of his body fades to a stiff-shouldered setback. “I heard you died,” he says, very flatly. Diego’s thrown by the shift.  “You were out of the scene long enough, I figured it had to be true.”

 

“So you thought this was the optimal time to try and fill my platform double suede shoes? Rumors of my demise were greatly exaggerated, as usual. It’s way worse . I got clean. Booooring.” But even as he says it, Klaus is pulling a joint out of the front pocket of Diego’s shirt - one that Diego didn’t put there. “You seem really torn up, Ez, really you do. Did you cry? Did you light a candle? Did you stick a fourth finger up your ass in my honor?. But then, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” His looks up and down Ezra, and smirks. “Still playing dress up, I see.”

 

“I asked around,” Ezra murmurs, lashes fluttering. He looks sorry, and Diego wonders a little harder about who Klaus was. “I was genuinely surprised to see you here tonight.”

 

“So surprised, you thought you’d get a leg up on my----”Klaus pats Diego’s shoulders with both hands. “ Brother . Now, I know you love my sloppy seconds, and licking my come out of Diego’s ass would literally be the high-point of your sorry existence, but really - you ever talk to my brother again, I’ll pull your soul out your asshole just so I can cram it down your throat backward.”  He raises his hand - goodbye - and waves. “Lay off the coke, buddy. We really don’t have the complexion for it.”

 

Klaus tugs Diego up from the chair and Diego---well. He’s out of his element here. In the club, in Klaus' hands, between him and his past. So he goes. “Klaus?” Ezra calls, as Klaus’ is ushering Diego away. Klaus stops, just as he tangles his fingers into Diego’s own. “Is he really your brother?”

Walking backward, toes never touching the sticky floor, Klaus smiles. “My name is Klaus Hargreeves. You never did know me as well as you think you did, Ezra.”

 

When they’re outside, the cool night breeze searing against their sweaty skin, Klaus lets go of his hand in favor of raking his long fingers through his own curling hair. The alley outside the club is dark but cleanish, and blessedly empty.  “Sorry---Sorry. He’s a fucking douche canoe---”

 

Nows...Nows probably not a good time to kiss Klaus either, but it’s too later, it’s happening. Diego’s maybe a little too rough when he slams Klaus bare back against the brick. Klaus is slippery, every inch of his skin tacky with warm sweat and Diego touches all of it, before letting his hands settle on Klaus’ hips.

 

“You told him we were brothers,” he manages to say, between violent, biting kisses. It should be more upsetting, it should make him feel gross and wrong, fill him with another moldy layer of cold family shame but mostly it just makes him fucking hard.

 

Klaus blinks at him, so close they’re sharing breath again.“I mean---We’re adopted?”

 

Which - fair. But...lacking. “You’re still my brother,” Diego insists. It’s important. It’s----Diego needs Klaus to know they’re family . “You’re my brother.”

 

“You sick fuck ,” Klaus laughs, tipping his head back and Diego wishes, just a little bit, that it didn’t make him so hard. “You’re so fucking dirty, Gogo. Shit . Do you get off on me being your brother?”

 

“No!” Diego’s even mostly certain that’s true, there’s just...there’s a little bit...a little something especially fucking perverted about it that maybe...maybe yes. Diego doesn’t mean too, it just happens. If Klaus stopped pointing out they were brothers when he was hard, maybe Diego wouldn’t think about it so goddamn much. “Shut up.”

 

Klaus, shockingly, doesn’t . He swoops in and licks Diego’s cheek. “ Get on your knees .”

 

Oh, but it rolls through him like Klaus’ just licked his whole fucking body, the words taking tangible form and burning him up. “What?”

 

“You ever suck dick before, big brother?” Even as he asks, he has a hand on Diego’s shoulder, pushing him gently but insistently to the ground.

 

Diego goes with shamefully little protest, hands dragging down Klaus body, curling behind his knees. “N-n-no.”

 

“But you wanna,” Klaus tells him, and it’s so confident, so assured that Diego thinks - he must be right. Diego must want too. God, he wants too. “C’mon Gogo, you know you wanna.”

 

They’re---They’re in an alley. They’re standing next to a fucking dumpster. Diego’s already on his knees, Klaus pants are already undone and he just---

 

“Fuck,” he hisses, pressing his forehead to Klaus hipbone.

 

Klaus touches his hair, gently, no pulling. “You wanna go back home?”

 

“No.” Because he doesn’t. He can’t move. He’s grounded too, rooted to this spot, right in front of Klaus on his knees. But he can’t seem to make himself do anything else.

 

“Of course not. Of course, I forgot .” Klaus lets his hand slide from Diego’s hair, to cup his face. He presses his thumb to Diego’s mouth until he opens until he sucks. “You’re just a dumb slut, and you don’t know what you fucking want.”

 

God - it burns. It hurts . He closes his eyes, lets Klaus press his thumb down on the back of his tongue, tease his throat.  It’s awful, shameful, but it feels so fucking good. He nods very faintly, too afraid to do much else, and gags.

 

“So I need to tell you,” Klaus drags his thumb away until it’s pressed into Diego’s bottom teeth, and he forces his mouth open, wide. Diego keeps it open, even after Klaus pulls his thumb away.  “I need to use you.”

 

Use you.

Use you.

Use you.

“Oh fuck .” He has to watch - of course he does. He has to open his eyes so he can watch Klaus pull his dick out of his tight jeans, already hard, already ready. “I---I don’t---”

 

“You’ll learn,” Klaus tells him, dragging the head of his cock across Diego’s cheek.













Chapter Text

Okay, so Klaus can’t say this is the first time he’s gotten his dick sucked in an alley. It’s not even his first time getting his dick sucked in this alley.  

 

But it is the first time he’s ever seen Diego from this angle and he looks so fucking good. Klaus is just...Not a good enough person to deserve something so prismatically phenomenal.  Diego is gold against gray, miles of sunshine skin to contrast the many and varied shades of trash that surround them. There’s a heady sort of power growing from the way he’s curling his rough hands Klaus’ calves, looking up at him with those big brown eyes, searching for direction .  Klaus hadn’t really meant to put him there, but he’d gone so easy, kneeling in the filth with nothing but the gentle press of Klaus’ hand on his shoulder. He looks out of place, the crisp cotton of his t-shirt too clean, the soles of his shoes to fresh.  So no, he hadn’t meant to shove Diego into the dirt. He’d meant to apologize, for Ezra’s shit - but then there was Diego, shoving him hard up against the jagged, crumbling brick and licking his way into Klaus’ half-open mouth like he hadn’t hesitated to kiss him only just this morning. Klaus’ apology gets tossed aside like the broken glass and greasy bits of paper surrounding them.



He’d have done a better job at apologizing. At taking Diego home, away from the filthy of Klaus reckless past. Except, Diego goes and fucks that up. Diego gets off on them being brothers. “ Get on your knees .”

 

It’s not a shocker - Diego gets off on reckless filth, and brother-fucking is pretty high on the list. Yes, they’re adopted, but Diego’s not wrong.  They’re brothers. They were raised together, they call the same robot Mom, they’re brothers. Adoptive brothers are still brothers; in this, they just touch each other's genitals. So yeah - it’s no big surprise that Diego gets off on it, Klaus just hadn’t expected it would get him going too.

 

When he’d seen Ezra spilled all pretty in that bar seat, making eyes at Diego with his borrowed smirk - Klaus had been filled with the sudden and violent urge to crawl right back into Diego’s lap and ride him for the fucking world to see. He’s not the jealous sort, never stuck around long enough to form any kind of possessive feelings, but Diego’s different. That’s his brother, and some shit is just sacred. Ezra never could figure out if he wanted to fuck Klaus or be Klaus and Klaus was vain enough to monopolize on that confusion and let him try both. He might have put up with Ezra dicking his way through a full remake of Klaus’ little black book, he’s a fucking gift like that, he’s a giver, he’s a gem---- but that's his fucking brother. And for a terrible, terrible minute, Klaus knew Diego could get everything he wanted from Ezra, all the depravity, the degradation, the release, without having to fuck his brother. Except. Except.



Diego very much wants to fuck his brother.

 

So he’s very much thinking with his dick when he puts Diego on his knees, jagged stone still digging into his back.  If it were anyone else - if it were Ezra - he’d have his dick halfway down a throat by now, but this is Diego, and Diego is special . New, and soft and a little bit scared. Klaus is straight fucking sick for it.  “You wanna go back home?”

 

“No.” It’s said without stutter, but he’s still shaking like he’s exposed under Klaus’ palm and its---

 

It’s not so different than Ben, really. Diego wants , and Klaus can provide. Just because he wants it too - that doesn’t make it selfish. That makes it kismet . It’s too good, and he wants it so much and so he can’t...he can’t let himself forget again.

 

“Of course not. Of course, I forgot.” He forgot himself, weak to that fluttery, wide-eyed look Diego held on him. Weak to the press of Diego’s body against his own, the heat of him, the scars and calluses and keen eyes. Klaus lets his hand slide from Diego’s hair, to cup his face. He presses his thumb to Diego’s mouth until he opens until he sucks like it’s the most natural thing in the world to do.  Diego’s not his boy though, doesn’t want soft pets and pretty words. Diego’s his brother . “You’re just a dumb slut, and you don’t know what you fucking want.”

 

It’s...it’s too much, the way Diego shakes, and nods, and gags on Klaus' fingers, desperate hungry starving for more.  Klaus breathes in as carefully as he can, teeth clenched hard enough to break. “So I need to tell you,” he says, careful quiet as he eases his thumb out of Diego’s mouth, leaving a trail of his own spit across his cheek, and chin. Fuck .  “I need to use you.”

Diego’s watches with those big brown eyes of his, as Klaus eases his cock from his jeans with a ginger hand because shiiiiit . He’s a sick fuck with pretty brothers who just don’t know any better who need Klaus to protect them and he’s so fucking hard for being needed, so goddamn hungry for it. “Oh fuck .” He looks between Klaus as his cock. “I---I don’t---”

 

“You’ll learn,” Klaus tells him, dragging the head of his cock across Diego’s cheek, all soft skin and scratching stubble. “Or you’ll gag - either way, open your fucking mouth, yeah?” Oh God - if Diego actually does it, Klaus is gonna fucking lose it.  

 

Diego shudders, sitting back hard on his calves, mouth falling open, soft and pliant.  Klaus just honestly wishes there was a normal way to tell your brother how good he is at being a slut.  A greeting card, or something. Singing telegram. Carrier pigeon. Shit .

 

As it is, all Klaus can do is try not to come. Diego’s impatient, Diego’s Diego , and when Klaus doesn’t move quick enough for his liking, he turns his head, soft tongue dragging over the head of Klaus cock. Shit .

 

Klaus is in control though. Klaus is--- totally in control.

(Diego’s sucking him off in an alley)

 

It’s just---it’s been a fucking minute since he got his dick sucked okay, give him a minute, a fucking a grace period, it feels so fucking good. There’s something disproportionately innocent in the inexperience, and it adds to the adventure a veneer of absolute obscenity . Klaus cups Diego’s chin very gently in one hand, and yanks Diego’s hair with the other.  He eases Diego down on him, inch by inch, until he’s hitting the back of his sputtering throat and even that feels good. Diego, being the persistent fuck that he is, pushes right back down, a furrow in his brow painting a picture of discouragement, like how dare he fail to deep throat on his very first excursion into dick sucking, golly gosh what a fucking loser.

 

It’s very Diego and more than enough to get Klaus’ head out of his own ass. He pulls Diego away, by his hair. “Ah, ah, ah. You choke when choke you.” He lets his fingers gentle, nails scraping over the scalp. “This is my first blow job in almost a fucking year. It’s not about you at all.”  

 

It’s a massive fucking lie, a gigantic huge gaping lie. If it wasn’t about Diego, Klaus would be in his throat already, getting off on the flutter of his gasping, gagging mouth. He’d have both hands in Diego’s hair, guiding him to a rhythm he’d struggle to follow. He wouldn’t be thumbing open Diego’s pretty mouth and easing himself inside, dragging the bottom of his cock along a soft, plaint tongue. He wouldn’t be fucking himself forward in shallow, hungry thrusts, wouldn’t be biting his lip so hard it fucking hurts. Diego doesn’t need to know that. Because Klaus is absolutely in control here.

 

“I wanna---”

 

“I know what you want.” Klaus has to laugh, doesn’t he? At the absurdity of Diego, on his knees on a blanket of filth.  Klaus cups his chin and digs his fingers into his cheek. Diego settles , shifting back to rest more weight on his calves. “I’ll give it to you, Gogo. You just gotta take it. 

Diego, in true Diego-fashion, glares, baleful and proud. Klaus just laughs and presses his cock in a little deeper, reveling in the wild, lightning-bolt pleasure that eats him up when Diego lets him, with a soft tongue, and an open mouth.  It’s not the best blow job he’s ever had, but the experience is unlike anything else. Because it’s Diego.

 

It’s his goddamn brother.

Klaus has always got a little thrill at fucking over Sir. At every little deviancy, from painting his nails to working for money. Sucking a dick, snorting coke, ignoring every ghost. It all felt good in a petty way, in a vicious way and it was every bit as addictive as pills or booze.  Klaus has been reveling in filth and decadence for years now, waking up in the morning with a belly full of come and a deep sense of vindication. He’d made a whole life out of being the biggest disappointment, but it was never enough. It wasn’t enough to be disappointing, never scratched the itch inside him. Sir to Diego on his knees with his lush mouth open, looking up with heat in his eyes - it’s good.

 

God, is it good.

 

Sir never loved him, any of them. Looking down at his brother’s big, bright eyes, Klaus knows what it is he’d been missing so long. He doesn’t want to settle for being Sir’s disappointment . He wants to haunt Sir in his grave. Wants to rattle his rotting fucking bones. He wants to devastate him.  He wants to be his biggest fucking regret. It feels good .

 

With the drag of his brother's tongue pushing insolently up against the head of his cock,  Klaus sighs, shuddering with the whole of his body. He still has a hand cupped under Diego’s jaw, but he’s let Diego shift, let Diego lower himself down another inch, take it so pretty, so uncertain. He touches Diego’s head, a palm over the back of his neck like a promise, and when he speaks, he speaks quietly - the night demands nothing else.

 

“If only daddy could see you now.” It’s a dangerous line to throw, in truth. Diego has daddy issues, and they’re deep and they’re fetid. Klaus wants to put his fingerprints all over them. “Huh? What do you think he’d say, Gogo? Rhetorical question - don’t stop .” Diego doesn’t. He seals his lips over Klaus, sucks just enough to make his knees shake and lets his hands slide up Klaus' thighs. “Ugh - Fuck. Yeah. You think he’d say a good job, Number Two?” He can feel Diego tense, feel the coil of his body wind at the words, but Klaus doesn’t let him voice an opinion, doesn’t let him make his ire known. He pushes in hard, holds Diego down for just a little tiny second and when he lets up, Diego pulls off with a spit-soaked gasp. Klaus pumps his cock with a very light hand because of reasons . “You done already? Hold still, I want to come on your---”

 

And just like he knew he would, Diego swallows him down again, the edge of his teeth nipping at Klaus' hand when he doesn’t move his fingers away fast enough. He chokes himself, and Klaus pulls his hair, hard and twisting, easing him down more slowly, tipping his head just enough for Klaus to bump along the back of his throat.

 

“Ah fuck,” he mutters, letting his own head fall back against the bricks. Diego has the gist of it now, setting a sloppy, amateur rhythm. He gets a hand around Klaus, and that's--- that’s a fucking game changer. “Shit, Gogo. I wish Dad could see you like this. You look so fucking good. Daddy should have put you on your knees sooner, you’d have been number one.”

 

Diego shudders, tongue fluttering where it’s dragging along the underside of Klaus cock and that's just--- shit . “Don’t,” he says roughly, but he doesn’t extrapolate. Doesn’t tell Klaus what it isn’t he shouldn’t do.

 

Klaus decides, gently, that it just might mean don’t stop.

“Don’t what?” He asks, smacking his cock against the corner of Diego’s mouth. Diego takes it with a new sort of fever, head bobbing all eager and wet. “Don’t tell you how much I’d love to come all over you.  Don’t tell you how I’m gonna fuck your mouth so often, use you so good you’ll never gag again?” Oh my God - but if Diego actually let him? Diego might actually let him.

 

Given the sound Diego makes anyway - he just might. “ Nnnngh .” It vibrates through him and settles in Klaus fucking balls.

 

“Don’t talk about Daddy?” Klaus ventures, wrapping his hand around Diego's at the base of his cock and showing him just how he likes it. “I’ll fucking summon him right now, let him see what else I can fucking ruin. God, Diego - I’m gonna fucking ruin you.”

 

For the first time, in a long time, Klaus is really looking forward to it.

Diego surges forward, nose bumping against Klaus pelvic bone, and he can fucking---He can fucking feel the flutter of Diego’s throat when he chokes and gawd fucking shit damn christ nnnngh----

 

“What ---” Klaus pants, yanking Diego off his goddamn dick and holy shit, that’s a thing that's happening.  Diego fights him a little - he wouldn’t be Diego if he didn’t - pulling against Klaus grip. “What did I say?”

 

“Fucking let me---” He grits his teeth, turning his head just so as Klaus drags his dick across the curve of his jaw, smearing spit and not an inconsiderable amount of precome. “Let me choke.”

 

“I will,” Klaus promises, instead of telling him no because Diego doesn’t do no , and Klaus is a known liar. He’s not going to let him choke. Not yet. That's not beginner shit, no matter how badly Diego is legitimately gagging for it, the little slut. “But I gotta tell you, brother mine. I love how much you want too.”

 

“I do,” Diego insists, snarling a little when Klaus drags his cock across his mouth even as he speaks, pulling away before Diego can have him. “Klaus, fucking---let me.”

 

“No,” Klaus says, imperiously. He leans back against the brick, takes his dick off and away from Diego’s precocious mouth, and smiles down at his brother. “No, see - that’s too easy. And I’m not interested in punishing you, Gogo. And I’m not here so you can punish yourself.” Klaus has no interest in being the knife Diego cuts himself on. “I’m here to show you how good it feels to give in. So you’re going to sit back, open your mouth, and hold very still. Anything else---I tuck myself right back into these jeans, and you get nothing.”

 

“I’m not like Ben,” Diego says, with grit to his jaw. “I’m not interested in being good .”

 

“That’s probably for the better since you’re shit at it. And conveniently, I’m not looking for a good boy right now. I’m looking for a dumb slut to suck me off in an alley. Now that could be you,” he says, very sweetly, tapping his spit-sticky head of his cock against Diego’s cheek. “Or any number of nameless fucks in that club. Which one’s it gonna be?”

 

Waaaay to much bravado.  The idea of pulling some sweaty little club monkey while entirely sober is absolutely daunting. Klaus could pull someone else, without so much as a word, but the whole thing sounds tedious and uninspiring. It won’t be as good. It won’t be as fulfilling , as obscene. It won’t be as pretty, as pleasing, as dark. He could march right back inside and put Ezra on his knees, fuck the visage of his own face in some petty streak of vanity and it would be good, but it wouldn’t be quite as deviant as pushing himself inside Diego’s pouting mouth. Please let it be you.

 

“Don’t want you to go easy on me.” Diego settles in though, putting both his hands behind his back and Klaus things - he probably has handcuffs, somewhere in that lair of his. It’s a thought. “I don’t need you to fucking baby me, I’m not Ben---”

 

Klaus laughs. Going easy on Diego would be giving him what he wants, but he’s too new for that, too green and soft and clean. Sexual deviancy has a learning curve; Klaus has to teach him. God, Klaus wants to teach him. He wants someone to understand, and there’s something in Diego that calls to it. To getting so low, nothing can hurt you.  The balm found in pain, in hedony .  “When you can finally just sit back and enjoy yourself, Diego---then I’ll think about letting you gag on my fucking cock, okay?” It’s mean, harsh like a sunrise hangover, and it makes his belly ache and his palms itch all the same. It makes him want to say sorry, but he’s not sorry. Not really. Not when Diego’s looking at him like that. That makes Klaus want to press a little more, the same way pushing down on a bruise feels good in a deep, and aching way. “But until then - you’re just another hole for me to stick my dick in if you’re lucky .”

 

Oh God.

 

The way Diego’s lashes flutter, the way his throat works on a dry, achy swallow, so clearly hungry for it, so desperately wanting, doesn’t he know that Klaus is fucking weak for it, doesn’t he know Klaus is hungry too, Klaus is---

 

Klaus is in control. Tentative, tender, hungry control. “Now are you gonna be lucky, or not?”

 

Wordlessly, Diego opens his mouth.  

 

Somewhere, wherever the dead go, Klaus hopes Sir is fucking raging.

 

It’s palpably different, as he eases his cock back into Diego’s mouth.  There’s a stiffness to his tongue, a slippery little rebellion and Klaus fucking loves it - it’s Diego after all. He fucks against Diego’s tongue, a hand curled loosely around the base of his cock and it’s fine and shallow torture.  An itch you can’t quite reach and Klaus fucking rides it for a long time.  He’s old hat at drawing it out, a fine little demon when it comes to edging. He drags it on and on and on until Diego’s making these hurt little noises, palms pressed flat against his own thighs, fighting the urge to lean into it, to do more. His jaw trembles and his tongue’s gone soft and Klaus could come like this, given enough time but he knows Diego won’t make it.

 

He pulls Diego away again - and the soft, gusty little whimper could have come from either of them, honestly, but regardless- Klaus already wants to hear it again. He urges Diego up, gets a little distracted by the puffy, pink, swollen line of his mouth, forgets himself in a sloppy, salty kiss.

 

Diego swallows, wincing a little at the ache in his jaw probably. “I---I---I---”

 

And well, Klaus has to kiss the stutter off his mouth, doesn’t he? And he means to stop it there, means to take this little rodeo home where he can spread Diego out, where he doesn’t have to admit that it takes him a while to come from a blowy, but that time can be put to good use, maybe with a few fingers up either of their asses - but Diego has other ideas.

 

Diego’s kissing him again, frantic and messy and Klaus means to---He means to stop him, honestly expect Diego’s kissing him in the exact way that Klaus just really needs right now.  He manages to get is hands on Diego’s jeans, manages to get his button undone, his zipper down. They’re not as tight as Klaus’ own, but getting his hand in them is still a straight fucking job and Diego---Diego fucking kisses him through all of it.

“I can’t---” He manages to sputter, as he gets his hand around his brother’s cock (fatter than his own, but not as long). “Fuck---I can’t---I can’t---”

 

Diego...Doesn’t stop kissing him.  Klaus acknowledges the tactical error in supplying your enemy with weapons. Not that Diego’s the enemy, he’s just making it really hard to think, when he’s got a hand on Klaus dick, and two lungfuls of Klaus air supply. Kissing is absolutely a weapon though.

 

Diego keeps a steady pace, stroking firm from tip to base, fucking his tongue into Klaus' mouth at the exact same tempo and yeah. Diego might be a little new to fucking his brother, but he’s not a virgin and Klaus really should - remember that. Diego knows what he’s doing, has handled his own cock long enough to have a solid grasp (ha!) on how to handle Klaus.  It’s good - it’s more than good, but it’s not what’s getting Klaus off, right now. At least, not entirely.

Klaus can’t breathe.

 

And Diego knows .

“Fuck,” he sputters, breathlessly, but there’s no respite. Diego gets his mouth back on him, kisses a little deeper as he fucks helplessly up into Klaus fist and God---

 

He can feel it creeping in at the corners of his vision, a speckled black haze that makes his heart beat in overdrive but his head goes empty and quiet. He can’t even - he’s not doing any sort of service to hand-jobs, can’t keep a rhythm, can’t even keep a fist. He feels his knees go out, but Diego’s there, pressing the bulk of himself against Klaus, pinning up against the sharp,  biting brick. There’s a minute moratorium where Klaus whole body and brain disconnect completely. He comes, sputtering and violent, in the absence of space between their bodies and then he’s just---gone.

 

He passes out. It’s been so long.

 

When he comes back, Diego’s still holding him up, coming with shaking, broken sobs, against their bellies, mouth pressed to the curve of Klaus neck and that---- Fuck.

 

He holds Klaus face with a soft touch and rough palms and his big brown eyes look worried. “Shit - shit - did I---I didn’t mean too---”

 

“Buh,” Klaus manages to say, slipping a little against the brick. It’s...Been a while. Since he’s done that. And it feels more intense with the absence of drugs or booze. It feels like flying. “ Fuck .”

 

Diego bites at his own, swollen lip. “You okay?”

 

“Fuck,” Klaus says again and it’s not - it’s not helpful. He feels himself wobble a little, slumping forward, face smashed against Diego’s shoulder. “M’fine.”

 

“You passed out.” Diego’s still awkwardly supporting the entirety of Klaus weight against his chest and there’s just...honestly nothing to be done about it. “I didn’t---I got carried away. I shouldn't have--- but you were just so---”

 

“You were perfect.” Because Diego needs firm, direct reinforcement and Klaus is too sloppy to lie right now anyway. “Can you uh---do me a solid and put my junk back in my pants because buttons are beyond me right now but turtle dick freaks me out, okay, I’m a grower, not a shower.”

 

It gets a very hesitant chuckle out of Diego, but it also gets his dick put back in his pants, so small mercies. “That was...” He doesn’t seem to have the appropriate adjectives though, and he looks at Klaus for help, like maybe they can mad-lib this together and come up with some tertiary description for what it’s like to choke-out your brother with your own fucking mouth.

 

Jesus Fucking Christ - Klaus can’t even wrap his head around it. Diego just sexually asphyxiated him with kissing .

 

“That was...Okay?”

 

“You’re fucking hot,” is the first corporeal sentence Klaus manages, still breathless and very much weak-kneed. “Like --- I keep forgetting you’re fucking hot because of the turtle necks, but shit , Diego. That was---I mean. Fuck.” Oh good. He’s babbling. “That was too hot for turtlenecks. Your body is wasted on you.”

 

Diego laughs, very lightly, just a little huff warmer than the cooling air of one in the morning. “We can’t all pull off fishnet crop tops.”

 

Okay but - Diego totally has a leather-daddy vibe going on. He could pull of fishnet. Even better, he could pull them off of Klaus. “You can pull them off of me.”

 

“You don’t have to hit on me,” Diego reminds him, scooping an arm around Klaus' waist and bodily moving him to the parking lot at the end of the alley. “I think we’ve established we’re both kind of easy.”

 

“Which is expected of me! You wear turtlenecks. You can’t hold me accountable for forgetting you’ve got like---actual game.” The manhandling is kind of nice. Diego is solid and warm, and Klaus is sleepy and sore, so it’s easy to lean against him, lay his head on Diego’s shoulder. “I keep thinking I’m going to have to like - hold your hand through everything and then you go and do things like eating my ass and kissing me unconscious.  Oh God - don’t you dare blush. You licked your own come off my ass, you don’t get to blush.”

 

“Have you ever thought you just inspire that kind of obscenity?” It’s asked through clenched teeth. Diego’s fingers are digging into Klaus' hip and he hopes very badly that they bruise. “I’m pretty sure it’s you.”

 

“You keep telling yourself that, Gogo. Whatever helps you sleep at night.” He turns his head and licks Diego’s jaw, smiling. “But I know the truth.”

 

“Yeah? What’s that?”

 

“Luther was a virgin until he was nearly fucking thirty and you ,” Klaus says, bumping Diego with his hip. “Are a kinky little bitch.”

 

“Maybe,” Diego says, with a quiet little laugh. At some point, the hand he’d gripped Klaus hip with has drifted to dig itself in Klaus’ back pocket. Diego’s fucking---feeling up on him. In a parking lot. The fucking slut. “I don’t know. You made it look fun.”

Chapter Text

Ben’s plotting.

 

Circumstance takes it’s sweet goddamn time, but when the occasion arises that Klaus goes to work without Diego, and Diego doesn’t lurk about in leather - Ben’s on it. It isn’t to say he’s been awaiting the situation, not with any general anticipation...not exactly, anyway.

 

It’s just - harder to get Diego alone than Ben expected. Especially if he wants more than the illusion of privacy and for this - well. He does.

 

So he waits for Klaus to go to work, and catches Diego before he can slip into his sex harness and out the door.  He knocks. Klaus would have just barged, but Ben prefers the formalities. Doors were sort of an unattainable novelty for thirteen years and Ben likes doing those banal things now.  So he knocks, keeping his bare feet planted firmly on the floor and his general sentience on the physical plane. Hood down. Fully visible. No Klaus in sight.

 

Diego answers with a curious little frown about him. “Ben?”

 

You can do this , he told himself. Klaus does this all the time

 

“Can I come in?”

 

To his credit, Diego doesn’t hesitate. “‘Course. Is everything okay?”

 

Ben shoulders his way inside, pulling the door closed, already jittery at the thought of speaking at length about stuff with Diego again. He’d die a second time over if anyone fucking overheard. “Do you remember...last time we talked. About....” They’d talked about a lot of things, Ben isn’t really sure how to narrow it down to the one little thing.

To his credit, Diego only grins a little. “Klaus?”

 

“Yeah, about that.” Ben just needs to say it. He just needs to---put it out there. Because once it’s out there, he can’t take it back and that’s as good a start as any. Like kissing your brother. Once it’s done - it’s done. And that had worked out pretty well, overall.  “You and Klaus have been---”

 

Diego freezes, wide-eyed where he’s stood between Ben and the door. “Uh. I--I--”

 

“Oh- no! I don’t care.” It startles a little laugh out of Ben, a hysterical bubble that pops bright and wild. “This isn’t like playing ‘I licked it so it’s mine’ when we were kids.” Klaus had been fierce when it came to such games, likely to snatch the cheese straight out your sandwich and lick it just to ruin your lunch.  Come to think of it - Klaus penchant for licking Ben and Diego made a lot more sense. “I don’t exactly have the authority for placing an embargo on fucking our brother.”

 

“You kissed him first?” Diego still looks a little skittish, rubbing nervously at the back of his neck. “I don’t wanna like - come between you.”

 

“I don’t think dibs works when it comes to you know ---touching genitals.” If Klaus were here, he’d say something like no, no - please come between us. Probably bow a little, wave his hand. Klaus stuff. “Besides - you’ve sort of been there since the beginning. You were more involved than you probably realized.”

 

Diego looks down, flushing a dusky shade of pink. “Okay.”

 

Okay. Okay and then a straight symphony of terribly awkward silence. Ben folds himself down onto Diego’s chair - the one Diego shoved Klaus down in, spread him wide and----“Have you guys...”

 

“He doesn’t tell you?” He looks surprised which means Klaus absolutely tells Diego what he and Ben get up too. Christ . “But uh---No. I mean, we’ve only messed around a handful of times, to be honest.”

 

“I don’t want to fuck him,” Ben blurts out, wincing. Fuck. That---That hadn’t been how he’d planned to say this, to approach this. “Shit. Fuck . That’s not----”

 

Diego goes soft all at once, rushing to kneel by him. Because rough, grumbly, scarred Diego was actually a fucking sap, but maybe only Ben knew it. Or maybe he was only a sap for Ben which makes Ben...feel weird. “Hey-hey, no, I don’t think Klaus will care. You know? He wouldn’t be upset if you didn’t want to do this anymore.”

 

“No! I mean - I mean no, not that. I still want...to do what we’re doing.” He still can’t fucking say it, still can’t get his tongue to curl and form the words. Thinks about it all the fucking time, cannot fucking say it. “I just---you know. I know what Klaus likes . I know what he really likes, I’ve seen everything and I don’t think...I mean. I don’t think I’m interested in...”

 

“Klaus is a bottom,” Diego fills in the blanks, kneeling on the carpet in front of Ben, cast half in shadows from his shitty, bedside lamp. “And so are you.”

 

“Klaus is uh...a switch.”He’s never, in all his years living or dead, had to say that out loud. “But uh yeah - I don’t think I’d be very good at...” It’s one word. It’s a single word. But even thinking the word makes him flush violent red and hot, so uncomfortably mortified. “Topping.”

 

“I doubt it’s a deal breaker, buddy.” Diego pats his knee and Ben holds his breath. “Klaus won’t care if you don’t wanna.”

 

“Yeah but---” And this is the part where Ben just needs to fucking say it. He’s pretty sure Diego won’t tell him no, like eighty percent sure given collected data. “I kind of want to do the other thing.”

 

“Totally natural,” Diego assures him, like an absolute fucking Dad and Ben...can’t handle that right now. Ben does not want Dad-Diego right now. Ben needs the Klaus-version. The gross one.“You two have been...patient. You’re both adults. If it’s something you both want, there’s no reason you shouldn’t.” What a fucking Dad . Ben’s gotta...do something about that. Or shit’s gonna get very, very awkward.

 

“Klaus has been patient, I’ve been mostly useless.” He shrugs. This is the gist of the issue. The reason he’s here, perched on a chair Diego once rimmed Klaus in. So. “But like...um. The showers help.” Jerking off helps , but Ben just..can’t say it. “That was...Good advice.”

 

Diego grins a little - brotherly .  Better than Dad-Diego, still not where Ben needs him. “Yeah - Klaus keeps talking about how he wants to thank me.”

 

Oh. Ben flushes again, shoulders hunching. “Christ.”

 

“Sorry, sorry,” Diego rushes out, making a face. Ben as seen the shit he does to Klaus - he’s fucking seen it. There’s no reason Diego should be all flushy-blushy-apologetic over the wonderbread version of innuendo.  “I’m not--- you know I’m not picking on you, right? But if you don’t want Klaus to tell me about what you and he do---”

 

“Do you like it?” He likes to watch Klaus and Ben, after all. So perhaps it just makes sense, it just appeals to him, Klaus mouth, Klaus penchant for talking.

 

Diego freezes again, mouth a little agape as he stares just past Ben, “Uh.” His gaze shifts and he frowns, nodding a little. “Yeah. Yes. I do. But if you don’t want him to---”

 

“I like it,” Ben grits his teeth a little but unclenches his fists. This isn’t a mission. This isn’t Dad. This isn’t the taste of blood in the back of his throat. This is Diego. And Diego is safe. “Klaus says I like an audience.” He’s joking when he says it, but Ben thinks - it might be true . He does like Diego to see. “Do you want to fuck me?” There - not so hard. And a vital step one to what he really wants to ask.

 

“Not before Klaus does.” Diego looks past Ben, at the wall, but he speaks firmly and without hesitance. “Not that---Not that he has dibs or anything.”

 

Klaus probably did call dibs. Ben has a feeling that's not why Diego wants to wait. So hey! One step closer to gross-Diego, then. “He licked it first,” Ben deadpans, getting a little laugh out of Diego. “Do you---Do you---” And oh God, Diego’s going all soft-eyed again. Ben’s got like three seconds probably before Diego’s making him a snack and putting him to bed. It’s happened before.   “I want to fuck around without Klaus.”

 

Diego’s soft-eyes blink . “Um.”

 

“I mean---Not behind his back!” Except, Ben had worked awfully hard to get Diego alone with Klaus out of the house, so maybe that's a lie. “A little bit behind his back, with full intentions of including him as soon as I’m---” Ready. To take a dick in the ass. Ben feels his face go brutally hot just for thinking it. “Klaus won’t let me do things!”

 

Jesus. Fucking. Christ. He sounds like a brat. Like a child .

 

Diego still has that wide-eyed look about him, mouth a little parted, shoulders a little tense. “I’m sure it’s not---”

 

“Oh I fucking know,” Ben gripes, because he does know. Klaus isn’t being mean. Klaus is taking care of him. Klaus won’t let Ben blow him. Klaus won’t stick anything in Ben’s ass (besides that one time, but never since, it’s a tragedy). Klaus won’t let Ben try anything until Ben can say it, because that’s Klaus metric for being ready, but if that’s the case---

 

Ben’s going to die a virgin.

 

Because every time he tries to say anything - this shit happens. He gets flustered. He gets stuttery. He gets shy . And Klaus gets all sweet and soft and patient and distracts him with fun other things and he forgets why he wants Klaus to put his fucking fingers in his ass --- or oh, God. Let Ben put his fingers in Klaus ass.

 

(He’d...like to do that.)

 

“Listen, this is very difficult for me,” Ben says, red-faced, and fluttery. “You have your kinks, I have mine and I just sort of need them to meet in the middle.”   Praise Cthulhu , it’s the most coherent thing that's come out of his fucking mouth all night.

 

“I’m going to need you to be a little more clear on what you’re asking,” Diego hedges, the flat of his palms splayed out over his thick thighs, where he’s on his knees in front of Ben.

 

“Of course you do,” Ben says, almost loftily. It’s bravado. It’s for show. It’s for Klaus . “I want you to help me....get ready...for Klaus to fuck me.”

 

Diego sucks in a long, shuddery breath, and his fingers dick into the meat of his thighs for just a second. It’s interesting, to watch the way his body speaks. Ben is shamefully familiar with the language. Diego’s been watching them a long time, but Ben’s been watching back. “Yeah,” Diego says, after a silence. “That’s what I thought you meant.”

 

“And?”

 

“I don’t know if it’s a good idea. I don’t know if I can...” He makes a face, the same expression that pinches him when Luther has a good idea. “I’m not sure I would be very good at it. Klaus is sort of---this is all a first for me too.”

 

“Oh thank God,” Ben breathes out and just like that - about eleven percent of his tension escapes him. “That’s what I want. That’s what I need right now. Klaus is---good at everything. He’s good at everything , Diego. Even the shit he won’t let me do. I’ve seen it. I’ve seen...everything.” Ben has thirteen years of Klaus better sexual exploits and Klaus has legitimately only improved with time. “I need a virgin to figure shit out with.”

 

“I mean - I’m not a virgin .” There’s a gleam in his eye though, one that makes Ben a little nervous in a good way. “What do you want me to do?”

 

“Let me be nervous about shit, but do it anyway mostly,” Ben admits, fidgeting. “I think I’ll be pretty good at telling you what I don’t want to do, but I am physically incapable of telling you what I want to do. Please don’t ask.”

 

“I’m gonna need some kind of jumping off point, at the very least.” Diego laughs, softly, and puts both his hands on Ben’s knees. “ I’m not trying to give you a hard time, I just need to know what I can do.”

 

His hands are creeping up, from Ben’s knees to his thighs and they’re not like Klaus’. Klaus, with his long, thin fingers, smooth and soft. Diego is the exact opposite, with thick calloused fingertips and rough palms.

 

Ben settles back in the chair, spreads his legs a little wider. Makes room for Diego to shift forward. “There’s uh...”It’s hard to think, with Diego so close. Hard not to catalog the differences between him and Klaus. The way they take up space, the way they smell. “I can’t think of anything currently that I wouldn’t let you do.”

 

Diego pushes Ben’s thighs apart, abruptly, and laughs when Ben startles. “You tell me to stop, I’ll stop.”

Which, yes , Ben fucking knows that. Diego’s a goddamn granola bar these days, you don’t get more wholesome. “Okay, but if I tell you to just fucking do it, will you just fucking---”

 

Kissing Diego is not like kissing Klaus.

 

Ben startles, and the resulting shape of Diego’s smile against his mouth has its own taste.  Ben doesn’t know what to do with his fucking hands - he normally ends up pretty octopussed around Klaus, but this is Diego and the packaging is decidedly different.  

 

Diego breaks the kiss, lingering at the corner of Ben’s mouth as he speaks. “Benny, if you could manage to verbally direct me in any way , I’d do it in a hot minute.” He drags his scruff over Ben’s skin, nips at his jaw, fucking smiles all over the goddamn place.  “My kinks and your kinks, huh? You just figure we’ll rub ‘em together, or what?”

 

“You’re into...Um. I mean, I don’t fully understand what you’re into, but I have an idea?” Ben swallows. All he has to do is say it . All he has to do is say the words, and Diego will fucking do it. “And I thought maybe...Um.”

 

Okay, but he’s kissing Ben’s neck, just slow dry presses and it’s very distracting. “Yeah?”

 

He’s made a tactical error it would seem, in assuming that sex with Diego would be easier than sex with Klaus. Cosmically. They’re barely touching and Ben’s already losing focus. “I just thought maybe you’d be into---oh fuck.”

 

Diego bit him.

 

Bit!

Him!

 

Klaus does not bite. Klaus is only ever gentle with Ben, soft and sweet and slow like syrup. Diego fucking bit him.

 

“Yeah?”Diego asks again, dragging his tongue over the faint burning mark. “What did you think I’d be into Benny? I can’t tell you if you’re right until you say it.”

 

“I just thought,” Ben says again, as Diego drags his palm back up the inside of Ben’s thigh and presses it over the stiff bulge of his cock. “Fuck. I just...I just...thought”

 

“C’mon baby,” Diego wheedles, and it’s nothing like the horrible, terrible, delicious way Klaus talks to him. Just as good, but very different. When Klaus speaks, Ben wants to follow him anywhere. Diego just sounds like a promise. “What do I want to do to you?”

 

To you.

What do I want...

To do to you.

 

“Finger me,” Ben squeaks, voice breaking, teenage prison cell of a body betraying any bravado he’s rallied. “I thought you’d be into fingering your brother.” He can feel the heat of his own face burning him up. This is the stupidest fucking shit. He didn’t blush this hard the first time Klaus put his mouth on his balls, there’s no need for it now , dammit. “Um. You’re---your little brother.”

 

And Jesus Christ, but he is light-headed, all the blood in his body going in a wildly different direction. Diego gets off on the dirty, the depraved. Ben’s not exactly going out on a limb with this, he’s not. Diego’s probably into it - even though Ben would like to vehemently object to the term little. Same birthday motherfuckers .

 

But...Ben can’t deny that he’s smaller than Diego, nor can he deny the appeal there. There’s something decidedly menacing about Diego’s frame.  Like so much else, it’s different from Klaus who stretches across reality like a shadow escaping the sun. He takes up the least amount of space his spider-leg body will allow, always at odds with everything around him, likes his body isn’t meant for the Earthly plain at all. Diego, though, takes up space. Diego wants to take up space, and he’s very good at getting what he wants in this regard. He fills the space between Ben’s thighs, shoves himself forward so fast the air displacement ruffles Ben’s hair. Shit. So---yeah. Ben’s rough idea of what Diego might like? Good guess.

 

“Fuck,” Diego bites out, before flattening Ben right up against the back of the chair and kissing him hard, teeth and tongue and bite. “Yeah, yeah - yes . Christ. Correct, congratulations. Get your---get your pants off. The bed---shit, no. We should---can I--- fuck .”

 

See, Ben thinks, mostly to himself. All he had to do was ask .

 

***

 

He doesn’t jump right into it, which Ben has mixed feelings about. On one hand - he really wants to just... do it. Now. Immediately. No more teasing, Klaus has teased him enough. Klaus can spend an hour petting Ben’s asshole, and Ben is just...done. So yeah - on one hand, now . On the other hand, he could stand to spend some time face down, ass up on Diego’s bed.

 

Rimming is---- Messy . Ben can see why it would appeal to Diego and boy---does it. Diego’s behind him, both rough palms flat against his ass, holding him open. The rough scratch of his chin where it drags over Ben’s balls hurts in such a good way, he’s fairly certain he’s drooling into the picture.   He’s definitely pushing back against Diego’s mouth which is--- a little more than he can fully consider about himself right now.  There’s a whole fucking tongue in his ass and honestly - Ben didn’t understand what Klaus loved so much about this, but now he fucking gets it. There’s a whole fucking tongue in his ass.

“You good?” Diego clears his throat roughly, the scruff on his cheek scraping raw against Ben’s sensitive skin. He pats Ben’s ass cheek, almost absently, thumb pulling him open wider, and Ben just----he just knows Diego’s looking at his asshole. It’s...awful. It’s an awful, hot, squiggly feeling that makes his balls tighten and dick twitch. It’s awful, but he maybe doesn’t hate it.

 

Klaus says he likes an audience .

 

He can’t raise his head enough to confirm that yeah, yeah, yes . He’s good . “Nnnng.”

 

“God, I could do this for hours,” Diego mutters, directly into Ben’s asshole. Ben’s not about to stop him, honestly.  “Mmm. Next time. Up---Up. On your knees.”

 

That’s asking a lot from someone who just had his ass licked for like thirty minutes straight. But given that Diego’s generously offered to do a bulk of the work, Ben manages. He sits back on his haunches, awkward and naked and terribly hard. “Um. I have lube,” he offers, because he came prepared to be prepared, frankly, and he’d like to fucking get this show on the road. “In my pants pocket.”

 

Diego grins and snags his jeans up off the floor. “Presumptuous.”  But he pops the cap anyway. “How you wanna do this, Benny?” He asks, kneeling on the edge of the bed. “On your back? Belly? You wanna pretend I’m Klaus?” And God- he sounds interested in the prospect, the kinky fuck.

 

“That’s...that’s not necessary,” Ben manages to say, shivering as Diego comes up behind him, casting him completely in shadows. “I don’t----I don’t really want to choose. Don’t make me choose.”

 

“Okay, baby ,” Diego agrees, softly. But from him, it doesn’t resonate gently. Softly, not sweetly, no. He drags his mouth down the curve of Ben’s neck, pressing wet kisses as he goes.  “Shhhh, I got you.” One hand wraps itself around Ben’s middle, but the other ----

 

Ben sucks in a breath, legs slipping wider on reflex, making room for Diego’s wandering, wet fingertips, where they press at his asshole. “ Fuck .”

 

“Yeah,” Diego laughs like he’s not metaphorically about to wear Ben like a fucking finger puppet. “We’re gonna do it just like this. Tip your head back for me, baby boy.” He rocks his hips forward, driving his fingertips up---up--- “There you go, there you go .  Fuck, look at you, Benny, shit .”

 

“More,” Ben demands, almost immediately which is ridiculous because it’s barely a fingertip and it already feels like so much. “Please? I just---”

 

“You can have whatever you want,” Diego presses the promise into his jaw, and rocks his hips again, moving Ben, encouraging him to move himself. “Come on, that’s it. Just like that, see. You take whatever you want - whatever you’re ready for.”

 

And that's....That’s pretty much how Ben ends up in Diego’s bed, fucking himself back on not one, but two fingers. Diego’s not deep in him, only to the first knuckle but God , it feels too good to push for more and Ben thinks...he thinks he might want to save something to come back for.  Lube drips down his thighs, down his balls, and he’s got both hands clinging to Diego’s arm where it’s wrapped around his waist. Diego’s so goddamn hard, cock driving up against Ben’s ass, trapped between their rolling bodies.

 

He’s hard too, and the head of his cock bumps gently against Diego’s hairy fucking forearms. It’s not enough, not at all, but it’s fucking maddening. He has a sense though - has the good sense to know that Diego won’t let him come until he asks because he’s not Klaus who takes pity on him almost as soon as he touches him. Diego’s not so soft. “I need---” Ben manages, pushing back a little harder than he means too, taking Diego a deeper. “Fuck. Fuck, I need---Diego, I need to come, oh my God, I need to come.”

 

Diego laughs, and loosens his hold around Ben’s waist, wrapping that hand around Ben’s cock instead. And it’s---God. He doesn’t come immediately, and that - that’s a fucking Christmas miracle because it really, really feels like he should be coming. God, but it really does. Shit - he wants too.  Frustrated, horny, preverbal, he fucks himself back, chases Diego’s fingers, only to thrust forward, and fuck himself into the tight circle of his hand. “Fucking--- fuck . God, please, I just wanna come.

“Yeah?” Diego asks, but it’s not really a question.  He squares up behind Ben, twists his hand just a little and---- holy shit. Ben’s whole body spasms, tightening up as he presses down on what is absolutely Ben’s prostate. “You were doing so good Benny, don’t stop now.”

 

“I need----” Something, he needs something . God he needs---Klaus? Klaus would get him off, Klaus would make him come. But Klaus isn’t here now, and Diego’s got two fingers fully seated in Ben’s ass and it’s everything he wanted and very much more. But Diego won’t make him come, seems very much pleased to keep Ben here, on a horrible precept, unaffected by his own erection. So no, Klaus can’t help him here. No, he needs leverage .

 

He throws his hands out, catching the headboard and pushing himself back. It catches Diego off guard, shocks a beautiful fucking grunt from him and it’s exactly what Ben needed. Leverage. That’s all. Leverage and about an hour worth of foreplay.  “ Goddamn , Benny. Just like that .” Diego curls his fingers meanly and Ben feels his balls draw up. “Shit - you gonna come like this?” He strokes Ben as he asks, root to tip, making a point to thumb at the wet, dripping head of his cock. “You come on my pillow, I’m throwing you face down on it and riding your pretty little ass until I come all over your balls.”

 

Ben’s not even---he’s not even really into that. But for some reason, he fucking comes anyway. Hard, so fucking hard, spraying straight across Diego’s pillow, splattering the headboard. Diego never stops, even when Ben can’t, fucks him on his fingers until his knees go weak and then---

 

And then----

 

He makes good on his promise.

 

“Shiiiit,” Diego drawls, lining his cock up between Ben’s cheeks and this at least is something familiar. This is something known. Ben’s asshole though, it’s hot and tender and every drag of Diego’s dick sends electric white-hot fire up his spine. He’s moaning, muffled and wet, right into the pillow. Diego has a palm braced against Ben’s spine, the other curled over the headboard and it feels good to be pinned down, it feels safe . “You. Are. So. Fucking. Pretty,” Diego grunts, every word spilling out on a new fucking thrust and Ben----Ben has never wanted to be fucked more in his life.

 

But that’s for Klaus.

(Klaus deserves good things)

 

Coming to Diego was the right choice.

 

“I’m not gonna fuck you,” Diego says, and for a second Ben’s afraid Diego can read his mind, or worse - he spoke out loud. But no. “I’m not--- I just wanna --- Oh God, Ben. Fuck.” And then he’s holding Ben open just a little with a single thumb, and pressing the head of his cock up against Ben’s asshole, coming hot and hard----

 

Inside of him.

 

Ben...Ben blacks out.

 

Comes too to Diego pushing a finger back into him, slick and easy, forcing his come back up inside Ben. Shit , Ben thinks, horrified and...lowkey turned on. “Um. Diego?”

 

“Push,” Diego demands, in that quiet soft tone of his.  Ben...obeys.

 

He’s a good boy.

 

“Oh fuck.” Diego sounds...reverent, and it makes Ben’s face warm even where it’s buried in a come-stained pillow.  Maybe grossness is catching. Maybe he's just to fucked out to care. “ Baby boy.

 

Chapter Text

Diego’s three fingers deep in his little brother when he has a revelation .

 

It’s not the first time he’s been any fingers deep in his little brother. It’s the sixth. It’s been two weeks since Ben shouldered his way into Diego’s room and laid out his sweet, rambling proposal. This time though, when Ben takes two fingers without much effort and a third with only a breathy, needy little cry - Diego has a revelation.  Ben’s more than ready for Klaus.  That’s not the revelation.

 

The revelation is this:

 

This is the healthiest relationship Diego’s ever been a part of, and it’s between him and two of his brothers.



***

 

Sounds crazy, right? That anything between them should be so healthy. And maybe, yeah, it’s only by contrast to his previous dysfunctional relationships. But it’s true all the same. Diego can explain.

 

Eudora had been his longest girlfriend  (a full eleven months) and the only woman to ever really want to try.  Diego had always asked too much of her, had always taken too much. He hadn’t had shit to give, just secrets and bullshit, and he hadn’t been willing to part with those, let alone anything healthy or normal. She’d always told him the key to a healthy relationship was honesty, affection, and empathy.  Diego had been shit at all three. He wouldn’t talk about his past; he was terrible at expressing affection and was the shittiest team player you’d ever meet. Didn’t trust anyone to have his back, and would rather do it his damn self then ask for help. He...He wanted to trust her. He really did. But how could he trust her, when she didn’t really know him? What if she found out?

 

See it’s just ---- Ben trusts him.  Ben comes to him for help. Twice now, he’s trusted Diego with something that was clearly fucking him up and that? That’s fucking precious .  Diego is more than aware that Ben is grown. He’s done his thirty years, one way or the other, just the same as the rest of them.  But he died young, and some days that's readily apparent. But he trusts Diego. And Klaus - Klaus is honest. Klaus is honest with Diego, when they’re alone, tells Diego precisely like it is and it’s compelling, it’s catching; Diego doesn’t hide when they’re alone.  More than that - Diego trusts Klaus to be honest with him.

 

And empathy?

 

Well. What is empathy anyway? The big, red, dusty dictionary in Father’s study said;

 

Em·pa·thy

/ˈempəTHē/

Noun

  1. the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.

 

If that’s not what they were doing....well, Diego can’t think of any better way to explain it.

 

Klaus is honest; Ben trusts him. He’s...not really sure anyone’s ever trusted him like that before. Why would they? When he left the academy, Diego built his life on lies and secrets.  He hadn’t met a woman willing to deal with that shit, not even Eudora, and that was more than fair.  Klaus and Ben know his secrets. Klaus and Ben are his secrets; they’re the past he tried to bury, and he’s so goddamn glad he failed.

 

So yeah - Diego’s thirty years old, and the healthiest relationship is Klaus and Ben.

 

Klaus and Ben.

 

***

Diego knows. This time, next time - soon.

Ben’s ready. Ben’s been ready.

 

Ben’s in his lap, riding his fingers real pretty like, both hands curled over Diego’s shoulders. The whole fucking room smells like come and sweat. Diego’s got one hand under Ben, the other on his dick,  and he’s half thinking about how badly he wants to throw Ben down and ride his little ass, and half thinking about how good he’s going to look taking Klaus’ cock.

 

“Look at you, Benny. You did all this for Klaus’,” he says, breathless but rough. You really are a good boy, aren’t you? Diego can’t capture that saccharine sweet tone Klaus uses, the one that makes Ben keen and shiver. Diego doesn’t sound sweet.

 

He feels Ben clench down on him, feels it steal the breath right out of his lungs. “Its’---it’s not just---” Ben’s been trying to talk more, can’t most the time, but there’s something especially delicious in watching him try and fail . “For him.”

 

“I licked it first.” Diego laughs, shaking his shoulders. “Lean back, put your hands on my legs--- fuck . Yeah---” God - but he takes it so well . Not just Diego’s fingers, but direction in general. Diego supposes their childhood lends itself to instinctual obedience. He curls his fingers, bounces Ben a little so he takes it harder, and it looks so good, God, he looks so good .  He likes to watch, and more importantly, Ben wants to be watched. If that’s not empathy, what the hell is? He’s fingering his little brother open, so his other brother can fuck him and all Diego wants to do is be there so he can watch Klaus’ come drip down Ben’s balls right before he licks it up.

 

It’s obscene, it’s disgusting, it’s fucking filthy, but Diego is...surprisingly okay with that, three fingers deep in his little brother's ass. Feels good.

 

***

 

He’s maybe embracing Klaus seedier lifestyle with a little too much enthusiasm because getting his dick in either of his brothers is pretty much all he can think about these days.  He can’t even look Ben in the eye over the breakfast table, not without remembering the way his toes curl when he comes. And God forbid he look up at the wrong time and see Klaus blowing on his coffee, pale mouth pursed, long slender fingers wrapped around one of Mom’s dainty, porcelain cups.  He can’t rescue himself from his own wayward mind, can’t escape his thoughts. And they’re always there - his brothers and the thoughts.

 

“Where are you today, man?” Luther asks, holding out a hand to haul Diego back to his feet.  Sparing takes no days off, and as much as Diego typically wants to drop Luther off a bridge, he’s a good partner. He certainly doesn’t pull punches. He pats Diego roughly on the back, nearly knocking him straight off his feet again. “I’m gonna go find Allison. Get at me when your heads in the game.”  

 

As much as he physically cannot stand Luther, Luther’s advice, or Luther’s general approach to any problem whatsoever- Diego can’t disagree. He’s a mess today, wired and wild. Distracted. He makes a beeline for the punching bag, desperate to shake out some of the tension in his shoulders.  He’d made the mistake of walking past the solarium Ben, and Klaus favored, to find the latter feeding the former little bits of honey buns from the end of his long fingers. Like it was nothing at all, perfectly natural, Ben with a book in hand, Klaus with a joint and he had the strangest urge to join them, but couldn’t figure out where he’d fit, exactly.  They’re careless, or perhaps just carefree, in their affection for each other. Diego isn’t so liberal with his regard for literally anything.

 

He doesn’t know how to be, really. (See Eudora’s second suggestion for a healthy relationship; affection.) He doesn’t know how to enjoy things with an audience.

 

They’re don’t flaunt it, not in any obscene way, but they don’t startle when their fingers touch as they pass the pitcher of lemonade across the table and Diego cannot say the same.  Every touch feels so much like a brand, and he knows - God, he just knows - he’d forget himself if he let them touch him familiarly .  He’d forget himself and put his hands on them back, forget himself and touch Benny’s mouth, slip to his knees for Klaus, it’s hard to say, but Diego knows.  The thing he becomes when he’s with them is something different, an alias unto himself and Diego envies the bastard, he does, but he’s not Klaus, not Ben...he’s not that brave.

 

Just like the devil, to think of him is to summon him. Klaus pours in through a crack in the door, a wisp of white smoke. Diego can’t help but wonder if he’d taste Ben on Klaus' tongue if they kissed.

 

When they kiss.

 

(some things are inevitable)

 

“Luther tap out early?”  Klaus speaks lightly, fingers already moving on the assorted weapons laid out in tidy rows on the table. He picks up a knife - one of Diego’s favorites - tossing it up and catching it by the sharp, glinting tip. It makes Diego uneasy to watch, makes his spine curl and crack like a threatened cat. “Hope he isn’t going easy on you, Gogo.”

 

The worst part is - Diego’s pretty sure Luther was . “Nothing I can’t take,” he grunts, cocking his arm back to land another punch on the bag. “What brings you by? This is the gym, in case you're lost.”

 

“Oh, just because I don’t drop by the workout room, doesn’t mean I’m not getting my cardio in, brother-mine.” He winks, because he’s Klaus, but throws the knife again, higher this time, catching it blindly and Diego---doesn’t like it.   He’s always found Klaus to be something dark, but with a knife in hand, he looks downright deadly. Diego doesn’t like how much he likes it. “I get it in.”

 

Diego flushes. Yesterday, Klaus had put three fingers up Diego’s ass, and four hours later - Diego showed Ben all the new things he learned. “Klaus.”

 

“You wanna throw down? Wanna take it to the mats? I’m spritely; you might be surprised.” The thing is - Diego has seen Klaus fight. And Klaus fights dirty . Still - Diego wants to fucking touch him, and he’ll take whatever invitation he can get.

 

“Sure.” He dusts his hands off on the thighs of his jeans. “But throw that first. Show me what you got.”

 

“Throw it where?” Klaus asks, with a bemused sort of smile, as he balances it on a fingertip. Diego thinks it’s fucking disgusting how easy he makes it look. He’s showing off. He’s flirting with Diego. He’s flirting with Diego like Diego isn’t constantly hard-up for any scrap of attention, any remnant second of depravity. As if charming Diego is in any way necessary. It’s...nice, in a way.  Nicer than Diego thought fucking around with his brother would be and he’ll admit - he’s thought about it a lot. “What's my target?”

 

There’s an actual red-and-white target on the far wall, along with many other people-shaped targets Diego hasn’t used in years.  He points to the door instead, to the Umbrella insignia carved above in glossy, dark mahogany. “Oh. Up. I’m not very good with up,” Klaus admits, like weakness won’t hurt him, won’t crack open a fault line in his heart. He squares up though, turning his body at an awkward angle, raising his arm at a sloppier angle and throwing the knife with a limp wrist. It spins, sails, and sinks into the wood, a few inches left of the handle. His form his bad, Diego thinks, but his aim is not . But then, that’s Klaus - jack of all trades, and master of none.

 

(But a jack of all trades is better than a master of just one)

 

“Eh,” Klaus shrugs, tilting his head to inspect his work. “I’ll stick to raising the dead.”  He turns back to Diego, nothing but smiles and that’s what Diego wishes he could figure out, how to let things go. How to be bad at things without falling the fuck apart. “So...Sir’s rules or nah?”

 

It startles a laugh out of Diego, and he finds himself agreeing more on a whim than any practical purpose. “Sure,” he says, eyes drifting low to Klaus unreasonable pants. “Do you want to change first?”

 

He shrugs out of his ridiculous feathered coat, throwing it carelessly over a weight bench. “Please, these are my best weapon.” He spins as he says it, exposing the long, pale expanse of his back, shoulder blades in sharp relief, the rigged bump and rise of his spine. “Come on Gogo, let’s do this. Lay me out, put me on my back. Just like old times, except this time with significant sexual tension. ”

 

Diego takes his place, back to back with Klaus just like Sir use to direct them. “Three steps, then go,” he mutters like they both don’t fucking know. There’s no need to count down, no need for any kind of instruction after that. They know. Klaus wasn't pushed as much as Diego, Luther, or even Allison, but he’d been expected to spar regularly.  They take their three steps and then---

 

Diego finds himself flat on his back, on the floor, again .  Just like that. Just like that .

 

(Klaus hits from the left - he always has. Diego’s a fool for forgetting.)

 

He doesn’t offer Diego a hand up, doesn’t get a chance, because Diego springs forward with intent.  Klaus is 91% legs, and he uses them to his advantage. He sweeps his foot out, laughing when Diego’s forced to jump awkwardly up, instead of away, and turns just in time to drive the sharp peak of his shoulder into Diego’s sternum.

 

“Dad should have made you spar more,” Diego grunts, grabbing him by the inside of his upper arm, and hauling him backward. “You could have been really good.”

 

“That’s true for a lot of things,” Klaus says in turn, wriggling like a wet cat. “Buuuuuut, I prefer to be mediocre at best. Disappointing if I can get away with it. And boy, can I .”

 

And God - that cuts in a cerebral way, stabbing Diego straight behind the eye with a lifetime of repressed childhood trauma.  “You’re not---you’re not disappointing, Klaus. I just meant---”

 

“I know what you meant.” Klaus laughs and throws himself backward so far in Diego’s arms, Diego’s forced to let him go or dislocate his arm.  With a strangely lithe backward handstand, Klaus springs to his feet from his hands like a deranged clown. It’s not a particularly elegant move, but shockingly effective. He’s out of Diego’s grip, and out of reach both.  It only serves to prove Diego’s original point. Klaus was a dirty, scrappy fighter. “This? I didn’t learn this from Dad. I learned this from bar hopping with handsy bouncers.” He winks, shaking his shoulders out a little. “And outrunning cops.”

 

That...sounds fairly realistic actually. Diego laughs and rolls his own shoulder, the left twinging where he’d hesitated a second too long in releasing Klaus. “Just like when we were little, huh?” Cops and Robbers (Umbrella Academy and the Bad Guys) had been a favored game as children, and one their father didn’t entirely disapprove of. ”You wanna be the cop or the robber?”

 

Klaus stops short where he’s standing.  He catches Diego’s eye in a strange way, a way with weight, with tangible heat and Diego thinks maybe Klaus is looking straight into his soul. He hopes not. He’s not sure what Klas might find. “C’mon Gogo - you know I’m always the bad guy.”

 

And before Diego can dispute that - Klaus isn’t bad, he’s not - Klaus is off.  Diego chases on reflex, like a fucking dog, darting forward but Klaus is fast . Klaus has legs up to Diego’s nipple ring, and he’s a squirrelly little shit.

 

“Hey!” He cries, when Klaus launches himself up, hooking is long fingers over the top of the open door and hauling the whole his body to perch on the narrow ledge like a fucking crow. “That can’t be fair.” The physics alone seem unlikely, but then - Diego’s always suspected Klaus had hollow bird bones, and possibly a few extra than your standard superhuman.

 

“Parkour bitches. There are no rules in Cops and Robbers. Why would a bad guy play fairly?” Klaus balks, rolling his bright eyes. “What are you gonna do, Officer Haaaaaagh---

 

Diego figures---if there are no rules...

 

He swings the fucking door. Klaus falls off with a thump and a roll, but he grabs Diego’s ankle as he comes up,  upending him with shameful ease. He sprints away before Diego can retaliate, because he’s smart, and laughs the whole fucking time. “Run, run, as fast as you can, you can’t catch me, I’m---”

 

If they’re not fighting fair ...

 

He throws a free weight in Klaus’ path and watches all his brothers fine, feline grace fly right out the fucking window as he windmill flips, ass over kettle, onto the floor in an ungainly, noodle-limbed heap.

 

“---the man who is too old for this, God .” He wheezes from the floorboards, and Diego takes pity on him, crossing the room to offer a hand.

 

Only to end up, face-down, on the floor again.

 

“Haha, possum fakeout brotherfucker,” Klaus cackles, dropping the bulk of his weight onto Diego’s back.

 

He gets a hold of one hand, yanking Klaus down, half off him, just enough to roll onto his back and drive an elbow into Klaus’ belly. “Did you just call me a----”

 

“O w ow ow!”   Klaus is forced to curl out of Diego’s grip, and it’s easy from there, to get him belly down.  Diego’s always been better at close-quarters, hand-to-hand and Klaus is shit once he’s off his feet.  If Diego knew any better - he’d say Klaus planned it like this. And as he settles himself over Klaus, thighs bracketing the deep curve of his back - he’s damn sure of it, given the way he’s pushing up into the space between Diego’s leg. “Brotherfucker seemed more fitting, given the circumstances. Is that a circumstance in your pocket I feel right now or....”

 

And okay. Diego maybe absolutely has a boner.

 

“We could find out?” He suggests, easily emboldened by that deep curve of Klaus back, and the way his palm fits perfectly between the sharp cut of his shoulder blades. This is...this is fun. Diego hasn’t had a lot of fun in the past few years. This is easy, and Diego wants it. Klaus has twin dimples just above the waistband of his pants and Diego wants to bite them. He’s spent the last two weeks fingering Ben open, he thinks he’s probably pretty good at it now, thinks he’d like to show Klaus what he’s learned. He puts a hand in Klaus' hair, tests the water there with his fingers tangled in the long, broken curls. He pulls, just a little, and Klaus shivers all over. Fuck . “How well it fits.” God- Diego wants to fuck him.   He shifts down, drags his cock across Klaus pert little ass and grinds. Klaus is fucking here for it, pushing up as much as he can, with Diego’s hand pinning him down. “Fuck---”

 

“Oh Klaus,” Luther says, as he lumbers into the room and continues to ruin Diego’s life by existing in the same space. “I didn’t think you were interested in sparring anymore.”

 

“When the mood strikes,” Klaus smiles up at Luther like he doesn’t have Diego’s dick digging into his ass, or his fingers pulling his hair. “Diego’s always down to throw me around a little.”

 

Luther laughs like he understands the sentiment which is horrifyingly hilarious. “Just make sure you’re not only sparing with Diego. You’ll pick up bad habits with a single partner.”

 

“Oh, I’m a firm believer in multiple partners. One’s fun and all, but two? Shit,” Klaus agrees, amicably. Diego’s still sitting on him, dick still trapped beneath his ass, hand still in his hair and big, innocent, goofy Luther is still just as oblivious. “We get Ben down on the floor with us sometimes too. Nothing like a little two-on-one to really get you ready, you know?”

 

“You three have always paired well together, I’m not surprised.” Luther smiles. It’s a genuine smile. Diego almost feels bad for him. “I’m glad to hear it , Klaus. I really am. Training is important.”

 

“Yep. Training. All that...” He props his chin in his hand and pushes his ass into Diego. “All that stuff Dad taught us. I just...really try to put it to good use.”

 

Like dancing for money, and smoking pot on the rooftop.

 

“Well. I’ll leave you two to it,” Luther waves, awkwardly, with the hand holding his duffle bag and backward shuffles out of the room like he knows there’s something off about the whole situation but can’t quite put his big, meaty fingers on it. Bless him but he is dumb, Diego thinks.

 

Klaus pulls against Diego’s grip in his hair, but not enough to dislodge his angled fingers. “Do you have handcuffs?”

 

Oh God. “They’re uh...They’re not exactly standard police issue, but uh. Yeah. I do.”

 

Klaus snickers and it shakes the whole of his body, vibrating where they touch. “Did you buy it the same place you bought your sex harness?”

 

“It’s not a sex harness! What is a sex harness even used for? I put my knives in it for fuck's sake.” Diego eases up, figuring Klaus back has to be killing him, but his brother makes no effort to escape. He rolls, instead, from belly to back and...Diego wasn’t ready for how terrible seeing him like this would be - that smirk, those eyes - all pinned down beneath him.  “When is a harness required for sex? Like - what the fuck are you doing, that you need a harness?”

 

“That’s third level stuff, you’re still a beginner. Ask me again in a few months.” He raises his hands up over his head, lets them fall placidly, one wrist over the other. His gaze roams, up from Diego’s spread thighs, to his torso, to his arms where they’re crossed over his chest.  He can feel the interested twitch of Klaus’ cock where it sits firmly beneath his ass and he thinks, loudly but to himself, why he’s never tried fingering his own ass. (Because it always seemed too filthy to consider, too deviant). “They talk about you at the Aviary, you know? I’m pretty sure Mitch would hire you on the spot.”

 

“Oh God, no.” Diego prefers shadows and no one looking directly at him, thank you. “Why the hell are they talking about me?”

 

Klaus snickers. “You slip in behind me like a little shadow. They speculate.” He rolls his hips a little, grinding up against Diego’s ass, tables turned, roles reversed. “I mean - I’m a known quantity there.  They know what I like - fucking, getting fucked. My exploits are something like a legend in the club circuit. You though? Well. Tangled up with me, you could be anyone. And people love a ruin mystery.”

 

True enough. Klaus is popular at the Aviary and Diego has seen first hand what the people of his past are like.  He’s flocked and greeted with great familiarity and fanfare. They like him. He’s a party to those people. Klaus is the physical embodiment of For A Good Time Call. He’s wild and feral and dark and shiny. He’s revered, a little. Diego has seen paramedics high five him in the streets. In certain groups, when Klaus walks in - they whisper and make space. He’s not seen as a junkie, he’s not seen as a whore or a disappointment. He’s seen as something to be in awe of. Klaus doesn’t know what Diego would give to have that (or perhaps, maybe he really, really does).  “They think I’m like you?”

 

Klaus grins the feral one that Diego secretly loves. “They think you have to be some kind of fucked up slut if I’m still letting you follow me around. You could be anyone, Gogo. But when you walk into a place like that with me ? You’ve gotta be someone .”

 

Letting you. Letting . Like Klaus is doing him some kind of favor. But God- he is, and Diego can’t deny the shameful little shiver it sends up his spine. “You told that one guy I was your brother.”

 

“Yes, and he told everyone who would listen - but I don’t think they believe him, what with how you’re always looking at me, Gogo. It would be pretty fucked up if you were my brother.”

 

“Yeah,” Diego chokes on the word, throat dry at the thought of people watching him, watch Klaus. Of people thinking he’s like Klaus - deviant, obscene, beautiful .  He accidentally reaches out and touches Klaus' face, cups his jaw and presses a soft, calloused thumb to the swell of his bottom lip. It’s sweeter than he intended and he flushes all over. Affection . His whole body feels strange, skin alive with every wriggling nerve. Klaus seems to see it in him though as he sees so much, and he holds Diego’s gaze, even as he turns and kisses his palm.

 

Honesty, affection, empathy.  

 

Diego doesn’t know how to do that, though, except...except maybe sometimes it’s not so hard. Maybe sometimes Diego made it harder than it needed to be. Maybe Klaus, maybe Ben - maybe they make it easy.   Honesty, affection, empathy .  Three little words. “I’d like to kiss you,” he says, with a shaky short of breath. It’s honest, it’s affectionate, and Klaus---

 

Grins, just a little, just a curl at the left corner of his mouth. He pushes himself up on his elbows, tips his head back just a little like a Disney princess, to meet Diego in the middle. It’s a dry kiss, just a press of lips to lips, and it’s sweet and strange and inexplicably fills Diego with the same shivery something as he gets when Klaus calls him a slut.

 

It’s good .

 

Klaus opens his mouth just a little - nothing like the demanding, commandeering, expert kisses he’d shook Diego with not so long ago. No, just a little, letting Diego press into him, lick at his bottom lip, take more . It doesn’t smack of the same powerplay as kissing Klaus breathless, but Diego still has to put his hands on him, pull him closer, kiss him deeper.

 

He can feel the line of spit connecting their mouths when they part and it’s equal parts filthy and fascinating. Diego knows he should say something, should do something besides holding Klaus’ face very gently in both hands. He should---he should say something.

 

“You should fuck Ben.”

 

Well...That’s something .

 

Klaus laughs, breathlessly, but he doesn’t seem upset. “Ben’s not ready.”

 

And well. It’s not very often that Diego knows better than Klaus, in these regards. He leans in closer, presses his cheek to Klaus so he can speak quietly, and feel the heat of his breath where it ghosts over his skin. “He’s ready.”

 

“No, I’ve barely---”

 

Diego stops Klaus with three fingers pressed wide against his mouth, dragging his bottom lip down, and forcing him to open wide. “He’s ready.”

 

Diego’s not---he’s not---he can’t---

 

He cannot tell you how he ends up on his back. He could not, with any real accuracy, recount how Klaus lays him out on the mats. But there he is, with Klaus perched on his lap like a vicious crow. “Gogo,” he sings, curling himself forward, tables turned, roles reversed. “Have you been touching my boy?”

 

Yes ,” Diego says, through gritted teeth. “For the last two weeks. Every time you go to work.”

 

“I did wonder why you stopped coming, but I guess just because you didn’t come with me doesn’t mean you didn’t come at all.” He reaches between them and cups Diego with a rough hand and God . Diego sobs. “You fuck him?”

 

“No.” There’s a sharp, desperate edge to his voice, so out of place from five minutes ago when he was kissing sweetly his brother, and wondering why it filled him with the same perverse pleasure as blowing him in an alley. “No---”

 

“Why not?” Even as he asks, he’s drawing Diego’s zipper down with one hand, easing his other down, soft palms against Diego’s thighs. “Why didn’t you fuck him, Diego ?”

 

“You---You---You---” Diego has to close his eyes against the feral gleam in Klaus’ own gaze, it’s too much, it’s sure to burn him.  Klaus grabs his face when he doesn’t answer, shakes him just so. “ First .”  

 

Klaus puts his hand on Diego’s dick with a firm and slow grip, each finger curling around him one by one by one. “I’m sorry, I didn’t catch that.”

 

“You. First,” Diego says, through clenched teeth. “ You first .”

 

The gusty shudder of Klaus’ breath is the only corner of his shameless facade to reveal the truth. Nothing else betrays him, not the steady and still palm pressed firmly against Diego’s cock, not the steely, violent gleam in his eye, or the curious curl at the corner of his mouth. Diego barely has time to get his feet in order before Klaus is backing him up and up and up until he’s slamming up against the wall hard enough to rattle his teeth in his skin. He still has Diego in a hold, one hand on his face, one on his cock, but he drags the tip of his tongue - just the very tip- lightly over his cheek. “Tell. Me. Everything.” Every word is punctuated by a slow, twisting slide of his palm -hello- and Diego wants so badly to fuck up into it, can feel himself already leaking against the soft, tender inside of Klaus’ wrist. But he holds himself still and speaks through the faint muffle of his brother's palm.

 

Every time he’s with them - Diego thinks ‘this is the most turned on I’ve ever been’ and it’s only ever true that single time.

 

“He came to me.” God - but had it truly only been two weeks ago? “Asked---asked---asked---” He can’t picture the word in his mind when Klaus is milking his cock, root to tip with measured, cruel paces. He doesn’t even care that he’s slipped into stuttering again; Klaus doesn’t care. Klaus is, in these situations, unfathomably patient. “Asked me to---Help him. Get ready. For you.”

 

Klaus is...Klaus is prenaturally good at moving his body - there’s no reason a dry handjob under the confines of his jeans, his boxers, should feel so good.  It’s more than that, though. It’s the filthy, forward press of his body mapped out across Diego’s own. It’s the warmth of his breath where it spills across Diego’s skin. It’s the way he smears Diego’s own spit across his chin, reveling in the mess. “Help him how?”

 

“He asked if I’d like to finger my little brother.” It sounds so much worse, spoken aloud and on Diego’s tongue, but it’s so viscerally true. Diego’s got no special interest in pretending Ben is younger than he is - he’s thirty and sixteen and that’s just that.  But he does like the shape of his body, and how it fits into the curl of Diego’s own. He likes the way Ben needs him, the way Ben trusts him. He likes the way the words sound - little brother - when he has three fingers up Ben’s ass. “I said yes.”

 

“God - I bet he stuttered through the whole thing. I bet he was so fucking red- took forever to say it, but---” Klaus shudders and drags the hand cupping Diego’s sticky mouth down his throat. Diego holds his breath, desperate and hard. Klaus is so close, trembling so pretty against him, even as he holds Diego, throat, and cock all at once. He drags his mouth across Diego’s - not a kiss, but something filthier. “He took it real good, huh? I fucking bet he did.”

 

“Greedy,” Diego spits out, desperate for words, but his mouth won’t make them. He wants to tell Klaus how Ben had begged him for more, had fucked himself back, chasing Diego’s touch. How he’d come so fucking hard, shaking all over. He can’t though, and so instead he just gasps, choking, “ hungry .”

 

Klaus bites his cheek, shivering all over and Diego’s fucking fraught with it, coiled so tight he thinks he could die from it. He feels his balls draw up, as Klaus strokes him faster. Diego holds his breath - he’d hold his breath forever if only Klaus would make him come. “And you gave him what he needed?”

 

“Yes, yes---” Diego breaks, fucking forward into the curl of Klaus' fist where it’s trapped tight between them. “Fuck---yes. He’s ready, he----he fucking rides em’ now, God, fuck--- I made him ride three yesterday.”

 

Klaus laughs and pulls Diego’s cock out of his jeans. The faint bite of cool air kissing the head is cruel and terrible and so horribly good, Diego sees nothing but white for a very brief instant. With a jerky, sticky palm, Klaus takes his own cock out, fucking up against Diego before putting both their cocks in a single, spindly fingered palm. “ You made him?”

 

For a second, Diego doesn’t understand. “He wanted---”

 

Klaus cuts him off with a kiss and a twist of his hand where it’s wrapped tight around the both of them. “I made him.”

 

“What?”

 

“Well, maybe not made ,” Klaus admits, a little breathlessly as he rocks his hips up, catching a grind that turns Diego to syrup and sex. “I only let Benny do what he wants. I let him. I let you .” He bits Diego’s cheek again, puts his mouth on his ear. “I wondered how long it would take you to break and tell me, Gogo. I thought it would be a month, honestly. I really thought you might fuck him. Benny would have let you.”



Diego clutches at him, helpless and confused.“He wouldn't,” Diego chokes, incapable of anything else. “He's... he's yours.”



Klaus laughs. “Yeah - but I would have let him. But...you wouldn’t?  I guess you're a good boy, after all.”

 

Good boy.

Good boy.

 

It’s not his kink, it’s not! But maybe it’s catching because Diego can’t stop the vicious and sudden curl of his own spine as his hips come up off the floor, body bowed. Good boy.

 

Maybe this is their own brand of empathy.

 

“He’s yours,” Diego says again, forgetting almost what they’re even talking about. Klaus has that effect.

 

“Yeah,” he agrees,  that cocky smirk splashed across his face, pink as spilled rosé. “But so are you.” He's so sure, the way he says it. He's so confident,  so certain. Diego breaks and comes, spilling wet across Klaus hand and clock, sobbing hard on a broken, choked moan. It's more of an agreement than his mouth can manage.  Tongue tied or not - his body says yes . Klaus kisses his cheek,  wet and smacking. “ Good boy .”

There's no come- down.  Diego rides the high of his own orgasm right into a need to make Klaus come . He fucks up into Klaus' fist, oversensitive, but desperate to stay hard. He can, he will - he absolutely fucking can.  “I wanted too so bad,” he admits, pushing Klaus hand away from their cocks so he can run his own come all over Klaus balls.  “When he was fucking....shoving his goddamn ass in my face, taking is so pretty, fucking begging for more---” Klaus braces both his forearms on either side of Diego's head and holds his gaze with brutal intensity. Like he can see right inside of his fucking soul as he fucks up into the tight,  sticky grip of Diego's fist. “I wanted too.” he chokes, lashes fluttering - he wants to look away, anywhere else, but he can't. “But I just kept thinking....”

 

Klaus leans in, the grind of his body never wavering. “You first.” He puts a hand on Diego’s face again and when he speaks, he’s so close their mouths brush. “God - but he’s pretty. You think I didn't know what you’d been up too - when you sent him back to me with beard-burn on his asshole?  I knew. I knew before he even came to you what it would take to get him to come to you at all. All I had to do was give him a little - just a little ,” he taps his fingertip against Diego’s face. “And then take it away. I wouldn’t fuck him so he asked big brother for help. S’fucking cute . Shit.” He grins. “God - he’s perfect.”

 

“He wants you to fuck him,” Diego tells him, obediently. “And he wants me to fuck you. He says you need something he can’t give you.”  It doesn’t feel like betraying Ben, not at all - it just feels like giving Ben a voice he couldn’t give himself. “He says you’re a switch, but he can’t top. He told me---” God- he’d told Diego a lot. “He told me what you like. The things you like.”

 

Klaus does kiss him then like he just can’t fucking help it. “He said all that?”

 

“He’s surprisingly less shy when you put a tongue up his ass,” Diego manages, with shaking levity. “You wanna know what he told me?”

 

There’s something empowering in the way that when Klaus answers, it’s without words. He nods, teeth clenched, the grind of his hips slowing to something staccato and less controlled.

 

(Klaus wants it rough, likes that edge of pain, likes surprises , likes a firm hand. Diego---is good at those things.)

 

He puts Klaus against the wall, face pressed against old brick and brings both his hands behind his back like a perp, like a petty criminal. He has to push up on his toes to put his cheek to Klaus’ but that’s fine if the way Klaus shakes and holds himself still says anything at all.

 

“He says I should just throw you down and fuck you,” Diego relays, roughly. “That you don’t want to be asked . You wanna be fucked.” He shoves roughly at Klaus pants - fuck these pants, fuck them- working them just below Klaus ass and when he slips a finger between ---- “You’re fucking wet .”

 

“I really want to be fucked,” Klaus admits, and Diego knows in that moment - he’ll never be in control again. Not with Klaus. Klaus will always have the upper hand. And it’s---it’s freeing, in a way. It’s violently liberating. It’s exactly what he wants. “Just like Benny said.”

 

“All that - just so I’d fuck you?” As far as long-cons go....it’s very Klaus. Patience .

 

Klaus laughs - but it’s a breathless, broken sort of sound and Diego’s certain he’s never heard Klaus so close to the edge before. “Nothing so simple, but as far as end-games go, this isn’t it.” He grabs Diego’s cock in one, spindly-fingered hand, where he still has them held behind his back. “What was it Benny said?”

 

Ben said a lot of things - Diego knows exactly what Klaus is asking. “You first.”

 

And there Klaus stands, with his ass out, wet and ready, Diego’s a hard cock in hand. They’re in the gym, for fuck's sake. It’s three in the afternoon. “You first, Diego.”

 

He’s gonna fuck his brother.

He’s gonna fuck his brother.

Diego bites him.  His shoulder is right there, and it’s pale and smooth and Diego loves the way Klaus wears his bruises. He bites him, and moves his hand way, lining his cock up with Klaus ass again and all he has to do is push . Klaus cants his hips, makes it easy - everything about Klaus feels easy - and all Diego has to do is push.

 

He’s gonna fuck his brother.

There’s no coming back from that.

 

“Do it,” Klaus says, through his teeth.

 

Diego does.

 

If he hadn’t already come - he’d last the exact amount of time it takes for his hips to meet Klaus ass. But he has already come, and so he can enjoy it this time. He suspects Klaus planned that too, the fucker. God- but he’s fucking his brother. Diego’s fucking his brother, Klaus’ face smashed against the brick, his hands held behind his back and it has to hurt, but Klaus still pushes his ass back with every thrust.

 

Diego wants to hurt him.

He gets a hand in Klaus' hair, yanks his head back so far his throat goes taut and curved. He presses him belly-first into the brick and fucks up into his ass with a force that makes his own hips hurt but God - it feels good. It feels like a long time coming, and Diego wants nothing more than to spill himself as deep as he can get because Klaus will let him ---

 

Klaus will let him.

 

Diego knows what Klaus needs.

 

He puts his other hand around Klaus’ throat, doesn’t push or hold. The promise is enough, Klaus comes, shuddering and hard. Diego feels it, feels the clench of his ass steal the last remnants of sanity straight from his fucking brain and Diego fucks him like he wants to come, fucks him hard and fast and cruel and Klaus never really stops coming, spills pretty right up the wall, sobs and sags in Diego’s arm and it’s the most beautiful goddamn thing he’s ever seen, as he pulls his cock out, come spilling pretty down Klaus balls.

 

He holds Klaus up, eases them both down to the floor because standing is not an option and it’s no hardship to just hold him, and listen to the way their heaving, panting breaths fall into steady sync. He still has a hand in Klaus' hair, and Klaus turns into it, raising his head up just enough to kiss Diego’s palm.  Hello

Chapter Text

 

There’s something strangely vindicating about the feeling of Diego playing with his ass. Klaus isn’t usually one to dissect anything, but if he had to hazard a guess, he'd say it has something to do with fucked up childhood trauma. And there’s something particularly vindicating (or perhaps just reassuring) that Diego is so fucked up. Because he is. They all are.  Klaus used to think that it was just him. So it’s...it’s comforting to see it’s all of them. Misery loves company and all that shit.

 

And okay - maybe it’s more than vindicating. Klaus isn’t certain Diego isn’t just a dead natural at playing with his ass, or Klaus is just really fucking into it.  Could be either. Could be both. But getting spooned by Diego while he shoves his own come back up Klaus ass with two sloppy fingers is really fucking hot.

 

They all get off on some weird shit.  Diego likes the mess, he likes to sink, and Klaus played life like limbo and set the bar low early. He knows how to slum it, how to rebel in the filth. Kissing Ben’s come against Diego’s tongue had been a highpoint in his life, honestly. Ben who likes a soft hand and a sweet word and the silent assurance that Klaus is gonna love whatever it is he does. Klaus is a soft, sweet, safe place for Ben, where no one suffers, and no one struggles. Klaus likes to be needed, gets off on the shivery way Ben presses into his gentle palm, loves the eager way Diego pushes into the wet slide of Klaus’ tongue, no matter where he’s putting it.

But what he really loves---

 

What really gets him fucking hard---

 

What really makes his balls draw up and his heart race---

Well, it’s not so innocent as long, sweet kisses, or sticky, come-stained eyelashes, is it?

 

It’s that slippery, slick, sick sort of feeling that eats him up, belly to the bile bubbling at the back of his throat.  It’s the tarpit at the base of his spine where he smothers his shame, and disgrace, exiles it to roil and rot and never hurt him. It’s the heart-stopping, dropping, a wish-for-death sensation of knowing that he is exactly the kind of disappointment Daddy always promised him he would be.

 

And it’s good.

 

God, but it’s good. Knowing, in that final moment, as Diego presses him hard against the jagged bricks --- feeling him shudder and come, hips jerking up against the give of Klaus ass. It’s Diego’s teeth sunk into his skin. It’s the hazy twilight break between knowing he’s going to come and actually fucking coming. It’s---breathtaking. It’s the highest he’s ever been, a single split second of knowing he achieved the Hargreeves dream of living up to Sir Reginald's expectations.

 

He’s gone so far below and beyond what Daddy told him he would, he’s come out the other side like a rabbit hole, above and beyond.   He always told himself he’d prove Sir wrong, every time he spat at Klaus, told him he’d never amount to anything.

 

He did. He is nothing .

 

He is not the Seance. He is not a hero, super or otherwise. He is not a weapon. He is not useful. He is not a good credit to the Hargreeves name. He is not a particularly good brother. He is certainly not a good son. He does not benefit society. He does not use his gifts to the profit of anybody, but himself. He is nothing.

 

He is nothing .

 

And if he sobs as he comes, it’s because he’s free.

 

As Diego leads them both gently to the floor, Klaus kisses his palm because it would be strange to say thank you and Diego needs him to be in charge, needs him to smirk and be sure.  So Klaus kisses his palm and smiles against the calloused skin there, thinking very deeply on the horrified scowl surely splashing Sir’s face somewhere.

 

He can see it.

 

He can really see it.

 

“Klaus? Klaus---”

 

Sir.

 

Sir .

 

“Sir?”

 

Reginald sniffs and stares down his long nose at Klaus. “Interesting time to summon me, son. And I see you’ve brought Two along with you. Your own brother, number Four? Your debasement knows no limits.”

 

Klaus steps out of his body, where it’s splayed sleepily across Diego’s chest, cock still out, trousers tight around his thighs. He’s smiling and pressing into Diego’s palm. Diego laughs, mouth nuzzled against Klaus' hair. Diego’s come is dribbling down his balls, and smearing across the floor. “Sorry, I was just thinking about how horrified you’d be. I must have accidentally summoned you.” The implication that he’d never do such a thing needed no emphasis.  

 

“To find my sons defiling one another? Oh, surely not.” Even as he speaks, he turns away, as if a blind eye can protect him. “That you’ve done anything accidentally does not come as a shock to me. Hm.”

 

Klaus laughs. “We were never your sons, Sir.” He steps around, forces Reginald to face him once more. “I don’t remember you wearing this exact brand of shame when you walked in on Allison and Luther. Curious. So it’s a gay thing? That just...makes it so much better for me, I gotta tell you. That’s unbelievable.”

 

“You could have been great,” Reginald says in turn, raising his chin. “You could have been phenomenal, but you chose rebellion instead. That you continue to choose it, is beyond me. But you needn’t dredge your brother along in your slums. Surely you aren’t so selfish.”

 

“Maybe I am.” Klaus watches Diego lean back to make room for him, cradle his head in the curve of his neck and shoulder. It’s surreal. “Maybe I am exactly that selfish.  Maybe, and this is just a maybe mind you, I’m the kind of person who has no qualms manipulating and influencing someone who trusts me, to serve my own purpose. But if I am....well, that’s a learned behavior.”

 

Reginald bristled, all that pomp and circumstance offended and ruffled like pristine peacock feathers .“I never---”

 

“Ben died because of you.” There was no redemption at the words, at laying them down between their feet. It was simply said. “At least when I’m selfish, everyone gets off.” He slaps Sir on the back, congenial and severe all at once. “May children always aspire to be better than their parents.”

 

“So you admit it,” Reginald presses, gimlet gaze bright behind the single monocle. He does not comment on Ben’s death, or the blame and where it lays at his feet. It doesn’t serve his purpose, his end game, his goal - whatever it is that fuels the motherfucker, Klaus doesn’t pretend to understand or know. “Seducing your brother, brainwashing him to join you in this lechery? Leading him astray from a good path? Your brother was always an obedient child.”

 

“You’d like that, wouldn’t you?”  Klaus presses in, crowds up against the intangible form of his father. “You’d like it...if I fucking seduced him. If I corrupted him. It would absolve you, wouldn’t it? If that’s why Diego fucking loves to get on his hands and knees for me, shudders so pretty when I fucking spit on him.  If it was my fault. Because if it’s my fault---”

 

“It is---”

 

“Then, you’re absolved of all the guilt that eats you up. Your obedient little boy, taking orders from me .  Surely, that can’t be your fault.”  His father is a blue phantom, a manic mist that haunts him always and Klaus takes great pride in reaching up with his hand - the Goodbye hand - and patting his father firmly on the face. “Sorry, pops,” he says, shaking his dad ever so gently. “But Diego came to me .”

 

Reginald sputters, stumbling back, wide-eyed and shocked for the first time that Klaus can ever recall. In truth, even had he been alive and on the mortal plane, such a familiar touch would have been a scandal. That he’s dead, and Klaus is in command is a separate sort of shock.  “I---You---”

 

“Allison and Luther have been fucking around since we were children,” he says, moving forward, herding Sir toward their corporeal forms, two hands on the stern, and unforgiving shoulders. Diego and he are kissing now, wet and open-mouthed and it’s truly, truly beautiful . “Five disappeared when we were thirteen, and he came back a traumatized old man.  Ben died . Vanya almost blew up the fucking world.  Diego likes to lick his come out of my ass. If you want to pin that one on me too, I just might fucking let you, but at the end of the day...” He pats Reginald’s face again, softer this time. “We are exactly as you made us.”

 

“How dare you---”

 

“Have you seen Ben, since you died?” Klaus asks, thinking about Ben, sweet Benny who died years ago and never left Klaus’ side.  Ben and Diego are perfect examples of Lost and Found, both together and separate. “Have you found him?”

 

Reginald looks away and Klaus is gifted with uncertainty in his face. Reginald doesn’t know and that , Klaus thinks, is a motherfucking first. “I’m certain that isn’t how the afterlife works.”

 

“You tell yourself that?” Come on, Benny.  Wake the fuck up. “If I liked you a little more, I might let you believe it. Buuuut, even you can’t deny that out of you and I, you’re absolutely not the authority on the subject of Death. I mean, you’ve only died once. Do you know how many times I’ve died?” He raises his arm, revealing a strange tattoo of tally marks. “Eleven.”  

 

Sir scowls into his twitching mustache, and Klaus remembers when such a scowl could frighten him. The Veil changes things. Reginald has no power here. “I don’t understand.”

 

It’s a loaded statement, and Klaus would bet money that Reginald is more curious about Klaus’ perpetual state of reincarnation than he is about Ben’s whereabouts because that’s just the sort of ‘father’ he is. “Benny never moved on.” Klaus had known, the moment he found Ben, pale and bloody and blue, huddled in the corner of his closet, crying softly. He’d known everything. “He’s been with me this whole time. He haunted me, and I let him.” C’mon Benny . “For fourteen years.”

 

Benny comes through the door, looking sleep rumpled and squinty-eyed. He laughs, lightly, as he steps into the room.  He does not see Klaus’ phantom form or Sir. He sees Klaus and Diego in a Kraken-tangle on the floor, sweaty and sticky and sweet. He smiles. “I should have known.”

 

“He summon you?” Diego raises an arm to make space for him in their huddle. There is always space for Ben between them, the curve of bodies moving like a liquid to come together.  “He’s pretty out of it.”

 

“He likes post-orgasm cuddles and he’s not sorry,” Ben recites, dutifully, as he folds himself down in their mess. He puts his hands on Klaus immediately, delicate touches, fine lace and butterfly wings.  Klaus can feel them where he stands, watching them, like a phantom kiss that skates along his manic blue skin. “You really took it out of him. I haven’t seen him like this in years.”

 

(Klaus knows the exact time Ben is thinking of. He’d fallen straight out of his body, got stuck on this weird middle plane of existence, and had no idea how to get back for like nine hours. He never told Ben.)

 

They look beautiful together, messy dark hair, shades of skin, and the kind of scars that cut you on the inside and out. They don’t look like brothers (they’re brothers). They just look like lovers (they’re lovers).

 

“I’m the biggest disappointment,” Klaus reminds Reginald, from where he stands behind the old man's shoulder, looking down at the tangle of limbs and kisses. “And I brought Ben back.” The smile that splashes across his face is genuine and gleeful. “I bet you wish you were a little bit nicer to me, huh?”

 

Reginald is quiet for a long moment, as Klaus chases Ben with sleepy, close-eyed kisses, body moving on autopilot more than anything else. “There is more to you. You’ve grown.”

 

“Ain’t that the truth,” Klaus agrees, patting Sir on the back, heartily. “Diego’s just informed me that Ben’s ready for me to get in that pretty little ass. And you always bitched I had no patience.”

 

Reginald shook his head, but Klaus held tight all the same, curling his fingers around his arm, and squeezing faintly, a biting promise“You’re being crude---”

 

“You are not in charge here,” Klaus interrupts. “What worries you most, Sir? The idea that I might not bring you back? Or the fear that I might just do that very thing. What would you say to them - your supposed children? What would you say to Ben? To Five? To Luther - you sent him to the moon because you had no use for him.  What would you say to Vanya ? How would you answer, Father? For all your selfish crimes.”

 

Reginald struggles and Klaus remembers the way he’d struggled too, in the same grip, as Sir drug him back to the catacombs. “I had reason---”

 

“Yeah, but I don’t care?” He steps around Reginald again, toward the pretty, sweat-sticky fray. “I don’t care. I don’t care about your reasons.”

 

“Four! Four---” Reginald pushes forward, but Klaus holds him back with a single Goodbye hand. “I never acted without reason.”

 

And Klaus will bite, but only because he’s feeling generous. “Your reasons were shit.”

 

“The greater good must remain a priority, Four. You never could understand that. The cause will always justify the means, in the end. Emotional attachment is just a flight of fancy to pass the time, and time was already limited. The Umbrella Academy gave you what you needed to survive. Surely, that is of greater importance than sentiment. ”

 

“So says the hand, to the lemon,” Klaus remembers being afraid of Sir, terrified really. But he’s just an old man now, and a dead one at that, and he can’t hurt Klaus, or Ben, or any of them ever again. “Excuse the fuck out of me, but you don’t get to decide if the juice was worth the squeeze, sir, when it’s not your guts spilling out across the floor.”

 

Nothing in Sir wavers and Klaus expected as much. “Ultimately, you saved the world.”

 

“From you.”

 

“What?”

 

“We saved the world...from you.” Klaus lowers his hand and stares down at Sir, hoping very much the visceral pity shows brightly in his face. “We saved the world from monsters you created. We saved the world from ourselves. You should have loved us better.” So much would be different, Klaus thinks about it all the time. “Because when you didn’t...you created the end of the world yourself. Vanya.”

 

“Vanya could not be controlled---”

 

“By you. She’s doing just fine now. ” Klaus is tired of this though - it’s not gratifying, or satisfying, or anything but exhausting. Reginald won’t be swayed, he’ll never change his stance. Mountains don’t move; they just crumble with time.  “Maybe you should have spent less time trying to control us, and more time helping us control our us.”

 

“That was the essence---”

 

“No,” Klaus stops him with a sharp look. “Don’t lie to me. Not on my playground. To you - were never more than our powers, and when we couldn’t deliver, or you couldn’t control them - you cut us out.”

 

“Perhaps,” Reginald admits, airily. “But I stand by my previous statement; you were always capable of more.”

 

“And I was always worth more than my gifts.” Klaus doesn’t...he doesn’t really believe it, not yet. Somedays. And other days, he reminds himself that it’s with his gifts he brought Ben back, and so perhaps they’re not all bad. “In the end - you couldn't control any of us. Not even Luther.”

 

Sir’s gaze slips past him, shrewdly. “Number Two.”

 

And that? That’s where Klaus says nope! “Don’t talk to me about Diego.”

 

Reginald is almost polite when he shakes his head. “Two’s powers were always gentler.”

 

“Diego can stab seven men with the same knife in one throw.” Klaus wouldn’t call Diego’s powers gentle. “He should have been number one. That is way more impressive than just picking up heavy shit. Picking up heavy shit isn’t even a skill . It requires no thought, very little planning, and honestly - for Luther? Not even much effort.”

 

“Yes,” Reginald agrees, in a shocking turn of events. “I miss-valued Diego because they were gentler. His real talent was his dedication.”

 

“Luther was dedicated.” It’s so unsettling to hear Sir say Diego’s name. They’re numbers. They’re number . “Diego left.” And apparently, Klaus’ knee-jerk reaction to argue with Reginald about everything hasn’t faded, because he’s pretty sure he just argued against his own initial opinion. Shit.

 

“He left home,” Reginald agrees which is surprisingly generous of him. “But he never left the cause. And if his skills were gentle, he used them to great effect.”

 

“Unlike the rest of us.” He certainly hadn't. Allison had gone an entirely different route with hers. Five----well. No, Five used his just fine. Reginald had no cause to know that. Luther...Went to the moon.

 

But Reginald is unapologetic. “You saved the world.”

 

“From you.”  And that was the kicker, wasn’t it? That Sir had been right.  The Apocalypse came and went, and they survived. “From ourselves and what you made us. Congrats on your self-fulfilling prophecy, Sir. Too bad you didn’t stick around to come full circle.”

 

“The Apocalypse was hardly my fault. It was set to happen, regardless.” Reginald sniffs, one hand folded over the other where they lay against his stomach.  Ben and Diego are rallying Klaus to his feet, only feet away. “And my death brought you together.”

 

“Yeah, it took your death to bring us together because you were such a monumental dick when you were alive that a vast majority of your so-called children were either dead or wanted nothing to do with you. Congrats.”

 

“Your anger holds you back.” The reprimand was mild but still made Klaus bristle.

 

“Maybe it fucking does, but look.” Standing behind Reginald once more, Klaus grabbed his face in both hands and turned him bodily to where Diego, Ben, and Klaus were smiling, sleepy and sweet, at each other. “In all the memories rattling around that big fucking brain of yours - have we ever once, smiled at you? Ever?”

 

Reginald looks upon them - the three of them both brothers and lovers alike - and when he speaks, it’s honest. “No.”

 

“You can tell yourself that I’m your biggest regret, but let's be real - that's not regret, is it? It’s just that I’m a mystery you never managed to solve.  The only mystery you never solved. Luther, Diego, Allison, Five, and Vanya - you knew what they were capable of. But not me.”

 

“Not you.” He sounds quiet now, and when Klaus looks down at him - he’s faded.

 

“I am not your biggest regret,” Klaus tells him very frankly, moving his hands from Reginald's face, back to his shoulders.  It’s a power play that perhaps only Klaus appreciates. Sir use to do as much when they were children. “Because if what you regret most is a power unfulfilled - that’s you.”

 

“I have no powers.” Quiet, quiet - and Klaus can still see him but Sir is melting away.

 

“You had more power than any of us,” Klaus tells him in a whisper pressed to Sir's ear. “You had power over all of us and you never did learn to control it. You never did learn how to master it. You had the power, but not the loyalty it required. Fear, but not loyalty, and fears fade.”

 

“And I suppose you know how I might have accomplished that.”

 

And Klaus will because he’s generous like that. He’s a gift. A gem. “All you had to do was love us.”

 

Sir remains quiet for so long, he’s almost gone completely by the time he speaks. “You may call upon me again if ever needs be, number Four.”

 

“Your permission is entirely irrelevant,” Klaus says, smiling. “You can’t control me. Goodbye Sir.”

 

“Goodbye,” Reginald echoes. “Klaus.”

 

When next Klaus blinks open his eyes, it’s Ben’s smiling face he sees. “Benny.”

 

“Hey, buddy. You back with is?” He pats Klaus’ chest, hikes his shoulder up a little higher where it’s nestled in Klaus armpit, holding him up. “Think you can walk?”

 

“I’ll do you one better,” Klaus laughs, leaning forward to press a smacking kiss to Ben’s face before lifting himself off the ground. Levitating is only easy if he doesn’t fucking think about it. And if he’s not wearing shoes. Shoes are stupid.

 

At his other side, Diego snorts. “Show off.”

 

When Klaus turns to look at him, words file themselves accordingly at the tip of his tongue. You should be number one.  But now isn’t the place, and Diego wouldn’t believe him anyway so Klaus opts for a different means of transfer and kisses Diego’s pouting mouth open.

 

“I’m hungry,” he says when they finally break away, a little breathless. “Whose hungry?” The combination of finally, finally, finally getting Diego all up on him and holding himself on the astral plane has proved to be an appetite building endeavor.

Ben shrugs. “I could eat.”

 

 

Chapter Text

Ben is acutely aware of the situation here, really is.  Being dead does that to a person, he thinks. Or well - if they know they’re gone, anyway. He’s seen plenty of oblivious post-lifers, and they were indeed not aware. But he’s been dead a long time, only ever capable of observation and it had been a source of frustration for so long that sometimes he forgets he can say things now. Do things. Voice an opinion. Suggestion. Objection.

 

Not that he currently has any objections, mind you.

 

It’s only that he’s in a constant state of hyper-awareness.  And right now all he’s hyper-aware of is the fact that Diego and Klaus had sex .  Ben’s reasonably sure he’d been a catalyst of sorts to the whole thing. When he’s high enough and sleepy, curled up on the beanbag Klaus bought him, losing interest in a book or movie - in those sort of moments - Ben thinks he might be the catalyst to all of this....this...thing. This thing they were doing.

 

He punched Klaus in the face, and then he kissed him.

He knew Diego was there in the hall, and he let him watch.

He’s fairly certain, if nothing else, he’s absolutely the reason Klaud and Diego ever----

 

It’s too much to think about, too finite, too self-centered. He’s not that special; he’s not .  But he did kiss Klaus, and he did want Diego to watch. And so when he feels Klaus call him, summon him, to find the pair of them in a sticky tangle on the gym floor...he’s quietly thrilled. Partly because he knows Diego feels inexplicably guilty for putting his hands on Ben when Klaus isn’t present like Ben somehow belongs to Klaus (and perhaps he does, maybe they all do in a way, but still---). Partly because he knows how much Klaus fucking needed it, and how patiently he would have waited, starving for it in companionable silence, content to wither away and never, ever ask.  And yeah, maybe it’s partly because he thinks about them doing it a lot. Like--- an excessive amount of time is spent thinking about Diego fucking Klaus.  

 

Sometimes it’s when Diego’s pulling on his stupid sex harness, and Ben happens to be creeping. Diego looks precisely like the sort Klaus wants to be pinned down by, and he knows without knowing that Klaus has thought about it too. Leather-Daddy comes to mind, but it’s more than that. Diego’s thick , and he prowls, sometimes without ever even moving. It’s the way he looks at you - at anything at all. There’s a ferocity in his gaze, a tangible heat. Dark eyes narrowed, mouth pursed, like he’s breaking you down to pounce. He looks dangerous. He looks lethal. Nothing so sharp as Klaus, no.  Klaus is made of angles, all sure to cut you. Diego is shaped like blunt force trauma and the irony there, the contradiction, only emphasizes the point.

 

Sometimes it’s when Diego has Ben on his back, legs spread. Diego talks a lot. Diego talks more than Klaus sometimes, usually about what he wants to do to Ben, what he wants to do to Diego, his personal opinions on Ben’s asshole, so on and so forth.  Diego is not afflicted by the same biting silence that eats Ben up when posed with the question of what do you want? No, Diego is not tormented by any sort of inability to communicate exactly what it is he’s thinking.  He knows, and he will fucking tell you. In visceral, haunting detail.

 

He thinks about fucking Klaus a lot.

 

He can hardly take credit for it, of course. That would be a little too self-involved, and Ben does his best not to think about himself at all if he can help it.  He’s certain Diego was already thinking about it before Ben ever came him, stumbling over his words but low-key desperate to get it out, already. He’s certain Diego’s been thinking about fucking Klaus for a while - maybe since that day he stumbled into the bathroom to find Klaus putting his hands all over Ben. Maybe since before .

 

Speaking of the bathroom.

 

“We could just use the normal bathtub,” Klaus suggests, when Ben spends too long staring at the small, waist-deep wading pool their father had built for Ben’s personal practice. It looks nothing like he recalls, filled to the brim with steaming water and high, foamy white bubbles.

 

Klaus has a preferred bathtub, in the smallest bathroom on the third floor where the water has two temperatures - hypothermic and boiling. It’s where Ben usually showers and where Diego sometimes watches. It’s a good bathroom, but a very, very small one. “We wouldn’t both fit.”

 

Klaus is already undressing, mismatched pieces of clothing falling in a puddle around his feet. “Sure we would,” he says gamely, moving forward to undress Ben. “Might be snug, but that’s part of the charm. I like a tight fit.”

 

Ignoring that innuendo, Ben takes a deep breath, and tugs the zipper down on his hoodie. “This is fine.” He’s not so sure, but Klaus loves taking baths, and Ben’s not about to shun him for wanting to share something he enjoys.

 

(Even if he suspects this has nothing to do with bathing and everything to do with growing from their trauma. This is no different than dry humping up against a mausoleum. He wonders if Diego will watch this too. He kind of hopes so.)

 

So he gets in the bath. They’re taking a bath. In the stone pool, Ben used to practice unleashing his thousand-year-old vicious intestine monster. Okay!

 

Klaus takes up residence on the corner steps of the pool. Ben allows himself to be gently tugged back until he’s flush against Klaus' chest. He’s not much smaller than Klaus, not really, but he fits in every space Klaus makes for him all the same.

 

“See?” Klaus presses his scruffy cheek to Ben’s temple. “I don’t mind a tight fit.” He snorts, ruffling Ben’s hair. “Helps if you’re wet first, though.”

 

And that! That! Ben should have seen it coming. He’s been accidentally setting Klaus up for shitty jokes for the better part of their entire life. Fuck him. “Oh my God, did you drag me into this bath so you could make sex jokes?”

 

Klaus sinks them a little lower in the water until it touches Ben’s chin. Fat, foamy bubbles shimmer and pop where they bump his skin, glimmering bright in the shitty overhead light. He’d like to say that Klaus’ usual glow is au natural, but a good two-thirds probably comes from Bath and Body Works. Klaus is all about that low-life to glow-life. But, he has the cheekbones for it, Ben will admit. “They’re not jokes. They’re puns - that’s like...I mean, you wouldn’t compare tuna and caviar.”

 

Ben snorts, and the puff of it sends ripples through the iridescent water. He’s glad the lights are on, and that Klaus didn’t like...light candles or something. He’s not sure he could handle it, he’s not sure he could handle how much he’d probably like it. He feels his face heat, just thinking about it, and he clenches his hands over the sides of the tub.  “Of course you wouldn’t. One’s an egg, and one’s a fish.”

 

Klaus presses a kiss to the curve of his neck, where it meets his shoulder and the water surface. It’s a sweet press, and then a drag of teeth. Ben shivers. “Exactly. One of them came first.”

 

“ Klaus ,” Ben mutters, sinking a little lower into the water until his mouth can’t betray him. He’s pretty sure Klaus is alluding Ben always coming first, but calling him on it will only encourage him. “You’re thinking of chicken and eggs.”

 

Wriggling his arms up under Ben’s, Klaus lays the flat of both his palms over Ben’s stomach. “Well, tuna is like chicken of the sea, so I think the simile still stands.”

 

“It definitely doesn’t.” He tries to keep himself still, he really does, but the things inside of him don’t listen, and they press up against his black hole underbelly where the skin isn’t thinner, but it feels insignificant against the curious push of eldritch monsters, nudging like needy cats against Klaus’ hands. Ben’s fingers tense over the stone edge, so tight his knuckles go white. “Klaus...”

 

“Shhhh,” Klaus murmurs, dragging his mouth over Ben’s cheek. He raises one hand, pinching a joint and lime green lighter from on top of a fluffy pink towel, where it’s folded neatly on the floor beside the pool. “Do me a favor, Benny. Light us up?”

 

Well. At least it’s not a candle. Ben takes both, lighting the joint with faintly trembling hands. Klaus is touching Them. Klaus is calling to Them. He’s petting Them, through Ben’s skin. He can see the shape of them beneath his flesh, and it’s disconcerting, but Klaus is unaffected. Ben hits it first, courtesy be damned, because if Klaus is going to insist on antagonizing a thousand-year-old Eldritch monster in a bubble bath, Ben’s going to get as high as fucking possible.

 

“Easy, easy.” Klaus shakes the faint remaining water drops from his left hand and takes the joint, hitting it deep and easy. “I need you completely cognizant for like two more minutes. Little hits, baby-boy.” He holds the joint to Ben’s lips, and he wishes it felt patronizing, or even a little condescending but he knows Klaus to well, and so it doesn’t. It just feels like sharing. It’s caring.  He still has a hand on Ben’s belly, fingers drumming a faint, erratic beat that Ben can feel matched from the inside out like they’re playing fucking patty-cake. “One more, yeah?” And Ben does.

 

Because he’s a good boy.

 

Klaus takes one hit, two and then three. Ben doesn’t ask for more. If he needs Ben aware and Here For It, then it’s something new . Something they haven’t eased into, or discussed at great and irritating lengths. Something Ben hasn’t consented to in four different ways and three different languages until Klaus was absolutely certain that his yes was a hell yes.

 

He smokes it slowly, stroking his palm firm and smooth over Ben’s belly, again and again, and again until all the wriggling things are entranced, hypnotized, moving in a serpentine rhythm very much set by Klaus. Ben holds himself very still and tries to decide if he’s allowed to enjoy it or not. Klaus would say yes, but Ben’s still not sure.

 

“I’m going to fuck you.” Klaus makes a show of snuffing out the cherry on the joint and dropping the roach into a teacup.  It’s a subtle thing, pale white porcelain painted with dainty lavender roses, a gold-dipped pedestal, and a matching latticework saucer.  Father used to drink his tea from it every afternoon. It’s out of place in the dank, underbelly of the mansion, no matter how finely appointed the room may be with its glossy marble floors and gold sconces shining brightly from vibrant, damask walls.   Fragile, fine and delicate; Klaus uses it for his ashtray. A fine fuck-you to their failure of a father.

 

A fine fuck-you.

 

I’m going to fuck you , Ben thinks, letting Klaus’ words rattle around his fractured mind.



“Maybe not today. Maybe not even this week, but I am going to.” He licks Ben, the curve of his ear. “ God , Benny. I’m really gonna fuck you.” His hand, not the one still pressing hard against his stomach, slips beneath the water and Ben’s ready for him when he wraps his long fingers around Ben’s cock but he still chokes a little, sputtering in the water, straining to hold still, to breathe, to function all at once. “How do you want it?” He squeezes Ben, brief but tight, and Ben chokes, hand slapping hard against the edge of the tub, water splashing over the side as he lays his head against Klaus’ shoulder. “Or maybe I should ask Diego ?”

 

“ Shit ,” Ben hisses, eyes clenched shut.

 

Klaus laughs and strokes him harder, dipping a finger into his belly button very briefly. It sets off a strange, chain-reaction in his body, tentacles coiling and twisting and pressing up against him everywhere. They liked it - whatever Klaus did. Ben’s...not so sure.  “That’s right, baby boy. Diego’s told me all about how talkative you get for him.”

“Everything?”Ben really hopes that Klaus doesn’t expect him to reiterate all the things Diego and he got up too. Variation might have been limited, but the intensity was not, and he’s confident he couldn’t put it to words without the bathwater boiling from the heat of his mortification.

 

“Everything,” Klaus confirms, and it’s terribly reassuring to know that he knows, that Ben’s not keeping secrets anymore. “Seems you’re much more talkative with a tongue in your ass, and I did consider that approach, but I figured that wouldn’t be playing fair.”

 

Oh so...Diego told him everything-everything.

 

At first, Ben wasn’t entirely sure he liked rimming. It felt good, but slowly - like an itch, you can’t quite reach to scratch. Chiefly, the appeal was how much Diego liked it.  Ben couldn’t uniquely describe the sensation of enjoying someone else's pleasure, but that’s simply how it was. And Diego really, really liked it.

 

Fighting to keep himself still while Klaus moved his hand to play with his balls and press down harder, low on his stomach ( inexplicably, he felt the pressure of both in his ass, of all places but he suspects Klaus knows how and why but the science is lost on Ben right now). Toes firm against the black tiles of the pool bottom, Ben pressed himself back, hard against Klaus' chest. “Since when do you play fair?”

 

“Oh I don’t,” Klaus admits, like nothing at all, as his fingers slip a little lower to brush Ben’s asshole and Ben’s legs move with their own authority, making room on reflex. Shit . “But I have bigger things in mind for you.”

 

He’s trying really hard not to give himself up so quickly, no matter how much he wants to spread his legs wider and beg .  He suspects Klaus doesn’t like it when he begs. He always hushes Ben with a quick, and fierce kiss and gives him instantly whatever it is he wants. So he keeps himself quiet, keeps is shaking thighs only slightly parted. “You know I hate surprises.”

 

“Which is why I’m warning you now,” Klaus tells him, sweetly — warning you, not telling you. That’s why I’m warning you now. “You want it, Benny?”

 

“Please don’t---” He can already feel the words wither and wizen on his tongue even as his balls tighten and his heart races in his chest. “Please don’t make me---”

 

A kiss, quick and sweet, is pressed to his cheek. “I know, I know — just yes or no. You don’t even need to say it. Just let me know.”

 

Slowly, Ben nods. It’s easier when he isn’t expected to talk.

 

“Good. God---that’s good, Benny. And if you change your mind, you know you can tell me. Any time, you can tell me.”

 

Ben nods again.

 

“Anything you want ...Anything at all. You tell Diego, and he'll tell me.” He’s pressing down harder onto Ben’s stomach now, pushes matching the rhythm of his other hand where it’s wrapped around Ben’s cock and it’s---it’s a lot. He can feel the pressure building up inside of him, but it’s not in his balls where he's used to it, not exactly. It’s everywhere . His stomach jumps and flutters, clenching. It doesn’t hurt. It---

 

It---

 

It...feels good .

 

Ben’s really not sure how he feels about that. He doesn’t ask Klaus to stop, though. Not...Not yet.

 

“Diego---” Ben begins, because he thinks he should explain himself. Diego’s not exactly easier to talk to, not about this. It’s just---He’s ruthless but endlessly patient, and it’s just really hard not to beg him to suck his dick already when he’s got three fingers in Ben’s ass and seems very content to do nothing else but maintain a lot of aggressive fucking eye contact. Or when he’s got Ben on all fours, with---yes---his tongue up Ben’s ass and a hand around his cock okay, Ben just...Ben just starts talking. He’s not entirely sure why, but he does, and terrible, terrible things come out.

 

Usually about Klaus.

 

(He wants his hair pulled, he wants a hand on his throat, he wants to be held down, he wants to be fucked---)

 

“Speak his name, and so shall he appear,” Klaus sings, as the door across the room opens and Diego (of course) slips in. He was waiting, probably, listening. He and Klaus probably have a plan.  Ben shivers all over. “Get in, Gogo. There’s plenty of room.”

 

They share a look, one Ben can’t decipher, and the heat in Diego’s gaze is no less intense when it’s not pinned on him.  Klaus is better at holding it, even as he pets Ben’s belly and holds his cock in a firm, still grasp. He has plans. Ben wants to fucking come.   But he keeps himself still and waits.



Diego strips with utilitarian practice, laying his clothes neatly over a stone bench at the end of the pool. He doesn’t strut like Klaus does, once he’s naked. He simply slides himself into the water.   He slices through the bubbles and somehow manages not to look fucking ridiculous, and it’s only when he’s standing right before them that he turns those dark eyes to Ben.

 

“You good?” He grabs Ben’s chin, tilts his face up out of the water. “Both of us too much for you; you just gotta say it.”

 

“Yeah, no---no, I’m good. This is good.” Honestly, the only bad part is that Ben still has no fucking idea what to do with his hands. He was sort of getting the hang of hand-placement when was just one of them. He doesn’t have enough hands for the two of them.

 

(It’s thoughts like this that make him feel sixteen and he just...does not fucking appreciate it.)

 

“Me and Diego - we had some ideas,” Klaus says, as Diego settles to his knees in the water, all but his face lost below the foamy surface. He has fucking bubbles in his beard, and it is not a bad look.  “You trust me, Benny? You trust Diego?”

 

Diego’s knelt between Ben’s legs before, and so he can’t be blamed for the Pavlovian response it evokes in his body.  This is the first time Ben’s found himself between them, but he’s thought about it. God - he’s thought about it. He’s fairly certain he’d say yes to anything right now. And he’s well aware that’s his dick speaking, but it’s made pretty good choices so far, so he’s going to let it have this one.  “Of course---of course, I do.”

 

He can feel Klaus smile, where he’s pressed it to Ben’s hair. “You can say no, anytime you want.”

 

“Okay.” He’d argue that there’s nothing he wouldn’t try. Shit - he’s liked everything Klaus and Diego have suggested so far, he doubts very much this will be different. “ Oooh---fuck .”

 

“Diego can hold his breath indefinitely,” Klaus reminds him helpfully, just as Diego puts his mouth on Ben’s dick, under the water and good Christ---Ben didn’t expect that. Should have expected that. Did not. He’s been blown by Diego before, but never while Klaus was touching him all over, and never chin-deep in warm, Klaus-scented bath water. “Now, for my idea.”



Ben feels what's happening instantly. It’s a sensation he’s uncomfortably familiar with, but never has he felt it in unison with getting his fucking dick sucked.   The things inside him are still moving in sleepy, hypnotic circles, chasing Klaus’ fingertips like goldfish in a pond.  Klaus pauses at his belly button. “Yes or no.”

 

His head is swimming. Diego is---very good at this. He’s not precise like Klaus is, he doesn’t move to a tempo, doesn’t work Ben up from the bottom down. He’s messy, uncoordinated, enthusiastic .  Ben really just...Wants to grab his head and hold him down, force him to something a little more measured, a little more predictable, but that would be---no. No, he couldn’t. Still, it’s fucking good. And paired with the pressure of the Things inside of him, rising and rising and rising like a terrible promise, staccato raindrops on a damn about to burst, racing, ringing, an ache he can’t sooth, an itch he can’t scratch, an aching bruise, or a tongue against a sore tooth; it doesn’t feel bad, it feels like too much but not quite enough to be good---Klaus with his hand on Ben’s belly, and the promise of more---

 

“I---I---”

 

“Shhhh,” Klaus hushes him, nuzzling his face against Ben’s hair because he’s stupid and he knows Ben secretly fucking likes it. “It’s okay. I won’t---”

 

“I can’t---” He knows what Klaus wants, and he wants to be good , he does.  And it feels like it could feel good like it could feel amazing . They want out. Let them out. They’ll be good. He’ll be good. Let them out, let them out, let them out--- He can feel their interest, can feel how badly they want it, and he knows---he knows---

 

Ben hasn’t let Them out since the Apocalypse That Wasn’t. Not once. Not even a little bit. They’re hungry, and they’re bored, and they’re jittery and alive, and he’s afraid of them. God, he’s scared of them.

 

But right now---they don’t care about Ben at all.

 

They care about Klaus.

 

(Though a few of the smaller ones have taken notice of Diego, and they’re curious, they’re curious---)

 

Klaus calls to them. Klaus touches them, palm pressed to belly. Klaus treats them like a fucking pet, and it grinds Ben a little, it fucking does because they’re monsters. They’re fucking monsters .

 

But it feels good. God---it feels so fucking good .

They like Klaus. They want him.

Ben understands.

 

They’re monsters; they’re monsters - all of them are. Diego’s doing terrible, terrible things to him below the water, fingers creeping up between Ben’s thigh and this parts familiar, this part is known, and Ben wants it so bad - God he wants it all---

 

(It feels if Ben had to describe it, very much like the too-much-pressure feeling of the one and only time Diego slid a fourth finger up his ass. He’d only done it the once, and it had been...it had been too much, but Ben had come so hard, so hard and so fucking long , he’d blacked for a full five minutes and it that had felt good too. It feels like that, but instead of four fingers in his ass, Ben feels full all over. He needs to come. He just needs to come. He needs...He needs.... hejustneedstocome .)

 

“You can say no,” Klaus says again, a single fingertip resting just below Ben’s navel. “It’s okay, Benny. It’s okay---” He’s already drawing his hand away, and Ben can already feel all the delicious pressure start to fade.

 

He grabs Klaus wrist, holds his hand down hard on his belly and the Things writhe, and rail, and he can feel them inside and out, and it feels---

 

It feels---

 

“Benny?”

 

Ben nods.

 

He expects it to hurt. It’s always hurt before. But Klaus draws a single fingertip down his belly, and it should feel like he’s being sliced open, but it doesn’t. He opens for Klaus like a zipper being drawn, and while it is very, very unsettling, it doesn’t hurt at all.

 

(Tender is the word. Tender in a right way.)

 

“Oh, fuck, oh fuck, oh, fuck.” It’s not him chanting, it’s Klaus, whose arms are holding him hard against his chest, as three thick, blue-black tentacles unfold themselves from Ben’s stomach, slapping hard and wet over the edge of the pool before. Black bleeds into the water, shimmering like an oil spill. They’ve been here before, the monsters inside him. They know this place, and they are curious .  Ben---Ben really should pay more attention to them, but it’s hard to keep his eyes open when Diego’s curling his fingers on every upward suck. He learned that from Klaus, Ben’s hindbrain supplies and it’s almost...honestly...it’s almost too much.

 

Almost.

 

He’s not sure when he threw himself back against Klaus, but he is confident it’s only Klaus effort keeping him upright. He loses the battle against his own hands and----

 

“Oh God, Benny---Fuck yeah. Hold him down. Fuck his face.” Even as he says it, he’s tangling his fingers with Bens, drawing both their hands down to press against Diego’s hair. “C’ mon Benny---”

 

Ben does, God---Ben does . He’s not exactly one for quick obedience, but if it sounds like a good idea...his body gets ahead of his brain. It’s something about the physical world,  something addictive, and Ben just wants to feel it all. And he’s ashamed at how easy it is, how fucking good it feels. He digs his toes into Diego’s thighs and uses the leverage to fuck up into his mouth.  Diego is relentless, driving his fingers harder and deeper into Ben and the tentacles...the tentacles sort of lose priority.

 

(Their absence inside of him----it changes him a little.  Everything feels more . Deeper. Harder. Wetter. Sweeter. Better . This is, hands down, the best sex he’s ever had, and he really just...did not expect the tentacles).

 

They’re not wreaking havoc or squishing the insides out of his brothers, so really---this is fine. It’s already going 100% better than usual.  Klaus’s got it in hand. Klaus is going to have to have it in hand because Ben...just...really does not have enough hands for both of them and the fucking tentacles.

 

“I’d sit you on my fucking dick and have you just like this if it wasn’t your first time, shit ,” Klaus hisses in his ear, and when Ben turns his head to look, Klaus' eyes are closed, and the pointed, slick tip of the larger tentacle is draped over his shoulder and across his cheek like a carless python. Ben’s breath stutters; it looks, inexplicably, gentle .

 

Ben would---Ben would say something to that, he really would, except Diego does....just...something and Ben nearly slips below the surface of the water. His hands fly from Diego’s hair, slapping hard against the stone edge of the pool, fingers curling cruely over the edge.  He throws his head back, hissing when something cold, and wet, slide over his throat.

 

“Shhh, shhh, shhh,” Klaus hushes, holding him up above the water. “Look at you. Fuck---Look at you, Benny. You’re fucking beautiful .”

 

“Hnnng,” Ben manages, as Diego shoves his thighs farther apart and takes Ben into his throat. “Ooooh, God .”  Klaus’ cock is hard beneath Ben’s ass, and Ben....fucking... wants it.

 

And Klaus might even---he might even do it if Ben asked. He might just---he might just fuck him right here.  But before he can figure out which words he could manage, a sticky, wet hand slides over his mouth. “Oh---don’t you dare.” Klaus bites his jaw, harder than he probably intends. “Fuck---don’t you dare, Benny. Because I will, I will, and you are not in the position to be making those decision right now.”

 

I’m in a perfect position , Ben thinks, but he can’t say it because Klaus is sliding his fingers between his lips, pressing hard down on his tongue. “Mmmph--- 

 

“Suck them if you want,” Klaus suggests, and they’re in Ben’s mouth so why the hell not? “That’s it. That’s it, shit. And even if you were in the right position,” he continues, even as he kicks his legs out, forcing Ben’s apart, as he slips deeper into the water. “ I’m not in the right position to make that call. So---Rain check on that, it’s not a no, just a not right now.” He bites Ben again, drags his teeth this time. “But God --- you really want it, don’t you?”

 

For lack of better means, he nods. Water floods the corner of his mouth, and Ben sputters. There’s a false fear that he’ll slip under - Klaus would never allow it- but it’s right there where the inky water brushes his open mouth. It makes his heart race, but he holds himself as still as he can.  

 

Klaus slides his fingers free from Ben’s mouth, moving to cup his chin instead and keep him above the water. He’s still holding Diego down though, fingers still tangled in Bens. “How many?”

 

It’s not a very clear question. Not even very direct. But Ben knows and flushes a bright and violent red. “Three.”

 

Klaus makes a noise, a broken, breathless noise, and the hand cupping Ben’s chin clenches, very briefly. “You can take three. Without even---”

 

Ben’s face only grows hotter, although he’s half sure he doesn’t have enough blood to split between his dick and his face, so the fact that he can’t see straight isn’t entirely alarming. “He started with two?”

 

“You start with two ?” He’s not expecting Klaus to haul him up and kiss the shit out of him, not expecting the sudden and terrible emptiness as Diego is all but dislodged . Ben cries out, but Klaus kisses it right off his mouth. “Benny, Benny---” He’s fucking up against Ben now, dick driving up between Ben’s ass and it’s so---it’s so----

 

“ Please ,” Ben accidentally says, hands slipping from the stone to Klaus arms where they’re still holding him, too-hard now, and the tentacles---the tentacles are everywhere, and Ben can’t---Ben should really be more concerned, but then Diego’s there, pressed up against his front, uncaring of the wriggling, slippery---

 

“You good?” Diego asks, grabbing his face gently between rough, calloused fingers. “Too much?”

 

Ben bares his teeth. Two words. All he needs is two words. “Don’t. Stop .”

Diego grins, boyish and bright but there’s something frightening, and terribly appealing by the dark, sticky blood clinging to his olive skin in patches black as shadows. His mouth, though, is a complete contradiction, pink and swollen. Ben’s a mess between them, can’t form words, can’t figure out his hands, he just wants to fucking come . Diego grinds forward, dragging his dick across Ben’s and driving him down harder against Klaus. “You gonna fuck him or what?”

 

“I don’t---” Ben can feel the curl of desperation in Klaus body, and it fills him with a sudden and intense drive to speak . Klaus wants it. Klaus wants him . “Yeah--Yes. Help him up--- Wait! No---No, I shouldn’t.”

 

Ben is just....really fucking tired of waiting. He thinks that’s probably why what happens next...happens.

 

“I can’t be gentle, I can’t--- fuck . Make him come so you can fuck me, Christ. Oh---Oh fuck--- ” Klaus goes very rigid below Ben and Ben----

 

Ben knows why.

 

The tentacles just... really like Klaus.

 

“Oh----oh my God .” Klaus' voice is a faint, frail wisp of a thing and Ben watches the other tentacles slither and sweep up the water, curling softly over both of Klaus' wrists. “Oh my God. Oh---Fucking---”  They pull them away from where they’d held Ben up, and Ben slips , shaky legs failing him. “Ben? Benny--- 

 

Diego catches him, hauling him up against his broad, wet chest which is a bit more Harlequin than Ben can fucking handle right now.  The tentacles don’t mind; they’re busy----

 

Both Ben and Diego look at Klaus, where he’s sprawled like Jesus on the Cross, tentacles undulating over his forearms, securing him in place. “Are we going to need a safe word?” Diego asks, more wryly than Ben could have ever managed. Klaus is wide-eyed, and Ben knows. Ben just knows. “Do the tentacles grasp the concept of safewords?”

 

The tentacle monsters speak a language only Klaus seems to know, so who could say. “Probably not, but they seem to like Klaus.”

 

There’s absolutely a tentacle in his ass.

 

He knows what Klaus looks like when he’s being fucked. Ben knows. Ben knows that blissed out, heavy-lidded, open-mouthed look. He knows the tilt of Klaus head, the perfect angle, they breathy, shuddering heave of his chest, the way his toes are probably curled beneath the water. He’s honestly not sure who made this happen - if Ben did, through pure frustration, or maybe Klaus had a kink Ben never knew about, or even possibly the sentient, ancient, obsessive horror beasties like Klaus more than any of them expected, but whatever they’re doing (and Ben knows what they’re doing) Klaus---

 

Klaus could come like this.

 

“Oh,” he says, quiet and shocked. “ Oh---fuck .”

 

Thank God for Diego---or nothing would ever get done here.

 

“What do you think?” He asks Ben, tilting his head toward Klaus. “We both know you could ride him, just like this.” He turns to Klaus, even as he slides his hands up Ben’s back, and lets Ben disappear in the curve of his throat. “I could drop him on your cock right now, and nobody could stop me. He wants it. He’s fucking worked for it. Yes or no, Klaus?”

 

Oh , Ben thinks, balls drawing up and even just the thought. Oh fuck.

 

“I had a plan. It was a good plan. And this was not it,” Klaus manages, the whole of his body rolling and crashing back like riptide waves. His spine is curled, and he is very much pushing into whatever the tentacle is doing (Ben knows. Ben knows what the tentacle is doing).

 

Diego moves forward, walking Ben backward into the V of Klaus’ spread legs. Under the water, the thick, ropey muscles of the tentacle flex and curl where they brush his ankle. “Yes or no, Klaus? You say yes---” Diego smiles. “You say no, and I bend Benny over the edge of this pool and rim him till he cries before I bend you over the edge of this pool and fuck you. Everyone comes. We all go to bed winners.”

 

Ben...Ben thinks about the tentacles. Thinks about the way they move inside him. The way they’re always there, laying in wait. He thinks about how he ignores them, ignores their constant presence in his mind. How they whisper to him, but he never whispers back.  How Klaus talks to them directly, pets them, loves them.

 

Deeper , he thinks. Harder .

 

Ben feels it in his balls, feels it all over, as Klaus throws his head back and cries out. Faster , he thinks. Faster .

 

“C’ mon Klaus,” Diego pushes, oblivious to what Ben’s doing to their brother.  “What’s it going to be?”

 

Klaus sputters, squirming where he’s pinned to the steps of the pool. “Who died and put you in charge? You’re not the boss of me.”

 

Ben’s still hiding in the curve of Diego’s neck, but he can visualize the indignant expression splashed across Diego’s face.  Diego is unmoved, hands sweeping up and down Ben’s back, absently soothing. “I am when you need me to be.”

 

“Oh,” Klaus says. Oh . “Well, I didn’t bring any lube.”

 

In that one single moment, Ben is wildly uncertain how he can feel so horrifically empty, and full to bursting all at once.  He’s still so fucking hard, and rocking up against Diego is looking, more and more compelling except that---that---sounded like---

 

That wasn’t a no.

 

“Benny already took care of that,” Diego announces to the whole fucking world, turning his head just enough to kiss Ben’s head, even as he speaks. It’s such an absent gesture, Ben feels it all over. “He took three fingers way too easy. I told you he was ready.”

 

“This is----this is war tactics. I’m not in the position to say no---fuck---” His whole spine curls, and he sputters on a gasp so sharp, Ben thinks he might have come. Which would be---fucking tragic . “Oh god---Ben are you---”

 

“Maybe a little. I’m not sure,” Ben manages to say all at once, mouth pressed into the warm skin of Diego’s throat.

 

“You might want to stop.” Klaue hisses out. “Or I’m going to come.”

 

“So, that’s a yes?” Diego clarifies, urging Ben back another inch until his thighs bump Klaus’.

 

“Yes, it’s a fucking yes! Put him on my dick already God---he has a tentacle half a foot up my ass, and I am trying really, really hard not to come. No promises.”

 

Diego falters, that suave bravado flickering for only a moment. “If you come before he does, I get to fuck him.”

 

“Uh.” Ben should---Ben should probably have some say in this conversation, but honestly---he has no disagreements. He turns to look at Klaus, feels the pull and play of the tentacles stretch between them.

“What do you say, Benny?” Klaus smirks, but it’s stretched thin and ruined by the constant curl of his body. “Think you can make me come first?”

 

No, Ben thinks. Not at all. He’s one hard grind away from coming all over Diego’s thigh.  But then---Diego’s walking him backward and Ben---Ben’s not stopping him. He’s waited so fucking long for this, and he fucking wants it. He’s worked for it, Diego’s not wrong at it seems right that Diego should be here too---he did half the work.

 

(He did all the work. Ben mostly just came all over both of them.)

 

But---he’s going to try very, very hard.

 

He nods, just once, eyes still caught by the sprawled sight of Klaus. He did that. He did that to Klaus. He put that look on his face, that needy, hungry look.

 

Diego sighs with his whole body, and Ben feels better for it.  “ Good boy.”

Chapter Text

Diego’s been shot before.  Once or twice; a graze and a near-miss.

 

So he’s been shot, sliced, stabbed. That one time with the katana, and that other time with the golf club. Hero-business isn’t exactly the fluff job their teenage press conferences made it seem to be.

 

None of it - none of it - stunned him more than the sight of Ben’s pale, shaking thighs, as he sits on Klaus’ dick.

 

Diego’s immediate thought is that it’ll never fit. He remembers thinking the same when he fucked Klaus though, and he’d fit just fine. He thinks he’ll probably think every time, no matter the brother he’s fucking.

 

Fuck---

 

Because he’s going to fuck Ben. Just as soon as Klaus is done.

 

He can see the taught, defined muscles of Klaus stomach jump and twitch, as he strains against the fucking tentacles .  They’re snakes in the water, curling, and coiling; the slick, glossy skin standing in stark contrast to the milk-pale skin of Ben and Klaus both. There’s something particularly jarring about the sight of them, something decidedly unsettling, but Diego likes the gut-punch frisson that ripples his spine, every time they brush his ankle below the murky water.

 

He likes it. It’s---it’s the dirtybadwrong sensation Klaud kisses into him. It’s the slick, sleek degradation, the freedom in the filth. He likes it.

 

(God, but they are fucked up, all three of them. But they’re fucked up together, so it’s just fine.)

 

It had taken a bit of awkward maneuvering to get Ben properly in Klaus’ lap. Diego had finally given up on the both of them bickering and picked Ben up, nudging him to bend his knees and setting him down to straddle Klaus' thighs. Ben has his eyes closed tightly shut, and the play of his muscles, tensing in slow motion, is unbearably sweet , as he reaches blindly for Diego. And Diego’s there , can’t imagine being anywhere else.

 

(When they were little, and the world wasn’t so hard - it had always been Klaus and Ben.  Diego...Diego couldn’t. He was Number Two, and he had responsibilities and he needed to practice, he needed to---- But Klaus and Ben always invited him along for whatever they got up too. Always.   Hey Diego, we’re sneaking out to the public library, want to come? And hey Diego, the milkman said he could sneak us a cat, what do you think.  

 

Diego usually had to spar with Luther and Allison, or practice blades with Father or one of his many tutors, or-or---or it was always something. But sometimes...sometimes he said yes. Sometimes he snuck out to the back gardens to see who could climb highest in the apple trees. And sometimes he snuck out, two blocks down, to eat street dogs with the change left behind by the newspaper boy.  But as they grew older, those moments of yes grew fewer and far between until the offers to join were perfunctory at best, and saying yes anymore would have been unwelcomed anyway.  Every time he didn’t say yes, every time he trailed behind Luther instead to the second-floor gym instead of hiding by the ponds to feed the koi fish bread crumbs - he regretted until Ben and Klaus stopped asking and Diego had no way back.

 

Then Ben died.

And Klaus left.

And Diego...never followed Luther to the second-floor gym again.

 

He steadied Ben, hand curling under his elbow. “Easy, easy,” he murmured, at every little hurt escaping Ben. He didn’t look hurt - he looked wrecked .  He’d spent the better part of his morning with his greedy fingers up his own ass, Diego had known it from the first fucking touch, the way his body just opened right up. And because he’d left the drawer open when he stole Diego’s lube.

 

The words good boy curl themselves like cursive across his mind. Visualize the words. He can hardly stop. “C’ mon baby,” he says roughly, gravel in his voice from sinking so deep, the phantom press and push of Klaus and Bens hand on the back of his head burning right up his spine. “You can take more.” He can’t decide who looks closer to losing it- Ben or Klaus, both with their eyes closed, mouths open, chests heaving. Ben hasn’t even bottomed out yet, and Klaus looks close to tapping. Diego---Diego wants him to come so bad, selfishly yes, but also just to watch Klaus’ body snap, and give, and break .  Swallowing on a dry throat, he holds Ben through it, eases him down. He moves a leg between Ben’s open thighs, where he's half seated over Klaus - something to lean on, something to brace.  His bare toes bump a tentacle, where it’s lain across the steps. “You can take more, Benny.” He sucks in a breath and pushes, urging the tentacle deeper. “And so can Klaus.”

 

It sends off a chain reaction that links the three of them. Klaus gasps, body coiling. His hips drive upward, and Ben---

 

God - Ben .

 

Diego holds Ben against it, helps him take it and God , he does. He pushes back, all bold and brash, fingers balled to fists and pressed to Diego’s chest. He watches Ben’s face as Klaus crashes back to the stone steps, feels his body move to chase the feeling and from there---

 

Ben knows what to do.

 

(Diego taught him.)

 

And it’s fuckin’---it’s fucking phenomenal , to watch him find his rhythm.  Watch the roll of his hips find that steady grind.  Klaus is a mess, splashed across the steps, torn between watching Ben and holding his eyes tightly closed.

 

Diego sees it in all slow motion, caught up the molasses heat burning him up. Ben starts out fast and hard - eager and new.  Diego thinks about all the time he’s had to steady him, slow him, a hand on his hip, on his ass. He reaches behind Ben, crushing him forward, chest against chest. “It ain’t a race, Benny.”

 

“It’s kind of a race,” Klaus reminds him, catching his gaze with a heated, heavy-lidded stare. He looks wrecked, pink mouth parted, and wet. “C’ mon, Gogo. Don’t fucking torture us. Didn’t you have a plan where we all get to come? I liked that part.”

 

And it’s---it’s---Klaus is all the hedony Diego ever wanted, all the obscenity and release. And he’s looking up at Diego with those bright eyes - and telling him to do it.

 

What it is - that’s up to Diego.

 

It’s a heady .

 

Klaus looks helpless. Diego’s---fucked up for the needy little look in his eye.

 

And Ben---

 

Ben’s right between them.

 

He kisses Ben - the wet and messy kind Klaus would never dare press upon his good boy.   He takes a step back, down another step, and laughs when Ben chases his mouth, straining between him and Klaus.  He pulls away as fast as he pushed, taking Klaus hard and deep and choking moans from both of them. “Ride em’ baby,” Diego says roughly, carelessly, putting a hand in Ben’s hair and pulling. Ben likes it, it’s a learned behavior - but Klaus would never dare.

 

Ben groans, pulling against his fingers, and Diego watches over his shoulder, Klaus’ teeth bared and clenched.  With his other hand on Ben’s waist, he moves him, a rolling wave, up and down Klaus cock. He pushes and pulls Ben between the hand tangled in his hair, and the one bruising his hips.

 

“Fuck---” Klaus chokes, and Diego watches his fingers curl into fists, forearms straining against the tentacles. But they’re relentless, they’re unmoving, except for the one Diego nudges a little further, just to watch Klaus cry out. “ Gogo . Diego---Please .”

 

Diego can only smile though - can only smirk. He pulls Benny’s head to the side, exposing that long, pale neck of his and he bites .  The chain grows a little tighter between them - Ben’s whole body clenches and Klaus---Klaus sobs .  Diego pushes them faster, driving sweet, shocked little grunts from Ben’s open mouth every time his ass meets Klaus straining hips. Diego drags his teeth up Ben’s throat, and Klaus----

 

Klaus whole body coils, Diego can see it, the way his spine curls him up straight off the steps. He’s rapt, eyes chasing the move of Ben’s hips and the way Diego’s teeth look set against Ben’s neck.  Ben’s panting, shaking, and Diego only holds him tighter when his arms reach up to wrap around Diego’s shoulders. The new weight pulls Diego closer, dropping Ben harder on Klaus, who is watching now, the way his dick disappears and yeah - Diego gets it.

 

“Fuck---Fuck---” Klaus cries, his body a bowstring, shaking up and down.  “Benny---Benny---”

 

Benny’s barely there - he’s happy to let Diego do the work, and Diego is just fine with that.  All Diego can see is Klaus, broken down to the roll of Ben’s hips, set to Diego’s pace. He can’t move, he can’t help, he can’ take control. “He says your name,” Diego says, with a filthy smirk. There’s heat in his voice and in his cheeks, a little element of shame that only makes him harder.  “When I’d have him over the counter, three fingers up his ass. I’d make him ride them just like this, and he’d say your name .”

 

Diego had known from the very start - Klaus would have Ben first. It was an unspoken truth, right up until Ben put it to words, and Klaus put Diego to work.  Diego’s known he would be Number Two from the very start and it’s exactly where he wants to be.

 

He wants to come second, for the first time in his life.

 

“This your good boy , Klaus?” He pulls Ben’s head to the side and licks a wet, hot strip up Ben’s cheek. It’s a knee-jerk, the way Ben’s body twists and jerks and loses Diego’s rhythm. “Look at him.” Diego leads Ben back until he’s flush against Klaus' chest and it’s the angle that does it. “He’s been real good to me.”  Klaus sobs, as Diego pulls Bens hips up, rolling, grinding, stealing the breath out of both of them. He’s hard where his cock lays, riding the crest of Ben’s hip but he won’t come like this, no---

 

He’s gonna fuck Ben.

God- He’s gonna fuck Ben.

 

Ben .

 

(it’s the thought - it’s the thought that he’s about to fuck a second brother, but only after he’s done fucking a different brother. It’s that - and there’s the sensation of too much burning through his body, it’s too good, it’s too much. Diego fucking wants it.)



“I’m gonna bend him right over you and fuck your come back up his ass,” Diego says, meanly and it’s all he can fucking think about. It’s all he can fucking see . They don’t care- they don’t care , they want it too, the both of them. It’s hard to feel bad about the ways you’re fucked up, when it looks so fucking good.  That first push, the feel of it - Klaus comes a lot, and Diego wants to fucking feel it. God - he wants--- He wants--- “Fuck, Klaus. Let me have him .”

 

Let me.

Let me.

Let me .

 

It might have been enough - Klaus has to know how close Diego is to breaking. He likes to hear Diego beg, he likes to watch him fall apart. It might have been enough, but Diego won’t take credit. Ben’s fingers are curled over his own calves, body bent backward, hips rising and falling. He’s hard, leaking sticky wet across his own belly as the black water splashes in ripples around Klaus' legs. Diego wants very badly to take pity on him, make him come, he’s good at it - but no. Not yet. “Please,” he says and Diego knows - that’s Klaus weakness. That’s his line. There’s nothing he won’t give Ben. Nothing at all.  “Please---Please---I want---”

 

Klaus comes, lip caught between his teeth and Diego can’t---Diego can’t even think straight.  The gasp that echoes off the high ceilings could belong to any of them, but in this moment - where they’re tangled and messy - it belongs to all of them.  Every breath that escapes Ben, belongs to Diego, and every cry that escapes Klaus, belongs to Ben. Watching Klaus come apart is such a visceral thing, such a tangible moment and for a brief, crippling instant- Diego’s certain can feel everything Klaus feels.

 

The tentacles tell the time - they slip away to curl and coil on the surface of the water as soon as Klaus’ body goes lax against the steps. He’s a panting, heaving mess, mouth bitten, and arms limp.  Ben though - Ben’s pulled taught, holding himself very still and Diego knows - Diego knows he has to be dripping----

 

“Shit---I---I---I---” And he’s stuttering, God, he’s stuttering but it doesn’t matter because the fucking---The fucking tentacles are moving, turning and pulling and tugging Ben around. “ Fuck .”

 

Surprisingly accommodating, the tentacles. They put Ben exactly how Diego needs him.

 

When he doesn’t move right away, when Klaus' hands come up to frame Ben’s narrow hips, and the tentacles find their home on the curves of the wet steps, surprisingly content to bask and be - Ben looks at him over his faintly freckled shoulder.

 

Diego is struck .  He wipes a hand over his mouth, takes a minute to get his shit together because---

 

Shit .

 

Ben looks wrecked from head to toe - the thick black blood courtesy of the tentacles, froths against the steps, staining his pale legs.  Klaus' fingers bite little red crescents into his hips. His eyes are wild, and his hair a mess, and Klaus come’ is dripping in milky little rivets from his pink, wrecked---

 

“C’ mon,” Ben wheezes, rocking back against absolutely nothing, and Diego chokes against his own palm. “I didn’t---I didn’t---

 

Diego puts his hands on him. Puts his hands right above Klaus, lets their fingers brush. “You did so good,” he tells Ben, rough and wrecked. It doesn’t come to him so smoothly, this type of talk. Not like Klaus, who sounds so natural when he’s calling Benny Baby when he’s calling him good . “Little more, Benny. You know I’ll take care of you.”

 

It’s Klaus who makes a noise at that, a broken, choked cry. His fingers spasm, where they bite into Ben and God---Diego wants to fuck him too.

 

Greedy , he thinks. Selfish .

 

Ben and Klaus don’t mind though, Diego thinks.

 

He’s been thinking about them since that day - since the day he slipped into the smallest bathroom on the third floor and found Klaus and Ben wrapped up in each other.  He felt himself go hard so fast, he’d swayed on his feet - dizzy at the sight of them, at his own horrific response.

 

Funny now - he’s still dizzy, still so hard he can’t feel anything else. But this time - it just feels good.  He did not think, when he stood there, eyes caught on the line of spit connecting Ben’s mouth to Klaus, he did not think one day he’d fuck them both.

 

It’s good.

It’s better than good.



Ben, all slippery and slutty , braced against Klaus.  He’s pretty. They’re both pretty. Klaus looks dangerous, Ben looks soft. Diego’s not pretty. Diego’s scarred, and dark.  But they let him touch them. They let him have them. They want him, want to pull him right into their little world - into their pocket. And all Diego wants right now is to get inside the both of them.   He can’t handle the sight of Klaus come, sloppy sticky, smearing down Ben’s ass and thighs. He can’t fucking- stand it --he reaches out, pushes two easy fingers in, and the new rush of come is viscerally gratifying, spilling between his knuckles.  Ben gives so easy, driving back, greedy and needy and Diego---Diego’s not gonna fucking make it. He’s not.

 

Ben spreads his legs. He knows what Diego wants by now, without Diego ever needing to ask. They’ve been here, metaphorically. They’ve done this. And God- he knows what Diego wants before Diego even knows. Diego wants to put his mouth on him, wants to lick him clean, steal every little last bit of Klaus.  But no---Bigger things in mind.

 

Taking himself in hand is unbearable, but Diego does, shaking all over and sure he’ll come with the first press. He pushes in, feels that sleek, slick pop, and Ben gasps, elbows buckling. Klaus is there, hushing and shushing him and Diego---

 

Diego fucks right in - fast and hard. Klaus is bigger, Ben’s all easy give and soft now and Diego fits . Diego fits like he was certain he never could.

 

He’s mindful that Ben’s gotta be a little tender, a little sore - but it’s hard not to just take him. Have him. Throw him down right on Klaus and fuck him raw. God, but Diego can hardly stand the sudden, sticky rush of Klaus’ come dripping down his balls.  It’s---filthy. It’s violently filthy, and he can taste it like blood on the back of his throat, he can fucking taste the obscenity , the disgrace.




It rolls through him, curling his spine on a sharp, shocking thrust. Ben gasps, crashing down against Klaus but it doesn’t stop him, no - not at all. Diego gets his hands up under Ben’s hips and lifts him to meet his thrust. The inky water splashes, spilling up over the pool edge to bleed out across the floors. The tentacles, they creep, curling constrictors making their way up Diego’s calves. They must sense his apprehension, or perhaps Ben does - they creep n further.  Klaus is there, kissing sweetly at Ben’s mouth, lean, knobby fingers tangled in his birdnest hair. He catches Diego’s eye, and Diego bares his teeth, animal to animal.

 

Klaus---Klaus smiles, and Diego wants so bad to feel that feral.

 

He fucks Ben like he might find the feeling in him. He thinks - Diego really fucking thinks...he just might.

 

Ben winds his arms around Klaus' neck and Klaus lets his own slip and wanders downward and downward, following the yellow brick road of Ben’s spine until he’s gripping Ben’s ass, spreading him wide and shit , Diego thinks. Shit goddamn .

 

Klaus pulls Ben down - away from Diego, and the resistance against his own strength his strange, bleeding through his veins thick and violent. Diego lifts Ben’s hips again, harder this time, his own slapping loud against Klaus' knuckles as he bottoms out and Klaus is there, pulling Ben away ---

 

It’s not give and take, not at all. It’s---tug of war, maybe. It’s a fight, and something wild bites his heels as Ben calls out, the curl of his spine curved like a question mark at the end of a question that begins and ends with more .

 

“I think Benny needs to come,” Klaus says, and there’s an edge to his voice that tells Diego he is not unaffected by five-feet nine-inches of lean, squirming body riding up against him....or the fucking tentacles. “Benny, baby - you want it faster?” Even as he asks, he’s driving Ben harder, forcing Diego to catch up or fuck up. “You want it harder?”

 

“Please,” Ben cries, throwing a hand out behind Klaus, to catch his fingers over the edge of the stone steps. “Fuck---Please.”

 

“C’mon, Gogo.” Klaus rolls his body beneath Ben, even as he pulls Ben against himself. “Don’t make him beg.”

 

(Diego likes it when Ben begs. He’s real pretty about it, and real fucking rude. It’s hard to look sweet while you’re fucking yourself back on half a high-five, but Ben had somehow perfected it.)

 

He’s mindful that Ben must be tender, again,  but it’s hard. It’s hard . He wants to bottom out and stay there, live there - but there’s Klaus, dragging his tongue up a line of slick, black blood where it paints Ben’s cheek and Diego’s hips stutter.

 

“Fuckin’----touch him,” he manages, through gritted teeth. Ben’s skinny little hips rabbit back and forth, for all that Diego’s doing his best to keep him in place. Klaus gets his hand in the water and Diego feels it when Klaus touches Ben. He feels the fierce, flutter of Ben’s body, clenching hard just as Diego sinks deep and he feels the ricochet, the shots-fired ferocity of his orgasm and with one exhale, Diego’s gutted by the suddenness of his own. He pulls out even as he’s coming, watches splashes of pearly come stain Ben’s bright pink ass and it’s--- a high sob escapes him, burnt up by delirium, pleasure so fierce it stops your heart and he’s still coming, the last few spurts weak, but desperate on the sight of Ben and Klaus in a sticky, heaving tangle.

 

He sinks to his knees on the last step, unsure where his own slick skin begins and ends against the slide of theirs. At the moment - they breathe and heave as one.

 

Ben’s only half-conscience, bleary eyes blinking shut.  Diego kisses Klaus because Klaus is there and it’s sweet and wet and taste of hot copper, and salt.

 

“You did good,” he tells Diego after a long quiet, and his voice is cotton candy soft, and almost as sweet. “Great job fucking your brother.”

 

“I’ve had some practice.” He keeps his voice mild, even though his mouth is close enough to kiss Klaus jaw.

 

“Ah yes. I suppose, when it comes to dicking your siblings, only Luther has you beat.” He says it with a grin, but there’s a furl to his brow that Diego reads on instinct.

 

“That’s the life of Number Two.” And it doesn’t seem so bad, right here, right now. “Besides, I have twice the opportunity to catch up.”

 

Klaus hums, hands petting lightly at Ben’s sides. “Three times the chance, if you count me fucking you .”

Chapter Text



He is high, he is high, he is a little bit high and he can feel the words float up and brush his skin, he can feel every nerve where the silk and lace touch him. The dust on the floorboards, where it bites his soles, and the dust on his skin, all freckles, and moles. He is high he is high he s a little bit high.

 

He’s alive he’s alive he’s a little bit alive.  And he can feel the color blue, where it winds around his ankles, a constant creeping mist braiding tight to frayed edges of his soul. That’s death for you, for Klaus at least - his tether to life.

 

He can see the color white, where it folds across his body, the scrape of the lace leaving his shower-pink skin faintly raw, and alive with little fires.

 

Allison gave it to him.  It might be from her wedding, or maybe a premier or an event. It doesn't matter. It’s sleeveless, floor length, with a ruffled tail, high collar, low back and layers upon layers of pristine white lace. It’s a little loose in the hips, a little loose in the chest, but Klaus likes the way it feels. Not the fabric, although the fine silk is divine. It’s the way it makes him feel.

 

Clean, mostly.  It makes him feel clean.

 

He couldn’t fucking tell you why.

 

So Allison had given it to him, along with a heaping box full of other frilly numbers. But it was this one that had caught his hands, the way it had slithered over his fingers, heavy and liquid. He stands before the mirror, swaying a little to the smooth jazz tunes courtesy of the corner-lot Ghost he’s grown fond off, content to leave be.  

 

He has no desire to be a woman. Being a woman looks exhausting . Klaus just likes the way he feels.  He wishes it fit better, but Alison was fashioned to the likeness of a Goddess; Athena or Frigga. Klaus is a skeleton wearing a tatty, hand-me-down housecoat.

 

He grips the fabric, pulling it taught where it’s loose on his barebones body, till the sharp jut of his hips, of his collarbone, stand in stark relief beneath the gauzy lace and silk. He’d done his makeup heavy; a thick drag of liner above and below, and he’d always liked the way it made him look a little more alive when he was dead inside but tonight...he feels clean.

 

It has nothing to do with being sober. Nothing at all. It’s not this house - it certainly fucking isn’t. It might be the people. Five is alive. Luther is...Luther, but with a well of guilt to keep him in check. Allison is a mom . Vanya is in therapy, and Klaus saw her smile a few months back and it looked so real, it looked so new.

 

And then, there’s Ben and Diego. They’re different. Klaus made them different.

And maybe - they made him different too.

 

The crisp lace brushes against his bare, smooth legs, and he feels just as raw on the inside, just as fresh and new.  Like someone reached right inside him and cleared the stains from his soul. It’s not Ben - Ben loves him in spite of those stains, loves him as he is, broken, bruised and marked from the inside out.

 

Something flashes past behind him in the mirror, and he turns just in time to watch Diego walk backward past the door frame. He stops and looks. Looks and looks and looks until Klaus thinks he might catch fire from the heat of that curiosity alone. He’s impatient, and when Diego seems content to just look - always so happy to watch, the fucking pervert - Klaus grits his teeth, the fabric still pulled tight in his hands. “Crawled out of your shadows to come watch deviance in fine formalwear, brother mine?”

 

“Wasn’t planning on it, but I’m considering the change of plans.” With a whistle between his teeth, Diego steps into the room, dragging the door closed behind him.  It shuts and locks with such a soul-shattering click, Klaus feels more dirt shake from his soul. He’s not ashamed of this proclovity, he’s not ashamed of any of them - but this one, people seem so ready to disdain. There is no disdain in Diego’s gaze, nothing so cold and Klaus feels the white of the lace bleed right into his skin. He’s shirtless, sweatpants hung low on his hips, and if Klaus had to bet money, he’d say Diego’d just come from Klaus’ bathroom. Diego drags his bottom lip between his teeth and the accidental sensuality scrapes raw over Klaus skin. This. This is what it feels like to be clean. To be the subject of such intensity. This .  Pretty, morally upright, do-gooder Diego, looking at Klaus in his borrowed ball gown, with nothing but light in his eyes. “I sure do like your pretty white dress.”

 

Klaus makes a face, can’t stand the squiggles that stain him, fighting to turn the clean white cotton of his insides grey and unsure again. He lets the dress fall from his grip, sagging on his frame. “Fuck off.” Shocking exactly no one, Diego does not fuck off.  Klaus’ more acidic nature is less and less effective on his brothers. He suspects it’s all the dicking.

 

“I’ll say it again for you.” Instead of fucking off, Diego comes up behind Klaus, hooks his chin over Klaus’ shoulder, and grabs his hips, pulling the loose lace tight again. Klaus sucks in a breath when Diego nips at him, teeth as sharp as any blade. “You look good.” He pulls the skirts of the dress up higher, letting the high slit fall up over Klaus' thigh, the length of his pale, hairless leg exposed. “And I like your pretty white dress.”

 

(There was something specifically captivating about the heat of Diego’s gaze as he bottomed out in Ben, the shocked, wide-eyed wonder that Klaus feels crazy desperate for.  They haven’t fucked since the marble pools in the lower levels of the house- Klaus is prepared to change that.)

 

Diego spins him, hand on his hip, and the other tangling their fingers. "Let's dance."

 

And Klaus...Klaus kind of wants too. He feels weird though, standing where he is in a borrowed white dress, caught up in Diego's hands and gaze and heat again. He feels all of twelve years old, in a too-big dress but instead of Dad hauling him out by his hair, knocking him straight off his borrowed heels, it's Diego - saying he looks pretty.

 

"There's no music," he says because yes and no aren't viable options and arguing is reflex.

 

Diego is unconcerned. "That Jazz ghost still playing?" Klaus nods, though a lie does consider itself in his brain, popping and fizzing like a busted bubble before his mouth can form it. "Then we have music. I’ll let you lead." And he scoops an arm around Klaus' waist, hand firm and sure on the small of his back.

 

Klaus allows it. Allows his other hand to be tangled into Diego’s. He listens, catching the faint melody of something soft and breezy.  When he doesn’t move, Diego tugs him along. He’s off a step and out of tempo, and Klaus feels like he’s at fucking prom but---

 

But it’s nice.

 

They’re fucking dancing .

 

“It’s not weird?” It’s fucking weird . Most of the shit Klaus wears is weird. He’s always had this sense that he could draw attention away from the fact that he was on the constant cusp of falling apart with brightly colored crop tops and cut-off booty shorts. A highly effective method, if not a little unorthodox, Klaus wore clothes like armor. And every chip off his polish reminded him that it was all a lie . Vietnam had taught him that.  Bravado was a lie. But...most the world was, so why did it matter?

 

“So what if it is?” Diego says in return, with a careless shrug. He doesn’t lie to Klaus, doesn’t tell him it’s not weird, totally normal, perfectly fine. He doesn’t lie. He just...doesn’t care. And if morally upright, do-gooder Diego who judges others with extreme ass-hole impunity and holds grudges longer than he can hold his breath under water...if that Diego can look at Klaus and find even one iota of something redeeming...Klaus can let himself believe it. Diego’s moral compass more finely tuned than his own, so perhaps it’s even easier to believe it from his brothers pink, pouting mouth.

 

He spins Klaus, dipping him and Klaus can’t help but panic, fingers gouging faintly into the bare, scarred skin of Diego’s forearms. Diego’s kind of hairy, one of the more hirsute Hargreeves, coming in second place to that of only Luther - as was par of course for him in life. “There are worse things than weird. You could be bad at parallel parking.”

 

“I am bad at parallel parking,” Klaus informs him. “I can’t drive.”

 

“Yeah - that’s fucking weird. You’re in your thirties, man. There’s no reason you shouldn’t know how to drive” He’s smiling as he says it, so Klaus only steps on his fucking foot a little bit. “Is you wearing a dress any weirder than me thinking you look good in it?”

 

“Probably.” They’re fucking brothers . It’s weird. “You wouldn’t have liked it if I didn’t wear it. Besides, I’ve found there are only two types of guys into it. The ones who don’t want to be seen with me in public, but want me to call them daddy while wearing thigh high socks, and the ones who want to call my asshole a pussy.”

 

Diego laughs, a faint pink blush stealing across his cheeks and Klaus bookmarks that for later, in the back of his mind. Hmmm. “And which one of those are you into?”

 

“Both.” He pushes up against Diego, pushes them out of step until he’s crowding Diego up against the wall. “Which one are you?”

 

Diego’s lashes flutter closed, so delicate, even as he bared his teeth. “I---I---I---”

 

“Try it on,” Klaus bursts, moving to pin Diego’s left hand above his head. Diego is sturdy - thick, and ropey; Klaus grips him so hard he feels his own palms burn. He can take it. He can take it.  He wants to hurt Diego, just a little bit, wants to kiss every tender bruise he leaves. It’s such a tangible feeling, he’s certain you could reach right into him and pluck it out for all the world to see - this honey-sticky thing inside of him. “Put it on, Gogo. I wanna see you in it.”  With his other hand, he shoves at Diego’s sweatpants, brushing the sweaty palm of his hand roughly over Diego’s twitching cock. “Since you think it’s so pretty.” He gets his hands on Diego’s dick - presumptuous, and rude, but Diego’s already fattening up against his palm. “Put it on for me.”

 

Diego’s other hand comes up and for a second - Klaus thinks he’s going to be shoved away. But no - thick fingers pull so gently at the delicate zipper in the back of the dress, Klaus is almost certain it’s just wishful thinking. But no, Diego’s there, drawing it down and Klaus can feel it in his spine, peeling him apart and leaving him raw and delirious.

 

He wants Diego to open him up like that. He wants Diego to open him up.

 

He slips it over Klaus' shoulder, nails scraping bare skin.  He waits, silently, lashes lowered until Klaus gets the fucking point and lets go of his wrist, so he can slide the other half down Klaus’ other shoulder.  He has to let go of Diego’s dick too, which his brain understands but his body can’t comprehend, but somehow - the dress becomes a foamy white puddle around his feet.

 

Diego tangles their fingers and Klaus loses his voice .  It shouldn’t be like this with his brother. It shouldn’t feel like this. Klaus knows him. Diego is safe. His brain knows that it shouldn’t curl into every goddamn touch, but his body hasn’t gotten the message. It’s just----he knows Diego. And Diego knows him. And this is a bubble he’s not ready to burst.

 

“Help me put it on.”

 

And it’s just

 

It’s just

 

Klaus can see the change in him. In the tooth-shaped grooves, he’s worn down on Diego’s throat, where deviancy bleeds pomegranate bruises, and the red inside of Diego spills out to tangle in Klaus blue.  What's left is lavender, and just as sweet, just as soothing.



He can feel the weight of his own tongue, where it rests, wet in his mouth.  The way the warm, stale air shifts ever so slightly over his skin, dragging iridescent dust through his every fine hair - he can feel it all, in every nerve of his being.

 

He is high he is high he is a little bit high

 

And he wonders very lightly

 

how you fall

in love

 

with your own

brother.

 

He thinks the answer might be in the way the blue and red are bleeding a pale sort of purple, so fine a thing, so pure...Klaus knows this can’t be real .

 

So he falls to his knees, and gathers up that fucking dress, holds it open as Diego slips one hairy leg through, and then the other. The delicate lace catches on his leg hairs, snagging and pulling, and the contrast - that first mushroom cloud of swirling milk in your morning coffee, a sudden fall of snow in a sandstorm...the way the water swirls a little cleaner every circle around the drain as he washes the sins from his filthy palms... it looks so clean .

 

Klaus has to touch him, touch Diego with all of his everything, as he draws up the dress, of course, he does. Diego shudders, stomach jumping and Klaus ignores his cock all together in favor of sucking the meanest, filthiest hickey known to man on the cut of Diego’s hips. And when he’s sure it will stay, sure it will hurt , sure that everything is real...He drags his open mouth up his stomach, his chest, his throat, drawing the lace higher, over thick thighs, and thick hips----

 

And he takes a step back. Just a step. Half a step.

 

And there’s Deigo Fucking Hargreeves in a pretty white dress and Klaus----

 

Klaus really needs to know, how you fall in love with your brother.

 

No, he doesn’t care about the taboo, the fucked up core, how this is a product of childhood trauma, how this could be a fucking disorder. He doesn’t care about that - they are what they are, but they are what they are, together, all of them. No - he wants to know how he can fall in love with someone he already loves.

 

Diego’s his brother. Of course Klaus fucking loves him.

 

Klaus loves Diego. Just like he loves Ben.  Klaus’s love for Ben has never wavered, never changed. Even after Ben kissed him, even after that. Klaus loves Ben, so fiercely, it’s a living thing inside of him.

 

Diego’s different.

 

And Klaus just...Klaus doesn’t understand how he can love Ben just as much as Diego, every bit as much - but it’s different.

 

Diego’s different.

 

And he looks so good, against the dark walls.  He looks so good, Klaus can’t bear to touch him, certain it’ll burn him, change him somehow.  His palm -hello- hovers over bare skin, stretched and stained in curling black ink.  The fabric is drawn tight over Diego’sshoulders and when Klaus gives in to the urge to touch him, he slides his fingers beneath the lace, shoving it aside until ah---ah---

 

That fucking nipple ring.

 

Christ.

 

And Klaus is struck, he is shattered. Because there he is, Diego - in this pretty white dress, sticky fucking hard beneath the lace, and that fucking nipple ring is just mocking Klaus, fucking mocking him.  Diego looks so fucking good. So fucking clean . Klaus can feel himself shaking, but Diego’s just watching. He’s just watching with those big doe eyes of his and Klaus is the King of the Goddamn World .

 

He gets to fucking ruin that.

 

“Do you know what you look like, Gogo?” He asks, dragging his mouth over Diego’s, and drowning on the shuddery shake of his own voice. “You look like my wife .”

 

When Diego tangles their fingers together this time, Klaus doesn’t lose himself....he sinks to his knees.

 

Diego looks so fucking good...Klaus wants to worship him.

 

He feels slippery, feels sloppy, as he drags his cheek over Diego’s cock, lace catching on his trimmed beard. Diego keeps their fingers tangled against his own hip, even as Klaus uses his other hand to frantically push at the fabric. Diego helps, freehand scrabbling to hold it high against his chest and they’re not speaking no, they’re barely breathing and Klaus is fairly certain he’ll die if he doesn’t---



Fuck---Fuck---

 

Klaus can take him all. All at once, the thick fat head pressing hard at the back of his throat and he wants it to hurt, wants to choke on it, gag on it, all spit and sputter. And there’s Diego’s hand, untangling from his own to slip into his hair, ripping Klaus back and it hurts and Klaus wants to fall right into the pain and never come out. “ Gogo .”

 

“If I don’t get too, you don’t get too,” And Klaus has never regretted not letting some fresh little twink gag on his cock more, but he’d told Diego no because he loves Diego and Diego doesn’t know he’s pushing on a bruise, doesn’t know how much Klaus loves it. Diego yanks him to his feet and Klaus cock is raw and angry red, precome spilling sticky where it lays against his stomach and he lets himself be flipped and ushered, flat-back against the wall. Diego fucking---He holds the dress up, gets his dick against Klaus and Klaus thinks---He thinks he might be crying . “Fuck me. Fuck me. Fuck me---Diego, shit, just---”

 

Diego’s hands are frantic, a push and pull war inside him. “You’re not - we didn’t---”

 

“I’ve been riding dick almost as long as you’ve been touching yours, it’s fine. Just fucking----” And Diego’s there, shoving Klaus back, holding him up as he kicks Klaus knees farther apart. There’s Diego’, lifting one of Klaus' legs up over his hips, then the other---fuck---the---other---

 

Klaus hand’s slap against the wall, looking for anything, leverage, his sanity and he lied when he said it was fine - it’s a tight fucking fit and yeah, it’s dry - but God----

 

“Easy, easy, go easy,” Diego says, steadying Klaus.  He’s still inside him, the white lace crushed between them and Klaus cock is hard, so fucking hard---

 

Klaus is falling in love.

 

Diego’s balls deep in him sure, balls deep in his brother, but he’s falling in love and he can’t help but wonder, I mean you really have to wonder----

 

Would it be too much to ask----

 

That Diego loves him back?

 

And as Diego tangles their fingers together, even as he presses Klaus into the wall---fucking up into him with hard, staccato snaps of his thick hips - Klaus thinks---

 

He fucking thinks----

 

It would really fucking hurt if Diego didn’t love him back.

 

***

 

When he comes, it’s with one hand pinned against the wall, and his teeth locked into the meat of Diego’s thumb, where he’s slipped into Klaus' mouth.  He comes all over the lace, where it’s tangled between them. Diego fucks him through it, pressing hard down on his tongue and Klaus feels his knees go weak as Diego comes too, biting so hard into Klaus' throat like he’ll float away if he doesn’t hold on.

 

He kisses Klaus when he’s done. Just kisses him, their fingers still tangled, his other hand holding Klaus with soft, careful pressure. He presses his forehead to Klaus’s, presses a dry kiss to his cheek and he’s still pressed inside Klaus, soft and stick - Klaus has never done this before.

 

They’re holding hands . They’re breathing together, the rise and fall of their chests making space for the other. Klaus is swaddled in soft lace and thick, tanned arms and he feels sticky, he feels like syrup, slow and smooth and sweet. He’d melt into a drippy, slipping puddle if it wasn’t for Diego’s hand, holding his jaw, and Diego’s mouth kissing him softly.

 

Klaus feels compelled to hold him too.  And so, he does, hand gliding up Diego’s exposed chest, slipping beneath the fabric, palms catching across that fucking ring . He lets his palms curve and wander, sliding down the planes of Diego’s body, scars and muscle, and hair.  Diego’s undeniably masculine in form. And he smiles against Klaus' mouth. Like Klaus has done something right.

 

They end up in his bed, the bodice of the dress shoved down to Diego’s hips and Klaus with a pair of leggings hanging half off his left shin. He wakes to Ben tugging it the rest of the way free and easing the dress down the rest of Diego’s legs.

 

Klaus moves back, making room for Ben between them on the bed. He makes room for him on instinct, carving out a space between him and Diego.  Ben’s sleepy and warm, and Diego rolls to his side, arm slipping over his waist, fingers reaching for Klaus. They did this sometimes when they were little. With more clothes, of course. And less hand-holding.

 

(slightly less hand-holding)

 

***

 

The next time he wakes up, Diego’s pressing a kiss to his temple and ruffling Ben’s hair. He’s shower-damp and dressed in leather.   He’s kissing them goodbye . Klaus reaches out a sleepy hand to catch Diego’s, hooking their pinkies together. He could say---he could say a lot of things. Be safe. Come home. Don’t go. But none feel right.

 

“Bring home food,” Ben grunts, from where he’s buried in Klaus armpit. The dress is hanging off a hanger on the back of Klaus door, a different kind of ghost “And turn the fucking light off, shit .”

 

***

 

He can’t look Diego in the eye. He can’t . It’s on his face. Diego will fucking see it. Klaus certainly feels filled up to his eyeballs with something decidedly unbrotherly and unsexual, and he’s not certain there’s room for it in his stretched-thin body, what with the brother-fucking and childhood trauma and PTSD war flashbacks.

 

He’s only fallen in love once before.

 

Dave .

 

Dave is a hole in his heart, that only aches when he suddenly remembers . A hole in his heart he pushes at every once in a while, just to make sure it still fucking hurts. The same way you lick at the gap where a tooth has fallen out.

 

But before---

 

Before .

 

Dave was the soft ground after a hard fall.  Dave was that fine line between sobriety and shit-faced drunk.  Dave was warm beer and dusty air. Dave was the dryest Klaus had been since he was a child - not the cleanest, but the brightest .

 

Dave smiled like the sun rose, and Klaus had never felt so warm than when he’d found himself in the light of it.

 

Diego doesn’t feel like that. Nothing so poetic.

 

Diego’s the first blinding blight of light searing into his wide pupils as the iron doors of the mausoleum creak open. He’s the press of familiar sheets, cold against his skin, softest thing on Earth after the dirty carved stone.  

Diego’s waking up to sunlight spilling soft grey through filth covered windows, head split wide open on a hangover-headache, mouth dry, eyes red - but waking up.   Waking up.

 

Dave was a pink and orange sunrise, and slow dancing discos.

 

Dave was sweet .

 

Dave was sweet .  Diego’s the hand on your stomach, staunching the blood. He’s relief .

 

He can’t look Diego in the eye - but Ben can see right through him.

 

He drags Klaus to the closet, tucks them both up, backs against the wall.  Sticky lace hangs between them, the bleachy dried-come scent very telling, very loud...but Ben takes his hand anyway, beneath the ruffles. “You okay?”

 

“I love you,” Klaus says, and the words taste odd. They are a thing better more often shown than spoken. “You know?”

 

“‘Course.” Klaus feels Ben shift on the other side of the makeshift curtain.  “That hasn’t really changed, you know. I thought it might.”

 

Realistically, Klaus knows Ben probably worried things would get weird between them, but he’s too stuck on the that hasn’t really changed part. “It hasn’t changed, has it?”

 

“No.” Ben shrugs. “I don’t feel different. You’re my brother. I love you.”

 

“Right. Right.” And it’s true - Klaus feels no different for Ben, and there’s something satisfying that Ben should feel the same. Except. “I think I’m in love with Diego.”

 

There’s an extraterrestrial stillness in the way Ben freezes beside him. “ Oh ?”

 

There’s no sane way to put into words --- to say, all those brief moments of respite in his shitty life, all those shocking, bone-chilling moments of relief----

 

That’s Diego.  That's what Diego feels like. Nothing so warm as sunlight and beer by a campfire. Nothing so quaint as kissing in the back of a bar. Nothing so charming as sepia-cast memories, hazy as a 1970’s peace-loving night. Memories of Dave are crushed velvet against your palms as they drift up firm thighs.

 

Diego’s a sense of home.  A sense that things can be okay, despite (or perhaps in spite of) their childhood. Things are okay.

 

How could Klaus ever say all that to Ben ?

 

But he doesn’t have too, not really.  Ben pats his knee. “I don’t think he’d mind.”

 

“That sounds about right. I love someone, and they’re okay with it.” Klaus snorts and pushes the dress aside, so he can get his arms around Ben and smush him down on the floor of the closet, right across shoes and fallen shirts. Ben goes under with a squeal, lean limbs flailing. Klaus licks his cheek.

 

Ben’s pushing his hands into Klaus jeans when Klaus feels a weird wave of new nostalgia sweep him away. “No no---” he wriggles until Ben removes is hand, and rolls his hips, palms planted firmly on either side of Ben’s head. “It’s been a minute since we’ve done it like this---”

 

“It’s been like a month, and that’s because I last long enough to get our pants off now,” Ben argues, with frustrated rolls of his narrow hips and Klaus is just so---

 

So---

 

So absurdly pleased , by the way nothing changed at all, and the way he fits between the spread of Ben’s pale thighs.

 

He gets them both off with deep, rolling grinds of his hips, with his toes pressed against the far wall for leverage. There’s something silly, something goofy , about dry humping on the floor of your childhood closet, and that’s before you consider the body you’re dry humping belongs to your brother.  Klaus laughs, unexpected and bright, and it shakes right through him, and Ben laughs too - incredulous, exasperated, horny. “C’mon asshole,” he whines, knocking the heel of his palm into Klaus' shoulder. “Do it right.”

 

Klaus nips at him, not sharply.  No matter how he’s seen Ben shake all over for Diego’s heavy hand - Klaus can’t.  He drags his teeth so lightly, over Ben’s jaw. “Diego’s let you get mouthy .”

 

Ben bares his teeth and Klaus can’t stand it. “Diego lets me----”

 

He kisses him, deep and dirty before Ben can finish that sentence and possibly Klaus too.  He could very easily strip them both bare and fuck Ben right here. There’s lube in a box to their left, and Benny --- Benny wouldn’t say no.

 

Instead, he gets a hand under Ben, so he can drag him up into his lap, cock riding the line of his ass. Ben gasps, hands knocking into the walls, the shoe boxes until his fingers curl into ivory lace. “How hard,” he asks, between particularly hard thrusts, “do you think Diego would come, if when I---when I finally fuck his ass, I call it a pussy?”




Chapter Text



Ben isn’t in love with his brothers. 

 

He thinks that might be simpler, a cleaner sort of feeling than the writhing, tentacle-deep gut feeling that he would rip himself open into a portal to vast and horrible monsters, to protect them. He’s not in love with them, but he loves them.  He’d die for any of his siblings - has died. He might be, perhaps, a little more quick to draw the Eldritch Monsters for Klaus, and somehow Diego has found himself in their pocket too. 

 

He loves all his brothers and sisters. He’s not in love with any of them. 

 

And he thinks about that, about how he's never had a chance to fall in love with somebody. Life had never really volunteered the opportunity, what with his militant childhood and the following swift, abrupt death. 

 

He wonders, had he lived...would he have found someone? Would he have felt that way for anyone? Was he born with numbness in that part of his heart, or was it Death that made him numb? There’s no sure way to tell, so Ben supposes there’s no reason to dwell on it.  

 

(He thinks it’s a no, anyway.)

 

None of them had ever learned any sort of healthy relationship skills.  They weren’t taught about the implicit trusts that made up love. Not at all; they had learned from a young age, that they were different. And that the rest of the world would never understand. Their childhood left them desperate for companionship, but woefully unable to forge bonds. They have no metric to gauge what is healthy, and what is batshit crazy.  Both nature and nurture were against them in this; they’re weird . Segregation proved this. They were born by what some would call miracles and others abominations (Ben falling into the latter for sure).  They’re different, they’re wired differently, and no one not so desperately unwanted by their biological mother that she’d sell them to a stranger...no one so different as that could fall so easily in love with anything normal . Anything so benign, so simple. Their adoptive parents were the man who bought them, and the robot he created, with occasional appearances by an overly-sentient primate living in their servants quarters. So it makes sense...why they all failed so miserably at forming healthy relationships. 

 

(Why they can’t seem to love anyone but each other.)

 

Allison had used her powers, for fuck sake. Five’s only relationship to date was with a mannequin he imprinted on when Apocalypse insanity took hold, creating a reflection of his own pragmatic psyche to care for him when there was no one else.  Vayna had followed blindly the first man to pay her any attention, and it’s a thing that absolutely happened because of their childhood, that they don’t talk about. Luther made it to thirty before fucking a stranger....and then committedly fucking his sister. Ben was corporeal for all of six seconds before kissing his brother. Klaus---Klaus wore relationships the way he used to wear underwear: a fresh pair, two or three days at a time,  before throwing them out, feeling just a little filthy, even as he reached for the next. 

 

And then - Diego. 

 

Diego had a girlfriend. Like a real one. Once. And it absolutely, hands down, no  contest, makes him the official authority on healthy relationships in the Hargreeves Family. That’s the golden standard. That’s a success. Christ

 

So it fucking makes sense. And he thinks about that, about how he's never had a chance to fall in love with somebody.

 

(Ben has the notion that it’s an obscure, out-of-control feelings. He’s all too familiar with such things and thinks, very firmly, it’s just not for him.        

 

It makes sense what's happening between Allison and Luther, between Diego and Klaus. It makes sense that they'd form those kinds of bonds.  Ben just...doesn't feel it. He loves them the same way he loved them as a child, it hasn't changed for him. And that doesn't make him sad, he doesn't feel left out. He's pleased, sort of, in a liquid way that sits bubbling sweetly in the pit of his stomach. He's happy for them.

 

But that's all he is. Just happy. He's happy, the way things are. He likes it. He's happy. He doesn't need to be in love with his brothers to just...be happy.

 

Klaus seems keen to ignore his admission, content to carry on as if nothing’s changed. And Ben thinks  - it would be easy to let him. Easy to believe nothing changed for Klaus because nothing changed for Ben.  Except, Ben’s not sure he’s of change, not sure he isn’t frozen as was at sixteen. Klaus is not Ben, Klaus is always changing, bleeding and blending like a drippy, melting rainbow. He is blue, he is green, he is blinding white and black.  It would be easy to believe nothing changed for Klaus if Ben didn’t know him at all. But Ben does. And he knows that the way the wind blows changes Klaus, the way the cracks in the sidewalk reach to the west instead of the east change him, how long it takes for the light to turn green when Diego takes them to get breakfast changes him.  He’s not shackled to one discernable path, not like Ben. He’s not stubbornly consistent and set in his ways like Diego.  Klaus sheds his skin as the day demanded, he was adaptable, malleable, fluid.

 

So it’s not easy to believe nothing’s changed for Klaus. Not easy at all. Ben can’t. And watching Klaus pretends hurts, tender and sweet. Ben can do nothing; no one can make Klaus do anything he doesn’t want to do, but especially face any illusion of emotional reality.  Thirteen years of trauma-induced drug addiction can attest to that. 

 

He probably wouldn’t mind. 

 

He probably wouldn’t mind, Ben had said. Diego probably wouldn’t mind . That’s what Ben had said when Klaus told him he loved Diego. And Klaus had laughed, all agreeable and chagrined and pinned Ben to the floor to kiss him silly and get him off, like nothing had changed, like nothing was going to change and Ben had let him, instead of saying - Diego loves you, Klaus. Diego loves you. 

 

Maybe that’s for the better (it doesn’t feel for the better).  Maybe Ben’s not an authority on Diego’s love (he absolutely isn’t). He honestly couldn’t tell you if Diego was in love with Klaus (wouldn’t know how to tell). Maybe Ben would like to say that’s why he didn’t say anything (but...it isn’t). 

 

There’s no taking it back now. Ben said it. Klaus accepted it for what it was (a bag of fucking suck). They both went about their business. 

 

Except - Klaus is Ben’s business, and he’ll fuck a bitch up for suggesting otherwise.  All the Hargreeves siblings would like to say they have a vested interest in Klaus well being, but none of them - not even Diego - can say they were there when shit was hard . None but Ben.  Ben told himself at a very young age - watching Klaus spiral a little faster and faster, thirteen turning to sixteen on a dead man's curve at eighty miles an hour - he told himself, with the taste of blood in the back of his mouth...he’d never leave Klaus. And he hadn’t. Not even in death. 

 

So maybe Ben’s not in love with his brother, but he’d dare you to suggest he didn’t love him with everything he had. He might be dead, he might be sixteen and thirty-something all at once, but Ben knows what love is, and he loves Klaus.

 

So watching Klaus go on as if nothing has changed?

It hurts. 

 

Watching Diego also watch, and fail to fucking realize what’s happening---

Burns

 

Klaus is flirting with the barista. A pretty, dainty, twenty-four-year-old blonde girl with a septum piercing and four visible cat tattoos. Her name is Delaney ; she’s just finishing up her master's degree in molecular biology and she’s honestly fucking awesome, Ben thinks. She’s actually quite great. Petite, and pretty, with big stars in her eyes as she watches Klaus tell stories with his whole damn body.  She gives Ben a free blueberry muffin while asking if she can borrow his big brother for the night and Ben could honestly do without that, but he likes muffins, and he’s accepted that he at least looks younger. (All the time Diego spends calling him little brother acclimated him to the idea.) So he takes his muffin from the pretty redhead muffin girl at the end of the counter and minds his business. 

 

For now. 

But it’s hard. 

 

Diego? Diego’s aggressively drinking his seasonally inappropriate peppermint mocha frappuccino, the one eyebrow furrowed in anger, and the other eyebrow furrowed in equal confusion. He has no idea why Klaus is writing down his number - their shared home phone number - up this sweet, clueless grad students forearm in thick, black sharpie, or why it’s pissing him off. 

 

Ben gives in after Diego’s third heavy, huffy sigh, and kicks Klaus in the back of the leg. “There’s a line,” he says, but there is no line, so he looks very pointedly at the door. “It was nice to meet you, Delany.” 

 

She smiles brightly, the little gap between her front teeth almost too cute, and says so cheerfully, “you too, Benny!” that he almost feels bad for the twitch his dick gives at hearing that name from her voice. He’s conditioned . Sue him. 

 

(His dick is sixteen. His dick is gonna be sixteen forever. He despairs .)

 

Outside the coffee shop, Klaus is looking very pleased with himself, and Diego drops his drink, not even halfway finished, directly into one of New York’s dank overflowing public trash cans. “This place sucks,” he mutters, cramming his hands into the front pocket of his jeans. This place does not suck. Diego loves this place. Diego showed them this place. Ben fucking despairs, even more deeply, a whirlpool of idiocy ripping him back and forth, and he is helpless to the both of them - the fucking assholes. He still couldn’t say for certain if Diego was in love with Klaus, but he’s fairly certain they’re both too traumatized to work out their emotions in any kind of healthy way. That stands to reason on a rather broad spectrum actually, with or without the pseudo-incestual affairs. 

 

And because Ben’s never known Klaus to be anything but clever, he watches Klaus zero in on Diego’s pouting. On Diego’s weakness.  Misery, as Ben has come to know, loves company. “Awww,” he says, weaseling his way to Diego’s side, so he can elbow him sharply in the ribs because they weren’t hugged enough as children to know how to be gentle, but they all still crave that physical touch. Klaus knows Diego’s upset, knows Diego’s upset because of him, but because he’s also a genuinely awful person at times, he chooses the path of willful blindness.  “Don’t be jelly, Gogo. Maybe she’ll let you watch. Maybe she’ll let you join .”



Diego’s eyes slide to Ben’s, but Ben can’t help him. Not with this. The pocket has no sides; they’re all in it together. “I don’t want to watch you fuck the coffee girl, ”  he seethes, all quite acid and a scowl. 

 

Ben at Klaus’ side, together they watch Diego stomp off into the sunset, and Ben thinks - it’s about fourteen-blocks back to the mansion, and Diego’s car is...parked on the curb beside them. He doesn’t stop, either hasn’t noticed he’s going the wrong way or is (more likely) too stubborn to turn back around. Diego would rather die , than ever admit to making a mistake. He’d rather walk home. 

 

But again - it’s fourteen blocks back to the mansion, and the sky is bruised in pink and purple, swelling fat and staticky with the promise of rain. Ben turns and punches Klaus hard in the arm, angling his hand so his knuckles dig deep. “Now we have to walk home, you asshole.” 

 

Klaus knows.  Klaus knows what he’s doing. Just as Ben has no idea, Klaus couldn’t say whether or not Diego’s maladjusted enough to fall in love with his brother.  Diego always seemed like the most functioning of the bunch, actually. A steady job, reasonable goals, healthy eating habits, no morbid depression or Peter-Pan syndrome, no fictional relationships with mannequins.  It’s hard to say if he’s broken enough to fall in love with Klaus. But in true Klaus fashion, he’s already accepted that Diego probably doesn’t love him, and the probably eats at him as all uncertainty does. And as he can’t be certain Diego could ever love him, he latches onto the one thing he can control; making himself as unlovable as possible.  This is Klaus, taking control the only way he knows how; by being spectacularly fucking awful

 

Ben braces himself for the cruelty, and Klaus does not disappoint. 

 

(Klaus isn’t so free as Diego would believe. Klaus married pain a long time ago. And when the world is out of control, it’s pain that Klaus finds comfort in.)

 

“Go then.” He shrugs, hands loose at his side, Hello and Goodbye, and he’s smirking half-cocked with the devil in his eye and Ben knows that whatever Klaus has to say to hurt him, he’ll hurt himself with too. A double-edged sword, that mouth of his. “You don’t have to walk home Benny,” he says, baring his teeth in a wolf’s smile. “You can leave whenever you want.” 

 

It doesn't hurt like Klause probably wants it too. Ben's been in his pocket for too long.

 

In fact, he's even learned a few things. 

 

That isn’t to say it doesn’t hurt. It does. It’s an ache that haunts Ben - a fear that he’s ruined Klaus life, that maybe he’d have been okay if his dead brother hadn’t suckered right onto his soul, a spectral reminder of their bitter past, cast in sixteen-year-old stone. A constant reminder of a childhood they cannot escape. 

 

(Maybe it hurts exactly the way Klaus intended.)

 

"You'd fucking love that, " he says, pushing up into Klaus space,  chest to chest. They’re nearly eye to eye - Klaus isn’t that much taller, it’s just his shadow that takes up the most space.  "Then you could throw yourself a little pity party about how no one loves you, and you're all alone...conveniently forgetting that it's your own damn fault .” 

 

Klaus scoffs. “He chose to leave.”  The sky bursts over them, spilling dainty drops of rain that catch in Klaus ridiculous eyelashes. If he cried, Ben might not even know. 

 

“Because you’re being a fucking dick .” Ben shoves Klaus shoulder, feeling himself flicker and fade the way he only ever did when overly emotional. “Believe it or not - leaving situations that hurt you is actually pretty fucking normal, Klaus! That’s a healthy emotional response! Cutting yourself on the things that hurt you isn’t. You’d turn Diego into another knife to cut yourself on and then claim he fucking stabbed you. How is that fucking fair?” Before Klaus could answer, Ben continues. “What did he do to deserve that?” 

 

Klaus rolls his eyes, and steps away, turning his body from Ben. “You’re making a big deal out of nothing. It isn’t even like that.” 

 

“Diego’s upset. You wanted him upset. Just like you’re trying to hurt me.” Because Ben can’t fucking leave. Ben can’t ever fucking leave. Ben’s the parasite buried deep in Klaus' gut, and he’ll die for real without him, he’ll suck him dry, sharing his soul. Even when he fades, even when he flickers - Klaus can find him. Ben can never leave, he can never move on. So long as Klaus is alive, Ben remains. And Klaus is a goddamn cockroach. “You wanna act like I’m a burden now that you’ve brought me back to life? Fine. Go ahead. I think it all the fucking time, Klaus. But you don’t get to do that to Diego. He’s not some fucking sugar daddy you’re trying to shake off. He’s your goddamn brother , no matter what else happens, and if you can’t manage to fuck him with at least some level of respect, you don’t deserve to fuck him at all.”  An absurd sentence. A brand new sentence. Ben’s sure no one’s ever uttered it before. 

 

He watches as the cut of Klaus jaw twitches and tightens. "Protecting Diego now, huh? Thought nothing changed, Benny. Or was it that nothing changed between you and me? I think if you hurry, you can probably catch up to him.” 

 

"I'm not protecting Diego, you absolute cunt .” He’s so mad. He’s so fucking mad . He feels as helpless as he did as an intangible ghost, watching Klaus foam at the mouth, unconscious on the floor. He might be crying, but Klaus would never know, as the rain comes harder, soaking through their clothes. Klaus is hurting himself, and Ben can’t do a single fucking thing about it and it’s infuriating and distressing and he feels himself flicker, feels his fingertips fade. He curls them into balls at his side. “ I'm protecting you. From you! But if you wanna keep being absolutely awful, fine. Fine . But you’re not bringing her back to the house."

 

“Yeah?” Klaus laughs, throwing his head back and the sweet curve of his throat, where Ben had woke up only this morning, is a cruel but fueling stretch of skin. Ben knows what needs to be done. “What are you going to do about it, Benny?” 

 

Without warning, ...he leans up and kisses Klaus. Deep, messy,  the way Diego does, licking his way inside, both rude and angry and unlike him.  Klause reacts on instinct, wrapping his arms around Ben and the damage is done by the time he realizes they're in public on a street corner.  He turns and catches Delaney's scandalized face through the mirror. She’s scrambling out from behind the counter, disappearing into the back room, and Ben knows - she’s not going to call. 

 

The muffin girl, in juxtaposition, is...watching. And possibly taking notes. 

 

" Fuck ," Klaus mutters, turning back to Ben. "Oh wipe that fucking smug look of your face,  and I'll call us a goddamn taxi."

 

“I love you,” Ben says, instead of anything else. “But you can’t do this anymore. I couldn’t stop you before, but I can now. You’re not doing this anymore.” 

 

Klaus’s face changes, smoothing out and slipping when he looks back at Ben, who hasn’t moved a single step on the sidewalk. “I’m not even doing anything.” 

 

“You think this isn’t like one of your fucking benders?” Ben supposes, from Klaus end, it isn’t. But it hurts Ben the same way to watch. “You’re hurting yourself to escape reality because you’re not in control and you can’t handle that. You don’t care who you hurt in the process. Me. Diego. Yourself. That girl - you don’t even like that girl. But you’d bring her back just to parade her through the house.  And she’d call the next day, and you’d ignore her, or maybe Diego would answer, maybe she’d keep calling. But you’ll never answer. So she’ll be hurt, and Diego would be hurt, and you’ll be hurt, and angry and mean, and you’ll sooth that bruise by picking someone else up, and doing it again. And yeah, Diego will leave. Diego will leave the situation that causes him pain, because Diego has, on some obscure level, one or two mildly acceptable coping mechanisms. But you know what he’ll do? He’ll throw himself into his vigilante bullshit. He’ll move back to the gym where no one can see him bleeding out, or sewing up his own stitches. And he’ll probably die that way, on the floor of a basement boiler room, just the way we worry about now . He comes back to the mansion now, because we worry and he doesn’t want us to worry, do you know why?” 

 

Klaus' face is stone, pale white and fraught. “I’m sure you’ll tell me,” he says, failing to capture that snide dissonance he so favors. “Well. Carry on with storytime, Benny.” 

 

“Because he loves us, asshole.” Ben doesn’t have the strongest understanding of love. His interactions with love have been limited, to...essentially Klaus.  But Diego folds their clothes when they leave them in piles on the ground. And he kisses their foreheads when he slips out in the night. He makes them both eat vegetables. He wants to teach them how to drive. He inquires, awkwardly, about their emotional state from time to time.  Ben feels loved, by Diego (Klaus too, in his Klaus way). “Maybe he just loves us as brothers but...I mean shit , Klaus.  He does love us.” 

 

He watches Klaus body unfold, deflate, dragging his shoulders down and curling his spine in on itself like a white-capped wave. “I don’t do feelings, Benny.  I numb them or I turn them sour. I don’t pine and hope and make myself sick with it.” 

 

“You feel things more deeply than anybody, Klaus. You do feelings, you let them wreck you. It’s okay--- It’s gonna be okay, no matter what. You can love him. You can be in love with him. But you can’t decide he’ll never love you like that for him. That’s not fair.” 

 

“We’re not just talking about circle jerking under the covers, Ben. We’re not just talking about sex. This is way more fucked up.” 

 

“So you love him. So you’re in love with him. Yeah - it’s fucked up. But fucked up is the only consistent thing we’ve ever had in our lives, so maybe just let yourself have this. Good or bad - he’s our brother, and he loves us.” 

 

“Right.”  Ben watches the proverbial steel curl up his cat-claw spine until he towered once more, shadows and light. “Shit. Christ. Fuck.” He takes Ben by the face, where they stand on the sidewalk in front of a coffee shop, and nothing else matters, not the Coffee Cart Girl, not societal ideals, not life or death, nothing.  He kisses Ben sweetly, on the forehead, on the nose. He kisses Ben’s mouth, once, then twice, and holds their foreheads together. 

 

“Christ. It’s pouring out, idiots! Get in the fucking car,” Diego hollers, where he’s idling on the sidewalk. “Are you really doing this here? What if that---girl, sees?” 

 

“She already saw,” Klaus said, simple and clean as he tucked Benny up under his arm and lead them to the car. “Benny gets a little jealous, apparently.” 

 

Ben---Ben lets that one slide. 

It’s not as easy as it used to be, to shimmy to that place between the now and gone, that grey space only Klaus could see, but Ben does. 

 

Benny does. 

 

“I think he’s feeling a little shy after the coffee shop,” Klaus lies, when Diego furrows his brow in the rearview mirror.  When Diego looks away, Klaus own eyebrows are furrowed too. 

 

“So he’s not in love with you,” Ben continues their conversation from the sidewalk, Diego oblivious to it all. “Making sure he could never love an asshole like you is the shitty, easy way out. What about making him fall in love with you, huh? You ever consider that?” 

 

Klaus clicks his tongue, mouth open and incredulous. “I’m sorry, are you---Ben, are you suggesting I---” 

 

“Romance him,” Ben suggests, because Klaus can’t finish that sentence anyway. “Yes. That’s exactly what I’m saying. Stop acting like a little bitch, and put the moves on Diego.”
 

Klaus huffs and licks along the edge of his top teeth. “Huh,” he says, eyeing Ben from the bottom up. “You’re one sick fuck, Benny Boy. But maybe you’re not wrong.” 

 

As Ben fades back into the living world, Diego clears his throat. “Something you didn’t want to share with the class?” His tone is vanilla-neutral, sweet and kind but Ben knows nothing bothers Diego more than being left out. 

 

“He was telling me to apologize,” Klaus lies again, and Ben would be upset with the rampant lying, but he’s an adult and he gets the necessity at times.  And in a way - Ben was telling Klaus to apologize. “For being a dick.” 

 

Diego’s gaze shifts right out of view in the mirror, but Ben can practically feel the scowly, flutter of his lashes. “It’s whatever.” 

 

“It’s not whatever,” Ben insists, driving his elbow into Klaus' ribs. “Tell him.” 

 

“Well, it won’t mean shit if it’s under duress!” He slaps Ben’s elbow, and curls his body away from him, pouting. “But I am sorry. It’s not whatever. If you’re not sleeping with other people, I’m not sleeping with other people.” 

 

It’s a big declaration for Klaus, who treats sex like recreation, the pleasure-button pressed over almost everything else, second only to hard drugs.  And he doesn’t do such drugs anymore, so sex is vital. 

 

(They have a lot of sex.) 

 

“What about Ben,” Diego says, in that flat, neutral tone of his. 

 

Klaus laughs, and pulls Ben back under the shelter of his long arm, sliding fingers into his hair. He doesn’t pull. He never does. But his nails scratch over Ben’s scalp in a way that turns his spine to liquid gold. 

 

(He’s a cat. He’s a fucking cat. Feed him. Pet him. Leave him alone.)

 

“What about Ben? I don’t think it’ll be an issue.  Allow me to be very presumptuous brothers mine, at this moment.  Benny,” Klaus enunciates the syllables as he flexes his fingers up to the shorn, pricklier hairs at the nape of Ben’s neck, making them ripple in pull in a tangible wave. He shivers all over, sinks into the feeling. Klaus is so good, and Ben is so easy. “Has managed to fly wildly past your bisexuality, and my pansexuality into the far darker and seedier kink of strictly homosexual incest.” Klaus shakes his head very gently, as his fingers dance upward, over the crown of his skull. “So unless he decides Five and Luther are looking good, he’s onboard for monogamy. Or...You know. The three-way equivalent.” 

 

“Polygamy,” Diego replies so fast, Ben is struck very suddenly with a vision of him hunched over a book in the public library, deeply researching exactly what they are. Polygamy. Christ. “Committed polygamy.” 

 

Ben would like to touch on that - on polygamy, on Diego absolutely researching how to define multiple partners, but Klaus' fingers pause where they’re dancing patterns along his scalp. “Committed, are we?” 

 

“If you’re not fucking other people, I’m not fucking other people.” Diego pairs these solemnly spoken words with a single-shoulder shrug. “Respect,” he says, quietly. “It’s an issue of respect. That girl.” There’s too hard an inflection on both that , and girl , and Ben watches Diego’s knuckles go white where they curl over the keyboard and he thinks - it won’t take much for Klaus to romance Diego. Not much at all. “That girl--- you couldn’t be honest with her. You couldn’t tell her the truth. That’s disrespectful. So if you want...” He yanks a hand off the wheel and brushes it roughly through his hair and Ben wants so badly to bite it - bite him right where the web stretches between his thumb and forefinger. “If you want to sleep with other people, it’s whatever . But if you want to sleep with other people, I don’t think we should...continue this.” 

 

And to his credit, Klaus mulls that over. He’s silent just long enough to give it actual thought, but not so long it becomes cruel. The concept of respectful sex is entirely foreign to him, Ben thinks. “If you’re not fucking other people, I’m not fucking other people,” he says again. “Benny?” 

 

“If you think it would be impossible to explain the sexual relationship you share with multiple brothers, try explaining that you’re partially dead and heavily reliant on your brother to remain corporeal.  Also, even if I wanted to date - I look sixteen. I don’t want to date sixteen-year-olds. I’m old .” 

 

“There’s a very viable market for older men looking to date sixteen-year-olds,” Klaus sings, with a lecherous grin. “Why, when I was sixteen---” Ben bites him , turning just enough to sink his teeth into the boney curve of Klaus' shoulder.  What Klaus did when he was sixteen was nothing short of masochism and depression and will not be spoken on as a joke, or for levity. No . “Hey! Ow! You little shit. Diego, you’re undoing all my fucking training---” 

 

Ben bites him again. “I am not a dog.” 

 

“No, you’re just a bad boy .” Before Ben’s brain can get over the weird, sharp, sudden sting those words upset in him, Klaus holds out his bitten hand. “Kiss it.” 

 

“You’re a toddler,” Ben seethes, but he does as he’s asked, and drags his tongue over the faint, fine marks his teeth left behind, before letting his lips brush the pale, soft skin there. 

 

“Better,” Klaus hums, moving his hand to cup Ben’s jaw. “Now, are you done whining at me? I have an apology to finish off.” 

 

There’s a slight inflection to the words finish off that leave Ben certain someone’s going to come before they get home. 

 

His eyes slide to Diego, and Klaus smiles.  

 

“I’m done whining,” Ben confirms, easing back so Klaus can disentangle himself. “Carry on.” 

 

It’s not an elegant maneuver, unfolding himself from the backseat and into the front seat like an origami swan, but Klaus manages. “Klaus,” Diego says, on an exasperated huff. “You don’t have to---” 

 

Klaus reaches over, scooting his way to the middle of the bench seat. “Yeah yeah, you got all jelly over some hipster. Shut up, I’m gonna blow you.” 

 

“I’m driving .” There’s a pause. “I wasn’t jealous. I just don’t think it’s right.” 

 

“And you’re not wrong, it’s not right. I’ve seen the error of my ways, Benny set me right. This car is very spacious with bench seats. Shut up.” He winks at Ben and disappears below his line of sight. Ben lets the liquid gold feeling in his spine drip and puddle low in his belly. He’s a little bit hard, palms sweaty where he drags them up and down his own thighs. The more he sees his brothers together,  the more he understands the appeal. He understands why Diego couldn't help but watch. 

 

They end up on the docks, parked near the rarely used scenic overpass, that looks out on murky, sludge water and moldering trash that decorates the edge of the river like depressing, sewer garland. Klaus already has Diego out of his pants. 

 

Ben stretches out in the back seat, a lazy, hazy grin spread across his mouth, the air thick with something .  Diego’s arm is stretched across the back of the bench seat, and Ben can’t see, but he knows his other arm, his other hand - it rests in Klaus' hair, torn between pulling and pushing.  They’re going to be okay, Ben thinks. They’re going to be just fine. 




Chapter Text

The fourth Friday of the month, Alan Bug - Diego’s boss- hosts an after-hours event where the top fighters at the top ten gyms in the city are pitted against each other. Ten boxers. Ten fights. The winner moves up. Diego fights for Al - every month, no contest, although they do keep trying. Al makes a joke about Diego mopping his floors, but they both know what he means is ‘wiping the floor with upstart punks”. 

 

It’s big money - a majority of Diego’s income comes from Al’s top tenners. Diego’s never ranked lower than 5. 

 

But - he’s never made it to number one. 

 

(It’s not a thing he’s hung up about, it’s not). 

 

He stays in the petty competitions that pepper the rest of the month, but the final big brawl... Diego wants it.  He’s placed second this month - the highest he’s ever managed - and first place...

 

It’s right there. 

 

Diego’s squaring up for his first fight when he sees him. 

 

And while Diego would like to say he was hard to miss - well, that would only be half a lie. He’s not hard to miss. He stands out like Gods among men. It’s just - 

 

Diego very nearly did not recognize him.  

 

His double-take earns him a solid punch to the jaw, but even that isn’t enough to fully steal his attention away from Klaus. 

 

Tall, lean Klaus, with his wide stride - those spider legs of his covered neatly in starched, pressed slacks that fit him the same way Diego fits inside of him ( tightly ).  And if Diego tugged at the collar, he’d find the brilliant, purple bruises he left this morning, to match the color of his shirt.  His beard is trimmed and neat, all fine lines and the faintest hint of grey catching at the corners of his mouth (he’s too young, to be going grey, but it suits him. God -it suits him).  He’s styled his hair, combed it back and shaved down the sides and he looks---

 

He looks like a man

 

He looks like a dangerous man. 

 

His presence is commanding, demanding attention and bleeding the faintest tickle of fear in the back of any onlookers throat. Death did that, Diego thought. Animal instinct, that gut-reaction.  He barely blocks another hit as he watches Klaus cut through the crowd, both hands shoved into the front pockets of his charcoal slacks. He turns, just a little, and catches Diego’s eye. Smiles a little when Diego has to throw himself back to dodge an elbow.

 

He raises a brow and licks his pink lips. Well ? Diego can almost hear his voice. The emphasis and lilt. God - Klaus is pretty . Didn’t know I came to watch you get your ass handed to you, Gogo. 

 

They’ve never come to watch him fight. His siblings. None of them. Some of his old Police Academy buddies used the gym and happened to be there during his fights, but no since Eudora has come to watch him. 

 

And yet...Klaus is inexplicably here on the biggest night of Diego’s professional fighting life, looking grown and fierce and proud and Diego punches the punk from Tony’s Eastside Rec Center so hard, it’s a single-hit knockout. His bloody smile is most likely frightening, but Diego can’t help it. Klaus...is here. 

 

The Ref’s calling it, even as Diego’s backing away, the sweaty small of his back bumping the ropes. All he can see is Klaus, with his cat-like grin, grey eyes light with delight and violence.  Diego licks the corner of his mouth where the skin is split, blood pooling his mouth. He turns to spit, and when he looks back up?

 

Klaus is still watching. 

 

***

 

Diego was the first fight of the night, and there are three more matches before his next.  He’d been too preoccupied with the thought of finding Klaus to really clean himself up, but the majority of the blood is gone from his face, and there’s really nothing to be done about the sweat sticking to his temples. 

 

He spots Klaus near the make-shift bar, holding a foggy plastic cup in hand.  Diego can almost hear the ice-cubes clink against each other, as he watches Klaus stare into the cup, a smile curling up his mouth.  He’s nodding, talking to some punk from another gym. Diego’s seen him around before, never cared to catch his name - Jimmy maybe, he looks like a douche bag Jimmy. He’s not a fighter, maybe just a fan. Diego doesn’t know. Doesn’t care. He’s too preoccupied watching Klaus’ pale lips form his name, as his eyes move to catch him through the sweep of his dark lashes. “There he is,” Klaus is saying, eyes lighting up. 

 

For Diego. 

 

His feet must carry him, must cut across the floor because between one blink and the next, he’s there, grinning up just a little at his brother. “Hey. You’re here. You’re here . Why are you here?” 

 

Hey . Hey. That’s all he has.  Hey, and why are you here?

 

Klaus feigns a slow hit across Diego’s jaw, barely grazing his skin, with the same hand holding his plastic cup. Diego wants to catch his hand and kiss his palm, for fuck's sake. What the hell is this?  “Came to watch you get popped in the mouth in a different room, I guess. The change of scenery is nice, but if this is the level of effort to be expected, I’m leaving.” 

 

He’d never leave, and Diego wonders at how he knows it for truth. 

 

“Luther never gets those kinds of hits in.” There’s none of the knee-jerk grumping Diego usually can’t help but prickle with; he’s just smiling. Klaus is here. And he looks good . So good, in fact, Diego momentarily loses his fucking mind . “You get all dressed up for me, baby?” He’s already slipping his hand around Klaus' waist when it fucking hits him that this --- is his brother . They are in public. This isn’t --- this isn’t the alley behind the club, this isn't it a safe space. This is televised (on the local public access channels, but it is televised). “I---I uh. I like it.” 

 

Klaus isn’t upset about Diego’s wandering hands or fat fucking mouth if the curve of his smirk is anything to go by.  Diego just hopes he hasn’t already introduced himself as his brother, yet. “You know I love a reason to stand out in a crowd. If I knew these pants would get me this much attention, I’d have worn them sooner.” 

 

Diego snatches the cup from his hands, braces himself for something, and finds that it’s just water. He ignores Klaus’ exasperated eye roll and knocks the whole thing back, ice stinging the split corner of his mouth, before tossing the whole thing in the nearest trash can with awkward, boxing-gloved hand. “So who's your friend?” He doesn’t look at the douche-bag as he asks, just holds Klaus’ gaze.  He refuses to pitch a fit. The coffee shop had been a fluke and Diego hadn’t---reacted in an appropriate fashion. 

 

“James,” Klaus introduces. “A former client of mine. James, this is Diego.” There is no identifier added to that, but given the way that Diego’s slowly wrapping himself around Klaus - body betraying his firm decision to not be a jealous asshole - an identifier is probably not needed. 

 

(Except for the fact that Diego’s his brother. They’re brothers.)

 

Client . A client could mean a lot of things. A client could mean someone who bought drugs off Klaus. Could mean someone who picked him up on a street corner. Could mean someone who tucked singles in his socks because it’s all he was left wearing by the end of his song. 

 

“It’s uh...It’s been a few years since I saw you working the Docks,” James says and Diego feels his blood pressure double. “You just...You look incredible, Klaus. You look...different.”

 

Klaus snorts. “Well, I’m fully clothed this time.”  

 

And yeah - Diego doesn’t like him. Diego doesn’t like him.  Standing there, in his fucking khakis. He’s wearing goddamn boating shoes. They’re not on a goddamn boat. His button-up inexplicably has a banana embroidered onto the pocket and he just...looks like an asshole.  He looks like an asshole, and Diego wants to knock his fucking lights out. He looks like an asshole who's seen Klaus naked. Diego’s barefoot in nothing but his boxing shorts, compression shorts under that, and the black and red robe Al slipped over his shoulders, baring the Gyms name, and Diego’s title. He’s a little sweaty, hands still bound and restrained by the gloves. And he is in the exact mood to break some jaws, conveniently. “The docks?” he asks, through clenched teeth, whole body vibrating. 

 

“Strip club down by the river. James liked the skirts almost as much as you do, Gogo,” Klaus supplies kindly before Diego can do anything like put James head through a wall. “Well James, it’s been swell but you should probably go now.” 

 

With a skittish smile, James nods. “Yeah. Yeah - I’ll just...Go. Over.” He looks across the room, where the next pair of fighters are being lead to the ring. “There. You just---look amazing, Klaus. It was great seeing you. Glad to see you’re....” His gaze skitters nervously over to Diego. “Happy.” 

 

Klaus is laughing even before the little douche bags made it ten feet away. “I gotta say Gogo,” he hums, turning in Diego’s terribly familiar grasps. “You’re kind of turning me on right now. And these pants ain’t hiding anything.” 

 

Diego sighs with his whole body. Klaus isn’t lying. He’s fucking hard beneath those horribly well-fitted pants. “I recognize that your past lends itself to these kinds of incidents,” he says diplomatically, with closed eyes and clenched teeth. “But I withhold the right to fucking hate it.” He’s already ushering Klaus toward an exit, tension coiling in his shoulders. He’s a fucking asshole, okay. He’s an asshole. He’s an asshole with limited mobility in his hands currently. 

 

Klaus, to his credit, lets himself be manhandled through the crowd. “As my brother?” 

 

“Sure, Klaus. As your brother.” Say it a little louder, Diego thinks, a terrible fucking thrill going through him.  What an awful curse, he mourns, as he shoves Klaus into the stairwell and slams him square against the wall. “You really do look fucking incredible but like - you don’t gotta dress down for me. Wear whatever. It doesn’t matter.” Diego’s typically more interested in getting Klaus out of his clothes, these days.  

 

“I didn’t want to embarrass you,” Klaus admits, so candid and open, right there two inches from Diego’s face. What’s he supposed to do? Not kiss the shit out of him? When Diego finally lets him come up for air, his lips are bright and brilliant pink, swollen and bruised. “But I mean---shit. If I knew it would get me this kind of attention, I’d have done it sooner.” 

 

“Attention,” Diego echoes, dumbly, as he drags his mouth down Klaus jaw. He’s limited, in these fucking boxing gloves. “Baby, you---” No one knows Klaus is his brother here. This is fine. This is fine. Diego just yanked Klaus out to maul him in a stairwell, but it’s fine. “You got my attention.” He’s dragging his eyes down Klaus long, lean body, thinking - he’d hardly need his hands if he got on his knees when the stairwell door springs open. 

 

Al stares for a moment. A long, pinched-mouth moment. “You’re up in five, Di. You left the box. Refs gonna wanna check your gloves.” 

 

There’s really no way to deny what they’re up too.  Diego has Klaus pressed firmly into the wall, legs tangled, mouths red. Klaus looks curious.  “How long does it take to check the gloves?

Al frowns into his own generous jowls. “Thirty seconds. Less than a minute. Why?” 

 

“Then we still have four minutes left.” He doesn’t wait for Al to decide to leave, just pulls Diego right back in.  They meet in an open mouth crush and Diego thinks - this is what winning feels like. 

It’s rough - Diego’s blood is still singing from the fight and the misplaced rage and the way Klaus' hands move over his body. It’s rough and handsy, dirty raw up against a cement wall. And when he comes away, Klaus comes away panting . Diego grins against his breathless mouth, startling as the stairwell echoes with a series of sharp, pointed raps against the door. “That's me.” 

 

“Go get 'em, tiger.” Klaus snorts and punches him faintly in the pec. “I’ll be watching.” 

 

And that’s the thing, if nothing else, that puts wings on Diego’s feet. He’s floating, all stupid and spacey. “Thanks for coming.” 

 

“Yeah, yeah. Thank me later, hot stuff,” he slaps Diego on the ass and wipes his other hand through his disheveled hair.  “I want to see you punch people in the face. ” He winks and grins. “ Do it for daddy .” 

 

Diego flushes so immediately hot, his vision goes white and static at the edges and he feels dizzy . Breathless. Stupid . “No,” he says gruffly, Al calling from him only feet away. “ Hard no.” 

 

And in true Klaus-fashion, Klaus cups his cock - hard - over his trousers. “Hard something, for damn sure. Now quit busting balls and go bust some skulls.” 

 

***

 

Al hovers outside the locker rooms where the refs are waiting. “That uh---” He scratches at the bald patch atop his head, shiny with sweat and fluorescent lighting. “That there. Well. That was your brother.” 

 

And yeah - Diego supposes he forgot that Al’s met Klaus before.  “No, it wasn’t.” Diego’s first instinct is, absolutely, to lie. Except Al’s met Klaus before, second-handedly. Taken a handful of calls, too. Shit. “We’re adopted.” And God - that doesn’t sound great. “Our mother is a robot!” Also...not great. Their childhood is tragic. “Our father was an asshole?” 

 

“Look. I’m no stranger to childhood traumas. I’ve played therapist to a number of fellas that fell outta fucked up family trees. Boxing is therapeutic, ain’t it? Cathartic. But I gotta say; this is pretty fucked, Diego.” Al stares at him for a long moment, mouth pinched, but he ends it with a gusty sigh, and slaps a hand on Diego’s shoulder. “You’re a dark horse, son. But I suppose there are worse things. Didn’t yous kids all spontaneously  burst out of the womb, like aliens or some shit?” 

 

“Something like that.” Diego’s fairly certain it wasn’t anything so traumatic, although - he’s not a woman, and he can’t gauge finding yourself suddenly giving birth to a baby you were not pregnant with fifteen minutes ago, so who is he to talk about traumatic?

 

Al nods and squeezes his shoulder. “It was nice of him to come. Your family is kind of shit.” 

 

And that’s that. That’s....that. 

 

(It’s a relief.)

***

 

Diego’s floating. Diego’s on fire, but he’s floating and light. The ref manhandles his hands, checking for any alterations and Diego’s floating

He’s shoved into the ring, just as Klaus folds himself through the crowd, pushing to the front. Al’s rubbing his shoulders with gruff, meaty palms, and Klaus is blowing him a kiss and Diego is fucking floating

 

He’s thrown forward as the ref blows the whistle and Diego’s never felt so ready in his life.  He takes a hit, but he hardly feels it, his whole body alive and bright. Klaus is cheering from the crowd, long body leaning hard over the rail dividing the audience from the ring. He’s whooping, throwing his hands in the air and he looks so pleased, he looks so proud .  

 

Do it for daddy. 

 

And just like that - he’s two for two, single-hit knockouts. 

 

He can’t hear anything but the blood rushing in his ears as the Ref slaps the mats and calls the fight. He’s two for fucking two - single hit down .  He spits his mouthguard out just so he can fucking smile and Al’s walloping him on the back and shouting in aggressive Italian and Klaus---

 

Klaus is leaned over the ropes, right there - right fucking there . Diego takes his face between both gloves and kisses the fucking shit out of him.  It’s the thing to do. Right there, with the ropes digging into his stomach. And two hundred people watching. 

 

Klaus gets a hand in Diego’s awful, sweaty hair and yanks him back just enough to press their foreheads together. “Soft no?” 

 

It’s hot. The air is hot. Their breath, shared between them, is hot. The ugly, sticky thing bubbling in his belly, right beside the terrible filthy good thing Klaus put there, is hot.  Klaus palm where it curls over Diego’s burning red neck is hot. 

 

(doitfordaddydoitfordaddydoitfordaddy)

 

And God - how long has Diego spent trying to please their father. But their father is shit - pleasing Klaus is so much easier . His brother. This is his brother .  They’re fucked. It’s fucked. But Klaus is here, all dressed up and looking so thrilled and Reginald certainly never put himself out to come and see Diego fight. Klaus is here for him. The terrible, filthy good thing Klaus put inside of him, Ben put inside of him, weeks ago - months ago---wins. 

 

“Soft no. Soft maybe?” Diego wonders if Klaus feels the shudder that chases up his spine, and imagines he must if the spread of his smile can be trusted. “Medium soft yes. I reserve the right to change my mind.” 

 

Klaus huffs. “Of course.” His hand slips from Diego’s neck, down the salty, sweat-soaked skin of his bared back. His thumb hooks into the waist of Diego’s shorts, and he grabs Diego’s ass roughly . “How many more fights? To win?” 

 

“Eight.” Eight fights to the top and he’s two for two. Diego feels good . “My next one’s not for twenty.” 

 

“You ain’t leaving the pit, kid.” Alan’s there, close enough but making no move to seperate them forcefully. “Keep your pants on.” 

 

“I can do a lot of things with his pants on,” Klaus tells him, even as he leans back to hold the rope up so Diego can slip below, and out of the ring. He moves with Diego, fluid and catlike, slipping his hand around Diego’s back, and his thumb into the waist of his shorts. He’s pushing a water bottle into Diego’s hands and Diego’s just--- floating. He wonders if this is how Klaus feels when his feet don’t touch the ground. 

 

Technically speaking, non-fighters are not permitted in the pit.  Trainers, coaches, anyone on the roster. Alan lets Klaus into the pit, slaps a black and white, Hello My Name Is sticker on his chest that just says Coach, and leaves it at that. Everyone knows Diego doesn’t have a coach, doesn’t have trainers, doesn’t have a team he works with. 

 

Diego’s very much known for being a lone wolf.

 

And then there’s Klaus - dark and pretty. Diego wonders what they look like together. He wants to know

 

Klaus pats the sticker, with a wicked little grin. “Does this mean I get to tell you what to do, you think?” 

 

“Try it and see.” Diego isn’t a good boy. Not like Ben is. Not at all. That’s not how Diego and Klaus play. It’s not what they’re about. 

 

(do it for daddy)

 

But maybe - Diego’s still learning what they’re about

 

(do it for daddy)

 

Klaus is still grinning, even as he bites his lip, and Diego’s thinking about all the times he’s put Klaus on his ass for smiling like that. Shit. 

He skips the med check - the last fighter didn’t even get a chance to graze him after all.  The Pit is just the spare locker room, with sections for each gym to dress and wait between matches.  Klaus leads him to his corner, shoves him down in a chair and yeah - maybe that stupid sticker does give Klaus a little precedent because Diego doesn’t even let Al get so handsy.  “Hands,” Klaus says, as he crouches before the bench - between Diego’s knees. And that’s not fair. That’s just not fair. 

 

But he holds out his hands anyway.  Klaus unlaces the gloves with long, nimble fingers, and Diego lets the heat rest in the pit of his stomach, in the burn of his thighs.  He’s bled through the wraps in one or two places - he hits hard, every time. Klaus cuts the wraps free with the little scissors Diego keeps in his bag. He’s not particularly gentle with Diego, he’s not soft or delicate. He drags the pad of his thumb over the worst of it - a split between two knuckles.  Diego hisses, and Klaus pushes a little harder into it. 

 

F-f-fuck,” Diego sputters, when his dick twitches beneath his shorts, beneath the fucking jockstrap, the cup. “Klaus.” 

 

But Klaus is undeterred. He grips Diego’s hand harder, grinds all the fine, small bones therein together, just enough to sting. “Eight more fights,” he says, and Diego feels dizzy . “You win ‘em, Gogo...I’ll give you anything you want.” 

 

Fuck me, Diego thinks and feels the thought pop and crackle, a new, spitting flame underneath his skin. 

 

He couldn’t tell you what is face does, what algorithm plays there - but Klaus sees it. Klaus reads it. His thumb slips in the tacky blood that stains Diego’s knuckles. “You gonna tell me what your fighting for?” 

“Anything?” Diego replies, and lets his fingers be tangled with Klaus’. “I mean...Anything?.” 

 

“Really doubt you could surprise me with anything, princess.” They’re holding hands. They’re holding hands, in the locker room, surrounded by men Diego fully intends to punch in the face. (If Klaus calls him Princess ever again, he’s gonna be one of the men Diego wants to punch in the face - a brother or not. Whatever else they’re doing - or not. Just----No.)

 

Before Diego can answer though, there’s a dervish snort from the other side of the lockers. “Hey, no girlfriends in the pit. Bitches on the bench, where they belong.” 

 

It’s fucking Matthew Meathead from the big corporate gym on the Upper East Side - number one on the docket, and the only fighter Diego’s never managed to beat. Of course, it is.  His life is a TV series full of tropes.

 

Klaus rises to his feet so finely, so fluidly - Diego thinks he sees Meathead take a short step back. His shadow stretches across the locker rooms, moving almost independently from Klaus lean body.  “He called me your girlfriend, Diego. You hear that?” 

 

“He also called you a bitch.” Klaus will mind himself - or not. Meathead’s not going to call foul on Diego if he gets his ass kicked by ---by Klaus .  Or rather - someone who looks like Klaus. Someone easily dismissed. “Give him a break.” They’re still holding hands, and Diego’s not about to stop for some fucking meathead. If Klaus wants to hold hands - Diego’s gonna fucking hold his fucking hand. “He’s probably never had a girlfriend. Couldn’t tell the difference.” 

 

Meathead stars forward, but Klaus is already turning, the tangle of their fingertips remaining until he’s just out of reach. His feet, very noticeably, are not touching the floor and it gives him two or three inches on the guy. “Easy there, champ .” Klaus is smiling, bright eyes glittering, and Diego admits - if he ran into him in a dark alley - he wouldn’t fuck with him. “Right now, right here, you’ve got rings and rules.  Keep that in mind when you leave tonight.” 

“You threatening me, faggot?”  Meathead starts forward, but Klaus isn’t startled, and he doesn’t move. Meathead bares his teeth. 

 

“Obviously, you fucking idiot.” Klaus is comically incredulous as he looks back at Diego, a wide what-the-fuck look about him. There’s something chaotic about his eyes, something Diego should put an end too right now but he can’t. It’s magnets and moths and it doesn’t make sense, but Diego feels a little strung out for it, a little wasted . It’s the pretty sweep of his eyelashes, and the lavender of his lids, so pale and perpetually bruised.  It’s all the places Death has touched him, and the violence in that, just below his skin. Diego should pull him back, say c’ mon baby . Or even knock it off dude . But he doesn’t. “Now get out of my face, or the next time I see you, I’ll break both your hands and you won’t be inside this ring for the better part of a year.” 

 

The Meathead huffs, a red bleeding stain spreading hot across his neck. A vein throbs at his temple. Diego is riveted and terrified . With his chest puffed out, he pushes in on Klaus who doesn’t sway, tethered to earth beyond any mortal plane. “You got a lotta nerve---” 

 

Klaus just smiles, all Cheshire-cat and cream, as he turns away - leaving his fragile, Cheshire-cat spine exposed. He is unafraid, and Diego can trust that. 

 

Meathead makes a noise and steps back into their space. “Listen here---” 

 

“What the fuck!”  Klaus says loudly , just as Meathead reaches for him. He startles upright and spins around, firm thighs bumping Diego’s knees. “I’m not here to play grab-ass buddy. I said no!” 

 

“What, no! I didn’t---” 

 

And Diego knows he didn’t. Diego fucking knows and it’s hard to keep the grin off his face, hard to keep Klaus’ grin from catching.  Ben’s told him about Klaus’ bullshit games, his little tricks and light of hands, but it’s interesting to see first hand. He sells it well, crowding backward into the spread of Diego’s legs, clutching at his lapels like some scandalized maiden. 

 

Diego hooks an arm around Klaus' hips and lets his nails dig possessive little crescent moons into his thighs.  “I don’t know what kind of rules you got over at your fancy East-side gym, but we don’t take too kindly to that,” Diego offers, laying his head against Klaus side. “Why don’t you keep your hands to yourself before somebody breaks em’, yeah?.” 

 

The ref - coming to check the commotion, frowns. “Back to your bench, Meathead.” He looks at Klaus. “Glove checks in five. Get it done.” 

 

“Bitches to the bench, right Murray?” Diego calls, earning a snort from Klaus. “Right where they belong.” 

 

“Glove check!” The ref calls again, chasing the Meathead out of the room. 

 

Klaus does his gloves with nervous hands, following Diego’s quiet instructions to the letter. It’s...cute, Diego thinks, feeling very stupid as his brain stumbles over the word. It’s soft . Diego goes to glove check, and Klaus finds his seat in the stands and now...now is really not the time for soft. 

 

But Diego is floating. 

 

Not every fight is clean. He takes a few hits, sees a few stars. But he can hear Klaus voice in the crowd, that delighted ripple of laughter. And the taste of blood in the back of his throat fuels him, it eggs him on.  They don’t all drop easy, but they do all drop and then it’s the final fight. It drags - hit after hit and Diego is heaving, chest on fire, skin alight. His ribs ache, and he’s bleeding, at least one tooth is loose, but he hasn’t hit the mats all night and he won’t start now. He won’t.  No shocker; it’s Meathead and Diego thinks about Klaus, Klaus fucking him raw, taking him down. The sharp, shock of the thought? It’s that. It’s that

 

Do it for Daddy. 

Diego takes the mother fucker out

 

It’s a slow-motion hit.  Diego feel sit, the drag and slide of his glove as it pulls against flesh.  The way Meathead sways and shifts, the snap of his head to the left, the spray of blood, the way it splatters bright across the ring.  Meathead struggles, pushing up off his gloves but the Ref’s down with him, slapping the mats and he’s not getting up. He’s not getting up.  It’s the longest ten seconds has ever felt, he’s sure of it, and when the whistle blows----Diego can’t breathe. 

 

He won. 

 

He won. 

 

And he looks at Klaus - across the ring, sitting so prim in his front-row seat. He's not standing, he's not up and rowdy with the crowd. Al's in the ring, jostling Diego as the ref holds his hand up, victorious.  Klaus is sitting, prim and pretty and he looks so pleased. He looks so fucking pleased, looking at Diego, mouth spread in a smirk, long legs stretched out before him. Diego watches that pink mouth move, and form the same words tattooing themselves across his brain. Do it for daddy?



Yeah, Diego thinks. Yes .

 

***

 

It takes Klaus a second to get back to Diego.  The house boys - all his gymrat buddies that frequent Al’s- are vying for attention and Diego...well. Diego likes it. He fucking won. He won . Al’s sliding a fat wad of cash into his hand and Diego just wants to be home, face down and---

 

Klaus snakes himself to Diego’s side, curls himself around him, and Diego has to remind himself - they’re in public. Crowded public. But it’s hard to care with Klaus whole body rubbing up against you like an especially affectionate cat. Klaus kisses the side of his sweaty hair and Diego thinks---

 

He’s not fucking his brother. 

 

He’s not just fucking his brother. 

 

He’s---with his brother. 

 

(and it’s still the healthiest relationship he’s ever been in)

 

***

 

Al kicks Klaus out of the locker room while Diego showers and dresses and that’s probably for the better, given the undercurrent heat blistering the air around them  It’s a combination of giddy anticipation and filth and Diego thinks---he keeps---

 

He keeps waiting for someone to pop out of nowhere and tell him no. That it’s wrong. That he has to stop.  He keeps waiting for someone to rain on this parade, because really...they should. It’s fucked up. It’s sick. It’s probably sick. 

 

It doesn’t feel sick. 

 

It feels safe. 

 

Diego holds onto that feeling and lets the rest of it rot. 

 

***

 

Klaus is waiting for him at the backdoor,  leaned up against the bricks in his pretty suit and Diego has the sudden and visceral need to say something stupid like - it would look better on his bedroom floor. He’s in his street clothes, sore but clean and Klaus just---looks so damn good, and Diego...Diego gets distracted. 

 

There’s something about filthy back alleys that just...work for him. They work for Klaus who looks even more pristine by contrast, the fabric still crisp, even against a backdrop of New York dirt.  Diego kisses him, gets him right up against the wall and kisses him the way he couldn’t in a crowded boxing ring. He gets as much of himself inside Klaus and thinks about the fact that they---

 

They work. Like this. They fit. 

 

“Take us home?” Klaus asks, pushing up off the bricks. 

 

Home sounds good. Better than it ever did, really. Diego wants to be home right fucking now. He fishes his keys from the pocket of his jeans, notices the bulky absence of his wallet, and realizes--- “Shit. I forgot my bag on the bench.” An irrational bubble of rage gets under his skin. He wants to be home , goddammit.  “Let me---” 

 

But Klaus is already there, with that easy half-baked smile of his turning dimples up at the corners of his mouth. “I’ll grab the bag. You pull up the car.” He slips past Diego even as the door schniiiiiiicks shut, leaving Diego standing there with no real way to refuse. 

 

It’s shockingly easy to do as he’s told, and he makes a mental note to bite Klaus later.  It’s exactly that, what he’s thinking about - where he’ll bite.  The under-curve of his left ass cheek takes precedent, right where it melts into his thigh. Diego would like to bite him there - so he’ll feel it every time he sits down.  It’s exactly that when someone shoves him forward, face-first into the car. Diego’s already squaring up when a fist slams into his tender jaw.  

 

He’s reeling, getting his bearings straight because he’s fucking use to getting hit okay? Both lines of work lend themselves to getting punched in the face. He’s just not used to sucker hits.

 

“Not so hot now, huh kid?” 

 

Meathead. It’s Meathead. Because his life is tropes

 

Diego gets his feet right and throws his hands up. He’s not about to start running his mouth like some dumb ass.  But before he gets a chance to throw a hit, Meathead’s stumbling forward like someone kicked him. 

 

Because Klaus kicked him. 

Of course, he did. 

 

He grabs Meathead by the hair and yanks him straight off his feet, dragging him around toward the car like he’s nothing. Klaus is frightening like that - the contrast between the way he carries his body - keeping it small, curled in on itself, hunched - and what it can do. But Diego has seen what Klaus can do, he’s found himself held down by the secret sea of strength in those arms. He is unsurprised. Meathead’s spitting, kicking, hands scrabbling to get free of Klaus but Klaus---

 

“Hey - no kidnapping,” Diego warns because he has priors and Al would fuckin’ kill him. “Seriously Klaus. I draw the line at unlawful detainment. ” 

 

Klaus flashes him a rather tight smile, even as he yanks the car door open and----

 

Slams Meathead’s head into it repeatedly

 

Which - fine. They were taught to utilize their surroundings. Still. “Hey--- watch the fuckin’ car. I just vacuumed in there.” 

 

Klaus stops for a moment, leaning into the door so the Meatheads forehead is caught in place. He’s mostly out of it, flailing weakly. “Really? No cries of protest? Not gonna tell me to stop?” 

 

“I’m not your keeper, and he’s a fucking dick.” And - Diego suspects he couldn’t make Kalus stop if he wanted it. But in all honesty --- Diego knows he should try. He should. But he won’t because he wants to know what the sweat shining at Klaus temples tastes like, wants to know how the violence taste on his tongue.  And the guy did attack him from behind in an alley. Besides; Klaus did warn him. As far as Diego sees, this isn’t unreasonable at all. “You did say you’d break his hands the next time you see him.” 

 

“I did say ,” he reminds Meathead and hey - that’s fair. But Meathead looks rough, with a sharp purple line developing even as they speak, across his face like David Bowie during the Ziggy Stardust days.  Klaus drags him up, even as his own feet leave the ground. Meathead’s out of it, it, struggling blindly even as his eye swells and darkens. “I’m a man of my word, Gogo,” Klaus tells him loftily, as he props Meathead up against the car, and----

 

Slams both his hands in the door. Repeatedly. 

 

There’s a pop, and a snap and an audible crunch.  Meathead shrieks and throws his elbows, but Klaus just lets him fall to the ground in an agonized heap. He won’t be throwing any hits for months, Diego thinks. And he’ll never fight the same again. 

 

“You’re gonna get me benched,” Diego grieves, although one could argue that Diego hadn’t done anything at all, really.  

 

There’s no blood, for which Diego is grateful. Klaus crouches down, the bend pulling his pants up enough to reveal the fine, pale bones of his narrow ankles and Diego thinks - Klaus is scary . “He won’t tell,” Klaus says, with quiet and intense certainty. “Because I’ll rip his spine out and use it to floss my teeth, right buddy?” 

 

Meathead groans, glaring through a bruise and a grimace. 

 

“I’m a man of my word, after all.” He slaps Meathead’s face, a congenial sting. “So why don’t you take your cotton candy ass home before I---” 

 

“Aww, leave him, alone baby.” Baby . Because the violence in Klaus' eyes calls to Diego like nothing else, and he’d be lying if he said it wasn’t doing it for him. “He won’t bother us anymore. Stand up, Murray.” Meathead---doesn’t. But Klaus gets him there with rough hands and the side of the car. “Now I know you know who I am, buddy. Oh, I know Al plays it pretty tight with my last name. Thinks I’ll scare off the big hitters. But you know who I am.” 

 

“One of those Hargreeves freaks,” Meathead manages, through a swollen mouth. “One of those fucking psycho kids.” 

 

“All grown up and beating your ass,” Diego agrees, with none of the spit or ire that would have plagued him before.  Before Klaus and Ben put to order his priorities, it would seem. Diego doesn’t care that this motherfucker thinks he’s fucked up. Thinks he’s a freak. He is, at the end of the day, and no amount of do-gooder boy scout behavior will ever change what he is. He’s a Hargreeves. They all are. “Bet you thought you were real tough, knocking me off the roster all these years.  Telling yourself - I beat one of those Hargreeves kids.” 

 

“You’re monologuing,” Klaus cuts in and yeah, Diego supposes that’s fair.  “Can’t I just break his knee cap? Dad always said monologues are for the bad guys. Are we the bad guys. Gogo?” 

 

“I was setting you up to emotionally traumatize him, why you gotta bust my balls?” Diego rolls his eyes. He was monologuing though. Best to keep that shit in check. “As I was saying - you know who I am. But do you know who he is?” 

 

“You’re right, I shouldn’t have interrupted,” Klaus interrupted - again. “Carry on.” 

 

“Some faggot---” 

 

Klaus punches him in the ribs, hard and with zero warning and Diego honestly appreciates that about him. The chaotic energy is highly effective. “You got a big fucking mouth for someone who just lost to a car door. I’m Klaus Hargreeves - you know, the one who can see dead people.” 

 

“You do more than see dead people,” Diego argues. Klaus is so much more than that. And it’s important to be acknowledged. 

 

“You’re his brother?” Meathead does manage to stand up on his own then, as he backs himself harder into the trap of the car - like the big gay incest is more of a threat then Klaus breaking his kneecaps. People are fucked. 

 

“Yeah, motherfucker. And he’s got three more. ” Klaus pauses at that. “Although our sisters are away fucking scarier man.” 

 

“Anyway,” Diego grins, feeling inexplicably fond in a brotherly way that wars entirely against everything happening below the belt right now. Speaking of the belt, Diego pulls a smaller bird knife from the harness at his waist and throws it blindly behind himself. The whistle is familiar, a soothing little lullaby that shakes the stress right out of him. “Maybe you think about that next time you wanna ambush me outside of the ring. It’s like Klaus said - in there? We play by the rules. But I don’t need any of my family to take your ass out, like this.” He catches the knife with all the drama and flourishes Klaus loves so much, right before it stabs Meathead through the eye.

 

“And if that’s not enough to persuade you,” Klaus offers, stepping slightly to the side just as---just as----

 

Fucking Ben appears----

 

“This is the one with the tentacles,” Klaus explains, to Meathead, who looks appropriately pants-shittingly terrified. 

 

“What the fuck, Klaus!” Ben is---Ben is wearing Diego’s pants, and holding a banana. “I thought you were on a date with Diego.” 

 

“This isn’t a date,” Diego argues because Diego would know if it were a date. Someone would have fucking told him. “I think I’d fucking know if this was a date.”  Right? The twin incredulous stares he earns tell him this is not the right takeaway. “Uh.” 

 

“He sucker-punched Diego,” Klaus waves an errant hand at Meathead - who flinches hard and scuttles back across the car. “I was making a point.” 

 

“Oh.” Ben hands his banana to Klaus, who takes it without so much as even looking. Little Ben in his sweatpants, with his messy, sleepy hair, and bare feet. He steps forward, crowding Meathead into the car and Meathead---is six inches taller, has an easy sixty pounds of muscle on Ben but he---

 

He pisses his shorts. 

 

Diego thinks that’s a bit of an extreme response before he remembers---

 

Well. Ben’s been publicly dead for years. And Klaus just summoned him with his brain. 

 

“Don’t do that again,” Ben says, very sternly. There’s mustard on his face, but Diego’s not going to point it out. “Understood?” 

 

“Und---Understood,” Meathead nods, eyes averted, piss puddling around his sneakers. He stands there, staring at them with a fat lip and a black eye. 

 

“This is where you go,” Diego offers, taking pity on him. He’s sort of pathetic. And probably concussed. 

 

“Jesus Christ,” Klaus huffs, lighting his cigarette with the same hand holding Ben’s fucking banana. He pushes both the lighter and the fruit into Diego’s hand, balls up his goodbye fist and punches Murray square in the face. It’s a clean hit, and Murray goes down, lights out, in a heap. “That it?” 

 

Ben takes his banana. He looks at Diego, the corner of his mouth turning up just enough to dimple his cheek a little and Diego inexplicably fucking blushes . Maybe he has let Ben run a little wild.  “I’m going home now.” 

 

He’s barely popped out of existence when Klaus speaks, silver smoke curling from his in spirals and ribbons. God - his hair isn’t even out of place. His shirt isn’t even wrinkled. He looks as pristine and pretty as he did stepping into the gym. He looks good.  “Oi. He could have ridden with us.” 

 

As Diego’s gaze traces the lines of his body, they settle on his Goodbye hand, and the split in the knuckle bleeding sluggishly down his long, thin fingers. “Yeah. We’re not going home.” 

 

The cigarette bobs, where it hangs limp between his pink lips. “Where the fuck are we going?” 

 

Diego thinks it’s going to be a fucking miracle if they make it out of the goddamn alley.  He can’t adequately communicate this to Klaus though, can’t adequately communicate a lot of things. “Was this a date?” 

 

Klaus rolls his tongue along the top line of his teeth and Diego genuinely appreciates the consideration. “I suppose not.” 

 

“You suppose not.” What the fuck does that mean? 

 

“It means...” He shrugs, sucking on the cigarette, shoulders hunched and eyes averted and Diego----frowns. He shrugs again, two times in a row like a nervous tick Diego wants to shake right out of him. “I don’t know! No - no not really. I mean you come to watch me dance. It’s like that.” 

 

“Watching me punch people in the face turns you on?” The sad thing...the honestly sad thing...is that Diego is kind of into it too. 

 

“No---Well, I mean yes obviously.” Klaus rolls his eyes and shakes his head, a single, rebellious curl tumbling across his forehead.  “But I just...thought I’d come to support you. Since you support me and shit. You know. Brotherly support.” 

 

Diego slams both his hands down on Klaus' shoulders. “I swear to God if you shrug one more fucking time, I’ll---” 

 

“You’ll what !” Klaus' voice is aggrieved, and Diego just---fucking shakes him. “Hey! I am frag -ile !” 

 

Diego’s already laughing, mouth spread wide in a smile as he backs Klaus up against the brick wall of the back alley behind the gym. “You did not get dressed up all pretty for me and come here for brotherly support.” It’s hard to kiss Klaus when he’s smiling so hard, but he sort of manages as Klaus back hits the brick. “Fuck off . Fuck off with that.” 

 

Klaus deflates, sinking into the stone, held aloft by Diego alone. He laughs, just a little huff of breath, and the fine lines that crinkle the corner of his eyes make Diego feel crazy . Crazy forever noticing such a thing about his brother. His brother

 

Klaus didn’t come here in any kind of brotherly way, and Diego’s not feeling especially familial either. 

 

(And he had thought once upon a time, that family was everything. Fealty. Honor. Loyalty. He thought that family was the only way you could---you could---you could ever really---

 

He hasn’t felt this crazy, this crazy stupid bright, but mostly stupid since---

 

Since---

 

Eudora .

 

And Eudora is a bruise on his heart that will never heal 

 

But it sure is nice to just feel this way....again.)



“Fine,” Klaus says like he hasn’t upended everything in Diego with the wrinkles at his eyes. “Maybe my intentions aren't entirely pure.” 

 

Like Diego ever doubted it. “Are they really ever?”

 

And there’s just something soft about the way he’s looking at Diego, that makes Diego feel dizzy from the bottom up. “Sometimes,” Klaus says, with a painful amount of earnest eye contact. But that soft gaze wanders, and Diego doesn’t mean to lick his lips, but it happens. And Klaus watches. “But uh. Yeah. Mostly not.” 

 

Matt Murray from the upper East Side Gym is still a half-cognizant puddle on the ground behind them. Diego’s bag is snagged on the back door. He’s got a bedroom two lefts and a staircase away.  But he’s got Klaus right here, pinned against a wall looking real fucking pretty and not here to be his brother. They’re not making it back to the mansion. 

 

And Klaus must see it in him, must feel it in the way Diego’s coiled tight. He puts his hands on Diego’s hips, and pulls him closer, gets them together and there’s just something about the presumption in it, the insistence, the rudeness. It makes Diego grit his teeth and push right into it. 

 

Klaus laughs, the peek of his clenched teeth almost too much. “We gonna make this a thing? Fucking around behind our respective workplaces?” He rolls his hips and Diego’s gonna---he’s fucking---he could---

 

“Yeah, but---but---I got a bed here,” Diego reminds him, tilting his head toward the door. He’s stuttering, he’s shaking. Klaus never seems to care.“I--I---” 

 

He kisses him.  Klaus catches his mouth open, and slides right in, as he lets his hands wander, and dip into the back pocket of Diego’s jeans. And when he can’t breathe, when Diego forgets to let him, he kisses his way across Diego’s jaw, licks the scar above his ear. And when he speaks - it’s the softest brush of lips, and a whisper Diego can feel on his skin like Klaus knows anything louder will spook him away. “You win for me, Gogo?” 



He’s soft because it’s soft; it’s Diego’s soft yes . Shit - and he’s not ready. He has issues with Reginald, he does. God - they all do. And he’s even ready to admit they make him irrational. But he’s not so certain he’s ready to be so broken, this traumatic cliche.  He’s not so certain he’s ready to admit it. Except - all Diego’s ever wanted was to win for somebody. For someone to see him. Appreciate him. Cheer him on. 

 

And it’s Klaus. 

 

It’s Klaus. 

 

Diego nods, as static pops in his ears. 

 

Klaus breathes a hot shuddering ghost that strips Diego raw. “You do it for Daddy?” 

 

Yes .” 

 

Klaus kisses the little stretch of skin below Diego’s ear, and drags his teeth across Diego’s jaw and Diego? Diego holds himself very still, with his eyes closed and his fingers digging deep into the bony cut of Klaus' shoulder. He’s not sure what Klaus is going to say, has no metric to compare, and he doesn’t know how he’ll react, panic or pulse. 

 

But Klaus just kisses him, and Diego lets himself be pulled inside. 

 

***

 

It’s shockingly goofy , how they fall into bed together.  It’s silly - tripping down the stairs together in a tangle of sloppy, smile-stained kisses. They’re laughing and it’s easy, and Diego thinks with the same measure of startling clarity; this is my brother.  

 

It’s his brother's hand sliding down between them to pluck at the buttons of Diego’s jeans.  It’s his brothers hand pushing down his zipper. It’s his brother's hands leading him across the room, his brother's legs tripping in the dark, his brothers body him, bouncing both their bodies against his squeaky, narrow mattress. 

 

It’s his brother. 

 

Diego makes a noise - a broken, strangled noise, and Klaus leans back from where he’s biting at the fucking turtle neck. “What?” 

 

“Nothing,” Diego denies immediately, but no-no. “It’s just I---Do you---” But he’s already lost Klaus’s attention, and his stomach jumps as Klaus pushes up his shirt. “Are we---We’re brothers, right? You and I. We’re brothers.” 

 

Klaus stops, immediately, the full curve of his spine straightening suddenly. He’s still got both hands bunched in Diego’s shirt though, and the cold airbrushing his bare belly makes him feel strangely vulnerable. “I mean ---Yeah. Yes. Of course. Why? We are .” 

 

“I know,” Diego nods, fumbling. “I know. I know. Just, I---” For a second - just for a second - Klaus didn’t feel like a brother.  It wasn’t the way his hands had touched Diego - although that certainly isn’t brotherly either. And it wasn’t the familiar way he’d mapped Diego’s body, although again - not brotherly. No...no. It had been the curl to his smile on the left side, and the way he’d looked up at Diego through dark lashes. It was the laughter they’d shared, falling all over themselves to get here. It was the giddy anticipation, the weird little thing Diego’s heart had done when he’d first seen Klaus from the ring. 

 

It wasn’t brotherly. What Diego felt - wasn’t brotherly.  

Not in any way that made sense. 

 

“Don’t ask Ben that,” Klaus warns, with a frown, the weight of him reassuringly real where it settles down on Diego. “It would upset him, I think. He’s been weird lately, you know. Just a little. Nothing’s changed for him and I think---” 

 

“What about you,” Diego asks, without really meaning to, brain latching on to the latest words. Nothing’s changed for him. For him. For him . For Ben . “What's changed for you?” 

 

Klaus freezes, mouth a little open, a little wet. He holds Diego’s gaze though, and it makes Diego squirm.  Carefully - he shrugs

Diego punches him in the arm. “Oh fuck you,” he grumbles, heart in his throat for reasons he won’t verbalize. “Ben’s my brother.” 

 

“And?” 

 

“You’re my brother too.” Diego’s hands come to rest on Klaus’ hips. “You’re my brother too.” Even as he says it, he’s pulling Klaus down to grind against him, in an easy familiar rhythm. And he thinks about Klaus' mouth, shaping the words ---- the fucking---

 

Do it for Daddy. 

 

And it’s just--- he likes Klaus in the fishnets. And he likes Klaus in the cut off tops. He likes that fucking dress he wore. He likes the glitter and the lace.  But there is something undeniably virile about Klaus in this dress shirt, with his sleeves, rolled to his elbows, and the smooth easy swell of his forearms pale and marked in the blue whorls of his veins and the faint black marks of fading tattoos.  He looks clean-cut like the edge of a knife. Respectable, and dangerous. He looks...in charge

 

And Diego lets himself sink back into the bed, and close his eyes and try very hard, so very fucking hard, not to forget where he is, or who he is, or who he’s with. 

 

“Open up, Princess,” Klaus teases, and Diego can hear the edge of something in his voice, something made of gravel and glass. “C’ mon Gogo, open up .” He lets his hands slip down the bottom of Diego’s thighs, and he grabs his ass so hard, he can’t help the way his body jerks, thrusting forward, it’s----

 

It’s fucking filthy. Slutty. Awful and terrible and Diego’s so fucking hard, he’s so fucking hard and he just wants Klaus to say it. Just to be sure---just to be sure it’ll fuck him up as much as he thinks it will. Just to be sure he’s not ready, as he suspects he isn’t. He wants Klaus to say it because he can’t, fuck---fuck---he can’t. 

 

He can feel it all over his body, tying him up in knots, tying him up just a little bit tighter and he sinks back spine stiff. He just wants Klaus to say it. Just---just to know. 

 

Klaus curls over him, careful not to touch him anywhere but where their hips meet.  His hands sink into the pillow on either side of Diego’s head and when he lowers himself down a little closer, Diego holds his breath. 

 

“C’ mon,” Klaus says, dragging his nose along the scar above Diego’s ear. “Open up.” 

 

“Nnnngh,” Diego manages, terrified of himself and the way his heart’s beating to fast, the way his skin is too small, the way his lungs won’t work, the way he really just---he’s so fucking hard it hurts

 

“Do it for daddy.” 




Chapter Text

The thing is...

 

Their daddy issues are perhaps the most normal thing about them.  Everyone's fucking got ‘em. A raging case of Daddy Didn’t Love me is so common these days, they’re nearly out of fashion. 

 

Yeah, maybe they’ve got issues. 

 

Gogos never gonna call him daddy

 

Diego’s never gonna say the words. 

The appeal isn’t in the surrender with him. 

 

It’s something different. Or different than before. 

 

Diego’s in love with how much he hates it

 

He’s pristine filth, Madonna and a whore

 

It’s not about their father, not really.

 

It’s not worse, really. Just more



Because his daddy is my daddy, Klaus thinks, in a delirious sort of way. Even his thoughts are sharp and shrill.  There’s nothing to do for it, but to lean down and get his mouth on Diego, suck a mean little hickey where anybody can see.  Klaus is fucking fraught with the sudden and specific desire to bite him. Bite him so hard he feels the skin-pop and gives and the copper coffin taste of blood in his mouth. 

 

But no. 

 

Gogo needs soft

 

So he bites very gently, oh so fucking gently, and the strain in his jaw where it begs to fucking sink is divinity

 

He drags his mouth over the scar above Diego’s ear and says as softly, as sweetly as his shattered tongue will let him. “Do it for daddy.” 

 

I know who you are, Klaus thinks, as Diego opens up his eyes. I know what happened to you. 

 

Diego’s body gives with the force of a dam breaking, every taught coiled muscle going lax and fluid. All the air seems to leave him at once, so Klaus kisses his mouth, and licks away the last remnant of restraint left in him. 

 

Because your daddy is my daddy, he thinks - raving in his own mind. But he does feel hysterical, in that single moment. He does feel wild. 

 

What was it Diego called him?

 

Feral ?

 

Well, ferals catching. 

 

He grabs Diego’s wrist in one hand, but Diego’s too stunned and wide-eyed to protest. But he wouldn’t, no he wouldn’t because Klaus has two very good boys, when once upon a time he was rotten. Christ - he’d been rotten. Withered. Rotten. Stoned. 

 

Soft

 

He lets his hand slip from Diego’s wrist to his palm.  Their fingers tangle, a tiny web, and Klaus want to trap himself right here, in this moment of clarity. 

 

God - Diego is pretty. He’s a beautiful boy. 

 

That - that’s what this is about. 

 

About all the spots the world hasn’t bruised. All the spots Diego kept himself clean. He’s not so different than Luther, not as much as he’d like and perhaps that’s why they fight. He’s not so jaded. Not so bitter. He’s got his good boy pride, and his good boy anger and his good boy spite. He has his righteous soapbox in the form of a CB radio and vigilante nostalgia. Diego’s good. 

 

But he is scared. 

 

Terrified. 

 

Horrified. 

 

Ashamed. 

 

Broken. 

 

He’s that little boy stuttering through good morning father.  He’s that little boy frowning at the marks where they’re scored into the door frame that tells him in inches grown who Number One is. He’s a boy scout. He’s a baby. 

 

It’s all in there, it’s all in there tangled up on scars and silence. Diego’s never gonna call him daddy - but he’s gonna let Klaus put his hands all over that soft, white underbelly weakness. Just to see Klaus smile at him. To fucking look at him when he speaks. To see him - at all

 

He leans back, and can’t help the gut-clenching shudder that escapes him when Diego doesn’t immediately let go of his hand.  They stay tangled, hand against hand like pressing into your own foggy reflection and Klus thinks - that must be what it is. I know who you are , he thinks again, looking down at wide, black-brown eyes. I know what happened. 

 

And he wonders as he shakes if Diego can see it from his side of the glass too. 

 

He lets their hands fall to rest, and perches very lightly, in Diego’s lap. The silence is fraught with a new sort of tension. Sexual - yes - but the frantic energy that promised to swallow them whole seems to have simmered, something stickier now, something thick .  Klaus grinds back, slow and deep like they never let themselves have.  He’s never cared for the luxury of slow. He’s treated his life like the shortest race to the finish line. 

 

He undresses Diego with insistent hands, made all the more pleasingly difficult with Diego’s insistence on kissing him through the whole thing.  Before the boys, Klaus never really has anyone who treated kissing as something other than perfunctory. The superficial kissing that filled his life prior to Ben and Diego had always seemed enough, but Klaus isn’t sure he could slum it like that again, the indifference would leave him wanting. Diego kisses exactly like a man who doesn’t need to breath, and Klaus savors the way his lungs burn, the way he always has to pull back first, surrender

 

He’s thrown Diego’s shirt somewhere to the left, and he’s pushing his jeans down his thighs, rising up so Diego can push them under where Klaus is happily seated. It’s awkward, bumpy, goofy . Familiar.  He makes a show of settling back down into Diego’s lap, while he finds his words. “Tell me what you thought of when I said you could have anything,” he asks, speaking low and slow like the roll of his hips. He moves Diego’s other hand to his thigh and squeezes it down. “C’ mon. I’ve seen pussy with less pink in it, than your fucking cheeks right now, Gogo. It’s something filthy? Is it water sports? Is it sounding ? I bet it’s -” 

 

“I want you to fuck me.”

 

And there is no hesitance, there is no fine line or thread of discontent. Plainly put, as only Diego can. Besides, you can’t argue with your own reflection. 

 

Klaus can’t quite bite back the shudder that shakes him top to bottom. He suspected that might be it, he suspected that might be the filthy little thing Diego cooked up. He suspected, speculated, maybe even tried to nail the right information out of Ben’s little ass. He suspected

An unrealistic goal. You take your time with virgins. You build ‘em up, you get them fucking gagging for it, there is no room for question, there is no room for even the slightest bit of un-surety. 

 

(Klaus had been a virgin once. No one took their time with him.) 

 

So, fucking him tonight is probably unrealistic. Klaus doubts Diego’s put much of 0anything but a few curious fingers up his ass. Maybe one of Ben’s smaller, friskier tentacles but that just might be wishful thinking on Klaus part. 

 

***

 

Diego buys good lube. That’s Klaus first thought. His second thought?

 

“It’s not my birthday.” 

 

Diego snorts into the pillow, and Klaus knows that he’s blushing. The back of his neck has gone a dusky sort of rose color, and his shoulders are high and tight. “Shut up.” 

 

“It’s not your birthday,” Klaus continues, needlessly, as he pushes a third finger into Diego.  

 

“Klaus.” Diego’s spine is a soft ocean wave, and he’s still damp from his shower, the faint cloying smell of cheap soap and city water. With his free hand, Klaus digs his thumb into the dimple at the bottom of Diego’s back and lets his fingers curl over his hip. “ Please .” 

 

Klaus is straddling Diego’s left thigh, and it’s hard not to let himself push down, and grind. He is very much a creature of self-indulgence, after all, and the physical drag of Diego’s hard, hairy thigh against Klaus cock is the definition of decadence but----

 

But

 

But

 

Diego’s the softest thing Klaus has ever got inside of and it’s hard not to find the sudden and sinking give of his ass the most indulgent thing in the world. “Did you know I wanted to fuck you, Diego?” Ben would have told him - the fucking slut . The good boy. “Did you know how badly?” 

 

“I----” Diego chokes , as Klaus fucks all three fingers into him in one, rough swoop, bottoming at the knuckles hard enough to shock a grunt from his lungs. “ Yes .” 

 

Klaus sighs. It’s a helpless sort of noise, completely contradictory to the jarring, forceful insistence of his fingers, where he’s fucking Diego steadily now, smooth, and rough, and hard . His sigh is soft and helpless, yeah, love-struck one might say. “I’d have waited forever for you.” 

 

“I’d prefer you didn’t.” His voice is gruff, but the broken, fractured breaths give Diego away. Klaus could finger him all night , it’s fucking beautiful he’s fucking beautiful. “Klaus---” 

 

“You know I wanted to fuck you,” Klaus cuts him off, reiterating his previous statement in a light, but quiet tone. “I’ve hardly been fucking shy about it buddy.  But I’m a patient guy.” Diego makes a noise, as Klaus pulls his hips up to meet his fingers. “But you’re not, are you? You wanted it. You got yourself ready. I thought I was gonna have to wait, Diego. I was just gonna finger you a little, maybe eat your ass until you cry, ride your dick until I cried. All that soft vanilla shit you like.  I didn’t come here to fuck you, but God , I didn’t think you’d be so fucking easy.” And easy is the word for it. Klaus slips right in like nothing at all, one finger, then two, and the give he still has tells him Diego’s had help .  “You did it for Daddy, and you didn’t even know it yet. God Gogo, you were really fucking gagging for it. ” 

 

He lets Diego’s hips settle against the bed, though they’re hardly restless. Klaus isn’t going to tell him to stop. If he wants to come all over himself and the bed, well - Klaus wouldn't hate it.  Diego’s good for two or three rounds on a slow night. And Klaus is up for it. He’s so fucking good for it. He suspects Diego would even enjoy it, the filthy fuck. “Yeah, you keep grinding like that....you come, I’ll put you face-first into the mess and watch you lick it up.” They both sound good, and he suspects Diego might agree. “Whether that's a warning to stop, or incentive to keep going is entirely up to you.” He curls his fingers just a little, and feels Diego clench and shudder. God - he’s probably dripping . He’s probably sticky right through his shorts. Another helpless little sigh escapes him; there’s no way Klaus could be so lucky. “You’re fucking sloppy Gogo. You’re fucking loose .” 

 

He’s not. God---he’s not. He goes terribly, wickedly, searingly tight around Klaus's fingers, offended and hot. “B---B---Ben,” Diego chokes, pushing back against Klaus. “ Ben .” 

 

“Oh Benny,” Klaus fucking breathes because Diego can’t finish that thought, but Klaus already knows. Beautiful Ben, sweet Ben who knew Klaus better than anyone. What a fucking gift.  “I couldn’t find either of you all morning. Did Benny get you ready for me, Gogo? He told me to come tonight, you know. He told me about your match.” 

 

Nnnnhg !” 

 

Klaus leans down, so he can plaster himself against Diego’s smooth back and mouth across his damp hair. “Benny set you up to get fucked , Gogo.” That would be just like Ben. That would be just like---

 

“I asked him too.” Diego’s pushing up on his hands, upon his knees and riding back against Klaus' hand, with a shameless curl to his beautiful spine. “I fuckin---I asked him too. Shit .” 

 

“Yeah?” And what Klaus would have given to be a fly on that wall, but he was always better suited to play the spider. “And why would you go and do a thing like that, Diego?” 

 

“I wanted--I w-w-wanted---” 

 

“God - yeah. Fuck . Tell me what you want, Gogo. C’mon.” Klaus feels a little - he feels a little stupid with it, with the curl of his own fingers, the smell of Diego’s clean, warm skin, the terrible fucking itch to sink his teeth into the swell of his own brother's ass----

 

“I w--I want---wanted you to fuck me,” Diego stammers out, riding the mattress beneath him, chasing the pressure of Klaus clever fingers, in turn. “ I want you to fu--fuck---fuck me up. ” 

 

And shit - Ben had worked Diego over so well, the three fingers Klaus has up his ass are a mere formality.  And he could fucking---he could push Diego’s thighs apart and slide right in but he could do much more too. He could take Diego apart. 

 

He could fuck him. God - he could fuck him. He could ---- let his fingers slip free so easy, he could palm both of Diego’s ass cheeks, could let his thumbs slip down, sink in and he could lose his breath at the sight of how open his brother is. Diego’s shaking all over, riding the mattress, the pile of blankets, pushing up toward Klaus, chasing where he’s fucking empty, fucking clenching . “You fuckin---” And Klaus is fucking stunned , fucking stupid and wild, for the exact shade of pink Diego is on the inside, the color of his tongue where it slides against his bottom lip (Klaus use to wear - he use to wear this lipstick, when he worked at the Doll House, called French Kiss - and it was this, it was this ). With both hands on Diego’s ass, Klaus lets his fingertips bite down, and his thumbs dig deep. When Diego makes a noise like he’s so fucking hurt , Klaus does the first thing that comes to mind and spits

 

Right.

 

On Diego's asshole. 

The frantic roll of his hips turns sharp and fractured and Klaus watches his own spit drip down Diego's balls. And God. God

 

He does it again, holding Diego apart - spreading him.  It’s visceral and disgusting, the slow slide of Klaus spit where it catches on the faint dark hairs. He feels empty of anything except the slow way all the angry red in Diego bleeds soft and pink. Klaus is stained with the color; he’s blue and periwinkle and lilac and pink. He’s gone pastel for the feeling his brother put in him, and he’d be more upset about it but the black and white hew knew best had grown more grey in recent years and Klaus is an addict - for pastels and pink. Diego comes grinding against the bed the way a fire dies out, a drawn, hissing and spitting burn that remains hot even after it’s gone

 

Klaus breathes, eyelashes fluttering and everything smells like sex, but he hasn’t even fucked him yet. “Up,” he says, dismounting the throne that is Diego’s fucking ass. When Diego doesn’t comply, Klaus swats his ass, and the ripple it sends entirely distracting. “Up, up. Now .” Because he’ll drown in the moment if he doesn’t get out now. And he needs Diego to come with him. Diego does with all the weak-limbed struggle of drunk men and babies. And when he was at his feet, Klaus smiles. “Now put your face in it.” 

 

“You said you’d put my face in it,” Diego argues- on principle perhaps, or because he's nervous. Klaus could see it in him, in the way he turned away, just a little bit. 

 

“I’m sorry, brother mine, are you accusing me of lying? Have I ever ?” He grins, and yeah, maybe that’s what Klaus said. But he suspects Diego isn’t the kind of Daddy Issues to need bossy, and he really couldn’t give a shit if Diego’s particularly obedient. No. “You’re gonna do it because you want to, Gogo.” And yeah, Klaus is pretty confident Diego will, but he still grabs him by the balls, very very gently. “You want too.” It’s easy to lead him closer, pull him in and Klaus won’t even kiss him, not yet. Not yet. “You can . I'll let you.” 

 

And if it were anyone else crawling across the mattress, pretty little ass out and ripe like that, Klaus would spank them.  But this is Diego, so Klaus just waits, and watches, as Diego drags his face though the sticky mess he’s made. He’s kneeling at the edge of the mattress, ass in the air-----

 

Klaus really cannot be this lucky. 

 

“Now lick it up, Diego. Because you want too.”

(but if it just happening like this, he might have to believe it). 

 

Diego does. 

 

Klaus gets on his knees, but it’s hard to feel his age in the ache of his bones when he’s spreading his shockingly slutty brother open.  He couldn’t say if Diego’s more or less imbalanced than Klaus is, by the nature of their childhood or the choices they made in the latter years, but his brashness, his boldness, had way more to do with his headstrong-nature than it had to do with bravery.  Diego was a fool, a beautiful goddamn fool, and Klaus was fairly foolish for him.  

 

He feels stupidly overwhelmed in the moment, with both hands holding Diego open, the soft, pink wink of his asshole right there and Diego’s mouth open against his own spill of come. Klaus just---feels overwhelmed with how easy it was to get here, how easy it is to be here in the moment. He clears his throat and settles himself down. “You gonna cry for me, Gogo? God, I really hope you cry.” He drags the words across Diego’s ass, the scratch of his freshly trimmed beard leaving the skin pink and raw. “Fuck. Whatever . It’s my birthday now.”  

 

Klaus .” 

 

“Tell me to do it,” Klaus laughs at the way Diego’s body coils, curling his spine like the corner of the page in a favorite book. Klaus just knows he’ll come back to this moment. “Tell me, Gogo. C’mon.” 

 

“Do it.” 

 

Ah, and it’s sweet, but Diego can do better. “Do what ,” Klaus presses, dragging his open mouth down Diego’s spread cheeks. 

 

“Klaus,” Diego chokes, the words muffled to nothing into the plush of his blanket. “ Please .” 

 

And it’s not what he asked, it’s not an answer, and Klaus can feel the disobedience hot in his blood. It feels good. It feels like Diego should be rewarded. Every no is worth more than a thousand yeses, he thinks, where Diego is concerned. There’s something particularly vindicating to hear him refuse any order, and so Klaus just bites him, hard, right there, left ass cheek. “One day I’d really love to watch Benny eat your ass and come all over himself, but for now - on your back.” 

 

Klaus pushes at Diego’s hip until he’s flat against the mattress, and catches his arm before he can hide in the crook of his elbow. But Klaus wants to see him, see the come where it sticks, tacky, to his stubble. “Ah ah---” 

 

Diego is red

And pink

 

And Klaus is stupidly in love. 

 

And as he crawls up Diego’s body, drags his skin across skin he’s known since he knew anything at all, Klaus remembers with all his heart what loving Dave was like. And it’s not this - it’s not this at all .  Falling in love with your brother is not like being in love with anyone at all. Diego hasn’t shown Klaus his scars - Klaus was there for most of them. And when a door slams and Diego flinches, Klaus won’t know because Diego told him. He’ll know because he flinches too. And he thinks, in a terrible little selfish shadow of his mind, that loving Diego is okay .  Loving Diego like this is okay and it’s not an offense to Dave, it won't diminish the memory or the love. It’s Diego - and Klaus already loved him.  And maybe Dave wouldn’t have wanted this , Klaus thinks, as he comes to mouth along the hot, flushed curve of Diego’s throat, but...Daves dead. 

 

Klaus is never going to love anyone the way he loved Dave. 

 

But he can say the same, with everything left in him----

 

He can say the same about Diego. 



This is----

 

Diego shudders and Klaus lets his palms slide dry up Diego’s arms until their fingers are tangled and pressed into the pillow and Diego’s a natural, body moving to make room, legs spreading, and coming to hook over Klaus's hips---

 

This is the brightest Klaus has ever felt. 

 

He kisses Diego as he pushes inside him, afraid that he might be crying. The sound Diego makes has a taste and Klaus' bottoms out as fast as Diego can pull him down, strong calves crossed at Klaus back. It shocks all the air from Klaus' lungs and he shakes, hand in hand with his brother, their foreheads pressed. “ Fuck .” 

 

Diego’s eyes are already open when Klaus gets himself together and opens his own.  His pupils are blown, and his mouth is wide, bottom lip bit and raw. Klaus rocks his hips and loses his mind. He’s fucking---

 

He’s fucking Diego

 

He’s struck somehow strange, with the sense that this is wildly filthier than letting Ben hold him down at the Eldritch’s command and fuck him on a tentacle while riding his dick. This is---dirtier. This is rawer. This is sticky and strange, and Klaus blames the pink of his own feelings, but he’s balls deep in Number Two. 

 

Diego’s looking at him, and he looks so small, he looks so helpless, with his big brown eyes and his pink mouth open and his thighs---

 

His thighs spread wide, heels of his feet digging deep into the small of Klaus back---

 

Number Two. 

 

And Klaus means to say his name, he really fucking does. Diego. Not Number Two. But Gogo’s just---he’s looking at him, and he looks so vulnerable, he looks so goddamn soft, with his mouth open and his cheeks pink. He means to say, Diego, Gogo, something. “Christ,” he says, instead, pushing deeper, unwilling to let go. “I use to look at you as a big brother.” 

 

Diego sucks in a breath so sharp, Klaus feels cut on it, and he wants to take it back, but it’s true.  Diego always seemed older, obedient and strong and mature. Headstrong. Stubborn. Good. He’d been born a stoic, sad thing, and he’d grown into it in all the ways a man does. Klaus use to look at him as a big brother, yeah - just wanted his attention, just wanted his time.  And Klaus was born to be a gremlin, all mischief, and spite. He chokes, as Diego holds him tighter, fingers clenching as he curls his spine, and he wonders if Diego knew.  I use to look at you as a big brother. Klaus loses it, and crashes down, the pale stretch of his skin a white cap wave bursting against sun-warmed sand. “I still do.” 



He feels Diego’s stomach jump below his own and for a second Klaus thinks he’s trying to get away but he’s---he’s laughing . His body clenches, and twists and he surges up to kiss Klaus, but it’s lost to the laughter and Klaus---smiles, feeling stupid, balls deep in his fucking brother. “I just---” Diego smears the words across Klaus’ jaw. “I shouldn’t find that so goddamn hot . Why do I find that so hot?”

 

And Klaus supposes that’s fair. Being Big Brother is a bit contradictory to getting off on Klaus calling himself Daddy. He’s not surprised it’s Diego who found a balance on the contrary, not at all. But then - he’s also pretty sure that’s not what Diego means. “Because you’re a filthy fucking slut, Gogo,” Klaus assures him, feeling even-footed and right in the words. “You make Benny call you Big Brother when you fuck him, don’t you?” 

 

And it’s fascinating - yeah it’s magic, to say those words and watch Diego just---crumble. His eyes roll back, just a little, and he licks at his bottom lip so helplessly, Klaus has to kiss him. They’re hardly fucking, they’re hard - they’re just sharing space . “Benny---” Diego manages, chasing Klaus’ tongue. “We don’t make Benny do anything. He does what he wants.” 

 

And Klaus has to laugh at what - he has to. His body shakes, and he finds it easy to bury his face in the curve of Diego’s neck, set his teeth there and not bite, not yet. It’s easy to fuck him then - to move with the roll of his body and Diego is not still. Diego holds on, and his body curls and his thighs flex and he makes himself open, makes himself soft and taught all at once and Klaus never had anything more than an abstract concept of religion, until he fucked his brother. “Can you get hard again?” 

 

“You keep talkin’ about Benny like that, and yeah probably.” Probably, he says, like he’s not good for three or four. He can’t beat Klaus for stamina, but his refractory time is straight intimidating. He’s already starting to fatten up like the words alone are witchcraft, and maybe they are. Klaus certainly feels compelled. 

 

Klaus pushes up, on his knees, so he can pull Diego half into his lap and it’s---

 

Ben doesn’t like it like this, doesn’t like the helpless flay of his own body, belly up and exposed and Klaus respects that. Diego---

 

God- he looks good though, stretched out - miles of sun-warmed sandy skin, inked and scarred.  Diego does not have the same reservations as Ben, however, and gets his elbows up underneath him so he can help

 

Another hopeless sigh escapes Klaus. “You are really fucking hot, bud.” 

 

“Please don’t call me bud when you have your dick in me,” Diego groans, with his head, tilted back, half off the mattress. “Fuck--- Klaus. Don’t call me bud ever .” 

Klaus pulls Diego further into his lap and spreads his legs farther and Diego moves so well, Klaus would suspect he’s done this before. He plants his feet against the mattress and braces himself hard against his elbows so Klaus can really fuck him. He looks--- sloppy. Slutty. Maybe a little bit beautiful . Klaus has - well. He’s certainly come in worse places. 

 

He grinds into Diego, the sloppy, ragged way his brother likes and he should absolutely not know about. He bottoms out and holds it, rocking deeper, desperate and Diego fucking mewls, a broken terrible beautiful sound and his cock twitches where it lays against his tacky stomach and Klaus---

 

Does it again. 

 

And again. 

And again. 

 

It’s frantic in a way Klaus can’t quite remember and he realizes with clarity only open windows offer, that he’s not high. He’s high on nothing, nothing at all but the fire burning in his belly and the stupid glow across Diego’s skin. Klaus laughs, bright and wild and loses his mind for the toe-curling drag of his cock as he pulls out as far as Diego’s thighs will allow him and fucks himself right back in on a slow, digging grind. God - Diego’s ass . It slaps into Klaus's hips like a rubber band snapping, and it’s so goddamn obscene, it’s----

 

Diego’s hard, Diego’s so goddamn hard. 

 

Klaus fucks him, rough, and deep and hard and slow , and when Diego tries to look away, Klaus grabs him by the mouth, sinks two pale fingers over his bottom teeth and shakes him. “ I fuckin---,” he has to shake him again when Diego’s lashes flutter close. “Wanna fucking watch you squirm ,” Klaus tells him on a shiver, through clenched teeth and on the tail end of a thrust that rattles Diego’s whole body. “You gonna let me?” 

 

Diego’s breathing hard when he nods, brown eyes wounded but bright, and Klaus isn’t expecting it when he sinks his teeth down. The shameless break of Klaus skin is violent and cruel, but the smear of red that spills across Diego’s mouth is everything .  Klaus digs his toes into the bed, desperate not to come, endurance well and truly fucked by the blood so sweet on Diego’s tongue. And as he drags his fingers free from the bite of Diego’s teeth, the color remains, a red wash love letter across his chin. 

 

Klaus doesn’t mind the sting where his skin stretches as he takes Diego in hand or the way the blood sticks tacky between his fingers. He comes crashing down to kiss his goddamn brother, and it tastes like their childhood, and it tastes right . He fucks Diego up into the circle of his fist, feels Diego clench and flutter. He keeps his eyes open though, the furrow of his brow all injured fury like he’s offended to feel so good. 

 

He doesn’t come until after Klaus does, the flutter of Diego's body wracking sharp, crackling aftershocks of lighting through his body, and when he comes, it splashes across Diego’s face, turning all the red still wet there, pink. 

 

Chapter Text

Ben is not always a peaceful sleeper.  He’d say he was just out of practice, but in truth - he’d never been an easy sleeper.  His mind is not his alone, and the Horror bleeds into his brain more in the weakness of dreams. And so often, he lays awake, staring at the ceiling where the shadows shift and shudder. He’s not sure he needs sleep, just like he’s not certain he needs food, and so sometimes - peace is nice. 

 

It’s rare they all sleep together.  Too hot. Too cramped. They’re three fully grown men, and rare is the mattress that can accommodate that .  Klaus has already slipped away, to sprawl out on the cool sheets of his own bed, leaving Diego and Ben in a tangle.  

 

Diego sleeps like he’s the one with tentacles, every limb he has wrapped tight around Ben’s body.  It’s...soothing, in a way. To be so tangibly tethered. It’s hard to feel like you’ll float away with a hundred and seventy-five pounds of Diego laying on top of you.  

 

Diego...

 

Diego is also not a peaceful sleeper. 

 

Worse though - he’s impossible to wake. 

 

And so Ben just hushes him, with little shh shh shh’s, and pets at his hair, fingertips lingering on that terrible scar, there. “Hey, shh - it’s okay. It’s okay .” 

 

And it is okay, of course, it’s okay.  Ben often suspects Diego’s killed more people than any of them, save perhaps for Five. And while he has Five’s pragmatic approach to necessary death, he lacks the edge of indifference.

 

(Not to say that Five is indifferent . He’s just had longer to cope.)

 

And so his dreams are red, and there’s a knife beneath their pillows. 

 

“Diego,” Ben hums, kissing the corner of Diego’s mouth. His body goes rigid, arms locking tight and it hurts, how hard he’s holding Ben. It hurts .  Ben could just leave, pop right out, get Klaus - but no. He’d never leave Diego like this. Just like he never left Klaus. They’re brothers - they’re brothers in everything, even in this. “It’s okay. It’s okay--- ” 

 

He’s not entirely sure what’s happening at first - only that the space between their sleep-sweat sticky bodies goes suddenly hot and wet .  Diego’s still holding him so hard, pressing him down into the mattress with the whole of his naked body and it hits Ben like a fucking tangible fist



Diego had been a bed wetter when he’d been little.  So had Vanya. Some kids just are. Some traumatized kids just are a little more.  Grace had handled it like she handled everything else, with kind words and a clean house.  Vanya regularly cried when it happened. 

 

Diego would hide. 

 

Sometimes for hours. 

Ben’s astounded by the sheer quantity and the heat of it, where it accumulates in his belly button, warm enough to burn .  It drips down his stomach and soaks into the sheets where they press against his body. He can feel it, where it seeps and spreads, damp against the small of his back, against his arms where they press into his bed, against his thighs. It’s a lot . He can feel it on his thighs, he can smell it. 

“Shhh,” he hushes Diego again, with the last little breath left in his lungs. “Diego---Diego---you have to let go. It’s okay, it’s okay.” All the little wounded noises Diego makes in his sleep are breaking his heart, but he can’t breathe and---and---

 

And that’s when Diego wakes up. Startles awake like someones struck him and Ben sees it on his face as he scrambles to disentangle himself from Ben. He sees it when Diego realizes just what’s happened. 

 

His eyes go wide in the darkroom, the glossy black of his iris made bright in the moonlight. “I---I---Ben---I---” 

 

And Ben’s not sure if he lets Diego go now, that he’ll ever see him again. So he does what he has too, pissy sheets and sticky skin be damned. He gets his arms around Diego, and pulls him back, crashes their bodies together so he can kiss him. “It’s okay, it’s okay,” Ben murmurs, between frantic little kisses against Diego’s resistant mouth and Ben doesn’t---

 

He doesn’t know how to make it okay. He’s lying, it’s not okay, and he doesn’t know how to make it right. Klaus would know. Klaus always knows. Klaus would---

 

All Ben knows is that the second he stops kissing Diego, Diego will panic.  Diego will panic and rail and launch himself from bed with that haunted, tortured look in his eye and then he’ll hide, and decompose in his misery and all Ben has to do to prevent it, is kiss him forever



And so he pushes up, with everything - putting Diego on his back is no easy feat, but Ben does, licking at his mouth, hands frantic where they sink into Diego’s hair.  It’s late, and they’re only half awake, both caught up in the opposite end of the same nightmare and Ben’s so warm , and Diego is a real thing, a body his body knows all too well. 

 

He doesn’t mean to like it, doesn’t mean to fall into it. Doesn’t mean to hold Diego down against the pillows and kiss him hard and wet, the edge of teeth sinking too deep into the plush give of his brother's lip. Ben doesn't mean to shake him when Diego moves to push up, doesn't mean to force him right back into place. He doesn’t mean too - he doesn’t mean to forget what this is about. 

 

Because this is about Diego - and Diego’s relentless, never-ending wealth of shame that eats him up at the edges of his mind. And this is about how Ben’s just not fucking having it. 

 

So he’s hard - he’s fucking hard . Perched in Diego’s lap, curled over his sticky, naked body. It’s an acrid scent, human but animal, but the absence of scent changed Ben’s appreciation for such a thing and he doesn’t....he just doesn’t care. 

 

Because he can see it in Diego’s dark eyes, where they catch the moonlight spilling through the open curtains. He can see the first festering curl of hopelessness and Ben...

 

Ben swallows and gets his hands on Diego’s face. What would Klaus do? Klaus would--- Klaus would probably blow Diego.  Klaus would probably lick it up; his depravity knows no bounds and he’d long ago cast aside the fetters of human shame, telling Ben in a drunken stumble - if you’re not ashamed of anything, no one can ever hurt you.  Shame was the sharpest knife, and the whole world held the handle. Klaus would love it - would love the unexpected treasure of such absolute corruption. Ben’s not Klaus, but he thinks he understands now, what it means to them. And he thinks he knows, in that wretched, stretched and tense moment, exactly what Diego needs.

 

You did--- You did so good, Gogo.” It’s hard to say, fumbling from his mouth, but he says it, and he feels it. 

 

“Ben, I--I--didn’t---I didn’t mean too---” Diego sobs , chest heaving, all anxiety, and disgrace. Ben is not very good at this. Ben is not Klaus. He calls for Klaus in the quiet way he knows how but Klaus is asleep and--- and---Diego needs him. 

 

“You like it when it’s---when it’s filthy.”   He kisses Diego’s mouth again, holds him in place until Diego kisses back, soft and unsure. “Don’t you like it? You---” What would Klaus say? What would--- “You can like it if you want.” He rolls his hips the best he can, and Diego’s not hard, but his hands come to rest on Ben’s hips all the same. “Do you---do you want too?” 

 

 Diego doesn’t look sure, and Ben is just---not good at this. But---but he wants to be. He wants to be good . He wants to be exactly what Diego needs right now, even if what Diego needs is Klaus. Klaus would tell him --- Klaus would---

 

He clears his throat. “Klaus likes it.” Ben has paid witness to how much Klaus can like it. Klaus can like anything under the correct circumstances - and he always like Diego, he always likes Ben. 

 

Diego sucks in a breath, the muscles of his stomach twitching where they press to Ben and Ben thinks---Klaus would absolutely love it. 

 

“We could...” And God - Ben can feel himself dripping, just thinking about just exactly what they could do. “We could make a mess for him.” And he feels his mouth part on a sharp little breath, imagining it. He feels himself smile and watches Diego's eyes go wide.  “He could find us...like this. He’d like it.” 

 

“F--f---fuck,” Diego hisses, but his body relaxes, very slightly, very very slightly. He’s not hard, not at all and Ben just---doesn’t know what to do. “Fuck, Benny. I don’t know. I don’t---” 

 

Klaus would----Klaus would----



Ben drags his tongue up Diego’s face, lets his teeth scrape over his jaw and Diego---Diego shakes all over so Ben knows it’s right. “Why don’t you---” But no - Klaus would never ask like that. Never so mild. He might not ask at all. Klaus would--- they’re disgusting together, and it scares Ben...almost as much as he’s come to like it. How much he's come to like watching them together and he thinks about all the times he's watched them - all the things he's heard Klaus say. He presses his mouth to Diego’s ear and makes himself speak. It’s terrible, it’s terrible, the way it slithers all over his skin and makes his stomach tighten and this thighs clench and his cock drip . He hates it as much as he loves it; Klaus was right. “I wanna ride you just like this .” 

 

Diego whines, and presses his forehead into the curve of Ben’s neck and Ben knows---knows he’s got it right now. He’s got it right - this is what Diego needs, and he reaches out for Klaus, but Klaus won’t wake so Ben...

 

Ben just wants to be good

 

“Just like this.” He presses his hand low on Diego’s stomach, where he’s wet with piss, where it’s collected, just a little, in his belly button. The sheets squelch as they move, and Ben’s honestly not a hundred percent sure how he feels about it.  It's not so black and white as a mouth on his cock, and he feels inexplicably older for the sudden understanding that pleasure has facets, has degrees, slow burns and forest fires.  Ben's not burnt up for the cooling wetness strapped between their skin, but he's on fire for Diego. For when Diego shudders, and he knows how he feels watching Diego’s eyelashes flutter. It's good in a new way, that drips down his spine. “I’m hard .”  

 

And it’s a testament to Diego’s addled state that he finds this shocking. Ben gets hard over suggestive table legs. He’s always hard for his brothers. “Klaus would like it. We could...” And God - it’s still hard, even now - even after every depraved thing they’ve done. It’s hard to put it into words, but Diego needs words, and he needs them now, more than ever. Klaus had said - Diego appreciated a direct approach. “You wanna...Don’t you want him to find us like this ? Just...Just absolute---absolutely filthy ?”  And even as he says it - Ben wants it. God, Ben wants it. It’s so rare that he has the opportunity to give Klaus anything he wants, anything not colored by what Ben seeks. He could give this to him. He wants too. And Diego---Diego need it. “He’d love it so much.” 

 

Diego rolls his hips, a tentative grind and Ben gets his fingers in Diego’s hair and pulls . “You like it,” he says, making Diego look at him the way Diego’s always making Ben look. It’s nothing like he’s ever done, he’s never curled his fingers so hard, but it’s good. It’s good in a way that sits low in his belly and makes Diego clench his teeth so pretty. “You---you like it.” 

 

“No, no I---” But he’s not stopping, he’s still moving, forearms braced against the pillows either side Ben’s head. “No, I---” 

 

“You can,” Ben tells him, very clearly. Very firmly. He can leave no room for indecision in his voice (Klaus always sounds so goddamn confident , when he’s telling Ben how much he wants too--- he just needs to sound confident.)  “You can like it if you want too.” 

 

Diego hides his face in the curve of Ben’s neck, and it brings together their stomachs, and the undeniably wet heat trapped between them. “You don’t,” he says, muffled Ben’s skin. It’s all the admission Diego might enjoy it, that Ben will ever get. 

 

And it’s more than enough. 

 

Ben turns his face into Diego’s hair and feels dizzy and stupid and small and scared. “I---I like how much you like it,” Ben admits, and he understands for the first time perhaps - the nature of Diego. And a little bit, just a very little bit - the nature of himself. “I like how much I know Klaus is going to like it.” Klaus might even---

 

Klaus might even want to piss on him. Ben’s thighs clench and his stomach jump and he’s so horrified, he’s so absolutely horrified at the thought. He wants it. He--- he pulls at Diego, scrambles to tug him into place, to get his mouth on his mouth feeling frantic and wild and ---

 

“You fucking like it,” Diego gasps, pressing a kiss to Ben’s throat. “God--- Ben ----I---I---” 

 

He shoves at Diego - pushes at his shoulder until he can press him into the damp mattress. Diego lets him; God, Diego lets him. “Klaus,” he says, instead of any of the other things he could say. “Klaus---” His thighs are too wet to give him any leverage against Diego’s stomach--and he’s---- He’s not good at saying what he wants, he’s not good at putting it to words. But when Diego pushes up, Ben flattens a hand against his chest and puts him back against the mattress. “We’re making a mess,” he manages, more firmly than the breathless, rapid way his heart is beating. “Put---Put----” 

 

“A-a-anything,” Diego stutters, grabbing Ben’s hips with rough, dry palms. “Benny---please---” 

 

And he just has to say it - Diego won’t do anything until he says it, and Diego’s... He’s looking at Ben with big, needy eyes, and Ben knows --- 

 

Diego needs looking after, sometimes. He sees it, Ben sees it. Sees the way Klaus touches him, speaks to him, loves him .  Diego needs direction, a firm hand and a bed of filth. Klaus gives him that. But Klaus isn’t here. 

 

“I wanna fuck you like this,” he says, pressing down against Diego with his palm as if he could hold him in place. I wanna fuck you , he thinks, feeling a little delirious. He’s not--- He doesn’t mean---- “I wanna ride you just like this .” He rolls his hips, drags his ass down Diego’s cock and everything is just so---so unexpectedly wet . Ben’s not sure he likes it, but he’s certain he likes how much he wants to squirm and the only soul to make sense of that tangled mess is fast asleep four rooms over. “Help me. ” He wants to say something dirty, something Klaus might say. Put me on your cock, or something to that effect, but he can't - fuck, he can't. All he can say is --- all he can fucking say is ---- "Now!" 

 

Diego makes a noise like someone punched it right out of him and he picks Ben up like Ben’s nothing at all, biceps going tight, and hard beneath his tan skin.  Ben’s still a little sticky, still a little open from before , and he sinks down with ease, inch by inch.

 

 “Fuuuck!” Diego cries, when Ben drags a shaky hand up his stomach, smearing piss across his pale skin.  It’s awful, it’s awful , but he’s so hard and Diego bounces him, once, rough enough to turn everything very briefly, hot and white. “Fuck,” Diego cries, weakly, all shake and shudder, as he drags Ben up, the pull of skin against skin everywhere they touch burning, hurting , hurting the way only good things do. “Fuck, Benny. Fuck .” 

 

And before Ben can rally to protest otherwise, Diego’s picking him up, and dropping him high on his chest. He gets his hands under Ben’s thighs, under his ass and----

 

And Ben barely has time to throw his hands out, to catch the headboard before he’s balls-deep in Diego’s soft-tongued, open mouth.  And he is torn - fuck, he’s torn. He’s torn by the impossibly deep itch burning up below his skin, where his nerves are a light, everything too-good, all at once, the press of Diego’s tongue, the wet slide of his mouth, the back of his throat where it bumps very faintly against the head of Ben’s dick---

And the wetness of his thighs, where they frame Diego’s stubbled, sticky cheeks. Where Ben’s fucking his face, his soft open mouth, fingers curled in his hair. His face . A thin line of piss races down the flat of his stomach, and it’s lost just as quickly to the scruff of Diego’s beard and---- fuck. 

 

“Oh. Oh---” Ben feels delirious, close to coming already, still so goddamn easy.  He pulls out, almost losing it all together when Diego chases blindly, opened mouth and it’s--- it’s strange to slip his fingers into Diego’s mouth. To hook them over his bottom teeth and pull. He shakes him, the same way he’s watched Klaus do a thousand times and Diego gets it. He gets it with a feral, fearsome look in his eye. Ben lets his fingers slip-free and Diego relaxes his jaw, lets the tip of his tongue rest along his bottom lip and yeah - he gets it. 

 

He leans forward, pushing up off his thighs and eases right back into to Diego’s soft, lax mouth.  It’s---- God, he’s dizzy. He throws a hand up against the headboard just as Diego moves to grasp the bars with both hands and it’s easy then - to just sink right in. To ride him like this, all soft and easy.  Diego stays so still, all plush give and spit collecting and spilling at the corners of his mouth and yeah - 

“Fuck,” he hisses, when Diego chokes a little, a muffled, needy gasp. He’s---He’s going to come. He’s going to come. He’s going to come---

 

He scrambles back, so hard he’s dripping, and it doesn’t take much, just the bump of Diego’s fat bottom lip, and Ben comes across his face like the world is ending. He thinks very briefly he loses hold on this reality, fading to nothing and coming back in the same breath. 

 

And the sight of Diego below him, framed in Ben’s sticky thighs, is a thing that will haunt him forever. Diego’s mouth is still obediently open, come dripping pearly white from his cheek, from his beard.  He won't swallow without permission, Ben thinks, feeling his tender balls twitch. Diego looks like he’s forgotten entirely how they ended up here, laying in piss, covered in come. 

 

And Ben...

Ben feels so fucking good

 

It’s awful. It’s awful . Ben thinks - Ben thinks he might actually hate it.  It goes against all the things he fights to hold, it makes his skin crawl but at the same time... All he can think about - all he can fucking fathom - is the blissed-out, helpless, wide-eyed broken look Diego can’t hide, or the thought of Klaus walking in on them like this, finding them like this.  So yeah - he hates it, God he fucking...he fucking hates it, but---- But yeah

 

Yeah. He might love it.

 

He reaches out and pushes his own come back into Diego's mouth without really thinking about it until he's petting Diego's tongue with two fingers so absently, the rhythm matches the pulse of his own heart.  Diego's fucking up, just a little, to the beat, with nothing to grind against. 

 

How can he hate it - but love it so much?

 

And perhaps that’s his lot in life, to always be a model of duality, man and monster, love and hate. He doesn’t think too deeply on it as he takes his soft, spent cock in a gentle palm and aims .  It...it shouldn’t be so easy to piss on your fucking brother, but Ben can’t imagine doing anything else in the moment.  It spills down Diego’s chest, catches in his chest hair, collects in his collarbone, waterfalls down his shoulder, and the curve of his neck.  He's still fucking his own mess of come across Diego's lax tongue, his thighs are still twitching, his breath still short. Ben can’t say he’s into it - the pissing thing. But he won’t lie and tell you he doesn’t like Diego like this. He won’t tell you it’s a fluke, that it’ll never happen again.  He won’t say anything, because he can’t think outside this single moment like time’s come to a standstill around them. All he can think about, all he can -- see are the crystal clear tears painting trails through the piss and come on Diego’s face, as he sobs

 

And it feels wrong to press his hand down on Diego's throat, but it feels right to watch him close his eyes and hold so tight to the headboard his face redness and his biceps bulge. "Say his name, Gogo. C'mon." He doesn’t hold him - he’s not even really choking him. Ben’s not sure he even could. It’s the threat, he thinks, and he’s starting to understand. “Call for him,” Ben whispers, afraid of his own voice, of how much....how much he loves to hate this. “ Call for him Diego .” 

 

“K---Kl---Kluas,” Diego sputters, spine curling up like a bridge and Ben doesn’t know where they’re going when all he can think about is coming. “Fuck, Kluas --- please, I----” 

 

Ben feels the bed dip, but he already knew Klaus was there. He’d felt him in the air, at the haze of blue that eats them up.  Klaus comes with waves that sparkle and shift that contrast in light and dark. Standing behind him, knees to his back, Klaus cups the underside of Ben’s upturned jaw and Ben feels inexplicable, gut-churning, startlingly, blindingly-----

 

Cherished

 

“Look at you,” Klaus breathes, with wide pupils and a pale face and Ben’s not sure where they are anymore, where they’ve gone.  The world feels strange - a backdrop of hollow echoes that sound like a pulse. But Diego is a tangible thing, a force of color and warmth and life, where he lays beneath the press of Ben’s open palm. He can feel Diego’s heart, where it beats in his throat, and it matches the pulse in the hallow of the hollow - this is a sacred place. “Look at both of you.” He says nothing else and that’s how Ben knows - Klaus has come from the place where nothing exists and they’re in it.  Ben can’t feel them inside him- because Klaus has turned them inside out.  And he’s vibrating out of his skin, but all the shakes and shiver are within. 

 

Everything is upside down, all Alice in the Looking Glass, and Ben’s certain this is a space only Klaus could take them, all blue and breathless in the faint veneer of shade and greys. There is no color but the color of them and they are all faintly blue where Klaus touches. 

 

Ben’s certain he’s not high. He’s certain. But he’s floating and he knows - he’s heard the words. He’s read the books with the Yellow and Black covers, from the shelves in the Adult Self Help section at the public library, So You Think You’re A ---

 

Klaus called it subspace. 

 

Ben thinks it’s the void. 

 

They’re not dead - it’s something beyond or maybe just between that. It’s a quiet place, just the heart sound, and barely even a breath. Klaus's fingertips press into his rabid, frantic pulse, the same way Ben presses his to Diego’s and around them beats Klaus's heart and it feels like a vacuum, it feels like a veil Ben never wants to lift. 

 

It’s scary. 

 

But he likes it. 

 

And he thinks he understands exactly what Klaus meant when he promised Ben would love to hate it when he told Ben how much he’d come to love the things that make him squirm.  Because this is awful, it’s the worst and Ben’s certain he never wants it to end. It’s built a sort of nest of indestructibility in him. He is not afraid, anymore. Not of himself, or anything else. And if he fears nothing, no one can ever hurt him. 

 

And perhaps Klaus sees that in his face, in the upsweep of his lashes or the way he swallows, shaky and dry, and his throat rolls against Klaus tattooed palm. He pulls Ben back, until his head tips against the tight, taut muscles of his stomach. “ Good boy. ” 

 

And it’s a hot feeling that burst inside him, a slow roll of molten lava - and it’s a hot feeling that runs a river down his back, down his ass and he jolts so violently in Klaus's hand that he chokes himself on that Hello . His spine curls out, but he can still feel it, a searing stream of piss, running a course down his ass and dripping all over----

 

Diego

 

And Ben has to look - he has too. Klaus lets him slip free, and forward and there’s Diego---- 

 

Spine bowed, eyes closed, mouth open - the strain of his forearms, his biceps, as he holds so tightly to the headboard, the whole thing shakes . And Ben can feel him where he’s hard-pressed against Ben’s ass and Klaus is there, with two palms on his shoulder, leading Ben down, “C’ mon Benny - do it---” and Ben does , and he realizes as he bottoms out that Diego’s waiting for him - waiting for him to say---

But it’s hard to speak when Diego’s making all these soft, huffed, hurt little noises like he can’t breathe but Ben knows he can, and so he presses harder, feels the push back as Diego shakes all over, breathing hard through his open mouth, uh---ah---

 

And Klaus hand is back on Ben’s jaw, so soft with a thumb pressed to the corner of Ben’s mouth and Ben knows what Klaus would do - what Klaus wants him to do--- 

 

It’s like the living room all over again, Diego in his chair, Klaus behind him, and Ben on his knees. It’s the same but inside out and when Ben spits this time----

 

It splashes against the sticky mess of come and piss already wet on Diego’s face. 

 

And tears because Diego is crying - fucking fuck---- Diego's crying.  Full heavy sobs that shake them both, but Ben isn't scared, Ben wants him to come. God--- He wants him to come. 

 

“Now,” Ben says, straining against Klaus's palm and he knows if he pulls anymore if he chokes himself any more Klaus will let go, so he doesn’t and leaves himself fluttering like a caught bird in a gentle, barely-breathless palm. “Now,” he tells Diego and Diego comes, body snapping like a broken branch and Ben---- falls. Crashes. Catches the edge of black pressing in on the edges of his vision and slips into the void in hopes that he’ll fall out the other side. 

 

***

He doesn’t recall waking, only blinking his eyes and finding color again. Klaus touches his face, and Ben feels warm - where he’s curled over Diego who’s barely aware. “Shhhh,” Klaus murmurs, with a furrow to his brow that suggests concern but Ben can’t scrape the two brain cells required to speak enough to ask about it so he just turns into Klaus's hand and kisses his fingertips. “Let’s get you cleaned up.” 

 

And when next he blinks, he’s crammed into the tiny bathtub with his back against Diego’s chest, sparkling glitter water bursting with a pinprick, faintly crackling bubbles.  Klaus is pouring water of Ben’s head from that fucking teacup, while Diego breaths a soft rhythm across the curve of his throat and he feels real and solid and so fucking sleepy---

 

“There,” Klaus hums, pushing Ben’s wet hair from his face. “Don’t drown, okay? I’m gonna go change the sheets.” 

 

“But you didn’t----” And Ben reaches weekly for the robe Klaus pulled on, catching the satin floral fabric in slippery soapy fingers. “You didn’t---” 

 

“I don't need too,” Klaus tells him, with brevity and strange warmth. “You were really something else in there, Benny.” 

 

“I didn’t---” Ben tries to say but he’s not sure what he didn’t or he did right now, only that he’s gone pink in the steam, clean and warm and alive. “I didn’t want him too---” 

 

“I know. Fuck--- you did great. You... Shit Benny. I wish I could have seen,” Klaus tells him, with all the fiery vehemence of any man gone blind. “Fuck - I wish I could have seen you. I wish could have seen yourself.” 

 

Ben lets himself sink a little further into the waters, boney knees bobbing at the surface. Diego’s hands clench where they rest over the jutted bone of his hip. He shakes his head, hot by the thought. He never wants to see himself like that - it’s too much. 

 

Klaus slips out, and Diego drags the edge of his teeth just behind Ben’s ear. “Ben.” 

 

And the idea what Diego might want to talk about it... might want to--- discuss it----Ben can’t . “Yeah?” 

 

“Thank you.” 

 

Oh. Oh . “Of---of course.” 

 

***

When they stumble back to the bedroom, the messy sheets are gone and the windows open, dragging the stale scent of their own sins right out the window.  Klaus has made the bed in his own linens, and they’re not clean exactly, just cleaner than the ones on the floor now. They smell like him, and a little like Diego and Ben finds it soothing, finds it comforting in a way that should make him feel guilty. But he can’t find it in him to feel anything bad, too come-drunk and stupid and soft-touched at the edges. 

 

Diego presses him into the mattress, arranging his limbs with more energy than Ben finds fair. “He’s real out of it.” 

 

Klaus must hear the same thin streak of concern in Ben’s voice. “He’s real okay,” he snorts, easing in on the other side of the bed. It’s not big enough for three people, not by an inch, and they both crowd in on Ben, walls of night and day. “Baby’s just all tuckered out after a long, hard day.” 

 

“Mmf,” Ben grunts, too tired to protest properly. He rolls away from Klaus, the only form of physical offense he can show, and smacks face-first into Diego’s chest. Which is fine - Ben’s tired and warm; a little high and a little empty. He’s not sure where the soft, hollow feeling comes from, but he has a sense that Klaus does. 

 

(And maybe Ben’s known all along, every sin and secret Klaus has unfolded like a fucking gift. Maybe Ben’s known the depth and the wealth of complex emotion and discourse that make him the trembling little good boy, maybe he’s always just been afraid to look at it alone, maybe that’s why it’s easy to tremble in a Hello palm.  And maybe it’s born by anxiety, but Ben sort of lives and breaths, quite literally, for the look in Diego’s eyes as Ben holds him down and took care of him; Diego looked free . And maybe he knows it’s the  rage that makes him so fucking hungry, so desperate to see Klaus and Diego get exactly what they want in life -even when it’s this. Maybe Ben just likes knowing exactly what they want or need of him. Maybe he likes knowing that he can give it to them - he can make them happy the way he never could please S-----)

 

So yeah - he feels a little hollow, a little lighter, a little freer.  He lets his chest rise and fall to match Diego’s, and when Klaus slips in behind him, the press of his palm where it curls over Ben’s hip is a tangle representation of the tie that binds them.  

 

He thinks he might have learned something about himself - which is fucking ridiculous. He pissed on his brother. He pissed on his fucking brother, holy shit.  He can’t quite put into words what it is he’s learned but he knows in the blood-filled beating of his very real heart - living feels a little easier than it did before. 







Chapter Text

Their little bathroom has become a hub of sorts. 

 

A bathroom with little privacy and a door that didn’t lock. 

 

Diego would be more bitter about it, but that’s how it all began, wasn’t it?

 

Him, and his inability to knock, and this bathroom, full to bursting with 2 , 4 , and 6

 

It’s another same occasion, Diego bustling through the door, to find it already occupied. But Ben is undisturbed by the intrusion, and so Diego has no issue with folding his clean towel over the bar and laying his clothes out on the back of the toilet.  The expected shower, however, is postponed in favor of watching Ben

 

He’s leaning over the sink, the curled edge of the ceramic biting into the soft, low concave of his stomach, peering very intently into the mirror. His face lacks the lines around Diego’s eyes or the new strands of silver-grey in Klaus's hair, curling peculiar at his temples. He’s smooth skin and baby fat cheeks and unless Diego’s hallucinating - a single hair budding at the upper left corner of his mouth. 

 

And God - Ben’s thirty, just like the rest of them. Almost a year has passed since the Apoco-not.  Their birthday was what---- six weeks away? Five? Thirty .   And so yeah - Ben was thirty, but Diego remembers with perfect clarity - being sixteen or so, and leaning up against the same sink and staring with a strange new anxiety, at his peppery, patchy stubble.  It’s such a juxtaposition of feeling - a giddy, goofy sort of adorable pride, and at the same time, something strangely protective but predatory. Ben is a beautiful boy, and only they know the truth of him - the man of him.  Diego thinks, with such a soft and warm certainty, he’d kill a man for hurting him. 

 

Hilarious, given that Ben is more than capable of protecting himself. 

Still - he’s a beautiful boy, shy grace personified, and Diego is violent for it. 

 

And so he crowds right in. 

 

And as he speaks, his words are muffled, by the smooth curve of Ben’s neck where it melds into his shoulder, where Diego’s mouth fits so nicely.  It’s a familiar touch now, how strange, and Diego kicks the door shut just to watch Ben smile. “Looks like you need to shave.” 

 

Not hardly, but Diego remembers the giddy, goofy feeling of his first shave and he wants that for Ben. He does. And the wry curl to Ben’s smile says he knows this, too. “I don’t even know how.” 

 

Diego scrapes the rough grit of his own stubble across Ben’s skin but waits to marvel at the pink burn sure to appear. “I can show you.” Diego likes showing Ben bullshit like this. Yeah - sure, they make it a little kinky but Diego actually likes being a big brother. He worms his hand under Ben’s arm and pops the medicine cabinet open, fishing out a razor and foam. 

 

He smacks another kiss against Ben’s cheek before letting him slide out, and perch on the edge of the bathtub. The upturn of his face is strangely cherubic and Diego’s more or less accepted the visceral gut-punch of fucked-up lust that hits him every time Ben looks particularly pure. 

 

And that’s how Ben watches and listens as Diego drones on about warm water first, shaving with the grain, rinsing his shitty plastic razor --- 

 

He pauses when he hears the doorknob snick, uninclined to let Klaus startle him into another scar. “Yes?” 

 

Klaus leans in casual curves against the door, a haze of sparkling smoke rising up around him.  He flicks ash on the bath rug and Diego knows he’s silently hoping the whole place goes up in flames one day. “What’s this?” 

 

“Baby boy’s growin’ a mustache,” Diego comments, dragging the razor down his face once more.  He knows Ben’s not watching anymore - he’s probably blushing, brilliant pink, and staring at his kneecaps. “Thought I’d show my little brother how to shave.” 

 

“Oh God, Benny - learn nothing from him. Unlearn everything he’s ever taught you. This is how the peasants shave. Your face is too pretty for that.” He crosses the little bathroom with a single step and snatches the razor straight from Diego and tosses it with all the theatrics of a circus performer, over his left shoulder. It skitters across the floor and out into the hallway. Klaus kicks the door shut the same way Diego had. “I’ll show you with the straight razor. The proper way. The classy way.” 

 

Diego snorts. “It’s not better just because it’s older. The disposable ones are fine.” 

 

“They’re fine if you’re in prison, Diego.  They’re fine if you don’t care about yourself and have no pride.” He gets his arm up under Diego’s, pushing right up into his space, mouth to Diego’s ear. “Pretty boys deserve better.” 

 

“Klaus.” Diego rolls his eyes and ignores the burn his cheeks “It doesn’t---” 

 

But Klaus interrupts --- “How about you let Daddy show you. ” 

 

And maybe it’s the way he shifts from casual comedy to this, fast as a car crash, that makes Diego’s whole body sway. Or maybe it’s the fact he’s never said that in front of Ben.  Or maybe it’s the way he’s looking at Diego in the reflection of the mirror. Or the way Ben’s breath goes sharp, where he’s sitting there - watching. 

 

Klaus drags ben’s damp towel down from where it hangs over the shower curtain bar and presses it against Diego’s chest. “Clean your face.” 

 

Diego...Diego does.  He just does. He lets the water warm and wipes away the foam from his face. Feels foolish for the patchy streak of bare skin.  Stands very still while Klaus leans over him and opens the cabinet. On the top shelf is a heavy wooden case Klaus had stolen from their father's room after the Apocanot - with a straight razor, and thick boar-haired brush.  Diego wears him like a backpack, arms under his own, Klaus's chest pressed flat against Diego’s back. He mixes the foam, holding Diego’s gaze and nothing is said - Diego holds his breath and Klaus smiles. Ben is a silent ball of color at their side and Diego wants to look at him so badly but he’s afraid to break Klaus's gaze - afraid to break the quick and fierce spell. 

 

Klaus keeps his face pressed to Diego’s temple as he paints the foam in swirls over his face. His knuckles hurt where they’re curled over the edge of the sink and he twitches, very faintly, when cool fingertips curl over his own. He lets his Ben tangle their hands and it’s dizzying, the effort it takes not to clench down, and grind all those little bones together. 

 

But Ben is soft. And Diego is better than that. 

 

Klaus smiles wider and Diego feels like a puppet . Played and played with. 

 

It’s good. 

God - it’s good. 

 

He lets his head fall against Klaus's shoulder, as he watches Klaus long fingers fold open the blade. It fits his hands perfectly, sleek and gleaming where the pale ivory inlay rests between his ring and middle fingers.  Diego is caught on Klaus’s thumb, where it’s pressed just beneath the blade the same way it’s so often pressed against his bottom lip. 

 

And Klaus is hard, the line of his cock nestled perfectly between Diego’s ass, pressing in the small of his back and Diego wants to push back - ride it like a fucking slut , but he can’t move, not when Klaus is bringing his hand down and---

 

It’s cold. Shockingly so. 

 

The first glide of the edge feels like tires on gravel sounds . A micro-vibration you feel in your bones. Diego swallows, dry and quick when Klaus moves to wipe the razor on the towel. It’s a very bright blade in a very pale hand against tan skin and Diego thinks it wouldn’t take very much to paint it all red. 

 

A brief inclination and the slightest pressure and it would be over before Diego could even consider fighting. Klaus stops with the corner of the blade pressed against his jugular like he can read Diego's mind. "I use to shake so badly," he tells them both, drawing the razor up once more with a quick flick of his wrist and Diego things again - it wouldn’t take much at all. ."God, do you remember how I use to shake, Benny?" 

 

" Yes ." Ben’s voice is feral and when he speaks, it’s a hiss.  Diego risks a glance in the mirror, and in the reflection is not a boy afraid of a rough hand, not a boy confused or angry at the sight of Klaus’ hand on Diego’s throat.  Diego’s---sad, in a way, to see that slip away. But what’s there instead is compelling, a bright-eyed demon painted in reverse in silver glass. Oh, he’s still bright pink, all the colors of the sunset, but his teeth are bared like he can’t stand it, and Diego remembers with a violent sort of clarity - that Ben understands what Diego wants now. 

 

And Ben wants to give it to him. 



Soft, quiet, mouthy, shy, new Ben.  Benny Boy who blushes at even the slightest innuendo.  Eager Ben who gets hard when their fingers brush. Easy Ben who comes so fast, wet and messy and ready already.  Ben looks raptured, on his knees and Diego feels close to believing in something, here and now, under the razor edge of Klaus's curved smile. 

 

If God were a moment - this is it.

 

Klaus kisses his temple, and Diego thinks, as the razor snicks across his skin once more, leaving smooth clean patches of fresh pink skin - Diego thinks---

 

Klaus is very beautiful. Very real. Very wild. And Diego wants to stay beneath his palm forever.  The essence of the moment - of the here and now - will never be captured by another hand. Diego will never feel like this with anyone else. Not between soft, thick thighs. Not in long, blonde hair. Not in the new curves of any stranger. Not in any woman, and not in any man. Not even Ben - that’s something else entirely (something born of latent trauma-induced guilt, general perversion and a genuine desire to be the best Big Brother Ben could ask for) This - whatever finite matter made this moment, made the magic  - this was something specific to Klaus , something specific to them.  There are layers to the tangle between them - brothers, Hargreeves, partners, partners and....whatever this is. 

 

It’s like the fight goes out of him,  like the last stubborn knot of fury still holding tight inside of him gives and he deflates everso minutely , back against Klaus's chest. His lashes flutter and Klaus must see something in him - see something on his face- because the razor snicks shut, and Klaus is turning his foam-covered cheek, looking him in the eye. “Hey--- you okay?” 

 

“Yeah,” Diego says, gruffly. He clears his throat and forces himself to look at Klaus. To open his eye. “Yeah. Yeah, I’m fine. I just---” 

 

“Too much?” The ivory inlay of the razor’s handle is cool against Diego’s skin where it’s caught between his cheek and Klaus's palm. “We can stop.” 

 

“No, I--- No.” He swallows, a dry roll, and he breathes, long and deep. “No.” 

 

“Okay.” Just like that, Klaus doesn’t question Diego’s decision and it means more than Klaus realizes probably. It means more than Diego could really put into words. Beneath his own hand, Ben’s fingers wiggle, until Diego lets him go just enough to tangle their palms. Klaus leans Diego to tilt his head back and this time when he begins to shave, he keeps his mouth pressed to Diego’s ear. He doesn’t speak, but the warm, even waves of his breath are soothing just the same and Diego feels lulled, soft and syrupy in Klaus's hands. 

 

When Klaus is finished, Diego’s skin is singing, and Ben’s still at his feet with his cheek resting against Diego’s thigh and it’s a soft and sleepy moment, where they’re all tangled up. Diego reaches up with his free hand to palm at the back of Klaus’ neck, to hold him in place.  To feel a kiss melt into a smile, with the scrape of teeth tickling his skin. They look good. They look good , together, like this. 

 

And Diego deflates again, tension overflowing over the edges, spilling across the floor and this time when Klaus turns Diego’s face up to look at him, Diego’s ready, Diego’s here. He kisses Klaus, soft and giving.  

 

“Yeah?” Klaus says and Diego doesn’t know what he’s asking, not at all, but he knows the answer. 

 

Yeah .” 

 

And from there - his skin is humming and Diego thinks he probably sustains on the feeling alone for the better part of two days. He feels goofy, stupid, prickly bright and anxious.  It’s the same feeling that haunted him as a child - a fear of sorts. Diego wants to cover it, hideaway with it in the dark and never let anyone see it for what it is. Hug it to his chest until he can steal it away, and lock it up where only he can touch it. 

 

He’s afraid, just a little bit. Afraid that it should end. 

 

And should he forget that fear- the world reminds him. 

 

Klaus is standing in the kitchen, picking the marshmallows out of a box of Lucky Charms. He doesn’t even like the marshmallows - he’ll give them to Ben, probably.  He’s doing it to fuck with Luther. For no other reason than to simply fuck with Luther, no matter how much Klaus likes to refer to their breakfast games as social experiments. 

 

He looks over his bare shoulder, pepper-stubbled chin brushing a plum stained bruise in the exact shape of Diego’s teeth. He grins, and it’s beautiful. He’s beautiful . Diego’s sore - he’d had a long night, taken a few hits and fell down a full flight of stairs. He feels old. He feels thirty-one pushing in on him the same way dull knives threaten to break the skin.  Klaus always wakes up early the nights Diego stays out late. 

 

“You hungry?” He asks, turning back to his work - marshmallow rainbows, hearts and clovers amassing in a pale, ceramic dish. “I could burn some eggs. Or I could wake Ben up and he could make the food you’d actually enjoy?” 

 

There’s a set of four marks scratched deep over his left shoulder blade that definitely isn’t Diego, and he knows somewhere in the house, Ben’s a fucked-out puddle, probably covered in come and naked. Klaus probably put him there, for Diego to find, sticky and sleepy and starfished on his bed.  And Klaus is in the kitchen in low-hanging sweatpants that definitely are Diego’s, entertaining himself while he waits for Diego to get home. 

 

Diego does not come home to this house. 

He comes home to Klaus. 

 

He barely hears his bag hit the kitchen floor, clanking and thunking even as he stomps forward.  Klaus is still talking, but Diego hears nothing - save for the rushing, bounding, beating of his own blood where it turns his world red. He spins Klaus where he stands, bends him backwards over the counter and kisses him the way they did the first time, and the second - and every time. Klaus stiffens at first, startling, but the met of his body is sticky candy-sweet and he moves into Diego like he was born to it - like they were born it to it, all the crooked nooks of his body fitting perfectly to the jagged break of Diego’s own. He cups Diego’s face and tilts himself into the kiss, eyes fluttering shut and mouth curled into a smile. 

 

Diego holds him by the hips and forces space where there is none, getting as much of himself stretched thin across Klaus's body. He thinks he might be - he might honestly be growling, but Klaus is just--- And Diego----

 

And Diego is very much in love with him. 

 

“What's gotte---” Klaus tries to speak, but Diego won’t have it, biting at his bottom lip and kissing him deeper. “Shit--- Fuck,” he sputters when Diego picks him up and drops him on the counter. It gives Klaus the upper hand, looking down at Diego, broken wild curls cast in the halos of 6:00 am light. Maybe he means to speak - finish the thought, but he kisses Diego instead, where he’s fitting himself between Klaus's thighs.  He’s still holding Diego’s face like he’s something precious or maybe something wild. He takes the kiss with a deft sort of precision, drawing Diego up until he’s on his tiptoes, the sharpened bite his nails carving half-moon smiles up Klaus’ spine.  

 

“Hey, you guys seen my---- Oh my God. ” There’s a crash, ceramic against tile, and something hot splashes Diego’s calves, even as the smell of whiskey stained coffee hits his nose. “I spent forty fucking years trying to get back to this?” 

 

Five. 

 

Klaus smacks his head hard against the cupboards, as he and Diego break apart with the exact speed a bandaid should be ripped off. “Ah--- Fuck .” He grasps the back of his head with a hiss and a wince and Diego can't stop himself from rushing back forward, concern and horror making for a strange storm under his skin. 

Five is just--- He’s just staring, and Diego wants to do nothing more than fucking run, but Klaus's fingertips are red . “Oh shit,” he mutters, fumbling forward to drag the kitchen towel from where it hangs over the oven handle. “Fuck - you okay?”  He pushes himself back between Klaus thighs and presses the towel to the base of his skull. “You’re okay,” he says more firmly when Klaus doesn’t answer. 

 

Klaus is looking at Five, over Diego’s shoulder.  His face says nothing, so perfectly empty, it frightens him.  Diego chances a glance back, and Five is still there, standing perfectly still, a broken mug and a puddle bleeding across the fresh mopped floor. Diego bares his teeth, having chosen fight over flight, but Klaus's hand settles on his hip and Diego is shamelessly tamed

 

Five misses none of this. Of course, he doesn’t. It’s Five . “I thought you were fucking Ben.” 

 

“I am ,” Diego says, just as Klaus says “I am .” 

 

Great. 

 

“Right.” Five stares blank-faced, at the cupboard to their left. It’s been two years since the apocalypse and Five looks...just like Ben. Young, and old. Almost a man, but with baby fat and a shadow in their eyes. “Right. This changes things.” 

 

“What,” Diego barks just as Klaus squeaks “ what ?” 

 

“This changes things,” Five repeats, with comically wide eyes, and the fucking uniform short-pants. “This changes things,” he says again and Diego’s certain, he’s so fucking certain he’s going to wake up from a dream. A nightmare. And Ben will be there, and Klaus will be near but it never happens, he doesn’t wake up and Klaus is still bleeding, faint but warm, where it soaks through the towel and across Diego’s skin. “This timeline must be different. Hmm.”

 

“What?” Klaus says again, but Five’s muttering, and shaking his head and when he looks around the room - Diego knows he’s looking for Dolores .  

 

“You okay?” He asks, turning away from Klaus just a little. He’s caught on the concern, between two brothers and Klaus--- 

 

Klaus is winning. Diego feels guilt, but only a little. He loves Five. He does. 

 

Five shakes his head. “I’m fine. I just...I need to rework the calculations. This timeline is different. I must have----Hmm....” And he’s already turning, already frowning. 

 

“That’s it?” Klaus blinks mouth purses in a clenched frown. 

 

Five blinks, looking up startled as if he’d forgotten already they were there. “I don’t care if you’re fucking each other. I don’t care who you’re fucking. This family is a fucking nightmare, but I spent forty-goddamn-years trying to get back to it. You think I’m gonna fuckin’ lose my shit over a little incest? Do you know the shit I’ve seen?” And Diego supposes that’s fair. That’s fucking fair. 

 

Five leaves. Klaus is still bleeding. “Head wounds---” 

 

“You okay?” Klaus asks like Diego isn’t holding his split fucking skull. Blood thickens between his fingers, tacky and warm. “You look fucking freaked, dude.” 

 

“Aren’t you?” 

 

“Five is in an abstinent relationship with half a life-sized Barbie sans the hair which is the best part like what the fuck, I think he’s actually the least likely to judge us.” 

 

And there are a lot of things at this moment that should take precedent, but----“he doesn’t---” like- at all?

 

Klaus shakes his head and Diego’s reminded that he is beautiful . The way that weird things are: spider webs, and cracks in the sidewalk made to look like flowers. He’s beautiful like carnage is - the way the eye of the storm and the aftermath are both terribly, hauntingly, frighteningly beautiful. He’s beautiful like photographs- a solid three seconds of perfection trapped forever. 

 

He’s beautiful in a way Diego can feel, and not just see. 



Diego doesn’t say that. Instead, he says, “Seriously though. Nothing?”

“He says it wouldn't be right,” he tells him solemnly. “You uh...You gonna get all weird about this?  I mean, do what you gotta - but like, don’t ghost Ben, okay? Pun unintended but still hilarious - he just...he deserves more than you just doing your man in the shadows schtick.” 

 

You deserve more too , Diego thinks as loudly as he fucking can, but Klaus will never get the message, so Diego will never stop thinking it. “I’m not---” He’s not certain what’s not right now though, he’s only certain of what he is and it’s--- He’s in love with Klaus. He’s in love with his brother but more importantly than that, he’s in love with Klaus

 

Absurd. It’s fucking absurd . It’s so goddamn absurd, Diego accidentally bursts into laughter, the goofy, broken, incredulous kind where too many of his goddamn teeth show and he’ll dwell over later but--- Klaus is fucking looking at him, half leant back over the counter as if some space will protect him from Diego’s apparent mental snap . “I’m not going anywhere,” he says, through a dumb fucking smile and Klaus's eyes are narrowed now but he’s not actively trying to escape so Diego figures it for fine. “I’m not,” he says again, struggling for something a little more solemn but he’s still struck stupid all the same. He takes Klaus face between his hands and pulls him forward, until their foreheads press and cool, tattooed palms curl over his wrists. “I’m not .” 

 

And the way Klaus lashes flutter, the way his shoulders drop - Diego realizes Klaus might want to run. He’s just as good as making himself vanish as Diego ever was - better, perhaps. And there’s nothing Diego could put into words to stop him, so he does what he can - and he kisses him. 

 

He’s still dressed - still sore and bruised. His bottom lip stings. His knuckles might still be bleeding, faintly, where he breaks open the fresh scabs every time he flexes his fingers. Still, he lets his palms slide, down Klaus's neck, his bare chest. He pulls him closer with hands on his back, feels every bump and grind of his spine, cut like a serrated knife - they always did the most damage. Klaus lets him, obliging so much as to hook both his thighs over Diego’s hips.  

And it's weird to think that not so long ago, Diego thought he was kissing Klaus because that's what Klaus needed. Now, Diego finds himself plastered to his brother for purely selfish reasons. It's endorphins. It's a high. He wishes he'd had the thought to shed his shirt, so he could feel all of Klaus skin against his own.  Maybe that's what Eudora meant by empathy. Wanting the same things.  

 

Feeling the same things.  

 

He pauses, just to breathe....just to let Klaus breathe, and the taste is rusted copper from Diego's busted mouth. “I’ll stay if you’ll stay.” 

 

“All things being equal,” Klaus replies, but there’s still space between them and Diego can’t stand it. He pushes further in, gets all of himself up against all of Klaus and lifts him up off the counter. Klaus flails, but chooses to latch more tightly onto Diego, than secure himself to the counter. “You can’t---You can’t fucking carry me upstairs---” 

 

Diego laughs as he shoulders his way through the kitchen. There’s coffee on the floor, and broken glass. He leaves it all in favor of biting bruises into the curve of Klaus's throat. “We were never going to make it to the room, Five or not.”  To enforce this fact, Diego detours to the french doors, pressing Klaus against the etched glass so he can kiss him one more time. 

 

Klaus allows this with a baffled, but amused smile. “What---” Diego kisses him again, catching the corner of his mouth. “What’s up with you right now? Not that---Fuck, not that I’m complaining, but this is a far cry from spitting in my cheerios and tying my laces to the chair legs shit--- ” 

 

Diego’s stumbling them out onto the patio, a door sticking shut behind them. “I haven't done any of that in years.” God - but he remembers it like it was yesterday.  Klaus had been so small, and Diego just wanted to be in control of something. 

 

Hilarious now - he’d do anything Klaus asked. He’d do anything

 

“Yeah but you’ve never done this,” Klaus argues and Diego’s certain it makes sense in his head, but it’s just as baffling as anything else that comes out of Klaus. 

 

Still, Diego supposes that’s fair. He’s never done this. And he wonders in a way that makes his palms itch for violence - has anyone ever loved Klaus? Properly and with a whole heart? He knows Klaus has been in love before - Dave .  Did Dave love Klaus? Diego would like to think so - but he’ll never be sure and so all he can do 

 

All he can do 

 

Is love his goddamn brother

 

With a whole heart 

 

And yeah it might be fucked up. Sometimes it keeps him up at night, turning his stomach, twisting him up. He’s fucking his brothers. He’s fucking his goddamn brothers and he gets off on it like a goddamn fucked up piece of shit. And it’s not better that he’s in love with Klaus - it might be worse. But shit - Diego almost watched the world burn.  He sees the worst that humanity has to offer, every single night, and it’s not Klaus. It’s not Klaus or Ben or Him. It’s not Allison or Luther. It’s not. It might not be right - but it’s what they have and Diego’s never been happier in his fucking life than he is now. With all his family together, even the way they are. 

 

And there are probably better ways of showing Klaus how much Diego’s going to love him, than pressing him into the hedges beside the house and sucking his fucking dick - but really, that’s Klaus love language . Diego’s parsed out all the way his body talks and though his tongue might not be fluent - he’s learning. 

 

Diego hums , and Klaus wails, fingers curling into his hair. It’s easy to forget he fell down a flight of stairs two hours ago, with Klaus thighs framing his face, and the heels of his bare feet pressing hard into the curl of his back.  Klaus sweatpants are abandoned in the faded, dry mulch, and Little rocks and cigarette butts bite into Diego’s knees, where he knelt in the dirt. Nothing Diego’s doing has any particular finesse . It’s messy, spit-sticky and without any real rythm but Klaus is crying so pretty, so painfully fucking hard where he’s pressed against Diego’s tongue, he thinks it might be okay---

 

“Baby,” Klaus gasps and Diego’s---

 

Diego can’t----

 

“Baby, fuck. Baby, baby---- ” 

 

Diego can’t----

 

And then Klaus is rolling his hips, pushing up against Diego’s face and he feels --- the first bump of Klaus cock hitting the back of his throat is enough to turn his vision split-second black . He breathes hard out his nose and loses any focus as Klaus comes crying, across his tongue. 

 

“Ahh,” Klaus said, faintly shrill. “Fucking---Fuck. Fuck fuck fuck .” He’s got an arm thrown over his face, and he’s shaking his head back and forth, chest heaving. “ Diego .” 

 

And Diego--- Diego still has Klaus cock in his mouth, gone half-soft and tacky with come. There’s blood on his hands, and he’s left smears of red across Klaus's body, a pale stretch of red and white in a backdrop of green speckled earth. 

 

Things are hazy from there - Diego couldn’t tell you the day.  Klaus gets them in the shower, strips Diego of all his torn and bloodied clothes. He slides beneath the water behind Diego, and plasters himself to his back, boney jut of his chin coming to hook over Diego’s shoulder. Beneath them, mud and blood swirl and stream washed away down the gurgling faucet.  

 

He lets Klaus slip his arms around his waist, narrow palms gliding up the tender, bruised plains of his torso. He leaves them to rest over Diego’s collar bones, and he just breathes as Diego breathes. It’s normal. It’s normal. It’s a steam-hazed moment, tied up in time, benign in weight and beige in color, it is nothing, infanticimal, a blip in an otherwise wild and disorderly life.  But Diego’s in love with his brother and that changes things.

In the mirror, Diego sees Klaus as a man.  Sharp and beautiful, brilliant and wild, but beneath that - beneath the raw scraped cut of his rib cage, beneath the razor curve of his jaw, or his sickle-moon smile - Diego still sees the spooky little boy he used to be. Klaus turns to press a kiss to the beating pulse of Diego’s throat, but he never really looks away. 

 

It’s quiet in the bathroom, the cornerstone of what they are. And as they clamber from the tub, dripping water on the cracked tile floor, Diego thinks - this is gonna change things. 



Chapter Text

Five makes no perceptible change in his treatment of Diego, Klaus or Ben. He’s still tiny and abrasive, still squirrely and somewhat unhinged. Klaus decides to follow suit and act as nothing has changed. 

 

But in reality - 


Things are different

 

It all sort of comes to a head as September ends and bleeds into October. 

 

There’s a hand on his ass, broad and calloused, and a thumb dipping familiarly beneath the back waistband of his abominable jeans. They’re not doing anything. They’re just standing there - awkwardly on the terrace above the garden, watching Vanya play in the gazebo below.  Luther and Allison are huddled up by the french doors, behind the lip of the roof, safe from the rain. Ben, in contrast, is starfished out on the smooth, stone patio, with his pale lids closed and a sleepy, pleased smile curling faintly at the mouth. He is unperturbed by the rain; Klaus thinks he might love it. Five watches from an open window across the courtyard; Vanya, them.  Everything is soft, and on the sweeter side of somber, melancholia soothed by the comfort of a hand in your pocket.  

 

It’s their birthday. 

 

Their thirtieth birthday. 


Later there will be cake; something beautiful and pristine, three-tiered with late-season strawberries or dainty sugar violets. Mom will present it on a scalloped, pale pink cake stand, atop a frilly lace doily she’ll have crocheted for just the occasion.  There will be no candles, and instead - a void at the end of the table no one dares fill. Not even Luther would be so bold. Sir’s absence doesn’t exactly upset them, but they can hardly escape it. 

 

Klaus wonders if any of them consider the fact that...were he alive, he probably wouldn’t have joined them anyway.  Not for anything so frivolous as cake

 

Ben catches his eye, looking up at them from the patio and he waves a little, a new quirk to the corner of his mouth. Klaus blows him a kiss and Ben just laughs, resuming his starfish sprawl across the stone.  Diego worries sometimes - that they leave Ben out when they’re like this. But Ben is exactly where he wants to be in their rela---

 

In this

 

And Diego never worries he’s leaving Klaus out when he’s with Ben and Klaus realizes too late that it’s because it’s different to Diego.  Ben and Klaus are different

 

And Klaus should have seen it coming. He should have known. But how would he? Given who he is as a person, how would he? Except that - Diego and Ben are very different from him and he’s known that for a while now. 

 

Vanya’s music is beautiful . Evocative; its storytelling . Some might even call it haunting

 

Klaus doesn’t want to hear it anymore. 

 

As he fades back into the bedroom, Diego follows and Klaus doesn’t...he doesn’t really know what to do with that. He is no stranger, he is no fool. Diego’s bullheadedness was only surpassed by his loyalty to whatever cause he deemed worthy and Klaus can’t really wrap his mind around the idea it might be him .  But when he drops down onto the bench at the foot of the bed, Diego drops down too, to kneel between his open thighs and Klaus doesn’t hesitate, doesn’t even think to hesitate - he kisses him.  He kisses him because he’s there , and Diego kisses him back, with two hands coming to cup Klaus's face. 

 

Klaus bites him. Couldn’t say why, except - it’s too soft right now, too tender. Tender like bruises are tender - if Diego pushes , Klaus will hurt

 

So Klaus bites him, and Diego smiles into it, unperturbed by the casual violence, unperturbed by the fact he’s fucking his brothers. Fucking - Diego . Klaus is broken. Klaus sold his morality for a dime bag, for a break .  Diego’s still got a little good left in him - and he spends it on Klaus. 

 

And Klaus wants to be mad. God, he wants to be mad, and maybe he is, just a little. Maybe he wants to bite Diego. Maybe he wants to hurt him. Maybe he wants to panic and disappear. Maybe he wants to give a flying fuck about the fact he’s dicking two of his brothers and there’s something cosmically wrong with that. Maybe he wants to call Diego disgusting and mean it. Maybe he wants to ask him what in the blue fuck is he thinking. Maybe he wants to shove him away, with laughter or cruelty. Maybe he wants to not feel so fucking terrified. Maybe he thinks he’s a fucking fool forever letting this happen. 

 

Klaus is many maybes. 

But what he is ...what he truly is, is grateful. And what he does is kiss him back. 

 

Diego sees the war in him anyway and it’s

 

It’s

 

It’s fucking annoying, actually. To have someone look at you and see you. It’s annoying. 

 

Klaus bares his teeth. 

 

And Diego asks 

 

That mother fucker asks Klaus

 

“Are you okay?” 

 

And Klaus can’t breathe. He can’t breathe . Most people just wish to die, but Klaud can’t even have that.  “Am I okay? Am I okay ? ”

 

And clearly, as he is not, Diego doesn’t ask again. Instead, he presses. “What do you need?” 

 

And it’s just--- It’s thoughtful of him to ask.  Thoughtful of Diego to steal away into the shadows and kneel between his thighs and hold his face and give a shitting fuck about why Klaus is having a swift and sudden breakdown at his own birthday party. Klaus lets his palms come to grasp Diego’s wrists, where he’s raised both arms just so, to hold Klaus's face. “Don’t do this,” Klaus croaks, shaking his head and closing his eyes because the upturned concern in Diego’s unrepentant, shameless gaze is too much. “C’mon Diego. Don’t do this.” 

 

“Do what .” Diego is aggrieved. Aggressive. Clearly fucking annoyed. Diego usually is. Except his eyebrows are also furrowed, and he’s hunched forward, forcing Klaus to hold his eye, like maybe if he stares long enough, he’ll see the truth there. He presses a thumb to the corner of Klaus's mouth and neither of them would be shocked if Klaus kissed it. It’s that- it’s that casual....casual intimacy, that’s fucking Klaus up .  “What did I do?” 

 

Please don’t be so kind.  


Because Klaus had been sort of crippled by the idea that he should love anyone who might not love him back.  Until---- Until Dave, it had been the only love he’d ever allowed himself, but well. Dave changed things. Made Klaus feels things. And maybe, yeah, he’s a little hungry for it.  He’s a Dickonson era scabby little street kid careful not to press his palms to the window of a pristine, pastel candy store. And the glass is so clear, so clean, it’s as if it’s not there at all and Klaus deludes himself into thinking, just for a moment, he could reach right out and take what he wants. Then, just as he moves to stretch that Hello palm, his breath fogs the glass until all he can see is grey, and he remembers himself and where he came from. 

 

No one. 

Nothing. 

 

So tell him why it feels like he’s walking on broken glass?


And Diego’s hands are rough and calloused with scabs on his knuckles, and bruises on the heel. “It’s okay. It’s okay .” He presses their forehead together. “Breathe with me okay, just breathe.” 

 

The window doesn’t fog because there is no window, just Diego with his hands on Klaus's face. He wipes away tears - Klaus wishes he wasn’t crying - with twin sweeps of his thumb. “Sorry,” Klaus manages, feeling stupid and sounding stupid all the same. “Sorry, sorry - I don’t know why I---” 

 

Diego kisses the corner of his mouth and Klaus feels so fucking gutted by it. For Klaus - love had been....love was....love is staying up to make sure they come home safe. Love is pulling them out of their heads. Calling their shit.  Love is knowing how they drink their stupid seasonally inappropriate sugarfucked coffee. Love is making sure they're close get switched from the washer to the dryer before they start to mildew.  Love is not a word Klaus thinks he can ever say, not to Diego - not the kind of love that’s tearing him up. But he thinks - it’s a thing he could do. 

What’s love to you , he thinks, turning to kiss Diego’s palm the same way he always does for Klaus. It’s a--- It’s a love language .  He remembers Allison telling Vanya about love languages so many fucking years ago - back when Diego was just a creeper and Ben couldn’t make it past the ten-second mark. 

 

Not so long ago for something so long ago. 

 

And when they kiss, it’s salty from where he’s cried and he feels stupid and awful and small and safe and warm and like maybe things might be okay---

 

As okay as any incestuous courtship maintained between brothers can be. 

And why does it matter anyway - why does it even matter? Because love isn’t relative. Love isn’t---it isn’t so benign.  Love is like the cosmos - there is no metric to its limits, there is no standard, there is no set path to parallel. It’s not respective to anything. 

 

Shit , he’s high. He has not been this high in some time. It takes...effort. It takes time. But it’s his birthday and he started at nine. Somewhere outside, Ben’s starfished on the ground in the garden and none of his siblings find this odd, nor do they question the cloy and choke dragons breath of smoke that rises up from the basement anytime Ben or Klaus open the door. Horticulture, motherfuckers. Get a hobby. Hobbies are healthy

 

He accidentally snorts into the kiss, shoulders coming up on a sharp, short laugh. Diego smiles, the peculiar one that pulls his whole head faintly to the side like a curious dog. “What's funny?” 

 

“I thought too long about the stars once,” he tells Diego because this is hardly the first time. “And I realized that up and down aren’t real .  So when everything goes upside down in my life, I remind myself that there’s no such thing as up, so why does it even matter ? Sometimes...sometimes it’s gotta be okay to just...to just exist and not worry about all that other shit.” 

 

And the lines at the corner of Diego’s eyes are no deeper than Klaus's own, but he wears them better in Klaus's opinion. “Yeah?” His mouth is always open slightly,  and Klaus - Klaus fucking remembers finding it to be the singularly most annoying fucking thing on the planet. That Diego had to walk around like some goddamn neanderthal cave breather with his goddamn mouth open and now --- now he thinks it’s fucking cute, with just that hint of bunny teeth. Love is a sickness. It’s insanity. “What's got your world turned upside down, then?” 

 

“You,” Klaus says, without really thinking, already folding in on himself like a goddamn card table. There’s a haze to the world, like a second skin only Klaus can see through and sometimes the call to follow it is almost too much. It’s distracting, to be in two places at once. 

 

Diego blinks , and Klaus is back to himself. “Oh.” He looks down, in the space between Klaus's thighs, and his lashes flutter like little raven wings and Klaus feels like his insides are too big for his outsides, but the insides are relative; maybe he’ll burst into a thousand little pieces or maybe he’ll just puke . His hands tremble, and Klaus is invested in watching Diego licks his bottom lip before sinking his teeth down into it. It’s like staring into the sun . Klaus is Ichabod and Diego, the sun - how fucking fitting. How fucking kismet.  Diego the Golden Son, a god ---and Klaus--- “Klaus I---” And Klaus wants to know - fuck he wants to know, exactly what Diego ---- What, Diego? What? Diego answers like good Gods do. “Klaus, I love you.” 


And Klaus --- Klaus isn’t actually sure he’s ever heard Diego say those words to him, or anyone else. Not in any capacity, brotherly otherwise. Their childhoods - their lives- did not lend themselves to that sort of speak, but Klaus never doubted they did. All of them - they loved each other in all the ways their shared past had taught them. 

 

But even if he had

 

This is different

And all the wind escapes his lungs in a single, shattered breath. Klaus is a body with a fish-hooked spine, curled over like he can protect his soft white underbelly to the realities of the world. Like the puppet strings left clinging from their childhood had come undone all at once. But Diego is there to catch him, with heavy hands around his waist. “Hey, hey, hey,” he hushes, catching Klaus jaw in a clumsy kiss. “Klaus---” 

 

Klaus is afraid of what he might say. Afraid he might - might fucking take it back, or something. Eat the words right up out of the air between them. So he kisses Diego before he can speak further. Fuck , he thinks as he licks into Diego’s mouth, I love you too . His mouth won’t make the words; he’s a little bit broken.  Instead, he’s pushing Diego backward, tumbling him to the floor, crawling his way up his body --- tangling their fingers together with his left hand and bracing himself with the right. Diego grabs his hip and hisses through his teeth as his head smacks the floor. But he’s pushing up too, bare feet braced against the floor. “Klaus---” 

 

“Fuck,” he says, feeling his back smack hard against the warped and splintered floorboards. Diego flips them with ease, Klaus doesn’t even think to resist. He just lets himself melt, lets Diego crash into him. He gets his hands free, fingers shaking as he undoes the zip on Diego’s pants --- 

 

“I love you,” Diego says again, all airless and raspy, as Klaus gets his hand on his dick and it’s just as bizarre as the first time - the words and Klaus hand on his dick. “I love you.”  

Bizarre because it feels right. 

Bizarre because it fits. 

 

And Klaus lets the words wash over him, just as Diego gets his dick slotted into the dip of Klaus’ hip and all the sweet friction turns his head to static. “ Yeah ,” Klaus says like a goddamn lunatic. 

 

“Yeah?” Diego grinds forward, palm against Klaus's palm, and the other braced against the floor. He’s grinning like Klaus said something valid, something equally important. They have their fucking pants on and Klaus thinks he could come like this just because Diego loves him. 

 

Love is goddamn stupid. 

 

But he feels it in his bones. His blood. It’s a single frigid raindrop racing down his burning spine and he is aware of it - he’s so fucking aware. “ Yeah .” He shakes his hand, frees it from Diego’s tangle. Diego looks upset and that's Klaus has to kiss the little frown right off his face before rolling beneath him, belly down against the carpet. “My fucking---” 

 

But Diego’s already shoving Klaus jeans down because Diego can read him like a fucking book now. He knows what Klaus wants, what he fucking needs and it’s to just be railed directly into the goddamn floorboards. 

 

He’s not good at expressing his emotions, but he’s pretty good at this . So he lifts his hips as Diego pushes down his jeans, and he’s not really ready, not wet enough but the pain seems right. Klaus reaches behind himself to dig his fingers into Diego’s hair. Diego bites him, pressing right in and Klaus can see them. Across the room in the reflection of the glass-front cabinet. 

 

“Fuck,” he cries, as Diego finds his balance, knees braced wide, one hand splayed against the floor and the other pulling Klaus up to meet his every push. “Fuck---” 

 

“They’ll hear you,” he whispers, biting Klaus jaw. “They’re gonna hear you.” He doesn’t sound like he’s warning Klaus to quiet down, not at all. 

 

He sounds like he’s telling him. They’re gonna hear you. 

 

Klaus lets go of his bastard grip on Diego’s hair so he can slap his palms against the floor and brace himself for every jarring impact. He can feel the curve of his spine as Diego pushes himself up, to put his own hand in Klaus's hair. 

 

He pulls , and Klaus feels his vertebrae crack crack crack. He has the benefit of witnessing the very moment Diego discovers their reflection, brown eyes widening, the part of his mouth pink and wet where he gasps, just a little like he’s never fucking seen them before. Klaus holds himself up at the elbows, nails biting into the wood beneath him and he’s so fucking hard but he can’t bring himself to touch himself and Diego grins like he fucking knows it, leaning back and angling his hips so---

 

Fuck !” Klaus cries, slipping a little across the floor but Diego’s there to catch him, two hands spanning his belly and holding him in place and Klaus is pretty sure he’s never been fucked so roughly in the ass while also feeling strangely fucking cherished

 

He’s not sure he’s ever felt cherished at all.

But it’s hard to deny, as Diego leads him to sit upon his knees, Klaus back flushes against his chest - that Diego is different.  And it’s stupid - they’re fully dressed, with Klaus jeans pushed to his knees, cock out and slapping against his stomach. Diego’s no better, jeans barely below his ass. He keeps his mouth on Klaus though, right below his ear, and his hands push and pull at the flimsy fabric of his shirt until Klaus can see every pale inch of his own taught white underbelly. When Diego finally touches him - they fucking hear. 

 

Klaus lets both his hands raise, and reach behind himself, so he can hold Diego in place, his own head tilted back. “Haaaaah---” Diego’s rough, and Klaus will hurt tomorrow, but it’s so good right now. “Haaappy Birthday .” 

 

Diego lets his free hand drift up and up and up until the web between his thumb and forefinger are pressed against Klaus's throat. He presses, and he presses and he presses and he fucks Klaus while Klaus holds very still and wonders how Diego got so good at this, wonders how long it’ll take for the black dancing at the edge of his vision to swallow him up--- “I love you.” 

 

I love you too, Klaus thinks, brain turning liquid as he comes and crumples, sweetly secured in the knowledge Diego will fuck him till he’s done, too. 

 

As he lets his head fall back against the floor, he looks back and upside down - to see the visage of Ben, leaning casually against the balcony, half masked in the drapes. It’s not exactly teleportation - but he can always find Klaus. He can’t quite get Ben into focus, rattled by every thrust and fuck of Diego’s body as it crashes into his own but when he does - he can tell that Ben’s smiling

 

You creepy fuck, Klaus half mouths but he doesn’t think he’d have to say the words for Ben to hear them anyways. 

Ben blows him a kiss. I love you too, asshole.

 

“F--F--Fuck-k-k---” Diego rattles, fingers biting into Klaus's thigh and he hasn’t noticed Ben, too caught up in the crush of their bodies. “Fuck, I--- I---” 

 

Say it, Ben thinks ---- 

 

And Klaus hears it. 

 

C’mon asshole, fucking say it. 

 

What the fuck?

 

Klaus--- fucking tell him you love him already. 

 

Ben’s in his head. Ben’s...sort of always been in his head but this is tangibly different. 

 

C’mon , he spills into Klaus’ brain. C’mon Klaus.  You fucking love him. 

 

Klaus grabs Diego’s face in a sloppy, sweaty hold, lets his fingers curl and tangle in the fine, short hairs on the back of his skull. Diego doesn’t slow, not a bit, but he does look at him - mouth open on rapid, staccato breaths. He looks at Klaus, brow scrunched, and Ben hisses fucking tell him you piece of shit oh my God what the fuck Klaus tell him tell him Jesus look at him he loves you---- . “I love you.” 

 

Diego bares his teeth, eyes clenching closed as he fucks in harder, scooting Klaus up the fucking floorboards. He’s always so relentless, from the first thrust to the last and Klaus sort of envies the unwavering stamina. When he comes - he opens his eyes and it’s a wicked sort of broken look that shines across his face. “Oh,” he says, lashes fluttering and Klaus can already feel his come fucking gushing, spilling right down his balls. “ Oh---fuck .” 

It’s different when you’re in love.  Nina Parker, a street girl Klaus sometimes shared a hotel with, in the winter when they couldn’t risk the elements - had told him once. It’s different. 

 

Klaus had fucked himself to some level of knowledge even before he started selling his ass and he liked sex - he fucking loved sex. Not all sex was good, and bad sex was usually more boring than anything else, but he liked the way it numbed his mind like his brain couldn’t keep up with cognitive thought, not when his body was throwing a fucking party.  

 

With Diego - every never in his body is alive. His brain is a mash of color and sound and sensation.  Dark brown eyes, white scars, and pink cheeks. The velcro rasp of their back and forth breath, the wet slap of skin, the absolute fucking filthy they speak.  The way his brain spins circles on iloveyouiloveyouiloveyou and the sensation of that, bubbling up in his brain, spills out across his body turning him into a livewire for Diego to press and press and press until the world fritzes out, overloaded, powers burst. 

 

And Klaus pulls him down, crashes Diego into him and wraps both his skinny fucking arms around him until Diego’s breath is buried in the curve of Klaus's throat, and the whole of his body pins Klaus down. 

 

Diego bites him, very gently, and Klaus can’t tell if he laughs or sobs.