Chapter 4: Jump
Word Count: 900+
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It had taken him years to get back to the right place. Unfortunately, Five’s ability to go backwards was about as accurate as his ability to jump forwards. So, it had taken a few mistakes, a few more run-ins with The Commission, and an eventual recruitment to end up back in 2019.
He didn’t want to leave his brother in the apocalypse. He didn’t want to do it at all—didn’t want to damn his family again and again. Yet, he’d done it. He’d abandoned Klaus with the screams and the gunfire. He’d left knowing he may never see Klaus, or anyone else, ever again.
His lifetime diet became coffee and TUMS—the former to maintain his lifestyle, the latter to restrain his guilt. His age certainly wasn’t helping things; all he wanted was to retire.
Yet, he couldn’t. Not until the apocalypse had been stopped, and he’d satisfied the unspoken promise he’d made all those years ago.
When he collapses outside the Academy, aching much less than his body ought to given the length of the fall, the realization that his body is exactly what it used to be makes him sick, but he finds his siblings staring back at him, all very much alive. The relief solidifies as a lump in his throat, but he hides his stinging eyes and pushes the emotions aside before any of them have a chance to notice. Their mockery would only enhance their more annoying qualities.
He makes a beeline for the kitchen, bypassing his group of useless, gawping siblings. If he’s going to stop the apocalypse, the first thing he’s going to need is coffee. A lot of coffee.
They’re sitting on the kitchen table as he pulls himself together. All of this feels strange. He’s thirteen and short, which means he needs a stool to reach most of the things on the kitchen shelves. The universe must be fucking with him.
The thought confirms itself when Luther begins to speak, an irritated lilt to his voice. “It’s been seventeen years.”
He’s endured everything just to come back and save them, and that’s how Luther wants to start this conversation? Fine. “It’s been a lot longer than that,” he hisses. “I was trapped in the future. Hate to say it, but the old man was right.”
When he turned again, sandwich now firmly in hand, he stopped, gaze sweeping his siblings and landing firmly on his brother. His very alive brother.
“It’s good to see you, Klaus.” They’re the words of a world-weary old man, yet there’s a lilt to his voice that betrays his happiness. “I’ve missed you.”
It’s an unexpected, but not unwelcome, revelation.
“This can’t be real,” Diego gripes.
Klaus elbows him lightly in the ribs. “What?” he pouts. “Can’t Fivey miss me? Someone has to!”
The nickname is enough to make him cringe, but Klaus is alive and there’s a chance they can do this. But he’s high. Very high from the glazed look in his eyes. That’s going to be a problem.
“What day is it?” he asks instead.
Viktor pushes a newspaper toward him. Their father’s death is the main headline.
There’s eight days until the apocalypse. Eight days until the world ends and everyone he loves dies along with it.
Eight days. No pressure.
He leaves a few hours later after realizing his siblings are pretty much useless right now. Of the few he truly trusts, one is dead, the other has practically sworn off involvement in the family, and the third is, well, Klaus.
He’s shot at that evening in Griddy’s. It doesn’t matter; he leaves a trail of bodies in his wake.
Viktor doesn’t believe him. If Viktor doesn’t, surely none of them will.
But he can’t do this alone.
Klaus is easy to find, solely for the fact that they practically collide into one another in the hall when Five returns to the academy. It’s perfect timing, so he follows Klaus into his bedroom-turned-dungeon for a chat.
“I need you sober,” he says to him slowly. “I know you don’t want to do that, but I need…” he sighs. “I need your help. And I promised you the last time I saw you—in my past, your future—that I’d give you the biggest bottle of tequila I could find once you helped me. So… please.”
They do it together. Five is now aware of the sensory burden that comes with Klaus’s powers, so he tries to help in all the meager, non-intoxicant-adjacent ways that he can.
It takes them a combined three days to get Klaus mostly sober. He’s distressed beyond belief to the point that their siblings hold a family meeting where they demand the both of them come clean. So they do. Vaguely. Klaus spills more beans than he probably should, given the stricken look on Allison’s face when they tersely describe the end of the world.
“All I know is that this,” he holds up the glass eyeball, “was in Luther’s hand when he died. I’ve traced its production back to a lab in the city, and I need your guys’ help to find its owner.”
Viktor waffles. He has no powers, no reason to be involved with this situation, so he’s quick to find an excuse to bail, much to Five’s dismay. Diego and Luther hesitate, and Allison whirls toward the nearest phone so she can call her daughter before disaster strikes.
Five glances toward Klaus. He knows everyone is watching. He knows Klaus doesn’t remember their time together in the apocalypse—probably for the best, all things considered. However, they’ve more or less come this far together, and, by God, they’ll finish it together if it’s the last thing Five does.
“Ready to go save the world?”
Like the first time they saw one another across the debris and smoke, Klaus’s smile glows like a sunrise. “Let’s kick some cosmic ass, brother o’ mine.”
And maybe, just maybe, they’ll succeed this time.
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A/N: And thus ends our little adventure with Klaus and Five! I really just wanted more scenes with them mutually appreciating one another (since the "retirement road trip" was so sweet). Thanks to everyone who has made it this far! :)
Chapter 3: Fight Me, Bitch
Word Count: 1,100+
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It has been almost two weeks since Five and Klaus found one another outside the crumbling remains of the Academy steps. The rest of their family has yet to arrive (aside from their corpses, which both have pointedly ignored). Unfortunately, things are starting to go to shit.
Food is scarce to find in the carnage, and every friendly face besides Klaus’s is a corpse. The worst part is that he’s starting to grow numb to them.
For Klaus, the situation has been equally dismal. He’s been sober for ages, and none of their cold-hearted siblings have bothered to make an appearance to end his misery. Maybe they’re all hanging out with Ben…
Their sour moods feed off one another, and the non-useful ghosts keep piling in to the point that Klaus can’t eat, which makes Five doubly concerned about their situation. He doesn’t want his one chance at information to die, sure, but he doesn’t want his brother to die, either.
Klaus may be a cat with nine lives but surely surviving the apocalypse has exhausted more than a few of them.
They make due with math. Or, at least, Five does. He tries to calculate a way home. They find a library lined with books and books and more books that more or less help him delve into the basics of time manipulation. He reads and calculates between intermittent stints of comforting Klaus, who whines and panics as the distressing throng of souls continues to grow around him.
Although Five tries, there isn’t much he can do for his companion. It’s a battle Klaus has to endure independently. Yet, it still stirs something deep within Five, something akin to sympathy and understanding. While he hates the fact that Klaus has spent his life getting high, he gets it now. It makes his perspective of his brother feel totally off-kilter in a way he is wholly unprepared for.
But that still isn’t their biggest problem. No, their biggest problem is their newfound friends—as Klaus has said repeatedly, the unfriendliest of friends—that have beamed down from God knows where with the singular urge to attack.
It makes things really damn difficult.
Klaus is in no state to fight. That’s obvious even before one of the goons with guns nearly shoots his head off. So, Five has to take the lead, blinking and punching in ways that would make Reggie proud.
It’s the worst time for more ghosts to appear, so, of course, they do. They start filtering in all at once. Allison. Viktor. Luther. Diego. Ben. The latter of which is the only one who understands what’s going on. He kneels by Klaus, voice reassuring as he holds up a hand to silence his siblings’ immediate barrage of questions.
“You can do this, Klaus. Believe in yourself. You can keep this under control. You can use this to help you. We remember things.”
At the end, his words begin to fade under the shouting babushkas and angry nuns. There’s a lady with a baby and this kid holding his dad’s head. It’s too much. It’s so loud.
“No, no, go away,” Klaus whines, trying to clamp his hands over his ears.
The noises only intensify with his acknowledgement.
But Ben is still standing in front of him, and he won’t be derailed that easily. “You can do this, Klaus. Just focus on us.”
The reassurance catches his attention, and Klaus looks up at him in a moment of near panic. Allison and Viktor want to intervene with hugs. Hell, even Diego is tempted to offer comfort when the untouchable nuns start closing in and Klaus visibly deflates in fear.
But Ben is still not deterred. “We've got you. All of us. We’re not gonna let anything happen to you. We’re on your side.”
“You’ve never been on my side!”
“But now you have a side worth being on. There’s a difference.”
“What happened, anyway?” he finally slurs, much to his siblings’ evident glee. “One minute we were there for Papa Bear’s funeral, and the next…” he waved his arms helplessly at the carnage, wincing as one connected with a looming spirit.
Viktor frowns sympathetically. “Something happened. There was a lot of fighting… I…”
Five’s voice carries across the library’s remains—a shout that borders on hopeful. “Is it them?”
“Yeah!” he confirms. “Our good ole’ siblings decided to finally make an appearance!”
“Well,” Five growls in reply, teeth gnashing in part annoyance, part determination. “Stop wasting our time and ask them what happened!”
“I was getting there! So mean!” he pouts in return.
“Klaus,” Ben interjects, “focus.”
The statement is met with another pout. “Since apparently we’re playing telephone now, what fascinating tidbits would you like to share?”
“Harold Jenkins,” Viktor explains in a rush. “He convinces me to go off my meds.”
“And Viktor has powers,” Allison tacks on quickly.
“Hey, good for you, buddy!”
Ben pinches the bridge of his nose. “Klaus!”
Luther raises his hand, drawing everyone’s attention, but they pause as Klaus again has to run for cover to escape the onslaught of absolute assholes. If he ever gets to talk to God again, he’s giving her a total earful for the crummy treatment. She’s supposed to love everyone!
Five is getting closer now, and he takes the opportunity to check in. “What do we know, Klaus?”
“You want a guy named Hammy Jeepers!”
“Harold Jenkins!” the group cries in return.
“Harold Jenkins,” he amends with a sheepish smile.
Now, Luther does intervene. “Five looked at his eyeball. Does he still have it?”
“Uhhhh…” He turns. “Five? Luther wants to know if you have…” They dodge and weave a fresh round of gunfire, and he uses the opportunity to roll the disgusting premise in his mouth.
“An… eyeball?!” He frowns in disgust.
Five grunts, jabbing one of their attackers in the neck. “Yeah, I’ve got it! It’s Jenkins’s?”
The people with guns are closing in. Five is blinking as fast as possible, but somewhere in the clever part of his mind, Klaus realizes that they both won’t be getting out of this one alive.
He’s already doomed Ben to an eternity of suffering; he won’t do that to Five, too.
“Jump!” he shouts, the words carrying across the space with resounding clarity. “Jump back!”
Five dodges another wave of bullets, smacking someone in the face with the butt of a gun. “What?” He has to scream over the gunfire.
“Go back in time! Like all that math-y stuff you’ve been doing!”
They’ve had discussions about how futile that avenue is, and Five has the strongest urge to point that out, but it would be a banefully useless waste of their time. “What about you?” he shouts back instead.
“Come back when you can! Make sure I don’t get caught in the next apocalypse!” It comes out with a giggle. What makes this situation so funny, he doesn’t really know. “Go quickly!”
They share a gaze from across the clearing. Five: concerned. Klaus: terrified.
And in a blinding flash of blue light, Five is gone.
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