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Story Title: Confession

Type of story: oneshot

Main Characters: Aden and Sally

BTTB rating: Rated: T

Genre: Angst

Does story include spoilers: No

Any warnings: Mention of abuse

Summary: The article about Aden and his grandfather has come out, Sally is still working at the school and Aden has had the fight with his father, except that Roman didn't come in but Aden walked out. My version of when Geoff punched Aden, and Sally talked to him in her office but set at a different time. The first few lines are taken directly from the episode.


“Come in and sit down,” Sally said as she and Aden walked into her office.

“Are you gonna say something or…” he spoke to her tiredly.

“Why do you hate Geoff Campbell?” she asked him bluntly.

“Who says I hate him?”

“Well if you don’t, why do you goad him every chance that you get?”

“…Cos the guy’s a tool, okay?”

“Well is it that, or is it… is it because he’s a better rugby player than you or that he got picked for a rep side and you didn’t?”

“Typical,” Aden scoffed leaning back in his chair.

“Excuse me?” Sally asked him, unsure of his reaction.

“All I care about is footy right?” Aden said to her shaking his head and then leant forward and told her determinedly. “Footy is the only thing that I was any good at… the only thing that made me feel like I was still a…” he trailed off, and looked at Sally nervously.

“…feel like you were still a what?” Sally asked him, realising that for the slightest of moments she had just seen Aden Jefferies let his guard down.

“Forget it,” Aden said quickly, trying to cover up his mistake. “The point is that Geoff had that and his stupid bible, he has no idea how lucky he is to even have a choice!”

“Lucky… Aden?” Sally said, beginning to get back her strict teaching demeanor. “Have you even thought about what Geoff and Annie have been through?”

“Unbelievable,” Aden said angrily, his emotions beginning to get the better of him and he was aware that he was letting his defenses down but he couldn’t seem to stop the negative emotions seeping out. Ever since the article had been released, he had been struggling to hide it anymore. Once he had been confronted by that face staring up at him from the paper it had been so unwittingly printed upon, it had become too hard to forget. Before… he was a child, his grandfather hadn’t seen him as he was now, he could separate the times by pretending there was his child self and the person he was now, and yet there they were on the front page, stood next to each other as if they were the perfect, normal, happy little family.

Sally looked at Aden sternly. First she was ‘typical’, now she was ‘unbelievable’. “What?” she said crisply.

“You know all about them, don’t you… what they’ve ‘been through’, yet you have know clue about me! You just think I’m some bully who likes to pick fights with people like Geoff!” he shouted at her, standing up, physically trying to stop him self from crying. His anger was masking that fact at the moment but if he calmed down for a second, he was sure they would overflow and he didn’t want to seem that vulnerable or weak in her presence, so the best thing was to keep shouting.

“Do you think that’s what you are?” Sally asked softly, trying to bring him back down from this defensive position he had taken with her. “Sit down, Aden,” she commanded sternly.

Aden stayed silent, trying to stop everything he was feeling. The anger was too much, the sadness was too much, he couldn’t control it, he did as he was told and looked at her, trying to keep his true feelings back. He couldn’t reveal them to anyone.

“Do you?” she asked him again.

“What else am I?” Aden asked her plainly but not self pityingly.

“Aden,” Sally said gently, feeling like she actually might be making some unexpected progress with the boy that she had never fully understood. “You’re smart, you can be anything… you can grow into a respectable man if you just try.”

“I lost the possibility of ever becoming a ‘respectable’ man a long time ago,” Aden let slip, not meaning too. It just seemed like everything he had been bottling up he could no longer control.

“What do you mean?” Sally asked him worriedly as she saw the scared expression that had flitted across Aden’s face after he had spoken.

“Nothing, forget it, like you care anyway?” Get her angry, Aden thought as he put his defenses back up so she wouldn’t want to talk anymore. “Can I go back to class now, I’ve had enough of talking to someone who’s clearly taking out their own problems on me?” he said harshly, not meaning a word that he was saying.

Sally narrowed her eyes, quite thoroughly concerned; she couldn’t make sense of the Aden sitting in her office. At times he had been as she expected; his usual bullying and mean self, but at other times he had shown her something new… and his emotions and outbursts had been so erratic that she had finally become worried about him.

“Aden, you’ve said some things today that I…” Sally started and saw the look of restrained sadness on his face. “…that have made me quite worried about you.”

Aden laughed, “Worried? You don’t need to be, I’m a big boy… I can look after myself,” he told her forcefully.

“Everyone needs help sometimes,” Sally told him caringly.

“Can I go now?” he repeated his earlier question angrily.

Sally picked up the phone, “In a minute, I just need to call your father and tell him…”

“No!” Aden had practically jumped out of his chair at the mention of his father.

“Aden!” Sally exclaimed, taken aback at his reaction.

“Please don’t call him, he doesn’t need to know,” Aden begged her, this time suddenly not caring about showing her his emotions. The last time he had seen his father had been two days ago, when Aden had confronted him about everything and he had continued to defend his father. Aden was lucky that at the moment his father was on night shifts so he was able to come and go to the house without his father’s knowledge, and as far as he knew his father wasn’t worried about seeing him.

Sally looked at the boy in front of her, realising that he was suddenly breathing very fast and looked terrified, she put the phone down and asked him calmly. “What’s going on?”

Aden looked at her, and before his head could build a wall that would get in the way, he had started to speak as he reclaimed the chair, “I can’t do it anymore,” he said brokenly, tears touching the back of his eyes.

“Do what?” Sally asked extremely softly, determined not to say or do the wrong thing as this was clearly the break through she had been waiting for.

“Pretend,” he told her. “Pretend like everything’s okay, that I don’t feel this way.”

“Feel what way?” she asked him gently.

“Weak… pathetic… everything he said that I was…” Aden told her, looking up at the ceiling in angst.

“Who?” Sally asked as softly as she could, “Your father?”

Aden shook his head slowly, “My grandfather.”

Sally was confused, she had read the article in the paper; the one that had shown Aden and the ‘war hero’ grandfather stood side by side. The one that she had thought Aden would be boasting about every second but now realised he hadn’t said a good word about. She realised that Aden’s behaviour had been unusually bad since that article had come out and she was only now realising the correlation.

“Why did he say that?” she asked him carefully as he avoided looking at her.

“…because it’s true. I am weak. I am pathetic. If I wasn’t then I would have been able to…” he trailed off, finally looking at her.

“Its okay, Aden,” she reassured him.

“…to stop him,” he said as his voice was breaking.

“Stop him doing what?” she pushed softly, although she was afraid she already knew the answer.

“From…” Aden took a deep breath and let it out unevenly, “abusing me,” the words were barely a whisper, barely audible, but to Aden they were the loudest two words he had ever spoken. He had never used them before, never stated exactly what had happened to him, and now suddenly everything was too real as he began to feel his chest constricting as his breathing became erratic and too fast as he felt the water finally pour from his eyes.

Sally looked at him, almost with tears in her own eyes and knew she had to calm him down. She did the only thing she could think of; she walked round to the other side of her desk and took him in her arms. She felt him clawing her jacket with his hands, trying to hold on as tight as he could. “It’s okay,” she soothed as she felt Aden’s breathing slow down.

Once he was calm again, she pulled back and went to sit in the chair behind her desk. She didn’t think Aden would want to stand up but she wanted to make sure she was communicating on the same level as him, “Have you ever told anyone before?” she asked him gently.

He shook his head.

“Does anyone else know… your father?”

He nodded. “We… we had a fight a couple of days ago and I haven’t really seen him since.”

Sally wasn’t sure what to do for Aden and the situation with his father at the moment, but she new it was something she wouldn’t be able to stop thinking about later. “Aden, I think maybe you should see a counselor or a psychiatrist,” she suggested quietly.

“No,” he answered her quickly. “I’m not some crazy sicko that needs therapy! Okay, I’m fine, I’m dealing with it!”

“Aden, you’re not fine,” she said gently, shaking her head. “I just want to help you,” she added; trying to be supportive.

“I can’t believe I told you!” he said angrily, grabbing his bag and walking quickly out of the office. Sally sighed as she watched his form leaving, but she knew that she couldn’t give up.

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