Diego says they should wait until the morning.
Allison is still reeling from the verbal blow her sister had delivered. The bitterness of her words - would it be that bad? - paired with that haunted look in her eyes paint a picture that Allison isn’t ready to see, not yet. She thinks that’s why she agrees with him, content to sit and think and wonder about how much they’ve all changed.
She thinks Diego is wondering the same; he fiddles with his hands and makes some phone calls and only leaves when they both realize that Klaus is unexplainably missing. With Diego off to find him, and Luther holed up in his room, and Five who-knows-where, and Vanya… not here , Allison has all the room in the world to curl up on the couch and just think.
And so she does.
Allison already feels guilty after watching the tape left behind by Pogo - even now, she bitterly replays it in her mind’s eye, wondering how she never noticed her sister’s isolation before. Well, maybe noticed isn’t the right word; she knew that Vanya was kept away from everyone, that Five had really been the only one gutsy enough to openly defy their father. She just never really… cared? Until now?
I sound horrible, she thinks, miserably, no wonder Vanya doesn’t think we care about her.
Thinking about Vanya sends another picture into her mind, one from this morning; Vanya, curled up in her bed, staring into empty space, still in the same clothes she had been in two days ago. At the time, Allison had glossed over it, more so worried about Mom. But now?
Now, she sits, and wonders if she missed something.
Sitting makes her anxious though - Allison was never one to merely wait around for answers. She can't really sleep either, though, not when she thinks of the tapes - the ones visually representing her sister's isolation - and how Vanya had all but proclaimed nobody would care if she died and then stormed out.
She's really, really worried.
But Klaus is also missing and Diego was there and is probably just as worried as she is and really she said she would wait so she's going to wait no matter how frantically her heart clenches in her chest.
She ends up floating aimlessly around the house, and then back in that room with the tapes, rewatching them. Over, and over, and over again, a sick tug in her throat as she wonders why they were so cruel to the littlest of them all.
Diego finds her the next morning, her eyes burning with exhaustion but still open.
"Come on," he says, gripes, "do you know where Vanya lives?"
"Yeah," she replies, only sounding alive thanks to years and years of practice, "I went yesterday to get her, remember?"
Neither of them really want to remember yesterday, though, and it shows on Diego's face as he frowns and turns away, wordlessly stalking back to his car. Allison follows, hands twisting together.
The drive is quiet.
Allison is honestly quite surprised at how tenacious Diego seems to be now, in this situation. After all, he had seemed… well, bitter and on edge with Vanya the entire time they’ve been together. He had been the angriest when her book came out, and Allison was upset sure but not to the extent Diego had been.
Yet, he drives with a frantic fervor, wildly twisting through the streets, his hands clenched white against the black of the steering wheel. Awe, Diego cares for someone, she wants to quip, if she weren’t so dreadfully anxious for the inevitable confrontation.
Instead, she merely points out the directions.
Vanya lives in a tiny little building on a crowded street. Diego parks messily on the side, exits the car with the same urgency as his driving. He hardly pauses to wait for Allison, even though she’s the one with directions. She has to speed up to match his pace.
She leads him in silence up stairs, up to a room with the door shut. “Vanya?” She calls through the wood, rapping her knuckles against the door. Please answer, she silently begs, despite knowing that the last time she had to force her way in, please, please answer.
“Forget this,” Diego growls, and he slams his hands against the door. Allison is only half expecting it to work. However, her sister is as forgetful as ever, and the apparently unlocked door swings open without much fanfare.
Soft sunlight streams through the apartment, and as Allison steps through the doorway, she can’t help but admire the quaintness of the room. It screams Vanya in a way Allison really isn’t familiar with, and she’s almost scared at how little she actually knows her only sister.
She’ll make this right. She will. She has to.
Diego darts through the apartment almost immediately, and Allison follows him through the narrow hallway and into the bedroom. It’s hauntingly familiar to the previous day. Her heart is beating faster and faster as she retraces her steps from yesterday, only paces behind her brother as they both pause inside the doorway of the bedroom.
A figure is curled in the bed, blankets pulled up all the way despite the warmth of the room. Allison feels the pressure in her chest lift in the slightest, releasing a quick sigh of relief. Vanya’s here. She’s here, and she must be asleep. That makes sense, it’s still fairly early in the morning.
“Vanya,” she says, soft and fond in a way that surprises even her. She takes a single step forwards, hands tugging her shirt at her side in restless movement. She wants to run to her sister, to hug her and reassure herself in her own overreaction. Silly me, she wants to say.
Diego also takes a step forward, and she glances up at him expecting to see the same relief. However, all she sees in his face is a wary fear.
“Vanya,” he mutters, and she watches as he steps forward again, guarded expression shifting between worry and fear and back.
Allison’s protective instinct - the maternal urge she had lacked as a child but gained as an adult - surges within her chest, and even though she’s positive Vanya’s just sleeping, she can’t help but dart over, determined to make sure for herself.
“Vanya,” she breathes, shifting the blankets off her sister slightly as she sits down on the bed. The comforter slides down Vanya’s shoulders, revealing her face, and if there weren’t something off with the image Allison would find it adorable. However, her skin is a pale ashy white, her lips tinged blue.
Her chest isn’t moving.
She’s not moving.
Would it really be so bad? Allison hears the words ring in her ears on repeat, bitter and haunting as she stifles a scream, shakes her sister’s shoulder, brushes brown hair out of her face. “Vanya,” she pleads, shaking her head as she presses a hand to the cold of Vanya’s cheek, bending over her sister with burning eyes, “Vanya, Vanya, wake up. Wake up, Vanya, please.”
Allison is nothing if not stubborn, though, and although a part of her knows what’s happened, knows why her sister is still and pale and cold, she refuses to admit it. No. She can’t. Not even as she tugs Vanya into her lap, presses her head to her chest, buries her own head in her sister’s hair. Her eyes burn something fierce, and she closes them as warmth trickles down her cheeks.
“Please,” she says again, her voice straining and cracking as she squeezes her sister closer to her, “Vanya… Vanya, please, I love you, wake up.”
“Vanya,” and that’s Diego, hovering awkwardly next to the bed, and when Allison glances up she can practically feel the guilt radiating off of him, the despair in his eyes palpable and real and only fueling the fire of Allison’s heartbreak. “Allison,” he tries next, stepping towards her, hands reaching out and then falling to his sides, “Allison, she, she’s…”
“No,” Allison whispers, shaking her head. Her fingers tighten themselves in Vanya’s hair, tears making the strands sticky, “no, no no no, she can’t be… this is our sister, Diego, she’s not, she can’t be…!”
Diego’s holding something in one hand - a piece of paper, crinkled and stained with something wet - and although his face is neutral, she can see the grief there in the way his hands shake.
“What did we do?” Allison can’t help but ask in a whisper, and she almost blanches at how much horror is in her tone.
That night is the longest Allison’s ever experienced.
Nevermind that they just lost their father - the abusive prick had it coming, she can’t find it in her to be remorseful of that - or were literally attacked the night before. Nevermind that before all this, she had a life left behind in LA. None of that changes the fact that this… this is her sister and she’s gone.
Diego disappears for a little while but he comes back with a disgruntled Klaus in tow, all but dragging their brother into the sitting room.
Allison doesn’t even really remember leaving the apartment, doesn’t really remember making her way back to the Academy, doesn’t remember the hours wasted in shock, in grief. Diego had somehow maneuvered her away from her sister and back into a house full of haunted memories.
Perhaps if she were in a better mindset, she would notice the ragged state of Klaus’s clothes, the blood decorating his skin like some kind of fucked up art, the bags under his eyes. If she were in a better mindset, she would wonder about the ashy complexion of his skin, the way he fidgets in place. Normal, but it shouldn’t be normal. Her maternal instincts are spinning wildly in her chest like a mad compass, recentering and recentering because she’s lost her sense of direction.
Allison, from her position tucked against the couch - the same spot she was just last night, dabbing blood away from a wound, unaware of just how deep the edges were - watches the way Klaus collapses dramatically onto the opposing couch, sinking into the cushions. She watches Diego linger at the doorway, speaking to a brunette woman in a police uniform, before he turns away and walks towards them.
“Luther is… he’s trying to find Five,” Diego says, his voice thick and yet so carefully neutral, like this hasn’t been the most wild week they’ve ever experienced. Like they didn’t just lose another family member. “He needs… we all need to be here. To figure this out.”
And oh, Allison wants nothing more than to rumor her problems away, but her voice won’t work, not now.
“I’m sorry, did I miss something?” Klaus’s tone is flippant, laced with an exasperation that Allison picks up on easily, “what do we need to figure out, exactly?”
She glares at Diego, then, for not saying anything. Then again, she’s unsure if she could’ve herself. To say it out loud would just make it… real.
( Bitterly, she wonders how Klaus hasn’t caught on yet - should she be upset or glad that he hasn’t seen her ghost? The ghost of their littlest sibling, their sister, who they had failed?)
Her eyes are burning again, and Allison buries her face in her drawn-up knees, arms drawing around her legs in a pathetic attempt to comfort herself. It doesn’t work.
“It’s…” and even stoic, bitter, angry Diego swallows here - no doubt to force his stutter down - and Allison forces herself to look up at him, even when warmth trails down her face once again. “Last night… Vanya, she…”
Allison wonders if it is the tone of Diego’s voice, or the way his hands shake, or her own shaking figure, but Diego hasn’t finished his sentence and yet Klaus’s eyes widen minisculely in realization.
“She what?” His tone is monotone, blank, and Allison nearly winces because Klaus has always been the most expressive. “Diego… what happened?”
Diego seems to be at a loss of words, and she watches him bite at the inside of his lip - a childhood habit he never quite broke - before fishing out that familiar piece of paper. He hands it over to Klaus wordlessly, his hands trembling.
Allison herself hasn’t read the note - she can’t, she can’t bring herself, she knows what it will say and it just can’t be real yet, it can’t be - so instead she just watches Klaus scan the page, his expression shifting from disbelief to shock to heartbreak.
“Shit,” he says, and Allison almost laughs hysterically except she has no voice with which to laugh with, “ shit. What do we… not Vanya.”
What a pretty picture the three of them make, Allison thinks, and just as she has the thought, the front door opens again, and here comes Luther carrying an unconscious Five. What a wonderful picture they are, this… this unbelievably dysfunctional family. Gods, they couldn’t even save one of their own.
Allison turns her head back inwards, buries it in her legs, and sobs.