The sound of Vanya frantically tearing through her room caused the other teenagers to gather outside of it with intrigue.
Allison knocked on the door gently, not wanting to spook her even more. She still startled nervously. “What’s going on?” Allison tentatively asked, looking around Vanya’s tiny room with alarm.
“I can’t find my medication, dad’s going to be so mad at me!” Vanya explained anxiously, seeming on the verge of a panic attack. She looked like she’d killed a man. Every adolescent but Vanya turned to glare at Klaus at once. He shrugged unconvincingly. Allison took a split second to consider her options, and then confidently glanced back to her sister.
”I heard a rumor...” Allison’s sound waves thickened and swam into Vanya’s ears “...that you stopped taking your medication.” she stated with a proud smirk.
The teenagers began to shout over each other all at once, besides Vanya who panicked when she came out of her trance to chaos and promptly shuffled back into her room. The others didn’t notice her departure, nor the beginning of her playing her violin.
“Why would you do that?! You know she needs them!” Ben yelled, eyes wide with intense worry.
“Dad knows what best!” Luther shouted, furious that Allison would go against him.
“Wh-what the hell, Allison?!” Diego exclaimed with sheer confusion more than anything else.
“Don’t make me rumor you guys!” Allison threatened sternly.
Her brothers all immediately shut their mouths, scared to lose their autonomy. Klaus’ mouth had remained suspiciously shut for the entirety of the bedlam. A stark contrast to his usual blabbering. “She’s too dependent on those things, she’s almost as bad as him!” Allison flung a reproachful hand in Klaus’ direction.
“They are reaaaally strong.” Klaus drawled, blinking groggily. “I don’t even know what the hell they are, I feel lik-“ Allison shushed him with irritation, uninterested in the ferocity of his high.
“If she gets all worked up, I’ll just rumor her back onto them. They can’t work that well anyway, she’s always anxious. Even with them.” Allison explained her plan persuasively.
Ben made a squeak of concern, beginning to contest before Diego shoved a dismissive hand in his direction. “Nah, let her. I w-wanna find out.” Diego remarked with a casual shrug. Luther had his jaw tightly tensed, unable to even bring himself to say anything. It felt like he couldn’t disagree with Allison, but he also couldn’t disagree with their dad.
“If anyone actually wants my opinion,” Klaus dozily droned, almost sliding down the wall he was leaning on “I think this is for the best, sh-“ Allison rolled her eyes, astounded he actually thought he was being subtle.
”I heard a rumor...” her other brothers scurried to cover their ears, worried they were going to be the ones addressed. Klaus was too out of it to think that fast, not even noticing the impending persuasion. “...that you gave me the pills back.” Their brother’s eyes glazed icy white, and he absentmindedly dawdled off to his room to return them.
—Two Days Later—
“She’s puking, Allison!” Ben hissed, glancing over to the bathroom nervously. Grace was comforting Vanya, though she didn’t know how to help since she didn’t know the cause. She had been administering generic antiemetics in an attempt to ease her suffering.
“She ju-just needs to get it out of her system.” Diego assured them confidently, even though he was completely bullshitting his so called knowledge. He really just wanted to know what Vanya would be like without them.
Ben looked unconvinced, peering up to Luther who was still giving Allison the silent treatment. “I don’t know, I’m not dad.” Luther replied bluntly, frowning with displeasure.
“Dad isn’t g-god!” Diego spat, squaring up against Luther just for the hell of it.
“What’re we talking about?” Klaus wondered as he saw his siblings conspiring together in the hallway, looking mightily suspicious. All four of his siblings replied with different answers. “Come on, I wanna gossip!” he begged, offended to be left out of one of his favorite activities.
“Allison rumored Vanya into s-st-stopping her medication.” Diego admitted reluctantly, receiving an unimpressed nudge from Allison in response.
Klaus opened his mouth and raised his eyebrows, trying not to show his excitement on his face. “That’s messed up, Allie. Shame on you.” Klaus tutted, attempting to skulk off into Vanya’s room to steal them. They were going to be wasted anyway! Luther yanked him back towards them before he could get away. Klaus intended to protest his innocence, but the look on his siblings’ faces implied he was missing something. What was he missing? “Did I already do that?” he mumbled uncertainly, trying to work out whether his lapse in memory was from Allison or the drugs themselves.
—Three Days Later—
Although Vanya always felt like her siblings were ganging up on her, that feeling had been massively intensified lately. It was like every time she turned around they were all gathered around hissing at one another. When one would catch her looking, they’d quickly disband. She wondered what about her was so much worse than usual. Her unease was making her terribly stressed, worsening her anxiety tenfold. It was difficult to even play her violin, she kept having to suddenly stop - it felt too overwhelming. Vanya knew it was the only thing she was even the slightest bit good at, so she reluctantly forced herself to practice again this evening. She couldn’t lose her one semi-redeeming feature.
Ben tried to drown out Diego’s and Klaus’ bickering by burying himself in his book. He would ordinarily go and read with Vanya, but she wasn’t in the mood at the moment thanks to Allison’s little plan. He was terribly worried about her, he was just waiting for something awful to happen. He hoped the dreaded tentacles were going to stay contained, he was absolutely terrified of losing control... Ben shot his sights to his brothers when the room began to shake, wondering just how much they were fighting each other this time. Alarmingly, they were feet from one another - both appearing as shocked as Ben.
Allison and Luther peeped out of their respective rooms at the same time, causing them both to look down to the ground sheepishly. “Is it an earthquake?” Ben muttered meekly, poking his head out of Klaus’ door. Diego pushed the door fully open, slickly sauntering into the hall to try and see what was happening. Luther promptly stepped out of his room too, not wanting Diego to be acting as Number One.
“It’s coming from Va-Vanya’s room...” Diego murmured with baffled concern.
Klaus rolled his eyes and flounced from his room, irritated that his siblings were all so simple. He knocked on Vanya’s door, turning to give his siblings filthy looks. “Why don’t you just ask her?” he taunted, giving a smug smile when the rumbling immediately stopped.
Opening her door a creek, Vanya frowned when she once again found all of her siblings crowding around talking about her. “Explain yourselves!” Reginald barked, storming down the hallway towards the rambunctious noise. Vanya gulped nervously, even though she knew she’d objectively not done anything... she was the most hated.
Their father squinted at the children, attempting to make sense of what was going on. “Well?!” Reginald snapped at Luther, demanding answers from Number One. He opened and closed his mouth like a fish, unsure how to even try and word what they just witnessed.
“Luther did a super strength fart.” Klaus lazily giggled, finding himself absolutely hilarious. He received a kick from Diego in return, Klaus elbowed him in the gut vengefully. Reginald chose to ignore the juvenile comment, turning to glare at Vanya now he noticed the others were gathered around her.
“Number Seven, have you been disobeying my orders and skipping your medication?!” he roared, incandescent that she’d be so insolent. Vanya stood in slack jawed silence, not following what her father meant. “Number Seven!” he yelled, prompting her to answer him at once.
“What medication?” she whimpered timidly, on the verge of sobbing.
Furiously spinning on his heel to glower at Allison, Reginald didn’t need to say a word to petrify her. “I’m so sorry, I- I just thought she-“ Reginald stomped his cane into the ground irately to shut her up.
“You are not the one who decides the rules in this household!” he hollered with deep contempt, more angry than the children had ever seen him before.
“Wait, what does Vanya’s medication have to do with the rumbling?” Klaus drawled with great bemusement, too high to prevent back-talking their dad to such an extreme. He was probably due another trip to the mausoleum anyway.
Reginald looked up to the ceiling in an attempt to control himself, which only made the teenagers grow more curious. “W-was th-that V-va-vanya?!” Diego spluttered, staring over at his baby sister like his whole world view was shattering around him.
Ben glanced over to his sister, biting his lip as he noticed how devastated she seemed. Tears were running down her face, though she was too distraught to wipe them. He couldn’t even imagine how she must feel, her whole life had been a lie.
“It can’t have been, Vanya’s ordinary.” Luther remarked with utmost certainty, struggling to accept that there could be an alternative. It couldn’t have been her. It couldn’t.
“Oh my god.” Allison whispered, the memory crashing down on her like a ton of bricks. “You... you made me rumor her.” she muttered with disgust to her father, backing away from his vicinity.
“He wouldn’t d-“ Luther began to defend Reginald before Diego threw a knife just past Number One’s face.
The rumbling began again, though they were all too distracted to notice. “D-don’t sp-speak for him.” Diego spat, scowling at their monster of a father. Reginald looked lost for words, something the teenagers had never seen before in their entire lives.
The sound of Vanya’s intense anxiety attack snapped their vision to her from him. ”I heard a rumor... that you left us the hell alone.” Allison hissed at her father, never wanting to see his evil face again. Reginald’s eyes were lit up with a shock of white, and he calmly ambled away.
The shaking grew fiercer, feeling like the end of the world. Windows were breaking to tiny fragments and flying through the air, and Vanya’s door was blown straight from its hinges. ”I heard a rumor that you fell asleep!” Allison yelled at the top of her voice to be heard over the racket. Vanya suddenly slumped down, and the Earth shattering movement stopped with her.
All the children were tensely gathered in the largest bedroom, Luther’s. Allison had had to rumor Pogo into joining their father, and their mom had to be distracted by Klaus setting fire to an entire guest wing. He seemed to have received too much joy out of that task.
”How could you do that to her, Allison?!” Klaus groaned, feeling completely sobered by this development.
“I didn’t have a choice, Klaus!” Allison bit back at her brother, deeply insulted he even would ask such a thing.
“She’s right, she had to do what dad said.” Luther agreed with Allison, smiling at her supportingly. Diego scoffed mockingly, of course Luther would say that - he’d probably defend Allison cold blooded murdering someone.
Ben sighed as his eldest brothers began to furiously argue, wishing they could hold off their stupid rivalry for one moment. “We have bigger things to worry about!” Ben blurted with frustration, gesturing to their little sister who was bundled up on the bed. Numbers One and Two stopped their quarrelling, looking ashamed of themselves.
They all looked over to Vanya with an array of frowns. “What even is it... is it like telekinesis?” Klaus whispered, squinting down at his sister like that would allow it to become obvious.
“I guess?” Allison murmured, though she was utterly unsure. She couldn’t stop crying, the guilt from her childhood actions devouring her.
“Wh-why d-d-d-“ Diego clenched his jaw, marching to the corner of the room to hide how mortified he felt to be unable to speak. Klaus slumped down next to Allison, putting his arm around her and playing with her curls. “Wh-why...” Diego tried to think of mom’s advice. “did... dad.... do it? Wh-why her... n-n-not us?” He felt relieved to finally spit it out, but he stayed facing the wall to hide his blushed face.
”She must be stronger than us, she caused all of that destruction in a minute.” Ben spoke as the voice of reason, though he saw Luther’s offended face. His higher ranked siblings were so eager to impress, they didn’t know how it felt to be Six and Seven.
“It still doesn’t make it right.” Allison sniffled, trying not to be too grossed out by how much Klaus stunk of weed and cheap liquor.
“Hey, it wasn’t your fault.” Klaus reassured her softly, feeling guilty for his earlier comment.
Turning around to face his siblings again, Diego sauntered over to peer down at Vanya. She was so tiny. “We’re so g-goddamn m-mean to her. Whats wr-wrong with us?” he gently berated them, ashamed of how they’d acted towards her for all these years. Was it just because she didn’t have a power? That was so messed up.
“Dad isolated her.” Ben pointed out, looking over his shoulder to his little sister - hating himself for how they’d all acted. Luther surprisingly didn’t argue against that statement.
“Maybe when we were little kids, but we’re not anymore!” Klaus exclaimed shakily, wishing he could turn back time. Vanya was so kind, she didn’t deserve this.
“We can change.” Allison stated with confidence, brushing the tears from her face. They could change. It wasn’t too late. They were only sixteen.
“We can change.” Luther repeated, still feeling kind of bad for going against dad... he knew in his heart it was right though. It felt like everything Luther knew of the world was tumbling down irreparably. He forced a brave face since he was Number One.
“Yeah, w-we can change.” Diego agreed, not fond of agreeing with Luther but he supposed the sentiment was correct.
“We can change.” Ben whispered, feeling calmed by their collective thought.
Klaus nodded along eagerly, not wanting to make this moment anymore cringe-worthy by parroting his siblings. “Now what the hell do we do about Vanny?” he chuckled, also wondering what the hell they do about dad.
More rumors could maybe help things, but Allison felt nervous to use them after her discovered memory. Perhaps she could just rumor their dad. She’d always been too petrified to do such a thing. Allison had tried once as a small child and it hadn’t been well received, to say the least. Could she rumor him into loving them? Allison had always been too scared to try.
Before Allison could suggest anything, another rumbling started. It sounded different this time, but all the teenagers began to panic still. “She’s st-sti-still asleep!” Diego yelled, terrified of what was capable of coming from his tiny sister.
“What power even is this?!” Klaus whined, not feeling high enough for this catastrophe. He hurriedly shovelled a concoction of pills into his mouth.
“It’s... it’s out there.” Ben whispered, pointing out of the window. Ben was so afraid of the tentacles unleashing themselves, he could barely bring himself to speak. The awake adolescents all rushed to look out over to the courtyard, staggered by what it was.
A series of gasps were released when Five dropped to the ground. “Does anyone else see Number Five, or is that just me?”
”Shit.” Five grunted, looking down at his child body and ridiculously oversized suit. Why did he have to fuck up so spectacularly? Couldn’t he have just shaved off a few years rather than decades? Delores was goddamn right. She was always right. The noise of irritating children drew his attention to them, which was wildly disorienting. What year was it?! Just how badly did he fuck this up?! “Why are you children?!” Five groaned, stressfully running a hand through his hair - so hard that his scalp stung. Maybe he died in the process and this was all a torturous afterlife.
Why wouldn’t they be children? They trailed on after their brother as he stormed towards the kitchen. Why was he wearing such a large suit? “Where have you been? It’s been three years.” Luther grunted inquisitively, annoyed that his priority was making a sandwich.
“Three years...” Five snidely uttered under his breath, completely neglecting to address Luther’s question.
“Why do you look thirteen still?” Ben whispered curiously, causing Five to spatial jump away from him.
“You won’t understand. You’re children.” Five grouched, infuriated that he had to show up to a bundle of brats.
“You’re a child too.” Luther replied defensively. Five shook his head to himself, not going to even attempt to explain to these immature idiots how he de-aged.
“I’m a grown man.” Five reluctantly announced through a mouthful of peanut butter and marshmallow sandwich. He imagined it would’ve been unbearable enough to explain even to adult them, but he wanted it to be abundantly clear that he wasn’t thirteen. Diego seemed to be trying to say something, but only little choking noises came out. Luther began to laugh at Diego’s impediment, which caused the latter to throw a series of marshmallows at him. Five was thankful for the distraction, so he wouldn’t have to go through the effort of trying to teach the imbeciles the logistics of time travel.
“Was it the future?!” Klaus asked animatedly, plonked on the table in a very uncouth manner. Five nodded wordlessly, attempting to eat his sandwich without the childish interruptions. Klaus held a hand up to high-five Five, though he simply ignored it and gave him a side eye.
“Where’s dad?” Five curtly questioned before he took a bite. The swarm of snotty teenagers all looked to one another sketchily. Five harshly huffed through his nose as he chewed, much too exhausted to interrogate them since they’d clearly misbehaved. Looking around the kitchen, Five noticed a distinct lack of Vanya. “Where’s Vanya?” The kids once again gave each other skittish glances. Five slammed his hand onto the counter to shake some sense into them, growing steadily enraged by their adolescent nonsense. It was a profound relief to see them alive and well, but dear god were they apparently irritating at this age. The children all flinched in varying degrees. Why the hell could he smell smoke?
Although Five felt like an imbecile drowning in this suit, he frankly didn’t have the time to bother changing. “She can’t...” he murmured softly, looking down at his favorite sibling.
“We all s-s-saw it, F-Five.” Diego sounded offended that he’d question their story. Of course he’d question their goddamn story, they were sixteen. And stupid.
“What do we do? She can’t stay asleep forever.” Allison anxiously asked, wanting help from an adult even though she struggled to believe Five’s claim.
“We train her.” their apparently new eldest brother announced decisively.
“How?” Ben quietly uttered, feeling like his eyes were deceiving him to see Five again. He wanted to hug him desperately, but it seemed his brother was even more standoffish now he was supposedly a grown up. Ben hoped that wouldn’t happen to him when he became an adult.
Five shrugged, deciding they’d cross that bridge when it came to it. It couldn’t be that hard to do if their dad did it, he was more of a moron than these kids. At least they had experiences of their own powers to go off, Reginald was just as ordinary as Vanya was claimed to be.
“What about her anxiety? That was what set her power off.” Ben questioned solemnly, wishing he could wake Vanya up. It felt wrong to talk about her like she wasn’t there. Like usual. Five shrugged again, not knowing a single thing about emotions. He looked to Allison, assuming she knew more about them. She shrugged too.
He looked to Klaus, since he was always sensitive. “Maybe we put her back on the pills?” All the children collectively groaned at that suggestion, annoyed he always favored drugs as a solution.
“No, he’s right.” Five corrected the brats, pointing towards Klaus agreeably. “We wean her off them. Slowly. Whilst she learns to control her power.” he stated definitively, his tone leaving zero room for objections. He was the adult here. They all nodded sheepishly, Klaus clearly attempting and failing not to giggle at his suit. Five sighed wearily, jumping up to his room to change. Dad wasn’t going to go anywhere whilst the rumor was in effect.
”Do you believe him?” Allison whispered, nervous incase he’d maybe just jumped outside the door to eavesdrop.
“He-hell no.” Diego scoffed, glancing up to the ceiling when Five’s footsteps creaked.
“Should we tell dad?” Luther felt very on edge to be keeping such a large thing from him. The angered noises he received in return were a definite no. Five jumped back into the room again, making them all startle. They’d grown used to him not doing that, it was jarring to witness it again so suddenly.
“This isn’t what was supposed to happen...” Five thought aloud, pacing around the room feeling antsy. What had changed the timeline to such an extent? Who did the commission neglect to kill?
“Why, whats supposed to happen?” Klaus’ eyes were wide with excitement, desperate to know what their future held. Five looked away from him instantly, choosing to look to the ground instead. He’d rather not know, Five was sure. Ben’s presence was unnerving him too, it was difficult to know he would’ve been dead soon based on the timeline he was expecting to land in. Hopefully that could be changed now, since he’d fucked up his math so monumentally. And apparently the commission had majorly fucked up too. Ben had always been a factor he couldn’t alter, but he possibly could be saved now. Hopefully. Five didn’t want to let the relief of that sink in, just incase Ben was always destined to die at seventeen. He could work out the probability of that variable later.
“It doesn’t matter anymore anyway, things have changed.” Five explained exhaustedly, worrying if things had necessarily changed for the better or worse. There was no way to even know if the apocalypse was going to happen in this apparent alternative timeline. He supposed he unfortunately had thirteen long years with these snotty kids to work it out, there was thankfully no rush anymore. Perhaps that was a positive... plus it would be nice to get back his lost years with his siblings. They were all he could think about for decades upon decades. The adults Vanya described were a mess, it would be preferable to prevent any of that from ever happening. He could actually goddamn see Vanya again... after all these years. He could save Ben. Maybe Delores was wrong for once, this was exactly the right math.
The damn tracker needed to be removed pronto, at least Grace would be able to remove it in a sterile and efficient manner. That’s if these imbeciles hadn’t broken her. “Is Grace still functioning?”
The children nodded, looking guilty once again. Five bit back a groan. What the hell did they do now? “Grace?” Diego repeated scornfully, offended he wouldn’t call her mom. He’d forgotten how much of an obnoxious asshole Five was. Five massaged his temples, irritated by Diego still being so attached to a machine.
“I’m fifty-eight, Diego. And she’s a robot.” Five bluntly responded, causing Diego to barge across the room to presumably wrestle him. Five simply jumped to the other side of the room, annoyed by the inconvenience it caused.
Luther grabbed Diego like a kitten with great ease, forgetting Five could just spatial jump. He was too used to separating Diego and Klaus these days. He lowered Diego to the ground, though he was kind of relishing being able to embarrass him. “You’re fifty-eight?!” three of the children replied at once, all in various degrees of shock. Five flared his nostrils and pursed his lips, regretting his slip of the tongue. He supposed they were due to find out eventually. Five had things to do though, he could save this inherently insufferable lesson on mathematics for another time. He just knew they wouldn’t be able to follow along.
“I’ll explain later.” Five stated curtly, causing Klaus to dramatically moan with disappointment. “Where did you say dad was?” Five grumpily asked, wanting this whole matter to be put to bed. Everything was different now anyway, their dad was an unneeded liability. Clearly the timeline Vanya portrayed in her book was a dud, it couldn’t hurt to change things more.
“Why, what are you gonna do?” Luther asked with intense suspicion, even though he knew he probably shouldn’t be protective of their dad right now. It was ingrained. Five held up a finger to authoritatively silence him, which was quite amusing since he was significantly shorter.
“He’s in his study...” Allison admitted diffidently, bowing her head down like Vanya usually does “...I’m going to rumor him.” Five shook his head dismissively, opening up a vortex to jump through.
“What’re y’doing?” Klaus slurred, feeling tempted to attempt jumping through it too. It would be fun to experience. Diego swatted his brother away from the portal, seeing the cogs moving in his fried brain.
“I’m going to kill him.” Five declared casually as he jumped through. He sounded disgruntled that they even had to ask. All hell broke loose once again.