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come and pick me up

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It would be a lie if Jay said that he had noticed Vanya Hargreeves four weeks ago. In fact, he’d hardly knew she’d existed at all, stuck in third chair, nervously plucking at her sweatshirt and apologizing loudly whenever she arrived late. If anything, Vanya was famous in their orchestra for being so forgettable, most people would forget to invite her to parties or hangouts and if they did remember she wouldn’t show up.

And sure, people knew things about her, since she’d been raised with the Umbrella Academy, (apparently), but it felt like one of those offhand things you’d mention as a part of Two Truths and a Lie. 

I have brown hair, I own a dog, I was raised with the Umbrella Academy. Then you’d watch everyone fail as they guessed the blindingly obvious lie only for it to explode in their faces as the truth came out.

At least that’s what Jay would do if he was Vanya.

Still, he didn’t really pay attention to her, not really interested in someone that seemed so uninterested in him.

But four weeks ago, something changed. 

It had been April 3rd, an ordinary day for Jay. He’d gotten some coffee before practice, fought off his neighbor’s dog that loved him way too much to be normal and grouched his way into the door. He’d plopped down on his chair and set his trumpet (that he’d affectionately named Jack) and waited. Waited for the other people to arrive, when Vanya walked through the door.

The first thing he’d noticed was that her hair was down and not in a bun, and she strode into the Icarus Theatre like she owned the place. He’d stared.

“Hey Jay,” she said giving him a little wave, “Good morning!” 

“Good morning,” Jay returned, “You look happy today.” He took a sip of his coffee, studying her as she pulled out her violin. She paused, thinking before responding, “I have been feeling a lot happier lately.”

“That’s nice,” Jay said, not sure how to respond to that. Out of the corner of his eye, he can see Marley entering the building, lugging her tuba, followed by Cole, the clarinet guy, clutching coffee like a lifeline.

Vanya waved at them too. They exchanged a glance of confusion before awkwardly waving back, heading up towards the stage to set up their instruments. Jay took another sip of his coffee, eyeing Vanya.

Now she had his attention.

After practice, Jay found himself back in the coffee shop with several other members of the orchestra including Marley and Cole. They sat at a table together discussing the everyday happenings of the orchestra when the subject of Vanya came up.

“She seemed different to me, don’t you think?” Marley said in her normal whispery voice, “She said hi to me this morning. I don’t think she’s ever talked to me before.”

“She was playing really well too,” said Helen, running a lip gloss over her thin lips, “I could sort of hear her behind me and she wasn’t playing the same.”

“After you bullied her into submission?” Jay said with an eye roll. It was well known in the orchestra scene that Helen’s motivating speeches tended to be on the more cruel end.

Helen slammed her lip gloss lip onto the bottle, glaring at Jay with her sharp gaze, “It’s not bullying, it’s the truth. She played like a child.” With that she cocked her head to the side, thinking, “She sounded better though, I’ll admit.”

“Wow, you know it’s real when Helen compliments you,” Cole scoffed, “She’s a major hardass.”

“Why are you saying that like we don’t already know that?” Jay rolled his eyes.

Helen scowled at him with her meanest look, something he’d grown numb to after a while of knowing her.

Jay snorted, and then looked down at his drink, "Maybe we should ask her to hang out soon."

"Are you kidding?" Cole said with an eyeroll, "Every time we ask her, she brushes us off. She thinks she's too good for us."

"Well," Jay hummed, staring out the window in contemplation, "Maybe this time will be different."

They’re about two hours into practice when Jay noticed the man seated in the back of the theater. And after he does, he can’t stop looking at him.

The guy looked thoroughly pissed off to be there, his scowl deep in his face, imprinted as though it was stuck there. His lip stuck out in an oddly child-like pout. But there's something in his face that Jay held onto, that kept his eyes on the man.

After another twenty minutes of observation, he realized it’s because the man is watching the violin section, and specifically Vanya. No matter which section of the orchestra made a noise or blared louder than the other, the man’s hawk-like gaze stayed on Vanya. It was definitely uncomfortable, creating a weird flare of protectiveness in Jay for his bandmate, even if he’d never paid attention to her before today.

Before he knew it practice was over and he found himself standing over Vanya as she packed her violin into her case. Jay crossed his arms over his chest as she stood up, turning to face him.

“Jay?” She asked, hefting her violin case over her shoulder, “Are you ok?”

“Yea,” he replied, not sure how to break it to her that there might be a creepy stalker watching her, “Just.. maybe I can walk you home?”

“Why?” she asked, her pale face filled with confusion, “Is something wrong?”

“Uhhh,” Jay’s eye went back towards where the man had been sitting, only to find that he was gone. Jay through a brief moment of panic, his head whipping back and forth to find the guy. He’s.. gone?

Then Vanya spoke,”Diego!”

Jay followed her eyes to see the man from before, clambering up onto the stage, still with a grumpy look on his face. He strode over to them wearing all black and… are those knives?

“Vanya,” he said cooly, barely looking at Jay, “I’m here to pick you up.”

“I know,” Vanya said, the end of her sentence falling flatly. Jay’s brain is about to collapse because this is way too awkward and since when was Vanya friends with creepy guys dressed in all black and wearing knives of all things?

“Oh, cool,” Jay forced out, deciding to get away from this interaction as fast as possible, “I didn’t know you were getting picked up. Sorry Vanya.”

“It’s ok Jay,” She said giving him a small smile, but Jay can’t ignore the way the other guy’s hands fly to his knives as though it’s instinct. Abort mission, he decided, taking a step back to flee with his life.

“Oh!” Vanya said with a little gasp of realization, which Jay would be lying if he said it wasn’t cute, “This is Diego.” Her hand swept towards the angry man at her side, “My brother.”

Jay stared. And Diego stared. And Vanya stood in between the two men with a hesitant grin.

“Pleasure,” Diego said, clipped and rude, not even bothering to stick out his hand to shake it. His hand instead stayed on his knife, fixing a terrified Jay under his eyes.

Jay’s brain is officially running on empty, all he can do is nod, “Likewise.” He needed more coffee because if he remembers his Umbrella Academy members right, he’s standing in front of the Kraken.

What the ever-loving fuck.

Jay’s brain just kind of accepted his fate at this point and with a glance at Vanya, he shoved his hand forward towards Diego for a shake. He’s ecstatic when Diego took it, his hand tight around Jay’s, only touching him for a minute before turning out the door and rushing out.

Vanya followed her brother out the door, giving him a small wave as she left and Jay blinked. 

He ended up running into Vanya about three days before their next practice at a small coffee shop because that’s where he always goes when he’s stressed. So when he spotted her there, he blinked a couple of times before finally getting the nerve to go talk to her.

“Hey Vanya.” he greeted, coming up behind her with a wave. She flinched, spinning around to spot him behind her, “Jay. I-uh- didn’t expect to see you here.”

“I’m always here,” He joked, tilting his coffee cup, “This is my second home now.”

She let out a slight giggle, brushing some hair behind her ear, “I’m sorry about Diego.” She apologized, adjusting her grip on the small purse she was holding, “He’s just..Diego.” she finished lamely. Jay snorted, “It’s all good. I was wondering, though, what was he doing there?”

Vanya tilted her head at him, confused and he hurried on, “You know, I knew you had a big family, but I’ve never seen any of them around before. I was wondering..”

“Right,” Vanya said awkwardly, her face flickering through a couple of emotions, “Um, my dad died about a month ago.”

And Jay is hit with the sudden and shocking realization that he’s an idiot and also probably the most insensitive guy on the planet. “Oh, god, I’m so sorry.”

“Nah,” Vanya waved him off, her face strained as though this is the worst topic he could’ve started this conversation with, “Most people don’t remember that he’s my dad anyways.”

“Sure,” Jay said, mentally slapping himself, “Hey.. I know this is sudden, but some of us are going to a small bar after practice in three days. Would you like to come?”

Vanya’s face twitched and she responded with a slight bite, “Would you like me to bring Diego too?”

Jay has a mental image of Diego, sitting at the bar with a knife in his hand and a glare on his face, “Hell no.”

Vanya’s angry face faded into confusion, “But then?”

“Diego isn’t my bandmate,” Jay said with a smile, “You are. And I don’t know anything about you at all. So consider this an opportunity to get to know you.”

“You want to hang out with me?” asked Vanya, puzzled before seeming to realize he’s being serious, “Yea! I’d love that!”

“Cool,” Jay said, walking out of the store with a wave “I’ll see you there.”

“Yea,” Vanya replied, her voice distant as though she couldn’t believe him “See you.”

Chapter Text

The first thing Jay learned about Vanya was that she may seem quiet, but she’s got simultaneously the worst and best sense of humor he’s ever heard.

“Have you ever noticed that Adam’s entire left face doesn’t move?” she asked them over drinks, “I’m pretty sure he got really shitty plastic surgery and he just doesn’t want to admit it.”

Cole practically choked on his drink, laughing so hard. Vanya laughed with him, her face slightly flushed with alcohol. Some of the others also chuckled at them before going back to their own conversations. Helen turned away as though she didn’t want to admit Vanya was making her laugh.

Vanya, finished with her laughing, brushed some of her sticky hair out of her face with a beam. She set her drink down with a clunk, “Sorry, I haven’t really drank this much in a while.”

“No need to apologize,” Cole replied with a drunken wave of his hand, before realizing what she’s just said, “You haven’t?”

“Not really,” She said, moving her shoulders a bit, “I’ve been on this anxiety medication for years and I recently got off it. Before that, I didn’t really drink that much. Try to avoid mixing, you know?”

“For years?” Marley asked, leaning away from the conversation she’d been previously been engaged in, “I don’t think that’s normal? You said, you recently got off it?”

“Yea,” Vanya had quickly shifted from open and happier to a lot more reserved and curled into herself, “I’d been on it since I was four.”

“Wait,” This time it’s Jay to interrupt her, “Since you were four?”

“Yea?” the end of the word is raised in a question, “Dad put me on it.”

“Your dad?” Cole asked, setting his drink down, his drunken expression gone, “Reginald Hargreeves?”

“Um-hm,” Vanya agreed, raising her glass to take another sip. Marley rolled her eyes, “He’s a dick, no offense Vanya.”

Vanya’s glass stopped halfway to her lips, her expression slightly curious, “None taken.”

“Did you know that he was asked to donate to several charities and he refused every single time?” Marley shook the table to emphasize her point, “He hoarded all his money for no reason!”

“All I can remember is that he competed in the Olympics,” Cole said with a shrug. Vanya snorted, “I forgot about that!”

“You forgot? If I won an Olympic medal I would wear it all the time, just saying,” Jay shrugged a shoulder, “I’d sleep in that thing.”

“Dad used to always wear a monocle,” said Vanya, her voice reflective, “We almost got into a fight about it one time.”

“You and your dad?”

“No,” Vanya laughed, “My siblings and I.”

“Right,” Marley said, contemplative, “You’re related to the Umbrella Academy. How does that work?”

“It’s,” Vanya gazed up at the ceiling as if asking the heavens above to give her the words, “Complicated. Jay met Diego a while ago.”

They all looked at her confused and she sighed, moving her hand, “The Kraken.”

“Oh! What’s he like?” 

An image of Diego with a knife in his hand flashed through Jay’s mind before he responded with the very intelligent word, “Scary.”

“You should see him at home,” Vanya said, “He’s a total momma’s boy. He’d do anything for our mom. He’s also a great dancer.” There’s a small smile on her face as she imagined her brother dancing.

“Huh. Never would’ve thought that from looking at the guy,” observed Jay, “He seemed a lot scarier than that.”

“I’ve seen him do so many stupid things at this point, that it’s hard to take him seriously,” Vanya replied, “It’s part of having siblings.”

“True,” Marley chimed in, “My sister is like that…”

As the conversation drifted to other topics, Jay found himself thinking about Vanya again. After all, she had never talked about herself before and now that she had, a lot of holes and questions he’d had about her were gone and filled, only for new ones to be added and dug.

Jay prided himself on being able to be able to understand people, because anything can be spilled over coffee and good long talks, but Vanya and her family were a puzzle he’d yet to find out. Of course, that was a precedent because they were technically famous and most famous people were extremely standoffish about their personal lives, not that he’d ever met one personally, it was just something Jay had observed. 

The Umbrella Academy were famous in many ways, they were child stars, they had super powers and they were also famous for the mass amount of conspiracy around them.

But upon meeting both Vanya and Diego, Jay had noticed one thing, they both seemed rather ordinary to him, even if one of them wore knives constantly, they were still people. Diego apparently was a momma’s boy and a good dancer, Vanya had a weird sense of humor and anxiety.

He’d always heard the phrase, ‘never meet your heroes,’ but he’d always assumed that it meant ‘never talk to people you admire because they’ll always disappoint.’

He was starting to wonder if it meant something else.

At the next practice, a week after Vanya had joined them for drinks, Jay found himself looking for Diego in the audience again. Not because he wanted to see Diego, but because he wanted to learn more about Vanya, even if through her brother. He was oddly disappointed to not spot Diego’s angry glare in the dark, but what he did spot was almost weirder.

There’s two guys in the audience, both weird-looking in their own right but together they look even stranger. One is decked out in a feathery purple coat and the other in all black leather. They’re quietly talking, with occasional laughter between the two of them and practically ignoring the orchestra. 

It’s rather rude of them to do that, but this isn’t the first time weird people have used the theater as refuge, so Jay kinda brushed it off, until the practice was over. Then the two of them head over towards the stage and right towards Vanya.

When he saw that, Jay managed to sneak a look at Marley and make a quick head-gesture towards Vanya. She heaved a sigh, shooting him an exasperated look before following him over to Vanya.

As they get closer they can begin to pick out the conversation taking place between Vanya and the two guys, “... he kicked me out of his room after three hours, can you believe that?”

“Yes, I can,” Vanya said dryly, “I would kick you out too.”

“That’s what I told him,” said the guy in black leather, “No one wants to listen to Britney Spears that long, much less the same song.” He then turned towards Vanya, “You have no idea how many times I’ve heard that song, sticking around him for thirteen years.”

“I’m sorry that I think that song is good!” whined the guy in all purple, “It’s a classic.”

Vanya opened her mouth to reply, before noticing Jay and Marley heading over. She instantly snapped her jaw shut and into a smile, though it did look a bit strained, “Jay. Marley. This is…” Her gaze flitted towards both guys next to her, “Klaus and Ben.”

The guy in purple, (Klaus? Ben?) spun around to greet them. In the back of his mind, Jay registered that he’s wearing glittery purple uggs, before he’s practically smothered by the guy. The sharp smell of cologne mixed with perfume lingered in the air around him, practically clinging to his clothes. I’m going to have to wash these later, Jay thought dizzily as the purple guy shook his hand.

“I’m Klaus!” He said with a beam, “Vanya’s favorite brother!”

“You aren’t my favorite,” said Vanya with her now familiar dry tone, “Ben is.”

Ben shot Klaus a triumphant look, a look that told Jay that they were definitely brothers. And now that he had gotten a good look at Ben’s face, Jay was even more confused because there’s something off… about him.

The best way to describe it was… ethereal? He almost looked non-human, when he shifted back and forth he seemed to flicker and there were small white particles around him. It made Jay incredibly nervous, but honestly Klaus wasn’t much better.

Aside from his all purple outfit that look like he’d simply waltzed through Goodwill and threw everything purple onto his body, Klaus had a manic gleam in his eye that made Jay nervous. It screamed “I will rob you blind and most likely enjoy it,” so when Klaus threw one of his arms around Jay’s shoulders, he stiffened.

“Well, Jay’s my new best friend now,” He told Ben, sticking out his tongue at his brother, “He’s the one who can bitch to me about seeing the ocean and getting waffles.”

“I still can’t eat,” Ben rolled his eyes, “You need more practice.”

“Practice smcatice,” Klaus waved a hand idly. Jay caught the black flash of a tattoo on his palm, “You and Five can iss meinen arsch.”

“Is that German?” Marley asked from where she was hiding behind her tuba, “It sounds German.”

“Yea!” Jay let out a small breath of relief when Klaus got off him, turning his gaze onto Marley, “You speak it?”

“I learned it in high school,” she said with a shrug. Jay wondered how she could be so calm while under Klaus’ stare. However when he averted his gaze from Klaus, he spotted a small flinch from Vanya. Wonder what that’s about?

“Ohh, high school,” Ben breathed, “We didn’t go to that.”

Marley stared at him, “You didn’t?”

“Nah,” He shrugged his shoulder, “We were home-schooled.”

“Oh,” It was clear from Marley’s tone that she thought they hadn’t been to school at all, “I would’ve rather been homeschooled than go to high school, it sucks.”

Klaus made a face, “I’d rather go to high school. It seems like fun.”

“The only experience you have with high school is watching High School Musical everyday for a month once when we were fifteen,” Ben shot back with a scowl, ignoring Marley’s bark of laughter.

Klaus puffed a sharp breath, “It’s also a classic.”

“You say that about everything,” Ben said with a long-suffering sigh, “Everything you like at least.”

“Hey,” This time it’s Vanya speaking, “We’re supposed to be back at the mansion for curfew in thirty minutes.”

“Fuck,” cursed Klaus, “I hate curfew.”

Poor Jay’s head is broken at this point because mansion? However out of all the questions spinning around his head, he managed to voice one, “Curfew?”

“Diego’s idea,” Vanya said with a tired look at Klaus, “He put it into place after April Fool’s Week.”

Marley’s obviously as confused as he is because she asked, “April Fool’s Week?”

“It’s a code word,” Klaus said breezily, “Come on Van, we should get home before Diego gets the entire squad to hunt us down.” He reached for her arm to gently tug her away from Jay.

“Right,” She agreed, compiling with Klaus by setting her arm into his grip, “I guess I’ll see you guys later.” She gave them another wave as she was literally dragged out the doors by Klaus, Ben following lazily behind them.

Marley and Jay watched them go from the stage, their instruments in their hands and an awkward silence between them, before Marley blurted, “Is it just me, or did Ben just walk through the door?”

It wasn’t just her.

Chapter Text

Over the course of the next several weeks, the wackiness of the Hargreeves had comfortably inserted itself into the Icarus Theater. Klaus and Ben showed up often to walk Vanya home after rehearsals. Klaus’ outfits grew more and more odd by the day and there had even been a betting poll at one point to try and see what he would wear next (Jay had won almost 20 bucks off that thing.) 

Ben had also revealed he was dead, because that’s a thing that could happen, with a casual jab at his own funeral. Marley had spent the entire hour, shoving her hand through him and laughing while Ben shot Klaus exasperated looks.

Another thing that happened was Diego, who started showing up along with Klaus and Ben after he’d heard that Cole went to the gym he worked at. His constantly angry expression had loosened up and a couple of times, Jay had actually seen him laugh at something Klaus said. The knives also lessened with time, until there were maybe one or two dangling off his belt.

“He’s also extended curfew,” Klaus had told him one day, conspiratorially, “I told him that he’s getting soft.”

Jay laughed along with him. Klaus had a weird energy about him that Marley called ‘chaos hippie,’ a name he’d adopted with enthusiasm. It had taken a couple of visits to get used to but now, Jay could say the Hargreeves had grown on him like a weird… glowing mold.  

And in the middle of the entire storm of crazy was Vanya with her dry humor and small frame. Her sarcastic commentary combined with oddly reclusive habits brought up a lot of questions, but Jay wasn’t one to pry so he let her reveal what she wanted to.

He did read her book though. 

Diego had mentioned it offhandedly at one point, while describing something to Cole. And Jay, curiosity peaked, had picked it up at the local library, (which now had a ban on drunk teenagers, what was that about?) and read it.

And instantly, he’d understood her a bit more, why she’d been so closed off beforehand, but he wondered, When did things change?

But again, he wasn’t one to pry so he let it be and enjoyed having the Hargreeves’ weirdness around

It’s nearing the end of practice on a cold rainy Tuesday and for the first time in a while, Jay hasn’t seen any of the Hargreeves in the theater, which is weird.. Normally he could hear conspiratorial whispers or shouting, but it’s practically silent apart from the music playing. He wondered if Vanya had noticed it yet.

When they were on break and getting water, he spotted the forlorn look on her face as she glanced at the empty seats. She’d definitely noticed. He’s about to head over when there’s a tap on his shoulder and he turned, startled to be face-to-face with an extremely pretty blonde lady.

“Hi,” She said with her musical voice, “Are you Jay?”

He managed a nod, ”Yea, that’s me.”

“Great,” She said adjusting her grip on a big bag in her hand, “Klaus told me to come find you.” She jutted out her hand to shake, “I’m Allison.”

“Allison?” he said taking it firmly, frowning as he took it, “Like Vanya’s sister?”

She laughed, hand flying to her mouth, “That’s the first time I’ve been addressed as Vanya’s sister and not movie star.”

“Oh,” Jay backtracked, “uh..”

“No, no,” Allison’s eyes are warm, “It’s nice.” She lifted the bag with a smile, “I just flew in from LA and Vanya doesn’t know I’m here yet. I’m going to surprise her. Klaus said you might be able to help?”

“Uh, that’s not really my thing?’ He tried, looking over his shoulder for Marley. She seemed like she would know something about this. He can’t see her anywhere, but he does meet the eyes of Cole and quickly gestured for Cole to come over. Cole sauntered over, something pretty funny for a guy carrying a clarinet before spotting who Jay was with, “Allison Hargreeves?”

“Yea,” Allison’s hand lifted in a practiced wave, “That’s me.”

“Wow,” Cole gaped at her, “I loved you in Obsession.

“Thanks,” Allison says lamely, “It was one of my favorite ones to film.” Then they stare at each other, Cole and Allison, before Jay interrupted, “Hey, we’re surprising Vanya?”

“Right,” Allison finished, “Well, I wanted some help while doing it, but maybe I’ll just wing it?” She doesn’t sound exactly enthusiastic about it. Cole laughed, “Nah, you have to go all out. You’re Allison Hargreeves!”

“I guess,” She said, still hesitant, “It might be better to just be myself and go greet her.”

“I like that,” Jay told her as she smiled, “Just wait till practice is over.”

“Of course,” said Allison, “I know that.” She stepped back into the dark, gesturing at them to go back to practice and ignore her.

It was kinda impossible to ignore her at this point, but Jay and Cole did their best, only letting their eyes slid over to where Allison was crouched in the seats a couple of times. The moments seemed to last forever until practice ended. 

Vanya put her violin down in her case with a clunk that somehow managed to sound sad, and when her back was turned, Allison scurried up onto the stage and managed to right herself just in time as Vanya turned back around, dropping her violin case as she spotted her sister.

“Surprise!” Allison said, widening her arms, “I’m back!”

“You’re back!” Vanya said happily, her arms twitching at her sides like she simply wanted to throw her arms around her sister, but she stayed still. However Allison had no such precautions and gave Vanya a massive hug, towering over her. Jay watched the two sisters embrace with a smile.

Eventually, they pulled apart, Allison’s back is to Jay but he can see Vanya’s face from here, her smile is flushed and the biggest he’s ever seen. 

“Hey,” Allison said with a smile, “I got permission from Diego and Luther to go to dinner tonight, so we’re going to eat right now.”

Vanya brushed some of her hair behind her ear, “Oh.. ok. Let me just put my violin back in my apartment and..”

“Nah,” Allison waved her manicured hand, “Just take it with you. No one cares at all. In fact,” She lifted the violin case herself, “Oh this is heavy. God, Vanya, you carry this everyday?”

“Yea,” Vanya said, slightly flushed, this time picking up Allison’s purse and the other gift bag, “It gets easier.”

The two of them begin to leave the theater together, Vanya taking one look behind her to glance at Jay with a wide beam before disappearing with Allison out the door.

Suddenly there was a new addition to the Icarus Theater Hargreeves visitors, Allison would now show up with coffee and doughnuts in hand and a story to tell.

It was the presence of Allison that really began to attract attention from the other orchestra members, who had simply been ignoring the Hargreeves. Allison, like the champ she was, easily took it all in stride, even bringing a pen to sign autographs and chatted with fans of hers that were in the orchestra. Ben also became quite popular because of his general ghostliness and apparently he was a fan of reading?

One unexpected outcome from this new mass of people hanging out with the Hargreeves was the new mass of attention on Vanya. Suddenly, she was thrust into the limelight simply because she was their sibling and it was clear from her expression, she wasn’t used to it at all.

She’d stumble her way through names and become flustered by attention. One time when they were all sitting together eating sandwiches, Vanya had expressed her displeasure with the circumstances, “They used to not even know my name and all the sudden they want to be friends? That’s bullshit.”

“It’s the life of a celebrity,” Klaus sighed dramatically, “You’re famous now Van.”

Her nose wrinkled as though she’d stepped in dog shit, “Ew.”

“Ew indeed,” Allison said, chewing on her weirdly ordinary-looking sandwich, “Fame sucks, Vanya. You gotta pick your people.”

“Then I’m only picking Luther,” Vanya said definitively, “He’s big, he’ll scare everyone away.”

“Yea, until they figure out he’s allergic to cats,” Ben snorted, “Then all they have to do is throw cats at him.”

Diego laughed at the image of cats flying at their brother’s face, “He’d hate that.”

“Who’s Luther?” Marley asked suddenly from where she was polishing her tuba, “You have a lot of siblings Vanya, I get confused.”

“Luther’s Spaceboy,” Vanya said, “He doesn’t like leaving the house. He’s embarrassed.”

“It’s bullshit. Just because he looks like he ate the moon doesn’t mean he has to act like it,” Klaus waved a hand ideally, “He needs some sun.”

“Five hates leaving the house too,” Ben pointed out flatly.

“He still hasn’t gotten new clothes and it’s been almost two months,” Allison’s face was contemplative, “We need to take him shopping.”

“He won’t go,” Diego argued, “Too many people.”

“Goddamnit Five.”

Jay blinked, “So we still haven’t met two siblings?”

“And you might never,” Klaus answered, “Those two don’t like being social or… people.”

“Huh,” Cole said just as Marley shrugged, “That’s relatable.”

“In a way,” Ben was staring mournfully at his sandwich, “It’s also annoying during Family Dinner Night.”

“I’d assume so,” is really all Jay can reply with because this is more Hargreeves family bullshit he doesn’t really feel like picking apart right now.

“Has anyone notice the mass amount of plants around our house?” Klaus asked suddenly, turning to the other siblings, “Or am I hallucinating again?”

“No, I’ve been buying Luther plants,” Allison said, “He likes them.”

“Huh.” Klaus sniffed, “Because there was one labeled “Diego” and I saw it this morning and thought Dee had turned into a plant overnight.”

“It depends on what kind of plant it is,” Vanya pointed out, with a bite of her flutternutter sandwich. 

“Please tell me it was a cactus,” Ben pleaded with Klaus, who grinned back, his smile telling them all everything they needed to know.

The Hargreeves howled with laughter at the expense of Diego and his sandwich, which looked like it was being strangled. Mayo dropped down Diego’s arm and he glowered at the floor, but Jay couldn’t miss the fond smile on his face.

Yep. The Hargreeves has definitely grown on him at this point.

Chapter Text

“Oh hell no,” Marley growled while looking through her calender on a warm Thursday morning. Allison, who had been reading a parental therapy book, leaned over to see what Marley was groaning at, “What’s wrong?”

“We have an extended rehearsal tomorrow,” whined Marley, showing Jay and Vanya the date written down, “We’re gonna be at Icarus so long tomorrow.”

“Extended rehearsals suck,” Vanya agreed, “I always feel like a zombie afterwords, just kinda stumbling around and dying.”

“Well,” Allison said, adjusting her seat, “At least it’s not a midnight shoot. I always hate those. The aftermath is never pretty.”

“I bet it’s just as bad,” Vanya moaned, “Just when I thought I might have an actual week of sleep.”

“You could always use sleeping pills,” Cole suggested, walking into the room with a tray of coffee, that’s gone in seconds, “That’s what I use after those practices.”

Vanya’s face crinkled like her coffee was pure lemon, “No way am I ever touching medication ever again.” Allison looked away uncomfortably.

“Ok,” Cole said with a sigh, “Guess I can’t help you with that.”

“It’s cool. I’ll survive,” Vanya’s tone is strong but her face looked like she’d rather drop down dead.

“Well, one of us will be there to walk you home,” soothed Allison, “So at least you won’t be heading home alone like you used to.”

“Yea,” murmured Vanya. A flash of concern filled Jay’s heart at the knowledge that Vanya used to walk home alone from rehearsals. As a smaller woman, she could easily be targeted for any kind of nasty attack and with her famous siblings, she could easily be recognized as the seventh Hargreeves. As far as he knew, the Hargreeves had only really been doing this for a couple of months, maybe three at this point?

Jay wondered how many nights Vanya walked alone in the pitch-black, scared out of her mind and afraid for her life.

It’s almost sickening to realize that he could’ve done something to help her, even if he didn’t know her well at that point. He could’ve done something even if it would’ve seemed like an inconvenience at the time. 

But, he’s here now and he’s basically swore his life to the Hargreeves at this point. He’s not going to let that happen again.

The extended rehearsal dragged on and on, and Jay was tired. He could feel it in the burning of his arms everytime he lifted Jack (the trumpet) up for another song, He could feel it in the tightness of his lungs and the screaming of his back, (Dammit he’s getting old.) He could even see it in the glare of the lights which had seemed fine at the beginning of practice but now stabbed his eyeballs with their intensity.

So when the conductor finally announced that rehearsal was over, Jay practically collapsed with relief, sagging in his seat. He stood up, stretching his legs and prepared Jack to head home, ready to collapse back into his bed and sleep for a million years. But first..

Jay has to make sure everyone gets home safe.

Cole and a couple of the others are gone almost instantly, ready to go die in their beds for half a day. Marley left a bit after, giving Jay a wave which he returned. He turned back to the stage, looking for Vanya, only to see her in a deep and intense discussion with Helen. Knowing Helen, she’s probably not going to let Vanya go anytime soon, so Jay decided to find the designated “walking Vanya home’ Hargreeves sibling.

He’s looking for a flash of a neon color, or black leather, or blonde-dyed hair when he spotted movement in the seats in the third row, so he headed towards it.

He’s surprised to see a thirteen year old kid there. 

The kid was curled up in the seat with a massive textbook on his lap, he was currently staring at it with an intense glare as he whipped out a highlighter and highlighted something on the page. Next to him on the opposite arm of the chair was a tray of coffee, four cups all from different stores. Jay counted two Starbucks, one Peet’s Coffee and a Coffee Bean. He’s decked out in a school uniform though it’s not from any schools Jay knew around the area, so after thinking it over a bit, Jay realized, “He’s probably a Hargreeves.”

Because only a Hargreeves would, really.

After figuring that out, it’s easy to guess which of the two unknown Hargreeves he is, so Jay took a leap of faith and plopped himself down next to the kid.

“Hello Five.”

The kid’s head snapped up and he stared at Jay with more intensity than he’d stared at his textbook. His eyes darted up and down Jay’s body before he sighed, “What do you want?”

“You’re here for Vanya, right?” Jay asked gently, as to not scare the kid off because if he remembered Diego correctly, Five and Luther weren’t too keen on talking

Five scowled before nodding begrudgingly, “I am.” He shut his book to give Jay a glare, “Is that all you wanted to say?”

Jay blinked, startled at the aggressive tone in the kid’s voice, “Well, I’ve met your siblings and I thought.” Five moved his hand to stop him, “I don’t need to hear it. You want to meet me. But I already know you.”

What? Jay tried to ask, but Five’s hand is still raised so he remained silent as Five spoke again, “Jay Lockwood. Forty-four years old, Graduated from Michigan University with a music degree. Got a DUI four years ago, but it was cleared.” He turned his head to give Jay a hard look, “Need I go on?”

Wh- what? Honestly, he thought he’d seen the extent of the Hargreeves weirdness when Klaus had shown up to the Theater in a full flamenco dress, but this is a whole new level of weird.

Five went back to his textbook, apparently sure he’d scared Jay away by listing things about him. Like Jay was going to let that stop him.

“Ok,” He admitted, “You do know me in a way. But do you know that I know the best place to get coffee in town.”

Five’s highlighter slowly went down and his eyes turned towards Jay, still full of mistrust, but now interested. Jay beamed, trying to steel his nerves, “Yea, I could show you some time if you would like.”

The kid bit his lip before putting the cap on his highlighter and looking at Jay, “Why would you do that?” His tone is still full of skepticism and Jay just wanted to slap some sense into him, because Jeez kid not everything is a threat. Jay shrugged at him, “Because I want to get to know you, just like your siblings.”

“Oh,” Five said with a weary blink, “That’s..” He doesn’t finish, but the mistrust leaked out of his form a bit, so Jay counted it as a win.

Jay and Five sit in silence, watching the interaction between Vanya and Helen on stage. It doesn’t seem aggressive, which is good since Jay can imagine a clash between the two of them ending in absolute chaos. The theater would probably collapse. 

Eventually, Vanya headed over to them, a tired sag in her walk. Her eyes brighten when she spotted Five, who silently handed her one of the Starbucks from his tray. It’s still warm. Vanya took it with a sigh, “Thanks Five, but are you sure we should be drinking coffee at midnight?”

“I never sleep anyways,” He replied with a shrug, packing up his textbook and highlighters. It doesn’t take very long. He picked up the coffee tray, picking out the remaining Starbucks before chucking the entire tray behind him. The clatter of two empty coffee cups hitting the stage is the only sound for a second before Five brushed past Jay, “Let’s go, Vanya.”

“Right,” She said, pointedly not looking at the mess Five had left all over the floor, “Jay, would you like to walk with us?”

He shook his head, “I have a car tonight, but I’ll see you next practice?” She nodded, agreeing, “See you.” With that she took off running after Five, who hadn’t stopped walking as they were talking.

Jay watched her go with a sigh, before heading over to the stage to go pick up Five’s coffee cups.

If Jay was honest, he wasn’t expecting Five to take him up on his offer. It had merely been an attempt to connect with him, not really something Jay though Five would be interested in despite the mass amount of coffee cups he’d had with him.

So Jay was surprised when during the next orchestra practice, Five followed Klaus and Ben into the building to pick up Vanya. Five didn’t have his textbook with him this time, but he did have a look of horror on his face at the neon pink leather jacket Klaus was wearing.

So typical Hargreeves stuff.

When practice finished, Marley immediately started laughing, “I love your outfit Klaus!”

“Thank you!” He shouted back across the entire theater, “It’s very bold, don’t you think?”

“I think it looks like a flamingo died on top of him,” said a young voice near Jay, who jumped almost a mile until he saw it was Five next to him. How did he… get here?

“But that’s Klaus for you,” Five continued, ignoring Jay’s initial jump, “He’s always doing something weird.”

“Uh huh,” Jay agreed, “He really is.”

“Hmm,” Five hummed, shifting his feet back and forth in a weirdly adorable shuffle, “I suppose. He started naming all of Luther’s houseplants after us.” He wrinkled his nose, “I’m an iceplant.”

“Seems like it suits you,” Jay tried, because Five is hard to read with his constant moving. Thankfully, Five seemed amused by his answer, “I suppose that’s true.”

Jay and Five continued to stare at each other until Five broke the silence again, “What’s the coffee?”

“The what?”

“The coffee place,” Five raised an eyebrow, “I’ve been searching the city for a good one after Griddy’s was set on fire. Most of them are too sweet for me right now. I’ll go back after I get used to sugar again.”

As with most things, Jay simply let the very concerning comment go, “It’s the tea shop on 14th. It’s a well-kept secret that they have great coffee there.”

“Oh,” Five fell silent, probably thinking of what tea shop Jay was thinking of, “Thank- thanks.” The word sounded unnatural on his lips and he turned away from Jay, disappearing in a flash of light and a little pop, reappearing next to Klaus, who barely batted an eye, simply allowing Five to swoop in on the conversation he’s having with Ben and Marley.

Jay watched him go before reaching over to grab Jack from his stand. When he stood up, Vanya was there.

“Are you ok?” She asked him, filling him with confusion. “Yea, why wouldn’t I be?”

“It’s just,” She shot a look at Five, “Five’s less tactful than Klaus when it comes to talking, which is saying something. I just wanted to make sure he didn’t say anything.. Too aggressive.”

“No, he’s fine,” Jay said with a grin, “It’s not any weirder than normal with you guys.”

“Ok, good,” Vanya breathed a sigh of relief, “We’ve been trying to get Five and Luther out of the house and Allison finally convinced Five out on Friday to pick me up from rehearsal. I just wanted to make sure he wasn’t being too... “  She paused not able to find a word to describe Five, “Five.” She finished lamely.

“He’s fine,” Jay insisted, “I’m used to it at this point.”

“Ok,” Vanya breathed, “That’s good cause if Allison has her way, Five’s going to be here a lot more. He needs the practice.”

“That’s fine with me,” Jay said, snapping his trumpet case shut. 

Vanya beamed, “I’m glad. And you finally won’t be the oldest person in this building anymore.”

“I’m sorry, what?”

Chapter Text

After a couple of brief arguments that Jay was lucky enough to only get a glimpse of, Five was now a regular at the Icarus Theater. He’d sit grouching in the corner near whichever one of his siblings had come with him that day. It was common to see him with highlighters and textbooks, all college level and thick.

When Jay asked him what he was doing with the textbooks, the only thing he said was “corrections.”

Jay hadn’t asked him again. After all, how was he supposed to? According to Vanya, Five already had twenty years on him and Jay was always taught to respect your elders, even if they always had a pissy expression and stood almost two feet underneath you.

It was confusing, but hey, he’d already accepted so many Hargreeves things as fact at this point that he didn’t think anything would surprise them at this point. If someone told him that they had a robot mother or that the world was ending, he’d just shrug and take it at face value.

Today was another one of those weird days, where the dynamic of Klaus, Five and Ben sat together in the seats of the Icarus Theater and loudly debated the worst topics known to man. The topic currently was whether it was possible for Klaus to talk to George Washington.

“All I’m saying is that his ghost has been around for a long time and it’s entirely possible for his mind to be gone by now,” Klaus argued, throwing his arms up in exasperation, “Almost two hundred years as a ghost has to do something to your head.”

“Yea, but you’re not denying the fact that you could talk to the ghost,” shot back Ben with a smirk, “Even if all it does is scream at you.”

“I don’t want to be screamed at! It makes me sad.”

“Then why do you stay in our house?” Five asked slyly, turning a page in his textbook. Klaus jabbed a finger at him angrily, while Ben snickered, “Because I care about you, dickholes.”

“Klaus, don’t be gross,” Ben teased.

Five rolled his eyes with an odd air of fondness, while Klaus sputtered at him, “Last night you told Diego that you’d die for him.”

“It was a JOKE. I’m already DEAD.”


“The joke is that I can’t die TWICE.”

“We could test that theory.”

“And how are you going to kill me this time, Klaus? With your hands?”

“No, I’ll just ask Five.”

Five sighed heavily, “I’m not allowed to assassinate anyone else. Luther and I wrote up a no murder contract.”

It’s a miracle that no one else in the theater turned towards the Hargreeves and stared as the words, ‘assassination’ and ‘murder’ casually flew out of Five’s tiny mouth. But, Cole did, his head whipping around to stare at the Hargreeves in absolute horror, after all as far as most people in the theater knew, Five was simply a thirteen year old kid in his siblings’ custody. But Marley just kinda looked amused, so Jay basically knew she was in the same mindset as him at this point.

“It can only get weirder from here.”

With that, Jay raised Jack up again, preparing for the next round.

With Five becoming a regular at the Icarus Theater, Jay knew it was only a matter of time before the last Hargreeves sibling, Luther, folded underneath Allison’s withering glare. If Allison could get someone as bitter and tired as Five to get out of the house, the last one standing wouldn’t last much longer.

It turned out he was right, when Five appeared in the theater without his textbook, but with a coffee (one from the coffeeshop Jay recommended) and was followed by the most massive guy he’d ever seen in his life. It was comical to see tiny, little, angry Five seated next to the other guy, which he presumed to be Luther, who had tired eyes and a soft smile. The phrase gentle giant came to mind.

The two of them were a bit odd together, but they seemed relatively relaxed as they launched into a quiet conversation, so Jay closed his eyes and let the music play.

When practice was over, he found himself following Marley over to the two, with Cole trailing behind both of them. Upon spotting them headed over, Luther tensed up, something that was obvious because of his massive frame, but Five simply shook his head and stood up to meet Marley in the middle.

“Marley,” He said cooly as Marley walked over, “Jay. Cole.”

Jay nodded, not sure how to respond. Five was always hard to talk to due to his age and appearance, but Marley found him fascinating.

“Hey,” She said with a flounce, “Is that your brother?” She leaned to the left of Five, to give Luther a wave. He silently waved back, his movements small like he was afraid of breaking something.

“Yea, that’s Luther,” Five said, stepping to his left so he’s standing in front of Marley and blocking her view of Luther with his body. Marley doesn’t seem to notice the aggression in his stance, instead using her natural height to shove past Five to shake Luther’s hand. Luther’s tired eyes flash with a sharp burst of fear before he carefully took Marley’s hand.

“Nice to meet you,” He said, voice quieter then Jay would’ve expected from a guy as big as he is. Marley beamed up at him, “Nice to meet you too.” They held hands for a brief moment before Marley let go, grinning.

“I’m glad to finally meet the last Hargreeves!” She said, with a gesture, “I’ve collected them all now!”

Cole snickered, “The complete collection.”

Luther laughed, although a bit awkwardly, “A collection.” He echoed, eyes darting around and taking them all in before looking at Five, who scowled, because what else does he do at this point?

“Collection of what?” said another voice, joining them in the circle. By the sound of the voice and the quiet sound of feet, it’s Vanya. Both Five and Luther relaxing in front of him also clarified her presence. 

“Us,” Five replied, “A collection of Hargreeves.”

“That’s not creepy at all,” Vanya said, oddly cheerfully, “Sounds like something Dad would say.”

That seemed to be accurate based on Five’s tight-lipped smile and Luther’s flinch. Jay made a note to not speak about Reginald in front of Luther again. Marley said, “I’ve said this before but Reginald Hargreeves doesn’t seem like he’s that great of a person.”

Luther opened his mouth, but then abruptly slammed it shut after thinking for a couple of seconds. He went back to picking at his sweater.

That’s another thing. It wasn’t hot in the theater per say, but it was warm enough that the massive amount of clothes Luther was wearing would be uncomfortable. There’s probably an explanation as to why, but Jay really really doesn’t want to hear a depressing story right now, so he turned to Vanya.

“Have any more secret siblings you’re hiding?”

She threw back her head and laughed, “Nope. You’ve met them all at this point.”

“Damnit,” Cole sighed, as Luther blinked at him.

Five glanced back and forth between Luther and Cole before speaking, “We should get going.”

Jay had also noticed that whenever Five came to pick Vanya up, he was always insistent on leaving. It was probably just a Five thing.

“Wait, I wanted to ask them something,” Vanya said quickly. They both nodded and then stood there, waiting for her to ask, “In private.” She finished.

Thus began Luther’s awkward shuffle out of the seats. It took him a couple of minutes to fully emerge from them to join Five at the entrance to the theater.

Vanya turned to them, “We’re having a concert in a couple of weeks, and I wanted to know where I could get tickets for them.”

“Awww,” Marley clasped her hands, “You’re adorable Vanya.”

“Thanks.” Vanya said shyly.

“You ask the guys at the ticket booth to get some tickets, normally since you’re in the orchestra, they’ll just give them to you for free.” Marley told her with a smile

“Oh good,” sighed Vanya, “I thought I’d have to like, sign a paper or something. But I’m glad it’s that easy.”

“They do like to make it convenient.” Cole murmured, “Even if my family never comes, I always send them tickets because it’s that easy.”

“Oof,” Marley replied with, so Jay echoed her, “Oof.”

“Love the support,” Cole said. Vanya cleared her throat, “I was also wondering if you guys would like to come have dinner with us after the show? As a toast to our friendship?”

“Like, In your house?” asked Marley, eyes growing wide at the thought of entering the Hargreeves mansion. Vanya shrugged, “If you would like to.”

“Heck yea,” cheered Marley, “I'd love to come to your big house and wreck it.”

“We’ve already pretty much done that at this point,” pointed out Vanya, “But you’re welcome to.”

“I’ll be there,” Jay told Vanya with a soft smile, “Wouldn’t miss it for the world.”

“But he could miss it for coffee,” Cole snarked back, causing all of them to laugh at Jay’s expense. 

“So, I'll see you guys next practice?” Asked Vanya, already moving away from them and towards the impatient figure of Five and the towering one of Luther.

“See you soon!” Cole and the other waved at her, as she left.

Marley turned towards Cole and Jay with a grin, “I don’t know about you. But I'm gonna fangirl hard when I get in their house. I loved the Umbrella Academy growing up.”

“Me too,” Cole said with a nod, “I loved watching them and making myself feel  important.”

“I didn't grow up with them,” Jay said calmly, “So I can’t relate.”

“Ew, old man problems,” Marley teased with a playful shove.

“I’m only 44!” protested Jay as Marley left them with a wave.

“44 years young!” She shouted back across the theater, ignoring several exasperated looks. Jay turned back to Cole with a plea for support but got no sympathy.

“You are old,” is all Cole left him with.

Jay rolled his eyes before heading out to his car, fondly thinking of the mess the Hargreeves house would be in after they came over.

Chapter Text

One hour before the concert and Jay was watching Vanya pace back and forth backstage. It was definitely a weird sight, because he’d never seen her this nervous before a show before. Even before they’d started talking and being friends, Jay remembered her sitting in the corner and staring at nothing, like the void was calling to her or something.

He’d never seen her so active. 

“Are you ok?” He asked, trying to be a good friend, “You seem jumpy.”

“I’m just nervous..” She said with a sigh, “It’s the first concert I’ve done since April Fool’s Week.”

Jay blinked and tried to think back to a concert in April.. But they didn’t have one. In April, part of the roof of the theater had collapsed overnight due to circumstances that the police force had refused to disclose. Marley had told him all about her alien conspiracy theories and how the FBI had a giant robot that punched a hole in the roof, he’d told her that she was crazy.

“Hey,” He asked, keeping his voice gentle, “You ok?”

“Yea, yea, yea,” She nodded frantically, “I just..” She gestured to her whole body, “Haven't worn something like this since April. And what if something happens and I lose control?”

“Lose control of what?” He asked, curiosity overpowering his concern for her well-being. What he wasn’t expecting was her reply.

“My powers!” 


“Your WHAT?”

Vanya winced harshly, before rushing over to him and grabbing his hands, “You can’t tell anyone!

Jay carefully pulled his hands away from her, trying to calm her down, “I won’t, I won’t but…” He leaned closer so that the surrounding people wouldn’t hear, “I thought you didn’t have any powers, Vanya.”

“I didn’t for a long time,” She murmured finally, lowering her arms and staring at the floor, “I-i don’t.”

She’s obviously upset and even though Jay doesn’t understand what’s going on, he never does with this family anymore, he set his hand on her arm. She startled backwards to the point where she almost slapped herself in the face and Jay took her hands with a smile.

“You’ll be fine,” He told her, staring her in the eyes, “Your family’s gonna be watching,” He’s shocked when she flinched again. She swallowed, “I don’t want them.. To watch me lose control again.”

“You won’t,” He said, putting more confidence into his voice than he felt, “You won’t.”

“I won’t,” she repeated, her hands tightening on his, “I won’t. I won’t..”

They stood together, repeating the phrase together until the call came for them to go onstage.

When Jay and Vanya sat down in their seats, they exchanged one last glance, wishing each other well right before the lights came on and the concert began. As the curtain pulled up, there’s the familiar polite smattering of applause that Jay is used too, but there’s also another thing.

“Hell yea, THAT’S MY SISTER!” screamed the now familiar voice of Klaus from the audience, immediately getting shushed by the other Hargreeves. 

It took everything in Jay to not snort out loud, which would be bad since he kinda needed to breathe in order to use Jack the trumpet. But as he lifted Jack to blast the first note, he managed to sneak a look at Vanya’s face, admiring her dopey, flushed grin before she raised her bow and the concert began.

It’s only after Vanya had told him that she had powers that Jay began to notice the small vibrations in the air that shifted and swirled from her violin. It’s not noticeable until it’s pointed out but once it is pointed out, it’s obvious.

It’s the most beautiful thing he’s ever seen.

He wished he didn’t have to play music right then, so he could stare at it forever, but he had a concert to finish.

When the show was over, Jay packed everything he brought with him, which wasn’t much, and headed down to the theater seats. Too bad he walked in on a Hargreeves family hug. 


“My sister is way too talented,” moaned Klaus, shaking Vanya back and forth, “Stop making me feel useless.”

“I haven’t done anything that special,” She complained loudly, trying to push Klaus away with a pathetic shove. However it just made Klaus grip onto her harder.

“Learning an instrument is incredibly complicated, Vanya,” Five said with a sigh, “You should give yourself more credit than that.” He picked at his blue suit thoughtfully, “It was the first music I’ve heard since getting back.”

“Seriously?” Klaus gaped at him, “Not even Tiffany?”

“He wasn’t there for that part,” Diego said.

“What part?” Five stopped picking at his suit to look at Diego.

Luther glanced away to the side, “I might’ve played Tiffany during Dad’s funeral.”

Five barked a laugh that split his face. His eyes glittered with amusement.

“I thought it was fun,” Allison defended Luther, “I was dancing.”

“Holy shit!,” Klaus said, “I was dancing too!”

“Wait, you were all dancing?” Vanya finally managed to pry herself away from Klaus, “I was too?”

Diego looked away from the others in a way that made Jay realize he’d probably been dancing too. Diego’s lip twitched. Jay rolled his eyes, “As fun as the dancing seems,” He could see Cole and Marley coming up from behind, “We need to go have a party!”

Jay lifted his arms, rousing the Hargreeves into a cheer and they walked off as a group back to the mansion where the Hargreeves lived. 

“It’s beautiful,” breathed Marley, gazing at the high ceilings and general array of knick-knacks in the foyer of the mansion

“Eh it’s ok,” grouched Klaus, “It’s less impressive when you’ve lived here since birth.”

“Since birth?” Cole asked, running his fingers down a nearby wall, “You never left?”

“Oh, of course!” Klaus laughed with a wave of his hand, “But I never.. Like actually moved out? I left all my stuff here.”

“And you knocked down my wall,” Vanya said walking down the hallway, “and now I had to take one of the guest rooms which smells like monkey by the way.”

“Monkey?” Cole asked, following her down the hall, “Where do monkeys come into this?”

“We have a monkey butler,” Allison set her coat down with a grunt, “His name is Pogo.”

She didn’t seem too bothered by the fact that she’d just destroyed their minds with one simple sentence. Cole’s tone was borderline hysterical as he asked, “Monkey Butler??”

“Yep,” Allison turned to gaze at him, “He went on a long deserved vacation so it’s just us and Mom in the house right now.”

“Your mom?” Marley asked, “But Reggie never married?” She had taken to calling the Hargreeves patriarch Reggie after hearing Klaus say it.

Allison shook her head, “No he didn’t, but he did build a robot to serve the needs of seven toddlers.”

“What the fuck,” Cole’s face pinched, just as Diego spoke up, “She’s a lot more human than you think.”

“A robot.. acting human?” 

“Yes,” Diego’s voice left no room for argument and his withering glare fixed onto Cole, “She does.”

“Cool,” Cole said faintly, spotting Ben moving away from them and towards another room, “I’m going with Ben now” He made a hasty retreat to follow the ghostly Hargreeves. Diego watched him go, still glaring at him.

Five blinked past the crowd in the doorway, “I’m making margaritas if anyone wants some.”

“I do!” Klaus shouted after him, “Thank you Cinco!”

The irritated grumble that came out of Five’s mouth at the nickname let Jay know how much he hated it, but Klaus was his brother so he probably allowed it only because of that. 

The rest of the people in the doorway began to slowly disperse towards a warm room that was most likely the kitchen, but Jay decided to take his time and look around the house where his friends had grown up. 

The first thing he noticed was the mass amount of half finished paint jobs and construction.It was clear that whatever was happening, the Hargreeves were in the middle of renovations. As he entered the living room, he noticed the absence of things hanging on the walls but got his answer when he spotted a pile of paintings ha with a sticky note on them with the word, “burn” written on it. He sighed, wondering if they knew there was a better way to get rid of this stuff than burning it.

As he entered the next room he almost choked because written on the walls in sky blue paint was a series of notes, all in different handwriting.

The first was simply a mass amount of numbers and equations, written in chalk from the looks of it. The second was right below it and all it said was, “Stop writing on the walls, Five.”

The next one, “You’re a hypocrite, Ben, look where you wrote your note.”

“Both of you are hypocrites, please stop writing on the walls.”

“Now we’ve dragged you into the trap, Allison.”

The notes ceased after those, but Jay wanted to take a picture and send it to Marley and Cole, just to simply laugh at this snapshot into the lives of the Umbrella Academy.

“Oh are you lost?” said a warm female voice from behind him as he snickered at the notes. He turned to see a woman with a smile and a 50s flair to her. But even if she looked like she’d been ripped out from the cover of an old magazine, her outfit didn’t match at all. She was wearing a t-shirt and sweatpants paired with heels. She blinked at him, something that was way more noticeable since she seemed to blink slower than he would have liked.

“Not really mam, just exploring,” He said politely. She nodded, taking in his appearance, “Well, dinner is almost ready so why don’t you join the others in the kitchen.”

“Of course,” he said offering her his hand, she stared at him before her grin widened and she took it, leading him to the warm room that he’d originally presumed to be the kitchen.

There everyone sat, all having claimed a spot at the table already before Jay and the woman got there. The Hargreeves has been in the middle of a debate with Marley and Cole when they entered. Ben took one look at the woman Jay was with and laughed, “Why is Mom in sweatpants?”

Diego scowled, “She likes to be comfortable.”

“That’s true,” said the woman- the Hargreeves’ mother from beside Jay, “These clothes are more comfortable.”

“With heels?” asked Marley, glancing down towards the woman’s dainty feet. She shrugged, “I don’t own any more shoes.”

“Me neither,” piped up Five from where he was sitting at the head of the table with a dog? Honestly Jay was getting more and more puzzled. The dog yipped happily from Five’s lap.

Allison sighed, pinching her forehead, “We need to get you two more clothes.” She shot a quick glance at Diego’s leather getup, “Three of you.”

“My outfit is fine!”

“You look like you’re wearing BDSM gear,” Klaus grinned at him, “And I should know.”

Diego sputtered at him, unable to come up with retrot, Luther put his head in his hands and set it on the table, “Can we please just eat?”

“Dinner is ready anyways!” The Hargreeves’ Mom said, finishing whatever she was working on at the table, “Dig in!”

Jay sat on the couch in the living room, moaning. 

“I think I’m going to go into a food coma,” Cole muttered from next to him. Jay could only nod his head in agreement. Marley seemed to be in a similar situation as he was, dying on the opposite couch. The Hargreeves themselves barely seemed ruffled, instead they were sprawled out across various pieces of furniture, watching Luther look for something. 

It was quite amusing to watch, even if it shouldn’t be, Luther was too big to be opening boxes and when he did open them, they more often than not ripped entirely in half. He’d mutter curses every single time that happened and the others only watched, letting him suffer in silence.

When he finally found what he was looking for, he held it over his head in triumph, like it was the Holy Grail or something.

“Found it!”

The thing in his massive hands was a small, old record player. It looked fairly beat up and dingy but Jay could brush it off as the Hargreeves stared at it in awe.

Luther set the player down very, very gently before pulling out a record out of the same box. He set the record onto the player and leaned back, letting the song start.

A guitar flooded through the halls of the Academy mansion and Jay let himself be soothed by the calming music, at least for a bit until the words started to come in.

It took a second for him to realize that Klaus was singing the lyrics, almost under his breath, swinging his empty margarita glass as he mumbled the words.

Then Luther joined in. And then, Vanya. Ben and Allison followed, then Diego. And even Five began to sing it, although he kept his head to side, away from the others and pet his dog the entire time.

By the time the chorus hit, they had a regular Hargreeves choir. 

“And so I wake in the morning, And I step outside

And I take a deep breath and I get real high.”

It was Allison, who first stood up, swaying to the beat. It wasn’t a very wild or crazy dance, just a simple sway, but it was something. After a couple of seconds, she reached down to Vanya, pulling her up to her feet and the sisters began to dance together, singing.

It was utterly surreal to watch. 

Luther was up next, rising to his feet nervously, and he took a deep breath and began to sing, incredibly loudly. This prompted Diego to get up and scream the lyrics back at him, incredibly off-key and drowning out the beauty of the original song, but it was still very endearing.

Ben got up next, pulling Klaus up with him. Klaus, utterly overjoyed to be included, basically scooped up a screeching Five and began to swing him back and forth while belting the lyrics. Five, hanging from Klaus’ arms like an overgrown kitten, was also singing albeit with a grumpy look on his face and he wasn’t singing it as loudly as anyone else. 

Jay, Marley and Cole watched as the Hargreeves sang together, even if each was in their own little zone. They were still singing the lyrics and dancing.

“Oh what the hell,” Marley jumped up, and mixed herself in effortlessly, bouncing up and down as she recited the lyrics. She grabbed Cole, who could only mildly protest when she pulled him to his feet and began to dance with him.

Jay was the last one in the couch, watching the others dance together and he made a move to get up, only to see the Hargreeves’ mother on the opposite side of the room. They met eyes and he waved her over.

Then he grabbed her hand and spun her around dancing to the rhythm of the song, which perfectly summarized the entire experience in one line..

“And I say, hey hey hey hey...I said hey, what's going on?”

And with the Hargreeves.. you never knew, Jay sighed as the music began to fade out, but honestly, he wouldn’t have it any other way.