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Watch The Heavens (They're Falling Down)

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Five woke up many many times with a hangover before. The pounding behind his eyes, the nausea, the sounds and smells that are just a tiny bit too intense.

He was still surprised to wake up in what seemed like a basement area, cluttered full with useless sentimental items, instead of the apocalypse, the ruined library surrounding him. It was weird to wake up to Luther sitting in the chair beside him, looking like a disappointed father instead of Delores watching him sadly.

It was weird getting used to the past when his mind would always be suck in the future.

“Morning,” Luther said evenly, not at all amused as Five sat up rubbing at his eyes. “You got a lot of explaining to do kid.”

“Don’t call me kid.” Five grumbled, rubbing the back of his head, it was sore, more sore than usual, like he slept on something. Yet all he laid his head on was a pillow.

“Either way, you have a lot to explain and I have all the time in the world to listen to it.” Luther said, leaning back in his seat almost like he was challenging Five to disagree with him.

“I don’t have time for this nonsense.” Five snapped, his head still pounding as he reached under his pillow on reflex, remembering the knife he always kept there when he was on missions. Of course, he was no longer apart of the commission, which meant no knife, but there was something there, something hard and rectangular and Five couldn’t help but pull it out.

It was a package, encased in brown paper, a small tag attached to the side. Five thumbed it over, ignoring Luther’s inquiries about what it said.

To Mr. Five Hargreeves, watch these if you want to survive the apocalypse.

“What the hell?” He said, his eyes narrowing as he tugged at the paper.

“The apocalypse?” Luther asked in shock, from where he grabbed the tag Five threw onto the ground. “When is the apocalypse happening?”

“As far as I could tell?” Five said distractedly as he ripped at the paper. “Four days.”

“What?” Luther asked, outraged, but Five wasn’t paying attention anymore.

“Tapes.” He whispered, turning the black films over in his hands, Luther went silent, also studying them.

“What do they mean?” Luther asked, standing up to walk closer, peering down at Five and the ten small tapes in his hands.

“It means either someone’s fucking with me,” Five said, staring at the film like they were the answer to every question he ever had. “Or I really need to watch these.”

“Obviously we’re watching them with you.” Luther said, and before Five could ask who in the world ‘we’ was, the door burst open and a livid looking Diego stormed in, eyes aflame with anger as he glared Five down. Luther had to reach forward to grab him to stop their ill-tempered brother from beating the crap out of Five, or at least attempting too.

“I can do this for however long it takes you to calm down.” Luther said, and Five bit back on the urge to smirk, how many times had this been a daily occurrence between the two?

Diego took two deep breaths, closing his eyes for a moment before Luther finally let him drop down.

“Now,” Luther said, shifting slightly to put himself between Five and Diego, which would have been sweet if Five actually needed the protection. “You wanna tell us what you're going on about?”

“Our brothers been pretty busy since he got back.” Diego said, and Five schooled his expression into cool indifference. The world was ending in four days, let Diego be however pissed he wanted to be about whatever the hell was bugging him. “He was right in the middle of Griddy’s shootout, and then at Gimble Brothers, after those masked assassins attached the house, looking for him..”

Diego was breathing heavily now, like the strain of not attacking Five was physically paining him, an accusing finger pointed at Five’s face.

“None of which is any of your concern.” Five said, because in truth it wasn’t. He didn’t care about whatever bullshit Diego was trying to get at, Five wasn’t going to apologize for trying to save the world from meeting its fiery demise.

“It is now.” Diego said, face twisted with barely restrained grief. “They just killed my friend.”

Five allowed himself a moment of sympathy, for concern of who was important enough to their brother to make him this angry, to make him this heartbroken. Five could see it in Diego’s eyes, whoever this person was, they were important. Luther turned to him, giving him his best ‘well don’t just sit there’ look.

“Well, who are they Five?” Luther asked, and Five found himself at a crossroad. He knew his brothers deserved to know, maybe could even help. But on the other hand, Five couldn’t spare the time it would take to explain everything to their satisfaction.

The heartbroken, barely composed look on Diego’s face is what made him talk.

“They work for my former employer.” He said evenly. “A woman named the handler. She was sent to stop them. When Diego’s friend got in the way, well fair game.”

“Well, now they’re my fair game.” Diego snarled, and Five knew that look, the look that promised he would stop at no end to get revenge. Five ignored the pang in his chest, the one that told him that if he let Diego go, he would lose his brother. Diego would be dead in four days either way. “And I’m going to see to it that they pay.”

“That would be a mistake.” He said, as Diego turned and walked towards the door. “Before you go on a suicide mission, I have something we might want to watch.” He blurted out when it became clear Diego wouldn’t turn back around. He wasn’t sure what made him say it, maybe it was pure concern, most likely it was the want to have Diego on his team to stop the apocalypse.

Diego paused a few steps up the stairs, not looking back at him.

“What is it?” He asked, quietly.

“Tapes,” Five said, thinking to how best to appeal to Diego’s current mind frame. “They say they’ll help me stop the apocalypse, and that means stopping Hazel and Cha Cha too, so if you want a chance, these might be it.”

Diego stood there for a long moment, and none of them dared to move, dared to speak in case they upset the balance.

“Fine.” Diego snarled, spinning towards them. “But if it proves to be nothing, you won’t be able to stop me.”

“I get it.” Five said. “We just need a place to play these.” He said, holding up the black tapes.

“There’s a tv at home, we can use that.” Luther said, and Five nodded.

“Let’s go then.” He said, standing up and ignoring the way his stomach flip-flopped at the movement. Luther looked concerned but Diego only looked unimpressed.

“Should we get the rest of the family? This seems like a team thing.” Luther asked as they walked towards the door.

“I don’t care, I just want to get this over with.” Five sighed, and Luther nodded.

“Great, I’ll go find Allison and Vanya, you two go pick Klaus out of whatever alleyway he decided to sleep in.” Diego said, patting Five’s shoulder a bit rougher than needed and stormed towards the door.

Five sighed, looking over to Luther.

“Vanya should be at her apartment, we can get her first, Allison is either out around town or at the Academy, won’t be hard to find her.” He grumbled, trying to push back the annoyance at this new detour. That meant explaining to everyone what was happening, which meant trusting his siblings to help. Worst of all, it was taking away precious time they needed.

“It won’t take long to drive there-“ Luther started, but Five cut him off by reaching out to grab his shoulder and teleporting out of there.

Within a second, the two of them crash-landed into the living room of Vanya’s apartment, Luther stumbling into a couch and Five ignoring the nausea burning inside his throat. Vanya was standing by the door, her lips pressed into a thin line and Allison was sitting on the couch, looking slightly annoyed by the disturbance.

“Sorry for interrupting you guys but we-“ Luther started, but Five cut him off with an impatient noise.

“We need you guys back at the house now.” Five said, and Vanya frowned.

“I have breakfast with Leonard-“ She started, and as much as Five had a bit of a soft spot for his sister, his head was pounding and he really did not give a shit about her date.

“No time.” He sighed. “Reschedule it for tonight, this is important.” And before either girl could protest, he was reaching out and within a few seconds, they were all standing in the living room of the Academy.

“Set up the tv.” Five ordered Luther, handing him the tapes. “You break these and you are potentially damning the entire world.” He said, and Luther’s eyes widened but he nodded either way. “Make yourselves comfortable, I’m going to make sure Klaus isn’t looming around here somewhere,” Fie said, zapping up the floors where he and his siblings live.

He wandered down the hall, and sure enough, Klaus was standing in his room, shirtless and shaking his arms in a weird way, looking almost in pain and was that a new tattoo? He looked down at the floor, and weirdly enough, there were bloody footprints leading from Klaus’s room to the bathroom, where Klaus’s pristine white tub also had blood covering the sides. Klaus groaned from inside his room, and for a second Five forgot about the whole world ending thing.

He knocked lightly on the door, Klaus turning to look at him, looking sort of out of it, but not in a drug sort of way.

“You okay?” He asked, his eyes quickly taking in Klaus’s appearance. New tattoos, new scars, and a weird bruising around his ribs. And we’re those dog tags? Five could sense a small picture forming inside his mind, one that made bile sting at the back of his throat.

“Hey,” Klaus said almost breathlessly, his own eyes taking Five in like he hadn’t seen him in years. “Yeah, just a long night.” He said, but there was something off with the tone, something that told Five that Klaus was lying through his teeth.

“More than one by the looks of it.” Five said, and Klaus pulled his shirt over his head, his fingers spasming in pain as they ran over the bruise. “Don’t remember the dog tags.” He said, and Klaus’s jaw ticked slightly, like the mention was too painful to think about.

“Yeah, from a friend.” He said, and Five had a feeling that was the only slightly truthful thing he had said that entire morning.

“What about the new tattoo?” He asked, his eyes flickering down to the airborne brigade tattoo on his arm, then to the Viennese looking one that was now hidden by his shirt.

“You know,” Klaus said, throwing up a hand. “I don’t totally remember even getting it. Like I said, long night.”

Normally, Five wouldn’t think twice of it. Klaus getting roaring drunk and getting multiple tattoos and getting beat up sounds like something Klaus would regularly do. But there was an odd look in Klaus’s eyes, the way he talked that was much more subdued and so un Klaus like that Five almost debated pushing it.

But then he remembered the tapes downstairs, the note telling him that it would explain how to save the world, how every second wasted here would delay the time he could spend listening to whatever the tapes said.

So instead he only sighed.

“We need you downstairs, family meeting. Found something almost as crazy as you are. No excuses so let’s go.” He said, clapping, and before Klaus could even debate arguing with some bullshit excuse, Five teleported beside him and grabbed his arm, and the two of them were downstairs the moment Diego stormed in.

“Couldn’t find the asshole.” He grumbled before his eyes caught onto Klaus. “Never mind.”

“Oh, I’m the asshole?” Klaus said, a bright smile plastering onto his face and Five had a feeling he was the only one who could tell how fake it was. “You really are too kind to me.”

“Shut up and sit down.” Five snapped.

“Why are we here Five?” Allison asked from where she lounged on the couch.

“The world's ending in four days.” He announced, and immediately they all burst into noise, talking over each other in questioning. “There’s too much to explain, but I found these tapes telling me that this could be the key to solving it. So now we watch it.” He nodded at Luther, who frowned but handed them over either way.

“I think we deserve a better explanation than that.” Luther started, but Five waved him off.

He slipped the tape into the player, pressing the play button and walking back to his seat, settling into the armchair. Klaus and Vanya were spread out onto the couch, Diego, and Allison on the other, which left Luther with the only other armchair.

They sat in silence and Five held his breath as the picture came into view, it was a woman’s legs.

A few women actually, walking across a pool, and as the camera panned up, the words “Russia. October 1st, 1989” popped onto the screen in blocky letters.

“What the hell is this?” Diego muttered in confusion as they watched the picture paint out in front of them. Five felt something bubbling inside his stomach which was a mix of frustration and disbelief. This wasn’t about the apocalypse at all, was it? All he saw were two Russian characters in a love story, which was complete and utter bullshit.

Then the girl was magically pregnant, and Five had a small idea of what this was about. Then the narrator started talking and Five was now officially confused.

“Is that Pogo talking?” Luther asked in shocked, and Five looked around, seeing all his siblings looking equally confused.

“How does Pogo apparently being in a foreign film about the pregnancies relevant to the end of the world?” Klaus asked, and Five restrained the urge to punch him.

“Shut up and keep watching.” Diego grumbled, stealing the words from Five’s mouth.

Then Reginald showed up, and Five wanted to deck whoever sent him these tapes.

“Why didn’t dad tell us that Pogo and him were in a foreign film?” Klaus said.

“Shut up.” Five snapped at him again, still watching the screen as it showed Reginald buying children, all seven of them. This show was about them was it? How fucked up was that?

The word “Today” flashed onto the screen and they watched as another person walked onto the screen, pulling out a violin.

“Vanya?” Allison said in disbelief, and all their heads swirled between the tv and Vanya’s shocked face.

“You’re in the foreign film too?” Klaus gasped, and Five let his eyes flutter shut.

“I think this shows about us.” Five put in. “Not a foreign film you idiot.”

“So someone’s recording us?” Vanya asked, her gaze stuck on her face on the tv as a sweet melody started up.

“I don’t know.” Five replied. “It could be anything.”

They fell silent as an alarm clock went off, and suddenly someone who was clearly Luther was in the frame, walking around his little space station as the real Luther gaped at himself.

The music picked up and then the frame changed, to a criminal smashing someone into a wall, glass shattering as they stumbled around.

Diego showed up seconds later, the Diego in real-life staring at it with narrowed eyes.

“I remember this, it was only a few days ago.” He said, watching as he beat the perps up.

“Isn’t that illegal?” Klaus asked, referring to the screen.

“Says the man who consumes illegal substances on the daily.” Diego snapped back, causing Klaus to shrug.

Allison was next, smiling at the camera on the red carpet, looking stunning in her dress.

“You look wonderful.” Klaus said, clapping as Allison smiled softly at him. “Remind me to talk to your stylist at some point.”

Allison stuck a pose, smiling at the camera and the music changed to a much sweeter, calming melody.

“Hey!” Klaus said, sitting up and grinning. “It’s me!”

Sure enough, Klaus was walking through the halls of what looked like rehab, smiling at various people and switching between encouraging them and telling them they have no hope left in the world. A tied looking attendant flipped him a thirty-day chip and told him to stay sober, which Five already knew by the look of screen Klaus’s face that it wouldn’t last long.

It went back to Luther, showing him getting a new transmission and staring at the horizon with a shocked look on his face.

“That’s when I learned dad died.” He said softly, sighing in sadness as the scene shifted again. Diego staring at the tv, looking as a news reporter talked about a breaking story.

Allison stood on the carpet, reporters bombarding her with inappropriate questions as she hurried off.

“What assholes.” Diego grumbled as one reporter asked if she would be wearing Valentino to the funeral, and Five was inclined to agree.

“Welcome to L.A.” Allison sighed. “Nothing beats getting the news of your father's passing from asshole reporters.”

Klaus walked down an alleyway, lapping hands with a shady looking man, before kissing a bag of little pills. Klaus watched on without shame.

“Took you long.” Luther grumbled, and Klaus shrugged.

“Actually it took me six hours, a new record for thirty days.” He said, and Five sighed at how casually they could talk about things like that. Within seconds, Klaus was lying in an ambulance, getting shocked back into life and Five had to close his eyes as all his siblings went silent. Klaus laughed onscreen, high fiving the exhausted-looking EMT with a joyful look on his face.

Real Klaus’s expression didn’t change, as if seeing himself die and get brought back to life was something he did multiple times. Five didn’t want to think about how easily that statement could be true.

Vanya came back, the lights going up as she finished her song and started to walk through the streets.

Inside a store, a news report of Reginald’s passing was playing on the news.

“Dad.” Vanya whispered, and Five reached up and pressed the pause button.

All the siblings were silent.

“What is this Five?” Luther snapped. “How do they know and record very personal parts of our lives?”

“I don’t know.” Five said, shaking his head. “This is most peculiar.”

“Tell us about it.” Allison scoffed. “This is insane.”

“That too.” Five frowned. “We have no choice but to go on huh.” He said, and no one protested so he pressed the play button once again.

They watched as Vanya arrived at the Academy watching their lives play out as they greeted each other. The rest of his siblings looked uncomfortable watching them go through the actions they did almost days ago, and Five inspected their movements, taking the time to attempt and maybe understand his siblings a bit more. If he was getting an up-close and personal look into their lives, he might as well make the best of it.

He watched as they greeted each other, watched as they talked and interacted with hostility, watched a flashback to them trying to interact with their asshole of a father. Then they watched as Klaus dug through their father’s study looking for things to steal. Luther shot Klaus an ignored look at that part, but Five couldn’t help but smirk. It was nice to know that at least one of them was spiting their father at his funeral. Especially after that flashback, it helped sooth Five’s anger.

“Did you really accuse them of murder our father?” Five asked, looking over at Luther, who ducked his head.

“At the time I thought it was true.” He muttered, and Five sighed.

“It was a stupid idea.” Diego snapped, and Luther glared at him.

“Like you guys expect me to believe that any of you wouldn’t.” Luther pointed out, and Five disagreed. None of his siblings would have the balls to do that. They were all too afraid and angry to come close to that man.

All the siblings stormed out on Luther, and the scene shifted once again to seventeen years ago.

Bank robbers were shoving a bunch of hostages into a corner, and then Allison walked onto screen, young and bushy eyed with her mask firmly in place.

“I heard a rumor you shot your friend in the foot.” She whispered, and Five watched as the scene unfolded, he remembered this happening. Their first official public mission. Luther dropped in from the roof, picked up a fully-grown man and tossing him out the window, much to everyone’s confusion.

Diego ran in, tossing his knives at everyone and Klaus laughed out loud.

“Guns are for sissies?” He asked, turning to grin at a beat red Diego, who glowered at him. “That’s adorable.”

“Shut up.” Diego grumbled, and Five smiled at them for a second before remembering himself and turning back to the tv.

The rest of the scene went quickly, and then young Ben walked onto the screen, and Five felt his heart leap into his throat. The rest of his siblings had a similar reaction, all of them staring at the tv with remorse and grief held in their eyes.

“Do I have to?” Young Ben asked. “I didn’t sign up for this.

“Why did we ever make him do that?” Luther asked, watching as Ben marched into the room, coming out bloodied and miserable.

“Can we go home now?” Little Ben asked, and Five’s heart twisted and turned inside his chest for the brother he would never again see. For the brother who died when he was gone, his friend who didn’t deserve any of this shit.

The scene shifted to young Vanya, standing with their father.

“Why can’t I play with the others?” She asked, looking so wide-eyed and innocent and Vanya grit her teeth as she watched herself.

“We’ve been through this before Number Seven.” Reginald snapped. “I’m afraid there just isn’t anything special about you.”

Vanya looked down, and Five wanted to talk to her, reassure her that dad was a dick and was dead now.

They watched in silence as the scene changed to their father’s ash in the urn, Klaus trying and magnificently failing to summon him. It was quite entertaining not to lie, watching Klaus do his bit.

“I don’t know about you.” Klaus sighed, walking towards the counter. “But I need a drink.” He reached across the counter, his arm knocking into the urn and spilling their fathers’ ashes everywhere.

Diego couldn’t hide his snort, and Five felt his lips tugging up slightly.

“What the hell Klaus!” Luther snapped, looking positively livid. “You just spilled dad!”

“Whoops?” Klaus said with an unconcerned shrug. “I’m pretty sure I got all of him.”

“Pretty sure?” Luther asked. “Oh my god.”

A few seconds later the scene went back to Klaus, who pulled out a little baggy and quickly swallowed a pill.

“What happened to getting sober?” Diego said snidely, and Klaus shrugged.

“It didn’t work.”

“Never does.” Allison said, and Klaus stuck out his tongue at her.

“I’ll have you know I am currently mostly sober thank you very much.” He said, and all the siblings rolled their eyes, and even Five found it hard to believe. Klaus was never sober; those things simply did not go together.

But he couldn’t help but see the ripple of sadness that passed over Klaus' face at the sighs of disappointment. He turned back to the screen.

A few minutes passed of the siblings doing random things, when suddenly Luther put on a record and-

“Are you guys dancing?” Five asked, smirking as his siblings jammed out on screen.

“It’s a good song.” Allison defended, but they all turned various degrees of red watching themselves awkwardly dance.

“Oh my god,” Klaus laughed as Diego started really getting into it. “You look so ridiculous!”

“Hey, I’m clearly the best dancer.” Diego tried to frown, but the small twinkle of amusement gave him away.

“This is the most embarrassing thing I’ve ever seen.” Vanya said, hiding her face in her hands.

“Come on, you look adorable.” Allison said, and the two of them shared a small smile.

Then the mood on the screen changed as everyone watched as suddenly a storm shook the house, knives, and metal flying as they walked outside.

“Here comes Five.” Vanya muttered, and Five smirked at the chaos his arrival caused.

Klaus threw a fire hydrant into the portal Five ripped, which was a lot more amusing now than it was at the time, and he watched as he fell through the hole, landing on the ground in his too-large suit.

He watched as they sat in the kitchen, and finally, this was something he knew, something he remembered. He didn’t pay much attention as it went through, vividly remembering the first actual conversation he had with his older siblings.

Diego bristled as Five and Vanya talked about her book, clearly still holding resentment for her after that fact. Then they brought up Ben once again, and Klaus turned to mummer something to the space beside him. Five didn’t pay much attention, too busy watching as the scene changed to show Ben’s statue.

“Doesn’t even look like him.” Five said under his breath.

“Yeah, he’s always hated that thing.” Klaus replied, and Five watched as all his siblings glared at Klaus as if he said he killed Ben himself. The fight at the funeral went as well as Five remembered, and he sighed once again. Leave it up to those two to fight it out at a funeral, when people are supposed to be mourning. Not that Reginald deserved to be mourned, but that’s beside the fact.

“Did you really have to put your cigarette out on his ash?” Luther snapped at Klaus, who shrugged.

“Ash tray, ashes, same thing.”

The scene changed to a monologue from their father, and Five watched as they got their first tattoo, watched Allison and Klaus cower in the corner, Diego flinch away even from mom, saw himself sitting worried in the chair.

“Why would you want that?” Diego snapped as they watched young Vanya draw herself her own tattoo. Vanya shrunk away from him, her head ducking.

“It’s a horrible thing.” She said lowly. “Being left out all the time.”

“I wish I could have been left out of that.” Diego said, his fingers twitched around the knife he was twirling. “I bet all of us do.”

Not even Luther, who tried to keep a brave face throughout the tattooing, said a word.

“It isn’t her fault.” He said, glaring at them. “We were only kids.” Because it was the truth. Sure, Vanya wanted something she didn’t but he always sympathized with her, watching how father treated her, how everyone else treated her. She didn’t deserve to be ganged up on like this.

“Sorry excuse.” Diego scoffed.

“Lets’ keep watching.” Five said lowly, taking the attention away from their sister. Honestly, seeing that was more sad than anything, seeing how badly their sister wanted to be one of them. Five was glad she never went through what they did.

“I hope you know.” Pogo said on the tv to Vanya. “That your father loved you very much, in his own way.”

Five scoffed, knowing full well that their father never loved anyone, least of all Vanya. If he did, why would he put them through all this shit? Put her through all he did? Reginald wasn’t capable of loving anything.

“Why do you have to drive when you can just teleport there?” Klaus asked, watching as Five raced away. Five chose not to respond, instead keeping his eyes glued on the screen.

They watched as Diego and Allison exchanged biting words, then Klaus and Diego drive off and Luther looming in the window, the cut on his arm bleeding.

They were silent as Grace sat in her station, trying her best to copy the painting on the wall. Five felt his heart tug a little at that part, knowing their mom sat upstairs, getting repaired by Pogo after she was murdered.

Diego looked just as sad at the scene as Five was, and Five remembered how no one else was closer to mom and than Diego was, and Ben at some point, but now it was only Diego.

“See?” Diego asked, glaring at Luther and Allison. “She does have feelings, hopes, dreams.”

Neither of their siblings said anything, choosing instead to avoid their brothers' intense gaze.

The show progressed, and Five saw himself sitting in a dining chair, ordering coffee.

“I know that guy.” Klaus muttered. “He got killed by those masked assassins attaching jumper cables to his nipples and shocking him.”

“What?” Allison asked, but Five only shrugged.

“That does sound like them.”

It sounded like his siblings were going to ask more, but the Commission had joined the party, and everyone’s gaze was immediately snapping back to the tv.

“You think I want to shoot a kid? Go home with that on my conscience?” The shooter asked, and Five snorted a laugh to himself. That man had probably killed many many kids before he ever even got the order the go after Five. They all had blood staining their hands, young blood, old blood, every type of blood imaginable.

“What the fuck Five.” Diego said as Five jumped behind the man and stabbed him, a catchy upbeat song playing loudly as the gunfire went off. Five only grinned, happily watching as he continued to beat up and kill the other armed gunmen. “I knew you were behind those shooting but what the hell?”

Five didn’t respond and they watched in stunned silence as Five finished up with the rest of the men.

“Awe what a little psychopath.” Klaus gushed, as Five killed the last man and dug into his skin, his eyes alight with a wicked sense of amusement.

“You just killed them!” Luther said, looking scandalized.

“They were going to kill me.” Five answered with a shrug. “I just did it before they could.”

“You're crazy.” Vanya chuckled, shaking her head but she didn’t seem offended or mad at him, she seemed almost proud.

The scene changed as the last note of the song rang out, and they watched Diego pull out the monocle and toss it into the lake.

“I am still annoyed that you didn’t tell us about that.” Luther said, crossing his arms. “It would have caused us a lot less stress than was needed.”

“I was trying to help mom.” Diego shot back. “A fat lot of good that did for me.”

They all went silent at that, uncomfortable at the mention of their dead mother. Or half-dead mother, she should be up and working within a day. But the thought was still there at the back of their minds.

Klaus talked briefly on screen, leaning back into the car to reveal someone sitting beside him, a figure with their hood pulled up to conceal their face.

“Someone was in the car with you.” Diego grumbled, and Klaus shot him a ‘no duh’ look.

Klaus continued on his little ramble about eggs and waffles, the figure nodding solemnly at the question.

“He was brooding that night, normally he’s a lot more talkative.” Klaus pointed out, and everyone stared at him weirdly, wondering who in the world the ghost could be that Klaus had known for apparently a long time.

Diego got back in the car, and Klaus leaned back, turning to the figure.

“I guess it’s frozen waffles again.”

And Five’s blood froze.

“Ben?” Luther asked, his eyes widening as he stared at the screen. “What?”

“You can see Ben?” Vanya asked, turning to look at Klaus, who didn’t look shocked at the revelation at all. Five wasn’t either, not that much. He knew Klaus’s powers were hindered by substances, but Ben would have been different right? Ben was always different.

“Yeah, I can see dead people after all.” Klaus said, looking to the side for a second and Five knew immediately that that was where Ben was sitting. It makes sense that Ben would be by Klaus’s side, for as long as he could remember it was always Ben and Klaus, Klaus and Ben. Thick as thieves, the yin and yang. The loud one with the quiet one. The most dangerous with the most harmless. Of course they would still be by each other's side in both life and death.

“But not when your high or drunk, which you always are.” Luther said, frowning.

“Ben doesn’t like to listen to all those pesky rules and decided to be an eternal pain in my butt.” Klaus shrugged, his eyes flickering to the side again. “Don’t deny it, we both know it’s true.”

“Why didn’t you tell us?” Allison asked, looking sad and betrayed.

“Would you believe me?” Klaus snapped, staring at her in a challenge. “If I told you would you honestly believe that I could?”

No one responded for a long time, and Five knew the answer was a resounding no. He knew that Klaus wasn’t the most trusting person, but he wouldn’t lie about Ben. Never about Ben.

Klaus laughed, his grin turning slightly sharp as he shook his head in disappointment. “Figures.” He said lowly, his eyes flickering down and fist clenching. “He says hi by the way.”

“Hi Ben.” Five was the first to speak up, staring at the empty space beside Klaus and smiling. “Nice to know you’re still around. Can we continue on?”

No one replied, all still staring at their hands or at Klaus in shock, so Five took it as a yes.

The show progressed, and they watched as Vanya and Five talked in her living room.

“Rapist can climb?” Klaus asked, laughing as he shook his head. “That’s the best you could come up with?”

“Well, rapist can climb.” Five said.

“Yeah, but they often don’t go through the trouble. They prefer the easy ones. Robbers though, they climb buildings taller than hers for fun.”

“Sometimes your knowledge disturbs me.”

“Danke.”

“Can you two shut up?” Diego asked. “I’m trying to watch the show.”

Vanya helped Five clean his wound, and he heard himself speak the words.

“Nothing.” Five said, staring at Vanya with sad eyes. He didn’t think he looked that pathetic. “Absolutely nothing.”

Then it changed once again and Five closed his eyes, looking away as he stared at himself in the apocalypse. He took a deep breath in, trying to push back the images of dust and ash. He could taste it on his tongue, feel the overwhelming colds and heats always battling for dominance.

He managed to pry his eyes open in time to see himself as the camera panned out, looking so lost and alone in eh empty wasteland of the streets.

“Fuck Five.” Vanya whispered. “That looks like hell.”

“It was.” Five replied, keeping his eyes firmly on the screen so he wouldn’t miss a second, wouldn’t have time to look at the pitying faces his siblings were pulling.

“I’ll put on a pot of coffee.” Vanya said, and the screen cut to black.

“So, that was interesting, to say the least.” Allison said, slapping her legs. “I’m not sure how to go from there.”

“What even is that?” Diego asked. “How do they know so much about us? Get our lives filmed?”

“The world works in mysterious ways.” Klaus said wisely, leaning back and blowing out a puff of smoke from a cigarette he only just lit.

“Judging on this one, I think it’s fair to say the rest of these tapes will be done in a similar fashion. Cataloging our lives from this day forward. Maybe it’ll even bring us to the end of the world, how we stop it, if we even do.” Five said, shrugging. “And if we don’t stop it, well then we can learn from our mistakes and hopefully end it this time around.”

“Can we get popcorn?” Klaus asked, raising his hand as if asking a relevant question. “Stupid question, I’m going to go get us some popcorn.”

“I think maybe we should talk about Ben before you-“ Luther tried to say, but Klaus was already up and out of the room. “-go.” Luther sighed, shaking his head. “Did any of you know?”

“I don’t imagine why you wouldn’t.” Five snapped. “He sees dead people, no wonder he can see our dead brother.”

“He had mentioned it a few times.” Diego said, sounding slightly guilty. “But I didn’t believe him.”

“Your all idiots then huh.” Five said, nodding and ignoring the twist of his stomach.

“In our defense,” Diego said, waving a hand noncommittally. “It is Klaus.”

It sounded like what he said a few days ago, quite similar actually, so he didn’t know why it made him bristle this time around. Maybe it was the lost look in Klaus’s eyes earlier that evening, maybe it was the subtle off-ness that made Five think twice about his brother.

“It doesn’t matter now.” Vanya said, and Five frowned at her, but agreed. It did them no good to fixate on the past. They needed to watch the rest of the tapes and move on from there, they had four days left. Four days until they were all good as dead. He couldn’t spend it fixating on the could have would have.

Klaus waltzed back into the room with multiple bowls of popcorn, where it got it from and how he got it so fast was beyond Five, but as he was passed a bowl of perfectly buttered and salted popcorn, he found he didn’t care. How long had it been since he tasted popcorn? He couldn’t remember.

“Should we get started?” He asked, picking up the second disk and slipping it into the slot.

Chapter Text

Luther wasn’t really sure how he should be processing this whole ‘tv show about their lives’ thing, and he didn’t think he would get any closer to processing it anytime in the near future.

But as the tape began to roll, he knew he had no choice but to suck it up and deal with things as they came, roll with the punches and things like that.

He idly watched the screen as a record was put on, one of dads’ old survival ones they listened to whenever they ate. Luther remembered listening to every word, like he actually would be going mountain climbing at any point in the foreseeable future. He never did.

It was kind of sweet, watching them all as kids. Nostalgic almost, seeing Diego carve pictures into his armrest, Allison and him sharing a teasing smile, Klaus rolling what looked like a blunt, and Ben with his advanced reading.

He knew for the others this memory would be one of repression, without talking, without any form of normal familiar relationships, but Luther enjoyed it. These were the simpler times before they grew so far apart and became more enemies than family.

”I want to time travel.” Five said, glaring their father down.

“No.” Their father responded, no room for negotiation, no room for argument. Five still found the space too.

“But I’m ready!” He protested. “I’ve been practicing my special jumps, just like you said.”

Luther glanced over at Five, who was staring at the screen with complete indifference. Luther remembered this day very clearly. He remembered being annoyed Five would question their father, why he wouldn’t just give it up. Then Five left, and it became the day their family started to fall apart.

Five ran out, and he jumped once into a preppy looking version of their street, then into winter, and as the music swelled he went to the last place.

And all that surrounded him were burning rubble of the building. Luther grit his teeth as he watched his little brother spin around, eyes wide with panic as he took in the world around him. Five turned and ran back home, and Luther had to look away from the screen, not wanting to think about this anymore.

While Five was stuck in apocalyptic hell, they were still eating their dinner, not willing to disobey their father and go after Five.

The show went on.

They watched as Five told Vanya everything, about how he survived on scraps, eating whatever he could find, and Luther wanted to somehow find a way to punch the apocalypse. Maybe he’d punch Five for being so colossally stupid and time traveling in the first place. If he only just listened to dad, none of this would have happened.

But then they would have no idea about the apocalypse, and would end up dying horribly in four days while remaining blissfully unaware of what was going to happen to them. So in a twisted way, maybe Five needed to go to the apocalypse.

“You think I’m crazy.” Five said, and Vanya stammered to try and reassure him.

“It’s just a lot to take in.” She settled on.

“It is crazy.” Diego pointed out, throwing a piece of popcorn up and into his mouth. “If I didn’t just watch it onscreen I would think you are batshit crazy.”

“It’s not my fault your tiny minds can’t comprehend what’s put in front of you.” Five snapped, glaring at Diego.

“You think I didn’t do everything I could to get back to my family?”

“You do love us!” Klaus cried, grinning at Five, who only sighed.

Luther always wondered, back when Five left. Maybe he hadn’t come back because he hated them, because he didn’t want to see them again. He remembered how much the thought hurt, how it was also so much easier to think of instead of admitting that Five as dead.

He continued to watch as the scene progressed and changed once again.

Two figures got out of a taxi, walking into a pay by the hour motel.

“Hazel and Cha Cha.” Five said, frowning. “If that’s where they're staying, we can work with that.”

“They’ve bailed already,” Diego said, crossing his arms and shooting Five a murderous look. “Don’t bother checking, the place is crawling with police.”

Luther sighed softly, torn between continuing to watch the show and making sure Diego was okay. He and his brother never got along, but it took an idiot not to see how much the death of his friend was bothering him.

“Does he always complain like that?” Klaus asked, cutting Luther off from whatever thing he as about to say. Probably for the best.

“Often yeah,” Five sighed. “He’s good, but a chronic complainer. It’s why I preferred Cha Cha.”

“Yeah, he hit harder, but she was always the most creative.’ Klaus mused, and Luther looked at him in surprise, trying to analyze whatever the hell that meant.

The scene progressed, Hazel complaining and Cha Cha unpacking very illegal objects.

They went back to Griddy’s, where a policewoman was inspecting the bodies. Luther tried to pretend not to notice the way Diego tensed up at seeing her, the way he stared at the tv as if drinking in every minute of time she was onscreen.

”I’m sorry, not to be rude cause you seem really sweet, but do I have to go through all this over again?”

“Someone was there before her, possibly Hazel or Cha Cha.” Five muttered, eyes narrowing.

“Try again,” Diego said, an uncharacteristically soft smile on his face as the policewoman sighed to herself when learning about the other detective.

Sure enough, seconds later Diego himself was kicking open the door, running right into her. The woman proceeded to immediately taser him, much to everyone in the rooms delight.

“I think I’m in love.” Klaus pretended to swoon, and Diego threw a piece of popcorn at his head.

“She just straight up tazed you,” Allison said, grinning a Diego. “Why do I have a feeling this happened a few times before?”

“Shut up.” Diego said, still watching the tv with wide eyes. Luther could guess why.

They watched as the two bantered, obviously with some type of history between them. The woman, Eudora Patch, walked off, sighing loudly as the cruiser sent Diego away.

Luther watched as he talked with Allison, slightly uncomfortable. This was a private moment between them, a moment they shared together, not with everyone else in this room. He didn’t want everyone to see this.

The siblings watched in silence, also looking slightly uncomfortable at this scene.

Thankfully it changed, and they were staring at a sleeping Klaus, his face screwed up in fear. Multiple voices overlapped each other, screaming and begging as Klaus himself begged for them to talk.

“Is that what it’s always like?” Diego said softly, almost concerned. Luther got where he was coming from, he always assumed the ghosts were just old people complaining about their untimely demise, give him some advice and leave, but that? That sounded terrifying.

“Oh yes,” Klaus said, waving his cigarette around and getting smoke everywhere. Luther was going to die from second-hand smoke if he kept hanging around Klaus. “My own ghostly choir.”

Luther was going to comment, but then Ben started speaking on screen and he was captured taking in every inch of his dead brother’s face.

As children, the two of them were close. They were no Ben and Klaus, no Allison and Luther, but they were close. His death, well it was hard for Luther. Even harder to watch Ben on screen interacting with Klaus so easily, like he had been there the entire time. Apparently, he had been there the entire time. Ben was most likely in this room, so close and yet too far away. Something forbidden to even him.

”Any idea where it went?” Pogo said, a disappointed look on his face.

Luther watched with a mix of anger, disappointment, and astonishment as a montage played out, of Klaus stealing from their dad, throwing out potentially important files, and using the money to buy so many drugs that he collapsed onto the couch in the middle of the night.

"No, no idea.”

“You are unbelievable,” Luther said, turning to face Klaus, who blew a raspberry in dismissal, which only helped fuel the anger festering in Luther’s stomach. “You stole from dad, used it to buy yourself drugs, and then lied to Pogo’s face.”

“Yeah.” Klaus laughed, staring Luther down. “I don’t regret it. Life was simple back then.”

“It was literally two days ago.” Allison pointed out, looking just as mad as Luther was.

“For you,” Klaus said cryptically. “For others, a very long time has passed.”

“Probably because you were too high to remember it.” Diego shot at him, looking more amused than anything. Luther couldn’t get it, why they continually let Klaus walk over them like this, steal and lie without any form of consequence.

“I wish.” Klaus snorted, before gesturing to the screen. “I think something important is happening.”

Sure enough, on-screen Five was talking to an older man quite meanly.

“What is the deal with the eye?” Diego asked, and Five sighed.

“It is a key part of figuring out who caused the apocalypse.”

“So who did it?” Vanya asked, leaning forwards.

“That’s the thing.” Five said, pulling out the tiny glass eye. “It’s useless at the moment, and probably will continue to be useless until the day of.”

“Wow,” Allison said sarcastically. “Very helpful.”

“Its more than any of you idiots have done.” Five snapped, and no one could come up with a reply, so they continued watching.

They watched the Policewoman, Eudora, talk to her partner and then Diego, shooing him away with the methods she had clearly used many times before. He watched himself wander around Diego’s boiler room, inspecting the pieces of art and other posters. Watched as Vanya tried to get Five to see a therapist, really a laughable idea.

Then Klaus walked out of the closet, and Luther once again found himself wondering how the hell they were in any way related, even by adoption.

“What are you wearing?” Allison asked, a smile tugging at her lips.

“It’s my best outfit.” Klaus defended, a bright smile on his face that made even Luther’s lips tug up a tiny bit.

They watched as Klaus outlined their cover story, which was horrifying at best and slightly amusing at worst. Then suddenly they were transported to those two masked assassins, who looked like they were torturing a man.

“Are those jumper cables?” Allison asked, her eyes flickering over to Klaus.

“Told ya so.” He said, lounging back once again, his hands reaching up to fiddle with a new necklace around his neck. “Why would I ever lie to you?”

Luther could list off at least ten reasons Klaus had lied to his face repetitively.

They watched as they ruthlessly tortured the man for information about Five.

“Jesus they really are bastards.” Vanya muttered, almost to herself.

“They almost killed us all, of course they're bastards.” Luther said, glaring at her lightly. He didn’t hate her, but he also remembered the not so kind words she wrote about him and sometimes a tiny bit of that irritation slipped out before he could stop it. Allison shot him a glare so he muttered a soft sorry and went back to the screen.

The scene changed again, and they watched as Allison struggled to talk to her husband about Claire.

“Patrick’s a right bastard.” Klaus put in, looking honestly annoyed at the circumstances. Luther had the same feelings towards the man.

They watched as Allison told Vanya off, and Luther felt a small twinge of pride at the dig towards the book. Allison didn’t seem to feel the same way.

“I’m so sorry,” Allison said, turning to Vanya, who only stared at the ground. “I shouldn’t have said that, I was emotional and upset and I took it out on you and-“

“It’s fine.” Vanya snapped. “I get it.”

Allison opened her mouth to say more, but Vanya sent her a small smile that stole the words from her mouth. Girls, Luther would never truly understand.

Then they found themselves inside the same lab as before, talking to the same man Five threatened earlier that day.

It didn’t go over well for them at all, before Klaus stood up, demanding to know about whatever the hell his consent was.

”Who gave him that swollen lip then?” Klaus asked, all large eyes and innocent concern.

“What swollen lip?” Lance asked in confusion, and Klaus swirled around and punched Five in the mouth.

“What the everlasting fuck Klaus?” Diego asked, turning to face their brother, who cackled.

“Oh my goodness it's just as badass as I remembered!” Klaus said, and Five chuckled as well.

“It was effective.” Five admitted.

“He hit you,” Luther replied, staring at them in shock. “Why aren’t you mad?”

“He was just doing what I asked, was it a stupid thing to do? Yeah. Did I want to punch him? Yeah. But what happened happened.” Five shrugged, and Klaus held up a hand for a high five that Five ignored without another look.

It still led to nothing, which didn’t get them any closer to finding out about the apocalypse, which was the entire point of them watching this damn show. Maybe this was all just a massive waste of time.

“Do you only care about finding money to support your drug habit?” Diego asked, watching as Klaus angrily demanded the money.

“In my defense,” Klaus said. “I was honest to god hungry.”

“You could have just come home and asked mom to make you something.” Vanya pointed out.

“I didn’t want to bother her,” Klaus muttered, looking slightly sheepish. “She had seemed stressed.”

Luther turned back to the screen.

Vanya met with this Lenard dude, which honestly seemed completely irrelevant to the storyline, although Allison bristled at the sight of him. Watching him and Diego talk again was nothing out of the ordinary, something he remembered vividly. He still felt embarrassed about thinking his siblings killed their dad. It was silly of him.

Then the man and Vanya were back again, and Allison spoke up.

“I know its still not my place.” She started, and Vanya glared at her.

“Then why are you talking?”

“But,” Allison continued. “I still find him sketchy.”

“I’m allowed to make my own decisions Allison.” Vanya sighed. “He’s not dangerous.”

“If you say so.” Allison grumbled, looking away.

They watched as Allison and Pogo talked, all slightly uncomfortable at the undeniable truth she was spreading. Luther looked around at them all, did he really know any of them?

He thought Diego was capable of killing their father, thought he was incapable of feelings. And yet here his brother was, having not killed their father and also mourning the loss of a close friend he obviously cared for.

He thought Five was dead, and well that proved to be wrong too.

He thought Vanya was just some bitter girl, who didn’t care about her siblings enough to write a book exposing a once sided view of their upbringing. And yet here Vanya sat, worrying about Allison and showing remorse for nearly everything she had done.

He thought Klaus was just an asshole junkie and a compulsive liar slash kleptomaniac. Which wasn’t necessarily untrue, but there seemed to be new layers behind all that, something lurking under the façade Klaus put on.

Ben was in a similar boat as Five. Dead, but somehow still around when Luther never thought he would be.

And Allison too, his best friend since childhood, who he thought that despite the years he would still know like the back of his hand. But now here she stood, so much smarter and self-aware than Luther could ever dream of being.

It made him think, did he really know ay of the siblings he thought he did? Or were they really just seven strangers living under the same roof?

”Why didn’t we include her?” Allison said, looking up to the tv and frowning. “If anyone every treated Claire like that, I can’t even imagine.”

“You were a child Miss Allison.” Pogo replied.

“Yeah, but I’m not anymore.” Allison said, staring up at the screen.

“I’m not some charity case you get to feel sorry about.” Vanya snapped, glaring up at Allison.

“Vanya that’s not how I meant it.” Allison said softly.

“That’s how it sounds.” Vanya said, looking like she wanted to get up and leave.

“She’s right though.” Klaus put in, making everyone turn to stare at him. “We treated you like shit Vanya, sorry I was too caught up in my own shit to realize.” They were all silent for a long moment, Vanya’s mouth opening and closing as she tried to process. Luther saw Five’s lips tug up towards a smile.

“Although,” Klaus continued. “All that free time did make you a damn good violin person so we can’t complain too much.” He grinned, and Vanya smiled shyly back at him.

“How sweet,” Diego said dryly. “Can we continue?”

Klaus gave him a middle finger, and Vanya looked down, but they continued watching.

Luther watched as Five walked into the department store, and he knew pretty much immediately what was going on. He clearly remembered Five’s manikin, whatever the hell she was, and it came as no surprise when Five found her.

“Delores is a mannequin?” Allison said in surprise, turning towards Five, her eyebrows raised.

“That’s his wife.” Klaus scolded. “Show some respect.”

“This is a fucked-up family.” Vanya whispered, making Klaus chuckle.

“You have no idea.” He replied, taking another drag from the cigarette before putting it out on the table in front of him. Luther tried not to think of the inevitable damage to the wood.

They watched as the masked idiots walked in, a Queen song playing as they started shooting.

“Jesus Five, you could have died.” Luther said, turning to his brother.

“I wasn’t expecting them to show up.” Five defended, frowning as he stayed watching the screen.

“Still, you’re not alone anymore, you can come for help.” He said, and Five made no response.

They watched tensely as Five maneuvered around the store, the assassins continuing to shoot at him as he dodged the bullets. Luther couldn’t help but noticed Klaus pulling slightly away, wincing at the gunshots. Just hungover, that’s all. There was nothing else he could think of.

“I still can’t believe you were the reason for both of those shootings, Eudora was stressing herself thin trying to figure them out.” Diego grumbled.

“It’s not like I wanted to get shot at, it’s just kind of follows me.” Five grumbled, sounding almost annoyed.

They watched as the policewoman found the truck driver, then as Allison showed Luther the tapes.

“I still can’t believe you thought mom was capable of killing dad.” Diego grumbled, and Luther bristled at his hostile tone.

“She had been acting weird.” Luther defended. “I wasn’t sure what she was capable of.”

“She had been alone! So you get Pogo to look at her wiring, not accuse her of murder.” Diego shot back, and Luther looked away, not willing to put up with this argument again.

They watched as they talked to Five, and then once again the scene shifted to the apocalypse.

They watched as a younger Five walked over to a gloved hand holding an eyeball, and Luther felt a pit open up in his stomach as he continued watching.

Five sat up, looking at the body. And Luther was staring at his own face. His own very dead face.

Then it was Diego. And Allison. Finally Klaus.

All of them, lying there in the dust, very much dead. On some level, Luther knew it happened. It can’t be an apocalypse, end of the world as we know it type of situation where he and the rest of them were still alive. But seeing Five, thirteen-year-old Five, looking around at him dead family? It made his chest ache with sympathy and horror.

He watched as Five shook them, as if trying to wake them up, tears running down his cheeks and Luther wanted to give Five a hug. Wanted to hold him close and tell him everything would be okay, that Luther would help him. He had a feeling this Five would only push him off, probably break his arms while he was at it.

“Five-“ Allison’s aid, shaking her head sadly. “I’m so sorry.”

“It was a long time ago.” Five said softly, watching as the screen faded to black. He looked so tired, so old despite being in such a young body. “It’s fine. Should we watch the next?”

Chapter Text

Vanya wasn’t sure if watching this show was worth the time or effort.

It made her uncomfortable, made something inside her shift and turn and she wished again for her meds. If only she wasn’t stupid enough to run out of them without even realizing it. There was just so much going on lately that her medication got lost in the mess.

The third episode started up and she wanted to curl into herself and run away, wanted to leave the house and go to her rehearsal, which she probably already missed, god she was going to get kicked off at this rate, or maybe even go to Leonard’s. She had missed their breakfast after all, which was such an asshole thing to do.

But she saw herself on the screen, and something made her keep sitting as she burned red watching herself. Of course the show had to show this, had to force her to watch her write that god-awful book that had made her life hell. She could already sense Diego glaring at her, and she was only just sitting down with the typewriter.

They all watched in uncomfortable silence as a montage played of them all reading the book. Luther doing push-ups, flipping a page as he went. Allison getting her make up done, intensely reading as she sat. Diego literally taping her face to a punching bag and beating it up, which was slightly threatening or terrifying at all. Klaus at rehab, with even Ben criticizing her writing. She hadn’t written anything bad about him, hadn’t been able to. He was always the best of them all.

Then it was Five, sitting in the ruins of the world. And their father, placing it back on a shelf. Vanya wondered if he ever really read it, or if he shoved it away to deny its existence.

Then she was running into her rehearsal, already ten minutes late and she felt the familiar embarrassment crawling up her throat.

”I am so sorry I’m late.” She said meekly, avoiding the conductors' eyes.

“I hadn’t noticed.” He replied coolly.

“What a fucking asshole.” Five said, glaring at the screen. “He can’t just say that.”

“It’s true.” She said awkwardly. “I don’t do much there.”

“You should,” Klaus said from beside her, looking at her weirdly. “you're really good.” She wasn’t sure what to think of her brother 180. The past few days he pretended she hadn’t existed, not talking to her once. And now here he was, apologizing for the past and complimenting her for no reason.

They watched as Allison and Luther watched the tape of mom, and Vanya was selfishly pleased because it meant Diego went from glaring at her to glaring at them. A welcome reprieve.

The scene cuts to the kitchen, where their mother was making the two of them breakfast.

”After we left, it must have been difficult.” Allison asked, looking half concerned half ready to rip their mom apart for answers.

“Oh, there were days.” Mom replied, still looking cheerful. “You kids kept me oh so busy, and then-“ She cut herself off, her ever-present smile slipping off as she stared at them.

“What?” Luther asked. Moms lips pulled up again, slipping before settling back, almost like she was malfunctioning.

“What were you going to say?” Allison pried.

Mom faltered, her lips jerking up and her movements suddenly jerking and stiff.

“Eggs are ready.” She said cheerfully, turning back to the stove.”

Their mom turned before placing down their smiley face eggs, just like they had as children. It was her favorite meal; the eggs and bacon were so much better than the oatmeal dad shoved down their throats before mom came to live with them.

“You have to admit,” Luther said carefully, turning to Diego. “That was weird, suspicious at the time being.”

“It means she isn’t feeling good,” Diego growled. “Someone acting weird doesn’t mean their capable or murder.”

“You're biased.” Luther sighed, and Vanya was a bit worried Diego was going to stab him when he jumped to his feet, a knife in his hand to point at Luther.

“Here we go again,” Klaus muttered, letting out a soft raspberry and leaning back into the couch, almost disappearing inside.

“I am not biased,” Diego said, a small hint of a stutter coming through his speech. Vanya pretended not to notice. “I just her, and I know she wasn’t capable of that.” Diego hissed. Luther put up his arms in what may have been a placating way to anyone who wasn’t Diego.

“I was just looking at the evidence I had and I drew a conclusion.” Luther said softly.

“Yeah, the wrong one.” Diego said, stepping forwards. Vanya was 100% sure a fight was going to break out when Five spoke up.

“You're on screen again Diego.” He said dryly, causing Diego’s head to snap to the screen, his expression breaking slightly before reconstructing itself. He sat back on the couch, crossing his arms and continuing to glare half-heartedly at Luther before watching the screen intently again.

”1963.” Detective Patch said, speaking over Diego easily. “Odd, I know.”

“Sometimes it was unreal,” Diego said softly, almost like he didn’t know he was speaking out loud. “How smart she was, which unnerved me how she couldn’t solve this case.”

Vanya felt something at the base of her throat, the sad wistful look on Diego’s face was possibly the most open and honest one she had ever seen on him since they were little kids. This Eudora chick meant something to him.

They watched as they debated ideas, ending with Diego’s almost heartfelt words of ‘I do give a shit’ which almost made her laugh at how that was the sincerest thing she had ever heard him say.

Then it cut back to her, and the urge to laugh dissipated and the need to float off into oblivion increased. She remembered this, remembered Helen talking to her and insulting her and she didn’t want to watch it all over again.

So she ducked her head, determined not to watch a second and instead focusing intently on the couch under her, pulling at a string and pushing down the feeling of resentment and anger bubbling up.

”There comes a time when it’s not about practice, it’s about if you have something special. And maybe you just, don’t.” Helen said.

“What a fucking bitch.” Allison said, and Vanya curled inwards, squeezing her eyes shut. She didn’t need any more of their pity, didn’t want it.

She didn’t want to remember how much those words hurt, how they dug into her skin as another reminder that she was just normal. Average. Ordinary.

“I’ll fight her.” Klaus said, and Vanya let out a little laugh. Trust her siblings, who had always made her feel shitty, feel just like she did right then, to suddenly want to stand up for her like they had nothing to do with her grief.

“I’ll kill her.” Five grumbled, and Vanya sighed.

“It’s fine.” She mumbled.

“It’s not,” Allison said, standing up and marching over to her, kneeling so they were at the same level. “She’s a bitch and needs to get the violin out of her ass. You are amazing at the violin Vanya; we all know that.”

“She is a bitch.” Diego grumbled from the sofa, not meeting her eyes, but the words were the same.

“Okay.” She said shakily. “Can we continue? Please?”

“Okay.” Allison said, giving her a soft smile and patting her leg softly. Vanya tried not to think of how much that soft, silly little gesture made her smile.

They watched as Hazel bitched about their payment reduction, Five grinning like a canary as he watched.

“I hope they get no pay by the end of this, cause I’m not dying anytime soon.” He said, a childlike grin on his face. Vanya found herself smiling along to, feeding off her brothers' gleeful mood.

It changed to Five, sewing his own arm up and Vanya frowned. She wanted to comment, but Luther beat her to it.

“Why didn’t you come to us?” He demanded.

“I had it covered.” Five replied easily.

“That’s not the point.” Luther sighed, looking honest to god concerned for the boy they literally watched murder at least five men an hour ago. “You don’t have to keep to yourself anymore, mom could have stitched you up easily.”

“I thought mom was a danger to us all?” Five asked innocently, making Klaus cackled in response.

“I mean, I agree with the big guy,” Klaus said. “But you got him good Five-o.”

“Shut up Klaus.” Luther said, no venom in his tone. Klaus waved a hand at him, pulling a face.

They watched as Klaus rummaged through the garbage, trying to find whatever papers he tossed out.

“Oh,” Klaus said, shrugging. “I guess I did look for them. Totally forgot about that.”

“It happened like a day and a half ago.” Five said, staring at Klaus strangely. Klaus only shrugged in response. they watched as the two interacted, Vanya smiling softly as they bantered back and forth. Klaus somehow always managed to bring a smile to her lips, even when acting like an idiot.

It seemed like Ben shared her thoughts, staring at Klaus like he was the biggest idiot on the earth. And man it hurt to see him sitting there. They were close as kids, they drifted apart when they started going on missions, and Ben became more and more scared of his powers. Then he died, but not really since his ghost still stuck around. Was probably sitting on the same couch as Klaus and her. Which was honestly mind-numbing to think about.

They watched as Five talked to his mannequin wife, which was something Vanya didn’t even want to unpack, as he watched the lab. She guessed it didn’t go far, since they still found the eyeball useless.

It then cut back to Allison and Luther, who was still debating the mystery of their mother.

”She’s a machine Allison.” Luther said.

“Who read to us, and cleaned up after us and tucked us into bed,” Allison stressed. “And then we left her here, alone, for 13 years.”

“Wow,” Diego said, glancing at Alison. “You do have some brain cells left in that little noggin.”

“She probably has more brain cells than all of us combined, let’s not pretend not to know that.” Klaus said, glancing over to the space beside him and speaking too soft for Vanya to make out.

She turned her attention back to the screen.

“When I was little I used it to get everything I wanted.” Allison said tears filling her eyes. Luther nodded supportively, a sad look on his own face. “With dad, with my career.” She sighed, looking down. “But now I know nothing in my life is real.”

Vanya swallowed stiffly, remembering her own harsh words about Allison basing her entire life on lies, how not everyone was like that. It felt powerful back then, being able to get a dig in on her next to perfect older sister. But now? It tasted like guilt on her tongue, knowing she hurt her sister when Allison was already going through so much.

She looked over to Allison, who was staring sadly at the screen, her lips wobbling slightly as she watched her confession.

“I never should have rumored her.” She said, almost talking to air. “I’m a horrible mother.”

“But you're moving on from that,” Luther said softly. “Starting new.”

“You know what you did wrong,” She chimed in. “You can fix it.”

“Thanks.” Allison said, smiling at the both of them as they continued to watch on.

Vanya watched with slightly pink cheeks as Leonard and she talked at his store, him showing her around the place. She remembered feeling so welcomed there, like Leonard saw her as an equal, not someone who wasn’t special.

She watched fondly as he shared his favorite, embarrassed as he pulled out the one that looked like her.

“Oh my god,” Klaus said, staring at her. “That is the creepiest thing I have ever seen.”

“What?” She asked, turning even redder. “I thought it was romantic.”

“Yeah, if you guys didn’t meet the day before,” Klaus said, looking at her like she was insane. “But staying up all night to make a carving of some girl you just met is stalker 101. Red flags Vanya, red flags.”

“Shut up Klaus.” She mumbled, a tiny bit of anger swirling in her gut. Who was he to lecture her on her love life? Mr. I sleep with everyone and anything that moves, especially if they give me drugs.

But that was unfair. He was just concerned, right? He didn’t know about their relationship, and from an outsider’s perspective it did look kind of odd.

“He’s right,” Allison spoke up, which was typical of her. Seriously, any moment Allison had to lecture her about Leonard she took. “That is kind of weird, don’t you think?”

“You guys are overthinking this okay?” Vanya snapped, crossing her arms and staring angrily at the tv, ignoring Five’s odd look of concern. Great, now even Five was worried about her. She wasn’t incapable.

It changed to Allison interrupting Leonard and her, and Vanya grinned slightly as she and Allison joked around lightly.

“I really am bad at the whole sister thing huh,” Allison said, glancing at her. “Didn’t get any better over the next few days.”

“Pish posh,” Klaus cut in before Vanya could speak. “We all suck at being siblings, you guys didn’t notice me go missing so we already have low standards.”

“You went missing?” Vanya said, turning to face him with wide eyes. He stared back, unaffected.

“Wait like an episode or two.” Klaus replied, turning back to the tv. She stared at her siblings, but they just looked equally confused.

It changed back to Five, who still sat in his van. Vanya watched as Five suddenly flashed back to the apocalyptic times, staring around before Luther was there, struggling to get into the car, Klaus in the back.

”What is he talking about?” Luther asked, glancing at Klaus before looking up at Five.

“Does it matter?” Five snapped. “It’s Klaus.”

“Which is a completely valid response if I wasn’t right.” Klaus put it, looking at Five.

“It applied to everything else.” Five mumbled, but he didn’t sound like there was any effort behind the words.

They watched as Luther and Five disagreed, and then proceeded to kick Klaus out of the van. Which lead to Klaus deciding to rob the store, running out with a policeman and store attendant following him.

“Oh, good times,” Klaus muttered, grinning almost sadly.

“Oh yes,” Diego deadpanned. “It’s lots of fun to break the law.”

“See!” Klaus said, pointing at Diego. “He gets it!”

They watched as Hazel once again flirted with the donut lady, making Five groan loudly.

”What makes you so light and fluffy?” Hazel asked, making Agnes laugh.

“Damn, he’s got game.” Klaus said, shaking his head, turning slightly before laughing at absolutely nothing. Ben probably. Which kind of creeped Vanya out, not that she’d ever mention it. Klaus's powers always creeped her out. Sometimes it felt like he was more welcomed with the dead, like he shouldn’t be of this world. But maybe that was her overthinking things like always.

They were back at the meeting again, another thing Vanya very much wished to erase from her memory. Nothing like arguing with her siblings over if their very own mother committed murder.

”Then where is it?” Luther asked. “No, I’ve searched the house, including her things. She doesn’t have it.”

Diego looked down, sighing slightly.

“That’s because I took it from her.”

“For the record,” Luther said, glaring at Diego. “I am still upset that you didn’t tell me that.”

“For the record,” Diego replied. “I still don’t give a shit.”

They watched as Klaus snarked Luther, agreeing with Diego because apparently Luther could go to hell, which Vanya remembered being a lot more entertaining at the time.

“Are you still annoyed about the truck?” Five asked, raising an eyebrow at Klaus's dramatics.

“It was so long ago.” Klaus sighed. “I don’t really give a fuck.”

“You keep saying that,” Allison spoke up. “That these things were so long ago. That doesn’t make any sense.”

“He’s probably high, he never makes sense high.” Luther mumbled; eyes still glued to the screen.

“Well, if you care to know, I am sober, technically. So fuck off.” Klaus said, frowning.

“Yeah, okay Klaus.” Luther huffed, and as rude as it was, Vanya had to agreed. How many times had Klaus told them he was sober? Only for him to turn and snort whatever drugs he could ten seconds later. But there was a certain clarity to his eyes, one that Vanya couldn’t puzzle out.

She watched as she talked to Diego, him snapping at her and she used to feel offended by it. But now, it kind of made sense. Seeing how upset Diego was looking at the screen, true pain in his eyes.

She watched as she took out her pill bottle again, popping one into her mouth.

“You take a lot of those,” Klaus noted. “It can’t be healthy.”

“Says the stoner.” Diego said from the side, and Klaus shrugged.

“Prescription drugs are very different from street drugs.”

“Whatever you say.”

Vanya ignored them, focusing on the screen, which had Diego walking down to their rooms, and suddenly they were back when they were young, getting ready for a mission.

Their dad berating them for not being fast enough, the kids running around. Allison was rummaging through her room, looking for her mask. Vanya smiled softly as Grace walked in, handing it to her and smiling. She checked in on Luther, who for some reason decided push ups were the right thing to do when he should be leaving to stop crime.

It showed her, practicing her violin and practically glowing under the attention mom gave her. Their mom really was lovely, and she felt a sudden surge of anger for her siblings for wanting to turn her off. This was the woman who cared for them, who was created to literally love and cherish them. And they wanted to shut her off at a moments notice. Their mom, who was really the only person who showed honest love and care to Vanya, who praised her talent and taught her how to bandage the cuts on her fingers when she practiced too long.

She took a deep breath, turning to the tv and trying to shove those feelings away, they were much too intense for her liking.

It changed to Grace having to put out the fire Klaus had somehow lit, and decided to jump on the bed instead of putting out. Little Ben ran up, complaining that his zipper was stuck and Grace having to help him out. Finally, it changed to Diego, trying his best to stammer out a warning.

”Remember Diego, just picture the world in your mind.” Grace said supportively, rubbing his arm in support.

“Don’t move.” He finally managed to get out, Grace happily gasping.

“You did it!” She exclaimed, cupping his cheek. “I’m so proud of you.” She said, Diego grinning up at her.

Vanya found she couldn’t speak, watching as Diego stared sadly at the screen. This was what he was fighting for. What Vanya tried to fight for. This wasn’t a woman Dad programed. Their father wasn’t capable of shoving that much affection, that much support. She was wrong, mom loved them, not their father. She had to stop fooling herself of that fact.

She watched as the flashback ended, Klaus scoffing a quiet ‘Mama’s boy’ that no one really paid attention too. It was said affectionately though.

Vanya watched as Diego walked to find their mom, conflicting emotions flickering across his face.

”Why did you do it?” Diego asked, looking over at their mom.

“Because being your mother was the best gift of my life.” She replied.

Diego looked away, his jaw ticking slightly as if he didn’t want to watch what was unfolding in front of him. Vanya herself got a sick feeling in her stomach, like something bad was about to happen.

Diego was obviously upset, both versions of him. On-screen he was begging their mother to feel, to understand. In real life his lip was quivering slightly, his teeth clenched tightly.

”Thirty years you worked for him.” He stressed. “And he never even gave you a room to sleep in.”

Vanya had never considered that, never thought of how inhumane it was to not give her a private place of her own, a place where she could flourish and spent time to herself. She only got this wide-open space where everyone could see her.

Diego turned as their mom talked, walking away quickly like he was about to cry.

It changed to Five once again, watching as the man from before made what looked like a shady deal in the middle of the street.

“What’s he doing?” Luther asked.

“Illegal things.” Five said, which really didn’t help much.

It changed again to the Cha Cha chick outside their house, looking at the sketch of a tattoo the waitress gave them. She tensed, knowing what was going on. Klaus tensed up too, a small noise of surprise falling out his mouth before he shook his head and started talking to the side again.

Now that Vanya looked, Klaus wasn’t doing so hot. He looked almost sick, sweat evident on his brow and a pale, sickly glean to his skin.

Vanya shook her head and turned back to the screen, telling herself that Klaus would tell them if something was wrong, he was probably just dope sick or something like that.

She watched as those creeps blew out their lock, bursting into their house like they owned it. She had hated that night, unused to the loud noises of gunshots and the fighting going around her. She was out of place in that environment.

It then changed to Klaus in the bath, his toenails painted black, hanging out of the tub too small for his too large limbs. It panned out, showing his head under the water, concealed by bubbles. Then it turned to Klaus’s face, floating under the water, looking peaceful, happy.

Then the voices started.

They reminded her of the voices in his dreams, but louder, and the screen flashed to figures standing in front of him, gangly and pale as they stared, screaming his name. Klaus thrashed, his hands going to cover his ears as he shook his head. The screams rose in volume before he sat up with a gasp, shaking his head to dislodge the bubbles left on his head.

His hands shook as they slammed into the water, a truly heartbreaking look on his face.

“Is it always that bad?” Allison said softly, looking at Klaus sadly.

Klaus gave a noncommittal shrug, frowning at himself on the screen.

They watched as Klaus threw on his headphones, reaching up with shaking hands to grab at a joint and light it up, dancing along with the music.

Vanya tried not to feel pity, but it was so hard not to. Watching her brother sitting there, obviously so rattled at things he saw all the time. Were those the figures Vanya used to think he preferred to be around? Were they all like that?

Meanwhile, Hazel and Cha Cha continued to wander around the halls, walking into Allison and Luther's room respectfully, commenting on Luther’s shoes, which made her brother squirm.

It changed to Luther sitting on the window sill, staring up at the moon, Allison wandering in behind him.

Luther started talking about his time on the moon, and something inside Vanya squirmed. Four years up there. She couldn’t help but feel empathetic about it. Four years of isolation, no one but himself to keep him company. It was sad, and she hated her father for forcing him up there, even if their relationship wasn’t the best.

”I didn’t feel like a superhero up there.” Luther said, looking over to Allison and then back up at the sky. “But in those moments when the whole world was glowing, I felt like I was always meant to be there.”

She would never tell him, but that was possibly the most profound thing Luther had ever said.

”You know,” Allison said, looking at him sadly. “I wish I was there with you.”

“You were.” Luther replied.

“You all were,” Luther said, looking slightly red as he looked down. “At some point or another, I would think of you guys, could almost hear your voices talking to me.”

“It would have been fun.” Klaus said. “Family road trip to the moon.”

Luther's lips pulled up, and he chuckled despite himself.

They watched as the scene changed, Diego walking down the hall and coming face to face with his attackers. He put a fairly good fight, despite thinking headbutting the solid metal mask was a good idea.

They watched as they continued to fight, the camera briefly showing their mom, who kept working as time went on. Vanya sighed at the shot, watching their protector of a mother sit by as they obviously were being attacked. She really was malfunctioning.

They watched as Luther and Allison came out of nowhere, sending them flying.

”Your welcome.” Luther said, to which Diego did not look like he was going to say thank you.

“I was doing fine.” He snapped.

“Oh yeah, you really had them-“ Luther started, but Diego cut him off.

“Ever heard of a rope-a-dope?”

“That didn’t look like a rope-a-dope.” Vanya pointed out.

“What do you know about boxing?” Diego snapped at her.

“Enough to know what a rope-a-dope looks like obviously.” Klaus put in, elbowing her and winking at her, a large grin spread on his lips.

They watched on as Vanya foolishly wandered downstairs, lured by the gunshots. She still cursed herself from going to check, what could she do to help them anyways? Luther thankfully lured the attention away before she got killed, and the music kicked up again.

“I really do love this music.” Klaus sighed.

It then cut to Klaus himself, dancing around with his headphones on and a towel wrapped around his frame, dancing seconds before Allison ran past.

“You were there the entire time?” Allison asked, staring at him with shock. “And you didn’t come to help?”

“Come on darling,” He said, waving a hand. “Couldn’t hear a thing.”

“Your headphones are that loud?” Luther asked doubtfully, causing Klaus’s grin to turn sharp.

“Loudly enough to tune out the dead.” He said teasingly, but Vanya swallowed at the meaning.

They watched as Allison tripped Cha Cha, collapsing on the table as Diego saunter in.

”You want to rumor this psycho?” He asked casually.

“I don’t need to,” Allison said, wiping the blood from her mouth. “This bitch just pissed me off.”

“Yes girl!” Klaus cackled, clapping his hands. “What a badass. I am in awe.”

But there was almost a forced quality to his jokes, like his heart wasn’t really in it. Although Allison was pretty badass.

The music became muffled, once again switching to Klaus who was jamming out.

”Klaus.” Ben called from the door, Klaus ignoring him. “Klaus!”

Klaus cackled, turning to the air beside him.

“That still pisses you off huh.” He asked, waiting a second before replying again. “I am honestly offended Benjamin. How dare you.”

Vanya shuddered, shaking her head and turning back to the screen.

Luther and Hazel were battling it out, herself useless as she hid offscreen, useless to everything going on. She truly was out of her element, scared, useless, powerless, a liability.

They watched as Cha Cha stood at the top of the second floor, gazing at Diego, Allison, and Luther as they helped the bigger man up. Vanya gasped as the chandelier fell, Luther pushing his siblings to the side and collapsing to the door. Luther himself winced, looking away from the screen, suddenly bashful.

They watched as Luther pushed to his feet, his coat and shirt ripping to reveal the mess of muscle and fur under.

“What the hell?” Five said, turning to Luther. “What did dad do to you?”

“He saved my life.” Luther defended, but it sounded weak, frail. Like he was only telling himself it for the sake of hearing the words.

“That’s messed up,” Klaus said. “Are you okay?”

“I’m fine, only a bit sore from the chandelier,” Luther replied.

“Not what I meant big guy.” Klaus replied sadly.

“Can we keep watching?” Luther said sounding strained. “Please?”

They watched as Luther fled up the stairs, his siblings all staring at him in various faces of shock and sadness.

They watched as Diego ran up the stairs, and Vanya prepared herself to see their mom dead, killed by those assassins. But she was fine, humming away as she finished her piece.

“I thought they killed mom.” Allison said confused, staring at Diego.

“Watch the damn show.” He replied, with no bite, like there was something stuck in his throat.

Vanya watched as Diego asked her about the shooting, sitting down heavily beside her and staring at her work. The camera panned down, showing her cross-stitch, which she was pulling through her own skin.

“Oh my god.” She whispered, watching the scene unfold.

They watched sadly as Diego cut into moms’ skin, and it struck Vanya quickly. She knew what was going on, but she was powerless to stop it.

”What are you doing?” Their mom asked as Diego pulled back the skin and open the flap containing the wires inside her arm.

Diego’s mouth quivered, trying and failing to form words for a few seconds.

“It’s going to be o-“ He was lost in the stutter again, his mouth moving but no sound coming out.

“Remember what we worked on.” She said, a faint trusting smile on her lips. “Picture the word in your mind.”

“It’s going to be okay,” He said, stammering over the words. “Mom.” He was crying softly as he pulled the last wires, their mom slowly shutting down.

“Diego-“ She slurred, her face lighting up with blue light. “Remember.” And with that, she slumped down, turned off, dead.

“Diego.” She said softly, turning to face their brother, who looked close to tears once again.

“You’re the one who shut her off.” Luther said, his voice a mix of accusing and horror.

“I had to,” Diego whispered fiercely, his teeth grinding. His words were slightly stuttered, like he was having trouble forming them and getting them out. “She w-was hurting herself. If I shut her off, you guys would assume it was the m-men, the men who shot us up. And Pogo would fix her, she’d b-be alright. But if I told you guys she w-was m-malfunctioning you’d shut her off for good, and I-I couldn’t-“ He cut himself off with a shuddering breath, his eyes fluttering closed as he stared at his lap.

They all stared at him in horror, their strongest, most emotionless brother so close to breaking down, having turned their mother off in hopes that she would be fixed, that they could fix her again.

“I had to.” He repeated, not looking up. “You were going to kill her.”

They had no response, but Allison put her hand on his shoulder, and he didn’t shake it off.

They silence fell as they turned to the screen, all of them a bit too emotional for comfort. That wasn’t their strong suit, sharing and caring. Telling each other their emotions and talking things out like normal human beings. It wasn’t healthy, but at the moment she got it. She didn’t want to watch this stupid episode, watching her get talked down to, having her siblings criticize the only man who seemed to care for her, watching her mom die in front of her.

It made something inside her crawl, like she was having an anxiety attack. When all sounds were too loud and she felt something rushing inside her veins, panic, and restlessness barely keeping her in place. She was too emotional, in fact, it was the most emotional she had been in ages. She had torn through feeling the happiest she had ever been and the worst she had ever felt in the course of half a day and it was tiring.

She wanted to sleep. She wanted to take her pills. She wanted to curl up with Leonard and tell him everything that had happened.

Instead, she continued to watch.

She watched as Diego yelled at her, snapping out at whatever was closest. And she got it, he was so close to mom, and had just killed her. She got being frustrated, but eh words still hurt. She watched as Allison agreed, and once again she felt like nothing, just a liability, just some powerless idiot among the high and mighty Umbrella Academy.

“I shouldn’t have said that,” Allison said, which sounded like a bit of a broken record. Allison kept apologizing, and yet she kept on hurting her. “I didn’t mean it that way. It’s just that you weren’t trained like us, and I can’t stand seeing you get hurt.”

“It’s fine.” It wasn’t. “I get it.” She didn’t.

“This stuff is dangerous.” Allison echoed. “I don’t want you near it. I don’t want any of us near it.”

Vanya got it on a level, but at the same time, it made her feel so inferior. She just wanted to help, to show them she was worthy of their love, of being their equal. But she never would be.

“I’m sorry too.” Five said, sounding pained to admit it. “I lead them to you and I should have been there to help. I should have been more responsible and instead, I let you guys get hurt.”

“Yeah, we got shot up while you were out getting drunk.” Diego snapped. “Very responsible.”

“I apologized.” Five grit out. “Don’t make me regret it.”

They watched sadly as Luther slammed into his room, staring at himself in the mirror with disgust. Vanya couldn’t imagine it, having her body altered like that, the horror, the feeling of displacement. She felt it herself sometimes, looking at herself dressed up in super girly things. How much she sometimes hated her reflection in the mirror.

She watched as she ran up to Leonard’s, hating how pathetic she looked while begging him to help her.

It changed to Hazel and Cha Cha, one who decided to get a donut, and the other look suitably pissed.

”Well the nights a total loss.” Cha Cha grumbled.

“Not quite sure about that.” Hazel replied.

“What does that mean?” Allison asked, looking at the siblings, Klaus cackled softly to himself, sounding slightly hysterical.

“I love a good drama, eh Ben?” He said turning to the side. “Come on, this is hilarious. They’re going to be so worried, watch.”

Sure enough, Vanya focused on the screen, watching as Hazel and Cha Cha popped open their trunk, staring down. The camera changed to show Klaus, his hands tied and mouth covered, terrified as he screamed out for help.

The screen turned black, and the room exploded into chaos.

“You were kidnapped?” Luther screeched, staring at Klaus, who laughed hysterically.

“What the hell Klaus?” Allison said.

“Are you okay? You don’t look hurt.” Vanya said, doing another once over of Klaus, who looked a tiny bit worse for wear, but no cuts, no bruises, no signs of anything bad.

“How long did they have you?” Allison continued, looking overly concerned.

“Fuck if I remember,” Klaus said, turning back to the side. “How long was I there Ben? Two days? Yeah, two days give or take.” He said turning back to them.

“Two days with those freaks,” Allison said, blinking. “What the hell Klaus, why didn’t you tell us?”

“Oh come on, I only was back here for like thirty minutes before Five barged in and decided and to drag me down here. Not like any of you guys noticed either way.” Klaus said, shrugging.

And it was true. Their house got shot up, Klaus got kidnapped, and none of them noticed. Vanya was too lost in her own bullshit to notice the absence of her brother. Well, she had noticed, but she thought Klaus decided to go get shot up with drugs or something. Like he wouldn’t realize what happened and check to make sure they were okay.

She was such a horrible sister sometimes.

“So that’s how you got it.” Five said softly, which made no sense. “So where is the briefcase?”

“I don’t know what our talking about brother dear,” Klaus said in a way that implied he knew exactly what Five was talking about. “Now excuse me, because screw sobriety, I need a fucking drink.”

He hopped over the couch, turning away from them quickly, but not before Vanya could catch the barely kept together look on his face.

“Shut up Ben,” Klaus muttered as he walked towards the bar, clutching tightly at his stomach. “You're not being helpful.”

“Klaus,” Five sighed, teleporting over to him, grabbing the bottle from his hands. “Are you really sober?” He asked, just loud enough for everyone to hear.

“Regrettably,” Klaus grumbled. “You got to me before I could either find a drink or grab my jacket for my pills.”

“Then you are staying sober.” Five said, grabbing him and yanking him away from the bar. “I need you clear-minded to deal with this.”

“I am clear-minded when I’m drunk,” Klaus whined, but he was clearly not strong enough to resist as Five pushed him back into the seat, the entire chair moving under his weight. Vanya reached out to him, rubbing at his arm. He leaned into it momentarily before shuddering and pulling away, curling up into a little pouty ball. “I can’t focus when I’m sober.” He whined.

“Why not, you won’t have the substances swirling around your head to bother you.” Luther scoffed, crossing his arms but looking genuinely worried.

“But it’s so loud.” He groaned, throwing his head back. Vanya furrowed an eyebrow, looking around in hopes that someone understood whatever the hell he meant.

Everyone looked just as confused as everyone else, so she let the comment slide.

“Why didn’t you tell us about being tortured?” Allison said gently, steering the conversation back to the more important topic.

“Not important.” He said, flipping an arm.

“Getting kidnapped and tortured by two of the most notorious assassins in the world isn’t important?” Five asked dryly as he leaned back into his chair.

“Yeah.” Klaus replied, letting out a quick laugh.

“Why wouldn’t it be important?” Luther asked. “We’re a team Klaus, you need to tell us these things-“

“I didn’t think you’d care,” Klaus said, cutting him off from his rant. “You obviously didn’t notice so I thought I’d keep it on the down-low. Not important, but you know what’s important? The fact that Diego apparently murked our mom, I mean what's up with that?”

“Fuck off Klaus.” Diego grumbled.

“We will be getting to that later,” Allison said, and Diego glared at Klaus who only stuck his tongue out. “But you need to tell us these things, so if you have any other life shocking thing that happened to you, now is the time to mention it.”

Klaus squinted, appearing to think things over. His mouth opened briefly before it closed, his eyes looking down and for a second a brief moment of grief flashed over his face. After only half a second, he was grinning again, looking up at them.

“Nada.” He said, and Vanya watched as Five shook his head, turning to the tapes looking almost disappointed.

“Let’s continue then.” He said, sounding quieter than Vanya had ever heard.

Chapter Text

He hated this.

He hated every goddamn second of this god-awful show that he was forced to sit through.

He didn’t want to watch his last interaction with Eudora over and over again, didn’t want to see himself killing their mother. He wanted to be out there finding those masked freaks so he can finally get the revenge he deserved.

Instead, he was squished on a couch beside Allison, watching as the screen flickered to life.

A simple song started to play as the camera started to pan up what looked like Luther’s normal body.

Diego wasn’t sure what happened to his brother, and he never really cared to ask. He could fill in the blacks enough to get the main picture of it all.

But as he watched his brother go through an absolutely pitiful morning routine, even he felt a bit bad.

He never regretted leaving, not in the least bit. But he did regret not trying harder to convince Luther to come with him. Back when they could sometimes hold conversations, they dreamed of joining the police force together, that was before dad pit them against each other, before Diego became so resentful he could barely stand looking at Luther.

Maybe if he convinced Luther to come with him and try at a life outside their father, he wouldn’t be watching Luther sit alone at the breakfast table, wouldn’t be watching him ride a bike around the house by himself, wouldn’t have to watch him get rejected by the father he foolishly loved.

But what happened happened, and he tried not to hold his breath when he watched their mom and dad wheel a gasping bloodied Luther into the medical wing.

“Luther.” Allison said softly, reaching out a hand to gently place it over Luther’s arm. His brother pulled away before she could come in contact, swallowing hard as his eyes never left the screen.

They watched quietly as Luther died, and even the paddles weren’t able to bring him back. Diego watched as Luther flinched watching himself get stuck by the needle, Diego himself flinching slightly too.

The scene changed slightly, and suddenly they were staring down at Luther once again, but this time his hair was dark brown and long, a large beard on his face. It was easy to tell that a very long time had passed. Luther woke up with a gasp, within seconds looking down at his very hairy, very muscular, very not human body.

Diego flinched slightly when Luther started screaming, all his siblings looking slightly uncomfortable as they watched.

“I’m sorry Luther.” Allison said softly, still staring up at Luther in the way that always made Diego jealous. The best of friends, closer than anyone else.

He never had one like that. It was always Luther and Allison. Ben and Klaus. Five and Vanya. After Five left and Ben died it was almost Diego and Klaus, but then their dad decided to stop sending Klaus on missions and it was Klaus and Vanya, the useless ones. So everyone had someone, everyone except him.

The show went on.

He tensed slightly when he saw Luther and Allison sitting by Grace’s body, talking about how the men in masks killed her.

“You’re an ass you know?” Luther said, turning to him. “We thought they murdered her, but it was you the whole time.”

“I have no need to explain my actions to you.” He said coolly, glaring his brother down as he scoffed.

”Poor Diego.” Allison sighed. “I mean, this is going to be so hard on him.”

Diego snorted at that part, smiling mildly at Allison.

“Thanks for the concern.” He said sarcastically.

“I echo Luther,” Allison snapped, looking defensive. “I was genuinely worried for you, how you were going to take it.”

“Says the girl who was gunning for her to be killed the day before.” Diego snapped back at her; his fingers twitched in need of a knife. They were something he always understood, something that never let him down.

Without him even realizing it, he was twirling one in his hands, the motion soothing his frayed nerves. He watched passively as Allison fruitlessly tried to get Luther to open up to her, but he knew it was a lost cause.

The scene changed and Vanya was sleeping on a couch, and he fully remembered that she went to that dudes’ place after he told her to screw off.

They talked as they walked to practice, and Diego had to admit that Leonard was charming, in a weird, awkward, slightly intimidating kind of way.

Vanya was bright red throughout the scene, avoiding any type of eye contact.

“This show has a way of barring all your personal moments huh.” She said bitterly. “It’s stupid.”

“The way of life sister dear.” Klaus replied, eyes still glued to the screen, almost in anticipation. Diego idly wondered what he was waiting for, he had a feeling it wouldn’t be good.

The answer came when seconds later they all watched in horror as that Cha Cha lady tried a string around Klaus’s neck and pulled.

“Klaus!” Vanya cried out in worry, turning to stare at her brother. “What the hell?”

“Oh this?” Klaus asked, annoyingly flippant to the point of heartbreak. “This is just us getting to know each other.”

“They tortured you.” Diego said flatly.

On a level, he already knew that. He had been in the room, he had known they had Klaus, he knew that Eudora went to save him. But seeing it was so much more different than knowing. And that knowledge was overshadowed by Eudora anyway.

It was one thing to know his brother was tortured in that room. It was another to watch your ex-girlfriend and possibly the only person he cared about die in that room.

He grit his teeth, focusing back on the screen to help squash the pain thinking about Eudora brought him.

”Something funny asshole?” Hazel ground out, looking worn out and frustrated.

“Well,” Klaus started. “For one, you spent the last ten hours beating me senseless, and you’ve learned absolutely nothing!”

It was heartbreaking and half funny, watching his brother there. Seeing the blood on his chest, how much he shook in pain and exhaustion, the bruises and angry red on his neck, it was heartbreaking. But seeing the way Klaus mocked them, used his obvious pain to get a rise out of them, well it was good to know one aspect of their father's training worked out in the end.

”The truth is, I’m the only person in that house that nobody will even notice I’m gone. You assholes kidnapped the wrong guy!” Klaus cried, grinning and laughing maniacally.

“Of course we would notice!” Luther cried, turning to face Klaus with the look of a kicked puppy. “You’re a part of the team.”

“But did you?” Klaus asked, any trace of the previous amusement void from his face. “Did any of you notice?”

“We noticed you weren’t there.” Allison said after a long moment of silence, even Diego looking away from Klaus’s too expressive eyes.

“But you thought I was off getting high. Never thought once to check n and see how I was faring after the house got shot up right?” Klaus asked, a bitter grin spreading over his face. He let out a loud laugh, scrambling for another cigarette with shaking hands. “Figures.”

No one could say anything to that, all too speechless to properly think as they turned back to the screen, all their minds running a hundred miles per hour. They watched distantly as Hazel and Cha Cha waterboarded him, once again failing as Klaus started to literally drink the water they forcefully poured down his throat.

"Are you okay Klaus?" Vanya said softly. "I mean, what you went through?"

"It's nothing." He waved the concern away. "I barely remember it to be honest."

And they really did not have the time to unpack all of that.

After a heart to heart in the bathroom, the scene changed and Diego saw himself, once again spread out over Patch’s porch like he always did when he was upset.

Klaus chuckled lowly from beside him.

“How long we’re you laying there?” Klaus asked, a knowing look in his eyes.

“Shut up.” He muttered, he was there all night, shivering at her door, trying and failing to work up to courage to just ring it. He knew she’d let him in, she was never cruel enough to turn him away when he needed it, but he wasn’t able to shove his pride down enough to actually knock.

He regretted that now.

He drank up every second her face was on the screen, with her perfectly slicked-back ponytail, immaculate outfit, and overall stunningness. He remembered how he felt when he first saw her in the academy, how he knew at that moment that he had to know her. His life had pretty much revolved around her ever since then.

He watched as she sat beside him, her face concerned as he told her about his mom. He still remembered that moment, despite it feeling like it happened ages ago. He saw himself sitting there, unable to articulate just how much he felt like screaming and sobbing after he killed his own mother.

He remembered her hand on his arms, tears in his eyes and all he wanted to do was hug her, pull her into his arms and just sob.

”You went after the guys in the mask, didn’t you?” Eudora said, her face a mix of concern and exasperation.

“I didn’t go after them,” Diego told her. “And ones a woman by the way, so stop being so sexist.”

That got a chuckle out of Klaus who tipped his head towards Diego.

“And the girls the only competent one, so that that sexism.”

Diego couldn’t find a response to that, too busy watching as Eudora got up, walking away from him once again.

”No wonder we didn’t last.” He told her.

That was the last thing he ever said to her. Something as stupid and petty as that. She had even continued talking to him, and he could have responded, could have salvaged what they had left, but he chose to keep quiet.

He closed his eyes, his fist curling tighter as he looked away from the screen. He didn’t look at any of his siblings, knowing that they would be either judging him or looking at him with pity. He didn’t know which one was worse.

The scene changed to Allison walking up to Vanya’s apartment, the door already slightly cracked open. Allison walked in, putting down her bag and falling into a defensive position when she sees someone in the room. Diego can’t help but feel a curl of protectiveness inside him, despite his lingering annoyance over Vanya’s book, she was still the most helpless of them all, and someone in her apartment made him want to jump to her defense.

He watched as Allison effectively took the man down, who turned out to be no one other than Lenard himself. Diego wasn’t sure what to think about him at this point.

“I still can’t believe you took my boyfriend out.” Vanya said, crossing her arms.

“I can’t believe she took his out while wearing a dress and high heels,” Klaus said through a mouthful of popcorn. “Get it queen.”

“I didn’t know it was him,” Allison defended, ignoring Klaus completely. “And it’s weird he was even in there in the first place.”

“He was using the bathroom!” Vanya protested.

“That’s a shit excuse,” Five said, eyes not moving from the screen.

“For once,” Diego spoke up. “I agree with Five.”

He didn’t actually have an opinion, but the guy looked like a creep so that was good enough for him. Sometimes you had to go with the gut feelings.

”Excuse me?” Allison said, walking forwards.

“No, it's just, from what I heard you didn’t want anything to do with Vanya yesterday,” Lenard said in a condescending voice. “So I was just wondering.”

“Wow,” Diego said, raising his eyebrows. “That is such a dick thing to say.”

“He was just being protective,” Vanya said, but it didn’t sound like she really meant it.

“Imagine looking Allison in the face and being brave enough to use that tone on her after she literally took you out ten seconds ago. I’d call him a hero if I didn’t already hate his guts.”

Diego finished watching the scene, immediately catching every single micro emotion that went past Leonard’s face. The annoyance, the fake casualty. He had a bad feeling about this guy.

The scene changed to a dogwalker getting into his car, and Five was suddenly there, a knife to the guy's throat. It took Diego a second to realize it was that Grant guy from the lab.

“Aggressive,” Klaus laughed, winking at Five, who ignored him.

“Do you just go around threatening people all the time?” Luther asked with a tiny sigh. “That’s not right Five.”

“Get off my back Luther.” Five said, unconcerned. They watched as the scene continued, and Diego had to bite his tongue once or twice in order to not yell at Five for deciding to fuck off to terrorize dog owners instead of being at the academy when they needed him.

”Start the car then,” Five said, slowly taking the knife away. “Cause we’re going on a field trip.”

“Why didn’t you just zap the two of you over to his office? Wouldn’t that be easier?” Klaus asked, and Five turned to look at him, blinking slowly.

“I didn’t want to leave the dog behind.” Five muttered, and Diego felt his lips tip towards a smile despite himself.

The scene changed back to Luther going through Five’s room, and Diego watched as he showed up, Luther immediately asked him about mom.

”It looks like you got what you wanted, one way or another.” Diego snapped, looking away.

“I still can’t believe that it was actually you who did it,” Luther repeated, looking over at Diego. “I mean, you guilt-tripped us, let us be worried, and it was you all along.”

“I did what I had to do,” Diego snapped. “At least I wanted to turn her off out of love, not blind obedience.”

Luther seemed to want to rebut that, but only ended up scoffing and turning back to the screen. Diego watched as he and Luther fought it out, and he wasn’t proud of what he said, but he didn’t regret it. Luther still idolized their father, put him on a pedestal even after the abuse, the manipulation, and his brother was just too blind to see that.

”Your brother is missing,” Pogo snapped at them. “And this is how you rise to the occasion?”

“He’s right you know,” Five said, turning to them. “The world is ending; you guys need to get your shit together.”

“Yeah, even Pogo’s tired of your shit,” Klaus said, and Diego debated the consequences of throwing a knife at him. “You guys look like ten-year-old scolded by their dad.”

“Pogo’s scary,” Luther said, crossing his arms. “You’d be cowering too.”

“Never said I wouldn’t,” Klaus said, leaning back. “For an old chimp, he is quite terrifying.”

The scene changed, and once again they were in the motel room, Hazel and Cha Cha on screen.

“Oh look!” Klaus said, his voice monotone with no emotion at all. “It’s me again.”

It changed to Klaus, shivering pathetically and covered in blood.

”Withdrawal,” Ben said. “It’s starting, isn’t it? Must be,” The screen cut to him as he nodded towards the woman by the window. “Otherwise, who’s the dead babushka?”

“Oh come on,” Klaus said to the air beside him. “You loved her. You guys were like best friends by the end of the night.”

Diego watched with morbid interest as the two assassins discussed how to best break his brother, and somehow they managed to get even higher on his kill immediately list.

“Asthma medication?” Allison asked Klaus, raising an eyebrow.

“It was a spur of the moment lie.” Klaus justified. Diego only shook his head.

They watched in a mix of disappointment as Klaus started to freak out as Hazel smashed his drugs, screaming and begging him to stop.

”You going to tell them it’s special chocolate?” Ben asked, his arms crossed.

“Not until their high as kites.” Klaus replied.”

“That was actually kind of smart of you,” Luther said. “Using their own attempts against them.”

“Yeah, that’s totally what I was doing.” Klaus said, turning to give the air a look.

They watched as Klaus finally broke down, promising to tell them everything.

“You sold me out for your goddamn drugs?” Five asked, turning in his seat to glare Klaus down.

“Hey, I was fearing for my life.” Klaus defended; one hand pressed against his chest.

“You were fearing for your drugs.”

“That too.” Klaus shrugged.

“Unbelievable,” Five scoffed. “You are such an idiot.”

“Hey,” Klaus said, looking suddenly very mad. “I was just tortured for almost an entire day, waterboarded, strangled, and beat to a pulp while going through withdrawals, you do not get to tell me what I am allowed to break at. I just wanted it to stop.”

Five didn’t have a response to that, none of them really did.

Diego watched on the screen as Klaus told them about the lab, the scene cutting to the two of them walking into the lab, clearly high and still eating the chocolate. Klaus cackled as they watched them dance around, flinging the fake body parts around.

It changed to Diego and Luther finding Five’s van, and Diego didn’t really pay much attention, he had lived through this, so why bother going over it again.

Then Hazel and Cha Cha were pouring gasoline everywhere, lighting a match, and suddenly the place was on fire.

“You’re the reason I couldn’t find the owner!” Five hissed, jumping to his feet to point at Klaus, who only blinked slowly. “You’re the reason my only clue to the apocalypse is useless.”

“Before you get mad,” Klaus said calmly. “Wait an episode so you can get all the things I’ve done wrong so you don’t have to waste air yelling at me twice.”

“You are unbelievable.”

“Thanks.”

The building on-screen exploded with a loud noise, sending Five flying backward.

Both Klaus and Five went oddly still as they watched the screen, both appearing to be lost in some sort of memory.

“Are you okay Five?” Vanya asked, snapping Five out of whatever he was thinking about.

“I’m fine.” He snapped.

“You were caught in an explosion,” Luther said, looking concerned, but Five only waved them both away.

They watched as Allison and Vanya talked, Allison slowly breaking the news to her.

”I thought we were going to wait a bit.” Vanya said, and Allison sighed.

“It was those psychopaths last night.” She said gently.

“Well, it was a psychopath that’s for sure,” Klaus said, grinning over at Diego, who once again debated throwing a knife at him.

“Fuck you.” He settled on instead.

They watched Hazel and Cha Cha at the diner, nursing their hangover with coffee and donuts.

”The world is ending.” Hazel said. “All this, all these people are going to be gone and they have just no idea.”

“It’s nice to know that at least one of them is self-aware.” Allison said, shaking her head.

“And he has a crush,” Five said. “Unprofessional. These are all things we can use against him.”

“We are not kidnapping the donut lady.” Luther said.

“Literally no one mentioned that,” Diego pointed out. “Hadn’t even crossed our minds man.”

“It crossed mine.” Five put in.

“Hadn’t crossed any of the sane people’s minds.” He amended.

The scene changed once again, and they heard someone whisper Klaus’s name, and they were watching a similar scene to the one in the tub. Wicked looking people staring at him blankly, all screaming his name.

Klaus went oddly still, his entire body tensing up as if he was getting ready to bolt at any second.

It changed to a kid, Klaus as a kid, cowering in a corner with tear-stained cheeks and fear in his eyes. He was begging to be let out, and when that didn’t work he just started screaming and screaming and screaming.

It changed to adult Klaus, also screaming and panting locked in a closet, Ben standing behind him.

“What the hell was that Klaus?” Luther asked, his eyes wide.

“Oh, just the mausoleum,” Klaus said in an indifferent voice, as if that wasn’t one of the most horrifying things Diego had ever heard.

“A mausoleum?” Allison said in disbelief. “You were in a mausoleum as a kid.”

“Everyone’s training was different,” Klaus said distantly, his eyes fluttering shut momentarily, before he turned to look at the air. “Hey look, it’s your little asshole monologue coming up.”

Diego furrowed his brow, but didn’t question it.

“No, you were being an asshole, everyone here will agree with me.” Klaus continued, and Diego laughed slightly, shaking his head.

”You know what the worst part about being dead is?” Ben asked, staring intensely at Klaus. “You're stuck. Nowhere to go, nowhere to change.”

Klaus threw his head back, panting loudly as tears streaked down his face.

“That’s the real torture, if you gotta know. Watching your brother take for granted everything you lost, and pissing it all away.”

“Wow,” Diego said, nodding his head. “Never thought I’d say this, but Klaus was right. That’s a little bit farther than some tough love.”

He turned to where he pictured Ben to be, raising his eyebrows in what he hoped was a disapproving look.

There’s tough love, and then there’s telling your brother who is being tortured that you have it worse.

Klaus simply laughed, shaking his head.

“If only you could see the look he’s giving you.” Klaus said, and Diego felt an intense longing to be able to. To see Ben again, even if it was to see the death glare he was probably receiving.

Then Eudora was back on screen and his heart dropped down to his stomach.

He watched as Bauman and her went over evidence, and then she found the car with the message written on the side. So that’s how she knew where Klaus was being kept. The scene was over much too quickly.

Seeing Five in the library drunk out of his mind still made him beyond mad, and even Five had the decency to look a tiny bit embarrassed.

“Sorry, who was just lecturing me on substance abuse a few minutes ago?” Klaus snarked, crossing his arms.

“Shove it up your ass.”

“Love you too Fivey.”

It changed to Allison and Vanya at the bar, talking about that Leonard dude once again.

”Look I’m sorry I have to be the one to tell you this, but sometimes men are unredeemable shit.” Allison told her.”

“It’s true,” Klaus said. “We really are.”

“See?” Allison said, turning to Vanya. “Someone gets it.”

They continued watching, and suddenly Allison’s face twisted.

“That makes it seem like Luther and I were dating,” She said suddenly, looking over to Luther, who looked disgusted. “We were not dating, or otherwise involved.”

“Ugh,” Klaus sighed. “Incest is the worst.”

“I meant it in a best friend kind of way,” Vanya said, turning to them. “The show makes it seem like I’m implying, that, but we just all knew you guys were just closer than the rest of us.”

“If I didn’t hate the show before,” Klaus said, tossing popcorn into the air and letting it fall back down into the bowl. “I do now.”

They watched as the scene changed, going back to the motel room where Hazel and Cha Cha started panicking because there are so incompetent they put the wrong sign on the door. Klaus was still there of course, despite Diego’s fruitless hope that maybe somehow he got out off-screen.

“What’s he saying?” Hazel asked, Cha Cha reaching over to rip the tape off.

“What are you saying?” She demanded.

“You guys are scarier without the masks.” Klaus said breathlessly.

“Do you have a death wish?” Luther asked, turning to face him.

Klaus shrugged.

“Chances were that I was finished already, so I wanted to go out as annoying as possible.” He replied with a shrug.

“What do you mean you were finished already?” Allison asked, sounding confused.

“He saw their faces,” Vanya threw in. “Your chances of survival in a kidnapping situation goes way down when you see their faces.”

“How do you know that?” Diego asked, half impressed. He learned that in his first year at the academy, but he had no clue why Vanya would know that.

“As the team liability, he trained me how to deal with a hostage situation in case I was kidnapped.” Vanya said.

“I was taught too, cause I’m incompetent.” Klaus threw in. Diego laughed slightly, watching as on-screen Cha Cha slapped Klaus, declaring that Five would be there soon.

Klaus sat in the chair, crying and whimpering as suddenly the overlapping voices were back, the screen fading to black.

They were back in the past, little Klaus curled up on the dirty floor and it sent a surge of anger rising through him. Klaus looked so young, maybe eight or nine, and their father sent him to train in a place brimming with ghosts.

”Welcome back to the land of the living Number Four.” Reginald said, backlit from the moon behind him,

“Can I go now?” Klaus whimpered, his voice broken and raspy from the screaming.

“Have you overcome your fear of the dead?” Reginald asked. Klaus tried to nod, but it was clear he didn’t really mean it. Looking as if he could barely focus. “You must become the master of your own life Number Four, or it will become the master of you.”

“Dramatic fucker.” Klaus muttered, the grip on his necklace tight enough for his knuckled to go white.

Diego said nothing, could only watch in horror as their father listened to him beg and still left him there, screaming and begging to be let out.

“Jesus Christ,” Allison whispered. “Why would he do that?”

“To make me get over my fear of the ghosts.” Klaus said sarcastically. “Because locking a seven-year-old in a room filled with them would totally help.”

“He wouldn’t have done it if he didn’t think it would help.” Luther said, but the protest sounded weak.

“You kidding me?” Diego snapped. “Locking a literal child in their worst nightmare is exactly something our father would do.”

“He’s not a monster.” Luther defended.

“He’s close enough,” Diego shot back.

“Boys!” Klaus said loudly, cutting them both off. “Stop bickering, I want to watch the goddamn show.”

Diego grit his teeth, but crossed his arms either way, softening when he saw Eudora on the screen, talking to the motel receptionist.

”Think I haven’t read the constitution?” The man asked.

“I don’t think you can read.” Eudora shot back.

“I like her,” Allison said, smiling. “You think I can meet her? Diego? Would you introduce me?”

Diego shut his eyes, his hands clenching tightly and he slipped a knife into them to feel the familiar calming feeling of a blade in his hand.

“I don’t think I’ll be able to.” He said weakly, forcing the words past the lump in his throat. He wished to every higher power in the world that he would have been able to introduce them, if only because it meant she was alive again.

He watched as she called Al asking for him, knowing full well that he was too busy dealing with his drunk brother to be able to take it. If only he was there to take the call, then maybe he would have been able to watch her back.

It changed to Luther and Diego carrying a very drunk Five and his wife back home.

“Awe,” Klaus cooed. “Drunk Five is so adorable.”

“I will break your kneecaps.”

“Jesus.” Diego sighed, rubbing his forehead. He didn’t want to do this, wanted to take a break.

It turned back to Klaus, with the dead babushka babbling rapidly. She turned, letting Klaus get a good look at the gaping wound in her head.

Ben was encouraging him to look at her, talk to her, and slowly but surely, Klaus did.

”What’s your name?” Klaus asked breathlessly.

 

“Zoya Popova.” The lady replied

“Oh, that’s a lovely name,” Klaus told her. “Can you tell me what happened?”

“What happened,” Cha Cha cut in. “Is that if you don’t shut up, I’m going to cut your tongue out with a grapefruit spoon.”

“Zoya Popova,” Klaus said, and Cha Cha blinked in surprise. “Old Russian broad, short with a limp?” Klaus continued over their confused conversation.

Klaus laughed, shaking his head.

“Oh, she’s really pissed at you guys.” He said, whistling as Hazel and Cha Cha looked on in fear and confusion.

“That’s actually pretty smart.” Diego told him, and Klaus smiled.

“Of course it is,” Allison said with a smile. “It was Ben’s idea.”

“Ouch,” Klaus said, lacing a hand to his chest. “I have been nothing but supportive, and this is what I get in return?”

“Am I wrong?”

“That is beside the point.”

They watched as Allison and Vanya stumbled into the room, Allison very clearly tipsy.

“Forget drunk Five being adorable,” Klaus said. “Allison is the cutest intoxicated person.”

“Thanks, I think,” Allison said, her lips quirking up into a smile. They watched as Vanya came out with a giant bundle of flowers, telling her they’re from Leonard.

Diego still didn’t believe him; the dude was just too perfect to be true.

”Do you want to get breakfast tomorrow?” Vanya asked, smiling softly.

“I’d love to.” Leonard replied.

“Great, I’ll talk to you in the morning!” Vanya said, hanging up the phone and leaning against the wall, smiling softly to herself. The camera cut to Leonard, slowing going down to his hands, where he poured out a bottle of pills before placing it down. Showcasing Vanya’s name on the prescription.

“What the hell?” Vanya said, staring in surprise. “That can’t be right.”

“I knew it!” Allison said, which was quite possibly the worst thing to say. “He is an asshole Vanya, that proves it.”

“No,” Vanya whispered, tears pricking the edges of her eyes. There was a subtle shift in the environment around them, one that Diego couldn’t place. “It’s lying, that didn’t happen.”

“Vanya,” Five said softly. “When has it lied so far?”

She couldn’t seem to come up with an answer to that, her mouth opening and closing.

“There has to be an explanation,” She finally declared. “I’ll go talk to him now.” She said, already looking as if she was going to stand up.

Allison was up in a second, kneeling in front of her and putting two hands on her shoulders to gently push her back down.

“Vanya, the best way to figure out what happened is to just continue to watch okay?” She said softly. Vanya stared at her for a long moment before nodding, slouching into the cushions. Klaus immediately pulled her into his shoulders, wrapping his lanky arms around her and whispering comforting words that Diego couldn’t hear.

They continued to watch.

It changed to Klaus again, a gruesome-looking ghost with his hands chopped off telling the story of how he died. Diego watched in disbelief as various ghosts started to recount their gory and bloody tale. There were so many of them, all crowding around Klaus.

Klaus was crying for them to shut up as Hazel and Cha Cha watched on with matching confused looks.

“Is it always that bad?” Allison asked, now sitting on the floor near Vanya’s legs.

“That bad?” Klaus scoffed. “Those were some of the best ghosts I’ve ever met. Not even one screamed at me.”

“They scream at you?” Luther asked, and Diego wanted to echo the words. That many ghosts, all screaming at once. No wonder Klaus fell into drugs if it muffled that shit.

“Most do,” Klaus said casually, his fingers now running through Vanya’s hair. “Some beg, some do nothing except stare blankly at you. Most like to recount their stories in exact detail.”

“Shit,” Diego said.

“Shit.” Five echoed, looking like he was doing calculations in his mind.

They watched as Klaus talked to Hazel, using what he learned from the ghost to reveal that Hazel let the wife go.

“I always knew he was soft.” Five muttered.

“Out of everything that’s what you get?” Diego asked in disbelief. They watched Klaus manipulate and turn two highly trained assassins against each other, and Five was more worried about proving his own ideas correct.

“Duh.”

“Jesus Christ.” Diego muttered, focusing back on the screen. Cha Cha was telling Hazel off, and then it was on a wristwatch, more specifically Eudora’s wristwatch. She shook her head, marching off the screen.

“Why didn’t you wait?” He whispers, his heart clenching tightly.

It changed to Klaus, bouncing awkwardly over towards the table. Then back to Eudora, wandering around the halls. Eventually, they watch as Eudora passes Klaus’s room, and he starts to scream, resorting to smashing his head against the table in order to grab her attention.

He can do this. He can totally do this, even as his heart rate speeds up watching Eudora open the door, quickly cutting Klaus’s out of the bonds.

He can do this, even as he felt himself start to hyperventilate as the door creaked open, Eudora’s gun raising as she shoved Klaus out of the way. He can do this even as he watched her get Hazel out of the bathroom, knowing full well that there were two people there.

He realized he very much couldn’t do this as the gun went off and Eudora gasped, her eyes going wide.

He let out a pained noise, his entire body tensing as he watched with wide eyes as her gun dropped and she fell to the ground. He couldn’t do this.

He couldn’t fucking do this.

He was up in a second, turning away from the tv and stumbling away, his eyes squeezing shut.

She was dead. Shot on the ground because he couldn’t get there in time. Shot while saving the brother he didn’t even notice was missing. He was standing by the bar, hands bracing the counter and his head low, breathing harshly.

He didn’t know how to deal with the cascade of emotions swirling around him, how to deal with the pain in his chest just like he was the one that was shot.

“Diego,” Someone said, and he brought himself together enough to look up and see Klaus standing in front of him, hands raised in a placating manner. “You need to breathe bro.”

“Fuck off.” He wheezed, but started trying to take in deeper breaths of fresh air. All he could see when he closed his eyes was Eudora’s face, her eyes wide as she fell with a bloodstain in her chest. So he kept his eyes open.

“Come on,” Klaus said gently, carefully grabbing Diego’s arm and tugging him around the side of the bar, reaching into the cupboard and grabbing out two glasses. “Drink this.” He ordered, shoving a glass over to Diego.

“Thought you were sober.” Diego said, throwing back the shot. Only, it was just water. Klaus sipped his with a small smile on his face.

“You’ll get dehydrated by being upset.” He said simply. “So drink your water and when you're ready we can continue, we’ll skip over anything else upsetting okay? Just tell us and it will happen.”

“Watch it without me.” He snapped. “I shouldn’t be here, I should be out there finding that bitch that-“ He couldn’t get the rest of the words out, shutting his eyes tightly and reaching into the cupboard for the whiskey, taking a drag straight from the bottle.

“And I’m the one with unhealthy coping mechanisms.” Klaus quipped.

“You’re not the one who just watched someone they love die.” Diego snapped, and Klaus went silent for a long moment.

“I lost someone too,” He whispered after a moment, and Diego stared up at him. “Quite recently too, so I get it. I really do.” He reached up and grabbed a glass of vodka, shrugging his shoulders and pouring it into the glass. “What the hell right?” He said, laughing slightly and raising the cup in a toast. “To Eudora and Dave.”

He didn’t question who Dave was, let alone how Klaus managed to fit in a loved one dying, but instead, he simply raised the glass, clinking it against Klaus’s before taking a long sip. Maybe he’d get drunk, but he only wanted a bit. Enough to forget the sound of Eudora’s body hitting the ground.

“Let’s go back okay?” Klaus said carefully, and Diego nodded, feeling a lot less calm now, despite the minuscule shaking of his hands. The two of them wandered back to the couch, where the rest of the family was sitting, trying hard to look like they weren’t attempting to eave drop. They wouldn’t have been able to hear them even if they were trying, so Diego wasn’t too worried.

“Are you okay?” Allison asked, placing a hand on Diego’s shoulder. He shuddered under the touch, shaking her off. He couldn’t talk about this, couldn’t find ways to articulate just how much this fucking sucked before his words got caught in his mouth and he was left speechless, stuttering without the ability to speak.

“Play the damn thing.” He snapped at Five instead of answering. Five narrowed his eyes before reaching over to press play once again. Diego focused on the screen, trying to immerse himself in the story to not think about her.

He watched Klaus, bloodied and on the bus, clutching at the briefcase. He winked at a local, before attempting to open the thing.

“Klaus-“ Five sighed. “Please tell me you didn’t open it.”

Klaus said nothing, only bringing the glass to his lips once more.

They watched as he clicked open the locks, and with a flash of blue light. He was gone.

“Goddamn it Klaus.” Five sighed. “I mean, I guessed, but still. Goddamn it.”

“Sorry.” Klaus replied, not sounding sorry at all. Diego still wasn’t sure what happened, and by the looks of it, only Klaus and Five really knew, so he didn’t press for information.

Diego watched almost detached as they laid Five down on the bed.

”Funny.” Diego said. “If I didn’t know he was such a prick, I’d say he was adorable in his sleep.”

“You guys are such a riot.” Five grumbled.

They watched as Al delivered the message, and Diego’s heart was pounding again as he saw himself standing in the motel doorway.

“Let’s stop it here huh?” Klaus suddenly said loudly, and Five listened, slamming the off button. The screen faded to dark right as the last shot of Eudora lying on the ground was shown. And Diego looked away, not letting it show how thankful he was that they stopped it for him.

“Well then,” Luther said, clearing his throat. “That’s been my least favourite episode so far.

Diego could only let out a bitter laugh in response.

Chapter Text

Klaus wouldn’t lie. He was kind of having fun with this.

If you ignore the fact that he had his most hidden secret exposed to someone who wasn’t Ben, had to rewatch himself get tortured, had to calm Diego down from watching his girlfriend get killed saving him, and also simultaneously be inwardly grieving the loss of his other half, he was having a blast.

Five episodes in and he already knew it was going to get so much worse, but hey! Who gave a crap, once this was over he would be able to finally go upstairs and pop one of his mystery pills and finally reach that wonderful high he has been craving this entire time.

He had a single drink, but Five had seemed pretty set on the whole “sober” thing so he wasn’t allowed to have another one, which was bullshit since he literally just watched the boy drink an entire bottle of vodka while he had been strapped to a chair being tortured.

But hey, he was a chill dude, whatever got them to watch this show any faster so he could simultaneously get dirt on his siblings, stop the end of the world, and then get high as a kite. So he was down for leaning back and letting this all play out, and if he was going to see everything he did for the past few days, then why not have some fun with it? Better than wallowing in guilt and memories and flashbacks.

And so the show began.

They were back in the apocalypse by the looks of it, and Klaus found himself relating it to the bombed-out cities he went through only weeks ago, but he pushed the thought to the back of his mind, something he’d been doing a lot in the past couple of hours.

It was kind of depressing, and by kind of he meant a lot. Seeing little tiny baby Five wandering through the apocalypse with nothing but a little cart and his mannequin wife, or maybe just girlfriend at this point, it made something inside Klaus twitch.

“Jesus Christ,” Allison said, pretty much summing it up. “Was it really that bad?”

“Worse,” Five said, a far away look on his face that Klaus had seen too many times before when some of his fellow soldiers left reality. It set him on edge, he didn’t like it.

He hated that look on his brother's face, so when the scene changed a few more times and Five was riding on a bike through the pavement, he did what he did best and tried to make a joke out of it.

“You got an upgrade!” He cried, clapping his hands and plastering on the biggest smile he could, Five only glared at him slightly this time so he considered it a win. His other siblings were shooting him looks, but he had practice in ignoring them. “And look at that wonderful outfit Delores has on; she has good taste.”

“Geez Klaus,” Luther snapped. “Can you please take this seriously please?”

Klaus only stuck out his tongue, but it seemed like only he had noticed the slight loosening of the tension in his brothers’ shoulder when he made that comment on Delores. He wasn’t completely blind. But either way, he shut up. He would show Luther that he could keep his pretty little mouth shut.

They watched as Five bantered with his wife, before there was a sound and suddenly he was aiming at a pretty looking lady in a nice black outfit that Klaus would die for the opportunity to wear.

It changed to Luther and Five sitting in what looked like Diego’s little hideaway, Klaus went through a few times while he was drugged to hell. It looked about right.

“Wait,” Luther said, turning to Five. “This looks like the conversation we had this morning, but different, slightly.”

“If I am correct,” Five said slowly. “Which I always am, this is what should have played out this morning if I didn’t find the tapes.”

“Spooky.” Klaus put in, raising his glass, tragically filled with water, up to his lips.

“The only spooky thing here is your inability to shut up,” Ben said casually from where he lounged on the couch beside him.

“You’re spooky.” Klaus shot back under his breath, and Ben chuckled dryly, rolling his eyes.

”I found all of you,” Five said solemnly, looking incredibly small. “Your bodies.”

“We die?” Luther said, his face morphing into disbelief.

The screen flashed to all their bodies lying in the dirt, Five staring at them with mute horror on his face.

“Horribly.” Five summed up.

Klaus had to look away, the wide-eyed stare reminding him too much of Dave with that bullet in his chest and beautiful blue eyes staring empty up at the sky and no no no Dave no

“Klaus?” Ben asked softly, bringing him back tot eh present. “You good there?”

He waved the concern away, shuddering slightly and his eyes flickering to Diego, who also looked fairly upset. Although, all his siblings looked pretty horrified at seeing their dead bodies.

They watched as Five explained the uselessness of the eyeball, and suddenly Diego was crashing through the door, Luther himself having to grab him to stop him from attacking Five. Klaus had a joke on the tip of his tongue when Allison spoke up.

“You know Diego,” She said with a humorless smile on her face. “There are other ways of showing grief rather than trying to beat the shit out of everyone.”

“Oh fuck you,” Diego grumbled, crossing his arms over his chest and looking like a pouting child. The rest of the siblings watched the scene, engaged in the information Klaus was sure they were getting, but he was too focused on staring at Diego, inspecting the lines of his face.

“He isn’t doing well,” Ben commented softly. “He’s taking the loss hard.”

“No shit,” Klaus whispered. “That shit sucks.”

He focused in right on time to watch Diego’s face turn to grief as he slammed the wheel of his car over and over again, before suddenly it flipped back to the policewoman’s body, and Diego looked away.

Klaus forced himself to look. To relate Dave in the lines of her face, the shot in her chest. How pitiful was it that both Diego and him lost the only people that truly mattered to a bullet through the chest? This reality was fucked up. Klaus wanted a drink.

They watched as Five spoke to the woman who was apparently called The Handler, which was a cool as fuck codename.

”You see,” The Handler said. “All of this? It was supposed to happen.”

“Why do they get to make that choice?” Allison said, her eyebrows scrunching up. “Why do they dictate what timeline is correct? Why do they get that power?”

Five only shrugged, looking like he couldn’t give a single shit. Klaus would toast to that ideology.

Klaus wasn’t surprised when Five agreed. It was obvious, even if he was rooting against it. That lady looked like a shit employer.

“You agreed to that?” Vanya asked, sounding only a little shocked.

“Did it look like I got a choice?” Five snapped.

“So you killed people?” Vanya asked, sounding horrified.

“I did what I had to do.”

Klaus got it; he really did. He killed people too, even if he absolutely hated it. Sometimes you had to do shit like that to survive. Klaus had pulled the trigger too, in order to save himself and the people he cared about.

They watched as Five explained how he was the best, and suddenly it turned to fucking JFK, which alright, didn’t see that coming.

“You killed JFK?” He asked, turning to Five who only shrugged. They continued watching, but it turned out that Five actually didn’t kill the president, instead he only broke his contract which good for him. Throw them off a bit and things like that.

“But wait,” Luther asked. “If you didn’t kill him then who shot him?”

“His head just did that,” Klaus explained.

“They sent another agent after I failed to do it.” Five said, ignoring Klaus entirely. That made more sense, but it was a lot less fun.

”But you had a code right?” Luther asked. “You didn’t kill just anybody?”

“No code,” Five said without hesitation. “We took out anyone who messed with the timeline.”

“Jesus Five,” Vanya whispered. Five only sighed, shaking his head.

“I did what I had to do.” He defended.

“You murdered people,” Allison said softly. “There’s no excuse for that.”

“He didn’t have a choice,” Klaus found himself defending his brother, all of his siblings turning to him with wide eyes. “Murder sucks, but sometimes it’s kill or be killed, he did what had to be done.”

“For once in my life,” Five said slowly, his eye boring into Klaus in the way that Klaus found eh hated. “Klaus is the only one smart enough to understand me.”

“Danke.” Klaus shot back with a too wide grin that made his cheeks feel like plastic.

“Since when did mister hippie start advocating for murder?” Ben asked, his eyes narrowing as Klaus shot him a look. “You hate violence, so why condone it now?”

“It’s been a long time Ben,” He said softly. “Time changes a lot of things.”

“You’ll have to tell me what happened at some point,” Ben said, his voice a lot softer now than it was a few seconds ago. “You can’t bottle it up and then pretend that I won’t find out. You can talk to me.”

“Watch the damn show,” Klaus whispered, looking away from his brother. “I’m sure it’ll all make sense soon enough.”

“I don’t want to hear it from some creepy show that’s cataloging our lives,” Ben shot back. “I want to hear it from you.”

Klaus shook him away, shaking his head and feeling inexplicitly tired.

The scene changed, and Klaus knew that bus, knew that man.

“Oh great,” He said sarcastically. “Anyone up for a dose of a mental breakdown? No? Well you're getting it either way?”

“Will you ever make sense Klaus?” Diego asked, making Klaus giggle.

He didn’t want to watch this. He knew what he did, how he looked, how pathetic and broken he was sitting in that bus seat with Dave’s blood covering his hands.

And yet he still wasn’t prepared for when the blue flash of light came and the music started to play.

Damn, he knew he looked pathetic, but even he did not anticipate it to look this bad. He saw himself, his hands covered in blood, and he knew that. But even he was not blind enough to miss the glassy look in his eyes, the vacant look that he had seen on so many shell-shocked soldiers. He wanted to stop watching this.

His siblings shouldn’t be watching this, shouldn’t be allowed to witness something so private and special to him. He didn’t want his siblings rubbing their grubby fingers all over his moment, as stupid as that was. This moment was his, happening literally almost an hour after he held Dave’s cold body for the last time. It wasn’t something to be shared like a family home video.

“Where did you go Klaus?” Five asked softly, impossibly soft and he hated it. He tore his eyes away from the screen, looking over to his siblings, who were all alternating between staring at home and the screen, where he was still on the bus, his tattoo now displayed perfectly.

“None of your business,” He snapped back, but there was no bite behind it. He couldn’t focus enough to actually put any effort into it. He felt his head pounding, his stomach swirled and he felt like he was floating in the air, the ground dropping out from under him. He forced himself to stay present either way through, to focus on his siblings.

“You are covered in blood,” Diego hissed, obviously concerned and pretending to cover it up with anger. “Wearing army fatigues and crying like you just watched the world end. I’m making it my business.”

“Screw off,” He muttered, curling in on himself, his hands reaching up to caress the metal lying on his neck. It was so cold. Diego wasn’t too far off to be honest. His world had ended yesterday, his only true light in his life forcibly snuffed out with a bullet.

He watched dully as he destroyed the briefcase, Five groaning loudly.

“Why did you do that?” He hissed. “Why couldn’t you have left it? I could have used that you idiot.”

“Well sorry,” He said sarcastically, anger rushing up his throat. “I wasn’t really thinking of you goddamn plan at the time Five. Sorry for fucking it up!” He shouted before realizing and curling back into himself, his eyes falling shut as he felt tear burn the surface.

He would not break down in front of his siblings. He refused to.

“Find another Briefcase,” He said softly, all energy drained. “I don’t care.”

He stared at the screen, where he was now curled on the ground, clutching the dog tags with his hands covered in dirt and blood as he sobbed.

“Klaus-“ Ben said softly, but he only shook his head.

“Not now,” He whispered. “Just, I can’t right now okay?”

He wanted a drink. He wanted to pop so many pills that he forgot which way was up until he was a mess on the floor with a sluggish heartbeat and had no memory of the past ten months of his life. He wanted something to distract him from the gaping wound in his own chest that was pulsing with every beat of his heart that went on without Dave.

Next thing he knew, Vanya was grabbing his shoulder, pulling him out of his fetal position and suddenly wrapping her small arms around him, pulling his lanky body against hers.

“It’s okay.” She comforted, and despite himself he relaxed, found himself finally letting go in the safety of her arms. He didn’t cry, he refused to cry in front of them all, but he wouldn’t deny that her soothing voice didn’t calm him down a fair amount.

Thankfully, his siblings got the memo and turning back to the tv, where douche canoe one and two were once again on screen. They got reprimanded, declared that they would find him and get back the briefcase, yadda yadda yadda who cares. The briefcase was gone, so they could keep wishing for all he cared.

The scene changed to Vanya’s apartment, Allison walking in with breakfast.

“That’s was this morning, but then Five showed up and dragged us here.” Vanya said absently, her arms still wrapped around him.

“Well, now we’ll see how it would have gone if I hadn’t shown up.” Five said, shrugging.

Turns out, the answer to that is pretty bad!

“Jesus,” Ben asked as they watched Allison and Vanya toss barbs in the form of words at each other. “Did any of you people learn basic human communication?”

“You're dead,” Klaus said. “Don’t judge us.”

“I’m the only well-adjusted one out of us all and I’m dead, I’m allowed to judge.”

“Touché brother dear.”

The scene changed to the lovely little date, and Klaus would bet the last twenty he had that Vanya was very much wishing she went on that lovely date instead of hanging around with this family of assholes.

Well, Klaus would admit that Vanya did look happy without her pills. But the bittersweet reminder was that the creepy date was the one that took her off them for some reason. And stealing and disposing of drugs without consent? Not cool man. He clutched tighter onto Vanya, who turned her had into his chest as if she too was remembering the betrayal they watched in the last episode.

“Maybe he knew that they would make me happier?” She said out loud, her voice wobbling. “He was trying to help.”

“You can’t truly believe that Vanya,” Allison said softly. “He’s bad news, I know that much. Men are trash sometimes.”

“True,” Klaus said absently. All the men he dated were the worse, other than that one guy with the food, he was cool. And of course Dave, but even thinking of the name caused a spike of pain to rush through him so he quickly moved on with his train of thought.

”I mean, can you imagine sharing your birthday with six world-famous assholes?” Vanya said.

“Hey!” Diego protested. “That’s not true.”

“Its kind of is,” Five spoke up, causing Klaus to chuckle. Like he said, a family full of assholes, just now they were world-famous ones. But hey, a titles a title.

”You can audition!” Leonard said, smiling widely.

“No, no.” Vanya protested. “I’m not ready for that.”

“Vanya,” He said softly. “You are an amazing violinist, you already taught me how to play ‘Frere Jacques’ in under an hour. That’s pretty impressive.”

“I can’t believe I’m saying this,” Allison sighed. “But he’s right. You are a really good violinist; you should totally go for the first chair.”

“I’m nowhere near good enough.” Vanya protested.

“Yes you are,” Five cut in. “I’ve heard you; you have talent.”

Vanya blushed, shrugging softly and muttering something about thinking about it.

Leonard out his hand on her arm, smiling at her and it was kind of a cute scene.

“That would be adorable if he didn’t emit such strong ‘I’m an asshole’ vibes,” Klaus told her, making her reach up to slap him lightly.

He chuckled, but then he was back on screen and for once he wasn’t happy to see his beautiful face gracing the screen.

He knew where this was going, and yet he still flinched slightly as he heard the helicopters overhead, his own voice calling out for Dave.

“Dude,” Diego said softly. “You need to start taking showers.”

“What?” Klaus asked, laughing slightly. “Why would you even suggest such a thing?”

“Because every time you take a bath some shit goes down,” Diego said, waving a hand.

“Alright then, I’ll stop taking baths and instead go jump off a bridge cause your so dead set on taking away the few pleasures I take from life.” He cried; a hand pressed to his chest. Diego sighed, a hand coming up to massage at his forehead.

“You are such a drama queen.” Ben chuckled from the corner, and Klaus shot him a wink.

“I think that maybe we should talk about this?” Allison said, interrupting them all. “I mean, who’s Dave? What happened? Where we’re you?”

“You’ll find out.” He said instead of saying that he simply didn’t want to talk about it.

“Klaus,” Luther said in the voice that reminded Klaus of their father. “You can’t just keep saying you’ll find out when you don’t want to explain something to us. Can you just talk to us like a normal person?”

“You’ll find out,” Klaus said with a straight face, taking pleasure in the way Luther’s entire body heaved with the force of the sigh he gave.

Either way, they all turned back to the screen, annoyed to the point where they stopped asking questions. He counted it as a win, even if Diego and Five would occasionally glance at him for no reason.

On-screen Five was walking into his room, following the bloody footprints he left behind in the hallway.

Basic conversation, nothing too special, nothing he wouldn’t have expected.

”Where did you go?” Five asked, a gleeful look on his face. “Or should I say when?”

“What difference does it make?” Klaus deflected, sending Five sputtering.

“Okay,” Five said after a moment. “How long were you gone?”

“Almost a year.” Klaus replied airily.

“A year?” Diego screeched louder than he would ever admit. “You were gone for a goddamn year?”

“Well, actually only ten months so suck it.” Klaus replied, curling in on himself. Vanya had moved away at this point, so he was all alone on this side of the couch an isolating few feet away from the nearest living person.

“Still, you know what that means Klaus?” Diego asked, and Klaus looked over at the tv, biting back the temptation to echo what his tv twin literally said to that exact same question seconds ago. Why was everyone in this family so predictable?

“It means I was in 1968 for ten months, it’s in the past, let it go.” He snapped, putting a hand over his eyes to block out the light. His head was pounding once again.

They all went quiet for a long moment, before Five spoke up once again.

“That idea of using the briefcase is actually pretty smart.” Five mussed, his eyes narrowing.

Klaus laughed; the very jarring change of topic hilarious for some reason.

“You go you funky little weirdo.” He said, smiling at Five who did not appreciate it.

Klaus focused back on the screen, watching as Diego packed away his annoyingly excessive number of knives into a briefcase, flashing back to his and Eudora’s conversation on the porch. Diego finally turned away from staring at Klaus to catch every second of Patch’s face.

Klaus on-screen walked out to face their mom getting repaired by Pogo, looking slightly confused but not seeming to care all too much. He then ran into Diego.

”You look like shit.” Diego said, walking out of the hallway.

“Why thank you,” He caught the direction Diego was going. “Hey, where you going?”

“Nope.”

“What?”

“I’m not giving you a ride.” Diego said shortly.

“Oh come on man,” Klaus whined. “You know I can’t drive.”

“I don’t car-“ The word got caught in his mouth before he could finish it.

“Okay great,” Klaus said, patting his shoulder. “I’ll go get my things. Two minutes.”

“You really do have him wrapped around your little finger huh?” Ben said, causing Klaus to laugh loudly.

“What?” Diego snapped, looking a tiny bit annoyed.

“Ben said I have you wrapped around my finger,” Klaus said gleefully.

“Excuse me?” Diego said, looking like Klaus slapped him in the face. “You do not.”

“He really does,” Allison said, grinning slightly.

“It’s true.” Five echoed.

“You all suck, for the record.” Diego snapped, crossing his arms so he could pout. No one had the heart to continue to push in the message that even if they did suck, they were right.

The scene changed once again, going to Allison at the library.

“You were researching him?” Vanya asked, glaring Allison down.

“Well, I haven’t yet.” She defended weakly.

“But you were planning to.”

“What else was I supposed to do?” Allison protested. “I don’t trust him; I don’t want you to get hurt.”

“I can take care of myself!”

“I know that, but still.”

“You can’t just go around judging all my life choices when you failed to be there for literally my entire life.” Vanya said, her cheeks tinged red with anger.

“I’m trying now,” Allison continued. “Isn’t that enough?”

“Apparently not.”

“Guys!” Luther cut in. “Can you please be quiet? We get that you two are having problems but can we save them for later? Five’s trying to stop the apocalypse.”

“You can’t talk,” Allison said, turning to Luther and sticking an accusing finger in his face. “All you and Diego do is constantly fight. At least we're doing it to try and become healthier.”

“Our families a mess,” Ben said, watching the exchange with a mix of affection and annoyance.

“Tell me about it,” Klaus replied. He chose to ignore the argument and focus back on the screen. As much as he loved drama, the same old argument over and over again got stale. The show though, was a new level of drama he could appreciate. So while everyone except Five, Ben and him were fighting in the background, they watched as the show continued on.

“Is that idiot flirting in the middle of the impending apocalypse?” Five grumbled to Klaus only.

“Hey, love waits for no one.” Klaus put in, causing Five to glare at him. He should play a game, how many times could he get Five to glare at him like that in one episode. He was going strong so far.

It changed back to him (yay) sitting in the car with Diego, nursing a bottle of vodka. Oh, how he yearned to have that sweet nectar in his hands again, the numbness filling his mind.

“Awe,” Klaus said grinning back at Diego who was too occupied to even notice. The on-screen Diego was noticing a lot though, even going as far to try and figure out what was wrong. How sweet. “Look at what a good brother he’s being!”

Klaus frowned suddenly, his eyes narrowing.

“Can I consider him a good brother?” He asked Five, who only looked confused. “I mean, if none of this has actually happened yet. Is this like another possible reality?”

“Well,” Five said slowly. “Theoretically, it’s possible that there are many different versions of the apocalypse. The show was one of them, this reality is one of them, and there are possibly a million other different ways this past week played out.”

“So wait, in another reality is it possible that Diego just, I don’t know, ran me over with the car or something?” He asked, leaning forwards.

“Technically,” Five said, pausing to think. “it’s fairly possible.”

“Awesome,” Klaus grinned. “Do you think there’s a reality where this is like, an actual tv show?”

“That’s stupid.”

“No!” Klaus protested. “Think about it, wouldn’t that be so cool?”

“You’re an idiot.”

“Our lives are filled with drama, so why not be a tv show?” He shrugged. “Who do you think is the favorite character?”

“I am not complying with your stupid theories.” Five protested.

“Come on,” Klaus whined. “I bet it’s Diego. Girls love the brooding type. Or maybe Allison! The beautiful movie star. Or even you little Fivey, witty one-liners, tragic backstory, cute little chubby cheeks.”

“I will kill you.”

“You think it’s me?”

“No.”

“I bet it’s me.”

“Shut up and watch the damn show.”

They had missed a lot of time. Klaus was in some sort of bar now, and by the looks of it, probably a veteran's one. He wondered how bad this would go.

Then Klaus saw the picture he was staring at on the screen. Knew the logo beside it because it was literally imprinted on his skin.

“Oh.” He said softly. “I want to go there.”

He remembered that photo, even at the weird angle it was being shown at. It was after their first big raid. Klaus remembered jumping out of the helicopter scared as fuck, gun in hand and just running like hell to cover. They won the fight, a blur of gunshots and praying that this worked out.

They all lined up for a photo, Klaus pressed again Dave’s side. After it was taken, Klaus made some bullshit joke about some random thing that popped into his mind. It made Dave laugh at least. His laugh sounded kind of like a dying pig, but Klaus wanted to bottle it up to listen to it whenever he could. He would do anything to hear it again.

“Are you okay?” Five asked softly, and Klaus blinked away the tears pricking his eyes, a single on running down his cheek.

“Not really.” He finally admitted, laughing wetly. He wanted Dave so bad it hurt. His on-screen twin must be feeling the same way, as he cried softly while muttering Dave’s name.

“I don’t get it,” Five said slowly. “Not the whole losing someone thing. I’ve always had Delores. But the time travel thing? You can talk to me about that, or we can attempt to. I uh, I know none of us are good at talking, but it’s worth a shot if you need it okay?”

Klaus turned to Five, studying him carefully.

“I think that’d be good.” He said slowly. “For both of us.”

Klaus tried to not feel that proud at the beaming smile on Ben’s lips.

“Shut up.” He grumbled to his ghostly brother, who looked like the cat who swallowed the canary.

“I’m proud of you,” Ben said softly. “You asked for help.”

“I will hit you,”

“You can’t,”

“Yeah cause your dead.”

“Low blow.”

“Hey!” Five suddenly shouted, pausing the video and interrupting everyone else. “Can y’all shut up and let me watch the show? Get your head out of your asses and kiss to make up already.”

“Gross,” Klaus commented. “Incest.”

“You’d be lucky to kiss me,” Diego said, although it was clear he was still fuming.

“Ah yes,” Klaus said, pitching his voice higher. “Dry, cracked, inexperienced lips, just what I want.”

Diego threw a knife towards him, hitting the seat beside him as Klaus laughed maniacally. Sometimes it was too easy.

“What did we miss?” Luther grumbled, the first to fully remember why they were even there in the first place.

“Hazel attempting to seduce a donut lady and Klaus getting sedimental over a picture.” Five listen. “And now I believe Klaus and Diego are about to beat up a bunch of vets.”

“What?” Vanya asked. “Why?”

“They are demanding Klaus get out cause he’s not a vet.” Five shrugged. “Ignorant.”

“I am so a vet,” Klaus complained, making everyone stare at him. “Probably done more for the country than his lazy ass.”

“You are something else.” Diego sighed.

Sure enough, as Five pressed play again. Klaus was advancing on the old vet, screaming something about a village idiot. He was kind of sad he wasn’t paying attention to the full insult; he was sure it was amazing.

A few seconds later, both Klaus and Diego were in a full-blown bar fight, one that Klaus was kind of itching to actually be in. If he can’t drink, can’t smoke, can’t pop pills, then he’d love to blow some steam other ways.

The screen zoomed in on the nine men in the photo, before jumping to Klaus and Dave’s face. Dave was beautiful, even in the messy and dirty pages of the photograph.

“You really were a veteran,” Allison said, almost like she didn’t believe it.

"Ten months baby.” Klaus chuckled.

“How could you do that?” Luther asked. “How did you survive?”

“Magic,” Klaus said, waving a hand.

Hazel was back now, along with Agnes, the two of them sitting outside the restaurant.

”My friends live here,” Agnes said. “I’m a twitcher.”

“Is that a drug thing?” Hazel asked.

“No!” Agnes laughed. “I’m a bird watcher.”

“Oh, she is too precious for him.” Alison sighed. “Although they are a cute couple.”

“He is literally a world-class assassin,” Luther said.

“I know,” Allison replied with an easy shrug.

Honestly, they were kind of cute. Like Hazel was finally seeing the beauty in the world. Maybe Klaus wasn’t lying when he said there was hope for him. And if the nice donut lady who fed him while on the streets was happy, well then who cares. And the romantic in him absolutely melted when they held hands. Who cared if the man tortured him, it was adorable!

Klaus was getting tired of seeing his face on the screen, and he never thought he’d say that. It was just embarrassing, seeing his weakness so plainly. He wasn’t afraid to show it, not like Diego or Five. He embraces his faults, but still, seeing these private moments playing out on screen? It felt like an invasion.

Because I lost somebody!” Klaus said, suddenly looking very sad. “I lost somebody. The only person I ever truly loved more than myself.”

He looked over at Diego, who looked as if he knew exactly what that was about.

“Cheers,” He said, pulling out another pill and popping it into his mouth, biting down.

“Well you're luckier than most.” Diego said. “When you lose someone, at least you can see them whenever you want.”

Klaus let out a bitter laugh, feeling something swirl deep inside his gut.

“Oh that would be nice wouldn’t it?” He asked, feeling slightly hysterical. He was tired, sore, his head was pounding and he felt like crying and screaming. All he wanted was Dave’s arms around him, not to watch this shit. “That would be fantastic!”

“It’s true,” Diego shot back, and Klaus noted the expression on his face, but at this point he didn’t care enough to heed the warnings. “You can see this Dave guy whenever you want.”

First of all, Dave wasn’t here. Klaus was sober as he could get, and Dave wasn’t here. Ben was, two drowned twins were, and a man screaming with a bullet wound to the head was, but no Dave. Nothing but a bunch of screaming ghosts pleading him as background noise.

“Ah yes,” He said sarcastically. “How wonderful would it be. To be able to see the love of my life with a fucking hole in the middle of his chest, his blood seeping into his shirt with a shell-shocked look on his face stuck mirroring his agony.”

He was staring at Diego, who grit his teeth but didn’t reply.

“That would be wonderful wouldn’t it? A constant reminder that he’s there, but just out of my reach. Unable for me to touch, to grab, to hold onto one last time. Exactly what I want.” He hissed.

“Klaus-“ Ben warned.

“Seeing the dead isn’t fun,” Klaus said. “You take it if you really want it, I never asked for this shit.” He leaned back, squeezing his eyes against the tears once again threatening to pour-over. “I never asked for this shit.”

“I shouldn’t have said that,” Diego said evenly. “But don’t be a dick.”

“Sorry, it’s ingrained into the blood.” He mocked, rubbing his temple. “I need a drink.”

He wanted to stand up, to walk to the bar, but he found himself lacking the motivation to, the drive to even do the things he loved most, after Dave of course. He hated the idea, fought with Diego over it. But at the same time, he knew he would try his best to be sober enough to see Dave again. Even if he was covered in blood.

The silence stretched on and they continued to watch, tension thick in the air but everyone refusing to address it.

Five was writing on the walls again, Luther walking in to be the sane person and try to figure out what it all meant in terms everyone could understand.

”Milton Greene. Who is that? A terrorist?” Luther asked.

“I believe he’s a gardener.” Five responded.”

“You are going to kill innocents?” Vanya asked, looking appalled.

“That’s not right.” Allison put in, crossing her arms.

“I will do what I have to do.” Five responded.

“If it stops the apocalypse,” Diego shrugged. “I’m done.”

“You’re both horrible.” Allison scoffed.

“No,” Klaus shook his head. “They’re right, one life over everyone else’s. Small price to pay.”

“You too?” Vanya asked. “Thought you hated death.”

“Times change, priorities change.” Klaus shrugged. “We’re talking billions of lives here.”

“But he’s still an innocent person,” Luther said firmly. “We don’t kill innocent people.”

“Yeah, we only kill who you deem guilty right?” Klaus said, a bright smile on his face.

“Don’t poke the bear Klaus,” Ben warned. “Just continue watching the damn show, somethings happening.”

Something was happening, that something was Luther holding Delores out a window and Five pointing a massive gun at him.

“You held Delores out of a window?” He hissed, turning to Luther, who looked like he was staring into the barrel of a shotgun. “How dare you, you absolute asshole.”

“I haven’t actually done it yet!” He protested. “And I wont this time cause we are not about to kill this man.”

“Principals Luther, you did it at one point, therefore I can still get pissed.” Five snapped. Luther looked like that was quite unfair.

“You can’t just go around sticking people’s wives out of windows dude,” Diego said with a cheeky grin.

“Yeah, not cool man.” Klaus put in, making Luther turn to glare at him too.

“Totally not cool.” Five put in, glancing at Klaus and winking, which was possibly the best thing that had happened the entire day.

The scene changed to Vanya in her apartment, a beautiful melody playing out of the speakers.

“It’s like sex in the ears,” Klaus said, making Vanya blush wildly.

“In less vulgar terms,” Allison said, glaring at Klaus without any heat. “He means that you are an amazing violinist. You could totally get first chair.”

“Go get it girl!” Ben cheered, despite Vanya not being able to hear him.

Allison walked in, basically rehashing the argument they had previously, and the two girls looked away from each other, the bad blood between them still spilling despite all their hard work.

“We should go to therapy,” Ben said.

“What?” Klaus asked, turning to him.

“Talk these things out with a professional you know? That way we can solve everything without arguing.”

“Good luck getting anyone near there.” Klaus laughed lowly, and Ben made a noise of general agreement. Or disagreement. Hard to tell sometimes. The sound was slightly lost behind the increased screaming as another ghost wandered in. On-screen, Vanya and Allison were still arguing.

”I’m just worried about you.” Allison said.

“Well, you’re not my mother.” Vanya paused, as if she knew how much her next words would hurt but went through either way. “Worry about your own daughter.”

Allison looked away from the screen, her mouth tightening and Klaus knew she was thinking of Claire, so far away and locked between many walls of past mistakes that Allison couldn’t breakthrough. Vanya opened her mouth, as if to apologize, but instead looked away, her hand hanging slightly.

“Comfort her.” Ben ordered, Klaus opened his mouth, but what would he say? How could he heal something like this? He fucking sucked at comforting people. Calming them down from panic attacks? Easy. Knowing what to say without fucking it up and offending them? Impossible.

So instead he looked back to the screen, trying to ignore Ben’s disappointed face.

”It’s like a Hargreeves family handbook.” Cha Cha said, holding Vanya’s book in the air.

“I’m sorry,” Vanya said suddenly. “I gave them that information, I gave everyone that information. I don’t regret publishing it, but I’m sorry I gave people that edge over you guys.” She blurted out, looking suddenly very small.

“Everyone has their vices,” Klaus said. “Some people pop pills, some people beat up punching bags, others write books exposing all their siblings’ weaknesses to a world very willing to use them.”

“Thanks.” She said, almost sarcastically. Klaus’s lips turned up, he couldn’t remember the last time Vanya was sarcastic, it just wasn’t her thing.

They all turned back to the show, watching as Hazel and Cha Cha literally spotted Diego within seconds of them showing up.

”You know, killing people are not gonna make you feel any better.” Klaus said, staring at Diego as he took a long sip of vodka.

“Wow, Klaus said something smart.” Five said dryly.

“It’s known to happen once in a blue moon.” Klaus said, turning to look at Diego. “You know, I am right though.”

“Shut up.” Diego snapped, and Klaus only shrugged.

He knew killing people wouldn’t help. He knew that quite personally.

After Dave got shot and Klaus realized there was nothing he could do. He kind of snapped, shooting his gun wildly and killing Charlie after Charlie. It didn’t help. It just made him feel even emptier, sitting over Dave’s body with blood hands limply holding a gun. Killing the men who may have killed Dave didn’t bring Dave back.

On-screen, Diego started up the stairs towards the assassins, a knife drawn.

“You went after them alone?” Five asked. “How stupid can you be?”

“I haven’t actually done it yet.” Diego grumbled.

“Thought that counts.”

Diego scoffed, shaking his head and everyone focused back on the tv, watching as Klaus came up the stairs and was promptly shooed away.

“I didn’t leave.” He said.

“You didn’t leave.” Ben echoed.

Sure enough, when the two assholes started firing, Klaus was pulling Diego back. Even the thought of Diego getting shot sent shivers down his spine.

“Your welcome.” He said to Diego.

“You haven’t done anything yet.”

“Thought that counts.”

The plan went to shit, whatever that plan was. Klaus was secretly hoping they took the ice cream truck. Sounds like a half-baked plan the two of them would make.

It changed to Vanya walking on stage, and he perked up, glancing over at Vanya who looked almost sick.

“I won’t get it.” She said.

“Yes you will, then you can go tonight and get it a second time,” He said cheerfully.

She only shook her head.

They watched for a few seconds.

“That conductor an asshole huh.” Five said, watching as they all dismissed Vanya without even looking at her. And she was playing well too. It was unfair, stupid. She deserved this spot, even if he was biased.

It changed to Allison walking up to Leonard’s house, sneaking around and literally breaking in.

“Did you break into his house?” Vanya asked, turning to Allison.

“I haven’t yet?” She said, but it seemed like the idea had passed her mind more than a few times.

“Still, you are literally breaking the law,” Vanya said, crossing her arms and frowning.

“He’s a creep!”

“It’s still the law, and an invasion of privacy.” Vanya said.

“She has a point.” Five said, and Allison only sighed in response.

It switched back and forth between the two, the violin melody sweet as Vanya continued to play and Allison snooped around the house.

Then, something was happening.

The air around the violin started to ripple, distorting and ringing slightly.

“What is that?” Allison whispered, wide eyes turning to Vanya.

“I don’t know.” She responded.

“It almost looks like,” Luther stopped talking, frowning as he glanced between the screen and Vanya. “Almost looks like some sort of power.”

“What?” Vanya exclaimed, laughing nervously. “That’s funny Luther. I don’t have powers.”

And yet, on-screen the airwaves flew into the audience, causing the three assessors to look up, wonder on their faces as if looking at her for the first time.

“Vanya, it does look like that.” Five said gently.

“That isn’t it,” She said sharply. “Just drop it okay?”

Klaus shot a look to Ben, who was staring at Vanya like she was a puzzle he couldn’t quite solve. Ben met his eyes and shrugged, muttering about just waiting to see.

Allison reached up to get into the attic, when the door opened and she rushed away, Leonard coming home. She snuck out the backdoor while he was looking away.

Vanya stopped playing, the last note ringing for a second before her eyes opened, the judges smiling at her like she was the best thing they had ever heard.

Klaus wanted to say something else, but Vanya was staring at her hands, her teeth worrying her lip and he decided that maybe it wasn’t the best time.

Luther and Five were in a car, pulling up onto an abandoned road.

”I should hold onto it.” Luther said. “In case they make a move on you.”

“Okay Luther,” Five responded. “But be careful, I’ve lived a long life, but you’re still a young man. Got your whole life in front of you. Don’t waste it.”

“Oh look at you old man teenager.” Klaus sighed. A literal boy telling Luther to live his life to the fullest was pure comedy gold.

“It’s true,” Five grumbled. “You're all so young, don’t understand the world.”

“I’m older than them all, so that makes me smarter then, right?” Klaus asked.

“Nah,” Diego said, shaking his head. “You’re still an idiot.”

“That’s valid.” Klaus shrugged, he didn’t expect any other answer.

On-screen, the meeting with Hazel and Cha Cha was quick, Five easily taking control and showing that he meant business. Klaus appreciate the no-bullshit viewpoint.

Then, out of nowhere, a tune started playing. Ride of the Valkyries it sounded like. Sure enough, Klaus watched in glee as an ice cream truck barreled into view, Klaus at the wheel waving joyfully to them as he drove past.

Diego was yelling at him, but Ben seemed to be having the time of his life.

“That my friends,” He said joyfully. “Is why I don’t drive.”

Hazel and Cha Cha figured out pretty quick that it was some sort of incidental set up, shooting at them. Klaus found a maniacal glee in watching them go flying through the air when he hit them with the truck. Then time was slowing down, coming to a standstill.

The Handler and Five seemed to be having a nice calm conversation, that is up until Five pulled a gun on her. She didn’t seem all that concerned so Klaus figured it wasn’t even close to the first time that happened.

”You can’t be happy like this.” The Handler said.

“I’m not looking for happy.” Five snapped.

“We’re all looking for happy.” The Handler replied, reaching out to caress his cheek.”

“What a fucking creep,” Diego said, sounding disgusted.

“She’s a bit much sometimes.” Five agreed.

The Handler gave him a deal, promising him a job and his family safety. And after a few adjustments, Five agreed.

“You little idiot.” Diego sighed.

“Why would you go with her?” Allison asked softly.

“It looks like I did what I had to do.” Five responded shortly. “I’m dealing with the fate of the world here.”

Luther, Diego and him wasted no time getting the fuck out of there, climbing into the car and driving off, Klaus giving them the one-fingered salute as they went. He took great pleasure in the two of their frustrations.

It changed to Vanya knocking on Leonard's door, looking happy and carefree as they talked.

”It was like I felt everything more deeply,” She said, smiling up at him. “And I got it.”

“What?” Leonard asked.

“I got the first chair!” She cried, the two of them hugging tightly.

“You did!” Leonard cried. “Congratulations!”

They leaned back, his hand resting on her cheek.

“After everything you’ve been through,” He said gently. “You deserve this.”

A few seconds later Klaus loudly groaned and looked away, Vanya going beat red.

“That’s disgusting.” Diego groaned, throwing his head back.

“I hate this show,” Vanya groaned, her head buried in her arms.

“Guys look,” Allison said suddenly.

“I’ll pass.” Klaus put in.

“It’s done,” She snapped. “But the vibration thingy, it’s back.”

Klaus risked a look, and sure enough it was there, climbing up the stairs and to the roof, into the attic.

“Holy shit,” Allison whispered. “Is that a body?”

“Fuck,” Vanya whispered. “That’s Helen, oh my god.” A hand was over her mouth, shock written in every line of her body.

“I knew it!” Allison said softly. “I knew something was up with him.”

“Bad time Allison,” Diego snapped, and Klaus moved to Vanya’s side, rubbing her arm lightly.

“Hey, are you okay?” He whispered.

“I need to go talk to him.” She said, standing up abruptly.

“What?” Five said. “No.”

“I need to talk to him about this,” She said. “There has to be some kind of mistake.”

“Vanya,” Five said. “Sit down, the show isn’t lying. You can talk later. I need you here with me to finish this.”

Her mouth opened and closed a few times before she nodded, collapsing to the ground.

“I don’t know how to deal with this.” She whispered.

“We’ll figure it out.” He said firmly. She could only nod.

The weird air thingy went all the way back to their house, twirling up to where Pogo and Grace were sitting.

And then Grace was moving, her fingers twitching as she blinked a few times. Klaus couldn’t describe the feeling of relief flooding through him.

“She’ll be okay,” Diego whispered, almost like he was afraid to believe it.

“Of course she will,” Allison said soothingly.

”Do you remember what happened?” Pogo asked.

“I do.”

“And you understand why the children must never know?” Pogo said seriously.

“I understand.” Grace said after a moment.

“They’re hiding something.” Five said, frowning. “That can’t be good.”

“Maybe it’s about Dad’s death,” Luther said, making them all groan. “Come on, it’s plausible.” He insisted.

“Give it up already,” Diego snapped.

Luther looked ready to argue, but Five interrupted.

“It’s over,” He said sharply. “Should we start the next?”

No one protested, so Klaus leaned back and decided that it couldn’t get worse than this, right?

Chapter Text

Allison always knew her family was weird. She knew from a young age they weren’t like traditional families, it never really bugged her until a while ago. She made peace with it, but now it was bugging her again.

Something about watching all their failures, their fights, their dysfunctionality, it made her ache to be normal with them. Be a normal family that could watch a regular drama tv show instead of a tv show of their own making. The longer this whole thing went on, the worst it became.

She knew a lot about tv shows, had stared in dozens herself. She recognized the formula that was being used, the slow build of tension, the context clues and foreshadowing. They were getting close to either a big reveal or even the climax, and that wasn’t something any of them were prepared for.

They had already spent too much time fighting, arguing about random useless things. She wouldn’t lie and say that she hadn’t participated, but she knew it was only making it worst. The more tension built between all of them, the worst they were all going to react to this something coming up. Maybe it wouldn’t be this episode, or even the next, but things were going to fall apart.

She didn’t want it to.

She kept hoping for Five to suddenly kick them all out, for him to just grab the last episode and fast forward to the person who caused the apocalypse so they can just go stop it from happening. This way they can avoid whatever fallout was coming, whatever secrets being thrown into the light.

But Five put in the next tapes and pressed play, so she guessed they would continue this bullshit until they broke. They were always stupid like that.

It started in Vietnam.

Random soldiers walked and lounged around the place, probably in the downtime between missions. There was a crack of thunder and blue light suddenly filled the place, and Klaus was there, falling down.

A soldier sat up in bed, a confused look on his face and the sight of him made a small noise come out of Klaus’s throat. She didn’t take her eyes off the scene. Klaus stared back at him, and suddenly a loud noise whistled overhead, and everyone was up and moving, getting ready for an attack.

Someone shoved some clothes at him, yelling for him to get ready and Klaus wasn’t able to get out of this one as easily.

“Vietnam huh?” Five said casually, and he glanced back at Klaus. Allison let herself glance over at her brother, a pang of pity rushing over her. Klaus was curled up into a ball, staring at the tv with an intense look, not bothering to answer.

Allison had always felt protective of her brother. They were all the same age, but she couldn’t help but feel older than him at this moment. She felt that way about a lot of her siblings. But none more than Klaus and Vanya. Both of them were so fragile, so easily broken that she felt that even touching them would send them scattering into a million pieces all over the floor.

The scene changed to a bus, Klaus sitting on one of the seats with a weird expression on his face. The same soldier as before was walking towards him, sitting and clapping a hand on his shoulder.

” You just get into the country?” The soldier said.

“Yeah,” Klaus said, laughing softly.

“Yeah, shit’s crazy I know.” The soldier continued. “You’ll adjust.”

They stared at each other for a long moment before the soldier put out his arm.

“I’m Dave.” He offered.

“Klaus,” Klaus replied, reaching out to take his hand. Under the seat, he pushed the briefcase back further.

“You stayed in Vietnam because a pretty boy said hi to you?” Five asked, his voice dripping in sarcasm. “How stupid can you be.”

“Shut up.” Klaus said, curling in onto himself. “You don’t understand.”

He turned to the side, muttering something to the space next to him (Ben) without taking his eyes off the screen.

“I mean, he’s cute.” Diego said softly, and Allison was glad someone else noticed how fragile Klaus looked at the moment.

“Don’t steal my man Diego.” Klaus said, but his shoulder had dropped a tiny bit, so she counted it as a win.

Soft music started playing on screen, and they were in a town now, specifically a disco. People all over were dancing, wearing ridiculous outfits and drinking lots. Klaus was on the dancefloor, grooving like an idiot when the same guy from before, Dave, bumped into him. Klaus jokingly put up his fists, the two clearly wasted. Dave only stared at him, and Allison knew that look in his eyes.

The montage continued, and she found she had no words to speak. She had never seen Klaus as happy as he looked on screen.

She glanced over at her brother, who was leaning forwards, a lost look on his face, as if he was eating up every second the screen showed. There were tears in his eyes, a soft smile on his face and he looked seconds away from falling off the couch to get closer to the tv.

They were behind a bead curtain, Dave’s hand reaching up to caress Klaus's face and Allison wanted to coo at just how adorable it was. The softness of his touch, the way Klaus leaned into it. A few seconds later they were kissing, and it looked so soft, so beautiful, so angelic like it came straight out of one of her romance movies.

The sound of a bomb whistled overhead, and suddenly it stopped, changing to Klaus sitting at the toilet, a bag of drugs in his hands.

“Is that it?” Klaus asked, the emotion on his face snapping shut like a spell was broken. “Is that all he gets?”

“Klaus-“ She started, but what was she supposed to say to this? She was never good at voicing her care, at knowing what to say at the right time.

“No,” Klaus chuckled darkly, a hysterical look on his face. “He was more than that. He was more than just a damn montage.”

He was on his feet now, tears streaming down his face and she stood too, ready to reach out but not knowing how to make this better. She had never really been in love. Sure, she felt something for Patrick, but she couldn’t understand the feeling of loving someone that fiercely.

She reached out, going for the default setting in their comforting Klaus notebook. He never denied a hug, was the most tactile person she knew. Her hand landed on his shoulder for only a fraction of a second before he was batting it away in anger.

“Don’t touch me!” He cried, his eyes staring right into hers. She had no idea what to do. “Don’t you understand?” He asked, and the expression on his face was begging her to get something that he couldn’t articulate. “He was my everything. He was my entire world. He’s worth so much more than a thirty-second montage. He’s not just a footnote in the tv of our lives!”

“Klaus, please.” She whispered, not quite sure what she was asking him for.

“My life ended with his. And that’s all he gets?” He whispered, and Allison felt something deep inside her ache, and she knew that someone had pushed her brother too far, that he wasn’t just on the edge of shattering like she thought, he was already in a thousand pieces scattered around the floor. Broken and just waiting for someone who couldn’t be there to come and sweep him up.

“Klaus-“ It was Diego this time, stepping closer to him, and Allison knew from the look in Diego’s eyes that he could handle this better, that he understood more than anyone else in this room could.

But something inside Klaus shifted, and his expression shuttered again. Except for his eyes, he never quite learned how to scale back the pure emotion running through his eyes. He took a step back, his legs hitting the couch and he collapsed into it without a sound, an empty lost expression on his face.

“Play the damn show,” He hissed, sounding more tired than angry. “I’m done.”

No one had anything to say to that, no one knew how to make this better, so Five simply reached out and pressed the play button, the image on screen starting to move again.

Luther barged into the bathroom, calling a meeting and not taking any of Klaus’s shit when he tried to deny going. It changed to all of them sitting in the living room, talking about the apocalypse. A normal day in the Hargreeves family.

”Can we trust him?” Allison said. “I mean, I don’t know if any of you have noticed, but he’s a little,” She trailed off, whistling and circling a finger around her head.

“Our little psycho,” Klaus said with a smile.

“You guys think I’m crazy?” Five asked, turning to glare at them all.

“Well,” Klaus said, shrugging slightly.

“If the shoe fits,” Diego continued.

“Wow, screw you all.” Five said, but Allison saw the minuscule twitch of his lips towards a smile.

Allison focused back onto the tv.

They talked about it all over again, how they died, how they needed to stop it. Basically all the stuff they already knew but were only just beginning to comprehend.

The scene changed to the two assassins, and Allison felt a surge of hate she never thought she would feel. These assholes had broken into her house, had kidnapped and tortured her brother, and were still hunting Five like an animal. She wanted to get her hands around one of them and soon.

Hazel was complaining again, and then a little message dropped into their laps, informing them that the mission to kill Five was called off.

“That’s good right?” Vanya asked. “We don’t want them to be going after you.”

“This hasn’t happened yet,” Five reminded her. “And it won't, since I’m not going planning on agreeing to go back with her in this timeline. So they’re probably still hunting me down.”

“Shit,” Vanya muttered. It made Allison’s lips tug up at the edges.

“What’s the point of watching this if it’s not going to happen?” Luther asked, frowning slightly.

“Because the point is for this not to happen,” Five said, rolling his eyes. “We’re watching it so we can avoid all this from happening, so we don’t kill all of humanity.”

“Makes sense,” Allison said, and he glared at her, which was honestly rude. She was agreeing with him for heaven's sake.

The assassins argued, which was good because she wanted them offbeat.

Then a new message came in.

To terminate Hazel.

“Finally, it’s getting interesting.” Five muttered.

“I love a good rivalry between friends. Nothing strengthens a friendship like an order to kill them.” Klaus said.

“You obviously don’t have friends.” Diego pointed out.

It switched to Five, walking beside that Handler bitch. She went on and on about how amazing he was, and honestly, Allison wanted to reach through the screen and rip her brother away from her. Five only looked a few years older than Claire, and the thought of anyone talking to her little girl like that? It made her blood boil.

Despite her newfound hatred of this woman, Allison found herself captivated by what she was saying. Everything about the commission, it made perfect sense, but at the same time made none at all. She talked about free will, and yet they actively worked against it.

She puzzled over why this lady should decide what was meant to be and what wasn’t. Why she should decide what timeline should stay intact while others should be destroyed. It was a lot of power to put into one woman’s hands.

It was fascinating, how many people they had working on it. The idea of one person assigned to an event, choosing what to alter and how to best keep it the way it is, it was beyond everything Allison could imagine. That much work, that much brainpower, all being dedicated to something as simple as what events happen and when.

They met a new character, Dot, who apparently was the woman watching over them at this moment. Allison hoped she was scrambling to figure out what went wrong, how they were fucking everything up by watching this. Allison hoped she never figured out how to fix it.

”Well, you certainly put us through the wringer here, outsmarting two of our so-called best assassins, if that doesn’t spell leadership material!” She trailed off, and everyone in the room turned to stare at her and Five. “I don’t know.”

“You’ve been there for five minutes and everyone already hates you, little teachers’ pet.” Klaus grinned, and Five turned to glare at him, but otherwise didn’t comment. Allison wondered if he was appreciating the praise, even coming from someone like that woman.

The woman handed him a case, leaving Five on his own to work things out.

Keys jangled, and Vanya walked through the front door of the academy, Leonard following her.

Vanya seemed to not want to be there, really Allison couldn’t blame her. But she also couldn’t stop the irrational anger at seeing Leonard and her talking about them, like he knew her better than any of them did.

Yeah, maybe Allison wasn’t always the best sister, but she knew Vanya, she cared about Vanya, that asshole was a literal murderer.

He stopped at the display of their action figures, a look in his eyes that Allison just wasn’t able to place.

“He’s defiantly checking my action figure out.” Klaus announced.

“Shut up,” Vanya sighed, reaching over to playfully smack Klaus’s shoulder, which he flinched back as if he was shot. The scene continued, Vanya walking in on their meeting.

”Hey,” Vanya asked, coming to a stop in front of them. “What’s going on?”

Allison hesitated for a moment.

“It’s a family matter.” She said.

Vanya tensed up, the before playful demeanor disappearing as she watched the scene. Allison herself felt a bit guilty as she watched herself case after her, insisting for her to listen.

”That’s not fair.” Allison said, looking slightly hurt.

“Fair?” Vanya asked. “There’s nothing fair about being your sister.”

“Vanya,” Luther sighed, and Vanya simply shook her head.

“I can’t believe you guys.” She said.

“It hasn’t even happened yet, how can you be mad when we haven’t done it?” Diego asked, crossing his arms.

“Because that’s the way it’s been my entire life!” Vanya cried. “Ever since I was a little kid it’s always been you guys off having fun together and me left behind, alone.”

“That’s not how it was.” Allison tried.

“Yes it was, don’t even bother trying to deny it.” Vanya hissed at her.

Allison wasn’t sure what to do. She was trying her best, and yet it seemed like she just kept on fucking everything up with Vanya. She tried to care, tried to show her concern, and Vanya snapped at her every time. Allison was trying to make up for everything she did as a child, every time she left Vanya out, every time she snapped at her for simply existing, and yet it seemed like no matter what she did, it was wrong.

She just wanted to fix everything, to make this all alright again. And yet she kept failing, over and over again. She wasn’t used to failure, or the sting of rejection. She hated it. She just wanted to go out for drinks with her sister, fool around and pretend that everything was alright.

For now she simply hung her head and turned back to the screen. Maybe that made her a coward, but she didn’t know what else to do.

They started talking about the apocalypse again, and she begged her on-screen counterpart to not listen, to go out chasing after Vanya and make this right.

Leonard grabbed his jacket, stopping to stare at the figures again. He reached inside and grabbed Reginald’s, closing the door behind him.

“Damn, guess he was checking out Dad instead.” Klaus sighed, turning to Vanya who still looked pissed. “I think maybe you want a boyfriend who isn’t stealing a figurine of our dad, that would be kind of awkward to explain at family dinners.”

“Dad’s dead.” Vanya muttered.

“Oh,” Klaus clapped. “Even better. I guess he’s alright then, if you ignore the fact that he’s hiding a body.”

Vanya sighed, shaking her head but she offered up nothing in response.

Diego quickly stormed out, declaring that it was time to go out hunting after Hazel and Cha Cha, to get the revenge he needed.

”Stop making this about you.” Diego snapped, storming out.

“Ironic,” She said, turning to look at her brother. “Since he’s thinking about the entirety of the world and your thinking about your personal vendetta.”

“Fuck off,” Diego growled, glaring at her. She didn’t let herself get affected, she had long stopped being afraid of Diego’s glowers.

Klaus was the next to leave. It was obvious he wasn’t doing so well, and to be honest he didn’t look any better in real life. He was doing a really good job at pretending to handle it, but Allison could see the sweat on his brows, the pale complexation to his skin. Her brother was going through withdrawal, and there was nothing she could do about it.

She wanted him sober, more than anyone probably. It was always her that he used, that he went to steal from. She couldn’t count on all her fingers the number of times he had come to her house and stolen something, begged for money, lied to her. She wanted him sober, wanted him to be better than that. That lying junkie wasn’t her brother, her brother was sweet, funny, kind-hearted. She wanted that man back.

”It’s just us.” Luther said. Allison turned around; the guilt visible on her face. “Oh please, no not you too.”

“I have to book a flight back to LA.” Allison said sadly. “If this happens, I have to be with my daughter, custody be damned.”

Allison missed Claire.

More than words could say. It was a visible ache inside of her, a wound pulsating and infected. She felt the tug even now, to leave right now and find the nearest flight back home. Because the world was ending in a few days, and she was sitting here instead of spending all the time she could with her siblings, watching some stupid tv show abut their life.

She made mistakes with Claire, and maybe she wasn’t the best mother, but she loved that girl with all her heart. Claire was the light in her life, the sole reason Allison got through the day sometimes. She needed to be with her, wanted to hold her and tell her everything would be alright, that the world would be okay and they could be together again.

She felt herself tearing up, the need to be with her daughter so close to the surface that the only thing she could do was take a deep breath and focus on the tv to stop herself from breaking down.

Vanya was storming through the streets, a heavy downpour surrounding her. She was clearly pissed, and as much as Allison wanted to deny it, Vanya had a right to be angry. They treated her like shit, and if she wanted to yell, to rage, well Allison got it.

”I just wanted them to be proud of me for once,” Vanya ranted. “And how could I presume to be worthy of their attention?”

“Vanya, I am proud of you,” Allison said, turning to her sister. “More than I can express.”

“You don’t mean that.” Vanya whispered.

“I do,” She insisted. “I didn’t back then cause I was an asshole, but I’m not like that anymore, and you're amazing. Truly you are.”

“Even ordinary? How can I compare to you?” Vanya ranted. “You’ve always seen me as less.”

“Maybe you’re not ordinary.” Five cut in.

“What?” Vanya asked, turning to him. He simply gestured to the screen.

ON screen, the lampposts had shifted, curled inwards as if someone had bend them.

“Was that?” Vanya whispered.

“That was you.” Five said, a grin on his face. “I was right, you not ordinary, your special, you have powers!”

“That’s not possible.” Vanya shook her head, and Allison couldn’t believe her eyes. Her sister had powers? Not that it mattered, she told herself it didn’t matter. She loved Vanya with or without powers.

Inside the house, the chandelier started to shake.

“Vanya,” Luther said lowly, and she looked up, her mouth opening in surprise.

“Is that me?” She whispered.

“Appears to be.” Klaus hummed, looking almost unaffected. Allison wished she could say the same.

“That’s not right.” Vanya denied. “That can’t be right.”

“Maybe it is,” Five countered. “You’re off the pill right?”

“I mean, yeah.” Vanya said.

“And dad gave you that pill.”

“Ever since I was little.”

“What about before? What was it like before you started it?” Five pressed.

“I don’t know!” Vanya cried. “I was four for god’s sake.”

“Who gives a pill to a four-year-old?” Five asked. “Someone with an agenda.”

“Shut up,” Vanya whispered, twisting her hands. Above her, a soft wind whistled. “You’re wrong.”

“It changes nothing.” Allison’s aid firmly.

“What do you mean?” Five cried. “This changes everything. This is a whole new variable that I never foresaw.”

“I changes nothing.” Allison insisted. “She’s still our sister, with powers or not. Nothing changes just because Dad maybe suppressed whatever this is.”

“Can we just watch the show?” Vanya asked, softly. “Please, I just want to watch it.”

“Okay,” Allison said softly, and she wanted to reach out, to rub her hand down Vanya’s back or pull her into a hug, but she knew the gesture would not be appreciated right not. “Okay.”

Five pressed paly again.

It was Diego on screen now, attempting to tie his shoe, not the best idea with a broken arm apparently. Klaus hovered in the doorway, weirdly enough with a bundle of rope in his hand.

Apparently, he wanted Diego to tie him up so he could get sober. Which, was a choice he was making.

“Good idea.” Klaus muttered, before flinching back slightly. “Don’t hit me you asshole!” He hissed to the air beside him. Allison felt her lips turn up into a smile. The idea of Ben there, well it was more than she ever expected.

Five was back, typing away at a typewriter, which was so out of date it looked about to fall apart.

Dot attempted to talk to him, but like the little jackass he was, he ignored her. Good for him.

They met Gloria, who seemed way too nice to be working for a place like this. But maybe Allison just had a soft spot for old ladies.

Five started explaining why he chose to kill Karl whatever his name was, and Allison couldn’t help but feel disgusted. They had killed this man, only because their brother told them to. The idea that a single human life can do something as drastic as to cause a literal major event to change. It was mind-boggling.

The Handler walked into the room of everyone else, bragging about Five and grilling a poor worker about his efforts.

“Teachers pet.” Klaus hissed at him, and Five threw a pen at him, which caused Klaus to yipe loudly.

Everyone left for presumably lunch, and Five slipped a file from Dot’s desk into his shirt, slipping into the bathroom to read it. It was nothing.

The handler walked in, sitting in the stall next to his and Allison scrunched up her nose, turning to Luther who had the same disgusted look on his face.

She started talking about something wrong, and Allison couldn’t really focus over the disgust building up in her throat.

Then she starting talking about the consequences of going against the Commission, the merciless punishment they served. It made Allison go on edge, worried about her brother who was trapped in enemy territory, she had to reassure herself that Five wasn’t actually there, that he was sitting beside them, frowning at the screen in concentration.

It changed to Hazel and Cha Cha, driving through the wood together. Cha Cha cocked her gun, and Allison waited in anticipation. She loved a good tension between coworkers.

”Let’s forget about the briefcase,” Hazel said. “Let’s just stay here.”

“That sound vaguely romantic,” Klaus muttered. “Is he cheating on the donut lady? I will kill him if he is, that’s a no-no.”

“Shut up.” Five sighed.

Cha Cha lifted her gun, and there was a loud crash before the screen went black, and it showed her driving up to the motel, a lost look on her face.

“Did she really do it?” Five asked, leaning forwards with a gleeful look on his face. “I didn’t think she had it in her.”

She leaned back, and Hazel was in the seat beside her, unharmed.

It turned to Luther, tearing apart their father’s office in hopes of finding something. Pogo walked in.

The monkey told him where it was, and Luther opened up the floorboard, finding his stuff.

They were unopened. Allison felt her stomach drop.

”He never opened them.” He whispered.

“What?” Luther asked, his eyes wide. “He never opened them?”

“Luther,” Allison whispered, and she reached out to touch his arm, to provide comfort.

This was awful.

Luther had dedicated everything to prove to their dad that he was good, that he was loyal. He had gone into practical isolation for four years to impress him, and the asshole couldn’t even bother to look at the work he did.

It was a wake-up call, and Allison wished it didn’t happen like this.

“Why would he do that?” Luther asked, turning to her like she held all the answers. “He had to have sent me there for something right?”

“Luther,” She tried again. “Dad wasn’t a good person.”

“No, stop saying that.” He shook his head. “He sent me there for a reason, he had to! I was up there for four years.”

She didn’t know what to say. She hated this, seeing her brother, her best friend so lost and unsure, directionless.

“Screw him.” She said firmly. “He’s dead, and so screw him.”

“My entire life was centered around that, and he couldn’t bother to open any of them.” He said, almost in shock.

“I know,” Allison cooed, she felt like she was talking to Claire when she was in one of her moods. “It’s stupid, it’s unfair.

”I wasn’t a good enough Number One?” Luther asked, looking lost. “That’s what it was?”

“I wasn’t,” Luther said, close to tears. “I wasn’t good enough for him.”

“But you're good enough for me!” Allison insisted. “Who cares about dad anymore Luther, He sent you on a pointless mission because he couldn’t handle his own mistakes. But you did your best, and that wasn’t enough for him because his standards are impossible to meet.”

“Nothings impossible.”

“Tying to get dad to love us was,” Allison whispered. “He never did, but I do Luther. I love you, you’re my brother, my best friend, my rock. Your so much more than what Dad made you do.”

Luther’s face contorted, and a tear ran down his face. Allison moved quickly, gathering him up into a hug, he was a lot larger than her, but she managed to wrap her arms around him, holding him tightly.

“It was all a lie.” He sobbed. “My entire life, the last four years, all of it was a big lie.”

“I know.” She whispered. “And it isn’t fair, but there’s nothing we can do now. We just need to move on.”

Luther nodded, and after a long moment he took a deep breath in, composing himself, she pulled away, reaching up to pat his cheek lightly.

“Should we keep watching?” She asked lightly.

“Yeah,” He nodded, clearing his throat. “I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be,” She scolded. “That’s a lot to learn. You’re allowed to show emotion.”

She pulled back, not sitting down in her old spot but actually just perching on the armrest of his chair, ready to be there if he needs it again.

Everyone was silent, awkwardly staring at either them or the floor. But they all seemed to get that they weren’t to say a thing, even Diego, who would normally have used this to prove a point, was silent.

Five had left he screen playing this time, which was probably for the best. Right now, it seemed to be a flashback. Her and Luther as kids were wandering down a hallway, and she remembered this memory.

They walked into the greenhouse, where Allison remembered putting up a fort in her free time, sneaking out at night to get them two cans of pop.

Luther pulled out an ax and rope, which was the weirdest thing to bring along to their outing, but she never questioned it. Not then and not now.

Then he pulled out the necklace, a beautiful gold rose heart with their initials carved in. She smiled at the memory, looking down at Luther who was blushing slightly red. She did take it off, but she had worn it for the rest of the time in the academy, and every time she felt it laying on her chest she remembered that despite his faults Luther was always there for her. She just hoped she could be there for him now.

They were about to dance when their father burst in, sending them off to bed. Despite the abrupt ending, that night was one of her better ones. She remembered it fondly, and she kind of wished she was wearing the necklace now, just to remember the familiarity of it.

The scene changed. Diego was tying Klaus us, the two bantering like nothing was wrong, like he wasn’t literally tying his brother up with rope.

”What was her name?” Diego asked, looking up at his brother.

Images flashed by the screen, their first introduction, the disco, doing shots, kissing, all the best moments of their relationship.

“His name was Dave.”

“You thought it was a girl?” Five asked, raising his eyebrows and turning to stare at Diego, who shrugged.

“He’s pan, I had like a 25% chance of getting it right.” He grumbled.

“Nah, Dave’s a guy. Though and through.” Klaus smirked, winking at Diego who groaned loudly.

“Watch the show.” He grumbled.

”Yeah, he was kind, strong, and vulnerable, and beautiful.” He gazed off as if seeing Dave’s face. “And I was foolish enough to follow him all the way to the front lines.”

“The front lines huh?” Diego said softly. “That’s shitty.”

“Tell me about it.” Klaus laughed without humor. “Couldn’t get any sleep with the gunshots going off, the bombs in the distance. Not fun.”

Allison looked away, not able to stand the vulnerable look on Klaus’s face at the moment.

It changed to Vanya, watching the news report on her bent lampposts.

”If this is true, everything I know about myself would change.” She said.

“It has,” Vanya whispered. “Everything is different now, everything.”

“We’ll get through it,” Luther said softly. “Together.”

Then, Five was sitting with the Handler, eating candies that apparently tasted like the 1950s. How you can incorporate a decade into a little candy was beyond her, but she found she wasn’t getting a lot of things going on recently.

Apparently they were also making a body, which was all kinds of weird.

” War, what an extraordinary concept.” The Handler said. “A temporary salve for a permanent human flaw.”

“Preach it sister.” Klaus muttered under his breath.

”Of course there are only a few things I’ve collected in my travels,” She picked up a handheld bomb. “An M26 grenade from the Vietnam war.”

“Hey I’ve used those before,” Klaus laughed. “Feisty little things they are.”

“Horrible way to die.” Five noted.

“Tell me about it,” Klaus said, getting a faraway look in his eyes for a second before he snapped out of it. “Although they were replaced halfway through my time there, replaced with the M33, which were only slightly less fun.

Allison shook her head, unable to even picture their Klaus out in war, killing people and throwing grenades. He was just always so peaceful, so unwilling to kill or harm anyone. The idea of him thrown into a war? Unthinkable to her.

Luther was back on screen, sitting in the lounge looking lost, herself walking in.

The Luther beside her tensed slightly, but didn’t comment.

They talked, before Allison asked him to follow her, a knowing look on her face. They walked into the greenhouse, walking past the dead plants to their little fort, still standing.

She wanted to go up their now, and by the look on Luther’s face he was feeling the same way. That place, those stupid blankets suspended from the ceiling, they represented an easier, better time. A time they both felt safe and loved.

She wished life could be that simple again.

Luther was attempting to get into the fort, his new body not working the same as it used to, and he ended up almost knocking it over multiple times. Allison giggled, and Luther shot her a smile, the tension in his shoulders gone now. Even Klaus and Diego were grinning, Vanya herself even smiling a tiny bit. Allison couldn’t see Five’s face.

They pulled out the pop, blowing off the dust and cracking it open.

They both took a drink, immediately sitting it out, and then the entire fort collapsed around them, and they were left sitting in the ruins.

They talked briefly, before they got up and decided to head out of there. She looked down at Luther, who was smiling softly at the scene. And she would admit, it was nice. Watching them be happy and carefree in the middle of this whole clusterfuck.

The scene was changing, and Cha Cha burned the paper to the ground and suddenly she was at the donut shop. Hazel was in the back, talking to Agnes and Allison grit her teeth. She felt a bit bad, if she had to admit it, from what she saw, it looked like Cha Cha genuinely maybe liked Hazel? And this lying, the going behind her back? Even if they weren’t romantically involved, it must have hurt to see.

But she wasn’t going to feel bad for bloodthirsty assassins.

The scenes were going by fast for some reason, because the next thing she knew they were back with Diego and Klaus, who seemed to be getting cold feet on the whole stone-cold sober thing.

Diego took control of the situation, punching him in the gut and forcing him down, Klaus fought against him still, and it took Diego a hot second to get him to cooperate so he could rope him in. But Klaus wasn’t done yet.

”I can conjure her!” He insisted.

“Stop.” Diego warned.

“Patch! I can-“

“Don’t sue her name like that okay?” Diego hissed, looking seconds away from decking him.

“Not my wisest idea.” Klaus said. “I will admit that.”

“Diego said nothing, but Allison could see his teeth grinding together, his jaw ticking. He was pissed and desperately trying not to be. He was failing.

Diego shoved a bucket at him, obviously fuming as he stormed out the door, Klaus screaming after him. But Diego was gone, storming out of the room without looking back.

He fought again, shoving the bucket away and yanking his arms around in vain. Then he was tipping over, the sound of a bomb whistling overhead-

And they were in Vietnam.

Gunshots surrounded him, people yelling in the background, but Klaus’s voice was clear, yelling to the others.

”Whew!” Klaus sighed. “Christ on a cracked, that was a close one, huh Dave?”

“No,” Klaus whispered, his eyes wide. “No no no.”

He stood up on his feet, his breath coming out ragged.

“Klaus?” Vanya asked, reaching over to him.

“I-“ He said but his voice dropped off, leaving him staring at the screen.

On screen they watched as Klaus shook Dave, his face falling as he flipped his lover over.

There was a single gunshot to the chest, his shirt soaked with blood and his eyes staring ahead blankly.

Klaus put shaking hands over it, screaming for a medic and for someone to help.

Allison felt sick. She knew it was coming, knew that Dave had died, why else would Klaus have come back? But seeing it? Seeing Klaus’s panicked eyes, holding onto his lover’s cheek and begging him to stay? It took something out of her.

Klaus was staring at the tv a faraway look on his face as he swayed in the spot, tears dripping down his cheeks.

“Shut it off.” Diego said, jumping to his feet. Five scrambled for the remote, quickly pressing the fast forwards button. Allison watched as the scene raced by, watching her brother cradle his lover to his chest until the scene changed. She forced her eyes away.

“Hey, Klaus look at me.” Diego said, standing in front of Klaus, his hands reaching out to lightly slap Klaus’s cheek.

Klaus didn’t respond.

“Look at me,” Diego ordered. “I’m right here Klaus, it’s 2019, you’re in our living room. Come back to us.”

He kept up the talking for a long moment before Klaus blinked, sending more tears down his cheek and he whimpered. But that meant Klaus was here, that Klaus was back from wherever the hell he just went and he defiantly wasn’t fine but they could work on that right?

“He’s dead.” Klaus whispered. “Diego he’s dead.”

“I know.” Diego swallowed thickly. “I know buddy.”

Klaus sobbed loudly, propelling forwards and wrapping his arms around Diego, his face tucking into his chest. For a second Allison thought Diego was going to pull away and she was prepared to jump up and catch Klaus as he fell, but slowly Diego relaxed, wrapping his arms around Klaus.

“Shhhh,” Diego soothed. “It’s okay.”

“It’s not.” Klaus said back.

“No, it’s not.” Diego agreed. “B-B-But we can get through this together okay?” He whispered, and Klaus nodded, pulling back.

“I want this all to stop.” He whispered.

“I think that maybe we should take a break after this episode.” Five proposed softly. “Go get some food, sleep and regroup to get back on it tomorrow.”

“Do we have the time to?” Luther asked.

“We’ll make time.” Five said firmly. “We can’t solve anything if we’re all worn out.”

They all nodded, and Klaus curled up on the couch again, his hands firmly clutching the dog tags to his chest.

Five reached forwards and pressed play.

It was Diego, walking through the entrance when he caught sight of mom, who was up and moving again.

Allison sighed, hoping it would be a more lighthearted scene after what they all just saw.

”How are you walking around?” He asked in wonder.

“One foot in front of the other,” She said cheerfully. “Why? How do you do it?”

It was refreshing, seeing their mom back to normal. It lifted a weight off her shoulder, made something inside her take a deep breath and relax. Their mom was back, the world was ending, but at least Mom was up and moving like she didn’t get killed the other day.

They talked a bit more, with Pogo looming in the background to remind Grace to keep quiet, which was suspicious, but then Grace asked to go to the park, and Diego quickly agreed.

Allison and Luther were back onscreen, Allison watching as Luther munched on what looked like a hotdog with an impressed look on her face.

”That’s more like it, see? That’s the guy I know.” She laughed freely, and Luther smiled at her.

“What, the guy who just ate ten hot dogs?” He asked.

“No, a guy who doesn’t need a mission to exist.” She told him.

“You see that?” Allison asked, turning to Luther. “That’s exactly what I mean.”

“Thanks.” He whispered, reaching out and squeezing her hand. He looked better, as if a part of him had accepted what happened.

Allison watched as she left Luther on the bench, saying she needed to go get Claire. Luther charged after her, and asked her to dance.

The whole scene shifted. They were suddenly in fancy clothing, fairy lights hanging around them as they stepped closer. Luther looked like normal again, and somehow that hurt the most.

It was a beautiful scene. Not like normal dancing, more like they were playing together, having fun and just dancing to music only they could hear, without a care in the world. It was nice.

Then they kissed.

They fucking kissed.

“Oh my fucking god!” She squealed, shoving her head into her hands. “Oh my god.”

“What the hell!” Luther said, leaning away from her with his cheeks burning red. “Why do they do this to us?”

Vaguely in the background, she could hear Klaus cackling gleefully, chanting something that sounded like the word Incest over and over again. But it faded off when someone, probably Diego, hit him over the head.

“I do not like him in that way!” She said, pointing a finger at Luther.

“It’s not us you have to convince.” Five said with an amused look on his face.

“It’s gross!” Luther protested. “I mean in the past we may have-“

“Luther!” She hissed, reaching over to hit him.

“Don’t act like it’s a secret,” Diego said, crossing his arms. The dick was enjoying this. “You guys weren’t subtle.”

“Okay fine,” She hissed feeling like she was going to die. “We may have fooled around and kissed as kids, but that was when we were kids and horrible repressed and inexperienced for what love actually meant. But we both agree that now we are grown up and the only feelings between us are platonic.”

“So that was a platonic kiss?” Vanya asked, and Allison couldn’t believe even she was getting in on this.

“Clearly.” She huffed, crossing her arms. “It was imaginary, and none of this had even happened yet, so I promise I won’t go around kissing Luther anytime soon.”

“So heroic of you Ally.” Klaus deadpanned. She hid her face in her hands once again.

“Can we mention how awkward it would have been if someone walked by?” Five asked. “Just two idiots dancing to nothing in the middle of the park?”

“Shut up!” She cried. “The show is playing!”

The scene changed, and she hoped nothing important happened while they were busy teasing each other.

It showed Five again, standing into the rom and killing Gloria, since apparently the Handler knew something was up with him.

The messaged talked about some Harold Jenkins, but who that was she didn’t know. He must be the one to cause the apocalypse, which is honestly scary to think about. Some stranger capable of ending the world.

Five typed his own message in, and it changed between him writing the message to terminate Hazel and Cha Cha walking into the motel and shooting where she thought Hazel was. He wasn’t there. Five wrote the same message to Hazel, requesting Cha Cha to be killed.

Hazel popped up behind her, knocking her unconscious just as Five sent the message. The Handler caught him, seeing Gloria passed out on the ground before turning back to him with a disbelieving look on her face.

“You’re in deep shit now.” Diego muttered.

“I’ll deal with it.” Five muttered.

Before they could truly find out if he did manage it, it changed to Diego and Grace walking through the park.

”There’s something that needs to be said Diego,” Grace said. “Pogo and I, we’ve been lying.”

Before she could continue it changed to The Handler firing shots, security being called to the tube room. Then it was to Vanya, reaching under the bed and picking up a book with the initials RH on them and flipping it open to see notes all about her and her powers.

Vanya squeezed her eyes shut.

“He had it the entire time.” She whispered.

“I’m sorry.” Allison said, because that’s all she could say.

The scenes were happening in a rapid fire, almost to hard to follow. By the time she processed the Handler hunting Five down, they were seeing Klaus on the ground, and Dave was there, against all odds.

“I did it,” Klaus whispered. “Huh.”

Then it was back to Five, escaping and blowing the Handler to bits, which greatly pleased her. Then he was in the briefcase room, quickly turning a dial, setting off a grenade and zapping out of there.

The clock ticked backwards, and they watched as everything was undone. Klaus and Dave, Vanya finding the book, Diego and Grace talking, Luther and her dance, Hazel and Cha Cha, all of it ticking backwards until they were back in the morning, at the meeting.

Five fell onto the counter, rolling to the ground as he grabbed Allison’s coffee and chugged it.

”The apocalypse is in three days,” He said. “And the only things that can save it, is well, us.”

Five continued his little speech, trying to inspire them into fighting.

“I know who caused the apocalypse.” He said, handing the paper to Allison.

“Harold Jenkins?” She asked.

“Who the hell is Harold Jenkins?” Diego echoed.

The screen turned blank.

“Ugh,” Klaus groaned. “Cliff-hangers?”

“Okay guys,” Luther said, clapping his hands as he stood up. “It’s been a lot today, so let’s get some dinner, get some sleep, and come back at it okay?”

They all said their agreements, standing up and seeming unsure where to go from there.

“Should we,” Vanya said hesitantly. “Should we go out together?”

“Family dinner?” Klaus asked with a grin. “I like the way you think.”

They all agreed, some more hesitant than others, and they set out to what might be the most awkward family dinner in the history of family dinners.