it’s headcanon time bitches, buckle up:
fortunately, Neil Josten doesn’t get sick often. but it still happens, from time to time, and when he does it’s absolutely frightening. he doesn’t pretend everything’s fine, not really, not the way everyone expects him to. he doesn’t even barricate himself up in his room and “waits for death to take him”, like Nicky. he doesn’t get bitchy like Kevin, or irritating like Aaron, or disappears like Andrew. He just shuts down, completely. He’s still up, he still practices. But he’s not present. He just goes through the motions, sometimes he doesn’t talk for days. He just boards himself up in his own mind, too focused on being fine to do much at all, not even focusing on the outside world. When he does get sick, it’s always bad, like some sort of retribution for always escaping seasonal colds and the occasional flu. When he does, sometimes his thoughts get tangled up, and he forgets. He forgets his mother is not there to beat him up if he’s anything other than fine. He forgets he doesn’t have to be vigilant 24/7, because his father could find him. He forgets he’s not alone, and has to do everything on his own. He forgets, he forgets, and sometimes not even Andrew knows what to do.