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Bad Art

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Dean is getting a flu shot when he picks up the little brochure. Folded into thirds with a bad graphic design on the cover and a cartoon of a woman looking doubtful. The art is poor but has a certain amount of potential. He folds it in half and slips it into his pocket.

The problem is that every pamphlet he's flipped through makes the same suggestions. Antidepressants, which Seamus would object to, therapy, which Seamus would object to, support groups, which Seamus would say he's got, and sometimes "talking about it," which is frankly laughable.

Dean can't help Seamus unless Seamus tries to help himself, and Seamus right now is doing nothing of the sort. Since he'd left the Aurors he does little more than drift around their flat. He's not a bad roommate- he's respectful of Dean's privacy, even offers to help Dean study sometimes, mostly just watches TV and sleeps.

They are comfortable, at least. Comfortable in an uncomfortable way.

As he sits at their kitchen table, reading the suggestions, he rubs absently at the little round plaster on his upper arm. Seamus is asleep on the couch and doesn't look like he'll wake up anytime soon, and Dean is just sitting here with his traumatised best friend not five yards away. All he can do is worry about what he's doing wrong.

He's doing something wrong, right? It's probably not up to him to drag Seamus back to the world of the living but it feels like it should be. If only Seamus were open to being dragged.

Dean probably needs the antidepressants and therapy and a support group and to talk about it just as much as Seamus does.

If Seamus is this miserable after the war Dean wonders what he'd been like during the war. Lavender said he was a nightmare but never elaborated. God forbid anybody ever talk about their feelings in the DA.

That's what they should do- discuss their feelings in a mature and reasonable way. Hard to do when Seamus keeps his locked six feet underground in a steel box. Dean scowls at the doubtful woman on the brochure.

Seamus snores softly from the couch.

This really isn't about Seamus, it's about Dean. He has failed as Seamus's friend and now, trying desperately to make up for months of separation, he is realising the extent of that failure. Not only in being on the run, but in the year since then. Retreating to the comforts of Muggle society and enjoying his normal Muggle life. The university, the dates, the parties, everything.

He looks over at the couch. Seamus must have woken up without him realising; he's staring blearily at Dean from the couch, his hair mussed. "What's that?" he says.

"Bad art," says Dean.

Seamus kind of laughs.