AUTHOR'S NOTES: So I've been watching Switched at Birth and I totally love the show. Not only is it a twist on the family drama, but for me it's a good bit of reverence for some of my fan fiction stories like 'Deaf, Mute, and a Owl to Boot' and 'Silent Screams Are the Loudest'.
But I've been thinking of the different relationships between the chracters-specifically Bay/Emmett and Daphne/Wilke-and I came up with this introspective drabble.
STORY SUMMARY: Just a little work about the Damsels In Distress of the show 'Switched At Birth' and the Knights who rescued them.
SWITCHED AT BIRTH: Knights and Damsels
Emmett was right when he accused me of thinking of him as a security blanket. But for the past 8 years, he's been my best friend, my confidant, and my rock. I was a little kid when he came up and whisked me away to the world he lived in—a world that became my home. I started going to Carlton School for the Deaf and learning sign language and finding ways to adapt to my silent world.
I found myself in my new world as I learned how to talk with my hands. And after a while, I became more and more comfortable with being deaf. It was no longer a disability to me, but just a part of my life.
And then I found out about the switch—about the fact that I was not my mother's biological daughter and my neat, orderly, understood world was blown apart.
I met my biological parents—John and Kathryn Kennish—at their mansion and I saw the world I could have spent my life in. I saw myself having everything I could ever dream of and living with parents who would give me the moon if I asked.
And I met my brother. A real older brother whom I felt this bond with almost instantly. It was a family that I concocted every now and then in my mind when I thought about having a 'perfect life'.
And still, with my whole world being turned around and upside down, there was Emmett. He stayed by my side as I started venturing out of my nice, safe little world and back into the world of the hearing—a world that had always scared me since I didn't have the best memories of hearing schools or being out in that world.
But as I pulled him along with me as I tried to get used to the changes in my world, Emmett found Bay and he seemed to connect with her in a way that made no sense to me at all. Emmett had always said that he would never be with a hearing girl and yet here he was, dating Bay. Whatever happened to the loyalty of best friends?
At the same time, though, I can't help but wonder about all those years ago when Emmet first came to my rescue. He'd been a kid—the same as me. And even though he'd been alone, he'd stood up to the girls who had been teasing me. He'd been my knight in shining armor and had whisked me away to his home like I was some damsel in distress.
And as I think about that, I know that I've been a horrible person. Because how can I fault Emmett for acting like Bay's knight? She's as much a damsel in distress as I am but now I've got a real brother to turn to and even Toby's friend, Wilke, always seems to be willing to supply a sympathetic ear to my problems. Maybe I'm hung up on Bay and Emmett because I've been so stuck in my old life that it's become a rut I can't get out of. Maybe I need to stop looking back at the past, and start looking ahead to what could be in my future.
I know everyone always thinks I have this perfect life and everything's good and I'm just the eccentric of the family but that's just not the whole story.
I've always felt like an outsider even in my own family and finding out that I was someone else's daughter started to make some things clearer even though my life was getting totally messed up.
Mom and Dad became more interested in Daphne and as I got pushed to the side, I wished I'd never started this whole mess. And I have to be honest, when I think about what things might have been like if Daphne and I hadn't been switched, that just blows my mind even more. I mean, I could have been the deaf daughter and Daphne would have had my life.
And yet somewhere in the midst of this whole chaos—for whatever messed up reason—I found myself rescued by a motorcycle riding guy who happened to be deaf as well as Daphne Vasquez's best friend.
Okay, so at first it was just me and Emmett bonding over art and photography and trying to find out who my biological father was but the more time we spent together the more I realized that for the first time I was with a guy who seriously got me. I wasn't just 'switched at birth' girl and I wasn't weirdo Bay Kennish with the taste in 'out there' art.
I was just Bay.
And yes, it was a challenge at first. Emmett didn't talk out loud and I didn't know all that much about sign language. But we're working it out. And I want it to work out because my relationship with Emmett is the one thing in my freaky, messed-up world that makes sense to me… for the most part anyway.
I know that when I need a shoulder to cry on or a sympathetic ear—okay, in Emmett's case a sympathetic eye—he'll be there for me.
And Daphne… I just wish she'd understand that I'm not like her. I've never really, honestly had a best friend. When you're a rich girl, friends are attracted to what you have rather than who you are. And I think that's the reason Daphne and I tend to clash. She's had to fight for everything in her life and I haven't.
But I also know that if there's one thing Daphne got from my mom—I mean the woman I always knew as my mom not my biological mom—it's her love and compassion. And then there's the fact that both Daphne and I have Regina's stubbornness. In my case it's genetic and in Daphne's case it probably rubbed off.
I wish I knew what's going to happen, what the future holds for all of us. But I don't. All I do know is that nothing is ever going to be the same. And I also know that—strange as it may sound—I'm okay with that. Because if there's one thing I've always liked, it's shaking things up a bit.
The strangest thing is that one way or another, I would have ended up with Bay. Even if she and Daphne had never known about being switched I think I still might have found my way to Bay Kennish.
There's always been something about the paintings Bay does on the walls of various buildings that called to me. They're strange and beautiful and even before I knew it was Bay who did them, I always dreamed of finding the artist.
It's funny when I think of Bay and Daphne because they are such different people and they've reacted to the switch thing in such different ways.
Daphne still tried to cling to what she knew and, by extension, to me. I'm not stupid—I know that she thinks of me as her best friend, the one she can turn to for anything, any time. But when I came to her rescue all those years ago, it was because I saw a beautiful, sweet-looking princess and I wanted to be the dashing knight to run in and save her. Which I did and the two of us became friends instantly. But as we got older, I started to realize that Daphne and I would always just me friends. We were comfortable together, yes, but there were never any sparks.
Bay is a whole different story. She was like a wild hawk in a cage and suddenly she was free. She started diving in head first into my world and trying to swim even though she had no idea how. It's one of the main things I've learned about Bay—you don't tell her what to do. She's passionate and when she wants to be, she's one badass babe.
And the more time Bay and I spent together, the more I found myself venturing out into the hearing world—a place that I tried to avoid. It always looked so busy and confusing and it was always hard to catch what people were saying because most of them talk so fast.
So why do it? Why don't I just walk away from things with Bay and go back to Daphne and my own silent world where everything makes sense?
Because if Bay can be brave enough to dive into my world with no reservations, then I can do the same.
Okay, let me be perfectly honest here: There is a little screwed up part of me that likes Daphne Vasquez because she's my best friend's biological sister.
Yeah, yeah, yeah… I know it's cliché and potentially dangerous, but who cares? You only live once, right? Why not throw the rulebook out the window and make some serious memories?
Now when it comes to comparing Daphne and Bay, there actually is no comparison. Those two are like mangos and grapefruit—totally different.
Bay is just… She's Bay. I mean, I really can't explain it any more than that. She's just… Well, if you met her, you'd totally understand.
Daphne… she's balanced. Tough, yet vulnerable. She's got her own gifts and talents but she tries not to brag about them too much. I mean, she's one of the most wicked cooks I've ever met but she won't rub it in your face.
And I love Daphne. I love hanging out with her and everything. I mean, like I would make a total idiot out of myself just to see that awesome smile she's got or hear her laugh. Because when Daphne is happy, you can't tell she's deaf. You look at her and just see her enjoying the world like anyone else.
I know Emmett and Daphne used to have something going on. Daphne used to deny it but now I think she's just upset that she didn't listen and notice that Emmett had a thing for her. But hey—if Emmett wants to pass on a wonderful, perky, sassy, totally amazing strawberry blonde and go out with an eccentric dark-haired artist, hey, it's cool with me.
Of course, I'm still having to work on Daphne. I know she hasn't yet gotten it that I really, really like her and I care about her but you know what? I'm cool with that. Because Daphne deserves a guy who will treat her like a princess and I can do that. With the way her life keeps falling apart, I feel I've kind of appointed myself as her own personal knight in shining armor.
And what if she never realizes how I feel? I'm not worried about that. Because I know Daphne. Right now she's hoping she can pull Emmett away from Bay but I've seen those two together and they're both in it for the long haul. It may take some time for me to win Daphne over but I know I can do it. It's just like poker. You've got to got to just to let it ride If she needs a shoulder to cry on or a sympathetic ear, I'm there. She needs a distraction from her problems, I'm her man.
I never thought of myself as a decent, honorable, loyal guy before. But for Daphne Vasquez… I could be willing to change.