Disclaimer: I don't own the boys, 'cause if I did, Supernatural would have many more 'Chick Flick' moments, 'cause I adore brotherly fluff.I woke up this morning (afternoon) and immediately wrote this. It's my first posted attempt at Supernatural, so feedback would be wonderful. ^.^;;
The more I watch Supernatural, the more I've grown to empathize with Sam. That lead into thinking about what it's like to be rejected by your family, which lead into this. More empathy than channeling, but I think it works.
The Wrong Words
The physical part of leaving was easier than he would have thought. Stuffing his clothes in a bag, automatically adding a few weapons before he stopped to think about it. Opening the door and walking out. There were noises he thought, his dad shouting at him, Dean staring, but he couldn't really hear them. There was just white noise, like his hearing had just shut down. The only thing he could really hear was the sound of his own heart thudding in his ears, his own suddenly raspy breathing faster than it should have been.
He made it to the bus station, bought his ticket, and waited in silence for the bus to arrive. He watched the other people in the station more for something to do than anything else, sitting silently in his own corner of the bench with his bag at his feet. He ignored the people who stared at him, tried to busy himself with reading some of the information that had come with his acceptance letter, and eventually gave up when he found himself reading the same line three times.
The bus ride was long, more comfortable than he'd expected, but he'd have been much happier with leather seats than the plush recliners. It smelled odd, like someone tried to clean it too many times and still couldn't seem to get rid of a particular stain. He tried to sleep through most of the ride, staring out the window in silence at scenery he'd already seen at times, talking to whoever had chosen to sit beside him at others. During one changeover, there had been a girl around his age who was shy and awkward, struggling with an oversized duffle with a broken strap and a stubborn suitcase on wheels who he'd offered to help and ended up chatting with when they sat together. Another bus gave him a boy who couldn't seem to stop talking about the girl he was going to meet and how he was going to start a family with her, who could only be silenced when he forced himself to go to sleep and woke up with the guy's head lolling on his shoulder while he snored.
It took almost two days to reach California, only to be told he was to early to register and be assigned a dorm. He spent a week in a motel, sleeping like the dead for the first two days before taking the longest shower of his life to get the bus smell off him. The rest of the week he wandered the neighborhood and explored he campus, trying to get a feel for his new surroundings. He found the good restaurants and discovered a park and a lake with ducks in it that was great for watching the sunrise when he couldn't sleep, which was often. He located a Wal-Mart and picked up the supplies he would need for the new year, using the small amount of money he'd been saving since he'd first decided to go to college a few years ago. It wouldn't last long, and he started looking around for a part-time job to apply for as soon as he knew his schedule.
Registration turned out to be a long and frustrating experience that finally ended with a horrible picture on a student ID card, more paperwork, and at long last the prized key to his new dorm. The dorm which only lasted until it was discovered he had no roommate three weeks later, and he was forced to move in with someone else to 'conserve space'. Then there was a new roommate who loved to party, came in at odd hours of the night without concern for whether or not he was awake, and constantly made fun of him when he studied or tried to put in applications for a job.
It was like living with Dean all over again, except that Aaron didn't actually care about him deep down.
Living without his family wasn't impossible. It was just hard. Mind numbingly, painfully hard. He cried only once, that first night he arrived in the hotel room, tears soaking his pillow as he sobbed until he couldn't breathe. After that he forced himself to keep moving, one step after another, because if he stopped he'd never start up again. There were places to study and things to learn and people to meet, and they all blurred together into a one distraction that he desperately clung to.
That wasn't to say that he wasn't happy, exactly. He liked making friends that he wouldn't have to suddenly leave without warning. He liked having new things to learn, and being able to ask questions without someone getting angry at him - usually, anyway. His job as a stock boy royally sucked, but there were people here and there who were nice enough to make him smile sincerely.
He never called them.
That wasn't to say he didn't want to. God, he wanted to. When the workload became too much, he wanted so badly to call Dean and bullshit with him until he forgot about it. When the store manager was a jackass he wanted someone to bitch to about how many forms of torture he could come up with for the bastard off the top of his head. When the stress and cold left him with a nasty case of the flu that he had to pretend he didn't have so he wouldn't miss class or work, he wanted nothing more than to curl up in bed with Dean humming Metallica nearby, shoving chicken noodle soup and 7-up at him.
But Dad had told him not to come back. And no matter how much it hurt to hear that, no matter how much he wanted to break down and cry when the memory of that conversation came to mind again whenever he was suddenly reminded, he wasn't going to. Because he had his pride, and because if his father didn't want him anymore, then there was nothing he could do to change that.
And no matter how much he wanted Dean, wanted to call him, to talk to him, to confide in him the way he always had, he wasn't going to put Dean between his problems with his father anymore. He wasn't going to force Dean to chose a side by trying to plead his case, and he wasn't going to force Dean to talk to him if he didn't want to. So he waited for Dean to call him, and every day that he didn't, his heart broke a little more. Because while he missed Dad, it was Dean he craved.
But life went on.
He didn't regret wanting to go to college, and he didn't regret finally going for it, or actually leaving. He did regret that his dad and Dean couldn't seem to understand why he'd done it - or didn't want to, at least. He wasn't sure which it was, but it hurt to know that they'd never asked why he wanted it so badly. Why normal was so important. It was the first time Dean hadn't pushed, and that hurt more almost as much as the fact that Dean never called.
Because they'd never know that the reason he wanted a normal life was to hide how he knew, somehow, that he wasn't normal, even by Winchester standards. That he wanted to be a lawyer of all things because it paid well enough to fund his own needs and two hunters who never stopped anywhere long enough to get a serious income, and because having a lawyer that was in on the family secret could come in handy. That just because he'd wanted to do this had never meant he didn't want to be a part of their lives anymore, that not wanting to hunt didn't mean he didn't want them.
But his brain and his mouth never seemed to stay connected when it came to arguing with his dad, and the words he should have said were twisted into hurtful accusations, because his father's refusal to listen was like a stake in the heart. Instead he'd yelled about wanting something he'd never had, about resenting never having a choice, about wanting to be just like everyone else. It was true, and he couldn't deny that. And a big part of him did blame his father for the way he'd grown up, being forced into a profession he didn't have the heart for, even if he tried so hard to believe in the cause the way Dean. Even though he'd tried to want justice for his mom, the way his dad did. But his resentment and hatred for hunting wasn't as strong as his fear that he was becoming something ... different. Something his family wouldn't like. And he couldn't find the words to plead how scared he was, that his desperate attempts to be normal were the only way he could think of to keep himself sane.
And in the end, the wrong words weren't enough to keep his family close to him.