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flat affect

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- the first time aaron hears the word "autistic" it's being shouted at him by children in the schoolyard who are bigger than him. he can't look them in the eyes because eye contact is painful to him, but he looks at the bridges of their noses and tries to forget that they're laughing at him, and that they probably always have. what they call him to his face is always more hurtful than what they call him behind his back because they want to see just how much aaron can take before he starts to cry. it's like a game of "whoever makes the freak kid make a face first wins fifty points (and bonus points for punching him less than five times in the process)". one punch (for never using his face) and another (for "always looking like a stick's up where the sun don't shine") and another (just because). aaron wasn't aware of needing to be fixed. he'd read up on eugenics and he dearly hoped he didn't need to be fixed. he'd just come to school to read his books and keep to himself. it wasn't his fault that he attracted negative attention like flies to a bad smell.

-aaron was confused, left to his own devices after the teachers had spotted the bullying and dragged the perpetrators away from him. he's dealt with worse at the hands of his father but he appreciated the sentiment behind the teachers not leaving him to be beaten until everyone was satisfied. taking out his book on eugenics again, he re-reads it, liking the familiar feel of the words and of the page and the cover that he'd put into and taken out of his school bag so many times that the edges were slightly rounded. the month before, he'd taken back every book on the subject of eugenics out of the library. he'd renewed them, not wanting to give the fountains of information back to the establishment. his overwhelming, insatiable thirst for knowledge overtook his life despite his age and the rather bleak subject manner. aaron rocked back and forth in the corner of an empty classroom with the lights turned down for the rest of the school day after he'd finished his book. nobody noticed he was gone. when the bell rang, he clenched and unclenched his hands, liking the feeling of his nails digging into his hands.

- aaron's never been known for bring expressive or particularly appreciating breaks in his routine. it's always in the order: wake up, shower, get dressed, breakfast, leave for work, come back from work, look over files, sleep. he has multiple copies of the same suits and his meals are always the same if he can help it, right down to the brand he bought. routine breaks are catastrophic and every time one happens, it pushes him closer to a shutdown (not that he'd ever tell anyone that). sometimes it gets so bad that he feels like the world is ending when all that really triggered the waves of harah emotion was his pen running out and the specific stationery store where he got that specific pen not being open. he sits on his right hand when he gets anxious, leaving his left one free to write with. aaron loves pressure stims.

- when he gets overwhelmed by the harsh complexity of life, aaron just needs to crawl into the nearest small space possible without being seen by anyone. the ethics of his job combined with the politics creates too many conflicting emotions and sometimes he finds himself unconsciously pulling his own hair out in an attempt to make it all stop. he takes off his tie but leaves his shirt tucked in for the slight pressure stim as he grips his knees close to his chest, rocking back and forth. he's been doing this ever since he was a kid. he scouts out the rooms or offices that are usually empty at any given time and uses them to fall apart in. he likes the dark. it helps him focus on not focusing. when his world is ending, aaron just lets himself be unexpressive, revelling in not having to force a smile when it was deemed socially mandatory to. he lets his tears simply roll down his face without feeling the need to sob or frown or show any other visible sound of sadness.

- aaron always liked the black and white of the law. he thinks it's why he studied it in the first place. there's not much room for interpretation except for the fact that morally good acts are good and morally bad acts are bad. he got so high up on the hierarchical ladder in the law firms he'd worked in because he was passionate at what he did, even though he never showed it. he hates being his father's son, so he moved to seattle from carolina so that he could start afresh with nobody giving him any shortcuts just becuse of his last name. he prefers to take the long way up. he prefers to have people doubt him and he prefers the debates and having to reference court cases becaude it makes him feel alive when he's ranting about what he's been studying so hard for. he's read and re read all his law textbooks until most of the words he spoke were directly lifted from them. his echolalia makes each book special, as there were bound to be a few phrases that would be repeated in court and at home in aaron's spare time. he repeats words that aren't his own because he wants to and to fill up the huge gap left by the silence. being around so many people had become to ingrained into his routine that whenever nobody was speaking, he becomes uneasy. 

-when aaron goes nonverbal (which isn't often), he does and redoes his tie, making it swim between his fingers and twirling it. for the sake of the team, he usually tries to contain himself to his designated empty office but sometimes luck just isn't on his side. usually, he stalks off to his car if he's in the precinct and messages someone saying that he needs quiet to work a certain part of the case. if he's out on the field, he taps out by pointing to his ear and forcing a grimace. when he's finally alone, he stares at a fixed point in the distance, unmoving and unspeaking until he regains his ability to verbalise.