Klaus can't swim
A bit of a well-ishly unknown fact, Klaus can’t swim. Never could, never will. The ten-year-old thought it was something absolutely useless to try learn, as his powers weren't to do with swimming or anything that involved going out into the water.
No, he could speak to the dead , therefore he had no reason to go swim. And he was happy with that, the only water he liked is from a steaming hot bath, thanks.
But all of a sudden one of his siblings has to open their stupid mouths and suddenly, ‘I would’ve thought you could from the start’ this, and. ‘Well, it's going to be quite disappointing when the children who are meant to save the world suddenly drown in some pond water .’
Swimming was something the seven were trained to learn, from the sweet impressionable age of four.
Apparently, Dad forgot that children's memory is shit , and they need to keep practising to maintain those skills.
And sure , him lightly drowning in the Mall’s shallow water only caused a slight bit of panic in his siblings, but it was fine.
In short, swimming was stupid.
This training was stupid.
And having to wake up a whole hour and a half earlier was stupid.
Three neat-rapid knocks on his door managed to make him groan, they were quiet and un-loud. But the whole paranoia with the ghost thing certainly made him more alert at those little sounds.
Which is why he’d woken up so pissed off, risking it by not assuming it was, ‘Dad’, the sleep-exhausted kid muttered a quiet, “Piss off…”
The door opened, great. He thought he’d locked that. He guessed not.
Ah, Allison. Lovely, he loved his sister. Honestly, he did! But God was it annoying when she was sent to wake him. She was nice and all, but her power wasn’t so.
“Allison, Allie.” She grimaced at the nickname, “Good old Number Two.” He mumbled, “ Please can I just sleep.”
She felt bad, she did! But she didn’t quite think Dad would have the same response.
“And am I just meant to go back to Dad without you, or?” Trying to get him to see her point. Klaus only rolled over pulling the pillow over his head.
She groaned, walking over to her Dear little brother.
“I heard a rumou-” Klaus pulled the pillow over his head tighter, humming slightly.
Ripping the pillow off, she spoke again as he looked her in the eyes tiredly, “I heard a rumour you followed me.”
Klaus groaned as his body protested against his wants, him muttering something about how he rumoured that she’d shut up.
Which was a little funny, but she made sure she wasn’t able to see her grinning, bad to encourage him, Five said.
As they walked, Allison questioned to him, “Do you always sleep in your clothes?” Genuinely curious, she’d only been tasked to wake him a few times. But each time without fail, he’d be there. Lying with his uniform on.
“Only day’s that end with Y”. He yawned, stretching as his legs continued to walk for him. God.
Reginald wasn’t pleased, the man never was so that was expected. Klaus suddenly felt that he could control his own legs again and he was no longer under Allison's rumour.
“Honestly, Number Four.” He muttered, “How many more times am I going to have to wake you like a toddler?”
He wanted to bite back that Dad had only been sending his siblings to wake him, but decided against it, knowing it’ll only create more tension, which wasn’t the goal for today at least.
“Well, hurry along. We don’t want to wait any longer for you.” That was a lie, they wouldn’t have waited for him, it was just another guilt tactic. They all seemed to start picking up on that recently.
Oh well, they were only words. And when you’ve got a manipulative father, you were going to have to get used to them.
Klaus sighed when he saw all his siblings lined up, they were going to be taking the Limo. Which sounds exciting, but the man had gone on about keeping it respectable as him.
Which confused him, so he wanted them to make it dirty?
Jokes aside, this sucked, because he couldn’t just take the children to an ordinary swimming pool with ordinary others, no. They were going to be learning how to swim in a private lake.
A lake . Places where undoubtedly multiple bodies would probably be at the bottom.
Lovely , he mentally prepared to be seeing around twenty new faces tonight. And the next night, and the one after that and-
Yeah, this seemed about right.
They’d entered through a black steel gate, one that had sharp spikes at the top. The limo had steadily drove down the wobbly path until it was revealed to them.
It looked fucking disgusting, and rightfully, all the other children began to complain. Whining about the same things Klaus disagreed on, all of them disagreeing together.
There was a selection of black bags that had been handed out to them, ones that they were forbidden from opening until they arrived.
In the distance, they could see a sketchy room, one with peeling paint and the obvious signs of moss growing up the side of it. Really fed into the whole, abandoned look.
The divider which had been up for the whole ride had finally receded, Reginald turning back to face the unruly children.
“Take your bags and open them inside that room there, you will get changed and be out in the next four minutes.”
The Limo doors opened automatically.
The swimsuits sucked. They were uncomfortable, and definitely not polyester. More of an un-shiny latex.
It felt tight, as if it were trying to suffocate them in it. God save them if they got caught on anything since these things seemed as if they wouldn’t rip.
Getting them on was a pain, but the seven had managed to do it just in time. Reginald's frustrated knocks echoed on the door.
“Hurry along, now. We can’t possibly be waiting all day. People dying don’t have minutes to spare, you know.”
Of course, Reginald hadn’t hired somebody professional. They hadn’t known what they’d expected, but considering Vanya was allowed to come with them then it was clearly not a training to do with their powers.
“Now, as you all can’t recall anything from your prior training, we will be starting at the basics , Pogo?” Right, the one who’d driven them there.
Ah, so Reginald wouldn’t be training them, he was just doing the thing where he said it was his idea. Or in other words, stealing the credit.
As the children were asked to walk across the rotted wooden dock, they knew they were in for Hell.
And as they lowered their bodies into the disgusting lake water, they grimaced.
It was freezing.
Of course, at least they’d started with possible basics. It’s what they were expecting, they knew it would just be regular swimming, but it sucked nonetheless.
It was a nice change though, instead of having to strain using their powers repetitively, all they were doing was just swimming in some water. Gross water, but water nonetheless.
They had to hold onto the dock while in the water to practice, ‘floating’. Which wasn’t really floating if they were holding onto the dock, but they’d learned that if they let go they would practically drown instantly.
After they’d successfully not died , they were told to lean forward and let go. Being promised that they would float.
Well, to reword it, most of them did. But Luther, Klaus and Ben were having a little trouble with it. Something that Reginald wasn’t pleased with.
Apparently, this was something he was adamant on them figuring out how to do, as he actually stepped in to train the others. Separating the children.
Allison, Diego, Five and Vanya going with him to the other side of the lake, all whilst Luther Klaus and Ben had to stay until they could figure it out.
It had taken around fourteen minutes for Ben to manage to float for a solid twenty seconds, which was good enough for Pogo, sending him off to the others.
Now, it was just Luther and Klaus. The two brothers, trying to learn how to not drown together. It took the, it had taken them quite a while to piece together that maybe Luther's inability to float was something to do with his strength.
“This is so stupid .” Klaus muttered, feeling embarrassed. He couldn’t do it, and everyone else could. And- Luther had a genuine excuse for not being able to…
But of course, the world wanted to spite him.
And Luther managed to do it, leaving Klaus alone.
Klaus tensed, looking toward the voice. He’d gotten out of the water, and was now standing on the dock. Soaking wet and cold.
“I’m disappointed in you.” He always is, what’s different from the other times? He refrained from saying anything though.
“All of the other children are far more capable than you at this, this is exactly why you need to pay attention, Number four.” And yeah, it hurt. But what was he meant to do? Swim better?
“You are not to leave this area until you can successfully float on water like the others,
It had taken him too long.
He… Floated eventually? It had taken a while, too long. An upsetting amount of time, and even though Pogo tried to be patient, it seemed he was getting agitated.
And yeah, it was fair… Most people would get annoyed if someone couldn’t do something as simple as that… But it was hard.
But, that being hard wasn’t an excuse. If everyone else could do it, so could he.
And begrudgingly, after that pathetic display of, ‘swimming’, Klaus was free to go. And by go, move onto where the others were. And at his arrival, none of them were in the water.
“Too late, Number Four. I expected this, the others moved on fifteen minutes ago, once again disappointing. I’m very displeased with you, today.” He was displeased every day.
His, ‘father’ continued.
“Don’t think that you’re going without consequences for this.”
‘Great, what could that be?’ Klaus dull-ly thought.
“You are to return here after dark until you can protect yourself properly, there’s no use in your powers if you’re unable to save yourself from
He once again had more to say. “ Now , you will be joining us in fifteen, I do hope you’re more prepared this time.”
Five was really pissing him off.
Correction, Five and Allison were pissing him off.
It was the type of thing siblings did, where they find a mistake you’ve made and start teasing you about it, only they keep adding stuff. Stuff that might not even be relevant to the current situation, and they keep laughing because they like how annoyed you get.
And… It’s aggravating.
Five had made a quick quip about how he’d probably drown in the shower, which Allison laughed at, which started the whole situation.
“Maybe if he drowns we get ice cream?” She wondered loudly
“Maybe if you drown I won’t have to hear your stupid voice anymore.” That was stupid, he didn’t mean it. They were just… Pissing him off right now. He just wanted to swim, and here they were being annoying.
“At least I can actually swim, and I don't need Pogo to make sure I don’t die."
“Oh don’t damage your voice in the water” Klaus mocked, glaring at her. Five rubbed his hand across his face, God why did the two of them have to act like such children? That didn’t even make sense.
Allison's face changed, she thought for a moment trying to come up with a comeback, something that would sting. She finally settled on one.
“Oh yeah? Well, I heard a rumour that you drowned in a lake.” She spat, and then froze, her eyes darting to Klaus in horror in the realization of what she’d just said.
“Shit- Allison! What the Hell did you do?! ” Five snapped, trying to grab onto his brother's wrists as Klaus was already walking away, off into the direction of the water.
“Klaus- No, no, no. Wait!-!” She hadn’t meant to! She said it in the heat of the moment.
“I heard a rumour you stopped-!” Klaus kept walking. Five snapped to her.
“Why isn’t it working?!”
She didn’t know. She couldn’t just make him stop . He needed to listen to her, to fulfil her Rumour.
Did she kill her own brother?
She tried grabbing onto Klaus, wrapping her arms over his shoulders to try physically hold him back from doing what she hoped he wouldn’t.
Five hissed as Klaus punched him, flinching back as he held a hand to his nose. “ Five-!” Shit.
As Klaus walked down the rotted dock, Allison felt herself getting pulled along with him, she wasn’t strong enough. Five and her weren’t strong enough.
Snapping around, he shoved them to the ground, unexpecting the move they fell. In horror, they stared as their brother walked back.
His body had so carelessly dropped into the water, the splash echoing, water bouncing back onto their legs.
Klaus was gone.
Klaus was under the water.
“ Klaus!” Five yelled, gripping the edge of the dock as he peered over, he couldn’t swim that well. Plot twist, none of them really could. But with their father there they sure as Hell had to make it look like they could.
The water was still waving from the force of their sibling dropping into it, he hadn’t come up yet.
Klaus hadn’t come up for air yet.
Five snapped his head towards his sister, “Allison! Get help.” She nodded, sprinting off into the distance, yelling.
Five took one glance back at her, and stared at the water, with a deep breath, he ran back and jumped in.
His eyes were burning, he wished he had goggles. Or some sort of warmth-preserving suit because going fully under was cold as shit.
The dirty water stung as he tried to squint, he couldn’t see him. Five put his hands in front of him and swam. Everything was a foggy dark colour, the greyish rocks didn’t help.
Five spotted something, someone. His brother.
Five tried to yell, “Klaus!” It didn’t work, they were underwater. The only thing his panicked yell did was make him further lose his breath.
There Klaus was, staring at him. Just staring.
Five frantically pointed up, he didn’t like this. He didn’t like this at all.
As Five tried to swim over to grab his brother, he felt the force of something grabbing him. Pulling him away.
Five gasped as the air hit his lungs, he took the greatest inhale of his life as he looked up. Turning around he felt what could only be described as pure terror. Reginald had grabbed him.
He was in for shit now, it was all about to hit the fan.
The look his father was giving him was unnerving, able to make him feel so… Uncomfortable. “Number Five, what was the meaning of this?” What was the- Five twisted his head back around to the water.
“Klaus is in there. ”
And for once, Five actually had the ability to snap at his father. “So?! Go help him! ” Allison was next to him. He wasn’t sure how long she’d been there.
“This is a lesson for him, number Five.” A lesson!? What fucking lesson? Get rumoured out of his choice, so his punishment was to drown?!
As bubbles floated to the top of the water, Allison panicky spoke to his father to help him. As Allison turned away from the two to go jump in herself, Reginald put an arm on her shoulder.
Holding her back.
“Number Four will be fine.”
Allison turned, “I heard a rumour, you saved our brother.”
Ohh forget Five's punishment, Allison was screwed.
Their father's hand dropped from both shoulders as he walked forward.
“You children will be the death of me.”
The water splashed once more.
Klaus was gasping , breathing like he’d never breathed before. He was coughing- Hell, gagging. His breath hitched as he begin to cough more forcefully. His lungs trying to expel whatever the fuck was contaminating them.
Somebody was an inch away from his face, he didn’t know who and he didn’t care. As he leaned over to the side he helplessly began to spit up whatever the fuck he’d swallowed underwater.
God, he was shaking, He thought…? His hands were. He felt like shit.
“ Am I dead?”
“You might as well be with that stupid act, I would say death would’ve been a deserving outcome.” A- What?
An annoyed sigh, “No, Number Four. You are not dead, but you will be if you pull something as foolish as that again.”
The noise of many more shoes than before let Klaus realize that maybe he wasn’t alone anymore? He… Didn’t really recall what happened, but he was assuming that maybe someone had come over to check up on him?
He groaned slightly as he tried to sit up. Bringing his hand to his eyes.
“Very well, training is discontinued for the day, thanks to your brother. I expect everybody to be ready and changed in the next five minutes.”
The sound of feet were walking away.
“That includes you, number Four.” Ah… Okay…
He felt tired. God he was gonna have the longest sleep of his life .
So, he didn’t get that peaceful nap he wanted.
He had managed to fall asleep, Hell. He was pretty sure he fell asleep before he even left the dock.
Despite Dad’s comments on him about how he should have died, he seemed rather keen on doing a checkup, some stupid talk on dry drowning… Or something. But he wasn’t in the water anymore, so he’s pretty sure he wasn’t gonna drown.
He’d been kept there for three hours. And it was so boring. Stupid monitors, stupid mask stupid everything.
He finally got to go to his room and…
And he was pretty sure his siblings were mad at him. They probably had to do something annoying because of it…
He barely even remembers what happened.
As the exhaustion of the day was finally catching up to him, his eyes were growing heavier…
“Klaus?” Oh, what now?
Practically peeling his eyes back open, Klaus glanced towards his door. It was open, barely . But whoever it was, hadn’t attempted to open it yet.
He honestly considered staying silent, but it wouldn't hurt to answer . “Mm?” He hummed, still pretty asleep.
The door creaked open, and… Oh, wow everyone was there.
By everyone, he meant everyone. Y’know, with the exception of Pogo, Grace and Reginald- And anyone else. Just- All of his siblings were there.
Which was a little uncomfortable considering how small the rooms were. “Oh, uh.. Hi?” He replied confusedly, he wasn’t upset at all! Just confused.
Allison was hugging him, “Oh- Okay, this is happening.” He confirmed. His sister looked like she wanted to cry.
Allison was crying.
And the minute she started doing that, the room was filled with his siblings asking if he (and also Allison), were alright. And the answer was… Yeah.
“What happened ? Dad made us think you died .” What?
“I thought- You saw me breathing”
“ Afterwards , dipshit.” Five spoke worriedly. “He said- He told us you dry-drowned.” He continued, “The car started speeding up when you went unconscious.”
Oh… So it wasn’t just a nap.
Allison cried harder at that, honestly, all of his siblings had some form of concern on their face. It was weird, it was nice.
“Klaus, I am so sorry.”
Huh? “For what?”
Five gave a glance to the others, unsure if they knew. “Guys, let’s leave.” He suggested, the others sensing something was about to happen reluctantly left. Even though they were more-so being pushed by Five.
With all his siblings out the door, Five shut it as they walked off. When he meant, ‘Let us leave’. He meant them.
“Klaus… Don’t you remember?” Remember what?
“Klaus, I rumoured you. I rumoured you to drown.” Oh shit, for real?
“Oh…” So she did, that’s… A little fucked.
She hugged him tighter, and he gave a semi-reassuring pat on the back. “It’s- Alright, I’m… Here.”
“It’s not alright!” Five glanced over, looking uncertain about something. “Klaus I could’ve killed you, If Five hadn’t jumped in I-” Klaus cut her off.
“Five jumped in?”
Five in question nodded. “Yeah, I wasn’t the one who grabbed you though.”
“Then who-” Five was the one to interrupt this time.
“Holy, shit . What?” He cackled. Cackled.
His siblings looked at him as if he were insane. “Why are you laughing ?” Allison sniffed.
“Because that God Damn bastard jumped in to save me.”
Five turned to Allison, staring. As if a simple look was asking her. ‘Are you going to tell him?’
Allison looked at Klaus.
One secret couldn’t hurt.