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Jumping Without a Place to Land

Chapter Text

“We use my ability to time travel.” He spared a quick glance at Vanya, her white violin innocently at her side. “But this time, I take you all with me.”

Diego looked at him suspiciously. “You can do that?”

Fives heart pounded uncomfortably in his chest. He took a deep breath, steadying himself. If he was going to do this, he needed to focus. Just tell him off, he thought. Tell him that you’ve survived forty five years in hell, of course he could time travel with all of them- “I don’t know,” he found himself admitting. “I’ve never tried it before.”

Diego gave a quick nod, glancing around to the rest of his family. “What’s the worst that can happen?”

Five barely suppressed a laugh. Focus. Equations were already forming in his mind. “Well you’re looking at it. Forty eight year old man inside a child's body...so there’s that.”

“Well what the hell I’m in.”

With that, Five began the equations.

“Yeah, yeah I’m in.”

God he wished he had a pen right now.

“Me too.”

Would he have to account for Ben as well?

“Alison?”

Five calculated each of his siblings leverage in the timeline…

“What about Ben?”

Each of their powers added new numbers, new sets of equations in his mind.

“Great! Yeah, he’s in.”

The addition of Vanya’s powers fell into place, and, as simple as that, he finished off the final calculations in his mind.

Mostly.

“Okay, Luther, grab Vanya,” Five ordered. He let out a small sigh of relief when his brother obeyed. He picked her up, and then…

“Wait, should we be taking her? I mean, she’s the cause of the Apocalypse. Isn’t that like taking the bomb with us?”

Shit, there it is.

They don’t have time for this.

“The Apocalypse will always happen,” Five snapped. “Vanya will always be the cause unless we take her with us and fix her.”

A quick glance around showed Five that the rest of his siblings agreed. Submission formed in Luther’s eyes- or was it because he didn’t have another option?

Five made a mental note to have a family chat with Luther if they made it back.

When they made it back.

Five grabbed Diego and Alison’s hand, the rest of his siblings following suit.

He looked up at the utterly destroyed moon- damage done by Vanya, a small voice told him- and pushed.

Familiar blue light formed above them, turning his siblings attention upwards as well. Wind whipped at Five’s face. The building shook around them.

Faster, Five’s brain ordered.

He kept pushing, a strained yell escaping his lips. Five prayed that the noise around them drowned out his screaming. He heard one of his siblings yell something. He looked down at his siblings to check…

They looked thirteen again. “Uh, hold on, it’s gonna get messy!” He shouted over the ripple of his portal. Over the constant rumbling of the world ending around them.

Faster.

Five felt like he was being ripped apart, his throat burning and swelling in the process.

Five felt like his insides were being rearranged over and over.

Five wanted to stop the apocalypse.

Five wanted to save his siblings.

Five wanted more time.

Five wanted a lot of things.

Focus.

Five pushed….

Only for him to be spit right back out in a familiar whoosh..pop noise. Five managed to balance himself without falling over- which, in his professional opinion was quite impressive- and he managed to stumble blindly over to...a chair probably? He kept his eyes squinted shut, because Five instinctively knew that the lights around him would only increase the pounding against his skull…

He thought for a moment, and a numb panic seemed to swell inside his chest because he couldn’t figure out why he had such a bad migraine. There was something important, something happened but his usually quick mind seemed to be moving at a slower pace at the moment- Five concluded that it was from the migraine- because the pounding in his head and beneath the lids of his eyes seemed to be the only thing he could focus on at the moment.

Keeping his eyes closed, he still wracked his brain because years of simply surviving kept reminding him that forgetfulness will get you killed, whether it be by Reginald, the Apocalypse, or the Commission, so he tried to push past the extremely uncomfortable throbbing and think.

However, like usual, Fives brain didn’t seem to want to cooperate.

He has a headache, what are the logical reasons that he would have a headache?

Chain jumping from Reginald.

“No,” he thought aloud. He wouldn’t be standing upright if that were true.

Part of Fives brain told him that this definitely couldn’t be true because…

Fuck it, moving on.

Time travel. Yes, this seemed logical. But how would he have time traveled? Reginald never failed to mention that he wasn’t ready, wasn’t strong enough to withstand it…

But deep down, Five knew that he could do it. He knew that he was ready, and, despite his worsening migraine, he knew that it was just a matter of when.

So Five had done it? He’d time traveled.

Despite the pain, he couldn’t help the rush of satisfaction that overcame him. He’d time traveled.

But part of his brain nagged at him. Something about his conclusion was off. He’d time traveled, but…

This wasn’t the first time he’d done it.

But when…?

And suddenly his mind is falling as the world disappeared and ash and oblivion and death overtook each of his senses. A numb sensation filled his chest and spread down into his arms. His breath came out short as he found himself wheezing and he can’t seem to get enough air into his lungs and he feels like he wants to throw up. Part of him knows this isn’t real, he just needed to think, needed to focus, but Five’s tired, overworked brain seemed to be stuck in the Apocalypse as the world around him becomes all to surreal.

The sun is practically melting his skin as he finds himself standing in front of the ruins of the Academy, the very place that Five buried the body of his four siblings.

He could never find Ben or Vanya.

He stares at the ruins of a place he once called home, but even after everything that happened there, Five would gladly face Reginald over the Apocalypse.

In the Academy, at least he had his siblings.

In the Apocalypse, he had no one but himself.

And he’s back here now, standing at his siblings quote on quote “graves” that he hastily dug. He doesn’t understand why he’s back here but he is and it’s all too much as the numbness begins to fade into sheer, raw panic and Five’s tired brain concludes that he’s never going to leave this place. That this is his eternal torment to suffer, and his alone.

He finds himself screaming.

The motion tears against his throat, but his throat is always hurting these days from the amount of ash and smoke he inhales...

Suddenly there’s hands on him grabbing him and touching him and the first thought that crosses his mind is that he doesn't like this. His mind flashes back to the Handler, because she knew that after all those years alone, physical contact was the one thing to make him uncomfortable, the one thing that he could never seem to hide, so she never hesitated to throw an arm around his shoulder or touch his cheek...

His head bumps against something cold- the ground maybe?- a few times like someones jostling him but he can’t remember how he got to the floor in the first place. The thought just makes his head pound even more as he squints his eyes because the sun was always scorching hot in the Apocalypse. But looking up just makes him cough even more and he numbly notices that his handkerchief that he keeps over his mouth to reduce the amount of ash he inhales each day is gone and that's not good how could he have lost something so important? Something to vital to his survival. Now he’s going to have to find another handkerchief which means he’ll have to go into town and god how he hates going into town there’s too many bodies and Delores is going to be so pissed-

Delores. He wants Delores and no one else right now. He wants her soothing voice because she always seemed to ground him when he began to spiral but it was never as bad as this because he can’t even hear her right now. Maybe he was too far gone already, too deep into his own brain and there's irony in that statement because his brain is what he’s relying on to get him out of this hellscape but his own thoughts seem to be the thing that eats at his spirit each day. So he’d drink and drink and Delores always hated it when he drinks...

So hes decided that he’s too far gone because the world becomes blurry around him and while the Apocalypse lingers in the background the numbing sensation returns, spreading throughout his entire body. It takes over the usual pain of the apocalypse and he briefly wonders if he’s dying, conveniently located near his siblings graves. Five decides that he’s truly slipped so far because he can’t bring himself to get up and keep moving keep calculating keep writing-

But the world keeps slipping and fading and he can briefly hear someone calling his name- probably his siblings ghosts coming to welcome him because he failed to save the world but he never really cared about saving it in the first place. He wanted to save his siblings, he wanted to go back to when they were young listening to Vanya softly play the violin and Ben and him sitting in comfortable silence and he really didn’t care if the world burned around them- as long as they were safe and that he was with them. God he should have never left that day...

He feels brief disappointment in himself for dying without completing his mission, because Reginald had taught him better than that, because no one would find his body in the Apocalypse, because no one would be there to bury him like he did for his siblings... but Five can’t stop himself as his vision fades as if he’s going through a long tunnel except the light at the end doesn’t grow bigger it gets smaller and smaller and smaller until there’s nothing left, not even the taste of ash on his tongue…

..............

Five wakes up in his room. His usual beige ceiling stares right back at him- almost mocking him- because this wasn’t the first time Five had woken up in his bed with no recollection of crawling into it in the first place.

He finds his brows furrowed- when are they not- but it’s not a conscious decision, not part of his shielded personality that he brings, but from the familiar twinge of pain in his body- it only slightly concerns him when, after a brief moment of concentration, he can’t figure out where on his body hurts, but that effort alone seemed to be too tiring for his overstimulated brain, so he lets out a small sigh and begins to close his eyes again except…

There’s movement next to him. Five doesn’t need to open his eyes to notice this, he hears the movement, calculates the distance between him and the intruder because he’d worked for the Commission after all and he’s about to try and spatial jump despite the numbness still encasing his body-

“Five?”

Five hesitates. The voice is small and familiar, achingly familiar which only makes Five even more frustrated when he can’t put a name to it, so he opens his eyes to see a young girl sitting next to him. The heavy bags underneath her eyes stood out against her all too white skin.

She smiles- or is a sigh of relief?- when they lock eyes, and Fives vision is still blurry but he could never forget the face of sweet Vayna.

Although she’s younger. Her hair is long, almost drowning her, making her seem smaller. Her bangs hid most of her eyes… She looked better with short hair; more confident, he finds himself musing. Five made a mental note to inform her later.

He doesn’t trust his voice at the moment, since his throat feels dry and sore for a reason Five can’t remember, so he gives his best attempt at a smile.

Five is greeted with a smile in return, and, deciding that Vayna’s fine at the moment, he turns his gaze to the rest of his room.

It held no trace of Five’s “madman state”, as Klaus liked to call it, the walls being deprived of his hasty Probability Map. Five let a small sigh escaped his lips. He worked hard on that…

But despite the missing writing, the room remained the same, holding the memory of a boy who disappeared seventeen years ago...

He turned his attention back to Vayna, who was previously sitting in a chair by his bed. Worry lines had formed on her face during his brief scan of the room. Five looked up at her in confusion, which, to Five’s dismay, only seemed to increase the worry on her face and Five wished he could take it back because that expression seemed far too frequent...

But the brief worry was suddenly gone as Vanya ran a hand through his hair- which was probably greasy because Five couldn’t remember if he showered in the past few days or not- but her soothing voice rang through his ears nonetheless…

“-’re all safe Five,” she spoke in a whisper. Her voice seemed scratchy too... “You can rest, alright? You can rest…”

Resting seemed impossible at the moment, as every fiber in his brain screamed at him that he should be doing something, that there was something important that he needed to be doing, the urge was strong enough to make his numb hands twitch underneath his blanket. His brain screamed at him to stand up and fix it- whatever it was. Assess the danger and eliminate the treat, because that’s how he’d been taught, that’s how he’s been raised...

But Vanya’s voice was persistent. He focused on her, the words coming out of her mouth, and he was slowly pulled out of his spiral. He briefly thought of Delores, and wondered what she was up to…

“-to sleep, we’ll all be here when you wake up. I promise Five, okay?”

He blinked. His brain took a moment to register what she was saying. He suddenly noticed her hand still running through his hair, and if it was anyone other than Vayna, if his entire body didn’t feel so damn numb right now, he might have swatted her hand away. But he just locked his heavy eyes with hers, focusing all his attention on her words.

“-back to sleep, alright?”

For once in his life, sleep sounded like a wonderful idea.

Chapter Text

Waking up a second time was much less peaceful than the first. The comforting numbness that encased his body was gone, and a much more painful, throbbing presence decided to take its place. His head felt like someone took a machetty and unfortunately decided to bash it against the back of his head. The uncomfortable ache of his shrapnel wound seemed to be gone, but, in turn, Five’s entire chest felt sore now.

Lovely.

He swallowed and took multiple deep breaths, despite the sharp bursts of pain in his chest that would accompany each inhale.
Push past it, move forward.

Five hesitated, unsure of what he would find when he opened his eyes. He hazily recalled being back in the Apocalypse, the false taste of smoke still lodged into his senses. But he also remembered the comforting presence of Vanya, and those two scenarios didn’t make sense put together, so which had he been imagining…?

Fives eyes shot open. Vanya. He blinked dumbly at his bedroom ceiling- oh good, his bedroom ceiling- trying to remember if his memory served correct. Vanya looked thirteen. She looked as young as he did. Which means the others…

He glanced around his room.

They’d made it back.

His fakakta plan worked.

Five kicked his legs over the side of his bed, ignoring the pain yo-yoing up and down his entire body. He felt like shit, and his migraine somehow seemed to be worse now that he wasn’t lying down. But he had to make sure everyone got back. He had to make sure they remembered…

He hobbled to his door, turned the knob, and stumbled into the hallway.

It was empty.

For the first time that Five can remember, the Hargreeve’s house seemed quiet.

His head pounded with each step he took. The silence of the house set him on edge. He waited for one of his siblings to come barreling down the hallway, or to hear the familiar click of Grace’s heels...

Five stumbled down the first flight of steps, cursing all the while.

After a good minute, he finally reached the bottom of the steps. He peered down the long corridor that housed the rest of his siblings rooms...

His heart began to pound in his chest. They were all empty.

Vanya’s faint words echoed in his head. She said they’d all be here when he woke up. She promised him.

He walked faster. His whole body began to throb in rhythm with his heartbeat as he stumbled blindly, leaning on the walls for support.

He reached the large staircase leading down to the main part of the house.

He couldn’t hear anything.

The silence was all too familiar.

It surrounded him for forty five years.

It was deafening.

He trekked down the stairs as fast as his aching body could take him, sweat dripping down from his neck to his back.

They had to be here.

Someone had to be here.

He tripped over his right foot on the last step, landing with a thud on the cold floor. He felt
bile rise in his throat as his vision grew staticky like an old television.

Tremors racked his body. Five squished his eyes shut, curled in on himself. His
siblings weren’t here. He’d been imagining Vanya. He wanted to be with them...wanted to be with them so bad that he imagined the whole conversation. He must have been delirious with exhaustion…

Something went wrong when he jumped them all back in time. He was the only one who made it back to...to an empty house. It must have been after Reginald died. Pogo must be on a trip. Grace-

“Five?”

Five opened his eyes, surprised to see red heels standing right at his nose. His eyes panned upwards, revealing one of the most comforting sights in the world.

Grace.

“You took quite a fall there.” Her laugh was smooth and melodious. “Are you alright, dear?”

Five blinked dumbly at her, taking deep breaths to steady himself.

He wasn’t alone.

Not completely, at least.

“Do you know where the others are?” He croaked. Grace looked down at him with a smile.

“They’re all in the living room.”

That alone sent Five stumbling to his feet, ignoring the chirp of surprise that came from Grace. He closed the distance from the stairs to the door and practically fell into the living room, now numb to the pain vibrating through his body.

He normally would have been embarrassed about his less than graceful entrance, if it wasn’t for all six of his siblings, alive and breathing, staring right back at him.

“Oh thank fuck,” he exhaled, collapsing to his knees with a thud. He heard Klaus make a noise that sounded like a dog yelping, and before he knew it, thin, bony hands were on his shoulders.

“Hey, Five, buddy. Jesus you’re sweaty…” Klaus spoke in a soft voice, like if he spoke any louder, Five would shatter into a thousand tiny pieces. “What are you doing out of bed?”

“Looking for you idiots,” he spat, though it lacked his usual biting tone. He glanced at the rest of his siblings, who all looked thirteen.

Luther hadn’t been injected with the serum yet.

Diego was lacking some scars, specifically the jagged cut that scraped across his temple.

Alison’s white plaster wasn’t covering her neck.

Klaus looked like...well, Klaus.

Ben, oh thank God Ben was alive, standing next to Klaus. He met his gaze, and Ben returned it with an encouraging smile.
He missed that smile.

And Vanya…

He glanced over at his sister, the one who went batshit crazy and blew up the moon. She wasn’t locked up in the basement, which Five counted as a step forward in Luther’s part, but she seemed even more withdrawn than usual. Except with Allison, who’s shoulder she was currently resting her head on. Whether for comfort or from exhaustion, Five couldn't blame her.
“What’s the last thing you remember?” He asked her.

Vanya visibly paled.

Maybe that wasn’t the best way to start the conversation.

Then again, he’d never been good with socializing.

But to Five’s surprise, Vanya spoke up. “The basement.” She kept her gaze locked onto Five’s while she spoke. Out of the corner of his eye, Five saw Diego glaring daggers at Luther.

“I remember being terrified. I thought that I was gonna be there forever. Dad…” she trailed off. “Dad kept me there for months last time, and I thought you guys already hated me for my book, and then Allison-” She took a shaky breath.

“I panicked.” Her words were coming faster now, like she was forcing them out. “And then I felt furious. At Dad, Pogo...you guys. For everything that happened.” She looked at Alison. “Then I woke up in my childhood bedroom, of all places. Alison was there. She explained what happened…” She gave a sheepish smile towards Five. “Ever since we got here two days ago, we’ve been...trying to talk it out.”

“It usually ended in screaming matches,” Ben countered.

“But none of us blame you.” Diego turned towards Luther. “Right?”

Luther shook his head.

“The first day was a wreck,” Klaus wheezed. “Diego and Luther spent the whole day screaming while Vanya and Alison cried every two hours.”

Ben smacked him on the back of his head.

“Jeeze, alright,” he mumbled. “Benny boy over here’s been getting used to being .y'know...alive-” Klaus turned towards Ben, batting his eyelashes excessively- “and his bestest brother Klaus has been giving him a few pointers.”

“Like you know anything about being a functional human being,” Diego scoffed.

“Ouch,” Klaus said, slapping a hand to his chest.

“He has a point,” Ben mumbled.

“Then we all tried to figure out where the hell we were,” Allison said. “No one was in the house but us and Grace. She didn’t know anything either. But we’d been waiting for you to wake up before talking about anything major...”

Five’s brain took a second to process what she said. He’d been half-listening to this trainwreck of a conversation, partially due to his overworked brain, partially due to the overall stupidity of what they were saying. Again, he blamed it on the migraine. But something Alison said resonated in his brain, as if red flags were flashing in front of his vision. “What do you mean ‘we didn’t know where we are.”

Allison’s jaw snapped shut.

The room fell quiet, all except Klaus’s hasty ‘shut up’ in her direction, which would have been efficient if he still hadn’t been holding Five by the shoulders.

Luther spoke up. “It’s just...none of us really know where or...when we are....” He looked around at the others.

Five glared daggers at him. They were in the mansion. The city they grew up. The same one they had personally saved multiple times. How the hell did he not know where they were? He locked his gaze with Luther’s, threatening that he would personally kill him in his sleep if this was a joke.

‘Hey, let’s all fuck with Five since his brain’s too slow to process shit right now.’

A glance around, however, showed Five that if this was some practical joke, the rest of his siblings seemed deadly serious as well. One look at Vanya told him that Luther wasn’t lying.

“Seriously? None of you know where we are?”

“We’re in the Academy, obviously,” Ben began. “But...we were hoping that you would know…the rest...” he trailed off.

Five ripped himself from Klaus’s grip, ignoring the sounds of protests from the other siblings. He limped towards a nearby window, which conveniently had the curtains drawn over it. With a glance around the room, Five noticed that curtains were drawn for the others as well...

“Five,” Luther began, but Five wasn’t listening. He ripped the curtain aside, revealing grey fog, thick enough where Five couldn’t see anything but. He stumbled to another window, panic rising in his throat. More fog.

“What is this?” He whipped around, facing his siblings. They all seemed wary, like they were trying to comfort a scared animal.

“So you don’t know either?” Diego questioned.

Five kept staring out the window.

“Ben and I checked outside the house yesterday and...nada,” Klaus offered. “It’s like the house is floating in some void or something. After the steps of the Academy, there’s literally nothing. No houses. No people. It’s like…”

Like an Apocalypse.

For the second time, in the past ten minutes, Five found himself hyperventilating. He dug his hands through his hair and pulled, because how could he be so stupid? How could he have sent them to a place that doesn’t even exist?

They were stuck here. Five needed to find a way out. Food only lasts so long. Do they even have running water? Between the seven of them, they’d last barely a week. They’d already been here two days. He needed to start calculating, start figuring this out because there’s no way in hell-

“Five.”

It was Allison this time. She rested a hand on his shoulder, trying to ground him, but he jerked back, the imprint of her hand still lingering on his skin.

Five squinted his eyes shut, his breath growing quicker and quicker. He felt hyper-aware of everything: his heartbeat, his breathing, the way the floorboards creaked with age and slowly the sound of fire spread into the mix. Before, the house was all to quiet, but now Five wanted nothing better than to make everything go away, lock himself in a soundproof box where no one would bother him until he felt ready…

His breathing felt labored and the taste of smoke returned and...

And the Apocalypse was surrounding him.

Five fell to his knees.

He couldn’t do this again.

He forced himself to open his eyes, because Five’s head was clearer than it had been after they jumped back, he just needed to ground himself, tell him that this wasn’t real like all those other times…

But his siblings were standing in front of him too, looking around with pasted expressions of shock on their faces as they watched the Apocalypse around them.

Whenever this happened, his siblings would always appear as their adult selves, their corpses, to come and scream and scream and ask him why he left, why he ran away, leaving them to die…

But each of his siblings remained thirteen. Klaus met his gaze and something that resembled recognition formed in his features, as he stepped over fallen rocks, a metal pole, a body…

He squatted in front of Five, low enough so they were eye to eye. He kept his hands at his side.

“Hey, Five...can you hear what I’m saying right now?”

Now this was definitely new, because the bodies of his siblings were never nice to him, never offered their comfort.

Five didn’t like ‘new’.

“Go away,” he rasped.

“Five.”

Five buried his head into his knees. If he ignored him, they’d go away. Just like always.

“Five, look at me.”

Don’t do it don’t do it-

Something grabbed his wrist, and Five yelled in surprise, yanking his hand back as far as he could. But whatever held him grabbed on tight, pulling his hand forward, placing his palm on something flat…

Five felt a heartbeat.

His head shot up, and, as quick as it had come, the smell of ash vanished from his nose. He blinked furiously at tears that threatened to fall. The world became more clear around him. His breathing evened out.

But they weren’t in the Academy. All seven of them were in a hotel room.

“Five, what the hell was that?” Luther demanded.

Vanya’s quiet voice spoke up. “Was that the Apocalypse?”

For how fast his heart was beating, Five swore that he felt it stop in his chest.

“You were there too?”

“Oh, we were d...d-efinitetly there,” Diego countered .

Five glanced up at Klaus, vaguely aware that his hand was still placed on Klaus’s chest…

Suddenly, the door to the hotel room flew open, and Five nearly threw up right on the carpet in front of him.
An older version of himself walked through the door frame, a woman thrown limply across his shoulders.

Lena Borke. Five remembered her. Her husband’s death assisted in Einstein’s escape from Nazi Germany.

The older Five gazed around the room, looking right through the seven of them. He set the woman down in a chair. She had a cut on her forehead.

He didn’t even need to tie her up. Five remembered.

He roughly tapped her right cheek. His umbrella tattoo peaked out from underneath his cuffs... The woman's eyes blinked open, unfocused as they darted around the room.

“Your husband left town the other night,” he whispered, their noses almost touching.

Tears streamed down Lena’s face.

“Where did he go. Sprecht jetz,” he ordered.

Five sighed. This had been a...complicated assignment. It was towards the beginning... his third or fourth mission. He’d been stationed on the outskirts of Germany. He’d gotten the order. Terminate Robert Broke. He’d found his house, tracked him down…

But he was sloppy. Compassionate. Five peered through Robert’s window...found him in his bed. He was laying on the right, his wife on the left, with a child no older than seven in the middle of them, lightly dozing...

He would do the job...just not in front of his wife and kid. He’d wait until the next morning, catch him on the way to work…

Only to find him gone. From what Five could gather, Robert packed his bags and deserted town. Panic swelled in his chest for a brief moment, because he had failed. He would have to return to the Handler, face the consequences, and wouldn’t be sent back in the field until she ensured that his ‘compassion’ wouldn’t be a problem in the future.

But he’d glanced in the window, and spotted his wife…

His assignment wasn’t over yet.

So here he was.

“Bitte, please,” she sobbed. “Ich verstehe nicht,” she looked up at him, her eyes wide. “Meine kinder-”

The older Five yanked her hair back, the womans mouth snapping shut in surprise.

“Robert,” the older Five spoke. “Wo ist er?”

The woman visibly swallowed.

“Mecklenburg-vorpommern,” she stuttered.

Five knew what was about to happen next. He’d lived this. Five had gotten the information he needed. A day later, he found Robert sitting in a coffee shop. He finished off the assignment, chastised only slightly for taking an extra day…

Five had gotten the information he needed.

A gunshot rang throughout the hotel room.

He scarcely heard Allison’s gasp. Blood rushed in Five’s ears, the echo of the gunshot still ringing through his brain.

Lena’s body jerked forward. That’s right...Five had never tired her up. He never found a reason to.

Her body collided with his, sending them both to the ground. Older Five’s face contorted with shock and disgust as he thrusted the body to the side...

But the damage was done. Five would remember that moment, would carry it with him for as long as he lived.

With her chest on his, Five had felt her slow, laboured heartbeat.

Older Five stood up and walked into the bathroom. The shower turned on.

His siblings were silent.

“Five…” someone began. Five didn’t know who. His brain threatened to explode as he took in the information. Concluded what this meant.

“I never jumped us back…” He glanced up at his siblings from his spot on the floor.

“Certain triggers are changing what we all see,” he explained. “We all woke up in the Academy, but the Apocalypse, and this-” he gestured around the room- “...from when I felt Klaus’s heartbeat. These are my memories…”

And all it took was a trigger.

Chapter Text

“Certain triggers are changing what we all see,” he explained. “We all woke up in the Academy, but the Apocalypse, this-” he gestured around the room- “...from when I felt Klaus’s heartbeat. These are my memories…”

And all it took was a trigger.

The hotel room was silent. The older version of Five turned the shower off.

The silence was inevitably broken by Klaus.

“You’re joking, right?” He laughed, but Five could tell it was forced. “I mean, a ‘void’ that can materialize memories? That’s a stretch, even for you short stack-”

“We just jumped back through time to avoid an apocalypse caused by our sister blowing up the moon,” Five hissed, standing up. “You really think that this is the weirdest thing that could happen to us?”

Klaus frowned. “Okay, but what’s the limit to this place?” He swung around, taking in the hotel room. “Can it show all of our memories? ‘Cause I don’t think most of mine are exactly ‘PG’-”

The room shifted. Five staggered at the sudden change, his sore body protesting in the process. Five took a deep breath to steady himself and glanced around.

They were still in a hotel room, but something was off. There were slight changes in what they were looking at: two beds instead of one. The room looked far more lived in than Five’s, and the door was wide open. An empty donut box rested on the counter, mixed with other various items...Lena’s body was still on the floor…

No, Five mused. This wasn’t Lena. This was-

“No, no, no, Eudora…no, no, no.”

Five looked up at the older Diego as he walked in the door. He dropped his knives, took off his gloves...

Something that would get him arrested days later…

He dropped to his knees and turned her body over. Something tightened in Five’s chest. She’d been shot in the heart.

Just like Lena.

“No, no, no, no, no,” Diego pleaded. Five knew this was personal. He knew he should look away, because this memory wasn’t his to have. But Cha-cha had killed Patch because they were looking for him so...

So Five made himself watch.

Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Vanya jump in surprise as the older Diego pounded his fist against the hotel floor. He saw her turn away, resting her head on Allison’s shoulder…

The older Diego began to sob.

Five swallowed. He’d never seen Diego cry, not since they were little. He hadn’t known that Patch meant so much to him, otherwise…

Five cursed at himself, remembering what he told Diego the next morning.

'As soon as your friend got in the way, well, fair game...'

Diego gently lifted her head, mumbling something that Five barely made out…

“I was on my way, I was…Why didn’t you wait?”

The older Diego opened his mouth as if to say more, but words never came. He just held the detective close, cradling her head in his hands…

Diego turned as the sound of sirens filled the hotel room. Red and blue flashed closer and closer.

Five watched as Diego turned his attention back to Patch. “I gotta go, okay?” He muttered. Another choked sob. “I can’t be here when they come, okay?” He ran a hand through her hair one last time…

The older Diego stood, still staring at her broken body. He picked up his gloves, knives… took the receipt off of the donut box...

He glanced at her body one last time before running out the door.

The memory faded.

They were back in the Academy.

Five glanced towards Diego. The fact that he was thirteen made him look even worse. He had tears running down his cheeks, his hands clenched at his side.

Allison walked up to him, taking his hands in hers, forcing him to stop digging his nails into his skin…

“Diego…” She sounded like she was crying too…

“The w...w-oman looked like..and the hotel room...” He stumbled, still staring at the floor.

Five hovered, unsure of what to do. Diego had originally blamed him for Patch’s death.

And he has every right to.

“I’ll be in my room,” Five muttered, and stepped through the blue portal before anyone could protest. A wave of nausea threatened to overtake him as he exited the portal and staggered, clutching onto...oh good his bed. He looked around, relieved to find himself in his room.

Well, it wasn’t really his room. This version of the Academy wasn’t real. So why did they come back here after Diego’s memory?

Five stumbled over to his desk, pulling out a notebook and a pen. He needed to get his siblings out of here. With the childhood they’ve had to endure, the amount of torture they’ve been put through, each memory would only bring pain.

And some memories are just too personal.

Shit, he needed to start working...

Did they have coffee in the void?

A knock came from Five’s door, and Five fully intended to ignore whoever it was.

“Five, it’s Ben.”

Fuck.

He stood up and flung the door open. He narrowed his eyes at Ben, hoping that it would be enough to make him leave...It would make things so much easier but…

“I wanna talk,” Ben said, stepping past Five and entering his room.

Apparently it wasn’t going to be that easy.

“Look, if it’s about Diego-”

“It’s not,” Ben said hastily. “I just wanted to help you out with…” Ben gestured around him.

“Do you really expect me to believe that you figured out the math behind travel while you were a ghost, Ben?

Ben chuckled. “No, no. I meant figuring out where we are, exactly. How this place works.”

Five thought about telling him off and getting back to his calculations, but this was Ben. His previously dead brother who he missed more than he’ll ever admit…

Five sighed. “Alright. Shoot.”

“Memories are resurfaced through certain triggers,” Ben began. “Something you see, or smell or feel...If it’s a strong enough trigger, strong enough of a memory, then it’ll be projected for everyone to see.”

“Like with Klaus’s heartbeat...and Diego with Lena’s body,” Five finished for him.

“Right,” Ben said, glancing at the floor in thought. He was rubbing his thumb and pointer finger together, a nervous habit from when they were kids. Five’s lips formed a small smile.

“But when the memory is finished, we return back to the Academy. Unless a memory triggers another memory, like your’s with Diegos…” Ben said. “ But why here? Why the Academy?”

Five began to pace the room. “We’re in a grey, endless void. The only solidity is formed by our memories. So when we’re in the buffer zone, or in between triggers, the void uses something we all know. A common ground in each of our memories.”

“The Academy,” Ben nodded. “But why doesn’t it just...keep us in the memory until another trigger occurs?”

Five stopped pacing and rubbed his hands against his face. Christ, this was exhausting.

Nothing could ever be easy, could it?

“I mean, if it’s showing our memories, we can only stay with the memory version of ourselves, right?” Five flopped down on his bed, finally giving his sore body a break. “Like with Diego and the hotel room. When he left, he didn’t know what happened next when the cops came. It didn’t exist in his memory."

“So the void spat us back into the Academy,” Ben said.

Five’s shoulders relaxed. God he missed having Ben around. Five considered himself smart, but Ben was the one with common sense, something Five so desperately needed right now.

For a while they sat in comfortable silence, Five laying on his back, and Ben leaning against the wall. He never minded the silence when Ben was around....

“So do you have any idea on how to get us back?” Ben asked after a while.

Five huffed and closed his eyes. He’d just woken up from a two day exhaustion-coma and felt like he could fall asleep for another four. His whole body ached like he had the flu, and he wanted nothing more than to curl up into a ball and let everyone else deal with his problems. But he couldn’t do that. Not yet.

Five opened his eyes, turning his gaze towards Ben. “No,” he said. “Whenever I time travel to the future, it’s difficult because I don’t know where I’m going. I have a starting point, I can see it around me. My starting point exists where I’m currently existing. But the ending point is tricky. I have to imagine a place that doesn’t exist…”

“But I figured it out anyway. It took two and a half years, but I figured it out. But here…” Five gestured around with his hands. “Here it’s the exact opposite. I have an ending point, because I’d be transporting us back to a time that we’ve already lived. A place that already existed. But my starting point...is a void. A literal void. A place that exists outside of reality.” He turned towards Ben, exasperated. “How am I supposed to work with that?”

Ben sat in silence for a moment, thinking. “I don’t know,” he said guiltily. “If anyone can figure it out, though, it’s you.”

“I figure it out because I have to,” Five snapped. “I’m the only one who can.”

“We have all the time in the world here, Five. No ones expecting you to figure it out by tomorrow.”

“What do you expect us to do then, stay here forever?” Five yelled. “Is there even food here? Water? How much longer until one of us sees something that breaks them? How much longer can we watch each other’s suffering, and wake up each day in this void knowing that we’re all stuck here because of a mistake that I made?”

Ben stared at him, sadness written all over his face, which only made Five more frustrated.

“I can’t take my time on this Ben. You wanna know why?”

Ben opened his mouth to speak, but Five cut him off.

“I’ve been here for one whole hour and I’ve already had to relive two things I'd rather forget, one of them literally being the Apocalypse. How many more times am I gonna have to relive that hellscape? And everyone else can see what’s going on inside poor, insane Five’s mind-"

“Five-”

“My memories are too personal, Ben! The others-”

“Five!” Ben shouted. Five snapped his jaw shut.

“I get it,” Ben said, almost in a whisper. “I get it, really.”

“No you d-”

“Ever since we got here, I’ve been terrified that a memory of mine will show. My memory of…”

Of Ben dying.

Five felt like a cannonball hit him in the stomach.

“I don’t want you to see that. I don’t want the others to relive it...I get it, Five. Some memories should stay hidden. The sooner we get out of here, the better...But you need to pace yourself, alright? We’ll be stuck here forever if you die from exhaustion.”

Five stared at Ben, who was making his way towards the door. Five wanted him to stay, because it’s been so long since he’s seen him, and he doesn’t want to be alone after what he just saw but-

“Think about it, okay?” Ben asked. He gently closed the door behind him.

Five starred at the door.

Five got out a pen and paper.

Five began his calculations.

Chapter Text

Four days since Five jumped them into the Void. One day since he woke up. One day since the Void began projecting memories.

The third official day had been, in the simplest terms, chaos. Upon waking up, Five’s brain decided to be uncooperative and show his siblings the extent of the Apocalypse. Then, just to be a little shit, the Void showed an older (technically younger?) version of himself shoot Lena Borke in cold blood, which apparently made Diego relive the death of his girlfriend, Patch.

So yes, the third day was chaotic.

He’d been hauled up in his room since then, feverishly trying to figure out how the hell he was gonna manage jumping his siblings out of here.

It had only taken eight hours for Five to give up using his pen and paper and move to the walls. After Ben left, Five had been on a nonstop mission and the rest of the third day became a blur of numbers and sharpie fumes.

He glanced at his clock, which was their only way of telling time, since the sun and the general...outside area...didn’t seem to be available.

2:34am, Five mused, before he promptly crashed onto his bed from exhaustion.

He intended to lay down for only a moment, because hell, he deserved it, but before he knew it, his was opening his eyes to a clock that read 5:21am.

Jesus he needed coffee.

Five stumbled out of bed, clutching to the frame for balance. He blamed it on exhaustion...

Which brings him back to his original statement...

Five took a deep breath to center himself before jumping, relieved when he opened his eyes to find the kitchen in front of him. He glanced around, praying that none of his siblings were awake yet but-

“Jesus Five,” Klaus chastised. He was sitting criss-cross on a chair at the kitchen table. “You’re gonna give one of us a heart attack, you know.”

“Good,” Five grumbled, walking over to the coffee maker and filling it with water and coffee grinds. He waited for Klaus to start blabbering about his plans for today, or the nonexistent ‘whether’, but to Five’s surprise, he remained silent.

He peered over his shoulder, only to see him clutching...his dog tags.

Five bit his cheek and weighed his options. Normally, he would have waited for his coffee to finish and jump to his room without question, but…

The Void was too unpredictable.

He could talk to Klaus, of course, ask him if he’s alright, but bringing up the subject of his days in Vietnam could trigger a memory, one that none of the Hargreeves siblings needed to see…

But on the other hand, if he jumped to his room and left Klaus to his own thoughts, he could begin to spiral, and Five was no stranger to that situation-

“You gonna keep staring, or…?” Klaus joked, breaking Fives train of thought entirely. “Y’know, I’m flattered and all, but you’re my brother, Five-”

Five sighed, perhaps a bit too dramatically, and sat down next to Klaus. He locked his gaze onto his, narrowing his eyes. “You seem distraught.”

Klaus began to laugh, and Five, for the life of him, couldn’t figure out why. He just stared at his brother in annoyance, regretting his decision to talk to Klaus as each second passed. “What could possibly be so funny to you right now?” He demanded.

Klaus let out a final wheeze. “Nothing, nothing. And I’m fine, by the way, but your concern was so touching-”

“You’re not fine,” Five countered. “I saw how you were clutching the dog tags, Klaus.” Upon closer examination, Five suddenly realized that they weren’t even his. He leaned in, trying to read the engravery…

Dave Katz.

Five blinked dumbly at the dogtags, and, without thinking, he blurted the first thing that came to his mind. “Who the hell is Dave?”

Klaus’s expression morphed into something that Five couldn’t put a name to, which slightly bothered him, since Klaus was always an open book…

The room changed around them, and, in the blink of an eye, they were in a long, green tent with fold up beds and lanterns lined in rows…

“He was my boyfriend,” Klaus said, something that resembled a smile on his face.

Five mentally kicked himself. So much for not triggering the Void.

Five heard a crash behind him and whipped around, expecting it to be part of the memory but...

Diego was sprawled on the floor behind them.

“What the hell…” He grumbled. Vanya, Allison, Ben and Luther all seemed to be on the floor as well.

“Dude, I was sleeping,” Ben groaned.

“Where are we?” Luther questioned.

Five glanced back towards Klaus, who was staring at one of the beds. “One of Klaus’s memories…”

The room fell quiet.

The sound of crickets echoed throughout the tent.

Besides the patrol outside, everyone seemed to be sleeping, except two men talking to one another from their beds...

“Yeah, my brother’s not really the fighting type,” someone whispered. Five walked over and stood next to ‘current Klaus’, who was fondly smiling down at the man who was speaking. “He’s lucky he hasn’t been drafted. He’d be killed as soon as he stepped foot in the country,” the man laughed.

Five stared at him. He had short, curly hair and a long, built face...

This must be Dave. Which means...

“Oh, my one brother would love to be apart of this,” someone replied. Five glanced at the bed to the right and saw the familiar face of Klaus. He was laying on his side, facing Dave as he spoke.

“Really?” Dave said, trailing off. “Some people are just built like that, I guess.”

“Yeah,” Klaus murmured. “Just him, though. None of my other siblings would put up with this shit. No matter how insane our childhood was.”

Dave’s face formed a fond smile. “You never really told me about them.”

Klaus sighed. “What’s there to say? We’re not exactly a ‘picture perfect family’ if you know what I mean.”

They sat in silence for a moment, Dave staring at the ceiling, Klaus’s gaze resting on Dave…

“Well let’s start easy then,” Dave said. “What’re their names?”

Klaus smiled softly and took a deep breath, giving in. “Well there’s Luther, he’s a bit of a showoff...he’s the one that would love this. He was kinda...built for war? If that makes sense.”

Dave chuckled.

Five frowned. Dave took it as a joke.

He had no idea.

Five glanced towards Luther, who seemed torn between feelings of hurt and pride.

“Diego’s nice when he wants to be, but he’s an asshole most of the time…Allison’s nice...better now than when we were kids, anyway.”

He heard Diego make a small ‘tt’ noise.

“Then there’s Five, and yeah, that’s unfortunately his real name.”

Five stiffened.

What would Klaus say about him?

“He’s...complicated, but he’s getting there,” Klaus said. “Been through a lot, you know?”

Oh.

“Then there’s Ben, bless his soul. He kinda...follows me around a lot, helps me out.”

“He sounds like a great brother,” Dave said.

“Yeah.” Klaus smiled. “Last but not least is Vanya, who’s an absolute sweetheart…” Klaus trailed off, silence filling the tent once again.

Frogs croaked outside.

The sound of crickets grew softer.

“I’d love to meet them one day,” Dave whispered.

Silence hung between the two.

Klaus visibly swallowed. “Yeah…”

Suddenly a man in uniform stormed inside. “Go time, wake up! Move it, move it!” He yelled. People shot out of bed, throwing shirts and helmets on. “MyLai’s been burned down, we got orders to head south!”

Dave put on his helmet, tapping the top with his knuckles. “Duty calls.”

Klaus forced a smile, and gave his helmet a tap. “Yup…”

They grabbed their belongings and walked out of the tent, shoulder to shoulder.

The memory faded.

Five glanced around.

They were back in the kitchen.

Five considered himself smart. He figured out time travel by the age of thirteen. He has excellent survival skills, and happened to know countless of ways to kill someone, but, at the moment, his genius brain could only think of one, simple word to say.

“Oh.”

In fact, he was somewhat relieved. Based on past experiences, Five wasn’t entirely sure if the Void could bring good memories. Klaus’s wasn’t exactly happy, more bittersweet...but happy nonetheless.

“Klaus...” Ben began.

“You went to Vietnam?” Luther gaped. “When the hell did this happen?”

“Yeah, and why didn’t we know about this sooner?” Allison added, an eyebrow raised.

Klaus looked at his siblings sheepishly. “It was during the whole ‘the world is ending week’,” he protested. “By the time I came back, the whole family seemed hellbent on finding Vanya and stopping the Apocalypse, so I figured... I’d just tell you guys when we had the time.”

“Really?” Luther argued. “Not letting the others know about your own personal problems because there’s something ‘more important going on’? You’re acting like Five.”

Five shrugged. “Yeah, he’s got a point.”

“Oh God I am acting like Five, aren’t I,” Klaus groaned. “In my defense, though, dropping the ‘I time traveled back to Vietnam for ten months’ bomb isn’t as easy as it seems.”

“You were there for ten months?” Vanya asked.

“Yeah, woah woah, you never told me you were there for that long,” Diego protested.

Luther rounded on him. “You knew about this?”

“Yeah, cause I actually care about our brothers well being, dickwad!”

“If you really cared, you would have told-”

“Can everyone shut up for like two seconds!” Ben shouted. Everyone turned towards him. “Your brother just told you that he time traveled back to Vietnam, and the first thing you do is argue about it? Seriously?”

Everyone blinked dumbly in Ben’s direction.

Vanya let out a long sigh. “Are you okay, Klaus?”

Klaus stared at his sister, processing what she said.

“Do you want to...talk about it?” Luther asked awkwardly.

Klaus thought for a moment. “Maybe...sometime in the future. But not...not here.”

Not in the Void.

Five eyed Klaus up and down. Deflecting seemed to be a common skill of his, and Five needed to make sure that he wasn’t doing exactly that at the moment. Keeping this bottled up...it could only bring pain for the entire family. But Klaus seemed truthful in what he said, truthful in his promise to explain more, once they were safe from the Void’s power...

Five ran his hands through his hair and took a deep breath. He glanced around, taking his siblings silence as an end to the conversation. Grabbing his coffee cup, he took a loud sip to grab their attention. “Since we’re all here, we might as well address the elephant in the room.”

“Which is…?” Diego asked.

“Vanya’s powers,” Five stated.

Diego raised an eyebrow.

Luther looked down at his feet.

Vanya visibly paled. “What about them?”

“If we’re going to stop the Apocalypse, we need to teach you how to control your powers. Do what Reginald couldn’t.”

“How exactly does training Vanya stop the Apocalypse?” Luther challenged.

“I already explained this to you,” Five hissed. “Vanya will always be the cause. She loses control and somehow blows up the earth in each timeline. But if we train her and help her figure out her powers, she’ll never lose control in the first place.”

Five glanced at Vanya, who seemed two seconds away from throwing up. “Only if she wants to, of course,” he added.

For a terrible second, Five was afraid that Vanya was going to say no. His whole plan would be thrown off, his plan of starting over, his whole reason for jumping them back in the first place, but…

“Alright,” she said, her voice quiet. “But I want to start small. Nothing major...I still think I’m drained from…Icarus.” She mumbled.

Allison placed a comforting hand on her shoulder. “And if you ever wanna back out, we won’t judge.”

“So we’re gonna start training her? Just like that?” Luther asked.

Five resisted the urge to punch Luther right in the jaw. “What else do you suppose we do, Number One?”

Luther sighed. “It’s just...last time she used her powers, she completely lost control.”

“No shit Sherlock,” Diego spat. “But she only freaked out because of you-” he jabbed a finger into Luther’s chest- “locking her up in the basement.”

Five instantly lost what little composure he had. “You locked her up in the basement?”

Luther only seemed slightly deterred at the murderous look Five was giving him. “She was dangerous! Pogo told me that Dad-”
“Who gives a fuck about Dad!” Diego shouted. “He’s dead, remember? But even now you’re just his brainless soldier, doing everything in the name of Sir Reginald Hargreeves-”

“I am not a soldier,” Luther growled. “None of us were.”

Klaus let out a laugh.

“I leave you guys alone for a half an hour and you let him lock our sister up in the basement?” Five shouted. He whipped around, facing Luther. “What part of your pea-sized brain thought that was a good idea?”

“Look, Dad was afraid of her for a reason! I mean, look what her powers can do!” He gestured around, as if indicating everything proved his point. “She caused the Apocalypse!”

Five clenched his fists together, digging his nails into his palms...

“Can we stop talking about Vanya like she’s in the other room?” Ben argued.

“The last I heard of her,” Luther said, barreling on, “was from Allison telling me how Vanya was the one that slit her throat. How was I supposed to know that it was an accident?”

“Guys,” Ben protested.

“Because she told you, idiot!” Diego shouted. “Did her pounding on the glass and pleading forgiveness not register in your thick monkey brain? Allison even told you that it wasn’t her fault!”

“Allison was hurt, she didn’t-”

“Oh, I couldn’t think straight? I couldn’t make my own decisions?” Allison challenged.

Luther paled. “That’s not what I meant.”

“You’re Number One, aren’t you?” Five growled. “What’s your brilliant plan then? How do you suppose we stop the Apocalypse?”

“Dad gave her power suppressants-”

“Enough with Dad!” Diego shouted. “Incase you haven’t noticed, his choices are what ended the world in the first place!”

“Then we should-”

“We should what, Luther? Lock her up in the basement again?” Five shouted.

“Stop it!” Vanya shouted. “All of you, stop it!”

The room suddenly began to shake, dust falling from the ceiling above. Five whipped around, facing Vanya.

For a moment, she looked terrifying. Five could never comprehend how her loving, timid sister was the one to end the world, but looking at her now, watching the anger and frustration pour out of her, Five wouldn’t doubt it in a heartbeat.

Vanya’s eyes widened, noticing the fear in each of her siblings eyes. She glanced around, suddenly aware of what she was doing, the damage she was causing…

The house groaned in protest. The ceiling started to crack.

Her breath started to quicken, coming in short gasps of air as the rumbling grew louder and louder. She fell to her knees, her hands over her ears...

She was having a panic attack.

Luther’s eyes widened as he began walking over to her.

“Where are you going?” Allison shouted.

“She’s gonna bring the whole house down! I need to-”

“Luther, buddy,” Klaus said, dashing to try and stop him...

But Luther reached Vanya first. He grabbed her wrist and pulled, attempting to take her hands away from her ears...

Vanya gasped.

The room instantly stopped shaking.

Five stumbled as the scene shifted.

They were in Vanya’s bedroom.

Five glanced around, his gaze finally resting on a small, fifteen year old Vanya in the corner of her room. She was curled up into a ball, shaking. Silent tears streamed down her face as her breath came out short and rapid...

Five’s chest tightened. This was years after he’d left. He wouldn’t be the one to walk through the door and comfort her... Not this time. So who..?

The door swung open, and there stood Reginald Hargreeves.

Five never hated a man more.

Out of all people, he had to be the one to find her first? Where was Ben? Klaus? Why did someone let here sit here long enough for Reginald of all people to find her? Why-

“Number Seven,” he barked, but Vanya didn’t seem to hear him. She just wrapped her hands around her legs even tighter, hair sticking to the sides of her cheeks from tears.

Reginald closed the distance between the two in three, swift steps. He grabbed her wrist and pulled…

Vanya let out a strangled gasp, her whole body trembling now.

“Number Seven,” he ordered. “Tell me what’s happening.”

“I-” She inhaled sharply, her breath still not under control. “This f-” a choked sob escaped her lips. “-feeling I can’t-”

“Number Seven!” Reignald yelled. His grip on her wrist tightened.

“I c-can’t focus because this feeling-” Her breath became even faster now. “-it builds inside my chest and I can’t- I don’t know-”

“Describe what it feels like,” he ordered.

“My chest t-tightens and it’s like somethings gonna b-boil over and I cant- I can’t make it boil over it just keeps building and I need to do something but I-”

Something flashed across Reginalds face. Something Five couldn’t put a name to.

“It’s your anxiety,” he lied. Five’s shoulders stiffened. He’d been telling her that for years...

And it was a secret he would take to his grave.

“Have you been taking your daily medication?”

“Y-yes but-”

But Reginald was already standing up, moving towards the door to leave. He turned around, hand on the knob, taking in the sight of Vanya…

“You'll be taking two pills a day from now on,” he ordered.

Reginald Hargreeves slammed the door behind him.

Chapter Text

Twenty-two hours since Vanya’s memory.

Twenty-two hours of solemn, anxious expressions as each sibling’s fear of the void increased.

Twenty-two hours since Five locked himself in his room.

He needed to gain more knowledge about their location...find some solidity, some numbers, that he can lock onto and use as a foothold. He wrote equation after equation, testing platform after platform. His room turned into a jumble of chalk and numbers.

They couldn’t keep going like this. Five knew it, and he was positive his siblings knew as well. If their dysfunctional family was anything close to normal, the Void wouldn’t pose as such a problem. But his siblings weren’t normal. That matter was never going to change.

So they needed to leave.

And Five was the only one capable of figuring that part out.

And the longer they stayed here, the more damage occurred, Five knew that but after his ninth failed equation, he just couldn’t keep writing and the numbers blurred together...

Five took a deep breath, steadying himself. His siblings needed him. Just like always, it was up to him. He’d done it before, he can do it again. He just needed time…

He pulled at the strands of his hair and squinted his eyes shut…

He could practically hear Delores chastising him because he’d been running on empty for the past six hours, because he hadn’t eaten anything since yesterday-

God he missed Delores. She was the only one capable of pulling him out of his spiral, the only one capable of making him laugh these days…

The room changed around him.

With a quick glance around, he saw the unforgettable landscape of the Apocalypse.

Fuck.

Panic swelled in his chest, because what the hell did he think about this time to wind up here , and he met the rest of his siblings eyes and could tell they were thinking the exact same thing...

Footsteps approached and Five whipped around, spotting his thirty year old self, a box in his hands…He sat next to the fire in the center of their base and excitedly rummaged through his recent findings.

Five breathed a sigh of relief and smiled for the first time since they landed in the Void. He remembered this night so clearly...it had been one of the happiest nights while he was in the Apocalypse.

Five had found an old record player. He remembered throwing it into his wagon, hoping to give himself a brief moment of happiness since they were so rare these days…

He brought it home, back to the library, and excitedly told Delores about is findings.

Wonderful! He remembered her saying. We could use a night off.

Five couldn’t have agreed more.

He pulled out an old bottle of wine and drank a few sips, letting the record play…

Now Five glanced at the older version of himself, happily tapping his feet to the song. The older Five laughed at an unheard joke. The song ended, and Five got up to riffle through the box of records…

He gasped and pulled out a record, hastily setting it into position. Music instantly kicked up, Piano Man by Billy Joel…

Piano Man! He remembered Delores cheering. One of my favorites.

“Yeah, I know,” The older Five responded. Five watched himself walk over to the chair Delores was resting in. He picked her up, grabbing her outstretched hand and started to swing around in circles.

Son can you play me a memory?

The older Five started laughing, spinning wildly with Delores in his arms.

I’m not really sure how it goes.

The fire crackled and seemingly swayed to the rhythm.

But its sad and it's sweet and I knew it complete

The older Five started to sing along...

When I wore a younger man's clothes.

Something warmed inside Five’s heart and he found himself smiling again, because this wasn’t a memory of murder or torture for his siblings to witness...this was happy.

Five turned around to face his siblings, and his smile fell.

They all seemed uncomfortable and...sad.

Five couldn’t understand why. This was one of his good memories. He was laughing and enjoying himself, something so rare that his siblings should be glad this memory was shown, because there were countless of others…

But all of their expressions were ones of pity.

“That thing was your only companion, wasn’t it?” Luther asked.

Five opened his mouth to tell him that Delores wasn’t a thing , that she was more help than he’d ever been, but the words died in his throat. He looked at Delores, and, for the first time in forty years, didn’t see the kind, understanding face that he came to love.

He saw a mannequin with a plastic smile.

“Yeah, she-” Five stopped himself, his gaze still locked onto Delores- “...it was,” he finished.

He watched as the older Five swung the mannequin around, laughing for the first time in a year or so, the firelight dancing in his eyes, and that night, he could have sworn the firelight was dancing in hers too…

Except it wasn’t.

Five’s heart skipped a beat.

It never was.

“Five?” Someone asked. Five didn’t register who. He just kept staring at Delores- kept staring at the mannequin in his past-selves arms…

“I have so much work to do…” Five whispered.

He was gone in a flash of blue.

Chapter Text

Five leaned against the wall, arms crossed as he watched Vanya from across the training room. He couldn’t help but stare at her new haircut... sometime yesterday in an act of defiance she had chopped the majority of it off, giving herself a pixie cut. Five had smiled when he first saw it. She looked more confident. More herself.

Five watched Klaus wave his hands dramatically, retelling the time he accidentally got hairspray directly in his right eye. Vanya was giggling at what he said...

Five let out a groan, wishing for nothing more than to go back to his room to work on his equations but... this was Vanya. His sister who was terrified of her powers, but willing to use them once again. To control them for the sake of her family.

So if Vanya was here, he would be here to.

Luther watched from afar, having been ordered to butt out of her first training session due to his tendency to “take charge of situations”. A fuming Diego stood next to him.

Five jumped over to his other four siblings. “Let’s get this started, shall we?” He interrupted.

Vanya cleared her throat. “Yeah. Right.” She glanced at Allison, who gave her an encouraging nod
.
“In order for us to help you, you’re going to have to explain your powers to us. What they do, how you control them, etcetera,” Ben stated.

“Well, it’s sort of like an... out of body experience,” She began. “I first recognized it when I was auditioning for first chair...I thought I was just...connecting with my music. But then Leonard told me that I was connecting with the sound and turning it into energy.”

Klaus raised an eyebrow. “ Leonard told you that? Your creepy psycho boyfriend Leonard?”

Ben slapped him in the stomach.

“I...yeah. Harold actually taught me…” Vanya said. She rubbed her fingers together out of nervousness. “But I guess he was just reading it out of Dad’s book.”

“Dad’s book?” Luther piped up. “The red one he was always writing in?”

Vanya nodded.
“Do you think it would be in here?” Diego asked, turning to Five.

Five thought for a moment. If the Void could conjure all of their memories and an entire replica of the Hargreeve’s household… “Why not,” Five shrugged.

“If it is, it would be in his desk,” Klaus offered, a smug smile on his face.

“And how exactly do you know that?” Luther challenged.

“After he died, I stole it from his office to buy more drugs.” Klaus inhaled slowly. “Not my finest moment.”

Five was already stepping through the blue portal, heart pounding in his chest. He’d completely forgotten about Reginald's book...the old man’s prized possession while he was still alive. He had never allowed the seven of them to see what he had written. All Five knew was the quick-paced scribbling that occurred after each training session, the childhood curiosity to see what he was actually writing about him. Writing about them

He stepped behind the desk and pulled out the first drawer...second drawer...he threw papers onto the ground around him, his only coherent thought about getting the damn book when his fingers brushed a small, concealed button underneath the middle of the desk...Five pressed it, a smaller drawer sliding out from the side.

“Sneaky bastard…” Five murmured, grabbing the book like it was a lifeline. He flipped through the pages, skimming past Number One, Two ...finally reaching the start of his section. Number Five...

Pages were ripped out. Five flipped to the next, only to be greeted by Ben’s section. There was only one page about him remaining.

Five’s breath caught in his chest when he read the date.

 

September 29th 2001

Number Five asked about time-traveling once again. As previously informed, and as my previous answers have stated, I once again told him that he was not ready for such feat, but Number Five showed stubbornness comparable to a child, and ran out of the main door anyway. The current time is 22:47, and as of now, Number Five has yet to return. It is a small possibility that he had survived the experience of time-travel due to unauthorized training of his own after curfew, but if so, I would hardly expect him to return.
This proves disappointing, however, as I am one number short. I had hoped to use his assets to shape the earlier stages of the Umbrella Academy. My main concern however is how the rest of the Numbers will take this new absence of their sibling. Number Seven has especially grown attached to Number Five, but I have decided that this will not become disruptive to the overall teams progress since she is not actively on the field.
I will have to account for the loss in power, however. Number Four’s potential could be extraordinary, possibly account for the lack of Number Five’s abilities, if I simply schedule more personalized training for the boy...
Overall, the disappearance of Number Five is of no great loss.

Five’s vision blurred as tears formed at the corners of his eyes. The words ricocheted throughout his brain, his father's voice drowning out anything else…

The disappearance of Number Five is of no great loss.

That was it?
Had they even searched for him?

Had they even tried to find him?

The book fell out of Fives hands, thudding to the floor.

He had spent forty five years of his life with one soul purpose, one drive, one thing that stopped him from giving up and letting himself rot away in the Apocalypse- getting his family back. Seeing his siblings again.

Did they even care?

How long did it take for the household to go back to its normal routine?

How long did it take for them to get sent on another mission?

What excuse did Reginald make when the media asked about him? Did they tell them the same thing that he wrote down?

No great loss.

Five pulled at the strands of his hair, tears dangerously close to overflowing.

No great loss.

He fell to his knees, the book laying harmlessly in front of him.

Nothing.

“Fuck,” Five murmured, sucking in a shaky break. He couldn’t have a panic attack. Not here, not in the Void. His siblings would know what he found and...and they’d want to read their sections-

Oh, God, what did he write about them?

And this thought alone is enough for him to pull himself together, grab the book with shaking hands, and jump to his room.

He stumbled upon entry and fell to the floor with a thud, praying to each and every God that existed that his siblings didn’t hear…

His mind felt like it was on overdrive, swirling with overpowering thoughts. If he was this cruel in his writings towards Five, then...

What would he write about Klaus? He skipped to the section titled Number Four, his eyes fell on the words utter disappointment.

Allison? An insufferable, narcissistic creature...

Luther? Easy to manipulate...

Vanya? Utterly useless.

Five slammed the book shut.

He…

he couldn’t let them see this.

Not in the Void.

So, hands shaking, he stuffed the book underneath his mattress. He wiped away the wetness at the corners of his eyes. He sucked in a deep breath, forcing himself to calm the part of him that wants to curl into a ball and cry... sob into someones arms because fuck he’s so tired, so tired of fixing things, fixing broken things that aren’t possible to fix…

He jumped back to the training room.

Luther’s head popped up, excitement and hopefulness on his face. “Did you find it?”

“No.” Is Five’s response. He’s praying that his tone didn’t give anything away. Praying that they couldn’t read the hurt and betrayal on his face. Praying that they wouldn’t see through his steel wall that he always sheltered himself in, despite the obvious cracks and breaks forming because...

“No,” He repeats again. “I searched the whole house.” He locks his gaze with Luther's. “It’s not here.”

Chapter Text

Five’s chalk snapped in half.

He bit back a curse as he took a deep breath and stumbled back, viewing his wall of equations.

It wasn’t perfect, but he was getting there. Getting closer to saving his family from this hellhole crudely named the Void.

He rubbed his eyes and glanced sideways at his clock. 13:34. His legs felt like jelly and his eyes burned. Five paused, thinking past the sluggishness of his brain.

Food would fix his shakiness.

Sleep would lessen the burn in his eyes.

Food it is, Five thought, jumping down to the kitchen.

He almost stumbled into Luther, barely straightening himself in time. He was about to mumble a hasty apology before he realized that Luther was yelling at- Five’s eyes followed Luther’s gaze- Allison?

“Luther, I’m sorry but I just-”

“You can’t just brush me off like that, not after everything that happened when we were kids!” He argued.

Five had enough. “What the hell are you two going on about?” He grumbled.

Luther whipped his head towards him. “This is none of your business, Five-”

But the room began to sway as the scene changed around them. Five shut his eyes, fighting against the nausea.

Luther’s room came into view. His model plane still hung from the ceiling, space posters scattered across the walls. A younger Luther, maybe eleven years old, was laying on his bed reading a comic book.

His head perked up as someone knocked on his door. Luther sat up straight before shouting “Come in!”

Allison walked in the door, her hair clipped behind her ears. “Hey, Luther,” she smiled. Although this time, her usual confidence that came with being “Allison Hargreeves” wasn’t there. Five frowned, studying her face more.

She seemed nervous.

Five turned to his siblings, but apparently they couldn’t figure out what the fuck was going on either. Even Luther seemed confused…

But his eyes landed on Allison’s, and he knew this memory wasn’t going to be pleasant. She looked like she was about to throw up, her face pale and shaken.

The younger Allison spoke up again. “So Dad’s never said anything against us hanging out and...and I really enjoy spending time with you-”

“I like hanging out with you too,” Luther said, confusion on his face. Allison walked over and sat facing him on his bed.

“So,” Allison sucked in a deep breath. “I just wanted to tell you that I have a crush on you.”

Young Luther’s eyes went wide. “You do?”

Allison’s shoulders hunched. She picked at a blanket with her fingers. “Yeah...and I was wondering if you had a crush on me too,” she said, looking up at his face hopefully.

“I...Dad wouldn’t allow that.”

Allison’s face fell. “You don’t know that.”

“It would be a distraction to our mission,” Luther protested, growing more uncomfortable by the minute.

“Come on, Luther,” Allison whined. “Don’t you like me?”

“Yes, but-”

“Forget Dad for once, okay? How do you even know that he won’t allow it?”

“I know Dad better than anyone. He would say that it would be a distraction in the field, a distraction to training, a distraction to others-”

“So that’s all I am, huh? A distraction?” Allison said, her voice raising. Luther’s eyes grew wide.

“That’s not what I meant!”

“Then what did you mean?” She shouted back.

“Dad wouldn’t-”

“Forget about Dad for once in your life!” Allison shouted, her eyes angry.

“No, Allison! We have a duty to-”

“I heard a rumor that you loved me!” She shouted. Her hand flew to her mouth the moment the words were finished. She watched as Luther’s eyes glazed over grey before turning back to their normal color.

Five’s eyes widened in shock. He turned to the older Allison who was watching Luther, tears streaming down her face. Luther just stared at the scene before him, unmoving.

The younger Luther blinked, confused. “What were we talking about?”

Young Allison was breathing heavily. “I...I told you that I had a crush on you and I accidentally-.”

“I have a crush on you too,” Luther replied, a smile on her face. “Does this mean were boyfriend and girlfriend now?” He said with a chuckle.

“Only if you’re okay with that…” Allison said quietly, not taking her gaze off of his.

“Yeah,” Luther’s smile grew wider. “We’re gonna have to keep it a secret from Dad though…”

A red alarm sounded, followed by Pogo’s voice over the com-system.

Luther jumped off his bed, grabbing his domino mask from his nightstand. “Better go get ready.” He turned to her, an impossibly large smile on his face. “See you downstairs?”

Allison stood, a small smile crossing her face. “Okay.”

Allison ran out of the room, and with that, the memory faded.

They were back in the mansion. For once, the Hargreeve’s siblings were quiet.

“You rumored me?” Luther asked, his voice barely above a whisper.

Five winced. He’d scavenged dead bodies for supplies. He’d murdered more innocents than he can remember. But the gravity of this situation...the implications of what he just saw…

This was wrong.

Very wrong.

He knew his sister had used her power to get what she wanted. New makeup, more dessert, getting her clothing back from Kalus, but this?

He turned to his sister, who was freely crying now. She looked torn between walking towards Luther and bolting out of the room.

“You rumored me into loving you?” Luther asked. “How could-” His voice broke.

“Luther, if I could take it back I would in a heartbeat, I swear,” she pleaded. “I-I was eleven and I didn’t know better and-” she took a shuddering breath- “and by the time I realized what I’d done I couldn’t take it back.”

“Well duh,” Klaus joked, a forced chuckle in his words. Vanya placed a quiet hand on his shoulder, as if to say not now .

“I tried to leave, I even married someone else,” Allison said. “Maybe if I left... you would’ve forgot about your feelings for me but-”

“You think that would’ve worked?” Luther boomed, taking a step towards Allison. “I spent years alone in this house. Years alone on the moon constantly thinking about you! Wondering what I did to make you leave! Thinking of the time we spent as kids!”

Allison opened her mouth, but Luther cut her off.

“It was always about you Allison!” He shouted.

Allison’s jaw snapped shut, tears still streaming down her face. “I’m sorry,” she whispered. “I’m so sorry.”

The room fell silent. Allison’s crying echoed throughout the living room.

Five swallowed. For once in his life, he didn’t know what to do. He didn’t have a plan to fix everything, he didn’t have numbers to simply plug into an equation.

He felt helpless, watching the scene unfold in front of him.

All because of the Void.

Luther turned, his face wet, and walked up the staircase to their rooms.

Diego anxiously clenched and unclenched his hands before walking into the kitchen to find Grace.

Klaus bit his lip and turned to follow Luther.

Out of habit, Ben followed after.

Five glanced at Vanya, who seemed intent on staying and calming down Allison, who had sunk to the floor shaking.

Five teleported to his room, idly wondering if Reginald ever knew about the rumor.

He grabbed the red book and began skimming, swallowing the bile in his throat as he read the man’s cursive handwriting…

Today, after hearing Number One and Number Three shouting at each other, I began to walk to their rooms intent on reprimanding the children for their argument, when I heard Number Three Rumor Number One by surprisingly saying ‘I heard a rumor that you loved me-’

Five slammed the book closed.

Chapter Text

The house was quiet.

The house was never quiet.

Luther was heartbroken.

Allison was guilt-ridden.

Klaus was smoking a cigarette.

Ben was reading next to Klaus.

Diego was in the training room.

Vanya was reading the same music sheet over and over.

Five was sipping from a liquor bottle from Reginald’s cabinet. The red book was thrown lazily on the floor next to him.

He had to get his siblings out of the Void, it’s already taken far too much from them, but Five couldn’t figure out how to jump all seven of them out, so…

So he’d only jump one of them.

Logically, it made sense. Send himself back, his siblings forgetting the Void, forgetting the week leading up to the Apocalypse... Five would be on his own, but then again, when wasn’t he?

So he set to work, the dull burning sensation of liquor wearing off, and Five can almost hear Delores chastising his drinking habits, but he forced himself to shut her out.

She wasn’t real, she never was real-

He stood on his bed, writing until his chalk was reduced to a nub, before grabbing another piece and picking up where he left off.

Vanya appeared in his doorway a little later and patiently waits for Five to pause what he’s doing, but his frantic writing doesn’t stop so Vanya clears her throat and asks if he wanted to hear her play.

Five tells her later, because he’s close so fucking close to figuring out the equation to take himself back, pretend the Void never happened.

He doesn’t hear Vanya leave, but hours later he realizes that she hasn’t played her violin since Icarus Theatre.

Five makes a mental note to make it up to her later.

Klaus comes in hours later, and Five’s chalk is significantly smaller, but Klaus comes waltzing into his room, nothing on but a crimson skirt that was definitely Allison's.

Five remembers him making comments about Luther but Five isn’t really paying attention because that's not whats important right now.

Five only responds when Klaus puts his hand in front of Five’s face, his HELLO tattoo blocking his view of the wall. Five bites out a string of insults after Klaus suggests he goes to bed.

Hours later, Five’s body reaches its limit for the night as he falls onto his bed and doesn’t have time to move underneath the blanket before he passes out.

He remembers waking up sometime later to someone talking to him. A voice his tired brain couldn’t put a name to, but they kept talking nonetheless…

“Vanya’s doing okay with training, you know. Figured you’d wanna be there but you got more important fish to fry, huh, but Christ on a Cracker her powers are scary, aren’t they? I mean, just thinking about Icarus Theatre...”

Five fell back asleep.

He wakes up the next morning with water and a ham, mayo, and cheese sandwich by his bed, and Five instantly knows Luther must have brought it in because he’s the only one in this household who remotely likes this type of sandwich...

Five eats it anyway.

Ben came to visit him the next day, wondering if he wanted to join Klaus, Vanya and him for lunch.

“Busy,” Five muttered.

Five doesn’t remember Ben closing the door after he left.

The next day was Allison with a cup of water, wondering if he’d eaten anything recently.

Five snapped at her, biting out some remark about not being her child. Five doesn’t remember the details.

He hungrily chugs the water hours later.

He’s almost out of chalk. Can they get more chalk in the Void?

Diego appears a day later, demanding that he come downstairs and quote “be apart of this fucking family” and Five doesn’t remember his retort but he hears the door slam seconds later.

Five glances at the equations on his wall. He didn’t need Delores, didn’t need her to correct his otherwise obvious errors. He did this by himself.

Five swallows, his throat dry as he runs the equations through his head one last time.

The equations that would only send himself back.

He checked the equations on the wall.

He scrunched his fists together, blue surrounding his hands and wrists.

He had to do this.

He had to be prepared for sacrifices, that’s what he’s been doing all his life, wasn’t it?

He didn’t care if everything they’d been though, all the moments of bonding and understanding, they’d be gone, but it was either that or watch them suffer because of a mistake he made-

So he built up the power around him, the blue building and building until it surrounded him-

His powers flickered and dimmed with a pathetic crackle.

He clenched his fists a second time, the blue lighting up, only to die down again.

“Shit,” he murmured, because this felt all too familiar, felt too much like when he was thirteen, young and naive to the world, his only thought on saving his siblings from the Academy.

Nothing really changed, huh?

A hollowness settled inside him as he glanced at his four walls, all in chalk. A dull understanding washed over, a dull understanding as he suddenly felt like the same boy that ran from his father that morning.

Nothing really changed.

Five began to chuckle, a humorless laughter that he couldn’t control. He clenched his fists and begged for blue to appear, begged for his powers to take him back, take him back to when he was actually thirteen so he could fix everything. He wanted a do-over. Start fresh, because there’s no way he could screw up so badly again.

He wanted to start over.

Blue faded around his fists as the world tilted around him, Five grabbing onto his bed to steady himself as he felt wet blood trickle down his nose and over his lips.

There must have been something wrong in the equations. Some error he missed. He glanced at the wall, desperately trying to read the scribbles of numbers left behind.

Of course it didn’t work.

Why would it?

Five turned, and drove his fist through the wall.

The world seemed silent around him as the dust settled. He stared at the hole he made, felt the blood drip down his fingers from the wood.

He stood in silence, panting in anger.

Five’s head whipped around as his door flew open, turning with blood dripping down his nose as he met the face of Ben. His anger was instantly gone, replaced by this inane fear that Ben would get mad at him, scold him for locking himself away for the past few days.

“I’m sorry,” Five croaked, watching Ben’s gaze move from his to the wall. “I’m sorry i’m sorry-" His voice cut off as he realized that sorry wasn’t enough, he’s done too much already, and Ben crossed the room in three quick strides.

Five panicked.

Five jumped.

He reappeared surrounded by grey. Five cursed, realizing his mistake. He found himself standing in the middle of nowhere, grey fog as far as he could see.

He jumped outside of the academy.

He jumped into the void around them.

Normally, Five would have been fine. Normally, Five would have found a way to jump back to the academy.

But his hand ached and his head throbbed. He was sleep deprived, adrenaline wearing off.

The void was quiet. An odd sensation of calm overtook him.

This time, Five didn’t mind.

A bitter part of him told himself that he deserved this, he deserved to be here, away from his siblings. He’d done everything wrong, a chain reaction of bad decisions from the moment he left the Academy fifty years ago.

Five lowered to the ground and curled in on himself, blinking through the thick fog surrounding him.

His eyes grew heavy, equations flashing though his mind, and part of him knew that he should get back to the Academy, back to Ben, Vanya, the others. Part of him knew that he could easily die out here- there were too many unknowns but…

Five closed his eyes anyway.

He idly wondered what it would be like to disappear into the fog. Float around without a direction, existing without a purpose, drifting…peaceful.

Five found that he didn’t care.

If the Void wanted to take him...

Let it.

…….

Five opened his eyes, only to be greeted with the living room ceiling. He furrowed his brows, wracking his memory as the rest of his senses slowly returned. Someone was shaking his shoulder, and he turned his head only to be met with Diego’s serious face.

“Five,” Diego called. “Five.”

Five sat up, his head still pounding against his skull. Vanya was next to him, but her attention was elsewhere. She was watching…

Five instantly recognized the memory that was playing around them.

He watched himself slam the knife onto the table. “I have a question.”

One of his siblings must have triggered a memory, intentional or not, bringing him back to the base point of the Void.

“I’ve been practicing my spacial jumps just like you said. See?”

Five wondered what would have happened if he stayed.

“I’m not afraid,” Younger Five argued.

"Fear isn’t the issue..”

Maybe they would have stopped the Apocalypse the first time around.

Maybe they wouldn’t.

At least he would have been with his siblings in the end.

Tears stung at Five’s eyes as he watched himself storm out of the house. The boy would jump to the Apocalypse, survive forty years, get scooped up by the Commission, and become a murderer. Someone who would tear families apart just to get back to his own.

The Boy.

A survivor.

A killer.

Five flinched as a hand rested on his shoulder. His breathing hitched, taking in the comfort that he deprived himself of for so long. Ben’s face appeared in front of his own.

“Hey,” Ben said, giving him a watery smile. Tears slipped town Fives cheeks, breaking past his defenses as he felt his walls crumble around him. “Hey, it’s okay Five.”

Five leaned into Ben, sobs shaking his body as Ben loosely held him. He sobbed for their shitty childhood, he sobbed for his forty years in the Apocalypse, he sobbed for his time at the Commission. He sobbed because he’d never been allowed to, but here, surrounded by his siblings, wrapped in Ben’s arms, he felt safer than he has his entire life.

The world shifted around them, displaying a memory of Five crying in front the rubble of the Academy.

Seconds later, it changed into a memory of Five sobbing in front of poorly thrown together graves.

It changed to an older version of Five, quietly crying in a dingy hotel room, blood on his hands and clothes.

Five felt his head gently pulled closer to Ben’s chest, blocking his view of the memories around him. He relaxed into the hold, listening to Ben’s heartbeat.

Sometime later, he found himself being scooped up, by Diego or Luther, he didn’t know, but he found that he didn’t care where he went, as long as he could sleep…

He woke up again, laying in his bed, to someone running their hand though his hair, and he didn’t have the energy to bat the arm away, so he focused on the rhythmic motion and began to drift again.

Drifting.

Five didn’t mind drifting.

“You’re not alone anymore, you know that?” A voice said when Five was so close to falling asleep. “Why can’t you get that through your thick brain?”

Five hummed in response, but it probably sounded closer to a sigh. He’d deal with this conversation when he woke up. They didn’t have to know that he’s planning on leaving them. They wouldn’t have to worry.

For now, Five was fine with drifting.