Weeks after that almost encounter with the blonde woman holding the violin, Allison was still feeling off-center. The reminder of her siblings, Vanya especially, was weighing heavy on her. She wasn’t sure why — she had had plenty of other things that brought her previous life back to the forefront of her mind but this time, she was having a hard time moving past it.
Every little thing she did now prompted an old memory to surface.
Allison was cutting some vegetables for dinner; she remembered missions where Diego was allowed to use his powers unlimitedly. There was an old bookstore she had to pass on her way to work that displayed a different collection of works in the windows every week; she was reminded of all the times she went to look for Ben only to find him curled up with some old, dry classic, enthralled with the story hidden in its pages. She would gaze out the window of her bedroom and see the moon perched up in the dark night sky; there was Luther, up there alone for four years, carrying out the will of a father that didn’t care. Every time she had to swallow down a smart, cutting remark that wanted to slip out in response to the overwhelming racism she now faced; Five was Jumping to higher ground, wanting to lord over them how he was right and they were wrong. Allison went out shopping and saw a particularly swirly skirt; she remembered Klaus dancing around the living room in her old, black, leather skirt. And every time anything even classical played on the radio she saw Vanya; standing shy and timid, scared of reaching out to her family; standing tall and proud, able to bring down the world.
Allison knew she was worrying Raymond but she didn’t even know where she would begin when trying to explain. How could she explain the crazy story of her life?
‘So Raymond, I was bought from my birth mom for a couple of thousand dollars by a man that should never have children. Yet he did, I was one of seven babies bought that day. Oh yeah, he bought all of us from our mothers because we were born in an unusual way. Our mothers weren’t pregnant the morning we were born. Yeah, we were all born on the same day. And before I forget, we all have superpowers and we used to fight crime in school uniforms. And the reason you’ve never heard of us? We time traveled from the year 2019 to get away from the literal end of the world. And the end of the world was caused by our sister who blew up the moon.’
Allison didn’t want to start on where any one of those could go wrong. She just had to pull herself together. And she was going to. Tomorrow. Allison had the day to herself, Raymond at the college for classes. As she was cleaning up after breakfast, Allison told herself that today was going to be the day she mourned and then let go. It was coming up on two years and she couldn’t hold onto those ties anymore. She was Allison Chesnut now and Allison Hargreeves was dead.
She finished putting away the dishes and made her way back to her bed. Her plan for the day was to cry the day away. She could already feel the tears collecting on the rims of her eyes. Allison was glad she hadn’t put on any of her make-up, knowing that it would have been an ugly look for her.
Today was going to be about mourning the past.
And tomorrow? It was going to be about the future. Just like every day after that.
Klaus woke up, disoriented. He wasn’t particularly worried. Klaus had been waking up disoriented since he discovered drugs and alcohol when he was a young boy.
Nowadays, he was disoriented less because of the drugs or drinks but because he didn’t recognize where he was when he woke. It was common for his cult to simply move him while they were traveling. He had tried to tell them to stop doing that but as time went on, he started losing control over the group.
As he finally opened his eyes, Klaus saw that he was in his California bedroom and gave a deep sigh.
He was growing tired of everything. It was day after day of the same thing, the same people, the same lying. Klaus was apparently the only living Hargreeves (baring the original Bastard) and it was getting harder to go on every day.
The only thing that kept him going was the thought of Dave. Klaus knew that Dave was working in his uncle’s hardware shop when Kennedy gets shot and Klaus was planning on being there to stop Dave from enlisting. He had to stop Dave from dying. He couldn’t live with himself if he let Dave die again when Klaus had a chance to save him.
He was just waiting out the days until he made his way east.
As Klaus made his way out of his bedroom, he started dodging all his followers. They were all so grabby and touchy-feely. He was getting hives just thinking about it.
Klaus was only occasionally watching where he was going, attempting to find Ben, when he was badly startled. One of the newest followers came up from behind him. Only he looked exactly like Diego from the corner of his eye. The follower had the same confident strut, the same knowing smirk that Diego had frequently spotted — like he knew a secret that you never would.
The follower’s sudden appearance sent a wave of grief roaring through Klaus and he jerked away from everyone, turning to sprint back towards his room. Thankfully, he managed to get there before anyone else and he slammed the door shut, throwing the lock so none but his dead brother could join him.
When he was safely ensconced in his room, Klaus wiggled his way out of his clothes and back into bed. Pulling the covers over his head, Klaus broke down. He did his best to muffle all the sounds he was making, not wanting the cult to break down the doors to check on him. He just needed a moment alone.
Later, the sun now heating his cocoon considerably, Klaus rolled over and stared over at Ben. He wasn’t sure when his brother appeared but he was glad. Even if Ben was a giant, nagging, annoyance — he was Klaus’ brother, his only family. It was a glad reminder that as much as he thought, Klaus didn’t want to be alone. And he wasn’t.
The two of them stared at each other, eyes rimmed in red.
“Coming up on three years, huh?”
They continued to stare at each, both ignoring how their cheeks weren’t drying off. Klaus eventually rolled over, folding his hands over his stomach.
Ben joined him, copying his posture. They were silent, watching the sun descent across the sky by the shadows across the ceiling.
“I miss them,” Ben whispered the secret, almost ashamed. Klaus, glowing blue, reached over to grab Ben’s hand. One of the best and worst parts of being sober for nearly three years was the ability to interact with Ben. Klaus had spent two decades with a ghost hovering over his shoulder, criticizing all of his decisions — now he had a ghost hovering over his shoulder, able to smack Klaus for his bad decisions.
On the other hand, Klaus could do things like this — hold Ben’s hand and offer physical comfort. Klaus turned his head toward his brother and saw he was already looking back. Closing his eyes, Klaus leaned forward a little, Ben matching him, until their foreheads were touching.
This was something the two of them had taken to doing, some little touches to remind each other that no matter the words spoken (or not spoken if they decided to freeze each other out) that they loved each other, that they still considered each other family, practically twin brothers.
Throughout the rest of the day, Ben and Klaus ignored the various people who knocked on the door wanting to speak to the Prophet. They ignored the pleas and the threats, the loud pounding on the door and the soft knocks on the windows.
They were mourning together; the lives they could no longer live, the family that they lost back in 2019, the family that they lost in the 1960s.
Five grit his teeth. This jump was more painful than any other he had ever tried before. He could feel himself losing the grip he had on his siblings’ hands. A particularly bad jerk almost spun him completely around.
Of course, he had never tried to jump with his entire family because they were running from the apocalypse before.
This jump was longer than his others as well, spinning him around and up and down and Five could feel the frustration growing within him. If only his family had listened to him. If only he was smarter and did better. He tried to stifle them, but the tears welled up.
His portal spat him out in a dirty, empty alley and he forced the tears away. He had to find his family. He had to fix this.
The Handler had been at this job for longer than most people were aware of. She had devoted her entire life to this organization. She had become this job, leaving everything (including her name) behind.
And they repaid her by bringing in Carmichael?
Who did they think they were?
Handler took a deep breath, aware that getting mad wasn’t going to help her. Instead, she focused on her plan. Her greatest plan, her greatest weapon.
It was time to send Lila in.