It wasn't a choice made in passion. Not like it had been with Five. It was carefully thought out, clothes gathered along with as much non parishable food as she could get, along with a brand new bottle of her medication, freshly supplied by Grace.
It wasn't like anyone would notice she was gone. Not really. She was always in solitude as of late. Even before Five vanished, she hardly interacted with her siblings. She slipped out in the chaos of her siblings leaving for a mission. Grace and Pogo had been more focused on helping them get ready than whatever she was doing.
With a small makeshift bag carrying what she could, she walked from the house, kept her head low and avoided people. Not that anyone had ever noticed her. No one ever noticed Seven. Not as she disappeared into the mundane world. It was where she belonged.
If only she were special, was her only thought as she vanished.
She knew it would be a new beginning for her, she just didn't know how wild it would be.
Passion's an illusion. Life is not.
Vanya "Seven" Hargreeves only just began her time hitchhiking anywhere but back to the Umbrella Academy. Her sad brown eyes and quiet demeaner were useful in convincing people to give her a ride. Or perhaps it was just out of pity. Most likely pity. Allison could get people to do anything. Not little Vanya.
She had dutifully kept taking her pills, watching them dwindle down slowly as she rationed her medicine. She felt tired and a touch more emotional since leaving home. She had never walked so much in her life. Her once smooth and straight hair had gotten matted and greasy, her stomach had begun to growl, asking for nourishment. Never demanding. Nothing about her was demanding. Still ever as meek as the day she left. Only now, more wary.
She had some near misses with certain individuals. People she wanted to trust, but something in the last moment made her decline. She only knew because shortly after running into a few of them, there were papers almost the next day of fantastic arrests or grizzly murder scenes splattered all over the front page.
She felt an urge to go home. But her mind would go back to the fact she hadn't heard a word of her family trying to travel her way, or seen anything that indicated her father looking for her. She felt unwanted. That hadn't changed since she left home.
With her tired form taking her forward, she stepped into a small corner store to fill a bottle she had with her with water from the bathroom sink.
"Morning," a voice greeted her. Vanya jumped. Her head swerved to face a boy who looked about her age, leaning sleepily against a counter. He had far darker skin than anyone she had ever seen, in the house or in the paintings her father had hanging in the house. His hair was incredibly short but also seemed to look different than any other hair she had seen back at home. He wore a shirt with the name of the business on it.
"Morning," she responded in a voice more akin to a church mouse.
"Need help with anything?" he asked with a yawn. His brown eyes looked at her with disinterest.
"Um... C-could you tell me where your restroom is?" she asked just as quiet as before. The boy shrugged his shoulders.
"Head to the back. There's a small hallway just before the milk. Head down there."
"Thank you," she responded. She kept her voice quiet and kept her head low.
She scurried to the back as quietly as she could. The bathroom was not anything remarkable, just like a gas station's set up. She took advantage of the room to grab as much of the bar soap as she could, along with fill her bottle to the brim with water. She eagerly drank from the bottle and refilled it, not knowing when she would have another opportunity to get more water. She used the sink to freshen up to the best of her ability. Looking at her hair, she felt a slight impulse to get a pair of scissors and cut the knotty mess.
Impulses, were a growing feeling she had gotten since leaving home... and rationing her pills.
It felt odd taking less of her pills with her father drilling her need to take them into her head. Especially with how her head felt a touch clearer as she took less of the pills.
A clearer head and more impulses. Both a blessing and a curse. She hoped she could handle whatever other struggles came her way when her medication ran out.
"Oi potato boy!" a man called out.
Vanya froze. Her eyes darted to the door in confusion. She walked over to the door and gently placed her ear to it to hear better.
"Mr. Davis, you make me sound like I'm Irish."
"With all the potatoes you make appear one might assume."
"Well then... I guess I'm the black sheep of Ireland."
There was a chuckle from an older man.
"Perhaps you are."
"Don't tell my mom that. She didn't like having to leave her home. She doesn't like jokes about her or I coming from somewhere else."
"Trust me boy. I know. Now, you have my order ready?"
"You know I can't check you out. I'm not old enough to sell alcohol yet. I'll go get my mom."
She could here the boy who had greeted her leave the main part of the convienence store. With her ear still pressed to the door, she heard someone open the door.
"Morning," the man-Mr. Davis greeted. Whoever entered said nothing. Vanya removed her ear from the door and unlocked it, preparing to leave. She quietly turned the knob and came face to face with a woman in a suit. A sugary sweet smile came to her lips that confused Vanya a bit. Only Grace had ever looked at her like that and she was an android.
"All done in there sweetie?"
Vanya took a step back. She did not know this woman. And something in her gut told her not to trust her either.
"Are you not feeling good Vanya?" she asked, a bit of concern in her tone.
"Who are you?" Vanya asked tersely.
"Oh sweetie you must not be feeling well. It's me, your Aunt Vivian," the woman lied, "We've been so worried about you."
"No? Vanya sweetie, you must have a fever. Here take your medicine. I think it's time I take you home."
The woman held out her hand and recealed an all too familiar pill. She knew the pill was the one she was running low on. And the woman, she knew her name, was she actually sent by her father?
No, her father wouldn't risk sending someone she didn't know. At least she didn't think he would. Would he? Maybe he would. Afterall, why send useful resources when he could outsource to get her?
"No. I don't know you."
Vanya could feel her heart speed up as she realized she was cornered in the bathroom. She couldn't help the feeling of uselessness that would be apparent from being returned to her father.
"Excuse me," the familiar voiced man-Mr. Davis- interrupted them. "Everything alright over here?"
The man was certainly old, older than her father but also a bigger man. He stood tall, a cane in his left hand to help his balance. His skin appeared leathery and he had appeared to have a faded scar along his jaw. And yet he held a certain warmness the woman and her father lacked. The woman flashed Mr. Davis her sugary smile, seeming to not notice how his eyes lingered on Vanya.
"Everything is fine sir. I just need to take my niece home. She's not feeling well."
"Mm. What's wrong miss?"
Vanya knew she should have said nothing. Perhaps murmer something about feeling dizzy or nauseous, playing along with the woman. But the old man had asked her what was wrong. He was curious it seemed. Perhaps she was imagining it, but it almost looked like he cared.
"I don't know this woman."
"I'm terribly sorry, she must be delirious-"
"No matter then. Miss, why don't you come and sit on the bench?" he offered, offering his old and bony hand to hers. Vanya slid her hand into the old man's trusting him more than the mysterious woman. His hand was warm and heavily calloused.
"Why don't you call your brother?" the old man spoke now addressing the woman, "So you can tell him what's going on."
Vanya didn't like the sound of that, but it would prove if her father cared enough about her to send anyone to look for her. The woman's smile fell as she reached into her pocket.
"I would have rather not done this, but I am on a bit of a time crunch," she spoke with an annoyed drawl. Ever so casually, she pulled out a pistol and aimed it at the old man.
"Hand her over and you won't have anymore lead in your body, Sargent Daniel Davis."
The old man stood between the woman and Vanya. And to Vanya's surprise, he chuckled.
"I haven't gone by that title in decades. If you know my name, do you think I would just hand the little miss over?"
"I guess not," the woman shrugged. Without hesitation she fired a single shot into his chest. Vanya watched in horror as the old man fell to the ground, his shirt growing darker around the new hole in his shirt, no doubt from the blood. Her voice felt caught in her throat and all she could hear was the ringing of the gun shot.
"I hate how messy these things can get. Please come along Miss Hargreeves. I promise I won't kill you, but if you don't come... Well I'm afraid I may have to resort to more drastic measures-"
Her threat was interrupted rather abruptly and absurdly, by a potato of all things. A large brown potato came from who knew where and hit her in the eye. Vanya felt someone grab her wrist and yank her back as the woman was recovering. Vanya stumbled and saw the boy she saw earlier was now dragging her away from the shooter.
"You make someone angry recently?" the boy hissed. Vanya felt tears prick at her eyes as her emotions began to overwhelm her. She desperately wanted to take her medication.
"Miss Hargreeves, come on out. I just want to take you home," the commented.
The boy's eyes narrowed and he placed a finger to her lips. He narrowed his eyesback towards where he had dragged Vanya from. He flicked his wrist in front of them and Vanya's eyes widened. Appearing from thin air was a copy of herself. Her voice nearly escaped from the shock of seeing a power similar to her siblings. The copy of herself ran in a slightly awkward gate out of the building.
"I hate when they run," she heard the woman mutter. Vanya heard the woman move with purpose out the door. The store went quiet.
"Follow me to the back room. My mom is back there. Hopefully the double should distract her for a while."
"H-how did you do that?" Vanya asked as she was pulled behind the counter and into the back room.
"Jumoke, what is going on?" a woman with an accent she had never heard before questioned. The worried woman had dark skin and was waiting on the other side of the door wearing a bright red dress in a style she had never seen before. She also wore a golden colored scarf on her head that hid her hair.
"Mom, Mr. Davis was shot. We need to call the police."
"Shot! Jumoke, what is happening out there? Is it a gang shooting?" she asked in a worried and soft voice.
"No mom. I promise it's not. I sent the shooter away. But we need to call the police mom. Mr. Davis was shot."
"Jumoke, how do you know the shooter is gone?"
Vanya watched in silence as the boy -Jumoke- pleaded with his mother to contact the police and his mother's worry. Was it because of what he did?
"I heard her leave. Mom please-?"
"You used it didn't you?"
"She was trying to take her!" Jumoke defended, gesturing at Vanya. Junoke's mother finally laid eyes on the nervous wreck known as Vanya.
"Did she see you use your power?" Jumoke's mother questioned.
"I had to. Mom, the woman could have killed her. I had to."
"Jumoke. You are a good boy. Child," she switched over to Vanya, "Please tell no one of my son's abilities," she pleaded.
"I promise," Vanya said softly. The woman let out a sigh of relief.
"Jumoke, take her into the kitchen and get her some water. I will deal with the police."
"C'mon. It's a little off from the store. My mom can handle it."
"Thank you," Vanya murmered thankfully.
"No problem. What's your name?" he asked as he led her away from the store front, up a flight of stairs and into a small apartment.
"I wish we met under better circumstances, but I'm Jumoke."
"Likewise. I wish we could have had this... not happen."
"It's a dangerous neighboorhood, but what happened wasn't normal. Mom pays to keep most of the trouble away."
Vanya hummed and accepted the glass of water she was offered. She sipped it slowly.
When she ran away from home, she never expected this.
Once the glass was half emptied, she looked back at Jumoke who was staring down at the table. His expression was tight, he looked ready to cry.
Vanya's siblings rarely cried. Their father hated their tears and would scold their weakness.
Pogo and Grace on the other hand would favor a gentle hug when they could. She didn't know if it would be the right thing to do. But it couldn't hurt, could it? With slight unease, she stood up and walked over to Jumoke. She awkwardly wrapped her arms around Jumoke's shoulders. She could feel his shoulders shake and watched as tears dripped onto the table. The tears fell faster, creating a small puddle on the wood.
She felt his hand reach up and latch onto her arm. It gave a slight squeeze as he continued to cry. Vanya just stood there uncomfortably holding the crying boy, not knowing exactly how he felt. Sure Five had vanished, but it wasn't like he was dead. He was just... missing. He wasn't dead like the man who had stood between Vanya and the woman. Then again, Vanya wasn't sure that the two were even related or how that would effect how he felt.
So she just stood and held him like Grace would, hoping it would help.
Five looked around in horror and grief at the land around him. This wasn't supposed to be how it went. He was supposed to prove his father he could handle time traveling. Not end up in a time where his entire family, and the world were dead. No, not all of them. Maybe... maybe he wasn't alone.
He searched the wasteland that was his home town.
His adrenaline kept him going. Not one flicker of life anywhere. He was about to collapse when he something caught his eye. He walked over to a white book lying on the ground. He curiously picked it up.
It was a rather comical picture of a grown woman tripping over a set of long black umbrellas. Her mouth wide open, and her face in shock. Her brown eyes blown wide, looking at the ground.
Tripping on Umbrellas By Vanya Hargreeves.
Five's grip tightened on the book. He flipped the book over to see the same woman tripping on the umbrellas on the front of the book, was in fact Vanya herself. Only older. Much older than he knew her. Her hair was straight and dark, like he knew her. Her face however was bright with a large, toothy smile he had never associated with her and eyes that were filled with mirth.
He sat on a slab of concrete and opened the book.
I, Vanya Hargreeves, dedicate this book to all of my siblings, and the 43 mothers who brought us into the world. Whether they deserved us or not.
Five's brow furrowed at the sentence. He didn't waste time wondering what had happened. Instead he flipped to the first chapter, simply titled, The Academy.
Hi. So the Umbrella Academy. It's now my dad's kind of show. Bonus that I liked it too. And then I had to wonder, what about the other children?