Anonym sagte: I imagine Quinn's the kind of teacher to really care about each individual student, has there ever been a student in her art class she felt compelled to help through a rough time? After all she knows the pain of losing a brother, maybe she can help guide a youth through a tough time. (Assuming the canon that Quinn's brother Caleb died is also canon in this AU)
Jeremy’s been slumped in his seat all day. The day before that, too.
Quinn hurts for him. Of all the students in her class, he’s the one who produces the most vibrant works. Others shy away from color—Jeremy revels in it. Brilliant blues, searing reds, sunshine yellows—he uses whatever colors he can get his hands on.
But for the past few days everything has been grey. Two figures in grey, over and over, sitting by a lake.
Nothing Quinn says seems to reach him. Nothing anyone says seems to reach him. Every day he comes in, sets his things on his desk, and lays on his elbows. When class time’s up he leaves last.
“Jeremy, could you stay for a few minutes?” Quinn calls. The boy shrugs. As the others file out, he remains, standing in front of Quinn’s desk with his bag slung over his shoulder.
“Take a seat,” Quinn says. “I don’t have another class coming in for a bit, and I wanted to talk to you.”
He takes a seat in front of the desk. “Am I in trouble?” he asks.
“No, no, you aren’t,” Quinn says. “At least not with me.”
He makes a noncommittal noise. “What am I here for?”
Quinn takes out her sketchbook and a pencil. “Jeremy, did you lose someone recently?”
He flinches. Before answering he smacks his lips, sighs, puts his head in his hands. Then he looks up. “Yeah,” he says.
“Could you tell me about them?” Quinn says. “I’ll tell you about my brother, if you want.”
“Did you lose him?”
Pencil scratching against paper. Familiar lines falling into face. “Yes,” Quinn says. “It’s been years. He’s the whole reason I became a teacher. He used to tell me, ‘Quinn, you’ve really got a talent, and I know you’re going to make the world a better place’. So, here I am, trying my best.”
Jeremy nods. He presses his lips together. It’s a few moments before he speaks. The sound of Quinn’s sketching fills the silence.
“My brother, his name was Kevin,” he says. “He’s a lot older than me, because he has a different dad, but he never treated me like I was a half-brother. Whenever he came over to visit he’d drive us out to the lake. We’d go swimming. Me, him, his wife, his kids. Like a family thing.”
“I’m a terrible swimmer,” says Quinn. She continues sketching, smiling at Jeremy to show she’s still listening.
“I loved going to the lake with him and swimming. When you’re in the water it’s like you’re in another world. But now…”
“You can still go,” Quinn says. “I’m sure he’d want you to.”
“I guess,” he says. “But it’s just not the same. Nothing’s the same. I wanna call him and hear him just say he was joking, that wasn’t really him in the accident, but his wife’s still in the hospital…”
Quinn furrows her brow. She slides over the sketch she’s been working on. It’s a lot like Jeremy’s—two figures standing by the lake.
“What’s this?” Jeremy says.
“Your brother and mine,” says Quinn. “I’m sure Caleb would keep Kevin company.”
Jeremy stares at it for a bit. Then he nods again, drumming his fingers on the paper.
“It’s nice,” he says. “Do you really believe that?”
“I do,” says Quinn. “And you can let me know if you ever need someone to talk to.”