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Night Skies and Hot Lines

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As Evan walked the wind picked up even more than it had already and he shivered a bit. He shoved his hands into the pockets of his faded jean jacket even deeper in some hope of keeping his fingers warm. Even though it was late July nights were already getting cold but Evan didn’t mind much. He quite enjoyed fall. The smells and the colors, he just felt so relaxed during fall.

He stopped at a cross walk even though he saw no cars coming he still waited a little just to make sure. After a short minuet he crossed the street of his little city and started walking along the cracked sidewalks again. Evan was heading to a small off-white building that wasn’t quite a business or a store. In fact the building was kind of scary looking. It was made of all brick and covered in spray paint but inside was what really mattered.

After his little incident in mid to early June he confessed to his mother what his real intentions had been in that tree. Of course she understood and even convinced him to confess to his therapist. After that he went to a rehab center for about a week and half. After his little run in with death he wasn’t really that eager to try again but the rehab did help him face the truth about it. The doctors and other patients at the center were pretty friendly and understanding which really helped. He liked the idea of having someone there to talk to, even if he wasn’t in a really depressing mood. Just knowing that someone was there made him relaxed.

So anyway, he started volunteering at a suicide prevention hot line soon after he got out of rehab. He was volunteering at the state park but after “The Incident” he just couldn’t go back. He wanted people to know that someone was there and that they understood. He knew one phone call wouldn’t completely help them but he hoped he could maybe help them postpone it. Maybe if they postponed it for a later date they’d realize that they weren’t ready to die yet. Sometimes people just need an outlet to dump their feelings on and Evan gladly volunteered to be that outlet.

Soon enough he stumbled across the plain square building and rushed in, to escape the cold air. The smell of mildew and old carpet flooded his lungs and he quickened his pace fearing he might be late if he wanders for too long. Even though normal phone calls make him extremely anxious something about answering the calls of people in need don’t. Maybe it’s because it makes him feel that someone needs him and that he’s important to someone. He knows that’s pretty selfish of him but he just can’t help it.

After a few long strides he’s in the main area of the building. He clocks in- a little early but better early than late, right? He waves to the sweet old woman who keeps the place running, Debra, and sits at his desk. When he says desk he means a small old table where a phone and recorder are hooked up. He puts on his headset, smiles and waves as Debra leaves and begins his night. He’s the only one who really works Saturday nights, which can get hectic but most nights they’re pretty quiet besides a phone call every thirty minuets or so.

--------------------------- 2am
Evan had just sat down from pouring himself a second cup of coffee when the phone rang for maybe the fourth or fifth time since his shift started. He took a quick sip, successfully burning his tongue in the process, pressed record and pressed answer on his headset.

“Hello. This is the Saint Peters suicide hot line, can I help you?”
“OH hey! * snort * UH yeAh I kindA wanna dIe.”
“Sir, are you-are you high right now?”
“Mayyybeee. I am also currently sitting on my roof wishing that the height would kill me if I jumped.”
“What’s your name sir? I’m Evan, maybe I can help you get down from your roof ok?”
“Connor. Connor Murphy. Also Evan, my roof is nice. The sky is pretty. And if I go inside I have to sit in my dumb room with no door and listen to my dumb sister snoring next door.”

Connor Murphy? As in the Connor Murphy? The kid who threw a printer in second grade. As in the kid who glares at every kid who passes him in the hallway. The kid who Evan ran into in the secluded school bathroom smoking a blunt. Evan has never really had anything against him but the rumors he’s heard from Jared do sometimes scare him. And lets not forget to mention the fact that Evan had a crush on his sister from seventh to tenth grade, and Jared just wont let him live it down. He still has a slight crush on her even if its embarrassing, but Evan has come to realize that its more that he wants what she has than an actual love for her.

Is he going to recognize Evan’s voice? Is he going to attack Evan if he realizes who Evan is? Oh god what if he tells the whole school that Evan works at a suicide hot line and then the whole school will make fun of him. What if Jared stops talking to him completely because he doesn’t want to be friends with the weird kid who volunteers at a suicide hot line. What if Jared figures out that Evan tried to commit suicide and makes fun of him for it? Ohgodohgodohgod-

“Helloooooo? Evan did you die? That’d be the first. Imagine the headlines! Young man with a dumb name like Evan dies after realizing that Connor Murphy called a suicide hotline!”

Evan paused for a second and chuckled a bit. He didn’t know if it was a nervous chuckle or a one of general hilarity but it was probably a mix of both. He didn’t know if Connor was always this sassy or if it was the fact that he was high but Evan was oddly enough starting to enjoy it. Anyways he needed to get back to the task at hand. Even if he sounded like he was having fun and making jokes the fact that he was on his roof very high was concerning.

“Well Connor, I don’t think it’s very safe for you to be on your roof right now. Maybe you don’t have to get off immediately but maybe bit by bit ok?”

“You’re such a party pooper Evan!”

“I guess I might be Connor. So anyway why don’t we just talk? What are you doing on your roof right now?”

“Well I’m currently looking at the stars and wishing I hadn’t smoked all my pot an hour before calling you.”

“Isn’t kind of cold outside? Don’t you want to be a bit warmer?”

“Eh it’s not that cold. Maybe you’re just a big pussy Evan.”

“Such a foul mouth! Do you speak to your mother with that mouth?”

“I don’t speak to my mother. She’d dead.”

“...”

“OHMYGOD I’M SO SORRY I DIDN’T MEAN IT I WAS JUSTTRYING TO MAKEAJOKETRYING TO LIGHTENUPTHEMOOD BUT I MESSEDITALL UP NOW DIDN’T I I’M SOSOSOSO SORRY PLE-PLEASE DON’T BE MAD-“

“WOah dude chill out! I was joking too! Well goddamn Evan. All this talking has made me too tired to even function, well maybe it’s the talking and all the pot but anyways I am very sleepy now.”

Evan heard some loud bangs and a few curse words as he assumed that Connor started climbing back inside. That made him sigh in relief at the fact that Connor was actually planning on going to sleep, or at least he hopped that he was. He hoped that Evan had successfully worn him out so much that he actually did want to sleep, and that he wasn’t just saying that because he was mad at Evan for the joke he made. He heard a few final clangs and bangs as Connor landed on his room floor and one last string of nasty curse words.

“Well then you should sleep Connor. Please have a safe night and always remember to call this hotline if you ever need someone to talk to.”

“Yeah see you around... Evan.”

And just like that Evan’s small conversation with a very high Connor Murphy was over. It was definitely an experience. And selfishly one he hoped to experience again.

 

 

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It had been a few days since Connor had called that hotline. He doesn’t really remember what happened during the call or really anything he said. Quite frankly he doesn’t even remember where he got the number for a suicide hot line. But he does remember two things about that call. The first being that he was definitely very high, he knows this by the fact that his whole stash was gone when he woke up the next day and that he had the worst hangover from it. The second thing was just a name. A first name to be more exact, Evan. He figures that it was the name of the guy working the hotline but something about it just seems so familiar. He just can’t shake it; he can’t stop thinking about the name.

Who’s Evan? His brain wonders. Do I know an Evan? Does Zoe know an Evan? So he asked. He just couldn’t figure out who this kid was and why was Connor thinking about who he was non stop anyways?

Then late one night, well more like early morning, he had the brilliant idea to look through some of his old yearbooks. He never really was one for yearbooks but his mother insisted that he needed one every year. So anyways he grabbed the first few from the stack and just started flipping through one. He was starting to lose hope in finding this seemingly fake person until he finally had a break through.

He came upon a row of uncomfortable teen kids and while skimming through the names he may have found what he was looking for. Evan Hansen, the human time bomb of anxiousness and awkwardness. It couldn’t be him. Evan looks like he can’t even have a normal conversation and he definitely wouldn’t be able to handle suicidal phone counseling. It just didn’t make sense.

 

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A few days later Connor decides to call the hotline again, this time only slightly high. He had gotten into another dumb fight with his dad that by now he couldn’t even remember what started it. He does know that it was bad nonetheless. Well all of the fights he has with his dad are bad but this one was straight terrible. He knows that it was a lot of yelling and Connor probably said things he didn’t mean. He also remembers freaking out at his sister while walking back up the stairs, which ended in her yelling back and storming off to her room.

Oh and he’s back on his roof again. Even if he knows that jumping from his roof wouldn’t end in his death he still climbs up there whenever he needs to blow off steam. It’s nice, the sky and him, all alone. He just feels so much calmer up there. There’s no frantic mother trying to make everyone get along, there’s no dumb father who yells at him for every little thing he does, and most importantly there’s no perfect sister showing off how perfect she is. It’s just him and the calm sky. He can relate to the sky a lot. Full of clouds blocking the sun and sometimes so much rain that it floods the earth below it, hard violent hail that can destroy windows and damage people, and strong winds that can blow down some of the strongest buildings and trucks. Yeah, he relates to the sky a lot.

So anyways he’s sitting on his roof and calling this dumb hot line again. He knows that he’s probably just calling to see if this whole Evan thing is real, but he also just kind of wants someone to talk too. He’s never really had an outlet to dump all of his emotions on and now he just might have one. Even if calling a suicide hotline to just have someone to talk to about his feelings is pretty lame it’s his only option at the moment. It’s not like he has friends and its not like he can just go hunt Evan Hansen down and talk to him in person about them. He doesn’t even know if the guy he talked to was actually Evan Hansen for god’s sake!

The phone rings once

The phone rings twice

And before Connor can change his mind and hang up the phone is answered and now he’s trapped in a conversation with some random stranger.

“Hello. This is the Saint Peters suicide hot line, can I help you?”

“Probably not, but I could use someone to distract me right now.” Now if Connor was being honest that was true. When he got all angry and sad after these fights he tended to do things he wasn’t so proud of. Mostly cutting or punching his wall until he bled or he punched through the wall again. So having this little distraction of another human talking to him as if they didn’t know his reputation helped those urges.

“Connor?? Is that you again?”

“Wow you’re faster than I thought, Evan” Connor honestly didn’t expect him to recognize him so quickly or even remember him. That was nice. The fact that he remembered made Connor feel a little better, like someone actually cared. Wow that’s pretty sad that someone remembering him makes him feel better.

“So is something the matter? Is there something you want to talk about?”

“I mean I’m back on my roof again, not as high this time. But yeah I am on my roof.”

“That dang roof again. Tell me, Connor, are you always on your roof when you’re sad?”

“I guess I am. Its nice, the sky the quiet. None else in my family comes up here. So I come up here to escape, considering I can’t really calm down in my room because the asshole Larry took my door.” Earlier this summer Connor had lost his door due to him smoking in his room and locking himself in there for hours so he ‘couldn’t be trusted with privacy’. He honestly doesn’t know why they wont give it back. The longer he can be away from them the better, for all of them.

“So what’s bothering you? Did something happen between you and your family before you called?”

“Ah you know me so well already Evan, maybe you’ve stalking me for years and now’s your chance to attack me.” Evan chuckled a bit on the other side and Connor may be wrong but he thought he heard a little snort or two in there as well.

“Sadly enough I have not. But most kids who call this line have family problems so I normally assume that that’s the main problem.”

“Well you were right Mr. Stalker. I got in a fight with Larry about thirty minuets ago. I mean we get in fights all the time; we basically go at each other non-stop like wild dogs fighting for the same piece of meat. But this time it was different. This time it was bigger and the hateful words suddenly hurt more, like as if he actually meant everything he said.”

“Sometimes parents can get so overwhelmed with work and the stress of daily life that they get in small fights which then escalate into full on screaming matches where they express all their anger. The fight you had with your father could have been an example of that.”

“He’s still an asshole though...” Again there was another little chuckle but this time it faded off nervously.

“I never said he wasn’t, but I was just trying to explain why it was a different fight than normal. Do you remember what stared the fight?”

“No but it was probably something dumb like me drinking all the milk, or something. A lot of our fights begin like that, I do something miniscule and then Larry just flips out.”

“Many families with a toxic relationship have fights like this. They seem to be small things that suddenly become huge things. When families are on edge at all times from all the anger and anxiety flowing through the members everything seems to just blow up in their faces. Lots of families suffer from this problem and that’s how families break apart. The most important thing for you to do in these situations is to worry about yourself. Fights like these can be very toxic for you and it most important that you worry about calming yourself. If you can’t calm yourself then dangerous things could happen.”

“Therapist in training aren’t ya.” There’s that damn laugh again. This time it didn’t sound nervous at all Evan sounded like he was actually laughing.

“You kind of have to be a therapist when you work a suicide hot line. Is there anything else particularly bothering you that you’d like to talk about?”

“Night, Hansen.” And with that Connor hung up.

 

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After that Connor called the line a few more times but every time Evan tried to bring up the fact that Connor knew who he was he always denied it. Time and time again Connor said that Evan is a common name and that there’d be no way he’d know who he was. Evan was starting to think that maybe he imagined it all.

Evan wasn’t working tonight because tomorrow is his first day of senior year and his mother wanted him to get some rest before his ‘big day’. Though it was nice being able to eat dinner with his mother after barely seeing her all summer. Evan was trying to sleep but he couldn’t, one though just wouldn’t leave his mind. If Evan saw Connor tomorrow what would happen. Would they become friends? What would he even say?

Evan wondered if Connor was going to keep pretending that he didn’t know who Evan was. I mean It’d make sense, who would want to be associated with the most awkward kid in school. Even if Connor wasn’t very popular and was basically the school’s idea of emo Evan was seemingly even more unpopular. None even really knew who Evan Hansen was; he could count the amount of people who actually knew him on his hand. Connor was hated and bullied but Evan, Evan didn’t even exist in most of their minds. Maybe Connor really didn’t know who he was. Maybe Evan got so excited that someone was regularly talking to him that, he-he imagined that Connor actually knew he existed.

God now Evan was crying. He’s been so alone all summer that he’s starting to imagine friends. Jared hasn’t talked to him all summer except for when their moms forced them to hang out. Where Evan sat in the corner of Jared’s room while Jared sat on his phone in the other. It’s not like Evan has any other friends. That’s why he’s so selfishly clinging on to Connor Murphy. God if Connor ever realized that he’s the one working the line and that he thinks that they’re friends in his mind. God he’s sick! Connor would be disgusted- Connor is would hate him. Anyone would hate him. He’s selfish and terrible and disgusting! He’s going to be alone forever, and-and he deserves it! Look what he’s done when someone gives him even the slightest bit of attention!

Evan ended up giving himself a panic attack and didn’t fall asleep until he passed out from crying. Tomorrow is going to be hell and it’s going to be Evan’s fault.

 

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Connor could not deal with school today. He felt like absolute shit but of course his family thinks its because he’s high and being stubborn. So now to show them that he’s not an asshole teen he has to go to school. Fuck! Why doesn’t his family actually believe in him for anything! His mother always gives him this LOOK, where you can just tell she’s wondering what’s wrong with him! Well fuck them!

Right as he’s about to walk out of the door Zoe starts blaring the horn and yelling at him to hurry up, in his truck by the way! Which of course just pisses him off even more. Halfway through the car ride he’s got a pounding headache because Zoe is blaring her fucking music just to annoy him. God today is going to be a god-awful day.

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Evan ended up having to walk to school because Jared didn’t respond to his text. One of the “terms” of their friendship was that Jared drove Evan to and from school, though Jared rarely ever drove him home. Ever since the middle of the year last year Jared’s been distancing himself more and more from Evan. Evan doesn’t blame him, there’s so many other-better people for Jared to be friends with. But even so Jared still tended to drive Evan to school in the mornings or at least text him if he wasn’t going to pick him up. But this morning when Evan texted he didn’t even respond. Now that, that hurt a little. What could Evan do though, he couldn’t force Jared to text him.

So he walked. It wasn’t that bad, the scenery was nice. It also gave him time to think though. Which lately hasn’t exactly been the best thing for him, if last night was any example. But he thought, he thought, and he thought. About the most mundane things too, like what’d he eat for dinner, or what the new freshman are going to look like, or what his new science teachers name is going to be. Before he knew it he was there, he was standing on the stairs of this massive building and suddenly all the bad thoughts came flooding back. They engulfed him, they filled his lungs, his head, his eyesight, he couldn’t hear anything; he was frozen in fear. He felt so sick, so sick of everything.

He ended up throwing up the small breakfast he had in the bush to the left of him.

He was so sick that he didn’t even care if people saw him puke into a fucking bush. He didn’t care if they were laughing and pointing at him. He just didn’t want to be sick anymore, he wanted to puke every last bad thought and fear, he wanted to be better-to be normal!

Suddenly he felt a hand clapping his back and a familiar chuckle to the left of him. He hazily looked up from the poor vomit covered bush and met eyes with Jared Klienman. His so called friend who ignored him all year, his friend who didn’t respond to his text this morning and forced him to walk to school. His friend who was now saying something that Evan couldn’t quite hear.

“-ook like shit man!” Oh it was just an insult. How very Jared of him. Evan stood up and wiped his mouth with the collar of his favorite blue polo. He tried to fix his appearance but was interrupted in the midst of wiping his pants off by none other than Jared yanking his cast closer to him.

“WOAH DUDE! You finally did it! You finally broke your arm by jackin it too hard!”
“W-What Jared NO! Th-that’s not what happened!”

“I can see it now. You’ve got Zoe Murphy’s Instagram pulled up and right before you’re-“ Before Jared can even finish that thought Evan turns away and walks inside heading straight for his locker. Even though he doesn’t really use a locker because he’s so afraid of leaving a book or binder in there (he does tend to leave his lunch in there though) he normally hangs around it in the morning.

Of course Jared is close behind laughing at his own joke and how easily Evan can get embarrassed. When the pair finally stops in front of Evan’s locker they stand in thick awkward silence as Evan struggles to open his locker and put his lunch inside.

“So if you didn’t break it that way how’d you do it?” Evan cringed. He couldn’t just tell Jared that he jumped out of a tree; he’d never let him live it down!

“I uh-uh I fell. I fell out of a tree...”

“You fell. Out of a tree. Like, out of a tree?” Evan looked away shamefully and nodded.

“Like a fUCKING ACORN?!” Jared found this very, and I mean very, funny. Jesus Christ Evan really wasn’t going to live this down. Evan looked at the floor and fiddled with the bottom of his shirt whilst Jared continuously laughed next to him. Suddenly the loud laughs became low chuckles and Evan looked over to find that someone else captured Jared’s eyes.

“Evan-ohmygod. Don’t look now but its Connor Murphy, he grew out his hair, Jesus Christ!” Evan tried to follow Jared’s eyes but he realized that the teen boys had been in a staring contest that was quickly gaining tension.
“Connor! I love the new hair cut-very school shooter chic!” Evan’s eyes widen as he looked at Jared in disbelief. He knew that Jared could be a jerk but that just went too far. Connor angrily marched over to where Jared and Evan were standing which honestly kind of scared Evan. He just seemed so angry. Connor was absolutely furious he was basically leaking anger.

“What- it was supposed to be a joke. It’s funny. Can’t you take a joke, Murphy?” Jared was obviously starting to get scared which was pretty obvious by his fidgeting hands and wavering voice; his cockiness was fading.

Connor moved even closer to Jared, he was basically only a few inches from the smaller boys face.

“It’s hilarious- can’t you see that I’m laughing?!” Connor was yelling well it seemed more similar to hissing. It was so full of anger and hatred; this wasn’t the Connor that called the hotline. This was a completely different person, a person of rage. Evan was becoming more scared and nervous by the second and he didn’t know how to diffuse the situation. So of course he did something stupid; he very nervously chuckled. Connor whipped his piercing blue eyes from Jared and glared at Evan. Jared saw his opportunity and ran, such a great friend.

“You think this is funny! You think I’m some sort of freak! I’m not! You’re the freak!” And with that Connor pushed him and ran off as well. Suddenly the bell rang and the multiple kids, who probably just witnessed that whole thing, scurried off to class. Then he was all alone, again. Thankfully he landed on his good arm, which was numb at the moment.

Just as Evan is about to stand up Zoe Murphy of all people walks up to him, pathetically sitting on the floor, and offers her hand. This day just couldn’t get any better could it?

“I’m sorry about my brother. He’s an ass” Evan took her hand or at least he reached for it, before quickly pulling it away and wiping the sweat off of his hand onto his pant leg. After that embarrassing experience he grabbed her hand and stood up.

“I’m Zoe, you’re Evan right?” Evan flushed. This is the moment that a few years ago he’d be dying for it to happen. But now that it was he didn’t feel as love struck as he thought he would. He is still embarrassed though, cause I mean, it’s Zoe Murphy!

“YES! I’m- I’m Evan. Wait I’m sorry that’s weird, you just said my name and I just said it back. Sorry that’s weird sorry!” Evan grew redder and redder as he fidgeted with his hands, and his shirt and anything his grabby anxiety filled hands wanted. Zoe giggled and smiled a smile that was comparable to the stars. GOD Evan that’s weird! What’s with you fantasizing about the Murphy’s lately!
“You’re pretty funny Evan. OH! I have to go I’m already two minuets late for class and its across campus. Nice meeting you Evan!” And with that she was gone. Is it just Murphy procedure to end conversations so abruptly? Evan figured he was also late but he didn’t care, he just wandered to the most secluded bathroom, that wasn’t the one that he ran into Connor in one time, and hid in there for all of first hour. When first hour was over he simply walked into the office stuttered that he was late and nabbed his schedule.

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It was almost the end of this hellish day. Jared hasn’t talked to him since the incident this morning so he figures he doesn’t have a ride home. He figured that since he doesn’t have to rush to get his ride he might as well stay after and work on his therapy letter. After confessing to his therapist about his attempt his therapist edged him to start writing letters to himself about how today can be a good day. He had started on it this morning but he might as well finish it. Today was definitely full of ups and downs so Evan didn’t really know how he was going to spin it and make it a good one.

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After that whole freak out Connor had this morning he decided to skip the first half of the day. He ran to his car and drove off to some park, the Orchard was too far for him to make it back in time, and smoked a blunt. He realized that he’s probably the biggest asshole in existence this morning. He didn’t want to flip out on Evan this morning but he just couldn’t help it. When he gets all angry like that he flips out on literally anyone. They don’t even have to do anything they could just be standing there and that’d piss him off.

After thinking about it that little chuckle was probably a nervous tick. He just fucking pushed and called the one kid who actually listened to him in years a freak. Jesus was he an ass, but he wanted to change that a bit. Evan was... Evan was nice and he wanted someone to just talk to every now and then. So he stupidly decided to go back and apologize to the kid. Or at least try to have a normal conversation with him, one where he’s not yelling at him, or one over a suicide hotline.

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By the end of the day he was determined to find Evan and talk to him. As he was idiotically roaming the halls to try to find the kid he watches the smaller boy run into a computer lab, so he follows like the weirdo he is. He really doesn’t know what he’s going to say to him, so instead of running up to him and blurting the first thing that comes to mind, he stands near the doorway to think of a plan. In the middle of thinking Connor hears the printer start up and he looks up quickly at it.

‘Fuck it.’ He thinks as he walks over to the printer to pick up the paper for Evan. What he didn’t expect though was touching someone else’s hand rather than warm paper. He looks up from picking at his nails to meet eyes with dark blue ones. Quickly he rips his hand away and looks down at the floor suddenly forgetting everything he was going to say. Evan shoves his paper in his bag and tries to rush out of the tense room, but he doesn’t because Connor speaks up.

“So uh what happened to your arm?”

“W-What?” Evan turned around to look at the brunette in shock. Which makes sense considering what he did to him this morning.

“Your arm. What happened to it?” Just as Connor expected, the other was more awkward in actual conversation than over the phone.

“Oh I-uh I fell out of a tree.”

“Well that’s just the saddest fucking thing I’ve ever heard.” Evan looked away and chuckled. Then they were left in awkward silence again. ‘God Connor think of something!’.

“None signed it.” Evan looked up again and met eyes with Connor’s.

“Oh uh yeah haha...” That nervous tick again, the tick that got him attacked this morning. Connor grabbed the arm engulfed by the plain white cast, a little too hard if he’s telling the truth. That was confirmed when Evan let out a quiet “Ow.” He loosened the grip on the poor boys arm figuring he hurt the kid enough today.

“Do you have a marker?” Connor looked up questionably. Evan nodded and shuffled around for a few seconds before he pulled a black sharpie out of his khaki pocket.

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Evan was still weary of Connor but he didn’t seem to be nearly as mad as he was this morning. He even seemed to be trying to be extra careful. That was nice. He’s different than Jared. He doesn’t seem to try to go out of his way to insult Evan. He thinks that he could get used to that.

Evan hands Connor the sharpie he opens it with his teeth. Which not to be weird and dramatic was strangely very hot? God what is Evan doing. First he’s fantasizing about being his friend after a few phone conversations and now he’s finding him attractive? Evans hormones really needed to chill out.

When Connor deemed his masterpiece done the casted boy looked down at his left arm to find that the taller of the two signed his name in giant letters, filling the whole cast. Evan smiled a bit and looked up at the other to give him a smile too. Connor capped the sharpie and gave a small smirk in return to Evan’s smile.

“Now we can both pretend we have friends.” Connor headed for the door but stopped right before walking out.

“See you around... Hansen.” Then he left. Evan couldn’t believe that that just happened. It was definitely weird but something he’d gladly experience again.

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The next morning as Evan reached his locker to dump his lunch a note caught his eye. He picked it up; it was a folded piece of loose-leaf paper with some cute plant doodles adoring it. When he opened the note he found similar messy scrawl to the writing on his cast. The note said,

“Here’s my number so we don’t have to keep having conversations via suicide hotline – Connor.”

Evan smiled. He guesses they really were friends now.

Chapter Text

Dear Evan Hansen today is going to be a good day and here's why...

Today you're going to get through school quickly and easily. You're not going to have a giant panic attack because the kids behind you keep laughing and you keep convincing yourself that they're laughing at you. No you're definitely not going to do that. Then you're going to go to work and hopefully only have to answer a few calls. Yeah, yeah that's whats going to happen.

Evan closed his laptop cringing at the letter he had written. He believed nothing he had written but he had to try he guessed. The few times he'd written truthful letters his therapist gave him a pitiful look and lectured him about how these letters were meant to be hopeful, and how being so pessimistic wasn't good for his mental health. Evan hated writing these letters they always felt more like a chore than a helpful healing technique.

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It was yet another night of walking the small town for Evan. It was mid-August and school had started about a week and a half ago, so Evan can still work the hotline and not be too stressed about schoolwork. Ever since Connor gave him his number they’ve been texting semi frequently. Evan doesn’t know if they’re quite friends yet or still acquaintances. Connor also hasn’t called the hotline since then, which is also kind of relieving but also slightly concerning. Even though Evan has no right to ask about Connor’s mental state he still wants to be able to help Connor if he’s ever feeling depressed. Evan feels like Connor is hiding his problems from him now, which makes Evan kind of sad, because it makes him think that the other boy doesn’t trust him.

But just like Jared, he can’t force Connor to talk to him about his problems. Evan wishes he would though, sometimes at school he’ll pass the other in the hallway and he’ll just look so tense, so angry. Evan just wants him to trust him; he wants them to be able to talk about these things. He hasn’t brought this up to Connor though, because he doesn’t want to be seen as pushy and they’re not quite there yet in their friendship. He doesn’t want to lose a potential friend because Evan feels like a mother hen when it comes to others emotions and well being.

Tonight is another Saturday alone at the hotline, which he’s grateful for because he’s so drained from socializing and just being in school this past week. Though they do tend to get more calls during the school year because other kids and bullies can be a big trigger for some kids. Evan tends to be better with these types of calls because he can relate to them more than family related ones. Considering he lives with one parent who he barely sees. He doesn’t have many family problems, but social ones, god he’s got a lot of those. He can barely get through one sentence sometimes without stuttering or talking so fast the person he’s talking to can’t understand him. Which I mean not many people actually listen to him so...

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God did Connor really did hate his family sometimes! He says one comment about his mothers dumb vegan food and Larry starts fucking yelling at him. Telling him he has no right to act all ungrateful and bratty. Like he said ONE thing! He’s so fucking pissed off right now. He has been for like the past week. Everyone and everything has just been so damn annoying and stressful.

There’s a loud thump.

Connor looks down to find that he punched the wall, again. He looks at his fist; his knuckles turning blue, a few are even bleeding. He scoffs and grabs a blunt or two before climbing out his window and on to the roof. Once he’s back on the roof immediately he becomes the slightest bit calmer. He has the urge to call the hotline but then he remembers that Evan was working tonight. He didn’t want to scare Evan off with his constant need of counseling. He knows that it’s probably annoying and weird. He just started becoming friends with the shorter boy and he doesn’t want to scare away the one person who doesn’t think he’s insane.

He looks down to the blunt he took; puts it to his chapped lips and lights it up. He holds the addicting smoke in his lungs for a few seconds before letting it go into the night sky. He watches it swirl and twirl as it slowly ascends to the stars. He takes hits every so often and watches the smoke float in the air; he wishes he felt as free as the smoke looked. It went where it wanted; it just floated along. Connor wishes he could just float, it seems so peaceful. Maybe that’s what death feels like, floating.

He finishes off the joint with one final big inhale and a very slow exhale. He puts it out on the roof and watches the glow quickly disappear. After that he flicks the butt off the roof and watches as gravity does its job. Connor looks up to the starry sky and lies on his back. He looks at the stars and thinks about how strange life is, how one little mishap can ruin everything. Life is so fragile and it amazes him how others don’t seem to understand that. Everyone else lives so ignorant to how easy it is for them to be there one second and gone the next. But Connor, Connor’s aware because he thinks about it a lot. Death, life, the meaning of everything, its all so magnificent yet so fragile.

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The next Monday morning Evan feels sick to his stomach. Even sitting up makes his stomach upset. Even though he insisted that if he just ate something he’d be fine and could go to school his mother just wouldn’t let him go. She said that even though he didn’t have fever he was approaching, so before rushing off to work she gave him both fever and nausea medicine. Evan honestly didn’t expect to get a cold this early in the year, but he guesses that a mixture of little sleep and cheap food was the perfect concoction for a cold.

He thought that today was going to be pretty boring; a quiet sick day. That is until he got a text. He weakly looked at his off-brand phone to see he has one- no make that two text from a certain Connor Murphy.

Connor: where are you

Connor: If you’re not here I’m ditching too

You: I’m not ditching, I’m sick.

Connor: whats your address I’m coming over

Evan was surprised that Connor was willingly ditching school to come see him. Though he couldn’t tell if the brunette was genuinely concerned for Evan’s health or he just wanted to ditch. But either way Evan was glad that he was actually going to be getting some company.

After sending Connor his address he sat and waited anxiously. He knew that the house probably looked like a mess and he was afraid that Connor was going to judge him for it. He just didn’t have the energy or the stomach to get up and tidy up in the short amount of time that it was going to take for Connor to arrive. Sooner than Evan expected Connor was knocking on his door, which at first scared Evan to death. He summoned the little strength he had, wrapped a blanket around him, got up and stumbled to his front door. He had to try his damn hardest to keep from vomiting while walking the few feet; after finally reaching the door he felt like he ran a marathon. Weakly the dirty blonde boy opened the door to find the other boy anxiously tapping his foot.

The first thing the frizzy haired boy did was put the back of his hand on Evan’s forehead. Evan was a bit taken back by this sudden concern for Evan’s health, queue his nervous laugh and Connors icy blue gaze. Now that Connor is closer (and not angry) Evan can get a better look at his eyes. He’s come to realize that along with icy waters there are little bursts of brown in his left eye. Evan realizes that Connor gets prettier the longer and longer you study him.

After an awkward moment of silent staring Connor finally enters Evans small cramped house.

“I-I’m sorry if it’s a little me-messy, I haven’t really h-h-had the time to clean.” God Evan is so flustered. That whole little experience just now has left him feeling all embarrassed and bothered. He can bet that his face and ears are bright red, god Connor must think he’s weird.

Connor looked around the small house and seemed to be examining it.

“It’s nice.” Oh. “My house is full of nothing, it’s like this big prized possession for my mom though. She’s constantly having get togethers and dinner parties to show off to all her friends. It doesn’t feel like a house, it feels like an art gallery. I hate it.”

Evan laughs nervously again because he doesn’t really know how to respond. Of course he knew that the Murphy’s were pretty well off but he just didn’t know how well off they were. What surprised him though was the fact that Connor seemed to be ashamed of having money. Most teens love to flaunt their wealth, but Connor hates it.

Connor is different. Evan likes it.

“Well um, do you want to stay in here or do you want to go in my room?” It’s been a while since anyone besides Jared has been to his house and Evan doesn’t really know what they’re supposed to do. He doesn’t know if they’re supposed to watch TV or play video games? What do teens do when they hang out? Ohgod what if Evan is doing everything wrong! God why is having friends so hard?? Wait are he and Connor even friends? Ugh this is all so confusing!

“Whatever you want to do. I mean you are the sick one here.”

“Oh um I guess we can go in my room, I mean unless you wanna stay in here!” Evan nervously fiddled with some lose strings on his shirt and tried to hold back a cough. Connor snickered and made a hand motion telling Evan to lead the way. Evan gave a nervous smile back but was cut off short by the coughing fit he was trying to prevent. Connors face quickly twisted in concern as the shorter boy hacked his lungs out. After a few long excruciating seconds Evans fit was over. He gave Connor a thumbs up and started heading back to his room.

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Connor honestly didn’t know why he was so concerned about Evans health. Maybe it’s because he just hasn’t had positive human connections in years, so he doesn’t want to lose it? That’s really selfish, but he’s Connor Murphy what else do you expect.

While Evan was leading him back to his room Connor looked around at the multiple family photos. He saw a blonde woman who he assumed was Evan’s mother and a younger uncomfortable Evan. He never once saw a father figure in these photos, which some how explained a lot about Evan. Soon enough he was being lead into a room. Evan seemed to be on edge, but Evan always seemed like he was edge. Was it Connor? Did he scare Evan? Probably I mean why would anyone actually want to be friends with Connor. He’s probably forcing Evan into this weird friendship. God he’s an asshole.

Evan makes this awkward hand motion with his casted arm showing off his room. The room is simple yet Connor can see all of the little details here and there. Like the fact that there’s a very old and worn out bookcase that has little plants all over it. Or that hanging above his desk there’s a collection of nature photos and post cards. It just so Evan. There’s even a cheap diffuser with a few bottles of essential oils near it on his desk.

Evan flops down on this small little twin-sized bed that Connor can tell he outgrew years ago. Connor decides that sitting on the desk chair is the safest choice. He sets down his torn satchel and looks around the off white room sitting in uncomfortable silence.

“Y-you didn’t have to miss school just-t-t because of m-me”

“It’s fine, not like I wanted to be there anyways.” Evan coughs again, god he sounds terrible.

“Hey Connor? I kn-know this is kind of weird to ask, but could-d you make me some t-tea? I know it’s a b-bother, y-you don’t hav-ve to-“ Connor stood up efficiently cutting Evan off.

“Yeah that’s fine where do you keep your tea and shit?”

“Oh in the cabinet above-e the sink, t-t-there should be cups and tea bags i-in there. Thank-k you it means a lot t-to me.” Connor gives a small smirk to Evan as a ‘You’re welcome’ before striding out of the small room. When he enters the kitchen he finds a small light brown dinner table covered in all sorts of papers and bills. He skims over a few of the papers before finding said cabinet. He grabs two mugs and starts preparing some chamomile tea. Even though Connor is more of a coffee guy he can enjoy a nice tea every now and then.

While waiting for the tea he starts scrolling through his tumblr. Yeah he has a tumblr, fight him. As soon as the tea is done he grabs the mugs and slowly starts to walk back to Evan’s room. When Connor walks back in Evan sits up from his bed like a dog when their owner brings them a bone. Connor chuckles a bit and hands Evan his slightly chipped blue mug.

Evan then leans back against his bed frame and just sits. He keeps moving the mug around his hands almost as if he’s thinking. Connor sets his white hospital mug on Evan’s desk and rummages through his bag for his sketchbook. When Connor looked back up again Evan was staring at his sketchbook.

“I didn’t know you were an artist.”

“Well I wouldn’t really consider myself an artist Hansen, but I doodle every now and then. Helps relieve stress, or just when I’m bored.”

“I think that’s nice. I don’t really have a talent like that.”

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Soon after finishing his tea Evan fell asleep. I mean what else had Connor expected he was sick after all. Connor being the absolute idiot he is deiced that drawing Evan was an amazing idea. The reason behind it was that he really had nothing else to draw; he had already drawn most of everything in Evan’s room. So really the only thing left was Evan himself. A normal person would think that drawing someone they barely know to be creepy and weird; but that’s just Connor.
Evan seemed so peaceful asleep; no stuttering, no fiddling with his hand or shirt or cast, no constant apologizing, just peaceful little snores.

So like the massive imbecile he is he starts sketching away. God if Evan ever found these sketches of himself he’d never want to see Connor again. This is actually disgusting, revolting even. Connor can’t stop now, once he’s started a drawing he can’t put down his pencil until he’s done. He guesses that’s one good effect of his stubbornness.

Evan seems like a very neat kind of person but the way he sleeps tells a completely different story. He’s lying on his stomach with his head on the side facing Connor. He’s cuddling a pillow while one leg is scrunched up and the other is slightly hanging off the end of the bed. His hair is already a mess and he’s drooling slightly. It’s comical almost. Due to the small space between Evans bed and his desk if Connor looked hard enough he can see faint freckles dusting Evan’s face. Evan sure was a personality no matter how much the blonde boy thought differently.

Oh god Connor is getting too attached to Evan too fast. He needs to slow down. He’s going to end up relying on Evan too much and then Evan is going to think he’s weird and never talk to him again. Jesus Christ why couldn’t Connor just be normal for once in his life! Connor let out a low groan and glared at his half done sketch of Evan.

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Evan woke with a quiet yawn. He stretched listening as his bone satisfyingly cracked. He looked up to meet eyes with icy waters, his eyes widened.

“OH MY GOD I’M SO SORRY I FELL ASLEEP! YOU COULD HAVE WOKEN ME UP! Oh jeez how long was I out for!?”

Connor snickered and leaned back in Evans old desk chair. “You were out for about two and a half hours, and nah you looked like you needed the sleep.” Connor spun in the chair and winced as it loudly squeaked.

“Gosh I’m such a bad host I’m really sorry.”

“You gotta stop that shit man. It starting to get annoying I should erase your memory of the word sorry.” Connor yet again spun in the chair but instantly regretted it; the squeak seemed to be even louder than the last.

“Sorr-“

Connor cuts him off with a glare and stands from the chair. He stretched his long limbs and listened as his broad shoulders cracked. His shirt rose a bit showing off his mid-drift and Evan looked away out of embarrassment. Evan sniffles a bit; his sinus even more stuffed from lying down. Evan also detangles himself from his old plaid blue quilt and stretches. He faintly remembers his mother leaving a twenty on the fridge earlier this morning, meaning that she was going to be home late tonight. She probably picked up another shift that someone else dropped so she could get even more hours in. Evan swears that he hasn’t seen his mother for longer than an hour in months.

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Evan and Connor ordered a pizza; well Connor called the place and answered the door while Evan sat anxiously on the couch. They both sat on the small couch, which was more like a love seat and ate in comfortable silence. Half way through his second slice Evan turned on the TV just for some background noise. Well into Connor’s fourth piece his phone rang and he glared at it as if it had burned his hands when he touched it. It seemed as if it rang for hours until Connor finally threw down his greasy pizza and walked into the kitchen to answer.

From his spot on his beige couch Evan could hear Connor’s voice quickly change into something hateful; the same way his voice changed in the hallway two weeks ago. Connor was very short tempered it seemed as if one minuet he was sarcastic and aloof then the next he was full rage and became violent. Connor was much more complex and anyone else really thought. That’s why Evan had to be so careful with him, that’s why he hasn’t confronted Connor about his mental health. In doing so he might offend Connor, which would anger him, and Evan doesn’t like being on the receiving end of all that pent up rage.

Connor is now yelling in his kitchen and Evan can feel the tension and anger rising to dangerous levels. Suddenly Evan hears a loud seething ‘fuck you’ and a loud thump. Evan jumps up in fear that Connor fell or something of the sort and runs into the kitchen. When he makes it to the kitchen he finds Connor standing near his table with a bleeding fist. The smaller boy slowly approaches the bleeding boy. When he is a safe distance from the other he slowly takes the bruised and bleeding fist softly and looks at Connor looking for any kind of disgust or dislike of the touch.

Evan examines the injury and then sets Connor’s hand down to go find the first aid kit his mother keeps around the house. When he finds the little kit he runs back over to Connor and immediately starts tending to his wound. Evan doesn’t even bother asking what happened; he already knows. Evan has noticed the constant bruised knuckles and how Connor picks at his cuticles when stressed or annoyed. Connor has no outlet for his anger so he punches things or gets high or both he supposes.

After Evan finishes wrapping his knuckles Connor grumbles out a ‘thank you’ and then complains that he has to leave before his dad ‘flips his shit’. He sees him to the door and simultaneously thanks him for coming and apologizes that he got in trouble because of him. Connor waves the other off and speeds away in his black beat up truck.

After he watches Connor leave Evan starts clean up the pizza and puts the old mugs from tea into the sink. When he’s done he walks back into his room and starts to write his letter. And for the first time in months he doesn’t feel like he has to lie to finish the letter.

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When Connor finally makes it home he stomps past Larry in the living room and goes upstairs to sit on the roof. He looks down at his wrapped hand as he takes another hit from his blunt and smiles. Evan certainly was something else. When Connor goes to lay down he feels as if this is the easiest sleep he’s had in years maybe.

Chapter Text

The next day when Evan woke up he didn’t feel great, but he felt so much better than he did the day before. Yet again he had to walk to school because Jared yet again ignored his text. He was probably picking up his other friends and he didn’t want them to know that he was “family friends” with a loser like Evan Hansen. Though Evan knew that eventually Jared was going to have to drive him so that his mom would pay for his car insurance. Jared was such a jerk sometimes. He hasn’t even called Evan his actual friend since seventh grade; he guesses that Jared got tired of him. Well good thing that Jared only had to deal with him for the rest of this year, and then they’d never have to see each other again.

Half way through his walk he put in his earphones and played some Beetles so he could block out all of the anxiety inducing thoughts. Even after taking his medication his anxiety levels were moderately high; Evan knew that he probably needed a higher dose but he was too afraid to ask for it. Soon enough he was back facing those cement steps; the same ones he stood in front of on his first day before he vomited in the bush next to him. He took out his earphones, took a deep breath, and walked inside as calm as possible. As he was walking to his faded grey blue locker he kept his eyes looking down; he was too afraid of accidentally making eye contact with someone and offending them some how. God he hated school, its feels like every little thing that you do is being judged, and of course Evan’s brain makes him over think everything.

A few feet away from his locker he is surprised to see Connor there not Jared. He walks a little faster to meet up with the taller boy, a small smile adoring his face.

“W-what are you d-doing here?” Evan asked as he started the daily struggle of opening his locker.

“ I thought we were friends Hansen? I can leave if you want. Wouldn’t want people to know that you’re friends with Connor fucking Murphy.” Evan stopped fiddling with his lock to look at Connor with wide eyes.

“NO THAT’S NOT-T WHAT I-I-I MEANT! I actually meant-t it the other way, I-I didn’t know if you-u-u wanted everyone to know that you’re friends with m-me.” Both boys sat in tense silence before Connor started laughing. Evan noticed that Connor hid his smile with his hand; the same one that Evan had wrapped yesterday. Evan laughed along, albeit quieter as he opened his locker and put his lunch inside.

When he turned back to Connor the taller boy was glaring at something past Evan. His eyes were hard and his jaw was clenched; he kept clenching and unclenching his fist. Evan looked behind him to find Jared standing a few feet away looking as angry as Connor did. Jared stomped over to Evan pointing an accusing finger at Connor.

“What are you doing here?!” Jared sneered.

“Hanging out with my friend Klienman, what are you doing here?” Connor spat back.

“Evan you’re friends with this freak?” Jared turned to the boy in question. Evan gripped his backpack tighter; god he hated confrontation.

“Y-yes?” That was the only thing that Evan could squeak out while Jared glowered at him. Connor grunted and turned away (like he was going to walk away) but he paused and said, “You commin Hansen? Or are you going to hang out with this asshole?” Evan looked at Jared and gave him an apologetic smile and wave before turning away and scurrying off to meet up with Connor.

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‘Did Evan really just pick Connor Murphy over me?’ was the first thing that Jared thought as he stood near Evan’s locker in utter shock. Jared and Evan have been friends since basically childbirth and now Evan is just ignoring that! How could he just betray Jared like that?! Jared stood angrily near Evans locker until the bell rang. Jared is so pissed that he can’t even vocalize it.

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In fourth hour English Evan just couldn’t concentrate. He kept fidgeting and blanking out; that was until his teacher announced that they were starting a group project. Evan HATES group projects, they fill him with so much anxiety and he tends to get stuck with kids that make him do all the work.

“Today you will be starting a group project where you and your partners reflect on your past three years of high school. You will also talk about your future plans and dreams. This is a project where you will work in four’s, and you may pick your own partners. Don’t forget to talk about hardships and great achievements, give us everything, insecurities, flaws, etc. This whole project is about learning who you and your partners are as people before you’re thrown into the adult world.”

Evan cringed at the idea of this. He hated talking about himself and having others know every little thing about him was terrifying. It made him want to vomit again. Plus what if he ended up with complete strangers! God he wanted to cry, or to yell, or both.

“This project needs to be in a photo album. There needs to be photos and captions of your thoughts, or small drawing and doodles or inside jokes. Group members will also write a two-page essay about themselves. This project is also about making new friends; you should become close with your partners. This project will be due a month before graduation. The rest of this class will be used to find your partners and introduce yourselves to each other.”

And with that Evan’s teacher sat at her desk and started working on something on her computer. Evan was shaking; he couldn’t deal with this.

Suddenly a pair of pale hands with black chipped polish slammed down on his desk. Evan looked up to meet eyes with icy blue seas, Connor. He totally forgot they had the same English this year. A wave of relief washed over him; at least he wouldn’t get stuck with a complete stranger. Evan tore his eyes away from Connor’s to look behind him expectantly at Jared. They made eye contact but Jared quickly looked away and got up to find a group. Evan sighed; he really messed up didn’t he.

Connor sat down next to Evan and grabbed a tattered notebook out of his bag. They sat awkwardly, quickly realizing that they needed two more group members. Evan looked behind him at some sudden commotion to find at least eight kids surrounding Alana Beck. The kids weren’t even talking to her they were fighting with each other about who’s group she’d be in. Connor seemed to have noticed the fighting too; he glared at the kids from his seat.

“Hey Alana, do you want to work with us?” Alana looked up surprised before a small smile graced her face. She grabbed her bag and multiple books before sitting to the right of Connor. She looked at the two teen boys and gave them an actual smile.

“Thank you Connor, hello Evan.” Alana waved at Evan and grabbed a sparkly blue pen before scribbling something down in her notebook. She then ripped two strips and handed them to Connor and Evan. Evan noticed that she has nice and neat cursive handwriting.

“This is my number. I figured that if were going to be working on his project we might as well stay in contact out of school. And it would also be helpful if we had questions because then we would be able to ask each other.”

Evan gave her a small smile and was about to compliment her idea but then someone else plopped down to the left of Evan. Evan jumped and quickly turned his head when he met eyes with Jared. He was shocked to say the least; he had no words. He tried to stutter out a hello before Jared cut him off.

“I’m only here because you guys are working with Alana.” Evan looked down at his desk; he couldn’t look at Jared, Evan could see the anger in his eyes. He really did hate confrontation it stressed him out so much. Alana then reached across Evan to hand Jared a slip of paper with her number on it, similar to the ones she handed the other two boys. The boys sat in tense silence while poor Alana sat there confused.

“Maybe we should get together this weekend to start discussing the project more. I’m pretty sure my dad’s will have an extra album we could borrow for the project.” Evan seemed to be the only one paying attention to Alana but he knew that the other two boys were just pretending they weren’t. Connor was busy doodling away in his notebook and Jared was glaring out the window next to him. Both boys grunted in recognition when Alana spoke so at least they weren’t completely ignoring her. Evan really needed to sort this thing out with Jared if they were going to do this project correctly.

“I think t-that’s a good idea Alana. I could bring my camera, I m-m-mean if that’s ok because-e if it’s not I don’t have too.” Evan scratched his neck nervously he didn’t want to be too invasive or bossy.

“That’s a great idea Evan! I didn’t know you were into photography, that’s so neat! I have a cousin who’s a photographer. Are you going to go to college for it? I think that’d work great for you.” Alana smiled wide as she rambled on but Evan didn’t have the heart to stop her so he let her. It was kind of nice though not a lot of people knew that he was into photography, really only Jared and his mom. Connor even seemed to stop scribbling in his notebook when Evan mentioned that he was into it. Jared just snickered and muttered something under his breath, probably an insult.

The bell rang soon after effectively scaring Evan to death. Gosh he was too jumpy.

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The bell rang and Connor swears Evan jumped at least three feet in the air. The taller boy chuckled and Evan stuck his tongue out in retaliation. Connor watched as Evan turned to Jared and started whispering something, which didn’t catch the shorter boys attention for long as he spat something out at Evan, and stomped away. When Evan turned back around he looked utterly defeated. Connor didn’t know how Evan could even be friends with that asshole; he wasn’t even nice to Evan for god’s sake!

“H-hey um C-Connor? Could I uh maybe eat-t lunch with you?” Evan fiddled with his cast and looked at the ground as if he was over stepping a boundary. Connor turned around and started walking out of the room.

“Sure but I gotta warn ya I sit in my truck.” Connor listened as the shorter boy jogged to meet up with him.

“T-thank you.” Evan smiled shyly as he struggled to keep up with Connor’s longer strides.

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When the two boys reached Connors truck they both crammed inside the three seater. Even if Connors family was well off his father insisted that he and Zoe buy their own cars so they can have some sort of responsibility. So Connor had to spend all of freshman year and half of sophomore year doing idiotic chores to save up to buy this truck, but in the end it was all worth it. It wasn’t the nicest truck by any means but he sure as hell loved it.

Connor watched as Evan fumbled with his lunch box to try to open it and couldn’t help but let out a chuckle. Evan playfully glared at the other and forcefully un-zipped it, resulting in both boys laughing. Connor opened his glove box and pulled out a blunt and a lighter. As he was bringing the blunt to his mouth he noticed that Evan stopped eating and was staring at it. Connor rolled down his window slightly and lit it up. He was able to get a few hits in until Evan stopped eating completely and looked like he was going to say something.

“I-is it safe-e to be smoking-g-g at school? What-t if y-you get in t-t-trouble?” Connor took another long hit before answering. He inhaled the smoke deeply and slowly blew it out; Evan watched the whole show with wide eyes.

“It’s not like teachers monitor the parking lot. I come to school high more than sober at this point anyway, who cares. It’s not like I’m going to mess up my already terrible grades.” They both sat in semi awkward silence as Evan slowly ate and watched Connor finish off the joint. The shorter boy seemed to be so morbidly curious about the weed. Connor would offer him a hit but he’s positive that Evan has never smoked before, and school definitely wasn’t the place for first time highs. When he finished he put the bud out on the steering wheel before flicking it out the window and rolling it up.

“A-are you hungry? I-I-I have some p-peanut butter cracker-rs you can have-e.” Connor smirked and took them without a second thought.

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Dear Evan Hansen, today is going to be a good day and here’s why...

Today wasn’t that great, we started this huge project in English today. We had to get into groups and we have to make an album about our past years in high school. It also doesn’t help that Jared and me are fighting and he’s in my group. This is going to end terribly.

Chapter Text

Bam, Bam, Bam! It was so loud; everything was so loud. Stop! Stop! Please stop! Oh god ohogdohgodohgod. Why can’t it stop? Please god just stop! Tears kept falling there was no way to stop them. I think I was sobbing; no I was pleading. The pounding got even louder and I cried even more. I’m shaking. There was so much yelling and pounding; it was too much. I can’t take it. God! Please stop! Please!

“GOD DAMNIT OPEN THE FUCKING DOOR! I’M GOING TO KILL YOU!” The pounding got louder, and louder, and louder with every punch, this was it this was the end, she was going to die!

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Zoe awoke in a sweat. She sat up quickly in her bed and threw her hands into her hair. ‘That damned nightmare again’ she took in a shaky breath and gently pulled on her hair. She wiped some tears from her eyes and checked her alarm clock to the left of her. 2:37 am it read, ‘ Damn I’ll never be able to get back to sleep tonight’. She stood and stretched a bit before slowly inching her door open as not make a lot of noise. God knows what would happen if her mother found her wandering the house at 2:40 in the morning. Or even worse what if she woke Connor; he’d be pissed.

She slowly tip toed down the hallway making sure to be extra quiet as she passed Connor’s room. Strange thing was that when she looked inside he wasn’t there. Zoe shrugged it off as him probably just sneaking off somewhere to get his quick fix.

When she successfully made it down the stairs without getting caught she knew she was home free. She quietly padded her way into the kitchen and immediately started making some lavender tea; one good thing about her mother’s strange obsession with organic food was that they owned almost any kind of tea.

Zoe sat on the island holding her tea using it to warm her hands. The thing was that people think she hates Connor, sometimes she even thinks she hates Connor. But she doesn’t, she doesn’t particularly like him either. She definitely hates his actions but Connor himself she doesn’t hate. Maybe if the opportunity ever arose and she had the chance to mend their relationship she would. She’s not saying that she’d forgive him immediately but she would certainly think about it.

Suddenly she heard the front door squeak open, which just about scared the day lights out of her. She whipped her head towards the door, her ponytail hitting her in the face in the process. And that’s when she came face to face with the one person keeping her up.

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The last person Connor expected to see at 2am was Zoe. Both siblings got lost in the others gaze; it was almost as if they were stuck that way, staring at the other in awe.

Connor was the first to break the silence.

“Are those my socks?” Connor asked pointing at said socks. Zoe looked down to find that in fact they were, she knew they were his by the fact that he’s the only one in the house that buys neon socks.

“Must’ve gotten mixed up when mom did the laundry, what about it?” Connor shrugged and set his sketchbook down on the far side of Zoe. He then proceeded to walk to the Kurig and start making coffee. Both teens sat in awkward silence as Connor’s coffee began to brew.

“Are you really going to drink coffee? It’s almost 3am.” Connor looked up from his chipping nails ‘I really need to re-paint them’, and glared at Zoe’s own mug of tea.

“Are you really going to drink leaf water? It’s almost 3am.” Zoe glared at Connor before bursting out with quiet giggles and trying to hide them by drinking said leaf water. Connor really did miss moments like these with Zoe. He missed being able to make her smile or laugh; he missed just being able to make small talk like this with her. He feels really shitty for all of the things he’s done to her. I mean older brothers are supposed to protect their little sisters not treat them like absolute scum.

Zoe took one last sip of her tea before putting her cup in the washer and stuttering out a quick goodnight before rushing up the stairs. Connor stared at her receding back in shock before glaring back at his coffee. That’s right, they weren’t close they hated each other. They can’t be close, they can’t sit around and make jokes, they’re supposed to yell at each other and glare at each other in passing.

Connor chugged his coffee straight black too annoyed to care. He finished it quickly and left the mug on the counter out of spite, he then too rushed up to his room. He hated this, he hated himself, he hates that he hurts everyone in the end. He’s such a fucking burden on everyone; all he does is fill everyone with stress and anger. He’s toxic, he doesn’t want to be, but he is he’s so fucking toxic.

There’s only one thing on his mind when he makes it to his room. He can’t help it, the urge is too strong it’s clawing at him from the inside- he has no choice he has to do it. He’s just so tired of feeling like this, he needs release and weed isn’t going to be enough this time. He reached under some book he didn’t care about and pulled out a small razor that he unscrewed from some random sharpener. He walked into the small bathroom connected to his room. His hands were shaking as he pulled up his sleeve but he ignored it. He sat on his tub and stared at the scars new and old littered on his forearms, he felt sick for a second before that was quickly erased by anger.

As soon as that piece of metal touched his arm he couldn’t stop. He just kept cutting; blood was appearing in small bubbles before popping and flowing down his arm. He could smell the metallic smell of blood; it filled his lungs, the smell was everywhere. The feeling was intoxicating; Connor felt so much release at that moment It’s like as if nothing happened.

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After his little incident Connor hastily cleaned his arm off and lied in his bed. He considered texting Evan but he didn’t want to be even more of a burden. He knew that one day he was going to have to tell Evan about his “hobbies” but that day wasn’t today or any day soon.

Evan would hate him if he ever found out. He would be disgusted and disappointed in Connor but at the moment he could care less. All he wanted to do was sleep; and sleep he did.

Chapter Text

Evan woke to the soothing sound of his mothers voice in his doorway. She quickly bid him a goodbye before running out. Evan sat up and hastily wiped some drool from the corner of his mouth. It was 5:30 so Evan didn’t feel the need to rush since he didn’t need to leave until about 6:40. He sat in his bed until he felt his legs getting all tingly before he finally got up. He threw on the first shirt and pair of khakis in his closet before rushing to his bathroom to brush his teeth.

Surprisingly half way through a raw poptart he got a text from, not Jared like he expected, but Connor. He thought that Jared was at least going to pick him up today so his mom would know that they were hanging out.

Connor: My sister isnt coming to school today do u want me to pick u up

You: Would you? That’d be great, thank you.

Evan smiled and quickly packed his bag before quickly taking his meds and anxiously waited for Connor’s beat up truck to pull up in his drive way.

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Connor pulled up in Evans drive way and sent the smaller boy a quick text telling him that he was here. One of his recent favorite songs came on; he turned up his radio and hummed along to the melancholy tune. He watched as Evan rushed out of his house lunch in hand. Connor chuckled as the other boy fumbled with his key as he was trying to lock his door with one hand. He watched as the blonde jogged over to his truck and fumbled inside.

Connor turned the music down a slightly and threw Evan’s bag in the back compartment next to his. When he turned back around Evan was handing him a foil packet.

“I’ve n-never really seen you eat much-h so I uh brought you-u-u a poptart.”

Connor smirked and grabbed the off brand pastry before turning the key. The engine sputtered to life showing its wear and tear. Connor reversed and sped down Evan’s street not really caring about the speed limit, or the glaring neighbors looking nosily out their windows.

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Evan hastily gripped the inside door handle and stared wide eyed at Connor, who didn’t even seem to be fazed by the irresponsible and dangerous speed they were going. Evan watched as the other boy’s smile got bigger and bigger as they accelerated, then suddenly they slowed to a much safer speed. Evan’s heart was beating a mile a minuet but it wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, it was kinda fun actually...
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Evan is starting to notice that Connor constantly fidgets, it’s like he can’t just be still he always has to be doing something. Now would be a perfect example of that; he’s tapping his fingers on the steering wheel to the beat and every now and again he’ll hum for a few seconds. Evan realizes he’s been staring and shamefully looks away and out the window. After that he just gets so lost in the scenery, all of the trees and birds, and cracked sidewalks filled with other kids of all ages smiling. The only thing that pulls him out of his trance is when someone starts singing. Not the radio, no its far too soft for the radio, it sounds unsure its just barely louder than a whisper. The blonde boy looks over to find that Connor is the one singing, to his surprise. The taller boy doesn’t even seem to notice that he’s singing, and Evan doesn’t want to tell him because if he’s being honest this is the calmest he’s ever seen the other.

 

All too soon Connor stops singing and his truck. Evan looks around to find himself in the schools parking lot and his stomach fills with dread. Neither boy makes a move to get, out they haven’t even unbuckled yet, Connor’s key is still in the ignition. They just sit there for a few minuets in peaceful quiet; Connor is the first to break that silence.

“Do you wanna skip?” Connor asks looking at Evan with an unreadable face. ‘God what if this is a test.’ Evan thinks, ‘What if he’s trying to see if I’m a coward! Or a loser!’

“S-s-skip? We can’t-t skip! What if-f-f we get caught? What if I get in t-t-rouble? Won’t they-y call my mom?!” Evan stammered anxiously pulling at some strings hanging from his cast.

“I’m probably going to skip anyways, just wonderin if I was gonna have company. You don’t have to if you don’t want to. Also couldn’t you just tell your mom that you had a headache or something? She’d believe it considering you’ve obviously never done anything bad like ever.” Connor talks with his hands Evan noted. ‘Jesus that’s weird Evan!’ Evan has a habit of being overly observant. Probably because he doesn’t really have much else to do at school than watch other people.

Evan sat there thinking. Connor did have a point he could just text her saying that he needed a mental health day and she wouldn’t even second-guess it. Evan looked up from his bulky white cast and met eyes with Connors before smiling and nodding his head yes. Connor smirked and lightly punched Evan in the shoulder, in a friendly way, before turning his key again and reversing out of the gloomy parking lot. Evan wouldn’t admit it but he didn’t feel guilty as he lied to his mother because he got to see Connor smiling that smile again.

 

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An hour and a half later Connor turned down a few more back roads before turning down one final dirt road and parking in a over grown dirt parking lot. Evan looked around wide-eyed with a big smile covering his face. Evan quickly unbuckled his seatbelt and scrambled out of the truck. He stood in the lot and just started in awe at the amazing scenery. Connor walked over to Evan and stared at the scenery as well. They stood there standing just looking at all of the trees and how peaceful everything was.

Evan watched as Connor walked over to the wire fence and stared as he started climbing up the fence. When the lanky boy got to the top he sat there for a minuet looking expectantly at Evan.

“Are you gonna climb over? Or are you gonna stand there all day?” Evan flushed and scurried over to the tall fence. He stood in front of the fence staring at it unsure of how to go about climbing a fence. He grabbed the metal fence curling his fingers around the thin wire and shoved his old dirty converse into one of the small triangles. He pulled himself up slowly and repeated the process soon he was sitting next to the other boy. The brunette threw a quick smirk to Evan and jumped down from the four-foot fence. Evan was shocked obviously but that faded quickly when the other boy got off the ground and shoved his hands in his hoodie pockets.

Evan opted for the safe way down and instead slowly climbed back down. Once his feet touched the ground Connor turned around and just started walking. Evan followed willingly looking at every little fine detail of his surroundings. He listened as birds harmonized and squirrels ran up trees, he took in the faint scent of apples and fresh rain. It was all so relaxing it was amazing.

While Evan was off in dreamland Connor had stopped walking resulting in the shorter boy to run right into the other.

“Oh s-s-sorry!” Connor replied with a grunt before taking a few more steps into the long grass. They area seemed to be a clearing of sorts ‘maybe a place for families and couples to have picnics’ Evan thought. Connor then stopped again and laid in the grass without a second thought. Evan followed and sat next to the other unsure if lying in over grown grass was really the best idea. Connor threw his hands behind his head and crossed his legs at his ankles. Neither boy dared to say anything in fear of ruining the peacefulness.

The quiet did start to get uncomfortable after a while so Evan decided that now was the perfect time to start a conversation. He opened and closed his mouth multiple times unsure of exactly what to say. As he was thinking of random icebreakers he was interrupted.

“Spit it out already.” Connor said keeping his eyes closed.

“H-h-how did you know-?”

“I can feel you hyperventilating from here. I’m not gonna bite you just say it.” Connor opened his eyes and made direct eye contact with the blonde. Evan quickly broke contact not wanting to be under the hands of those icy seas.

“What is this place?” Evan looked up at the sky but had to use a hand to shield his eyes from the blinding light.

“Its the abandoned apple orchard. My family and I used to come here all the time when it was still open. I remember one time my dad brought this remote control plane that I had gotten for Christmas but then crashed it in the lake. I was pretty mad for at least a good thirty minuets before he finally caved in and brought us to Al la mode as an apology.” Evan watched as the taller boy basked in the memories of his childhood life.

After that they sat in silence again both boys too wrapped up in their thoughts to really care about making conversation. They say that conversation is quintessential to relationships but Evan likes that they can just sit in comfortable silence. They don’t need to fill every moment with noise the others presence is just fine on it’s own.

“So photography huh?” Evan looks down at the other and then looked up at the great oak trees.

“Yeah I mean I’m not exactly the best and I don’t really have the best cameras but I really the only kind of hobby I have. I have a few camera’s but that’s only because they’re old and a one of them is a little janky but yeah...”

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Connor took out a blunt and his favorite red lighter out of his hoddie pocket. He lit it up and brought the weed filled paper to his lips. The first inhale is always his favorite. Before letting out the smoke he faced Evan and blew it in his face. The blonde coughed and waved away the smoke. Connor laughed and laid back in the grass as he finished off the joint.

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Both boys spend the most of the day in peaceful silence. After a few hours they walked back to the truck and shared Evan’s lunch in the bed of the truck. This was probably the best outcome of doing something bad ever for Evan.

 

Dear Evan Hansen today is going to be a good day and here’s why...
Today was pretty great. I kinda lied to my mom and skipped school but it was definitely worth it. Connor and me went to this old orchard and kind of just sat there all day. It was so different compared to the chaos of school. I hope we can go back I really wanna take my camera it’s so pretty.

Chapter Text

The breeze blew slightly and Evan gripped the bark even tighter. His hands hurt and his knuckles were white. The bark was ingraining its print into his palms. He gulped, his throat was dry he was dehydrated from all the crying he’d done hours ago. He’s been on this tree for at least three hours now, but none cared. None else from the park called his walkie, they probably didn’t even notice he was gone.

He looked down at the ground closing his eyes after a few seconds. He’s been planning this for weeks. His mom wouldn’t be home until early morning and he didn’t have any tours today, so today was the only day he could do it.

Today he was going to die.

He looked down one final time before he put his hands in his lap. He took a deep breath and he let gravity do its thing. He fell backwards and he watched the tree became blurred- branches hitting him cutting his arms and legs, leaves getting caught in his hair and clothes. It felt like he was falling forever. He wasn’t even afraid of the ground that he’d inevitably hit; he welcomed it with an open mind. He already came to terms with death. He wondered if his life would flash before his eyes like they say or if it was just quick cold darkness.

He landed- hard, very hard. That was it, there was no black- there was no memories- just cold hard grass and his numb arm.

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It was currently ten am but Evan just couldn’t take the quiet house anymore. It was Saturday and is mother was working, like always, so here he was home alone with his thoughts. Evan liked peaceful quiet but when he was forced into silence with nothing to do his thoughts tended to get darker than he would like. So he grabbed his phone slipped on some shoes and started walking to the hot line building. He had to cut some hours because of school but he figured he’d be free most weekends so Debra didn’t really mind.

He put his ear buds in and kept his head down as he walked. He knew the path by memory so he really had no need to look up.

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Connor groaned in boredom as he refreshed his tumblr feed for the fifthteenth time today. He was pretty sure he was home alone even though it’s a Saturday. There’s never really full days where all them are in the house together anymore, they can barely stand each other for a few hours. Zoe and his mother tend to run errands or just go out and Larry tends to go to work just to get the extra hours in. So yes there’s been many upon many weekends Connor has spent alone.

He decided ‘Fuck it.’ Grabbed his phone, tied his boots and walked out of the house. He didn’t know where he was going or what he was going to do but he just couldn’t be in that big empty house any longer. He left so impulsively that he even forgot his car keys on his desk and he really didn’t care enough to go back and get them. Luckily his wallet was in his jacket pocket so he figured that food would be the most plausible idea. He started walking in the general direction of the city not really that concerned about where he’d end up.

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Connor walked into the first fast food restaurant he stumbled upon, too lazy to even figure out which one it was. As soon as he stepped inside he realized that it was a fucking Chic-fil-a, ‘How ironic’ the boy thought. It was just comical that his gay ass could even walk near the chicken place considering that they had a long history of being anti-gay. He’s sure that half of the articles about it are over exaggerated but Connor could care less if he’s being honest.

He aimlessly stood in line and scrolled through his tumblr feed, once again. ‘God he needed better hobbies.’ Connor stared at his phone the whole time he was in line so imagine his shock when he finally reached the counter. He looked up to order and there stood Jared Klienman in all of his glory seething at him. The shorter boy looked like he was going to explode which caused a smirk to dress his own pale face.

“Hi welcome to Chic-fil-a...” Jared growled out. Jared looked like he wanted to jump over the counter and punch Connor in the face; it was one of the most amusing things he’s experienced in months.

“I can I get a twelve piece nug meal Klienman?” Connor’s smirk got even bigger as Jared seemed to get angrier by the second.

“Whatever dick weed.” Jared looked like he was about to break the machine with how hard he was hitting it. Connor literally couldn’t believe that Jared worked at fucking Chic-fil-a. He was definitely going to have to come back just to mess with the other boy.

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Around Eleven pm Evan was eating some left over pizza and watching some random cartoon on nickelodeon when his phone let out a single ding. He ignored it figuring it was probably Jared sending him a dumb meme again. He kept eating but then his phone let out multiple loud dings. He picked up his phone to see he’s been added to a group chat.

Alana has added you to Senior Project

Alana has added insanelycooljaredklienman to Senior Project

Alana has added Connor to Senior Project

Alana: I made this group chat for the project because the project depends on communication. So I figured this was the best way to do that.

theinsanelycooljaredklienman: wild my man

Connor: im guessing thats jared considering it sounds like something hed fucking say

theinsanelycooljaredklienman: wow the edge lord has spoken

You: That’s a pretty good idea Alana!

Alana: Thank you Evan! You’re so sweet!

Alana: So I was thinking that we could meet up somewhere tomorrow and start planning things for the project. If that’s not ok with you guys we can work out another day. I just figured that the sooner we get started on the project the less stress we’ll have about it.

You: That works for me. Where would we meet?

theinsanelycooljaredklienman: well i work at a good christian establishment so i have the day off to repent my sins

Connor: you work at fucking chic fil a not a damn church klienman

Connor: and yeah im free

theinsanelycooljaredklienman: arE YOU QUESTIONING THE L ORD ???

You: You’re not even Christian Jared. We’re both Jewish. I’ll never forget the horror that was your bar mitzvah; it still gives me anxiety.

Alana: I would suggest my house but my Dad’s will be home and I know that they will pester us the whole time, so any other suggestions.

Connor: we could go to my place its sure as hell big enough and im pretty sure the only other person whos going to be there is zoe

theinsanelycooljaredklienman: how do we know youre not just luring us there to murder us ??!!??

Connor: why would i kill alana and evan theyre the only reason im going to get a good grade on this damn project

Alana: He has a good point Jared.

theinsanelycooljaredklienman: i came out here to have a good time and im honestly feeling so attacked right now

You: So Connor’s place??

Alana: That works for me!

theinsanelycooljaredklienman: look if we get murdered i wont be afraid to say i said so

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Connor looked at the clock on his phone, then back at the shorter girl at his door. Everyone had agreed to one o’clock last night but here’s Alana Beck at his door at 11:30 with the biggest grin on her face. Along with her she has her huge book bag (Connor wonders how she can even carry it, it looks so heavy) and multiple different seemingly empty photo albums.

“Who’s at the door?” Zoe walked up behind Connor without him even realizing it, which was kind of terrifying if he’s being honest. Connor stepped aside to let his sister see Alana and watched as her face lit up.

“Lana what are you doing here? Did I invite you and forget, again?” Alana giggled and shook her head.

“No actually I’m doing a group project with your brother. There’s two more people in the group but admittedly I’m a little early.”

“A little?! More like two and a half hours early, what the hell man?” Connor went back to his room figuring that Alana would rather hang out with his sister than awkwardly talk with Connor.

Chapter Text

Evan didn’t mean to tell her. Frankly he didn’t even want to it admit to himself. It just came out and now he can’t take it back. His mom is staring at him wide eyed and he’s stumbling over words trying to take it back somehow. He can’t find an excuse and his mom just looks so hurt and now he’s crying and now she’s crying and now they’re both crying. The only words he can say are apologies and his mom is holding her hands to her heart as if she was making sure she was still breathing. He’s running at the mouth just repeating “sorry” over and over again and his mother looks like she breaks even more every time he says it.

They cry together for a while not really saying much until they eventually fall asleep together on the couch. When Evan wakes up the next morning his mouth is dry and his face is tight from the dried tears. He looks over to where he remembered his mom being last to find that she’s not there. His heart swells with guilt and disappointment that his mother still went to work after all that.

Suddenly the doorknob started jiggling and Evan looked up in fear that someone was trying to break in. Great just his luck his house is going to be robbed right after his mom bailed on him after spilling his deepest darkest secret. Finally the door flies open and Evan catches a glimpse of blonde hair and grey sweat pants.

“I really need to get that lock looked at- Oh! Good morning honey, did you sleep well?” Heidi sounded happy as ever but he could still see all the pain in her eyes. She slept with her hair up and it doesn’t even look like she fixed it, there’s strands in her eyes; she just looks so worn. Evan guarantees that he looks similar probably even worse if he’s being honest. His mom held up a fast food bag as if to show it off.

“I took the day off and I bought some McDonald’s breakfast. I got you a sausage biscuit with cheese and two hashbrowns” She drew out the s sound in hash browns in a sing songy way as if she needed to convince him to eat. He barely ate yesterday if anything at all. He’s been in this weird depressive numb phase ever since this whole tree thing. It’s almost as if he’s on the brink of disassociating constantly but he’s not quiet there. His head always felt fuzzy and way to full and his legs felt heavier than they ever have before. Maybe that’s why he confessed to his mother. He must’ve been so out of it that he just let it slip, he feels better now though. He doesn’t feel perfect, he’s pretty sure he’s never going to be completely okay, but his head is a little clearer and moving his limbs doesn’t feel as physically tiring anymore.

They watched the news as they ate breakfast on the couch (a normal occurrence for them) they didn’t talk much but Evan knew that his mother was going to bring up the subject sometime soon. Strangely enough he wasn’t as scared to talk to her about it anymore. He knew that she wasn’t mad she just seemed scared and concerned very, very concerned, he could practically feel it radiating off her. He still was going to try to avoid the subject as long as he could he, didn’t want to see that broken look on his mothers face again ever especially because of him.
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Evan is standing on Connor Murphy’s porch and basically having a small panic attack. He’s never been to anyone’s house except Jared’s before and he doesn’t know what to do. Should he knock? Or maybe he should ring the doorbell- wait who even uses doorbells anymore? Should he text Connor that he’s outside? No wait that’d be weird because then Connor would just ask him why he didn’t just knock on the door like a normal human being. But alas Evan isn’t a normal person. Then Connor is going to realize that and stop being his friend because Evan is such a hassle to be around.

The sandy haired boy took a deep breath before shakily knocking on the grand mahogany door, which for some reason reminded him of Connor’s own frizzy brown hair. The person who answered the door definitely wasn’t the brown haired boy he was previously thinking of and it wasn’t the other Murphy sibling either or any Murphy for gods sake. There stood Alana Beck braids tied in a high ponytail and a copy of Catcher and the Rye held tightly to her chest. The book seemed worn (probably a school copy) and the amount of neon colored sticky notes that poked out of the book seemed just so Alana.

“Oh Evan hi! It’s good to see you! I’m so excited to start working on this project with you guys! I think it’s going to be fun and I can’t wait to learn more about my acquaintances! Oh jeez look at me rambling I’ve been so bust blabbing that I’ve forgot to let you into the house! Gosh my father would throw a fit if he saw me acting like this!” Alana stepped aside and let Evan step into the house and watched as she gently closed the door with one hand. Evan noticed her socked feet (not that he was looking at her feet because he has this weird thing for feet. He was just trying to figure out if taking off his shoes would be polite or if it would just seem like Evan was getting too comfortable in a house he’s never been in before, which in turn would offend Connor and Zoe) and started unlacing his tennis shoes as well.

Zoe entered the pale green living room and stopped in her tracks when she noticed Evan. She was wearing a sweater even though it was still late August and Evan wondered if all of the Murphy’s were just sensitive to the cold.

“Jeez how many people are working on this damned project?” Alana giggled at Zoe’s comment and Evan nervously chuckled with her in hopes that his arrival didn’t anger Zoe.

“Four in total. Which kind of overwhelming but I think that it’s for the best considering it’s such a big project.” Alana stood a little straighter and puffed out her chest as she said this, almost as if she was trying to impress Zoe. He wonders how long they’ve known each other because they seem pretty comfortable with each other. He knows he’s seen them talking before but he’s never thought about it too much because Alana talks to everyone. He would ask but he doesn’t want to chance offending them because he’s been watching them and that’s gross and stalker-ish.

“Connor is upstairs in his room if you want to go up there Evan. I’m stealing Alana until the other kid gets here, she’s helping me study for my English test next week.” Zoe smiles with her eyes closed and Evan finds it beautiful, Zoe Murphy herself is beautiful. Her skin is tan and her honey hair looks soft and effortlessly wavy. Her eyes are the same shade of blue as Connor’s but somehow they feel warmer and friendlier. Her skin is soft and clear and always seems to have a rosy tint.

Evan thinks back to Connor and realizes how completely different the two are. Connor is tall and lanky and his skin is much paler in comparison to Zoe’s golden skin. Connor is all sharp angles and cold glares whilst Zoe is soft eyes and warm smiles. Connor is frizzy hair and late night thoughts while Zoe is silk hair and morning dreams. Connor is an addiction and Zoe is a hobby. He’s thunderstorms and she’s heat waves; he’s the moon and she’s the stars.

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When Evan made it up the wood stairs he heard quiet music pitter-pattering through the hallway. He walks down the hallway slowly trying to find which room is Connor’s. When he finally finds which room is Connor’s by the fact that his room apparently doesn’t have a door. Evan stood there awkwardly for a second looking at Connor’s hunched back before gently knocking on the doorframe.

Connor quickly turned around with an angry glare on his face, which quickly faded when he realized it was Evan. Evan smiled and awkwardly waved his casted arm as a hello.

“Um c-can I come-e in?” Connor nods as a yes and turns back around in his swivel chair to face his desk. Evan walked into Connor’s room and awkwardly stood next to his desk. Connor’s room was and wasn’t everything Evan expected, for starters the walls were muted blue instead of black or grey. There weren’t any obscene emo band posters tacked on his wall, in fact there weren’t any posters, there were paintings on canvases and charcoal drawings on his wall instead. What he did expect were the holes punched into his walls and the scuff marks that littered the lower half (probably from the worn combat boots he’s always in).

His window was cracked open letting the warm humid air flutter through the room. The taller boy, who still seemed engrossed in the sketch he was currently working on, had his hair up and in high bun that had a few stray curls falling out. He had a few smudges of what Evan suspected was graphite littering his pale sharp face and Evan longed to wipe it off his high cheekbone.

Evan fiddled with the bottom of his blue polo and tried to ignore the strange thoughts he was having about his short-tempered friend. He shook his head as an attempt to rid his mind of the thoughts. Evan looked around the room once more and found himself looking at anything and everything to keep himself entertained. He noticed the greatly over filled bookshelf and the small piles of clothes. he thinks he might’ve caught a glimpse of a glass pipe but he chose to ignore it. He looked down at the desk Connor was almost possessively hunched over and became mesmerized with the wood grain and oil paint stains.

Soon enough he became bored of the stained wood and focused on the soft music playing. He let the music fill his head as his heart matched the beat as he let the lyrics become ingrained in his memory. He didn’t know what exactly they were listening to but it definitely wasn’t the hardcore music he expected, it was slower and it seemed that the lyrics and melody were more important than loud rage filled sounds. It was relaxing almost. Neither of the boys has said anything since Evan walked in but that was ok, just being there made both of them content.

So of course the moment was immediately ruined by none other than Evan’s so called family friend, Jared. He barged in like he always seems to do not even caring that he just completely ruined a perfectly good moment.

“Are you guys fucking in here?!” Jared slumped down on Connor’s bed wrinkling his grey comforter as the taller boy spun in his chair and coldly glared at Jared. Alana walked in soon after Jared sat down and set her bag on the floor and began to unpack her bag. She pulled out two jam-packed pencil pouches, about four different sized notebooks, and a planner that seemed to be on his last limb. She sat down on the floor and pulled out a few photo albums before patting the floor next to her as in invitation for the rest of them to join her.

Evan was the first to sit down next to her right and opened his own bag. He pulled out the two decent cameras he owned along with a notebook that he used as a portfolio of sorts. The notebook was red and it had some random stickers stuck to it, the photos inside he glued to the flimsy notebook paper. He hoped to get a better album before he starts having college interviews so he doesn’t completely embarrass himself. As the other two boys sat down Evan pulled out a smaller notebook (and his favorite blue pen) he planned to use for notes. Connor brought his sketchbook down to the floor with him while Jared turned on his new mac book he was disgustingly proud of.

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By the time that Evan was leaving the group got a lot more done than the actually expected they would. While Evan was opening the heavy door Connor strode over to him and offered to walk home with him. Evan smiled and nodded yes; Connor’s hair was still up and Evan decided that it was his favorite way to see the other boy’s hair. It kept the frizzy hair out of his face and he could see his face. But Evan’s favorite reason is that he can see his eyes better especially, that one eye with that warm brown spot in the corner.

“You really-y-y don’t have t-to walk with me you know-w.”

“Yeah I know but I felt like it. My mom is going to be home by the time I get back and I really don’t feel like dealing with her right now.”

Connor’s strides are a lot bigger than Evan’s own so he has to rush a little to keep up with him. Evan considers himself decently tall but Connor is like inhumanly tall its kind of freaky and fascinating if he’s being honest. For the rest of the walk they talked about random little tid bits of things from their childhood or things they like. The walk was over too soon for Evan and he was actually kind of sad to have to go back home to his quiet empty house. They both tried to make the goodbye as long as possible neither one really wanting leave the other.

Dear Evan Hansen today is going to be a good day and here’s why...

Today we all met at Connor’s house to start working on the project and we actually got a decent amount done. Today I didn’t embarrass myself too much and they actually liked my photos. Today I felt proud of my work and I didn’t shy away from it when they asked to see it. I think that life might be okay for a while and I’m okay with that.

Chapter Text

The smell of copper fills the room and all Connor can see is red, red, red, red. He drops the blade after a particularly deep cut and hisses out a quiet “fuck” in alarm and pain. He grabs his thin pale arm now coated in red, red, red, and rushes to the bathroom across the hall. He turns on the faucet coating it too in the sticky substance. The water is scalding and stings as it makes contact with the fresh wounds but Connor doesn’t care. All he wants is for the red to be gone. He can’t bare to look at the color anymore, it’s awful, it’s taunting. It’s almost as if the color is laughing at him for doing such a reckless thing.

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Connor has been acting weird today Evan notes. He’s been distant and flinches away from everyone. It’s safe to say that Evan is worried about his newfound friend. It not like he doesn’t have any right to be, I mean they met via hotline for god’s sake! Evan also knows that he could just be in a bad mood as Connor tends to be a very moody person but something about it is just bewildering Evan. He wants to ask, he wants to be there for the brunette, but he just doesn’t know how or what to say.

Well that is until Connor snags his hoodie on the bark of the tree they’re sitting under at lunch. It raises the sleeve just high enough for Evan to see the start of an angry red pattern of marks. Evan isn’t dumb he knows what they are and in fact it isn’t surprising Connor cuts but it’s just, he though they had more trust in their friendship to talk about these things. Evan is tired of waiting for Connor to stop pretending he didn’t tell Evan some personal things and finally talk to him again.

And that’s when Evan decides that he will be the one to confront Connor about his obvious problem. He just doesn’t know how yet.

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It’s been three days since the incident and Connor hasn’t been much better. It’s safe to say that Evan is honestly worried and he knows he needs to confront his friend soon before something drastic happens.

It’s Friday morning and Evan is rehearsing the conversation he’s going to have with Connor later on today. First he’s going to ask Connor if they can hang out. Of course Connor will say yes and then once finally alone in Connors room he’ll ask the other boy about it. It isn’t perfect in fact there’s so many ways it could and probably will go dreadfully wrong but Evan has to try. In fact Evan doesn’t know what will happen if Connor actually confesses to him.

Evan can’t exactly relate to Connor in the self-harm sense. He’s thought about it before but he could never go through with it; he hates the sight of blood it makes him sick. Evan does have a habit of violently scratching when he feels a panic attack coming on but that’s about it.

He just wants Connor to trust him.

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One thing Connor has learned from this strange little friendship he’s developed is that Evan Hansen is one big mother hen. He’s always three steps behind Connor; watching his every move. He flinches or alerts Connor for small minuscule things such as rocks in the ground or a car that’s not even close to hitting them. It’s adorable almost, it’s nice to know that someone is always there trying to prevent you from getting hurt.

It’s officially the end of the day and Connor is standing by his dingy truck waiting for Evan. Earlier at lunch Evan hilariously stumbled his way through asking Connor if they could hang out at his house later, but mentioned that he might be a few minuets late because his science teacher wanted to talk with him. Finally Evan comes waddling out of the front doors holding something that suspiciously looks like a potted tree.

“What’s up with the new friend planning on ditching me eh?”
“W-what? N-no Ms. Banks said that she needed someone to watch this tree for a few weeks until she can plant it in the school garden. So I guess I’m a plant babysitter now.”
“Ah so you’ve adopted a child now Hansen.”

Evan chuckled a bit and ran a tan hand through his honey blond hair. Connor flushed a bit and looked away trying not to think about how unfairly cute that smile was. Connor ruffled his already frizzy hair succeeding in making it even more of a mess. That’s normal! Totally normal Connor! Everyone finds their friends cute right? Yeah completely normal. Connor hops into the drivers seat and Evan quickly follows in the passenger. The drive is actually surprisingly awkward and tense, a first for the boys. Connor tried to start conversation again but Evan just replied back to everything with one or two word answers.

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It’s safe to say Evan is wholly and truly screwed. He has literally no idea about what to say to Connor about his habits. What if he gets mad at Evan for prying into his life and unfriends him and then Evan has to go back to being alone all the time again. What if he just doesn’t say anything at all? No what if something seriously bad happens to him! It would all be Evans fault! God why is this so stressful! Why can’t Connor just fucking talk to him like they used to. What changed from the phone calls to now? Was it Evan himself? Is Evan just that fucking annoying that the kid who confided in him won’t even mention anything about hurting to him anymore? What if Connor hates him? What if Connor is just pretending to be friends with Evan as to not hurt his feelings? Because Evan is just that pathetic kid who only has one friend who barely talks to him and makes fun of him any way possible!

What if he died that day? Would anyone even care?

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Evans hyperventilating. Evans gripping his seat as if he would die without. Evans tearing up. And for gods sake he’s going to pull his hair out if he pulls any harder.

Connor pulls over.

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Suddenly there’s a calloused hand on his hand and a raspy voice instructing him to breathe. It takes a few moments but Evan eventually calms down enough to slow his breath to a normal pace. Connor is visibly relieved as Evans clenched hands start to unclench and he starts breathing normal again.

“I’m sorry you had to witness that haha got a little carried away with my thoughts there...” Evan refuses to meet Connor’s eyes. He can’t believe he completely embarrassed himself in front of Connor like that.

“Are you ok?” Connor asks. His hair is tucked behind his ears (A habit Evan noticed he does when he’s trying to concentrate) and his icy blue eyes are so wide that Evan can clearly see that little patch of warmth. Evan rubs his cheeks trying to rid them of the drying tears that are making his face stiff. He takes a deep breath before simply nodding yes.

“A-are you sure?” Connor bites his lip in concern “I can drive you home if you want.” Evan yawns, panic attacks always made him exhausted after.

“No I’m fine,” another yawn, “ plus it really wasn’t that bad just a little shaken up is all.” Connor deems that good enough and Evan leans his head on the window hoping for a quick nap to regain some energy.

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Connor pulls up in the driveway to find that surprisingly none seems to be home. He looks over to the smaller boy slumped against his window and chuckles a bit. Evan’s got both his feet on the seat tucked under him and his lips are slightly parted. His lips are soft, unlike Connors own chapped pair. They’re pink and definitely bigger in size than Connors, not that they’re massive... just bigger, slightly. Connor wonders what they would feel like. Connor wonders what it would be like to ki-. Connor blushes hard and shakes his head. What is he thinking! What’s he gone all soft for some boy who showed him a little kindness!

He shakes Evan’s shoulder successfully waking him from his small little catnap.

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Once finally in Connors room Evan awkwardly sits on the edge of his bed. Evan fiddles with the bottom of his shirt trying to think about how to even start this conversation. Connor awkwardly sits next to Evan examining his wall with great focus.

“Uh c-can I ask you something? Well it’s n-not really a question because I sort of already know b-but I guess I just want confirmation?”
“Yeah I guess?” Connor picked at his peeling cuticles and refused to meet those ocean eyes.
“God I d-don’t know how to say this but um... could you um show me your arms...?” Connor tensed immediately.
“I-I-I already saw-w them t-the other day when y-your jacket got c-caught on the tree. I j-j-just want t-t-to make sure y-you’re ok! I-I-I know I h-have no right-t to know a-a-and you don’t have to s-show me if-f-f you don’t want to! I-It’s just w-when you called t-t-the hotline y-y-you t-t-rusted me! Y-you told m-me things! A-a-and now you j-just pretend I-it never happened!” Connor looks shocked and that’s when Evan realized he was tearing up.
“I-I-I-I’m sorry, I just wish y-you would trust me a-again.” Evan wipes his eyes with his palms and let out a shaky sigh. Connor mumbled something that Evan couldn’t quite hear.
“W-what...?”
“...P-promise not to laugh” Connor says dejectedly fiddling with the sleeves of his oh so infamous hoodie. Evan nods wildly not trusting his words. Connor takes a few deep breaths before slowly pulling up his sleeves.

Evan grimaced at the violent red streaks covering his thin pale arms. Connor had his eyes closed and was facing the opposite direction. Evan gently grabbed one of his forearms and carefully ran his finger down it. Connor flinched and Evan quickly tore his hand away, in fear that he hurt the other.

“S-sorry I just-“
“No it’s fine I’m just not used to people touching them, ya know?”
“S-some of these are pretty recent... c-c-can I um I don’t know maybe clean them? O-o-or at least bandage them?”
“O-o-oh I uh guess yeah...”
“w-where do you keep your bandages a-a-and peroxide?”
“I uh think there’s a first aid box in my closet. Something about always staying safe just in case. Kinda ironic isn’t it.”

Evan doesn’t respond. Instead he opens Connors closet and stares at the first aid kit wondering how in the hell he was going to be able to reach it. Lucky for him there was a built in cabinet. So like any sane person Evan turned the mostly empty dresser into a makeshift ladder. Finally after getting the kit he jumped off the cabinet and plopped down right next to the other again.

Evan popped open the off white box and rummaged through the contents until he found a role of bandages and some Neosporin. Again he gently grabs Connors thin, frail forearms and slowly starts spreading the Neosporin on the open wounds. Connor seethes a few times but eventually he’s covered both arms in Neosporin. Then he slowly starts wrapping the arms in the snow-white bandages.

During the process the room is completely silent and it stays that way for multiple minuets after Evan is finished. Connor didn’t move is arm away from Evans lap and Evan didn’t let go of Connors wrist. They just sat there in silence, and that was all they needed. Someone there, someone who could understand. Maybe they haven’t known each other for very long but they’re already pretty comfortable with each other.

And that’s when Evan made the dumbest decision of his life.

 

He kissed Connor’s left arm.

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Connor immediately tenses for the second time that day.

Evan just kissed his arm.

 

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After Evan left all Connor could think about was how Evans lips felt on his arm. He completely blanked out after it even happened he was too dazed to even listen to his explanation. Something about a habit he picked up from his mother, Connor didn’t even care, all he cared about was how soft they felt. He only got a little taste and this is completely insane but he just can’t stop thinking about it.

Connor knows it isn’t right for him to be getting a crush on his only friend. First off Evan is his only friend, this little crush he’s developing will just make things awkward and might end their friendship if he acts on it. Second Connor is very toxic he knows that if anything even happened between them he would just hurt him. God he feels like some stupid schoolgirl.

This will pass he tells himself as he lights a joint. Yeah it’ll pass he just has to wait it out he says as he takes a long drag.

 

It’ll pass.