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Gwendoline had two young children of her own with a thriving career as a psychiatrist, but there was no way she wouldn't have taken her sister and her nephew in. Janey moved in with the Casey family, forced to leave their home town of Philadelphia for New Jersey because she was only managing to keep it together for Ethan. Because of this, Ethan grew up close to his cousins, Christian and Maddison, and remained just as close when Ethan moved out to a place of their own with his mom when he was 6, albeit, just the next block over. Ethan and his mom managed fine. Some days it was a struggle, but Ethan was a rock for his mother and their relationship was very close also as a result. She was the reason he grew up a sensitive guy and a great listener, though his somewhat shy nature would turn out to be his downfall later in life.
Ethan knew he was gay from around his mid-teens, though he was too shy to come out. There was no distinct force of homophobia against him, he was just fearful of judgement and backlash. Instead, he just stayed closeted and pushed his sexuality aside to focus on a career and making his mom proud. He was accepted to Med School with New York University, where he struck up a friendship with then-dating fellow freshmen, Liam Morgan and Beau Watson though the relationship ultimately didn't work out. Things were hard when Liam was raped and withdrew from everyone, and it was yet another concern added for Ethan about coming out. Even then, he still stayed in the closet.
He had a keen in Neurology and was aiming to get a Residency in the field. He did an internship with Lennox Hill Hospital in New York, where his life would take another unexpected turn. His internship supervisor Senior Attending Medical Officer, Clara Devine, had a shady history of sexual harassment in the workplace with younger medical interns or medical residents. Before Ethan, none of her victims had the courage to report it and she had a liking for the quiet ones she could dominate and manipulate, which is exactly what happened with Ethan. It began as some suggested touches, leaving buttons of her blouses undone, and lewd comments, all the while telling him he was her favourite and if she did what he was told, she would submit glowing reports on him. He was intimidated and just shut up and put up because he was terrified if he said something, he would not only lose his internship, but would be forced out of med school entirely.
One night following a hard evening shift where he was exhausted, she called him to her office drew the blinds. She began to touch him and told him how attracted to him she was, and forced herself on him... and forced him to have sex with her. The next day, Ethan was numb and so exhausted, he nearly ran his car into a tree. He didn't go back to his dorm on campus, and instead drove all the way to Jersey to see his mom. He broke down and told her everything, and she wanted to drive him straight to the ER to be checked over and then file a report with the police. Ethan freaked out completely. He didn't want to be checked over, he didn't want to file a report with the police. He was absolutely convinced if he did any of that, his career that he had worked so hard for would be destroyed. In fact, he ended up having a massive argument with his mother about it and stormed out. It was the first argument they ever truly had save for a few spats of disagreement here and there.
He went back to work the next day, and the sexual harassment picked up right where it left off. It happened three more times, blackmailing him by saying she would tell people he raped her if he said anything or that she would have him fail Med School because she 'had connections in the city'. It was on the fifth encounter when things got really rough and he was left covered in scratches and bruises. It was, by sheer luck, the night Maddie and Christian came by the hospital to pick him up for a surprise dinner for his birthday and saw the condition he was in, despite him trying to cover it with his coat and turtle neck... it was a warm Spring evening. They were horrified and this time, Ethan's protests were meek, feeling now that it wasn't worth going through all that to keep his career. He let Maddie and Christian take him to the police department where he file a report for multiple encounters of sexual harassment. Clara was investigated and eventually convicted of multiple cases of sexual assault, sentenced to a term in jail and stripped of her medical licence.
Ethan has never really been the same since. He got back on his feet and continued his studies, graduating, and earning a Residency in Neurology at Mount Sinai under Evan Turner and Summer Stewart, but because of what happened at his last hospital, he has kept his cards close to his chest on being Christian and Maddie's cousin, especially with Evan and Christian dating. He knows it's probably overkill, but he is always uber-anxious about anything that might cost him his much-loved job. As a result of his ordeal, he finally found the balls to come out but he has never plucked up the courage to have enough confidence or trust in someone to date. He isn't opposed, he just needs to find someone special who can understand that he might need to go about things a little differently. He made friends with Evan's younger brother, Jace along the way, and bonded with young Southern Trauma nurse, Jesse Hartley, when they chatted one day about being closeted and how they coped (or didn't cope, as was more accurate) with being closeted. Jesse went on to start dating Jace, and Ethan couldn't have been happier for them. They were a sweet couple, and with the recent news of his friend, Beau, relapsing with leukemia again, Ethan is doing a lot more soul-searching lately than ever before, wondering if he will ever be able to shake the lost feeling he has had inside ever since his ordeal during his internship.
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