Klaus is confident that there is a curse placed upon all of them that when they are together, bad shit happens. Or maybe Vanya is just destined to cause the apocalypse and will keep going in every timeline until she does. If that’s the case, Klaus is going to give up very quickly and just accept his death. He’s already mostly there.
“We still fucked up,” he mutters, leaning against the window and watching as everybody runs away following the bullet that ended Kennedy, save for Diego, who had run faster than he’d ever seen him run in an attempt to tackle Reginald, although it seems that didn’t matter in the long run.
“God,” mutters Allison, sighing and wiping the blood from her nose. Klaus can feel blood drying by his own, along with his ears, but they have nowhere to clean it at the moment, and no time to do so anyway. They need to find Luther and Five, need to figure out what the hell they’re going to do now.
“We should - we should go,” Vanya suggests, and both he and Allison nod, dragging themselves away from the window and heading back outside to meet Diego. The man Diego had tackled, looking slightly odd the closer they get, less like Reginald, runs off and Diego lets him go, looking to be in some vague state of shock, not making much of an attempt to come over to them. He thinks he hears Allison calling for him, but he can’t be entirely sure; not over the rest of the screaming.
The place is certainly not devoid of ghosts, all making themselves known by their loud wailing and screaming, and Klaus tries not to pay too much attention to them lest they get greedy and start to fight for him, or start to try and fight him, which is the more likely outcome, but it gets a little hard to do when one of these ghosts is following a little too closely to be a coincidence, even if Klaus didn’t recognise him.
He hadn’t expected to go to Allison’s house and find a corpse sitting on the couch, but nonetheless he had, and he had been just about ready to help them bury or burn it before Diego had come out of nowhere, talking about the Commission and about Vanya exploding the building she was in. Tall, stabbed in the eye, blond; he follows after his sister now, trembling hands curled into fists.
Today is going to be an even longer day than he anticipated.
He falls behind a little, taking a moment to compose himself because as much as he is used to gore and death, it’s never not a little disturbing to see corpses following his siblings and trying to kill them. If nothing else, at least this one is silent.
And then he looks around, and he makes eye contact with Klaus, who hisses between his teeth.
“Move along, man,” he mutters, folding his arms over his chest, fingers itching for a bottle of alcohol. He’s never been particularly successful at getting rid of ghosts, less so ones that haunt his siblings over himself, but he’s still allowed to make a shitty, half-hearted attempt at it.
Perhaps he shouldn’t have.
The man continues to stare at him, all locked jaw, bleeding eye and trembling fists, fury written all over his face, enough so that Klaus has to grimace. Ghosts are angry things, except for Ben (and where is Ben?) but this one seems to be competing for first place as the Angriest Silent Ghost.
He realises that in having his staring competition with the ghost, he’s fallen even further behind, and he sighs and begins to walk forwards again with the intention of just walking around or through the ghost.
And then the ghost runs at him. He can’t help but flinch a little, even if he knows that he won’t hit him, and then he braces himself for the weird feeling of a ghost running through his body, and-
It feels like getting hit by a truck and launched into an icy ocean.
The ghost does not run through him, and if Klaus had lungs, ones that were his own anyway, he would be gasping for breath. But he can’t, because they aren’t listening to him anymore, but rather listening to the commands of someone else using them.
He knows exactly what happened, because he did this with Ben before. But he had been okay with Ben possessing him - well, sort of. He would rather Ben than this guy, at least.
If he could, he would kick, and he would thrash, and he would scream - but he can’t. He has no body to do any of those things, and the body he does have is no longer his and isn’t listening to him, and he isn’t in control of it, and he can’t do anything, and-
Klaus does the paralysed, bodiless equivalent to thrashing and kicking and screaming, even if he’s still not entirely sure how he is doing that, and what he is even doing, but he goes for the ghost’s presence violently, trying to force it out and regain control.
The ghost is everywhere. It is large and everywhere and suffocating him, cornering him, wrapping around him like a snake, constricting and crushing and paralysing him. When he fights it, the ghost fights back harder, and this isn’t like Ben possessing him. Ben had fought him, yes, but he hadn’t been as determined to stay in his body like this ghost - hadn’t been willing to fight as hard as this one. Ben hadn’t been anger and rage and fury, pressing everywhere, everywhere, everywhere; roaring through him, burning him, devouring him and chewing him up.
Fear shoots through him, sharp and hot and increasingly frantic and he is paralysed. He watches his own hands move, flex and turn around. He tries to call out for his siblings, for Ben, tries to yell something.
Instead, in his body, with his mouth, his voice, the ghost says, “vad I helvete.”
When Klaus rebels, the ghost is ready to meet his attempts again, and suddenly Klaus finds himself being shoved down, down, down, and he’s drowning in the middle of an endless, frozen sea, and he s i n k s.
The television drones on, listing each and every one of them accompanied by a photo of them and a reason for why they are a threat and need to be taken care of. They might have been able to prevent Vanya from blowing up the entire building, but they hadn’t been able to prevent her from killing the majority of people inside it, and Diego had made himself suspicious from the very beginning, talking about the president dying on this day only to escape and for the president to still be assassinated. Hell, they all were suspicious, and if Five had any energy left in himself, he would have been furious.
No, he was still angry, exhausted as he may be. They could have been back in 2019 by now had they all just managed to get off their asses and meet him when he had that briefcase. This all could have been avoided, but his siblings seem to still be too stupid for their own good. Part of Five is very, very tempted to just save himself, although he knows he would not be able to do that in the end. As much as he may despise his family at times, he also loves them. Sometimes.
“It’s true,” Five mutters, eyes trained on his photo on the television. “I do feel like I’m being held hostage most days.”
Diego, and possibly Allison too, give him looks for that, though Five really isn’t joking. He spares a glance around at his siblings, lips pressed tight together. None of them are particularly positive about their situation, although Luther tries to look on the bright side - dimly lit, flickering streetlight equivalent of a bright side - of this situation. Doomsday has been averted, but they are still in the sixties and now potentially the most wanted people in the world.
Five truthfully doesn’t know how they physically manage to fuck up as much as they do.
His eyes continue to skim over his siblings before coming to land on Klaus, who has been unusually silent for - well, for much too long to be normal, and for as long as Five has seen him since he got back from saving Vanya. He leans against the wall at the opposite end of the room, too far away to properly see the television, and his eyes are bouncing between all of them. His jaw is locked, and he almost looks a little angry. Not that Five can blame him, but it is an unusual emotion to see on him.
If he cared enough about what he had to say, he would ask what he is thinking, but unless it is a magic, perfect solution to their problem, he isn’t sure he wants to hear it or he might just snap if he says something idiotic.
Klaus catches him looking at him and for a long moment, they stare one another down.
Five does not work on feelings, or assumptions, or anything else. He works on logic, and facts, and evidence. But he has also gotten incredibly good at trusting his gut, and for his gut feeling to often times be right. And in that moment, staring at Klaus, his gut twists, because something is wrong. He narrows his eyes.
“What do you think, Klaus?” He asks curiously. Klaus blinks at him and then looks away. It could be chalked down to the fact that Klaus has been acting horrifically weird the past few days, or that this is just another one of his sulks or moods, whatever, but nonetheless Five can’t shake the feeling of being wrong. And Five is never wrong.
“We should gather our stuff from here, then,” Diego says. “Get ready to go; we can’t stay here.”
“He’s right,” says Allison, nodding. They are running out of time, and they ought to be ready to leave as soon as possible.
It seems sorted after that, that they all disperse a little to gather what they need or what they can from this place, draining it dry. Whilst Five does the same, it is easy for him to be listening and looking out for more. He looks through what Elliot left, just in case they need any of it, and despite being slightly distracted by his task, he still hears it.
From upstairs, a thump and a cut-off yell. His head snaps up and across the table from him, so does Luther’s.
“Did you hear that?” Luther asks with a frown. To answer him, there is another thud, slightly louder.
He runs into Diego, just outside of the bathroom.
“What’s going on?” He asks, and Diego shrugs. Luther’s loud footsteps thud their way closer, and Vanya isn’t far behind. Five tries the door handle, but it is locked. There is another thud, and another, desperate and rapid.
“Open the door!” Calls Diego, thumping on it. “Is everything okay?” Another rapid round of thuds, like someone kicking something.
“Luther, take the door down,” Five says, gut curling.
“Do it!” He snaps, and with a confused look, he does. It is very easy for him to yank it open and off its hinges.
Inside is Allison and Klaus. Klaus sports a bloody nose, but he straddles Allison and pins her to the ground, and one of his hands is clamped down over her mouth, the other on her throat, and his hands are trembling and pale from the sheer force he’s using against her. Allison moans, muffled, and kicks the wall, weaker than before.
“Klaus, what the fuck-”
Luther reaches forwards, easily pulling him off as Allison gasps for breath. Klaus doesn’t hesitate; he spins around and punches Luther in the throat. Five jumps behind him just before he can hit him, and so he goes to the next closest person, Diego, with a knee in his crotch.
“Klaus, what the fuck are you doing?” Hisses Five, watching him take steps backwards out of the bathroom and into a more open room. His eyes are wide and furious, hair falling over his face, and something glints in his hand; a shard of the shattered mirror in the bathroom.
“Jesus Christ,” moans Diego, doubled over. “Klaus, fuck, what the fuck-”
Five has one hand on Luther, hearing the way his brother wheezes and gasps for breath, and Vanya helps Allison to her feet and helps steady her.
“He just jumped for me,” she wheezes, eyes narrowed, voice hurt. “You were going to kill me-”
“Klaus?” Says Vanya, frowning. Their brother refuses to say a thing, but everything about him is wrong, wrong, wrong. The stance, the look on his face, in his eyes.
Five takes a step forwards and then jumps out of the way of a strike with the shard of mirror. Klaus has already whirled around, though, and catches him on the arm as soon as he lands, and he advances, scanning him up and down, lashing out - lashing out for his weak spots.
Diego reaches out, grabbing his wrist, and Klaus whirls, twists the grip around to twist his arm, and kicks the back of his knee before using his hold on his arm to drive him into the ground.
“Klaus, what are you doing?” Five snaps, rushing forwards when he goes next for Vanya.
Klaus doesn’t reply. He doesn’t speak, he hardly so much as blinks, and he fights viciously, so much so they have to give up trying to get a response from him to defend themselves. They have all been trained to fight, Klaus included of course, but Five recognises this style.
Klaus fights like the Commission does.
“What did you do?” Five demands, ducking a kick and jumping away. Luther isn’t as quick, receiving Klaus’ foot to his gut, shoving him back a little. Klaus is just a little too fast for him to grab his ankle. “Did the Handler make a deal with you?”
He would be horrified and furious if Klaus accepted a deal with her, but the Commission has bled too much into his family already; trying to take Diego, and Klaus has already time travelled because of them. If they were going for the weakest link, it would make sense, but he can’t imagine Klaus accepting to do this; can’t imagine Klaus training to fight them so viciously like he is now, like he wants to hurt.
“Klaus, stop!” Allison cries, and his head snaps at the sound of her voice. Five takes a chance to land a punch on him, though his siblings don’t seem to appreciate that as if Klaus hasn’t kicked, punched, and cut every single one of them by now. He doesn’t want to hurt Klaus, but he needs to get him tired out or restrained somehow.
Klaus advances on Allison, ignoring the blood trickling from his nose, and his hand twitches around the shard in his grasp, and-
“Klaus, I heard a rumour that you stopped!” Allison says, and everyone freezes.
Everyone except Klaus.
His face twitches in anger and he yells, and he rushes forwards even quicker than before.
Luther is the one to jump between them, catching Klaus’ wrist before he can strike Allison, and in a swift, clean motion like he has been trained, he has Klaus restrained. His grip tightens on his wrist, tighter and tighter until he gasps and his fingers jerk and the shard drops from his grasp, but he doesn’t stop thrashing. In this hold, though, Luther can take what he dishes out without much more than a groan and a grimace.
“How - how did it not work?” Allison murmurs, and everyone slowly approaches a nearly-growling Klaus.
“Klaus,” growls Five, standing just out of reach of his kicking legs. “What the fuck did you do?”
Five can accept, just barely, that he’s fucked up a lot of things here. He cannot accept that his brother has been driven to the enemy and joined them.
Klaus’ teeth grind together, and they are stained pink when he opens his mouth and talks, deep and low and trembling with anger,
"Öga for Öga.”
Five freezes. So do Luther and Diego, who are familiar with what he said.
“Five?” Diego cautions, but Five’s mind is already running wild with possibilities.
He knows who the Commission sent after them, the three Swedish brothers, remembers fighting them with Diego and Lila, and the message was obviously left for them and he had expected the brothers to come back and attack them again, try to hurt or kill one of their own because of what they did to them, but this?
He doesn’t understand it. They beat the Swedes and so the Commission took and brainwashed Klaus sometime within the last few hours? He knows it is something they can do, but it just doesn’t add up.
“What the fuck do you mean, Klaus?” Five hisses, resisting the urge to ball his hands in his stupid shirt, the urge to scream at him and demand answers, why, why, why he’s with the Commission.
Klaus leans closer, as much as he can in Luther’s crushing hold. “Min bror,” he hisses, low. “ Öga for Öga.”
His eyes jump over Luther and Diego, but it still doesn’t make sense. Luther and Diego are fine. To his knowledge, so is Ben. Unless Klaus really has been brainwashed by the Commission to replace one of the Swedes, hence the eye for an eye saying, but why now? Why not earlier? Where are the other Swedes?
“Five?” Luther asks, shifting and tightening his grip.
“Rumour him,” he says, watching the flicker of fear or panic in his eyes.
“Rumour him, Allison. For the truth.”
“It didn’t work,” she says, sounding almost shaky.
“Do it again,” he snaps.
“Allison,” he growls, trembling just a little. He needs the truth. He needs to know the truth, right now. Allison, sharing several looks with her siblings, sighs and steps forwards, and Klaus kicks out.
“I heard a rumour,” she says, voice echoing, “that you told us the truth.”
There is a moment in which they all hold their breath. Klaus thrashes, and then he thrashes and fights harder, jerking and kicking around in Luther’s hold. He hits his head on his chest several times, and it looks as if his whole body is fighting the rumour - thing is, no one can do that. No one ever has. Five has no idea what is happening.
And then Klaus gasps, eyes wide and white as they are when Allison rumours people. “The ghost was following Allison,” he announces, voice nearly completely neutral under the rumour’s influence save for the tremor in his words. “He possessed me. He wants her dead. I can’t stop him. Please-”
Klaus’ whole body trembles again, violent and shuddering, and the white recedes from his eyes and he glares murder at Allison and repeats, “min bror.”
“What the fuck,” says Diego, sharing a look with them all.
“He mentioned possession when we were with Dad…” Vanya murmurs, eyes widening as she looks at Klaus.
“Allison, what does he mean?” Luther asks, and Allison stammers for a moment.
“Two people attacked me in my house,” she states. “I - I had to rumour them to save us - I rumoured one of them to kill the other.”
“Blond, tall, quiet?” Asks Five, curling his hands into fists. Klaus has stopped fighting, but he glares openly at each and every single one of them. He sees Luther’s hand relax slightly, grip loosening, and he barks at him to fix that before Klaus can take advantage of it.
“Yeah,” murmurs Allison. “He ran out once he killed him.”
“That’s the Swedes, then,” he mutters, eying Klaus. “Oscar, Otto or Axel?”
Klaus, Not-Klaus, does not respond. His eyes bounce around the place, undoubtedly trying to come up with a plan to get out of Luther’s hold and get back at them.
“How the fuck do we help?” Diego asks, looking disturbed. Five is suddenly struck with the fact that he does not know how to do that. It hits him, and he takes a step back, staring at the restrained form of his brother, trembling with fury. He thinks about the dinner with Reginald, and how strange he had been acting when he showed up in the alleyway.
“Can we rumour him out?” Vanya suggests.
“The rumour didn’t work on the ghost,” Allison murmurs. “It worked on Klaus.”
“He can fight it,” says Five, staring him in the eye. “We saw it before. He can fight it.”
“Didn’t seem like he could just then,” Diego mutters, “we have-”
Not-Klaus throws his head back into Luther’s with a sickening crunch, and as he stumbles back and lets go, Not-Klaus leaps for the chance.
He dodges Diego’s outstretched hands, snatches the shard he dropped earlier, and-
He has a shard in his own hand. As Not-Klaus presses his own against Allison’s neck, Five presses it into his.
There is an uproar from his siblings, save for Allison, who has gone very still, focused on holding Klaus’ arm in an attempt to not let him cut her throat.
“Klaus,” he growls in his ear, hiding the way his voice is shaky. “Don’t make me do this.”
He can see him looking at him from the corner of his eyes. Then his eyes soften, his body goes rigid, and in a choked whisper he says, “do it.”
Five closes his eyes and doesn’t hesitate.
There is a howl of pain. The shard in Klaus’ hand falls to the floor and Allison jumps away from him; Klaus crumbles to the floor, eyes wide in shock and pain. Blood pulls rapidly around him, sprays out across Five’s hand, and his siblings all cry out.
On the floor, Klaus shakes and jerks so hard it almost looks like a seizure, before he suddenly goes very still and gasps.
“Klaus?” Five says, more of a demand, as he yanks the nearest towel off its hanger by the sink and presses it to the wound he made in his back.
“Fuck, fuck,” his brother wheezes, twitching on the floor and trying to reach his hands behind him. His eyes are wide and confused and afraid, trying to search him out. “Five? Five-”
“Right here,” he mutters, watching the wound carefully. “Stop moving.”
“Five, what the fuck was that?” Diego demands, dropping onto his knees. “Klaus, what happened? Are you okay? What the fuck happened?”
“You - you didn’t kill me,” Klaus gasps, and Five glares at him.
“Of course not.”
It was foolish hope that doing what he did would perhaps shock the ghost and let Klaus regain control, and if he had been wrong it would have cost Allison her life; but Five is never wrong. The wound in his back will leave him sore for a while, but he’ll live and be ultimately unharmed.
“I’m sorry,” Klaus says, looking around at them all before stopping on Allison. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I tried to fight him, I’m sorry-”
“It’s okay,” Allison says, although she still seems a little shaken up. All of them do. “It’s okay, Klaus-”
“I almost killed you-”
“That wasn’t you,” she says, kneeling down in front of him.
Diego hands Five a first aid kit, and Five is glad someone has some sense in this moment besides himself.
“Still,” croaks Klaus, moaning when Five touches his back again. “I could have - he would have-”
“Shut up and accept that it wasn’t your fault, idiot,” mutters Five. “We should have listened when you said you got possessed.”
Klaus laughs weakly. “Yeah,” he moans, nodding. “You really should have.”
“Where’s the ghost now?” Five asks, and Klaus frowns. He lifts his head off the floor, looking around the place rapidly before sighing.
“Good,” he mutters, relaxing a little. After a moment, awkwardly, he asks, “are you okay?”
Klaus laughs, shaky and high, and he supposes that’s as good as any of them can ask for. He still shakes as Five cleans and bandages his wound, and he needs Luther to be able to stand up, nearly passing out when he does, but he looks at them and it is Klaus behind those eyes.
Five doesn’t think he is going to get rid of the memory of the chill in his body when he held Klaus’ gaze, stared at his brother, when it was not at all him. Not for a while; not at all.