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Snow and Ashes

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The day Five Hargreeves looked out of the Umbrella Academy’s windows and saw snow was the same day that Five realized just how much the apocalypse fucked him up.

It wasn’t the same by any means, but each time that Five found himself looking out the frosted over windows, he found the apocalypse staring back at him.

The snow was just too similar. Sure, snow didn’t smear like ashes did. And yes, ashes were more of a darker grey. For Five though, it didn’t seem to matter. Because each time he looked out the large windows of his childhood home, his brain recognized the snow to be ash. And ash meant fire. Fire meant the apocalypse. So for his brain, he was back there. Back in his own personal hell that he wasn’t able to escape.

Five hated the winter. Even though it had only started a couple months ago, he found himself hating it. It was a large contrast to how he was before he time traveled. Before he got stuck years in the future, he loved the winter. He loved the feeling of the cold. He especially loved snow. He enjoyed making snow angels with Klaus, and drinking hot cocoa with Vanya. He loved throwing snowballs with Diego, and making snowmen with Allison. Even Luther loved winter.

Five hated that he couldn’t look at winter that same way that he did when he was a kid. He hated that he couldn’t even look out his bedroom window without having a panic attack. Five even had to board up the windows in his room. He had used tape and old cardboard boxes that he found in the garbage can outside.

Five had simply gone downstairs for a cup of coffee. Something to warm him up from the coldness that seemed to linger inside of the Umbrella Academy. He hadn’t meant to look out the window. It was a dumb birds fault. The stupid thing had to go and slam into the window, just as Five was walking by. It had scared him enough that he completely forgot about his vow to not look out the windows. The thing was, he didn’t see the bird. All he saw were the raging fires, the burning bodies, the ticks and cockroaches that had managed to survive, the maggots that were eating away at his siblings bodies...the ash.

That was what had led him into his panic attack. That was what had fueled his body into shaking like a leaf as he shrunk down onto the floor, his breaths coming out quick and uneven.

That was how Klaus found him, less than three minutes later.

It honestly wasn’t Klaus’ fault that he had seen his brother in such a vulnerable situation. In fact, it was Five’s fault for having his panic attack in the middle of the hallway that led to the kitchen.

The second Klaus saw his brother's tense figure and his broken cries, Klaus found himself unable to walk away. He found himself unable to just leave his brother by himself, especially in the state that he was in.

So, like any good brother would, Klaus crouched down by Five’s side. His mutterings warm and comforting as he tried to bring his brother back to himself.

Kalus let out a little yelp in surprise as Five’s weight suddenly came crashing down on him, not that Five weighed much to begin with. He was even more surprised when he noticed that Five was now openly sobbing into his chest. Klaus was quick to wrap his arms around his shaking brother.

“It’s okay. It’s going to be alright. I’ve got you, Five. I’m here now. Wherever you are, you’re not there anymore. I’ve got you.” Klaus muttered, his voice soft.

It didn’t take long for Five to calm down. Before long, his sobs had turned to sniffles, and he was no longer shaking.

“Are you okay?” Klaus whispered, trying his hardest to not scare Five away. It wasn’t everyday that his brother showed how truly vulnerable he can be. Not after everything that he had gone through.

Five was silent for a moment, his sniffles being the only noise in the quiet hallway.

“The snow.” Five muttered after a beat of comfortable silence.

“What about the snow?” Klaus questioned, curiosity leasing his tone.

“It reminds me of the ash in the apocalypse.” Five whispered into Klaus’ chest, hiding his face from the world around them.

“There was ash in the apocalypse?” Klaus asked.

Five nodded slightly.

“It was from dead bodies and building’s burning. After the moon exploded, it burned up the ozone layers, as well as everything else in its path. Ash was constantly falling from the sky. I-I had to wear scarves and head coverings to keep it out of my mouth and eyes.” Five explained, his voice trailing off towards the end.

Klaus was silent, trying his hardest to take in the new information. He had never thought of it like that. When he pictured the apocalypse, he sure as hell did not picture ash being everywhere.

“I get why the snow reminds you of that.” Klaus said after a while.

Five let out a small hum from his position.

“You’ve never really talked about what the apocalypse was actually like. You’ve mentioned it a few times, but I’ve never heard you mention ash before.” Klaus said.

“I don’t really like talking about it. It brings back too many bad memories.” Five confessed.

“You don’t need to talk about it, Five-o. Not until you’re ready.” Klaus said softly, pulling Five even closer into his chest.

“Thank you.” Five said, his voice cracking slightly.

It wasn’t until a few hours later that the Hargreeves siblings found them curled up in the hallway, both of them fast asleep.

The next morning, Klaus had taken it upon himself to board up almost every window in the house, with the siblings' help of course.

That was when Five knew. That was when he knew just how much he belonged.