In one of my stories, the protagonist is a member of a race of elf-like beings who have power over moonlight and usually act as servants/bodyguards/healers to vampires. When he was a kid (about 8 in human terms) his parents died in a car accident, and this one vampire who was an associate of theirs took him in, and has been a pretty good parent ever since. At the start of the story, he's in his teens, and the vampire guy feeds on a guy who just happens to be best friends with a vampire slayer. The slayer comes after him and jabs a silver stake after him, he blocks and the stake goes into his eye. The protagonist pulls the stake out and rushes the vampire to another moonlighter to heal him, while the slayer, assuming the vampire is dead (you don't have to hit the heart if you use a silver weapon, any really serious wound could be fatal) runs off. The part I'm struggling with? The vampire gets brain damage (the stake went straight through his eye and took out some of his brain - by the way vampire physiology has a bunch of important differences from human, too much to get into now). At first they don't realize it, because he's so drained by the silver that he just spends most of his time sleeping. But when he starts to recover his strength, they discover that he's lost the ability to talk or write. I've got a reasonably good idea of how the protagonist will react long-term - he'll start hunting the slayer, avoiding his adoptive father so he doesn't have to deal with the disability, and then the other moonlighter will confront him on it and he'll start coming to terms with the way his adoptive father has changed - but I'm really struggling with how to show when he first finds out. (Right now the other moonlighter has figured it out and is going to tell him when he comes home.) I keep writing the scene and it keeps coming out fake. Should he rant and yell a bunch? Should he cry? Should he just sit there numbly, and then abruptly run out?