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stood tall painted blue II

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Klaus isn’t surprised when Diego shows up later, walking into his room without so much as a cursory knock.  He looks up from behind Vanity Fair, sprawled against his pillows, and tries to determine if this is happening sooner than he anticipated.  The look on Diego’s face certainly suggests he’s barely ready to be there. 

“What you said before,” says Diego, and his voice is already a scrape in his throat, like the words can barely stand to make their way out.  “Did you mean it?”

What Klaus had said before…

Four days ago everyone found out about Diego and the girls and the rumors.  Ben was, despite everything he claimed, too much of a soft touch to tease Diego about it.  Five was either saving it for a moment of maximum cutting effect or he had already forgotten about it – there was no in-between with that one.  Which left Klaus, who bit his tongue and didn’t say anything and didn’t say anything and didn’t say anything, not realizing that Diego was working himself into a conniption fit trying to anticipate what he’d say and when.  Klaus was trying to be good.  Maybe it was the memory of Dave, but Klaus didn’t think he should judge people for getting what they needed.  And he certainly wasn’t about to suggest that you couldn’t ask your siblings for what you needed, not after the lives they’d lived and the things they’d already done.

But this morning when he’d said as much to Diego, it had changed in the air somehow.  It was clear that Klaus knew what Diego needed.  It was clear he wouldn’t turn him away.  And now here Diego is, darkening his door with a question in his eyes.

Klaus closes the magazine and sets it aside.  He pats the bed next to him and Diego sits down, just, he notes with some amusement, outside of arms reach.

“I meant it,” says Klaus, seriously, because he already knows what Diego means here, even if Diego may never find the words to ask.

“How… How much did you mean it?”

Klaus leans forward, into the bubble of space Diego had left himself, and very deliberately wraps one hand against the hot skin of Diego’s wrist.

“All the way, Di.”

Diego looks down at his wrist, at Klaus’s hand on him, and nods.

“Okay,” he says, on a heavy exhale, “Um, I should-” He motions over his shoulder and Klaus thinks he plans to leave, retreat until he finds more courage on some other day.  But Diego just stands, crosses over the bedroom floor and quietly shuts Klaus’ door.  Klaus cocks his head.

“What are you doing?” he asks Diego.

“I thought we should…” Diego trails off.  He’s staring at the door, a small frown on his face.  Klaus smiles.  For all that they really might not seem it, his siblings are actually pretty quick on the uptake.

“Something wrong?”

“I…” Diego looks from Klaus to the door and back to Klaus.  Klaus raises his eyebrows.  Diego’s face clears, a look of understanding flits across his features before he frowns again and says,

“Oh, that’s fucked up man!”

Klaus shrugs.  “Did you want us to find out about you and the girls?”

Diego shakes his head no. 

“Do you guys close your room door?”

Diego doesn’t answer but he doesn’t need to; of course they don’t.  Instead he points out that “it’s kind of a different thing if someone walks in and sees me drinking some water or folding some clothes than if they walk in here and see-”

Klaus smiles like the Cheshire cat, “Yeah, Diego?  If they walk in here and see what, exactly?” he teases.  His brother’s blush can still be seen under his darker skin. Klaus doesn’t have to wait long while Diego weighs his choices, he’s always been quick to act.  It’s only a few tense seconds before Diego jerks the door back open.  He doesn’t pull it all the way open, like it had been, as though the angle of wood could somehow lend them some form of discretion.  Klaus isn’t counting on it.  Diego could lock the door and push a dresser in front of it and Five would just phase right through as though barriers mean nothing anymore.  It’s very possible they don’t.

Despite his earlier protest about how messed up it is, Diego actually seems more settled with the door open again. Whatever this new reality is that they’ve made for themselves, Klaus is under no illusions that it’s normal or healthy.  However, he thinks, drawing Diego back down onto his bed, it seems to work just fine for them.