Chapter 1: Bell Ringing
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined. –Henry David Thoreau
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Friday... Friday. Normally the signifier of the weekend, a time where all day you'd be spacing off and looking forward to when you're no longer obligated to attend class, for two whole days. Only, Mathias had a test. Not just any test, either, but one that counted for a good percentage of their grade for this semester. They were an art major, with some other various classes on the side, so it was a lot of work, their course, but they did it at their own pace and had fun with it, which lessened their anxiety and fear of failure tremendously.
To be technical, it was less of a test and more of a project. A demonstration of skills to show what they have learned thus far, and next year they'd get the added stress of their senior thesis. Actually, Mathias had no idea what to call it so they labelled it a test. It was their last class.. In art. They still had a few more in misc. classes. They had a free slot of time in their day before their class so they were in the cafe`, massaging their one shoulder that cramped up while eating a muffin with the other. Mathias caught a glimpse of their friend Jessica walking in and smiled up at them, eyes brightening.
Jessica, having been on the look out for Mathias, made a beeline straight for them and sat down at their table, chatting with them.
"Ahh, so, how does it feel to almost be a senior? Pretty great?" Jessica started off with, stealing half of Mathias' muffin for herself only to roll her eyes at their reaction. Mathias sighed in exaggerated misery,
"More like intimidating.. I didn't expect it to happen this fast.." They mumbled the last bit, thinking about how it didn't seem like that long ago they were just accepted. Getting into Stanford was a pretty big deal. It wasn't Harvard, but it was still pretty serious. They're brought out of their thoughts by Jessica nudging them.
"Come on, it can't be that stressful. You, who keeps going on and on about how peaceful painting and drawing is? Please." Well, she had a point. But anxiety and phobias didn't have to make sense. Plus they had no idea what would happen after they graduated. Maybe get an internship somewhere? Well good thing they were taking a job skills class in case their dreams fell through.. Though who would want to be a secretary or.. a shelf stocker at a store with a degree under your belt. That was depressing.
"Mm. I get your point, Jess. Though Friday doesn't feel like Friday.. Expectations, looming over me.. I predict a hole will be worn in my dorm's floor, by me." Mathias said in deadpan, finishing their muffin. A nice restaurant style milk would hit the spot. The finer things. Jess pursed their lips, contemplating.
"Aw, Mat.. You need to relax. Look, why don't you sleep over tonight? Sam and I would love to have you, and Sam misses you, you two never see each other.." Jess put on a pout, really selling it. It wasn't like Mat was going to say no, they wanted to sleep over and have been wanting to for a while, but they all had busy schedules up until today. Mat smiled, feeling more lightweight in body and heart.
"Alright.. Show up whenever?" Mat asked, seeing Jess giggle and nod. Her smile was radiant. God, Mat was gay.
"Show up whenever." She audibly confirmed. This would be great. Mat took a glance at their wristwatch and saw they had a few minutes til class. Looks like they'd be skipping the milk this time. Jess just shrugged, in understanding. She had to go soon as well. They got up and parted ways, Mat throwing away the muffin wrapper in the trash, a bounce in their step. They could do this. Nothing could stop them now.
Mat ignored the feeling of eyes on them, watching them. It was just an irrational fear and anxiety.. right?
As soon as they left eyesight, somebody who had been listening to them and Jess talk got up and went in the opposite direction, lip curling.
It's a start.
Chapter 2: Class Dismissed
Transphobic slur used.
Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear. –George Addair
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
And just like that the day was over. Their project needed to be graded, but that was it.. Mathias couldn't say for sure, well, actually, they always thought about what if their grade was terrible but they made it this far.. So it looked pretty good that they'd pass. Maybe they were very lucky, or somebody was looking out for them. It was a nice thought. Something they thought about often to try and manage their fears. Instead of letting them get the better of them. Though now Mat had something to look forward to for tonight, and tomorrow.
They smiled, rushing to their dorm, passing another friend, though this one was much more distant, on the way there. They called out for them but Mat only gave them a brief glance, frowning. They seemed off. The dude was kind of a trouble maker.. Drugs, parties.. Maybe it was a vibe. Once inside, Mathias began packing for the night, pajamas, toothbrush.. You know. Not that important. They briefly considered changing out of their sweater and jeans but decided that was too much effort for a sleepover with their best friends. But Mathias did take a quick glance in the bathroom mirror to make sure their dyed red hair wasn't everywhere. It wasn't, miraculously.
Mat brushed back a strand of hair from their face, going over everything to make sure they don't forget. Right, phone charger. That'd be pretty important. Besides that, Mat had everything? Might have even overpacked, but there's nothing wrong with overpacking, not at all. Besides, Jessica would tease them and Mat would get to see her smile again. Heh.. They lifted the bag over their shoulder, holding onto the strap and made sure to lock up.
They headed in the direction of Sam and Jess', trying hard not to skip. Mat was an adult, damnit.. They didn't skip. Maybe hop. The distant friend from before.. What was his name? Brad? Brady? Something like that, tried talking to them again, which made Mat shift uncomfortably.
"Hey, where are you going? To Sam's, right?" He smiled, it came off as unnerving. Not to mention somehow Brady knew Mat's plans.
"...I don't know how you know that." Something about him just made Mathias want to cross the street to get away from him, on the other side of town. Mathias supposed this was a horrible way to treat a friend, even if the two drifted apart.
"Come on, I overheard you and Jess talking. Want an escort? It's getting pretty late." Brady appeared to have leered at them, and Mathias leaned away, grimacing. Well.. now or never.
"Listen, um.. It's just.. hard. To be around you, um, when you ruined your life like that.. I know that we all used to be in tha-the same group of friends but you make me un-un-uncomfortable. Now." Mat took a step away from Brady, about to run off.
"I just.. wish things were back to-to the way they used to be. I'm sorry." Mat turned to run away, but Brady grabbed their arm, smile gone, replaced with a sneer. Mat froze up, eyes wide as they looked up at the taller man. Maybe it was the lighting or a trick of the mind but Mat could have sworn that Brady's eyes were black for a second. Full black, but that couldn't be at all.
"Listen here you tranny slut-"
"Hey! What are you doing?" Oh thank Christ. Sam. Mat tried to pull out of Brady's grip but it was so tight that their skin would probably bruise. Though Brady let go anyway when Sam approached. Mat stumbled towards Sam, bag falling off their shoulder. Sam made a face at Brady, placing himself in front of his two friends.
"Is there a problem here?" Brady smiled again, brushing fake dust off himself.
"No, no problem. Just helping them cross the street." Sam stared at him a while before thanking them tightly and helping Mat with their bag, leaving. Mat stayed silent, staring at the back of Sam's legs. At least they had a reason to avoid Brady for real now.. If not for the assault, then for the name calling.. Those words.. Bothered them a lot. Mathias trusted Brady with that knowledge, Trusted him a lot back before he flipped the fuck out, and now it's like he's a completely different person. It was jarring, like something was spilling up inside them, or building up, to be released. Crying?
Sam noticed Mathias acting oddly and slowed down to walk by their side, giving them a small smile, "Hey, are you okay? We can talk about it once we get home." Home.. Usually Sam referred to it as 'the apartment', not Home. They wondered what changed. Or maybe Sam slipped up. Mat nodded, rubbing at their eyes. They weren't crying, yet, but it was a formed habit.
"My arm hurts.." Mat mumbled, not wanting to say any more about it. They forced themself to perk up, Sam was here! They were going to have a sleep over! It was the weekend. There were plenty of reasons not to be sad or anxious but this one thing seemingly ruined the day for them. And since they started walking, they felt Brady's eyes on them. Their back. Mathias didn't like it. They played with their hair, a tic, but stopped once they got.. 'Home'.
"Ah, thanks, for carrying my bag.." Mat shuffled on their feet, looking up at Sam with big eyes. Jess was just inside. Though, Mat wondered why Sam had come over? Mat stopped Sam from heading in, instead growing quiet to ask them about why he were there.
"Jess said to come over whenever.. There wasn't really a reason to.. pick me up?" Sam seemed to have trouble finding what to say, so he ended up on,
"Ah, well, I was getting a feeling. So I came to check up on you. Is that a problem, sib?" Mat just hummed. That was satisfactory. The feeling of terror and hurt began to subside upon entering. Sam absolutely refused to hand Mat their bag, instead carrying it inside for them and setting it down in the other room. They just crossed their arms in mock anger. Jess immediately invited them to sit on the couch, prompting Sam and Mat to talk about their going on's, Sam sitting next to them. It went swell, they learned that Mat was getting an interview for some law thing and grew excited. That must be why Sam was busier than normal, working hard for that. And it continued to go well, until Sam asked about what they and Brady were doing.
Mat instantly clammed up, lips thinning. They shook their head, which confused Jess.
"Sam, what do you, were Brady and Mat doing something..?" Sam made another face, teeth grit.
"No idea, but it looked like Brady was hurting them, Mat, didn't you say your arm hurt?" Trying to bring them back into the conversation. They didn't want to talk about it, though. Mathias looked away from Jessica and Sam, finding interest in their nails. They were a bit long.. Mat usually kept them short. Mat was brought out of lala land by Sam getting louder.
"Mat!" Fuck, okay. Fine. They wanted to know. Mathias' head snapped around, brow furrowing.
"Brady was creepy. He called me names and grabbed my arm. That's all." It wasn't the entire truth but it was close. Would that be enough? Jess just put a hand over her mouth, in shock. While Sam clenched his fists. Mat watched warily..
"Hey.. bro.. Let's just.. watch a movie. I'm fine." After a few more tries to convince them both they were fine, they finally settled into a movie. About halfway through Mat had got up to change into pajama's. They ended up falling asleep on the couch.
Chapter 3: The Beginning of The End
It is never too late to be what you might have been. –George Eliot
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
It was the dead of night, the faint sound of Sam snoring in his and Jess' room was keeping the night from being perfectly silent. The person on the couch shifted and turned over, waking up for a few seconds only to fall back asleep directly after. There was a blanket over them, so they snuggled into it. They ended up sleeping for another hour before they were jolted awake, looking around wildly with bleary eyes. The sound of somebody breaking in. Their mind immediately went to Brady so they tried to stay still and even their breathing, though it was hard with their heart pounding.
Mathias heard Sam also get up, and the intruder start digging into the mini fridge. Seeing Sam with a bat in hand made Mathias feel brave enough to sit up and properly see what was going on, but due to their glasses not being on their face, and the dark it was hard to discern. Sam gave Mat a glance on the couch, tensing up when they moved. The tall brother figure put a finger to his lips, and Mat just watched as Sam tried to apprehend the intruder fishing for something in the fridge, only for a scuffle to happen and for Sam to be overpowered.
Then the light was flicked on and Mat had to squint. Jess had followed Sam out of bed. Mat rubbed at their eyes, grabbing for their glasses from the coffee table.
"Dean?" Sam questioned once he realized who he was in an altercation with. Jess stood there, timidly. While Mat blinked in confusion. Dean? Why was that familiar?
"Heya, Sammy. 5 years of college made you a little flabby, huh?" ..Wait a second. wait a second. They knew each other? Mat was amazingly relieved it wasn't Brady. Act 2 could wait. Forever. Jess must have been thinking similar, because,
"Sam, who's this?" Sam seemed at a loss for words again. He did that whenever he was nervous or feeling awkward, which was often. It was endearing. And made Mathias smile, before it was quickly dropped into a frown. Mathias wish they could say something, but they were nonverbal for the first hour of waking up. But they didn't move until Sam said Dean wasn't a threat, instead putting their knees up to their chest. They had taken their binder off before changing into their pajamas and didn't want this 'Dean' to see. Mat ran a hand through their hair and rubbed at their undercut, the action soothing.
"Ah, this is uh, my brother, Dean." Sam answered, trying to introduce everybody but Jess cut him off.
"Ahuh, so does your brother usually break in to steal a beer?" She gestured to him and what he was doing. Ah, right, Sam's brother.. Mathias vaguely recalled him telling them he had a brother. What a shitty first impression. They squinted hard at Dean, brow furrowing. Dean glanced around and gave a flirty smile to Jess, before catching Mat's eye. He looked uncomfortable so quickly looked back at Sam. Mat smiled. Good.
"Ah, only if there's pretty girls involved." Oh boy. This chucklehead. Mat cleared their throat, looking annoyed.
"..Dean, this is my girlfriend, Jess. Over there is Mathias, my si- friend." Mat barely noticed their slip up. It mildly bothered them that Sam didn't say Mat was his sibling. Because they were. Though now that it was deemed safe, Mat got up, crossing their arms over their chest and getting a glass of water from the kitchen, sitting at the table, still staring down Dean.
"Right.." Dean shrugged. He's hit on more for less. Though Mathias piqued his interest. They didn't look like a guy. And they haven't said a word yet. Plus they were staring holes into him. If looks could kill...
"What- what are you doing here, Dean?" Mathias took this time to finish their water, now they felt like they could speak if they needed to. They didn't have a desire to right now, but Jessica came over and sat with them, looking way too tired. Mat rubbed her shoulder sympathetically. Jess gave a grateful smile.
"What, no 'nice to see you again' for your brother?" Dean tried to joke, holding a beer. He didn't seem to have a bottle opener on him. Sam worked his face, trying to find an expression before settling on one that Dean knew as a Bitch Face. The shorter brother gave a heh.
"Right, straight to business." Dean's face turned serious, then questioned if Mathias and Jessica should be here to hear this. Mat must have looked so done and unimpressed that it made Jess giggle. The younger of the two brothers shot a look back at Mat, smirking.
"Look, whatever you have to say, you can say it front of all of us." Dean shrugged again, hey, if they knew, they knew. But it was still family business. And family business stayed in the family.
"Well, Dad's on a trip, and he hasn't been home in a few days." An amused scoff from Sam. What the hell did that matter?
"So? Just call him." Hmm. There it is, Dean thought. It annoyed him how slow on the uptake Sam was, but also the blatant disrespect and lack of caring his little bro had towards his own flesh and blood. But Sam was Sam and as much as it pissed him off that wasn't what he was here for. He wetted his lips,
"Let me rephrase, Dad's on a hunting trip, and he hasn't been home in a few days." And like that the color from Sam's face drained. There we go. There was the Sam he knew.
Here we go.
Chapter 4: AUTHOR UPDATE (yyeah i know gawd)
OOOOOOOF okay i just posted one of these to my other in progress story but its not the same type of notice
so...... yeah AN's are dumb and disappointing but ive kinda let this rot for a while and i've been meaning to actually REWRITE this entire thing. for a few reasons:
1.) i feel like it's not true enough to the characters or show, even though i have not written too far into it, and while my characters presence in things will affect how things happen and certain behaviors they might have its.. sloppy.
2.) im a bit rusty at writing so if i picked up where i left it off the characters might be more ooc from what i established and the writing itself might be strange :(
3.) point blank as my self insert i.... am different. ive done a lot of self exploration into my sexuality and gender and even how i present and even what name i use. so it would be strange writing _myself_ when it's not actually _myself_ ya get me? plus i want to just redo the first chapters regardless bc of how messy they are with details, etc.
just letting y'all know i haven't abandoned this story, at all. and im currently trying to work up the motivation and inspiration to rewrite it. in the meantime im gonna write more svtfoe stuff because thats my hyperfocus and special interest right now. sorry :(
thank you for being patient and waiting for an update though, i appreciate it!.