Considering this is a Dear Evan Hansen fic, there will be depression, anxiety, recreational drug use, under-age drinking, suicidal thoughts and self-loathing in this fic. Connor also swears a lot. Let me know if you think I should change the rating to mature.
[13/01/19 – This fic is being edited, with a chapter being edited a week (hopefully). This is to make things more consistent and to perhaps improve some of the writing. The overall plot will not change.
Chromaticity - The quality of colour, independent of brightness.
Connor Murphy had resigned himself to a colourless life. He was okay with it. In fact, he wanted it that way. What was so special about soulmates anyways? You'd always see it in the news, people killing their soulmates, celebrities cheating on theirs. Then there were the people who just never found them, who would put ads online, desperate for someone to touch them. It was pathetic and Connor might do a lot of stupid stuff but even he would never stoop so low.
Besides, it wasn't like it was a make or break deal. Take his parents for example. They weren't soulmates, they'd never gained their colours, but they still got married, got jobs, had kids. They were living the American Dream without all that soulmate bullshit.
(So what if they sometimes shook hands with strangers a little too hopefully. They were fine; they survived. They didn't depend on it.)
Sure, when they were younger, he and Zoe would talk about their soulmates, discuss what the person who was supposedly their missing half might be like. Zoe would always come up with a long list of traits for hers; funny, charming, intelligent – the perfect person. Connor, on the other hand? Connor just believed they'd be someone who understood him. Who liked him for who he was and didn't want to change him like everyone else did.
Then they got older. Zoe still lived in her little bubble, where soulmates were the purest fucking thing in the world, but Connor's belief changed. He became a realist. He'd always known life wasn't all sunshine and daisies, but he knew now that finding someone who really got him was a one in a million chance.
Connor wasn't that lucky.
Connor was 14 when he first got busted for smoking and decided that it would just be better if he never met his soulmate. When he got busted for taking drugs, he hoped he never did. Connor may not be one of those sad old people on the internet, but he was messed up in his own special way. He was a boy who couldn't control his temper, the psycho who none of the other kids liked. Connor was the screw-up whose life was going nowhere and he wasn't about to drag someone else down with him. He could do that much, at least.
So yeah, Connor was perfectly fine going it alone, making sure he touched no one and no one touched him. There would be no risk of him finding his soulmate, just the way he wanted it. For 16 years, it worked.
Then he had to push Evan fucking Hansen over in the school hallway.
Connor wants a smoke. No, scratch that, Connor needs a smoke. Who cares if he'd had one just that morning? If anything, school just seems that much worse now the high has worn off. He can feel the stares of the other kids as he shoves his books into his locker, has felt them on him all morning. So what if he let his hair grow out over summer and decided to leave on his nail polish for once? So what if the smell of weed still lingered behind the canister of Axe he'd sprayed on himself? That was none of their business.
He slams his locker shut, his smugness at seeing the girls a few feet away jump not enough to soothe the blood that is boiling in his too tight veins.
"Hey Connor, loving the new hair length. Very school shooter chic."
Connor grits his teeth. Jared fucking Kleinman. The ass who never knows when to keep his big fat mouth shut. Normally, Connor ignores him but there's nothing normal about this. Normal isn't the first day of school after a shitshow of a summer, normal isn't him already feeling so on edge he could punch someone. Normal isn't him actually liking his goddamn hair and Jared fucking Kleinman ruining it by telling him he looks like a murderer.
Connor's never been very good at hiding his rage and though Kleinman's face falls, a glimmer of fear in his eyes (good), he also looks annoyed. Like he has any fucking right to.
"…I was just kidding. It was a joke?"
Of course. Of course, it was. And of course, Connor can't take a joke, can he? It's not like his whole life isn't one already.
"Oh yeah, it was funny. I'm laughing, can't you tell?" Connor replies, as nonchalantly as he can manage and yeah, now Kleinman looks worried. "Am I not laughing hard enough for you?"
Still attempting to put on a brave act, Kleinman glares at him through his stupid glasses and with a curled lip says, "You're such a freak."
It's the last straw. Connor's ready to prove him right and murder this little shit. Maybe that will shut him up-
A noise distracts Connor. It's not just any noise though. It's a laugh. Connor swivels and there stands another kid. Hansen? Maybe. It doesn't matter. What does matter is that he laughed at Connor and Connor's full of rage that's ready to combust.
"What the fuck are you laughing at?" He yells at Hansen, ignoring the other students that scatter around them.
Hansen's wide eyes shoot upwards and Connor doesn't care that he looks petrified. He deserves to.
"Stop fucking laughing at me!" Connor's not sure exactly if he's just speaking to Hansen or everyone. Still, Hansen is the one he advances on, the one who's stuttered excuses he ignores. "You think I'm a freak? You're the fucking freak!"
Connor's no touching rule flies out the window as he pushes Hansen to the ground and that's when everything goes from a 100 to a 100 million real quick.
All that should have happened was that Hansen would fall to the ground and Connor would storm off. Maybe in one universe, a universe that doesn't like to laugh in Connor's face, it would have.
But this isn't that universe.
He must have touched Hansen's arm, his neck, something, because one second Connor's living in a monochrome world and the next, it explodes. There's colour everywhere. The once familiar, bland school hallway is now unrecognisable and there, down at his feet, sits Hansen and Connor can clearly see how the skin of his face is so much paler than that of his arm and that his terrified eyes are almost the same colour as the shirt he's wearing and it's all too fucking much.
Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit, fuck.
Connor does the only thing he can. He runs. With his heart thumping painfully against his chest and his breaths coming out as sharp, ragged little things, he tries not to think about the fact he's gone and done the one thing he feared, the one thing he'd vowed never to do. Not only has he somehow managed to touch his soulmate, but he's hurt them. He's hurt his soulmate within 1 second of finding them. He's pushed his soulmate who has a fucking broken arm.
Connor can't breathe. Isn't sure he even wants to.
Though he'd intended to make it to his car, the bathroom is closer and at this point, Connor will take anything. He stumbles in there and slams down the lid of a toilet seat so he can collapse onto it, bringing his hands to his face so that he can block out the colours that only serve to remind him what's happened, what he's done.
He always knew he'd end up hurting his soulmate but shit, he never thought he'd do it so soon. And better yet, it was Hansen. Fuck, did Connor even know his name? …Yeah, it was Evan. Evan Hansen, the quiet kid who stammered out his words and whom Connor had barely known existed until he screamed at him. Until he'd shoved him to the ground.
And why did he do it? He had no reason, not really. If he was being painfully honest, he'd known Evan hadn't been laughing. He'd just been angry at Jared fucking Kleinman and Evan fucking Hansen had been in the wrong place at the wrong time and oh god he is so fucked up.
His hands end up gripping his hair so tightly that he almost pulls strands out of his skull but if anything, the pain makes him tug harder. The pain is good. Something he deserves.
…He still needs a smoke. A smoke would help him calm down. He should have never come to school. Why did he even bother? Why does he even bother to do anything anymore since he always screws it up…
The door to the bathroom opens and Connor jumps, holding his breath. What if it's Hansen? What if he's come to yell at Connor, stuttering and quietness be damned? Or what if…what if he's expecting something from Connor? Expecting the typical 'courting' that happens after finding your soulmate, like giggling over colour charts, dates, holding hands…kissing.
Connor feels sick.
"Connor? Hey Connor, you in here?"
Fuck. Zoey. What the hell's she doing in the boy's bathroom? Better yet, what's little miss goody two shoes doing missing class? Slowly, Connor tries to hide by lifting his feet up and putting them on the seat but clearly, he's not fast enough as Zoe's converses are quickly there in front of the stall. He remembers his mom saying the assistant told her they were purple and Connor distantly registers that this is the first time he's seen the colour. It's…not bad.
He's jolted out of his musings when Zoe bangs on the door.
"Open up Connor!" He doesn't. However, his stubborn sister decides not to get the message and the converses remain where they are. "Fine, be like that, I'll just talk anyway. I know what happened back there Connor. You think I don't know what that expression on your face meant?"
"You're talking shit," Connor bites out, realising he all but confirmed it the moment he opened his mouth. Damnit.
"No, you are if you're just going to pretend nothing happened," Zoe replies. "I mean, come on Connor. You've just found your soulmate. That's a good thing. A great thing!"
Well, since she already knows. "Yeah, I'm sure he's real happy he got the school freak. Do you know the only reason we found out was cos I pushed him to the ground? So, don't go telling me to play nice when things are already fucked. It doesn't matter."
"Oh my god, you are so annoying," Zoe groans and Connor rolls his eyes. Takes one to know one. Zoe's one of those 'hopeless romantics', a sucker for those cheesy soulmate movies. She's probably getting a kick out of playing 'supportive but ultimately unnecessary sidekick'. "Like I said, I know what happened. And I'm not gonna tell you to go beg on your knees for forgiveness or something because I know you wouldn't do that. I just think you owe him an apology if nothing else and then you can see where things go from where. You can't just ignore this Connor."
"Why can't I? I doubt he even wants to see me now," Connor replies bitterly, resting his forehead on his folded knees.
"Can you get your head out of your ass and think about how Evan might actually be feeling? Look, when you ran, I apologised about you to him and okay, he still looked a little shaken up but he also looked like his world had fallen apart and then rebuilt itself. I'm not saying he wants to date you, or that he even likes you all that much after the stunt you pulled, but I bet he's been waiting for this moment and he might appreciate an apology. Or is the almighty Connor Murphy too proud for that?"
Connor's fists clench, white at the knuckle. He hates his sister but what he hates even more is that she might be right. "Jesus Christ, Zoe. Fine. I'll apologise, alright?"
"Good," Zoe replies. "You might have screwed up the meeting, but you've got a whole lifetime to make things right if you just try."
"I said I'd apologise, okay?! Why the fuck do you even care?" Connor snaps. This is the most he's spoken to Zoe in months without it resulting in an epic screaming match between the two…or, well, without Connor screaming at Zoe until she finally leaves him alone, frustrated tears streaming down her cheeks.
"Because even if you don't believe in them, I think soulmates are something to be celebrated, to be cherished. I really think this could be good for you if you just give it a chance. And…and despite everything, you're my brother and I want you to be goddamn happy for once."
Connor snorts. Happy.
"Whatever, I said I'd do it. You can leave now."
He pretends not to hear the sniffle as Zoe leaves. Connor embraces the quiet, then tries to settle the panic arising thanks to what he's just agreed to.
Apologise. He can do that. He's not that much of a mess.