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Fic: Feed Your Head

Title: Feed Your Head
Fandom: Umbrella Academy
Characters: Klaus Hargreaves, Reginald Hargreeves, Grace Hargreeves
Rating: PG-13
Length: 1,712
Warnings: Underage drug use, implied/referenced child abuse, grown men perving on teenage girls
Summary: Three shitty things young Klaus did for drugs and one thing they did for him.

Read onn AO3 or
1.

Klaus hissed as Mom stitched up the gash on his arm. She’d given him some local anesthetic so he couldn’t feel the needle, but he could still see the ghost looming over her shoulder. Good old bent-neck nanny, the not-so-beloved staple of his childhood. As usual, she was futilely trying to warn Mom about the naughty little girl. The old nanny had been here as long as Klaus could remember and he still couldn’t figure out her beef with Vanya or what oatmeal had to do with it. At least the ghosts haunting his brothers made sense.

Over in the corner, Dad was dressing down Luther. He didn’t raise his voice, but Klaus still caught the occasional word over the dead nanny’s rambling; words like “reckless,” “disappointment,” and “failure.” Poor Luther wilted under the brutal tongue lashing, his shoulders curling in as if to try to shield him from the blow. Klaus couldn’t help but feel bad about it. After all, it wasn’t like his injury was Luther’s fault any more than the last one or the one before that. It had been so much easier to pretend he was the only one getting hurt when he didn’t have to see the guilt and shame on his brother’s face.

“There we are. All done!” Mom said brightly as she tied off the last of the stitches. “No baths for a week,” she lectured as she stripped off and tossed her soiled gloves. “We don’t want to get those stitches wet.”

“It really hurts, Mom,” Klaus whimpered. It mostly just ached, but the dumb dead nanny wouldn’t shut up. Besides, there was a script to this. “Can you give me something?”

“Of course, sweetheart,” she said, fetching him a glass and pill.

If Klaus played his cards right, he could probably get a weeks worth of Oxy out of her. Maybe he could even stretch it out to two if he cut the pills in half and took them with alcohol. He still hadn’t quite figured out the dosage necessary to get rid of the ghosts without making him completely useless. Knocking back the pill, he set the glass down with a sigh and waited for the dead to disappear.


2.

Klaus’s money was no good with his drug dealer, which was nice because he didn’t have any. What he did have was celebrity and access to a house full of arguably even more popular celebrities. Thanks to Dad’s obsessive control of the team’s PR, Umbrella Academy autographs where as rare as hen’s teeth. About as valuable too. Klaus could scribble his name on a napkin and get a nickel bag out of it. A signed headshot was worth twice that, and that was just what he could get for his own autograph. His siblings were a veritable gold mine.

Until suddenly, they weren’t.

“You saturated the market,” his dealer said, sounding more like a business school graduate behind a fancy desk than a guy bagging weed at his kitchen table.

Klaus licked his lips as he hungrily eyed the stuff. “I can’t even get a nickel bag? Come on, bro, I thought we were friends.”

The dealer shook his head. “I really like you, kid,” he said sympathetically, “but no one cares about this shit any more. My costumers want something real. Come back with some candids of your hot sister. Or better yet, her panties.” He tossed aside the stack of apparently now worthless autographed headshots and went back to carefully weighing out his product like Klaus wasn’t even there.

“Oh, fuck you, man.” Klaus stormed out without bothering to collect his photos and slammed the door behind him. He didn’t need this pervert’s drugs. Dad had a whole bar back at the Academy and he could always get himself injured if he got really desperate.

A week later though, the ghosts were back and so was Klaus, standing sheepishly in front of his smug-looking drug dealer with a handful of photos from his and Allison’s last at-home fashion show. There were a dozen of them. Allison in one of Mom’s dresses. Allison in Klaus’s uniform. Allison in jeans and one of Luther’s shirts. They were all tasteful, no nudes, nothing remotely sexy, but he still felt dirty handing them over. Luckily, the massive pile of weed he got for them helped numb his self-loathing.


3.

Klaus nervously straightened his tie and smoothed down the front of his vest. He paced jerkily back and forth in the hallway outside his father’s office. This was crazy. This was stupid, but what choice did he have? He rapped on the door frame and stepped into Dad’s office.

The old man didn’t even bother to look up from whatever he was scribbling in his journal.

Klaus cleared his throat and resisted the urge to wipe his sweaty palms on his pants. “Um, dad?”

Dad’s pen froze above the page. “Why have you invaded my office, Number Four?” he demanded in a tone which indicated the answer had better be good. He resumed his writing as if to demonstrate he didn’t care either way.

“I want an allowance,” Klaus said in a rush.

Dad looked up sharply at that, even going so far as to set his pen down. Klaus swallowed hard. Being the subject of the old man’s undivided attention was like being caught in the headlight of an on-coming train. This whole thing had been Klaus’s idea, but he wished he had Five’s power to teleport away from this conversation.

“An allowance,” Dad sneered. “I have gone to a great expense to acquire, feed, clothe, and train you with disappointingly little return on investment. Explain to me why you think you deserve yet more of my money.”

“The Odds have them.”

Not Vanya, of course, but Luther and Allison and even Five before his big disappearing act. Their combined allowances had paid for their donut runs and secret trips to the Starlight. It had paid for Klaus’s drugs too, at least until his siblings had decided to cut him off. Hence why he was here begging in the first place.

“Numbers One and Three are useful. Are you useful, Number Four?”

“No,” Klaus whispered. He wasn’t. There had never been anything useful about him. Sill, by Dad’s logic, Ben and Diego should have allowances too. Ben regularly took out more bad guys than the rest of the team combined, but he didn’t have one and neither did Diego. Klaus’s nervousness evaporated as his hands curled into fists. Fuck Dad! He could do everything the old man wanted and he still wouldn’t get the money.

“No, you’re not,” Dad agreed, taking back up his pen and returning to his work. “When you have committed yourself to being useful, we will revisit this conversation. Now, remove yourself from my office.”

Thoroughly dismissed, Klaus spun on his heel and made for the door. So, Dad wouldn’t give him money. Big surprise there, but what was it the old man always said? Adapt to overcome. Every room in the house was filled with Dad’s crap, art and artifacts and tacky tributes to his ego. What expense had he gone to to acquire them? What use did they have, gathering dust on the shelf? It was high time they started pulling their weight.

Before he could think of a reason not to, Klaus snatched a jade figurine off the shelf and stuffed it him his pocket. A few hours later found him at the pawn shop and then his drug dealer’s an hour after that.


+1

The two of them drove, as usual, in complete silence. It had been a while since Dad had bothered with this sort of individual training. Klaus would be more worried except that he’d popped a pill before they left. It was even odds if Dad had noticed. If he hadn’t, Klaus would end up spending a cold, if blessedly ghost-free, night in the mausoleum. If he had, well, there was not telling how long Klaus would be locked in there for.

Despite the drugs in his system, Klaus was shaking as they neared their usual cemetery. Except they didn’t turn. They drove past it, past the hospital, the morgue, the crematorium, and every other horrible place Dad had ever taken him to. He glanced nervously at the old man as he drove them beyond the urban sprawl and out into real country.

Back when they were kids, they used to play the map game where Dad would take each of them blindfolded to a different part of the city and leave them with a map. The first one to make their way home got ice cream. There’d been a camping game too where he would drop them off in the middle of the woods or desert or whatever biome they’d been studying to survive the week with whatever random supplies Dad felt like providing. That one had been less fun, mostly because of the inevitable fight between Diego and Luther over who got possession of the group’s only knife. If Dad planned on making Klaus walk home from the middle of nowhere, he just might turn farmer instead.

About half-an-hour past the last signs of real civilization, Dad turned down a road marked Rehabilitation Way. It curved gently to reveal a stately building with all the grandeur and security of a Victorian asylum for the wealthier insane. The sign in the middle of the sweeping, circular driveway read Clearwater Rehabilitation Clinic.

“You’ve got to be shitting me,” Klaus muttered under his breath.

Dad pulled up in front of the main entrance and turned to face him for the first time since they’d gotten into the car. “For too long, I have allowed you to pollute your body in the vain hope that you would cease this folly. I see now that a more forceful approach is needed.” He cut the engine. “You will complete a course of treatment at this facility and you will not return home or be permitted on missions until you are clean. Understood?”

“Oh, yeah,” Klaus said with a laugh. He understood alright. As long as he was high, he’d be out from under dear old daddy’s thumb. With incentive like that, he might never come down.

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