What a silly idea
Sat May 11, 2019 14:41

Garen hated to admit it, but Drew had a point. The staff really couldn’t do anything effective about a student blackmailing another student. Connor had every right to tell his and Dakota’s father about her sibling transitioning to female. In fact, one could argue it was Charles Farnon’s business that the person he thought was his youngest son was actually his youngest daughter. Garen would want to know if one of his children was transitioning, of course, but when they were ready to share, and for the purpose of him helping them. He doubted Charles Farnon’s goal would be helping Dakota.

“I see your point,” Garen conceded. He still wished Drew would have told him what was going on sooner but, he reminded himself, at least Drew was telling him now. That was the takeaway he should have. Drew telling him about Connor blackmailing him, even—especially—if he wasn’t asking his father to do anything about it meant he trusted Garen. That mattered.

This is between us, right?

“Right,” Garen confirmed, with some trepidation. The question worried him—it wasn’t the kind of question that someone who was about to reveal something unconcerning asked. “As long as I’m sure you’re safe,” he amended. Garen couldn’t promise to keep a secret if he had reason to believe Drew might be in danger, or might hurt himself or someone else. Nothing like that had ever happened before, but then again, nothing like this conversation had ever happened before either.

That was enough reassurance, apparently, because Drew started talking. At first he was vague—about where he’d been and about what had happened—which sent up all kinds of red flags for Garen. It was hard not to assume that obvious omissions signified the worst explanation his brain could come up with. But the counselor managed to keep a more-or-less neutral, attentive expression, reasoning that Drew had every right to withhold what he wanted to. Besides, Garen knew his son, and he wouldn’t hide anything without a bigger reason. If he was being vague it was probably to protect someone else.

As Drew kept talking, though, Garen struggled not to react with open shock. Drew had done what? Garen almost couldn’t understand it. Breaking up a fight sounded like Drew, but hitting someone without direct provocation was an action Garen couldn’t reconcile with his image of his son. The fight with Connor had been a fluke, something that happened because Drew was young and had never come across someone who would use slurs against him and his family, something that happened because Drew didn’t know how to deal with that. But Drew was fifteen now. Teenage boys weren’t known for good judgment, but Merlin, Drew should know better. Did know better, apparently, because here he was confessing, and the anguish in his voice and remorse on his face weren’t faked.

That concern for Drew overrode the instinct to punish him. Right now, when Drew was sitting in his office wracked with guilt and worry, wasn’t the time to talk about consequences. “There’s nothing wrong with you,” Garen said, with perfect certainty and conviction. He rose from the armchair and took a seat beside Drew on the couch, and put his arm around him. “Drew, you got angry and you overreacted. It happens to everyone sometimes, in the heat of a moment. You know that punching DJ was wrong, and you feel bad about it now. So there’s nothing wrong with you,” he reiterated. “Okay?” He waited for Drew’s response before he continued. “Okay. So let’s talk about it. Did you apologize to DJ?”

  • Somehow it’s still my turn! - Drew, Fri Apr 26 10:10
    “What good would that do?” It wasn’t like Drew hadn’t thought of that himself. “I mean,” he scrambled to make up for his tone, “sorry, but the staff’s not gonna Obliviate him or put Dakota’s... more
    • What a silly idea - Garen, Sat May 11 14:41
      • At least now it’s over - Drew, Wed May 22 17:52
        Drew’s stomach was in knots, and his shoulders were all tensed up, and don’t even get him started on how his hands were fidgeting in his lap. He hadn’t fully realized how worried he was until Dad... more
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