A/N: Written from the Rumor's point of view. I am insanely happy that there is an Umbrella Academy category now. X3 An actual fucking category! -blissful grin- I emailed the administrators here, and they added it for us. :D Huzzah~~

So, enjoy!

Credits go to Gerard Way, who is one of the five most influential, absolutely amazing people on Earth.)

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Prettier When I'm Burning

xxx

I was always good at pretending. Excellent, even. My rumors, fibs, and maybe even a few lies were all believable, every last goddamned one of them. And nobody would ever, could ever question them, because they would come true.

"No, of course I wasn't sneaking off somewhere, I was at the library."

Enter: One lovely copy of Allison Hargreeves; dutifully reading and with a library card in hand. (Of course, she would later end up dead, but that's really not the point here.)

I was free as I pleased to make up stories in my head and spew them out of my lips to make them not so much only stories anymore. They could be true, in all technicalities.

Oh, I gave a whole new meaning to the phrase "Because I said so." Nobody could possibly doubt that.

Maybe I should have cast a rumor on Spaceboy sooner. If I had, maybe my life wouldn't have been quite so cluttered with problems. It's no secret I already had enough with m family before I decided to go out and make a mess of my marriage, too.

Not that I regret having Claire, but I am one of the worst-suited people to be a mother. Especially now, after what Vanya did. Before that, I was having a little better time of making the best of what I had. (Like I had anything but an asshole of a 'father', a skin tight uniform, and an empty space in my heart that I didn't even know what I was supposed to fill with.) Afterward, I was left incredibly bitter as well.

Mind you, bitter and lost are a horrible combination to have raging around inside your veins. Add having your voice and powers stolen away, mix well, and fall into a vicious cycle of hating yourself and everybody around you for trying to cheer you up.

I would never admit it to anyone (it's hard enough to admit it to myself), but in a twisted way I'm incredibly jealous of Vanya. Yes, I hate her, I fucking hate her, but a fragment of that hate is also stemmed from the fact that she did have guts enough to rebel against the Academy and what 'father' took us in to do.

Nothing would feel better than to defy him like that. Nothing.

But me, it seems, I'm too cowardly even after he's dead.

Vanya doesn't remember, and somehow that makes me more angry at her, because she can't feel guilt (until I shove it on her, which tastes sadistically sweet) or feel glee.

And it makes me writhe in annoyance.

Damn it.

None of us can say that we know how to deal with saving our fucked up minds. Oh, we can excel with saving the world and all of that; because saving the world is easy. There is no thought to saving the world, we just go out and do it day after day. Certain instances might take more time and blood loss than others, but we always get it fixed well enough.

Try being the broom and dust pan with saving our own minds, now…

We get fully lost.

Fully, pathetically, desperately lost.

Look at Diego, he's no fool. He spends the whole day in a uniform so he doesn't have to waste time on feeling miserable by remembering how sad he is. Or how sad we all are.

Diego may look bad-off and constantly irritated, but he's a lot worse when he's locked inside a house with all of us.

There was a reason why we chose to never see each other unless we had to. It was by choice, see, because when we're in the same room we feed off of everybody else's misery. We are a gigantic misery convention.

I have no idea how people in the city can find any sort of hope or beacon of rescue in us. If they really saw what a sorry lot we are…

Ha ha, we certainly have them fooled, don't we?

Our problem is that we can't function without being sad, though. Being insufferable, moping pessimists is what keeps us going. Mom might tell us to cheer up, and we might put on a pretty, plastic, cheerful smile for her, but we don't mean it.

Not only me, but all of my siblings are skilled pretenders.

"Are you feeling all right, honey?"

"Hm? Oh…oh, I'm…I'm fine."

Fine is a beautiful word. A person can say that they're fine, and it's enough to make people stop asking questions, but it doesn't give away what you're really feeling either.

Fine is a wonderful placeholder to stick in when you aren't sure where in the world you stand.

Where do I stand?

I stand in the corner with a notepad, when I have to write exactly how damn fine I am.

But that's what I'm good at, besides pretending and telling fantastic rumors and saving the world. I'm good at failing in life, at continuing to plod onward even when I might not always see the point.

And as mom says, I'm still the prettiest girl here.

Beautiful even when I'm suffocating on this family every day of my life.

Ah, but there's the thing…

Those 'every day' s keep going on. Because I'm not quite ready to let go of them yet, just in case there might be a slim chance we could learn how to save ourselves.