The definition of a word is always the story that creates the word for your character, so put a “Define ______” in my ask to hear how they learned that concept.
Family has a bitter taste. It tastes like too many cigarettes, left cold in an ashtray probably never emptied. It tastes like cheap alcohol gone to waste. It tastes like water standing outside for days and filled with sand and dirt. It tastes like tears, salt further draining all liquids out of a body.
The tongue doesn’t roll on that one just right, either. Something seems off when he wants to pronounce it, so he stopped long ago. He’s not trying for it. It has long gone from him, and so has the concept of family.
Family is a safe haven, for sure, but one that one day just got attacked, burned down by invisible enemies, no other survivors left (and he still can’t look at it, can still not process, can still not say goodbye because it’s not supposed to be goodbye, and how he hates himself for not doing when he could, for betraying, for leaving behind when that was the one thing he would never want to do).
Is family being left along in a room full of people that are somehow related to you, and that feel for you, but not because of you as much as more for what has been stripped off, for what is missing rather than what should be there? Not that he wouldn’t have loved his grandparents — but could you still recognize their faces? If they were alive and you would run into them, would you be able to tell who they are?
He doesn’t think he would, and it doesn’t matter, because family stands and falls with a hand too weak to be lifted and cold in favor of a touch never to come.
Sure. There’s substituents. The Ravagers had been some sort of that, but not really, right? Not like they tried very hard, either, they just sort of belonged together. More like some sort of really weird room mates than anything else, and while he held nothing against them personally, he wouldn’t like growing up there, not in a place that has no warmth at all, apart from some occasional moods.
The Guardians aren’t family, either. It’s something close, maybe closer than the Ravagers ever where, but it’s not the same thing either, because that’s just a thing that’s dead. And what’s dead doesn’t come back, not ever.
Doesn’t matter what you aim to revive it. It can’t. The concept of family is hollow, with no meaning and just this awful taste in his mouth. It’s buried on another planet, far from here.