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Hiding the bodies

Chapter Text

The thing about Klaus’ abilities is that there are truly no secrets anyone can keep from Five’s brother.

His brother had years upon years in a desolate wasteland with nothing to entertain himself with than to practice using his powers, so by the time they join the Commission he cannot only levitate freely but more importantly can call ghosts at will, make them manifest if he so pleases, can talk to whomever he likes.

The dead are everywhere and see everything. And they have no use for secrets, always more than willing to tell Klaus everything he wants to know. Which, of course, also includes any questions Five might have.

So, the first order of business after joining the Commission is gathering blackmail and finding out how much their current employers actually know about them and their powers.

A few chats with the ghosts following the Handler around and they are fairly certain that the Commission actually knows surprisingly little about their powers, barely anything at all beyond what anyone in their own time could have told you based on the media coverage of their missions, namely that Klaus sees dead people and that Five can jump through space. Them knowing about the time-skipping thing is kind of a given at this point.

But that's also pretty much all they know.

Which is just so far from the reality of their powers - getting neither into exactly what Klaus' powers can do, nor anything about Five's powers that is actually relevant, like, oh, maybe their limits or something? - that Five promptly loses most of the tentative respect he had been holding for the Commission as a whole.

Admittedly, they are basing most of this information solely on what they can glean from the Handler's ghosts, seeing as they have yet to run into any of the real higher-ups at the Commission. So, there is still a slight chance that the people actually in charge might be a little better informed.

Although, Five isn't holding his breath.

And it's not like there would be much to find even if someone did try to look into their powers, seeing as Five tried time-jumping the first time right before ending up in the post-apocalypse and Klaus only started figuring out his own powers in that same desolate wasteland.

No one aside from them even knows the extent of their powers, and they certainly have no intention of cluing in other people to their own ignorance.

Being underestimated is definitely an advantage neither of them is willing to give up.

+++

All in all, being assassins is a little strange.

Strange, for no other reason than because making a living by killing people is turning out to be a far easier than it honestly should be.

Assassinations, planning murder, manipulating people into deadly situations to be exploited by them, even the final act of pulling the trigger, it all shouldn't be anywhere as easy as it is turning out to be.

At least, that's what Five thinks.

Sure, he and his brothers are used to going on missions, have been 'taking out' criminals and villains alike ever since their father deemed their training sufficient, since long before they even hit puberty.

But back then, they used to go after the bad guys.

Because, now? The people the Commission wants dead range from genocidal megalomaniacs threatening world order all the way to nice, old ladies feeding pigeons in the park. It's a rather odd mix of targets and it takes Five a couple of years - taking every kill order as it comes but noting everything down in detail - to work out a sort of pattern in the kills they are tasked with.

Not that it ultimately makes any sort of difference to them.

Cold-blooded murder or no, their goal is still the same.

The goal of going back in time, getting back to their siblings, and preventing the apocalypse, so they can all live happily ever after. Or what-the-fuck-else their siblings want to do with their lives.

Point is, they are going to go back to save their siblings. All of them.

And in order to do that, they need the Commission's resources.

So.

Killing a couple of people along the way in order to find a way back may be unfortunate but if nothing else, saving the world in the process should make up it in the long run, right?

Although, even if it doesn’t, it changes nothing.

They have their priorities. And that's, quite simply, that.

And after having quite literally lived through the apocalypse, Five can say with absolute certainty that this is truly not the worst life to live.  

+++

So, Klaus and Five travel the world, travel through time, gather information, gather blackmail and intel, as Ben and Dolores cheerfully tag along. All the while Five tries to refine his calculations on how to get them back to the exact point in time and the exact location they need to save their siblings, while also doing the Commission's bidding on the side.

Although, it's a simple, unspoken understanding between them that Five is the one who actually pulls the trigger every single time.

Because neither of them wants to find out what Klaus’ powers might do with the spirit of someone he himself killed in cold blood.

Yeah, no thanks.

Those first couple of years after the apocalypse before Klaus ever gained any sort of control over his powers – witnessing his brother’s endless struggles with the countless ghosts always surrounding him, the many ghosts, gentle spirits and wrathful wraiths brought back to the world of the living by his brother's powers – have seen to that.

Five can say from experience that vengeful spirits are already enough of a hassle to deal with when they just want Klaus' help in their quest to get revenge. He would honestly prefer not having to deal with any that might actively seek Klaus' demise in revenge for their own death.

Just the ghosts that must be surrounding Five at this point – and that Klaus takes absolute care to never bring into the visible spectrum for Five to see, much less into the physical world – are clearly enough of a drain on his brother.

Thus, Five takes absolute care to always be the one who actually pulls the trigger.

And he never asks what Klaus sees when he stares at the shadows behind Five, when his brother's hazy eyes - glowing just slightly with that otherworldly, bright blue light - glance at this or that spot just over Five's shoulder, when his eyes turn a little sadder with each new kill Five carries out.

Five never asks.

There is no need to. He already knows.

Point is, while Five does the actual assassin work, Klaus usually goes gallivanting off to ‘enjoy’ himself as he calls it.

Well, Five knows it's just a front. Not hard to figure out seeing as whenever Klaus gets back from his supposedly fun trips, he always has some more useful information to share with Five.

On their third hit – this time somewhere in Russia – Klaus actually returns to their hotel room with the ghost of an absolutely insane, but also absolutely brilliant mathematician in tow who is more than happy to be brought into the physical world for a couple of hours in order to have a discussion about Five’s calculations.

 Which starts an entirely new trend, with Klaus skipping off to search for the various brilliant minds scattered around the world every time the Commission sends them somewhere new, more often than not returning with various sometimes-more-sometimes-less helpful geniuses for Five to bounce ideas around with or to argue over certain parts of his calculations.

And Five can admit that it probably would have taken him quite a while longer to figure out how to use his own powers to get them back to their own time if he had to rely entirely on himself for his calculations.

Good lord, does it help to have some decently smart people around to bounce ideas around with.

It’s also one of those ghosts who points a particular element in his formula to him, making him realize that no matter how he twists his numbers there are too many factors to take into account to truly know how the whole timetravel thing will work out in the end.

Which he tells his brothers. Tells them that there is no way of knowing whether Five will be able to actually take them along – has never tried traveling through time with a passenger in tow – and that the way his calculations are turning out, he has a suspicion there might be some sort of interference with their age, their presence, and their alter egos.

Because as far as Five can figure, by definition there can't be two of anyone anywhere at any time.

Which is also a weird conundrum because it poses a different problem with each of them.

Five isn’t even sure what exactly will happen to himself, but at least he doesn’t have an alter ego in the past whose presence might interfere with his time travel to right before the apocalypse.

Then there is Klaus whose alter ego will definitely be around which might make his timetravel entirely impossible. And who the fuck knows what the rules for ghosts traveling through time might be, whether Ben will even be affected by Five’s powers at all or even whether the no-two-versions-of-anyone rule even applies to him.

His brothers listen, a brief pause, and then Klaus just quips something about if things go wrong God will likely kick him out of the afterlife again anyway. And Ben just gives a what-can-you-do shrug in agreement.

And Five can’t help but agree.

Complications and immutable laws of the universe be damned, doesn't mean they won't still try.

+++

And finally Five thinks he got it. Thinks he finally got the formula right or at least as 'right' as he'll ever be able to make it, thinks this is as close as he'll ever get.

He tells Klaus and Ben as much.

Ben's eyes light up, while Klaus grins fiercely.

They don't ask questions, don't ask him whether he's sure.

Klaus just reaches out to grasp the hand Five is holding out to him, his other hand holding fast to Ben's.

+++

They jump.

+++

Blinding blue light, coiling around them, winding through them, crushing them, pulling them apart.

The pain of being ripped to pieces and being put back together at the same time, too much pressure, no gravity to hold them down.

Everything is everywhere.

The light coalesces, a distorted image in the winding light before them, almost like window to somewhere else. Some time else.

+++

Five lands outside.

It's cold, the ground is hard. And he knows this place, doesn't need to look up to know he is behind the house that used to be his home a couple of decades ago.

He gets up, has to blink a couple of times against the vertigo, regains his bearings, then frowns at how weird his own body feels.

He looks down at himself.

And realizes with a certain amount of horror that he doesn't look at all like himself anymore.

Instead, he seems to be a kid again. What the fuck?

Sure, his calculations told him that there might be some weird side-effects from him having left his time and now returning to a point in time where he should exist but doesn't. But still, he certainly hadn't expected time to just decide to restore him to the exact body he had when he left his own time. Seriously, what the fuck?

He wants to sigh.

Alas, nothing to be done about that now.

He glances up.

Only to find all of his siblings gathered in front of him, staring.

Well, except for Klaus, who is down on his knees coughing. A Klaus who looks about the same age as the one he first met right after the apocalypse.

It's weird seeing his brother look thirty again.

Finally, Klaus looks up as well, looks around himself and the siblings standing around them.

His eyes find Five’s.

“Well, damn, midget. You couldn’t have made that ride any bumpier, could you?”

Standing behind Klaus, Ben – his brilliantly blue-glowing form just in the process of reforming, gaining definition – snorts in amusement.

Which solves the question of whether his brothers would be able to travel back with him and how the paradox of two Klauses might be solved. Seems like his brothers might have just replaced their alter egos.

And Five does his best not to let his relief show that he was truly able to bring his two brothers along. Don’t get him wrong, he would have been fine without - he is always fine - but still.

Instead, Five just smirks – ignores how weird it feels not to be in his own body anymore – and scoffs in return, “I blame it on your flailing.”

Klaus just grins at him fiercely.

And their siblings look on, all of them entirely gobsmacked.

Five just raises his eyebrows at them, waits, and then decides that maybe he should give the poor, less-than-mentally-gifted a bit of time to catch up.

And in the meantime, where to find himself a decent cup of coffee?