Hey, look. It’s another fic! (See all of them here.)
There’s a lot of things, in terms of backstory with the other characters and things that you don’t see, that I have specced out in my mind. I thought it would be interesting to present them in text form to fill in some of the gaps, as it were, in the main YAGS storyline.
Needless to say, these pieces will be highly spoilerific, so I recommend you do not read them unless you have finished the game at least once. (Likewise, they may not make as much sense if you haven’t played the game at least once.)
Seriously. Spoilers ahead! Do not continue if you haven’t played the game!
Friday May 5, 2006
“Hey, Robert.” Steve slaps a hand on his back and Robert laughs.
“You look happy about something.”
“Just handed in my last composition for the year, so unless the teacher really, really hates it, I’m done. What about you?”
“Just one more final this evening, for econ. Should be smooth sailing.”
“That’s great, eh?” Steve smiles. “We’ll miss you next year, though. I’m sure Elliot isn’t going to be nearly as good at running lessons as you were.”
“Yeah, well, the guy needs to grow another few feet or something. His technique isn’t necessarily wrong… he just doesn’t have the height for it.”
“Well, you could probably say that about most people, eh? Except maybe that frosh Adam.” He shrugs. “Anyway, I’ll let you get to studying or whatever.”
“Thanks. I’ll see you at dinner.”
Steve heads toward the common room as Robert takes the stairs, two at a time, up to his own room. He passes Carlos, on the way down, and nods at him as he passes. “Hey, Salas.”
Carlos grins, slapping his back. “Hey, yourself. We’re going to miss you next year, dude.”
“Well, not everyone can be me.”
Carlos laughs at that, for some reason, and continues on his way.
Robert’s barely set his notebook on his desk when his phone rings. He looks at it, confused – no one ever calls him.
Robert smiles. His brother never did get over how much he’d grown in middle school, and the name had stuck. “Hey, boss. Everything okay?”
“Yeah, just… can we talk for a bit? Er… are you done with finals?”
Robert stares at his hastily scrawled econ notes, and leans back in his chair, deciding his brother was more important. “Sure. Let’s talk. What’s up? You never call.”
“I’ve met someone.”
Robert laughs at this. “Man, and I thought this was going to be bad news or something. Congrats! Drag her along to graduation next week or something.”
His smile slowly fades as his brother remains silent. “Hey. George. What’s wrong?”
“It’s… not…” He can hear him take a deep breath, over the phone. “Rob, it’s… it’s a him.”
Robert stops, feeling a strange chill that makes him shiver. “No.” His voice is icy, and he shakes his head.
“I didn’t… I don’t…”
“I have to go.”
“Rob. Robert. I just…”
“I have to go.”
He hangs up the phone before his brother can get another word in, feeling his rage simmering, conflicting with his sense of protectiveness for his baby brother.
No. He’s not a fag. I must have… I must have misheard or something.
He shakes his head and tries to refocus on the notes in front of him, but somehow, he knows the effort is going to be useless.
He fails his final, of course. He knows it even as he’s taking it, as his mind wanders back to the phone call, and he can feel the rage boiling up inside him again and the words and numbers blur together.
He hands it in, half blank, the rest covered with some unintelligible scrawl that he isn’t sure is even comprised of letters and numbers, and returns to his room, laying in his bed and staring at the ceiling.
He doesn’t answer the phone when it rings.
Friday May 12, 2006
The following week ends up being a flurry of activity, and he counts his blessings that his father has a secretary who’s able to handle all of the plan changes for him, as it feels like he spends most of it in a daze, lashing out at Steve when he tries to help, and automatically eating and sleeping, isolating himself as the rest of the seniors prepare for a ceremony he was no longer a part of.
He failed his final, of course – bombed would be a better description – and barely failed the class because of it. No amount of pleading or calls from his father would change the professor’s mind, and of course it ended up being the only class he actually needed to graduate. So flights had to be rescheduled, and hotel reservations had to be cancelled, and he really wasn’t looking forward to the lecture he’d get when he finally, eventually got home.
Instead, he tries to reconcile his feelings, which oscillate between rage and sense of betrayal at his brother, to a strange acceptance and sense of duty to him and their relationship.
By the time he falls asleep on Friday, dreading the flight home the next day, he finds he’s almost at peace with the whole thing. Or at least with himself.
Saturday May 13, 2006
His brother was there, of course, looking more sullen than usual as he walked down the long hallway, past security, toward his family. Robert nods, grabbing him and pulling him into a hug automatically, the actions somehow feeling wrong this time.
“Hey, squirt. You smell like airplane.”
Robert shakes his head, his usual witty comebacks failing him at the moment, and his dad nods and puts a hand on his shoulder, a bit firmer than necessary. “Welcome home.”
The drive home, usually a lighthearted affair, is awkward and silent. When his father deposits him at the front door, he heads upstairs to his room, even as he can feel his brother following him.
His room is spotless, of course – it always is, with the thorough cleaning that their maid Linda gives it every couple of days, even while he’s gone – and he sits on his bed, not making eye contact with George as he sits down next to him.
Robert laughs at this. “For what?”
“I’m just… sorry.”
They’re silent for a bit, and Robert sees George pick at the sleeve of his shirt – a bad habit that, despite years of therapy, they’d never been able to get rid of.
“I… I think we should talk about this.”
“There’s nothing to talk about.” Robert stares at him this time, trying his hardest to remain stoic.
“No. You’re my brother, and I love you.” He takes a deep breath. “Despite whatever… despite whatever issues you may have. We can fix them.”
He’d been expecting him to be happy, or maybe grateful in some way, so he stares in surprise as his brother jumps to his feet and glares at him.
“Then I guess we have nothing to talk about.”
He stares at his brother’s back as he storms out, unsure of what just happened.
Friday August 18, 2006
The rest of the summer ends up being full of tutoring and basketball lessons, his dad wanting to make sure both that he wouldn’t fail again, and that he didn’t lose his skills. His important skills, they’d called them, once.
It all feels strangely lonely, without George, who seems to find his own activities to occupy his time and avoid him as much as possible. He’s surprised neither of his parents really notice the distance between the two of them.
Then again, he feels like he shouldn’t be, given how little they normally interact with the two of them. So he’s caught with his pants down (literally; his dick in his hand and a porno on his computer) when his dad barges into his room without knocking and announces that George wanted to talk to everyone.
He can feel his heart sink as he walks down the stairs, like he has a good idea already of what might be said. He feels himself hoping, somehow, that his parents are understanding, and regretting in that moment that he’d never actually apologized to him – that he’d never even really talked to him.
“Spit it out, George. Don’t waste everyone’s time. Time is money, you know.”
Robert sits on the couch next to his mother as George looks between the three of them. A tear falls down his cheek.
There is silence. Robert doesn’t dare turn to see his parents’ reactions, focusing instead on his brother’s face, his face streaked now, his eyes meeting his.
I’m here for you, he thinks, hoping that he gets the message across, watching as George squeezes his eyes closed and takes a deep breath.
“I’m gay, and I…”
The word is almost deafening, and Robert watches as his father rises to his feet, speaking in a tone he’s not sure he’s ever heard in his life.
His mom is crying now, her face buried in her hands, and George takes a step backward as his father glares at him.
“You will go to your room and stay there. Tomorrow, I’ll call up one of my contacts. We’re going to fix you.”
“Dad, I’m not…”
“We’re going to fix this.” He’s almost yelling now, and his mother is sobbing.
“My sweet baby. Is this because we bought you those sweater vests? They said that it would help keep you fro…”
“Mom. Dad. I’m not… I’m not broken.” He’s shaking now, looking pleadingly at Robert. “I’m n…”
“No.” His father takes a step toward him, and George stumbles backward, falling into the couch on the other side of the room.
“No son of mine…” He’s actually yelling now, and Robert swears he sees a light switch on in the house next door. “No son of mine… is going to be a fucking faggot.”
George scrambles to his feet, trying to keep his distance from him. “Dad. I…”
“Get out.” The words are eerily quiet, and even his mother stops sobbing, seeming as shocked as he is.
George’s eyes meet his, desperate now. “Mom. Robert. Please…”
He’s yelling again, advancing on him, and George runs for the door. He slams it shut behind him, locking it before turning on Robert.
“You’re not a fag too, are you?!”
Robert can only shake his head, terrified, watching as his father storms up the stairs and slams a door shut so forcefully that the house shakes.
He leaves his hysterical mother on the couch and lays on his bed, staring at the ceiling.
This was not how the summer was supposed to go.
Saturday August 19, 2006
Robert actually makes it back to campus, despite everything – a taxi showing up at the house in the morning and honking until he loads himself into it to be driven to the airport. His parents, naturally are nowhere to be found, and over the flight, his concern for his brother soon melts into a sense of anger.
How could you be so selfish, George? I failed my class because of you. You destroyed mom. You destroyed the family.
He’s greeted at the door to the house by Carlos as he fumbles for his key in the darkness, who seems to be headed out somewhere.
“Oh! Hey, dude.” He grins and puts his hand on Robert’s shoulder. “Glad you’re back this year. Well, not glad, but…”
Robert can feel his rage building, and he pushes the hand off with more force than necessary. “Don’t touch me, faggot.”
“Whoa! Dude. What…”
Robert pushes past him and storms up the stairs, sitting at the rickety old desk in his room and staring out the window.
It was going to be a long semester.
Writer’s Note: George is fine, just shaken up. He had been dating a guy for several months at that point, and went to stay with him. He knew his parents would probably react badly, so he’d made sure he had plans if something happened. If you’re contemplating coming out yourself, please make sure it’s safe for you to do so – there is no shame in remaining in the closet for practical reasons like being unable to live on your own or fear of physical violence/retaliation.