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The Fic Where Jared Isn't 2D

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"Dude, I'm telling you, my mom is only paying for me to attend here because she: one, doesn't want me spending junior year at high school, and two, thinks you're a good influence on me!" Jared Kleinman counted ‘one’ and ‘two’ on his fingers as he told Evan Hansen another lie.

They were packing for boarding school as the bus waited outside. Jared and Evan were notified previously that they were the only students in the neighborhood on their specific bus, meaning it was gonna be a long bus ride with just the two of them. "Oh, and Evan, make sure to pack your weird sex toys because there's gonna be a lot of masturbation material at this boarding school and I don't think your sex letters are gonna be enough." Jared spoke and patted a tense Evan on the back.

"They're not my 'weird sex letters', and I don't even own a sex toy, you probably do though so don't forget." Evan smacked Jared and went back to packing his clothes; Jared went back to shoving his clothes in his suitcase.

"You got me." Jared spoke absentmindedly. He examined his suitcase to make sure he had everything: clothes; a toothbrush; his phone charger; his sleeping pills; his laptop and charger; and a hidden flask.

"Uh, Jared? Are you scared to go to this school?" Evan looked up to him while he tried to secretly pack his anxiety pills on his own. Key word: tried. Evan never really spoke about his anxiety, and didn't think people knew, much less Jared. If you were to ask Evan, he'd probably same something along the lines of "Jared? Pay attention to any of my words or actions? Na, he'll never know."

"You are just cute as a freaking button. Are you scared for school?" Jared said with a smirk.

"No, but, what if we're not in the same classes? Or I'm bunked with two random, uh, stoners or whatever? Or the classes are too hard, and I fail, and lose my scholarship? Or-"

"I'm stopping you right there before you make yourself cry, because if you start crying then I'm gonna start crying and you're gonna start crying even harder." Jared said, holding the ‘r’.

“Nice one, Jared.”

Jared finished packing and looked over to see Evan finishing too. “Alright, lets go, Tree Boy. I need to walk in with a nerd, like you, since I don’t think this school can handle my insanely coolness on its own.”

“Jared, that literally makes no sense.”

“I’m too cool to make sense.”

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The bus ride was long and boring, which meant trouble for Jared. After only two hours, he found himself banging his head on Evans shoulder.

“What?” He replied, looking up from his phone.

“Entertain me, I’m bored.” Jared let out a dramatic sigh and draped himself across Evans lap.

“Can’t you just go on your phone?”

“No, it’s almost dead.”

“Too bad, so sad.”

A half hour later, Jared found himself screaming “100 bottles of beer on the wall! 100 bottles of beer! Take one down, pass it around, 99 bottles of beer on the wall,” and when he reached 0 bottles, he went all the way back up to 100 bottles and repeated this process for two hours.

To pass the last hour, Jared grabbed his almost dead phone, and started to delete the alarms on his phone. Out of the hundred alarms, he only used two daily: ‘wake the fuck up’ and ‘go on some porn site’, so he scrolled through the ones he didn’t use and deleted them. Of course, he didn’t really set a 7:30am alarm to go onto a porn site, but that’s not really important- except it is. The reminder that usually reminded Jared to take his ADD medication reminded him that he actually forgot his ADD medication. Shit

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Jared had one word on his mind: shit. He knew he would suffer withdrawal, considering his dosage was heavy (since the pills were weak themselves) and was dreading every minute of the future.

Okay so maybe Jared was abusing his medication a little bit. His internal panic was screeching as Jared was thinking about everything that could happen if he doesn’t get his hands on pills stat. His sleeping pills. “Holy shit I’m a genius” he accidentally said out loud.

“Hmm?” Evan looked away from the window and to Jared’s phone.

“I just found a way to make alarms delete themselves, fucker.” Jared made up on the spot. He could win ten gold medals for his ability to do that.

“Oh. Cool.” Evan himself didn’t use alarms since his anxiety always woke him up way before he had to get up, afraid he’d overslept. Jared knew this from one of his sleepover parties in 7th grade when “no one could make it” except Evan, who had woken up around 5am and started tossing and turning in his sleeping bag; Jared, who hadn’t slept at all that night, could hear Evans struggling.

Evan went back to staring out the window while Jared tried to get out his sleeping pills. Zolpidem extended release. Basic Ambien. Jared slightly shook the pill bottle as if he were praising it in some fucked up way and put it in one of his pockets. The school was now only a half hour away and Jared spent it by reorganizing his suitcase after tearing it apart for the pills.

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To say the least, Jared was high all throughout this emo kid’s orientation. This guy, Corn Murray (or something like that), was Evan and Jared’s new roommate, and attending this school his entire life, Codfish knew where everything was.

“So that’s the nurses building, or whatever, so if you weirdos take medication, or broke a leg, or overworked your knee tendons, or fucked up your body somehow, that’s where you go for mediocre help. And this is where we crash.”, he spoke. Jared wasn’t paying attention to most of what this Coward Murdur person was saying, but Evan looked like he was listening as if every word spoke was like a mini symphony. Probably because he was worried he’d get lost or some shit. Jared was really high if you can’t already tell.

“So you’re staying with us in this dorm right?” Jared asked, setting down his stuff and rushing to the only single bed and bouncing while sitting on the bed frame.

“Uh, yeah, were you paying attention to anything I was saying?” Cottonball Mudslinger spoke with a cold glare.

“Not really,” Jared flopped onto the bed.

“Fuck it, Evan, top or bottom bunk?” Connor asked in the most bland tone a human could speak in.

“Kinky,” Jared’s voice was mostly muffled by the pillow he was currently sticking his face in.

“Oh fuck o-“

“I’ll take bottom bunk,” Evan cut Cowchickabowwow Money off and set his stuff down on the bottom bunk timidly, as if he was doing everything wrong. Oh please, if Evan was doing everything wrong, then Jared was fucking up the world.

“So, what’s your name again?” Jared went back to bouncing off the bed frame.

“Connor? Murphy? Dude, I literally said it like five times already, were you even paying attention?” Connor looked lowkey, highkey, sidekey, but also sorta midkey pissed off.

Jared let out a laugh, “not at all.”

“Holy shit are you high?” Connor jumped off his bunk and got closer to Jared. “Oh my god you’re high.”

“Jared? Why?” Evan hugged his knees in the back corner of his bed, as if he was trying to take up as least space as possible.

“I’m on better shit than you ever will, thank you very much, now I’m going to go and bang your mom so if you’d politely excuse me.” Jared left the room and walked unsteadily to where Connor said you could get a medicine refill.

As soon as he reached the counter, he was hit with a wave of nausea which caused him to collapse on the counter. “Hi, do you think I could get a refill on my meds? I left my bottle at home.”

The nurse looked bored and unamused as she approached her computer and started typing. “Name?”

“Jared Kleinman.” He winked as he said his name which earned an eye roll from the boring nurse.

She clicked a few buttons and went through a few aisles of medication before coming back to the counter with a bottle of Jareds prescription. “Im charging this to your account, no need to pay up front.”

Jared grabbed the bottle and shot a finger gun with his free hand, “Thanks Doc.” He walked away with a smile on his face and a mini victory in his hand.

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Getting lost two weeks into school was no fun. Jared had been roaming the same halls for two whole weeks and was still struggling to remember where all his classes were. Ever since he started relying on his medication, he’s been finding it harder and harder to remember anything. Did he really care though? Nope. Although he never arrived late to his classes, he was never early either; it was a good balance between showing up as soon as the bell rang and a second after the bell rang. To his dismay, Jared shared no classes with Evan, resulting in him changing all his electronic lock screens to his schedule so he could figure out which class was next. Even before Jared developed what seemed like 100 mental illnesses, he relied on Evan to find his classes, so not being able to do that hit Jared like a punch to the gut.

He was currently sitting in his last class, half asleep, while the teacher started talking about some Roman ancient dude that killed himself and how he tied to some boring ass book. He could see two girls in front of him, exchanging notes, probably about him. One of the girls was visibly holding back laughter as the other one stared at her book. Since Jared was behind her, he couldn’t see her expression, but guessed she was laughing too. People always laughed at him. Was school even worth living? Jared had two more years of high school left, then more years of schooling as whatever college is unfortunate enough to have him. Were all those years worth it? If he died right now, he wouldn’t have to deal with school or work or laughter ever again. Crazy.

The period finally ended, marking the closing of a school day and Jared saw one of the girls rush over to his seat before he could get up. She was pretty, no doubt, she had glasses that were totally different from Jared’s and long braids held in a high ponytail. Jared recognized her as the one staring at her book all the time, the one he couldn’t read from the back.

“Hi! You’re new to this school, right? My names Alana. Hey, I noticed you looked kind of out of it during class, I know this specific class is so boring, but its important. My acquaintance, Zoe and I always make fun of the teacher. Very unprofessional, I know, but she agreed that if we ever got caught she’d take the blame. Anyways I wrote down some of the notes in case you didn’t catch some of the lesson. Oh, and I never caught your name?” This girl talked about a mile per minute, yet something about the fact she actually noticed how terrible Jared was doing caught his attention.

“Name’s Kleinman, Jared Kleinman.” He struck finger guns at Alana who was stifling a laugh.

“Isn’t that James Bond?”

“Bond names the James.” This time she actually laughed, but managed to keep her uptight stature.

“Well it was nice to meet you, Jared. And if you ever need to talk or vent, I know this school can put a lot of stress on its students, heres my Skype. Call me anytime you need.” She handed him a card that read ‘Alana Beck: your acquaintance @AlanaBeck’ and sped walk out of the building.

Jared gathered his things and put the card in his shirt pocket and rolled out of school and to his dorm with his Heelies.

“Hey, Evan!” Jared spoke, setting his stuff down and sitting on his bunk, “you wanna do something? I snuck in liquor from my parents cabinet and wanted to celebrate two weeks into school.” (Making an acquaintance.)

“Sorry, but, uh, Connor and I have- are going to do something together as soon as he gets here.” Evan started wiping his hands on his khakis as he tried to stare anywhere but at Jared. He obviously felt uncomfortable turning Jared down, but tried his best, ya know.

“So you two are like, friends now, correct?” Jared spoke with an edge to his voice. He couldn’t figure out how Evan had made a friend before him and lost all sense of achievement from meeting Alana.

“Yeah, I guess? Kinda? I’ve never really had a friend before other than a family friend so I don’t really know.”

Ouch. “Can’t relate, sorry I’m not as pathetic as you, Evan.” Way to go, Jared; thanks, internal monologue.

“Yeah, I guess you’re right because you have like a ton of camp friends I remember you talking about them so you’re probably hinting at them or some other friends unless you just met new ones here and you’re-“

“Evan, you can stop rambling, we been knew.” Jared held up a hand to signal stop as Connor entered the room.

“My teachers are already pissing me off and we’re only two weeks into school.” He said as he flopped onto Evans bed. Evan moved to the other side as Connor did this and seemed to try to give Connor as much unneeded space as possible. “Anyways, are we still on?”

Evan nodded eagerly as he followed Connor out of the room.

Connor and Evan: friends. Strange.

Whatever, Jared was used to being alone. All that bullshit he told Evan about camp friends was just that: bullshit. Jared hasn’t had a real friend other than Evan, who doesn’t even think of Jared as a friend because of all the shit he gave about being “family friends”. And now Evan is moving on and Jared doesn’t care enough to stop him.

Jared lay in his bunk, drowning in his own insecurities and self hatred, and wondered where everything went wrong.

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*AlanaBeck calling*

“Hey, Alana! What’s poppin’? What’s shakin’? Why have you requested to reach my humble abode?” Jared picked up Alana’s Skype call. It had been about a month since they’ve met and while Connor and Evan have become #besties4lyfe, Jared and Alana have moved from acquaintances to actually good friends. Alana’s calls were regular and Jared could not enjoy them more. When he needed a distraction, Alana could practically super sense it and call him, or if he needed to just hear someone talk, she was always there. But sometimes Alana needed to call for herself too, in need of a real friend who would see her. Jared soon learned very early into their friendship that he wasn’t the only one struggling with overall life, although he may just be the only one who abuses his medication to cope. Alana, on the other hand, liked to call Jared to cope. Neither of them had directly stated their feelings, it was more of an unspoken, mental understanding; so Jared wouldn’t have to let down his facade, and Alana would talk about things that she knew wouldn’t make Jared uncomfortable. Occasionally they’d have a “feelings dump” where one or both of hem would just vent with absolutely no filter. So yeah, you could say Jared enjoyed their friendship.

“Zoe left and now it’s just me in my bunk and you know how super lonely I get, (example of one of their mental understandings: Jared knew she was talking about how miserable she got when she was alone and what it would lead to, although she never really told him) so I was wondering if you would wanna go to the park?” A pleading look shone on her desperate face.

“Hm, I gotta check my calendar give me a second,” Jared pulled out his phone and pretended to scroll, “oh, shit, sorry, I’m scheduled to be bored all day. Damn, I guess I’ll just have to race you to the park. Okay, it’s starting in three, two-“ Jared’s counting was cut off by an excited Alana ending the call. Jared threw his phone down and rushed out of his bunk and to the nearby park.

The run wasn’t that far, and whenever there was pavement he mostly rode on his Heelies, but Jared got winded quick. He became dizzy and nauseous, but still kept running. He finally collapsed on a bench at the edge of the park. After what seemed like a lifetime (was only five minutes), Alana sat poised and right at his side.

“Jared, hello, Jared? Are you there?” She snapped in front of his face to try to bring him out of his dizzy spell.

“Yeah, huh? Oh, hi!” Jared spoke as he let the comfort of Alana’s presence sink in.

“Are you okay? The only other time I’ve seen anyone else like this is when my brother accidentally overdosed on painkillers when he broke his leg riding a bike. He didn’t die, but we were still worried. Now I’m just worrying about you.” She motioned at his figure as he tried to come up with words to say.

“Yeah no, I’m fine, I just ran a little too fast coming here, you know how unbelievably out of shape I am for an insanely cool guy.” Jared shot one of his signature smirks as the worry on Alana’s face turned serious.

“Jared you have Heelies.” She deadpanned.

“You can’t roll on grass, ‘Lana” He slurred and turned to face the trees that surrounded the park. Trees. fuck, Evan liked trees, didn’t he? Jared still had a crap ton of useless facts about trees burned into his memory because of Evan’s constant rambling about them.

“Hey, ‘Lana, do you know which kinds of trees these are?” The surrounding trees were turning into fiery fall colors this time of year and the falling leaves showed more of the trees branches like a skeleton.

“Mhmm, they’re crabapple trees, indigenous to-“ she started.

“The northern hemisphere, typically. Did you know they also belong to the malus family? Right along with apple trees, but crabapples are smaller. And I’m pretty sure malum means apple in latin so close enough.” He spoke naturally, like a reflex.

“No, actually, I didn’t. How do you know so much about trees?” They still were facing the trees, not bothering to glance at each other since they knew they were the only ones speaking to each other, but Jared could practically see the impressed look on her face.

“My old friend, Evan, was fuckin’ obsessed with the damn things. Before I pushed him away it was all he ever talked about. Pretty annoying after a while, but hey, what can you do.” The tension settled in as he talked about Evan. Alana wanted to dig deeper into the whole “pushed him away” part, but knew better than to say it out loud. “I mean, Ive learned my lesson about pushing friends away. I would never do that to you, ‘Lana. We all know I’m too good for you but you’re my only friend, so.”

Alana playfully punched Jared as she pointed to something in the distance, “Hey isn’t that Evan, with Connor. Woah why is he with Connor? Zoe complains about him all the time and always comments about how horrible of a person he is.”

“Well apparently him and Evan are buddies now. It’s whatever, I don’t really care. We’re all roommates which was doomed to be a terrible idea because whenever theres three people together, its been statistically proven to turn out terribly.” Jared sighed and tried not to let his inner misery show.

“Did you know that that originated from Ancient Rome? The first triumvirate was kinda failing because Crassus was getting jealous of Caesars accomplishments in Gaul, so he started drama with this totally innocent country and they…” Jared trailed off as Alana went on and on and on. This was a part of their relationship. Alana would benefit from talking a lot, and Jared benefits from the opportunity to think.

“Sorry to interrupt, but I was thinking, crabapple trees are usually easy to climb. Wanna try?” Jared suggested and focused on a specific tree, close to where Evan and Connor were residing.

“Um, sure, why not. You’re so lucky I’m not wearing a dress today, my entire wardrobe contains dresses, mostly.”

“Yeah, yeah, let’s go.” Jared grabbed Alana’s arm which made her shriek, then ran with her to the tree which made her laugh.The trees started to blend together as Jared’s vision started to blur from the running, but they got to the tree pretty quickly. Without saying anything, Jared started to climb, helping Alana up when she needed.

Being pretty small trees, they were able to get to the top fairly quickly. They found a spot to sit and just take in the scenery. Alana started playing with her hair while Jared tried to get Evans attention.

“YEAH BABY, TOP OF THE TREE TIME!” He screamed as loud and unnecessary as possible. No reaction from Evan or Connor, but some upperclassmen flipped him off. Fuck. Alana didn’t respond either, she probably hated him too. Damn. Just when Jared thought he had one real friend he realized she probably despised him as well. Oh well. Jared let himself slip out of the tree, knowing the fall wouldn’t kill him, or cause any huge injuries. The only thing he could thing about when he painfully hit the ground was about how much of a fat attention whore he was.

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“Jared? Oh my god, are you okay?” Alana climbed down from the tree and started talking, “I fell out of a tree once and it wasn’t pretty, you good?”

“Yeah, I’m fine.” Jared looked to see that Evan still didn’t hear Jared. After screaming and falling out of a tree, Evan still hadn’t done as much as bat an eye. “I think I’m just gonna head back to my dorm, are you gonna be okay?” Alana nodded as she started toward the nearest bench. She doesn’t care at all, she’s just trying to maintain her reputation.

As Jared was walking back, he started talking to himself like the absolute mental person he was, “They hate you, you came all the way to this school to try to make shit right with Evan but you ended up pushing him farther away and now he’s replaced you and Alana hates you too! As soon as you get a friend, you manage to make her hate you in record time, of course.” Jared let his insecurities take over his thoughts as he arrived at his room. He laid on his bed and took more medication, wanting to just fall asleep for once. His insomnia was getting worse and worse and he found it nearly impossible for the Ambien to take effect as he’d take more of it.

He started disassociating as he tossed and turned and he started to beat himself up about it. He beat his pillow and started sobbing as he became more and more angry at his inability to feel things as a whole. When Jared disassociated, he’d feel everything but it felt as if they were two different things, nothing was connected. Worst. Feeling. In. The. World. He started ugly crying as he calmed down from his mental breakdown and buried his head in his hands. Despite it only being 5pm, he pretended to fall asleep when Evan and Connor entered the room. His breathing still irregular and his sobs continuous, the other people in the room were convinced he fell asleep.

“Fucking shit, he left the door open and fell asleep.” Jared could hear Connor say.

“Connor, please don’t.”

“Evan, he’s so fucking rude to you, I don’t even know why you’re still loyal to him, its not like he has a heart.” Ouchies. Jared could feel himself deflate as guilt hit him like a brick. He could get up and defend himself, or let them know he was still awake, but he just lay there sobbing his (existent) heart out.

“Yeah, you’re right.” Time seemed to freeze when Evan spoke and Jared felt his world collapse. Mission accomplished: Evan hates him.

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Halloween came and went and Jared dressed like a tampon, just for the laughs ya know? Because apparently his comical behavior took place of his emotions, because word was going around that he didn’t have any. Alana shunned him that day.

It was now November, and Alana had invited Jared to her dorm. Not to get freaky or anything, haha no. Jared was asexual as hell which only supported the theory that Jared had no heart, the theory that he himself had started to believe. Alana invited him to watch a movie with her roommate, Zoe, who happened to be Connors sister, and then go to the park and admire how all the fall colors look different in November than they do in October.

He arrived at the dorm and knocked, waiting for Alana. When the door opened it wasn’t Alana, it was a girl with brown hair, a floral top, and stars with cuffs on the jeans. He soon realized he was looking at Alanas roommate: the girl smart enough to skip a grade, the girl known as perfect to anyone who’s looked at her, Zoe Murphy.

“Well, hello there. Are you going to invite me in or just leave me hanging?” Jared smirked and Zoe rolled her eyes.

“Jared’s here! Come on in.” Zoe gestured for Jared to enter ad he immediately saw Alana waving to him and gesturing to sit next to her.

“So Zoe managed to get some movies that we could watch on the VHS” she pointed to the player, “and we figured you can pick.”

Jared put a hand on his heart, “why thank you for letting me make the big decision.” He looked at the few choices and immediately made a decision. “We’re watching E.T., fucking classic.”

Zoe and Alana smiled and Zoe put the film in. Instead of actually paying attention, Jared observed his surroundings. He noticed how Alana’s side of the room is so- pristine, perfect, invisible. It was so organized and clean that it practically blended into the dorm, at first glance all you can see is Zoe’s part of the room. Glow stars littered the walls, bracelets scattered on top of a messily painted nightstand, an opened box of hair dye on the ground. The colors and the mess just caught your attention, while the other side of the room was so generic, so plain.

Jared observed all the posters on Zoe’s walls and noticed a huge hole in the drywall. He wanted to ask, but the movie was still going on and you can’t interrupt movies, so he stayed quiet and decided to ask Alana after.

The movie went by with none of them actually paying attention, and no one noticed it was over until the tv started beeping. Alana jumped and turned it off. “Okay, get your jackets we’re going to the park.” Alana grabbed her jacket as Jared approached her.

“Hey ‘Lana, whats with the hole in the wall?” Jared was putting on his jacket as he asked. Alana’s face froze as she answered.

“Connor comes over sometimes and I usually run into a different room, but I know he punches holes in the walls while he’s arguing with Zoe. That’s why there’s so many posters.” She pointed to the posters with galaxies and quotes scattered.

“Alright you two, stop gawking and let’s go.” Zoe was in the doorway.

“Let me put on my scarf and then we can go.” Alana spoke as she folded the scarf in half, placed it around her neck, and looped the loose end in the hoop like threading a needle so that the grey scarf looked like a tie. She sped walk out of the dorm and caught up with Jared and Zoe.

“Onwards! We fly!” Jared yelled as he rolled on the concrete.

Chapter Text

Walking in the park and taking in the fall atmosphere was calming and all, but have you ever tried Ambien? Now that is the real good shit. Alana and Zoe walked side by side and gawked at the pretty fall colors and Jared wheeled around the pavement like an annoying eleven year old. He wheeled in between the two, smoothly linking arms with both of them and walked in time. “So m’ladies, where would you like to sit?”

Zoe shrugged helplessly but Alana pointed to a spot. They walked together, purposefully syncing up their steps and laughed whenever Jared would mess up and Zoe playfully kicked him. They found their spot: a quiet corner of the park, out of sight from the rest of the park-goers and surrounded by trees. Alana was smart enough to pack a blanket, which Jared hadn’t noticed before; he was slowly starting to lose all sense of reality lately, but didn’t care much. She set down the blanket and sat facing the trees. Zoe laid on her back and Jared followed suite. They all talked, taking in the view, but since Jared was super high, this is how the conversations went:

“Have you guys ever realized that you can only buy used mirrors?”

“What kind of stupid observation is that?”

“Depends on what your definition of ‘used mirror’ is”

“I don’t know but like, if you buy a mirror, theres no way nobody else has looked at themselves in it, yknow?”

“Then who would be the first to look in the mirror?”

“The person who made the mirror.”

“How the fuck do you make mirrors?”

After about an hour and three existential crises, their peace was interrupted.

“Oh no way, no fucking way.”

Zoe shot up from the blanket at the familiar voice, “what the hell are you doing here, can’t you just leave me alone for one minute?”

“Actually, we came here,” he gestured to Evan who was standing next to Connor, “because we always come here, so the real question is why are you here?” Connor was shouting at this point, “With fucking Kleinman of all people!”

“He’s my roommates friend, for your information! Just leave us the fuck alone, you don’t own the whole fucking park!”

“Jesus Christ stop jumping to conclusions! I wasn’t saying we own the park!” Tuning Connor out, Jared tried to calm himself down. While Zoe and Connor were yelling at each other, Jared grabbed a few pills from his coat pocket (he brought them almost everywhere now) and swallowed them dry. He crawled across the blanket to where Alana was sitting and tried to calm her down too.

“Are you okay?” He whispered. Alana shook her head. “Uh, shit, I’ll handle this, just stay here. And by the way, I’m not usually this compassionate don’t get used to it.” He winked and Alana smiled.

Jared finally came to his senses and sat up.

“Oh hey, school shooter!” Jared addressed Connor, then looked back at Zoe, “oh shit! I almost forgot you guys were siblings, sorry Zoe.” Jared smirked at Connor.

“It’s fine, insult him however you want.” She turned her back on Connor who was practically fuming. Jared looked at Evan who wanted to get out of there as much as he did. Evan started scratching his arm as he crossed them closer to his body. Jared said nothing as Evan gently put his arm on Connors shoulder.

“Connor, let’s just leave-“

“Fuck no!” Connor shoved Evan back as hard as he could. He was visibly shaking as Zoe turned to look at Connor.

“What the fuck is wrong with you!” Zoe screamed. Jared entire world seemed blurry as he stood up and punched Connor.

“What did Evan ever do to you, huh? What did Zoe ever do to you? She and Alana have been the only fucking ones to actually hang out with me even though I’m an asshole and they are probably the nicest fucking people I have ever met! And then you come in here and start making everyone uncomfortable! And Evan doesn’t deserve any of this! Just leave him out of it!” Jared raised his arm to punch again but found he’d lost all his strength. He fell to the ground as he saw his world go black.

Chapter Text

Jared woke up in a familiar setting. He was greeted by a dim light and found that he was staring up at the ceiling he’s been staring at since he got to school: he was in his dorm.

“Oh shit he’s awake!” He heard Evan say as he sat up from his bed. He was attacked by Zoe as she wrapped her arms around him and whispered (“thank you”) before being pulled off by Alana.

“Jared, you had us so scared! Half of the student body is worried, they all saw us bring you back here despite our best efforts.” She explained.

“Well of course, my beauty is the most eye catching thing you’ve ever seen-“

“We’re serious, Jared, you had us so fucking worried!” Alana cursed. One thing about Alana: she never cursed. Never in a bazillion years would she curse, afraid some college people would somehow find out. Jared was shocked and he looked around to see Zoe and Evan were shocked as well.

“Oh, uh yeah, sorry, I think I just had so much adrenaline from punching Connor,” he looked around to make sure Connor wasn’t in the room, “yeah, it uh, it won’t happen again.” Jared dropped his persona after Alana’s outburst, much to everyones surprise. Jared looked down at his fiddling hands and tried to do anything but make eye contact.

“Hey guys, do you think you could maybe leave Jared and I alone for a bit? Sorry to kick you guys out, I just want a little one on one time.” Alana spoke. Jared swore he could hear Evan say something along the lines of “yeah, of course, no worries,” but Jared found it was hard to concentrate lately. Until Alana spoke.

“Jare, are you okay?” Jared felt his walls crumble at the sound of Alana’s comforting voice.

“Yeah, I’m fine, promise. I just hadn’t took my uh, depression medication yesterday and it kinda fucks with me.” Jared hated admitting he took pills for depression, therefore tried to mumble it in his sentence. He hated the fact that he needed to take it in the first place. He technically wasn’t lying to Alana though, he forgot to get his scheduled refill yesterday because he was high as shit.

Alana started rubbing his back, “Oh my god, Jared, I’m so sorry, do you want me to get them for you, or-“

“No, no, it’s fine, I can pick it up myself, I’ll do it in a bit. Just,” Jared took a deep breath. He hated talking about stuff like this. “Are you okay? I know you probably cant be around Connor when he’s like that, I get it, I just need to know you’re okay too.”

“Yeah, I’m fine, and it wasn’t really Connor I-“ Alana’s watch beeped as she looked down, “We have class in a few minutes, are you coming?” Jared shook his head, “I’ll cover for you, and I wanna just tell you everything,” Alana ran her hand through her braids and stood up. “Meet me after my classes? In the park?”

Jared smiled and nodded, “Sure, ‘Lana.” Alana flashed a smile in return and ran out the door. Jared thought about how if they just had class, that meant that he was passed out all of yesterday and this morning, yet Evan, Alana, and Zoe were waiting fro him to wake up. Did they care that much? Na, they would’ve noticed much more if they actually cared.

Jared got up after a while to pick up the pills from the desk. All he had to do was say “pickup for Kleinman” and he would receive two bottles of Ambien and a bottle of his other medication that he loathed. His depression, although he tries to ignore it, has been getting worse and worse. Suicide wasn’t an option for Jared. He had a reputation to maintain, thank you very much. But how much would that reputation mean if he died?

Jared shook his head and arrived at the counter. He was overcome with a sense of drowsiness as he followed protocol and asked for his drugs, blah blah blah. On the way back to his dorm he could faintly hear the final school bell ring. Huh, guess he laid in bed for longer than a while. Oh well! He downed a couple pills and went back to the room.

Chapter Text

A couple weeks went by and it was already winter break. Alana has been avoiding Jared since he woke up from a mini coma and he had no clue why. Connor, too, has been avoiding Jared, but that was understandable. Jared had a few admirable attempts to hang out with Evan, but ironically, he and Connor had gotten a lot closer since Connor brutally shoved him and Evan always chose Connor over Jared. This worried Jared a lot. What if Connor gets angry again and takes it out on Evan this time instead of Zoe? Despite Jared’s best attempts, the other two were inseparable. Zoe was the only one that still asked to hang out with Jared, but since he couldn’t go into her room (Alana was there) and she couldn’t go in his room (Connor was there) and their perfect park spot was compromised, they couldn’t really hang out that much.

You know when you just feel so fucking alone, and as if no one would notice if you just disappeared? Yeah, that’s how Jared was feeling. And when he thought that no one else was feeling that way, he stumbled across a pile of papers under Evans bed. Hey, it was those weird sex letters! Jared read the first and most recent one:

Dear Evan Hansen,

Turns out, this wasn’t an amazing day after all. This isn’t going to be an amazing week or an amazing year. Because… why would it be?

Oh, I know, because there’s Connor, and all my hope is pinned on my best friend who is currently ignoring me for God knows why. Maybe if I did. Maybe if I could just talk to him about it, then maybe… maybe nothing would be different at all.

I wish that everything was different. I wish that I was a part of… something. I wish that anything I said… mattered, to anyone. I mean, face it: would anybody even notice if I disappeared tomorrow?

Sincerely, your best and most dearest friend,

Me.

Jared could not believe what he was reading. He skimmed through some of the others and found that some sounded genuine and some sounded like bullshit he was writing to make someone happy. Jared knew he could easily take these letters and ruin Evans life, make him go viral maybe. But he wouldn’t. Not now, not ever.

He reread the first letter and thought about why Connor could possibly be ignoring Evan. Jared came up empty. He downed another pill and tried to put the letters back before someone walked in the room.

“Jared? What- why do you have my letters? Did you read them? Please tell me you didn’t read them.” Evan spoke.

“Evan, I-“

“What the fuck, Jared? What are you going to do now? Ruin my life with them? Well good for you, asshole, you just invaded my personal thoughts!” Evan started scratching at his arms, angry tears forming in his eyes.

“Evan, I swear, I-“

“Well, I hope you’re proud of yourself! I hope you found what you were looking for and that this was exactly what you wanted my ‘sex letters’ to say! Go ahead! Say what you wanna say then walk away, I don’t wanna keep you trapped in an uncomfortable conversation because it’s obvious you hardly understand any of this because I’ve had it rough and you just breeze through life as if the only thing that mattered was your reputation.” Evan was sobbing and shaking as he took the letters back harshly.

“Evan, it’s not like that!”

“Oh no don’t let me stop you from having your perfect little life! Jared, just leave.” He was clutching the letters as he looked down.

Jared wanted to tell Evan, tell him all about how he felt and how he felt exactly like Evan. Ask him why Connor was avoiding him or ask him whats wrong, but he figured it would be best to try to leave Evan alone for now.

Jared’s first instinct was to go to Alana, tell her all about what just happened and ask her how he should move on, maybe even fix things with Evan. But to do that, he’d need to fix things with Alana first, and thankfully, he was totally high enough to do that.

“Hey, ‘Lana! So I was hoping we could maybe catch up over break! Maybe-“ Jared approached Alana outside her dorm.

“Excuse me?”

“We haven’t talked in a while and I thought we could-“

“Does it cross your mind to be even slightly sorry, Jared? Do you even care that maybe, the incredible Jared Kleinman might’ve done wrong for the first time in his life? I hope you had fun treating me like I matter and then dragging me in the dirt! Also, I hope you know that before you totally ditched me, I picked up your proscription, thought it’d be a nice gesture, but apparently you didn’t want to reciprocate. How’s that for catching up?” She ran inside her room and slammed the door before he could respond.

Jared walked slowly back to his own dorm and thought of all the possible times he ditched Alana. When he couldn’t remember any, he started beating himself up. “I cannot believe you can’t remember what you did to Alana. If it hurt her this badly, it probably was a huge thing! God, Jared, you’re such an asshole! You just play who you need to play, and treat people like shit, and invade other peoples privacy and crush them and leave them behind when you get too close. It’s all you do! And then now you’ve probably done the same thing to Zoe because you’re just that much of a dick!” He kept telling himself as he walked into a (thankfully) empty room.

Jared wanted desperately to fall asleep, so he took a few extra Ambien pills and dozed off.

Chapter Text

Jared woke up high off his ass and underneath his bed, surrounded by what he recognized as his most recent bottles, completely empty. Don’t ask why he was there, he didn’t know; all he knew is that he wasn’t going to get out for a while since he was so nauseous that he didn’t want to make as little as a squeak, much less talk or move. He couldn’t have felt sicker as he laid in the dark and stared at the other side of the room, analyzing every detail of how the others kept their stuff together when he noticed a small box on the nightstand. Before he knew, Evan and Connor burst into the room.

“Connor, please-“

“Evan, why? Why must you be so fucking nosy and why can’t you just leave me the fuck alone? Why are you the only person on this goddamn earth that cares?” Connor kicked the wall and left a hole in the drywall. Jared flinched.

“Connor, you’re my first, and only friend! Without you I’d have no one so tell me what the fuck is wrong or I’ll go jump off a bridge because my only friend hates me and wishes I didn’t care!” What Evan said had hit Connor hard as he sat down on Evans bed.

“Fine, but first you explain.” Connor gave in and took off his jacket. Weird, Connor literally never took off his jacket.

“What do you- Connor, explain what?”

“Evan, don’t play innocent, don’t think I don’t notice how you never eat in the dining hall, and always turn down anything that has to do with food, I fucking notice these things and I want a fucking explanation.” Connor was fuming. What an odd way to express how much you care about someone. Wait fuck they were talking about how Evan literally ate less than a bird. Jared of course noticed this years ago but knew where it was coming from, so he never mentioned it because he didn’t want to send Evan into the state he was at now. Connor never knew, oh well, too late. Evan stared at Connor as his anxiety started to take over. “Evan, are you going to answer, or?”

Evans entire body was slightly shaking, you could tell he was starting to disassociate by the way he started tearing at the skin on his hand and was practically wrestling himself, trying to feel something as a whole. “Connor please don’t do this. Not right now, please.” His voice was shaking as his stuttering got bad and his talking slowed down. Tears started to form and you could visibly see his chest heaving. He started tearing at his hair and he just looked awful. Jared still didn’t move as he couldn’t without getting hit with such huge wave of nausea that he wouldn’t be able to concentrate on anything, and he’d probably fall from being so dizzy.

Connors eyes widened at the sight of Evan as he pulled him into the bed. Evan quickly curled up into a corner and cover himself with a blanket so that Connor wouldn’t see him at his worst. “Fuck, Evan, I’m so fucking sorry. I still want an explanation but I guess I’ll go first. You try to calm down.” Connor took a deep breath as he sat next to Evan and started holding Evans hands so that he wouldn’t cause any more damage to himself. And that’s when Jared saw them: nasty red cuts going all the way down Connors arms like a fucking barcode. Kinda looked like his own arms did back in 7th grade, haha. Wait he wasn’t supposed to think about that, he wanted to forget it. Whoops “I-I started when I was in 7th grade. I just felt so fucking alone, you know? I hated myself, I hated Zoe because all she’d ever do was boast about how many friends she was making and she’d always rub it in my face. My parents hated me because I wasn’t anything like perfect Zoe. I started to make her life miserable, and God, it just made everything a ton worse. And that one time I pushed you for no good reason! I know you forgave me a long time ago and we’ve talked about it a million times but that doesn’t make it okay! But I couldn’t stop with Zoe, because how would that happen? I wasn’t going to apologize and I wasn’t just going to stop out of nowhere. I dug myself such a deep hole and I thought that to make it even, I should start hurting myself to make myself feel better about hurting Zoe. It didn’t work but I couldn’t stop doing either of them. Still never stopped, I guess. Even though I’m not really alone anymore I still can’t stop, it’s so fucking hard.”

That's what she said!

“I’m so sorry, Evan, I’m such a shit person and I’m sorry you’re stuck with me.” Connor spoke. “But I’ll try to get better so I can help you? God, I’m so fucking sorry.” He finished.

Evan sat up and started at Connor. Boy oh boy, Evan was not a pretty sight. His face was blotchy and red and he had a small bald spot on one side of his head, not that noticeable, though. He could easily part his hair a certain way to cover it. His face had three huge scratch marks aligning his cheek from where he was clawing himself and Jared couldn’t even imagine what his hands looked like.

“For me it all started when I first developed anxiety? I was just so anxious all the time that I couldn’t keep any food down? It hurt me, in a way, so I stopped eating all together.” Evan stuttered helplessly, tears still falling down his face. Through the entire explanation he managed to keep looking down, not wanting to look at his friend.

“Shh, I understand. A similar thing happened when I tried to overdose in 8th grade. God I felt sick for weeks and It was so bad that when I even sipped water I’d feel like I was about to vomit. I know overdosing isn’t the same as anxiety, but I know the feeling.” There was a pause in the conversation. Haha can we get a rip in the chat?

“Connor? Why have you been avoiding me?” Bingo.

Connor looked like he didn’t know how to respond, all the while knowing exactly how to respond. “I didn’t want to hurt you. I was reflecting on basically everything I’ve ever done and decided I should stay away. Now I realize that that was stupid and I promise it won’t happen again.”

“I forgive you.” Evan spoke softly and wiped his slowing tears from his face.

Ugh, this whole thing was gross. They both looked so broken but were picking up each others pieces and it was pretty gay, not gonna lie.

“Evan, you should get some rest, anxiety attacks are draining as fuck, I’ll be here when you wake up.” Connor climbed on his own bed and Evan curled back into his blanket and quickly fell asleep. Connor grabbed his book, The Little Prince, and started reading. Jared still was frozen, unable to move from under his bed.

After a while, Connor put his book down and spoke to himself out loud, “Where the fuck is Kleinman?” Fuckfuckfuckfuck. Connor scanned Jared’s side of the room before locking eyes with his. FuckfuckfuckfuckFUCK. Connor climbed down and grabbed Jared from under the bed super fast, which made Jared super dizzy and almost made him throw up.

“What the fuck were you doing, Kleinman, how much did you fucking hear?” Connor sounded calm but was visibly furious. Jared still didn’t talk as his vision started getting cloudy. It took every last bit of energy to open his mouth and say, “dark.” Connor looked under the bed to find the empty bottles.

A look of horror struck Connor’s face as he carefully put Jared on his bed and grabbed his phone. “Hello, Alana? Yeah, uh, get your ass over here so you can come with me when I call 911, ‘kay thanks.” Connor then dialed 911 and reported that someone in their room had overdosed and needed serious help. Wonder who that could be hahaha. Wait.

“Connor, am I dying?” The adrenaline from the thought that he might be dying snapped Jared out of his nausea and rendered him to speak, not well, but at least speak. “Haha whatever. Wait, did you know that my initials are fucking J and K. It’s almost as if I was born to be a joke lmaow (pronounced luh-m-ow). Oh well, you can just let me die, don’t trouble ‘Lana, she hates me as is.” Jared laid down on his bed and crossed his arms and closed his eyes.

“Oh no, you fucking don’t,” Connor slapped Jared, careful not to shake him, as he knew how Jared would feel.

His eyes snapped wide open as the door was bust open, “What the fuck is going on? What’s wrong with Jared?” Alana burst in practically screaming.

“Oh my god be quiet, you’re gonna to give Jared a fucking seizure. He overdosed and needs medical attention like right now, so I called 911 and an ambulance should be arriving any second now.” As if on cue, a siren rang throughout campus and paramedics ran into the room.

“Haha, guys I can see the light. Wait no that's just me opening my eyes. How long is it for me to die already, Connor?” Jared started talking as he was placed onto a stretcher and wheeled out of the room with Connor and Alana following close behind. Both of them in absolute shock as Jared started to pass out.

Chapter Text

Jared woke up in the hospital and everything just seemed so fucking bright. He was shivering uncontrollably as he observed all the shit he was hooked up to. A few nurses rushed into the room and Jared’s head was pounding, he did NOT wanna be there, much less have people in his room. “What the fuck is going on?” He asked one of the ladies.

“Your friends checked you in yesterday and we had to flush your system and are performing Ambien detoxification. You’re lucky that your friends had your prescription memorized or else you probably would’ve died.”

Shit. Alana. Jared stayed quiet for a good hour while the nurses were just doing their job. Then, there was peace and quiet. No more nurses in the room, no more sounds, just- fuck. More nurses and doctors rushed into the room, but not toward Jared, no no, they were escorting someone to the bed next to him. Gee great, a neighbor. He could hear the doctors talking about how “on top of everything else” this guy was also severely malnourished and would need to be hooked up to a machine as well and have some kind of drip. Jared didn’t know who had it worse, this guy who need stuff pumped into his system, or himself who had to have stuff pumped out of his system.

He closed his eyes and hoped he’d just fall asleep, but had no luck. At least the nurses left. He opened his eyes to see what happened to the poor guy next to him and saw none other but Evan Hansen. His arm in a sling, several tubes connected to him, hands and his head bandaged. A look of pure shock was on Evans face when he woke up under Jared’s stare.

“Jared? Why are you- what are you doing here?” Ah, right, Evan was sleeping when Jared was rushed to the ER and Connor probably didn’t even bother to tell him. Evan looked alarmed by all the tubes on his body but didn’t move.

“Long ass story, why are you here?” Jared rolled his eyes, not wanting to explain until he knew what Evan knew.

“Well, I woke up, and uh, Connor wasn’t there and you weren’t there, so I went to the park to look at trees, and I saw this huge 40 ft oak tree and thought it’d be fun to climb, so I went up the tree and fell. Out of the tree.” Evan looked nervous throughout his explanation but instead of pointing it out Jared spoke.

“You fell out of a tree? What are you, like, an acorn?” He laughed as hard as he could without every millimeter of his body hurting.

“Good one, Jared. So what happened to you?”

“Well,” okay, it's now or never, tell Evan the truth, or let him find out and beat his ass over it later, “while you were asleep, I apparently overdosed, so Connor called an ambulance that brought me here so that I wouldn’t die, and then they pumped my stomach and detoxed my body of Ambien or whatever, so my story beats yours, Acorn.” Jared told the fucking truth.

Evan looked shocked. Horrified and shocked. “Did you try to-“

“Oh no, haha, na I didn’t try to kill myself. I’ve literally been abusing medication since like, last year, I guess I abused it a lil’ too much and now I’m here. And you’re stuck with me with your crippled arm and whatever happened to your head.” Jared lifted his arm to point at Evan before he realized how weak he was and immediately threw up in something the doctors gave to him when he needed to do that. “I’m having a lot of fun, what about you?”

“Jared, you’re worrying me.” Evan looked like he was going to sob right there on the spot as Jared threw up again.

“Theres no need, I’m totally fine.” This was an obvious lie, but it's whatever. Evan couldn’t even respond before Jared passed out of exhaustion.

Jared woke suddenly after a few hours involuntarily, in a fit of convulsions and shivering. Jared entire body spasmed as more doctors rushed into the room.

“He’s having a seizure. Start the timer, clear the desks…” He could hear doctors and nurses talking, but nothing made sense. Jared body was facing Evans throughout all of this and even though his vision was blurry and he saw mostly flashing lights, Jared could still see Evan watch him literally have a fucking seizure. Evan wasn’t crying but he sure did look frozen with terror. Jared felt like the entire room was spinning too fast, and was clenching his jaw hard.

After what seemed like a lifetime, Jared lost consciousness as he heard some people say they had to clear his system again and do more tests. What the fuck has he gotten himself into?

Chapter Text

When Jared woke up next, everything fucking hurt. HIs abdominal area felt like it was on fire and he had cramps probably everywhere. He gently opened his eyes to see a mess of blonde hair sitting in between him and Evan. Heidi Hansen. A smile crept on Jared’s face as he heard Evan and Heidi talk, and Jared really didn’t want to interrupt. Of course that was impossible since the first thing he did when he woke up was shake so bad that his monitor started to beep constantly. Heidi turned around to see Jared.

“Jared, honey, are you okay? Thank God you're awake! Evan told me parts of what happened and I’m so sorry you had to go through that.” Her voice was calming for Jared to hear, and kind of helped him ignore all the nurses rushing in his room to make sure everything was alright.

“What- How much do you know?” Jared asked. He wondered if whatever Evan told Heidi she then told his mom.

“All he told me is that you accidentally overdosed and then had a seizure?” Heidi obviously knew what really happened, but Evan’s attempt to water down the story was admirable. “So I called your mom, and apparently so did the other nurses, but she said she was on a business trip and that I should take her place. I won’t tell her anything, she didn’t even ask in the first place.” Heidi winked and Jared smiled.

“So I’m guessing you know the real story?” Jared asked as Evan mouthed ‘I tried’ then tuned to face the other way.

“From what I can piece together, sweetie. Do you want to tell me the full story? Maybe talk about it?”

And so he did. He told Heidi everything that he would tell Evan or Alana, he knew she was the right person to talk about this stuff with. When he finished, Heidi resisted every urge to hug him, knowing it would trigger something, and instead gently kissed his forehead.

“I’m here whenever you need me, Jared, okay? I tell Evan the same thing: whether I’m here, or at home, or at work, you can talk to me or call me, whenever. Okay?”

Jared responded with “Okay.” He returned her contagious smile before she started talking to Evan. Jared looked at the bright white hospital ceiling, trying not to focus on his rapid heart rate and breathing, or his uncontrollable shaking and sweating. Nurses brought food in for Jared (since Evan was still recovering from an eating disorder and was getting all his nutrients in other ways) and he felt so helpless as Heidi had to feed it to him. Jared’s first try to eat by himself ended up with Jared dropping the spoon because he was shaking too hard. After that incident, the nurses decided it would be best to give him a feeding tube.

Eventually, Heidi had to leave (she made sure to say goodbye to Jared), and Evan tried to make conversation, which mostly succeeded other than the fact that Jared was so overcome with delirium that none of his sentences made sense. Evan eventually fell asleep and Jared was accepting that he still had insomnia, and couldn’t sleep despite his body’s desperate pleas. Jared was so overwhelmed with fatigue but he couldn’t stop shaking no matter how hard he tried, and he still couldn’t go the fuck to sleep. It took whatever strength he had left to press his call button and ask for anything that could make him sleep.

A nurse came in only a few seconds later and asked what Jared needed, to which he responded with “I wanna sleep.’ He couldn’t move his hand from beside the call button so the nurse moved it for him as she put something into his arm with the promise that it would help him sleep.

So, eventually, Jared fell asleep.

Chapter Text

The next time Jared woke up, he was in a different place. Evan was there, not in a bed, but as a visitor. Go figure that the people who put him in the hospital in the first place wouldn’t show, but the guy that witnessed him have a seizure and kindly shared his mom did.

“Jared! You’re up! You had me so scared you have no idea. I had to watch you have a seizure, Jared, if you don’t remember, then I had to be there while you were in a medically induced coma as they literally started pumping your organs. And then they moved you here for more inpatient detoxification while I was sleeping, so as soon as I got discharged this morning I came here. Please never do that again, Jared, they said this was the worst case of drug addiction they’ve ever seen in this state.”

Jared looked around and noticed that Evans arm was actually in a cast and he really had a bandaid where the tubes and drips were and he wasn’t dreaming it all. “Fuck, I might’ve not been conscious for most of that, but I can sure as hell feel it. Remind me to not move at all unless I have to throw up.” Evan looked on the brink of tears, but lately he’s been looking like that a lot. Did Jared seriously matter that much to him? Or would Evan have this reaction to just about anyone? Probably the second one, Evan could be a pretty sensitive guy sometimes. A manipulative asshole as well, but sensitive. And then Jared threw up again.

“You look awful.” Evan observed.

“So do you! God, Evan, I knew your anxiety was pretty horrible but I didn’t know that it could get that bad.” Evan froze.

“What do you- what are you talking about?”

“I was under the bed, while you and Connor were kinda killing each other, I couldn’t speak or move ‘cause I was dying but I saw you literally tear out your hair and like, start attacking yourself. Like, holy shit.”

“You were there? Wait, how did you even know?”

“I may be an asshole, but I’m not fucking blind. I know you are, but I’m not. I’ve known you your entire life, why do you think I’ve never questioned why you never eat in front of others? I know Connor didn’t know what would happen but I did. Ugh and then I just pushed you away, why are we so stupid?” Jared was shaking hard as Evan was processing what Jared said.

“You were there the entire time? Now I feel like the asshole, I’m so sorry. But actually, you look like you’re dying.” Evan had noticed how Jared was sweating and how he wasn’t breathing properly.

“Guess thats withdrawal for you. I think I heard the doctors say something about how my body has been relying on so much Ambien for the longest time that I might be low-key suffering for up to two weeks so thats fuckin’ great.” Jared felt like he was dying as well. His heart rate was anything but normal but at least he was alive and breathing. Shaking and trembling, but alive.

“Well, I think Connor’s here, should I bring him in?” Evan asked.

“Yeah, why not.” Jared’s usually cheerful tone fell short of its mark as his voice trembled along with the rest of his body. Connor walked into the room and sat next to Jared.

“God, Jared, you’re such an idiot.”

“Glad you’ve noticed.”

“Seriously, were you trying to die? Why the fuck would you abuse your medication? You’re so fucking lucky I’ve overdosed enough to recognize what was happening or you would’ve died.”

“Whoah there, edge lord, I wasn’t trying to die, I just, I don’t know why does anyone abuse their medication?” The question had both of them sitting in silence until Jared spoke again, “Connor let me see your arms. Oh and pass that thingy over there in case I throw up.” Connor passed a bucket and looked at Jared skeptically. “Connor, come on, I was there when you were talking to Evan, just show me.”

Connor took off his jacket and exposed his arms to Jared, who sat up, threw up, then continued to stare at Connors cuts. “Now, why the fuck-“

“Damn, Murphy, you’re seriously fucked up aren’t you?” Jared looked at Connor with sympathy instead of sarcasm for the first time as he saw Connors demeanor fall.

“Yeah, try not to rub it in.”

“You know, I try my hardest to forget, but I did stuff like this in 7th grade too. Thats when literally everything fell to shit, I hated 7th grade. But I stopped. You know how?” Jared eased himself back down to prevent the world from spinning as Connor asked how. “I just remembered that my arms were gonna be on display, like no matter how hard you try, they’re gonna be on display here and there. Why show people your pain when its so much easier hiding it, yknow?”

Connor put his jacket back on and just started at Jared.

“And remind me, you have to have to remind me because I don’t think I'm gonna be able to remember any of this when I get out, like I barely even remember coming here. Wow, anyways, remind me to give you something when I get out. And like, if I'm really having trouble remembering, remind me of this convo, okay? Gotchu.” Jared let drowsiness take over him.

“Yeah, okay. And uh, Jared?” The other boy hummed in return, “I’m so fucking sorry for treating you like shit ever since you got here. I realize you were probably high the entire time but that's not any reason for me to be a dick. I still think about that day, y’know? At the park when I fucking lost it when I saw you and Zoe hanging out together? I still think about everything you said, and I don’t think I ever formally apologized for that incident so, sorry. I just, you made me realize how stupid I was being, and now I’m feeling stupid for avoiding you.” Connor nervously scratched his arms while Jared hung on to his every word. “And I’m trying to fix things with Zoe but she’s fucking stubborn and I wouldn’t forgive me if I were her either, but do you think you can convince her kinda? She doesn’t have to fully forgive me but I just wanna fix things so fucking badly.”

Jared stared at Connor, witnessing his walls go down and decided not to pull a joke out when Connor was most vulnerable. “Yeah, I know how bad you treated her, I saw the holes in her walls, but people can change, y’know? Talk to Alana about it, then me when I’m out of here because like I previously said, I don’t think I’m gonna remember any of this I am so out of it right now.” Jared chuckled, then continued, “Look, Connor, I really wanna help you, but right now I’m so helpless I can’t even help myself. Dude, you missed it, I had a fucking seizure and everything, even though I don’t remember what that was like. Jeez, when I’m back, then I can help, promise, but right now I think Alana is your best bet, okay? Don’t mention me, mention everything you said to me though, got it?” Jared then remembered Alana. Shit.

 

“Got it. I already started talking to Alana about it when I was ignoring you, just not like this. I should leave now, let you rest, just try not to fuck up anymore, okay? Bye, Jared.” Connor left the room and Jared waved, then threw up.

His abdominal pain was becoming more and more unbearable as Jared tried to clutch his stomach to make the pain stop. He was sobbing as the pain worsened, then somebody walked into the room.

Jared tried his best to sit up while also trying to ease his pain, and eventually found a comfortable spot. He looked over at the chair next to his and saw, in all her glory, Alana Beck.

“Alana, I’m so sorry-“ Jared tried to croak out.

“It’s okay, I realize now that you probably forgot about what you’re supposed to do months ago, and I’m sorry for being stupid enough to hold onto the grudge.” Wow, Alana was jumping straight to the point.

“I’m sorry for whatever I did, and I’m also sorry for totally forgetting what I did. You know that, right?” Jared laughed a little before throwing up. Withdrawal was so much fucking fun! “I kept forgetting things, I was so high, it usually caused me to be unable to concentrate, or I would just get really confused suddenly-“

“I know, Jared, as soon as I found out what happened I looked up the symptoms and everything that happens when you abuse Ambien. Speaking of, I also looked up the withdrawal symptoms, so if you wouldn’t mind I could list them and you give me an indication if you’re going through them?”

Jared smiled wide at how Alana cared enough to try to understand what he was going through and try to help him. “Then would you tell me what I forgot to do?”

She nodded in response, “Yeah, of course. Now, blink once for no, twice for yes,” she explained before she began to list symptoms: “Agitation and irritability.” He blinked once, “Rebound insomnia.” Twice, “Delirium.” Twice, “Panic attacks.” Once.

She listed off a ton of symptoms, but the ones he said yes to were seizures (she gasped at this one), fatigue, sweating and tremors (“obviously,” she replied), rapid breathing, and rapid heart rate. When Alana read “abdominal discomfort or cramps,” Jared didn’t blink but instead exclaimed “Oh, God, yes,” as he clutched his stomach harder. Alana looked at him sympathetically.

“I have something that works whenever I’m on my period and I have especially bad cramps, do you wanna try it?” She stood up.

Jared smirked, “I never took you as a girl to say ‘period’ out loud in a public space.”

“It’s a thing that every woman goes through, get over it, princess! Do you wanna try it or not?”

Jared smiled as he spoke, “I would literally take anything right now to get rid of this pain.”

“Thought so. I will be right back.” Alana ran out of the room.

While Alana was gone, Jared spaced out big time. His mind went blank and all that he could focus on was how the excruciating pain he was feeling mixed with all of his uncomfortable feelings and decided that being high wasn’t worth any of this.

Jared’s mind snapped back to reality at Alana’s constant snapping in his face, “Hello? Earth to Jared?”

“Yes, yeah, I’m here.” Jared tried and failed to sit fully up once again before Alana put a hand gently on his shoulder. “No need, just get comfortable, Jare. Put this wherever it hurts most.”

Jared put out a shaking hand and grabbed the weird looking hot pack from Alana. “If this is what periods feel like, remind me to apologize to every single girl I know. Sorry Alana that you have to go through this every month.” Jared curled up again as the hot pack started to work a little.

“I bet everything you’re going through is worse but I appreciate the sentiment!” Alana sat back down as Jared laid down to face Alana.

Jared simply smiled, too tired to say anything.

“I’m guessing you want to know what you forgot, huh?” Alana smiled sheepishly. Jared blinked twice. “Well, it’s kinda really stupid, its just- I asked you to meet me in the park after school because I wanted to explain why I got so scared at the park and I was really prepared to do a full on emotional dump and I didn’t even think about how that would impact you! And now I’m honestly just regretting ignoring you and for getting mad at you-“

“You think its your fault, don’t you?” Jared forced himself to say. “It’s really not, I’ve been taking huge doses since before I even met you and its not like that would’ve fixed overnight as you can see. I would say to spill here and now, but I don’t think I’d be able to remember. You have no idea what I’m going through right now and God almighty, I hope I forget.”

“You do know the entire school is going to think you tried to kill yourself, right? You have maybe two days. Wanna come up with a story?”

“Say that I got a concussion, don’t say why. If anyone says otherwise make sure to correct them, okay? I know you have power over like the entire student body.” Alana blushed as she nodded.

“Got it. And feel better, Jared. I really care about you, and it’s not like you deserve any of this shit.” Alana got up. Jared smiled. “Do you need anything else?”

“No, thats all. Thanks, Alana.” She smiled and walked out the door.

Nurses were monitoring him 24/7. They kept checking how hydrated he was, how much food he needed, if he needed sleep, you know, the whole detox ritual.They did this all day, everyday, for the next month. No one else had visited him, but flowers and cards were starting to pile up. Several ‘Get Well Soon’ greetings read “get better from your concussion dude.” Thanks, ‘Lana.

But the highlight of it all was when Jared was moved to a new rehab facility, where he basically had to relearn how to do daily functions. Zoe had sent him an Atari. A fucking Atari. Jared has wanted one of those for God knows how long, and as soon as Zoe heard he had access to a tv, she sent one over with a card.

Jared,

Figured you might not want me visiting you, since I don’t want to disrupt your recovery process… I heard about everything from Connor. He told me about what happened and what you guys talked about, and thanks to you and Alana, my brother and I are actually getting along. Instead of sending over my eternal gratitude, I’m sending over an Atari. Figured it would be more fun. Get better soon, we all need you here :)

Zoe xoxo

The letter had stars doodled all over in all of Jared’s favorite colors.

In that moment, he full-heartedly believed that he could get better, and that was all the motivation he needed to try.

Chapter Text

Jared missed two months of school while in rehab and February was coming to an end. Jared knew he’d have to make up the weeks of school work to maintain his scholarship. Focused and ready as ever, Jared stepped into his dorm.

“Jared!” Evan screamed, waking Connor who had been sleeping previously.

“Papa’s back baby, and I’m ready to steal yo mom.” Jared held up two thumbs up and he put his bags down.

“Oh my god, Evan, the your mom jokes are back.” Connor spoke, hair messily in his face.

“Jared’s back, baby.” Jared smiles as he referred to himself in the third person. “Also, we have a tv, right?”

“Jared, you’ve lived here for the past five months, the tv’s in there.” Connor pointed to a separate room that Jared never noticed.

“You’re forgetting that I barely remember anything from the time I’ve been here, but I’ll forgive you if you play maze craze with me.” Jared held up the two controllers that came with the Atari Zoe had sent him.

Connor jumped off of the bunk bed, “you’re on.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~

The entirety of Maze Craze consisted of Evan listening to music in the next room and Jared and Connor screaming their heads off every time the little fuckers in the game caught them. It got to the point where Jared threw his controller, followed by Connor lunging at the tv.

“Uh, Jared, whats this?” Evan walked into the room of chaos holding a thick red folder full of papers and packets.

“Oh, that, thats just all the homework I have to make up for my classes.” Jared brushed it off so easily that Evan almost let it go.

“When are you going to do it?” Evan asked while Connor laid on the ground trying to recover from the horrors of Maze Craze.

“I’m probably not. I don’t know any of the material I was actually planning on suing the school.” Jared laid next to Connor before being hit on the chest. He sat up to find that Evan Hansen threw his folder at him. Evan fucking Hansen. Jared smirked at his newfound confidence.

“You’re doing your work, and Connor and I could help you! Right, Connor?” Connor sat up and nodded his head.

“What am I nodding for?” He continued nodding.

“You’re my new tutor, study buddy!” Jared flashed his signature grin and Connor looked ready to die.

“I… fuck, I’m not even gonna try to fight.” He collapsed back down, too tired to argue. Evan smiled and walked out of the room and back to his bed.

Connor got up and shut the door before sitting back down next to Jared, holding one arm in the other hand and obviously nervous as hell. “Hey, Jared?”

“Hmm?” Jared sat up and stared at Connor.

“While you were in the hospital, you uh, mentioned something about giving something to me?” Connor spoke recalling one of Jared’s lost memories. “We were talking about the barcode that is my arm.”

Jared’s brain lit up was he remembered the conversation, “Oh, fuck, thanks for reminding me! Actually I’d rather not remember the immense pain I was in but oh well this is a good thing.” Jared got up and motioned for Connor to stay where he was.

Jared walked to his bunk and realized that Evan had left and let out a sigh of relief. He opened his abandoned suitcase and grabbed a bottle. He there it at the unsuspecting Connor who shot Jared a death glare but still grabbed the bottle. “It helps with the scars. Y’know makes them go away. I carry it with me whenever I leave home for a super long period of time but I don’t think I’ll need it anymore,” Jared explained, sitting down.

Connor smiled a grateful smile, punching Jared on the shoulder.

Chapter Text

Lets paint the picture: Jared’s on new meds for his sleeping and his body hated them. Not only did he feel nauseous taking them, he also felt super pathetic taking them, but what choice did he have? He was currently doing homework with Connor and Evan who were very determined when it came to Jared catching up on work before he had to return to class. Learning, studying, homework, repeat. There was a reason Jared hated doing homework: it stressed him out to the fucking max. Two assignments in, it became harder to breath and notebooks were thrown, empty papers torn, and tears were spilt. Not being able to do homework, a simple task every student anywhere can do, was the most downgrading feeling Jared had ever felt in his entire student career. Jared sat on the floor next to Evan and Jared at 1 am a few days later, staring down at an assignment for math. He had four assignments to go and thinking about them stressed him out so much which made it even harder to focus and on top of getting super distracted, he was also super nauseous and stressed and couldn’t deal with it

Evan and Connor, however, didn’t take this as a sign to stop. They kept studying until Jared had caught up with all of his work, every one of the missed lessons, and all previous homework was completed.

It was an exhausting but rewarding process. The next day he went back to his classes and it was like nothing was different. He handed in his missed homework accordingly and took his seat that had been waiting months for him to return to. Class was boring, but Jared was actually able to pay attention. He shot occasional smiles at Alana and occasional looks that said “kill me now” at Zoe. He got lunch from the cafeteria for the first time that day and was fully planning on returning to his usual lunch spot in the computer room (this time with actual food woah) when he saw Alana and Zoe waving to him from an almost empty table. Jared couldn’t help but smile like an idiot when he walked over to their table and took a seat next to Alana. Then Connor came over with Evan and they all talked like they’ve been friends for the longest time and honestly, it was the first time Jared felt he had friends in the longest time.

“Okay, okay, so are you saying that marrying your second cousin isn’t bad?” Jared deadpanned during their conversation. No one had any clue how it got to this point but no turning back now.

“I’m just saying that if I wanna fuck my second cousin let me do it!” Connor slammed his fist down, sarcasm taking over his tone, and glared at anyone whose attention he caught.

“Holy shit this isn’t Alabama calm down, partner.” Jared cackled. ((a/n if you live in alabama please don’t take offense jared just being an offensive little bitch))

“Drop the subject I’m approaching.” Evan sat at the table again but this time with a full tray. Jared shot Connor a look and they both smiled wide. Evan was finally making progress, even if it wasn’t much. He could see Evan picking at his food while they talked but he could also feel his leg bouncing rapidly under the table. So Jared, being as slick as he is, put a foot over Evan’s bouncing one to try to calm him down. Evan looked up at Jared gratefully and he winked in return.

Jared was finally getting everything his way: friends, a (supposedly) good prescription, a clean slate. So in a way, he was also making progress.

~~~~~~~~~

After lunch, Alana accompanied Jared to their next class.

“So, I was thinking that maybe we could join some clubs together! You seem like you’re doing better and clubs look amazing to colleges, especially if you stay with them for the entirety of your high school career, and I just happen to already be president of some clubs that you might be interested in!” She clutched her clipboard to her chest and walked with her head high.

“Maybe.” Jared looked at her.

“Well I know you’re really good with technology because I remember you mentioning once how you worked in the computer cluster at camp so I could give you a list of clubs that you’d really excel in!”

“I actually don’t remember mentioning that to you.” Jared tried to wrack his brain for any memory at all of mentioning camp to Alana and came up empty.

“Well it was probably sometime before Halloween and you were talking about…” Alana trailed off and Jared caught on that it would be best if she wouldn’t spark the memory.

“Got it.” Jared put on a false smile. “But hey! I’m better now and its totally behind me and I have months of rehab to back me up so.” He tried killing bad tension and ended up killing the entire conversation.

“Well, I’ll see you after class!” he called to Alana who smiled back.

Way to go.