Notes: another prequel to Leather and Lavender, featuring more (well, one more) painfully oblivious gay.
for a prompt from @lighthouseinagardenofstars over on my patreon!
Thank you to @teacupfulofstarshine for beta-reading!
Logan hated to admit being wrong, even when he had never expressed the original conclusion out loud to other people – but he had to admit, he had been wrong about Patton.
They had met in the slam poetry club, shared similar aesthetics, and had overlapping friend groups; Patton seemed to think this made them friends, which meant that in their one shared class (which was also poetry) and in which they were the only two freshmen (as they had both taken college classes as high school students), he had made a beeline for Logan at the first instruction to “partner up” and practically demanded they do so.
Logan had found Patton unobjectionable as a person, but he had assumed from his rather… saccharinely optimistic poetry that Patton was most likely not all that bright, or at least painfully naive. He hadn’t been looking forward to having a partnered project with him, certain he was going to wind up doing all of the work.
He had been… pleasantly and thoroughly surprised, to say the least.
Patton was quick with quips and sharp with wit, easily keeping up with the material and offering fresh, unique perspectives on the reading material that Logan never would have dreamt up, and it made him a riveting debate partner. Unfortunately, this did mean the project took quite a bit more time than it really ought to have, seeing as they kept getting distracted by each other and neglecting the actual content of the homework.
Logan could not bring himself to be too frustrated about it.
But it brought them a little too close to the due date for his comfort – Logan was used to finishing things well in advance, and the lack of preparation for the presentation itself in two weeks time was making him rather more anxious than he was willing to admit.
They were putting the finishing touches on the PowerPoint today, after which time they would be able to start outlining and dividing up the responsibilities of the verbal presentation. They had little left to do for this part. It should be easy to finish and move on to the next step.
And yet Logan could not focus.
Patton's facial piercings kept catching the light and Logan's eyes, the glitter of them distracting. His jacket, laden with pins, kept click-click-clinking as he moved, a wind-chime of plastic and color, and Logan couldn't hear anything over it. Patton kept chewing on his bottom lip in thought, and Logan couldn't figure out why that was distracting but it very much was.
A little bird-like whistle broke through the fog in Logan's brain, and he startled. Patton was giving him a lopsided smile and a raised eyebrow.
"You know, the coffee in the dining halls is free," he teased gently. "Did you have any this morning?"
"It is very much not free," said Logan, "considering they are charging us such outrageous tuition that it rivals the most life-threatening of medical bills."
"The coffee in the dining halls does not cost any more money than they've already extorted out of you, then," he laughed. "Where'd you go?"
Logan waved his hand awkwardly.
"I am not immune to distraction," he said. "And you are particularly colorful, it is hardly a surprise I find your appearance attention-grabbing,"
He forced his attention back to the PowerPoint.
"Apologies," he said idly. "What were you saying?"
Patton didn't reply, and after several moments of silence Logan turned to look at him again.
Patton was watching him with an... uncharacteristically shrewd expression.
"You think I'm distracting?" he said, his voice light and even.
Logan furrowed his brow.
"Of course you are distracting," he said.
The corner of Patton's mouth ticked up.
"What's distracting about me?" he said, a little amused.
Logan looked at him incredulously.
"I would scarcely know where to begin," he said, confused as to how Patton couldn't already know. "The blue and green gradient of your hair is very eye-catching, as is the rest of the neon you regularly adorn yourself with. Every time you turn your head your facial piercings catch the light and glitter, which obviously draws the eyes every time."
"Obviously," said Patton, looking like he was on the verge of bursting into laughter for some reason.
"Yes?" said Logan, confused. "And of course those are only aspects of your appearance – you have many little tics and mannerisms in the way you speak and move that are arresting of attention. Like how squirrels catch one's eye with their manner of movement."
Patton did laugh then, and Logan frowned.
"What is funny?"
Patton just smiled that sunny, distracting smile, before doing something very confusing and reaching over to take Logan’s laptop out of his hands and set it on the bedside table.
“I - Patton what are you … ?”
Patton climbed in his lap.
Logan hadn’t noticed, but at some point his face had started warming, and now it was all he could think about. He was abruptly hyperaware that Patton was straddling him - that they were alone, that his roommate was most likely going to be gone for another two hours, that they were on Logan’s bed-
“Um,” he said stupidly.
Patton was grinning now, and he cradled Logan’s face carefully in his palms.
“So you think I’m distracting?” he giggled.
“I - um.”
Patton leaned in and poked the tip of Logan’s nose with his own, and Logan squeaked.
“Can I kiss you?” said Patton.
“Holy shit, yes,” breathed Logan.
Patton’s face lit up dazzling for a fraction of a moment before he leaned in and kissed Logan. And oh, how had Logan gone this long without kissing him was the question, the taste of that maddening-looking mouth even more fever-inducing against Logan’s lips, the contrast of his warm skin and the colder metal dizzying, Patton’s hands tangled firmly and gently in his hair, all of it dazing him.
“Hmm,” Patton hummed happily when they broke apart. “If I’d known you had a crush on me this whole time, I would have kissed you ages ago.”
Logan blinked up at him, feeling slightly punch-drunk.
“… In my defense,” he said, voice unsteady, “I did not actually figure that out until you sat in my lap.”
Patton’s mouth dropped open in delighted surprise.
“I recognize this is not a very good defense,” Logan continued sheepishly.
Patton burst into peals of laughter, and Logan’s own mouth curled a laugh in response.
Patton may have had to literally drop the revelation in Logan's lap, but Logan found he couldn’t complain.
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Characters: Roman, Remus, and Janus, an indigo robot
Warnings: Villain!Logan, sword-fighting, talk of inadequacy, mild existential crisis
Janus sighed when he stepped into the room and found that two of his companions were missing, one was on fire, and the other was–okay so he wasn’t disappointed that Remus was with him, alert and already scanning the area with his hands on his hips. If only Roman weren’t trying to incinerate him with his eyes.
“There's no traps!" Remus shouted dejectedly at the large chrome room. He was having fun and he wanted something to do other than walk into the cage elevator on the other side of the room!
"Of course there are no traps. Unlike my previous tests, this one will require far less mental strain."
"What is this test? You're already cutting into my alone time with two strong, handsome men," Janus huffed.
"Simple, only two of you will proceed through the exit. The elevator can only hold up to 150kg. The weight of two adult men. If you go above that limit all of you will be returned to your holding cells to await further testing."
"You cur!" Roman barked and drew his sword. He pointed it at the ceiling, unable to tell exactly where he should aim.
"Decide amongst yourselves which one of you will be returning to his containment cell." Log(a)n said flatly and cut the transmission. Remus and Janus shared a look while Roman cursed the heavens.
"Thomas needs his Self-Care Snake," Remus said slowly, "So you have to go on."
"He needs all of us, Remus," Janus sighed and leaned against the wall, catching Roman's attention, "Picking and choosing will get us nowhere. We have to think this through."
"He only needs one Creativity," Roman said darkly and pointed his sword at Remus, "and we all know which one he needs."
Remus scowled and pushed the blade aside with two fingers. He knew that Roman would think this way, especially when his pride was on the line.
"Do we? Please go on, Princess, make sure we all know," Remus growled and grabbed his own sword, ready to unsheathe it if necessary.
"Please! Thomas needs to create content! And which of us delivers? You are worth the gum stuck to his shoe as Creativity."
"I created some of his best vines, Roman, and my ideas get him out of tight fixes. Yours just take him into a fantasy land. A boring generic fantasy. Don't think for a second that I don't see what you do, what I have to fix."
"What you have to fix? You mean nothing."
"Everything. 'How do I get Thomas to have a dragon witch to try and steal his friend when I can't make a decent monster?' Remus. How did Virgil manage all those costume changes? How the hell did the living room turn into a Megaman battle stage when you were distracted? You can barely make a mind palace that lasts. Thomas needs me as Creativity, not some washed up prince with an ego problem!"
"Remus! Roman!" Janus snapped, "You can figure out a way to get all three of us through, you're both Creativity!"
"There's only one thing to figure out, my darling viper, how to slash his throat without staining my cape!" Roman declared and swung at Remus.
"You really think you can split open a jugular without making a mess? Don't you have a kill count?" Remus scoffed and parried him with his cutlass.
"And you are the next tally mark!" Roman snarled and swept his blade across Remus' chest, tearing his shirt.
"You can make me a tumblr sexyman for Jay all you want—you aren't going forward with that attitude!" Remus jeered, "But if it's a fight you want, you came to the right and rightful Creativity!"
Janus jolted back and yelped when Remus lunged at Roman with a maniacal grin. Roman parried him and gawked before scowling and striking again. Remus made sure that their swords met with a clang.
"It's time to end this! He only needs one of us!"
"He only needs one Creativity—I was here first, and you have better things to do!" Remus countered and lunged, forcing Roman to step back and block his blows.
Janus watched in horror as the duo glided across the floor. The kiss of cold steel rang in the air, accompanying a royal clash, a dance to the death. He had to think of something to stop the madness. They were the most likely pair in the mindscape to actually kill each other!
"'If you don't get rid of me, I'm gonna get rid of you!'" Remus jeered, "Isn't that what you said after you were torn from me, after you decided being the ego wasn't good enough for you?" His back hit the wall as Roman attacked with a snarl.
"Nothing is good enough for you, your papa couldn't make the right decision and you got hurt," Remus scoffed and blocked Roman's wild swings, "You pushed Jay into a name reveal and mocked him for it!"
"Remus—" Janus said, trying to reach the duke before he fell into the trap too. It was obvious that the test this time was meant to pit the pair against each other, and he thought Remus could see that.
"You keep pushing for more and more grandiose even when you try to hold back—You don't even want to work on anything besides Sanders Sides! So many great ideas, but it's still not enough!" Remus snapped, pushing Roman back towards the elevator. The sheer venom in his words startled Roman.
"And the worst part is, I pick up your slack without any acknowledgement—I'm not enough for you, I've never been enough as a coworker or a brother—I stopped trying to meet your rising standards! It's time you stumbled to my level—hidden away by a ball python in a tiny room!" Remus shouted, grinning darkly.
Janus sprung into action, catching on. He ran to Remus, at least while he had legs, and crawled onto his shoulders, narrowly missing a jab from Roman's sword.
With his little snake buddy on his shoulders, Remus redoubled his efforts. His swings were faster, more frantic. Sparks flew from the points of contact between the blades, making Roman fall back further.
"You're not getting rid of me, Roman!" Remus laughed and kicked his brother in the chest, knocking him in the elevator. Roman dropped his sword the second his back hit the wall. His brother stepped on the elevator and pressed the edge of his sword to Roman's throat.
"You're stuck with me," Remus said and closed the cage door with a snap, "So you better keep your cool until this mess is over, Ego."
"The snake on my shoulders. You really think I would go Britney during a sword fight?" Remus scoffed and lowered his weapon. He was glad he did when the elevator shook and slowly lifted up.
"You planned this."
"Unlike you, I don't plan for shit," Remus laughed and sheathed his sword, "I'm always winging it, Bird Boy. How else do you think I manage to make you feel like I'm the evil twin out to get you? Because I actually intend to do that? I don't. I want my brother to see that I can do my job and maybe be a little proud of me for more than a minute, even if he hates me."
"Remus," Roman sighed, "Patton pointed out that I have a tendency to treat those I care about with snark and hostility."
"No I know, you don't avoid the people you care about. You avoid me. I don't blame you for hating me, most of the others do, but it hurts," Remus said and crossed his arms, "You don't have all the King's memories, you were never supposed to be Creativity first, but you took that like any little brother."
"If I'm not supposed to be Creativity, what am I?" Roman pouted.
"The Ego, Thomas' gender presentation," snake Janus said from his perch, "and then Creativity, as a secondary role. Why do you think I was so invested in flattering you at the trial? I had one goal, and it didn't focus on you."
"You're doing my job, because Thomas doesn't want me to do it—you're doing it while doing your first job. Think about it, you're a king now, focused on pride and your ego—it makes more sense to have a king and a duke as brothers than a prince and a duke. If you're just a prince, why aren't we the same---both princes or both dukes?" Remus explained, "This is what you're supposed to do, but not what Thomas needs you to do. That's why I'm your shadow, the stage crew for your performance."
"I'm not Creativity?" Roman gawked, horrified.
"You are, but like you write the script and I set the stage. You have the bulk of the ideas, but I make them happen. I find a way to make them happen, because that's what Thomas wants. He needs both of us."
"None of my creations are my own?"
"You can conjure puppies outside of the imagination, and anything inside it. But outside of that, you're limited. And that's okay. You have enough to focus on that you don't need the added stress."
"And you," Roman gasped and pointed at the python on Remus' shoulders, "You hid this from me!?"
"No. I’ve been feeding that part of you."
"That was all me, not him," Remus shrugged, "You're fragile, Roman. I'm telling you now because I really don't feel like losing my head so you can flounder. It's not like the others know how uneven the split was. And maybe I can think more clearly when it's quiet. He needs us both."
"You made me think I was capable of bringing my ideas to life and with such splendor. I should be completely furious," Roman murmured and got to his feet, "but I'm not. Not at you. I should have seen the signs. Thank you for picking up my slack, without adding your usual flair."
"It all starts with a good idea. Now let's go set this mind straight, or something like that!" Remus grinned and the elevator stopped. Roman smirked and led the way out.
Prev - Ch. 11: Home - Next - Master Post - [ A03 ]
Fic rated M, this chapter rated T - CW: Remus likes to swear (not around Jay) - WC: 4331
All the heroes in the bright burning truth
Makes you feel real, real good in your bones
When the hunger stops, and the truth is known
My life, my light is coming home
- Coming Home, Fleetwood Mac
Tuesday, March 13, 1984
Instead of going home after school the next day, Logan returned to Remus’ apartment.
Remus had gotten home early from the Fists’ Tuesday rehearsal. Whether from unresolved anger at his brother or residual guilt from punching him after their last concert, Roman would barely look at Remus. After quickly working through the newer songs for their set planned for Thursday’s performance, Roman asked to wrap early, complaining of a headache.
Remus had been more than happy to oblige, uncertain how much longer he would be able to dodge Virgil and Hilly’s questions about Jay and Logan’s unexpected absence from their rehearsal.
Logan and Remus ate dinner together, then worked through the remaining tasks on the checklist Remus had created with Theresa the night before. Remus had personally delivered his application to BCW that afternoon. He’d been in their main building only once before. It felt smaller now, but no more welcoming than it had when he had been fourteen.
Patton had met him down in the lobby. Even after showing his identification and the completed foster application, the wizened security guard in the lobby had been reluctant to grant Remus access.
“Well, now, let’s just give Mr. Sanders a call up at his desk, all right?” The guard had eyed Remus carefully as he'd dialed, as though he half expected the man to make a mad dash for the elevator banks.
Remus had simply nodded and pictured Jay's face. “Yes, sir, of course.”
After about twenty minutes, Patton finally came downstairs. “Mr. Puños?” A small half-laugh escaped Patton’s lips, though his face twitched. “I’m surprised you didn’t just come up.”
Remus looked down at the scuffed floor of the lobby, hands in his pockets. His eyes shifted over to the security guard as he shrugged slightly.
“Ah, I see.”
“I have the application." Remus held out the precious packet of documents. "And you should expect to hear from Jay’s teacher, as well as the principal at the school. And there’s a letter from Jay’s doctor that he faxed over to me this morning, as well.”
Patton nodded, accepting the documents. He opened the envelope and scanned the first page before flipping through to read the letter from the doctor. Remus now knew this wasn’t the first time Patton had heard from Jay’s doctor. When he’d called the doctor’s office to request the recommendation letter, Dr. Hopkins had confessed to Remus that it had been his diagnosis of failure to thrive and the resulting report to BCW that had triggered their investigation in the first place.
Remus sucked in a breath, suddenly realizing he’d stopped breathing, waiting while Patton checked the application. “This looks complete, Mr. Puños.” He tucked everything back inside the large envelope. “Based on an additional recommendation from Foundling to find Jay a placement in a non-group home setting as quickly as possible, I will seek to accelerate your application and—”
“What did the group home say about Jay?” Remus stepped forward, feeling the blood drain from his face. The security guard started to step around his little podium and Patton waved him off. “Is he all right? Is he hurt?”
“He is safe, Mr. Puños, however I’m not at liberty to disclose anything else at this time.” Patton stepped closer to Remus and lightly patted his upper arm. “I will call you tomorrow with an update on your application, all right?” Remus nodded, working to slow his breathing. “In the meantime, just…” Patton sighed. “Just sit tight.”
Logan’s tasks that day had gone similarly. After showing Jay’s latest test scores to Principal Wilks, he’d been able to convince the man to make a formal recommendation to BCW to approve Remus’ application as an emergency foster placement.
Later that afternoon, Logan had spent the better part of an hour on the phone, speaking first with the resident counselor and then the Vice Director of the preschool group at Foundling, describing the depth of Jay’s progress while in Remus’ care.
With Remus’ application successfully submitted, including the recommendations from Logan, Principal Wilks, and Jay’s doctor, all that was left to do was wait.
Watching Remus’ knee bouncing as he fought to sit still, Logan moved to stand behind him, letting his hands rest gently on his shoulders. Remus tilted his head back against Logan’s stomach, eyes closed, as he reached up to hold his hands. Logan leaned closer, kissing his cheek. “Would you perhaps be more comfortable sitting together on the couch?” Remus nodded and Logan watched as his mustache twitched and his Adam’s apple bobbed. He moved carefully, like a coiled spring.
In the quiet living room, they sat down together and a thick silence fell between them.
Remus sat on the edge of the couch seat, knee still bouncing, as he cracked his knuckles. Logan sat next to him for a few moments, battered by the waves of worry pouring off of him. Finally, Logan scootched back into the corner of the couch, then reached for Remus’s shoulders, pulling him closer and laying him down, setting his head in his lap.
Remus let out a short sigh, turning to rest his cheek against Logan’s thigh and tucking his legs up on the couch. He traced little circles on Logan’s knee, opening and closing his mouth several times before finally voicing what had hung between them all evening.
“So how was Jay in class today?” Remus’ voice shook and his breaths were stuttered. “How did he seem to you?”
Logan pursed his lips, stroking Remus’ hair. “He seemed cared for. He was clean, perhaps… a little more tired than I’ve seen him lately, but…” Remus pressed his lips together, rhythmically tightening then loosening his grip on Logan’s knee. “When he came into the classroom in the morning, he had the little apple they give the students with school breakfasts, so I believe he ate breakfast at school, as well.” Logan rubbed Remus’ shoulder with his other hand.
“But how did he seem?”
Logan paused, biting at his lip. “Well…” He took a deep breath and Remus turned in his lap to face him. Logan looked down at Remus, choosing his words carefully.
“Jay wouldn’t eat lunch in the cafeteria. When I brought down the class, he rushed ahead and got his tray, and then stuck close to me until it was time for me to go back to the classroom while the students ate.” Logan omitted the sharp words he’d exchanged with the lunchroom supervisor when the man had tried to force Jay to remain in the cafeteria, or the way Jay had watched Logan throughout the day, never getting more than a few feet away from him at any moment.
“I sat with Jay in the classroom while he finished his lunch and… he stayed inside for recess, coloring.”
Logan swallowed hard against the lump in his throat when he remembered the drawing Jay had created, his ordinarily happy little figures hanging from a giant, toothy maw.
“Then, after school, someone from Foundling came to pick him up.” Logan gently drew his hand through Remus’ hair, rubbing at his scalp with the pads of his fingers. Pressing a smile onto his face, Logan pushed down his memory of the way Jay had cried and clung to his leg after school when he saw, not Remus as the boy must have been silently hoping, but instead the counselor from Foundling who'd come to pick him up.
“Is he…” Remus’ jaw trembled and he blew out a sharp breath, “Is he with the elementary aged kids or…?”
Logan smiled sadly, “He’s in the preschool group. Only the director and the counselor know his real age.”
Remus nodded, lips pressed tightly together.
They sat together quietly for a long time. Logan continued to stroke Remus’ hair, gently wiping away the few tears that escaped down his cheeks. Remus’ shoulders started to shake. Finally, he whispered to Logan, “Will you hold me?”
Nodding, Logan shifted his body as Remus sat up, then pulled him back down against his chest, wrapping his arms tightly around his body. Logan pressed gentle kisses into Remus’ hair, rocking him as he cried.
A child's drawing in crayon of a red monster face with sharp teeth and big eyes. There are three figures in the monster's mouth. The three figures are the same as the ones in Jay's earlier drawing.
The following evening, Remus unlocked the front door, both hands carrying several Key Food grocery bags. He held the door open behind him, letting in a similarly laden Logan. “Thank you. You… you really didn’t have to do this.”
Patton had called Remus earlier that afternoon. “Mr. Puños?” Gripping the phone with shaking hands, Remus had held his breath, heart pounding and it had taken every stitch of his self-control to try not to over-interpret anything from Patton’s generally positive tone of voice. “Mr. Puños, do you plan to be home this evening?”
“Yes, yes, I’ll be here, unless you need me somewhere else…” Remus crushed his eyes shut, forcing himself to inhale slowly. “For whatever it is, just give me a time and place and I will be there, Mr. Sanders.”
“A judge just approved your application, Mr. Puños. The group home’s efforts to move it forward…” Remus leaned back against the wall, tears of relief falling down his face. He sucked in a breath, trying to listen to the rest of Patton’s explanation. “…just some final documentation. I can bring Jay to your apartment by around seven tonight. I will need you to sign some papers, but—”
“I’ll be here. I’ll be here,” Remus repeated breathlessly. “Thank you… Oh my god, thank you. Thank you, Mr. Sanders.”
“Thank you, Mr. Puños, for your cooperation. See you at seven.”
As soon as Patton ended the call, Remus tried Logan’s number at home. He hung up when he got the machine. Remus checked the time on the coffee maker and he chewed at his lower lip. 4:01. Logan was probably already on his way. Okay. Okay. Jay will be here in three hours. A sob forced its way past his lips and he slapped his hand over his mouth. But will he really? What if the judge reads my foster care records and changes his mind? When he'd first started at the Voice, Theresa had helped him get a copy of his records and Remus has read his old group home’s evaluation of him. Runaway. Corrupting influence. Addict. Deviant.
Remus shook his head and sucked in a breath, counting in for four, holding for four, then exhaling for four. No, Mr. Sanders wouldn’t have called if there was any doubt.
The sudden ring of the doorbell finally ripped Remus from his spiral. He checked the clock again. 4:19.
Racing to the door, Remus peeked through the peephole and grinned, crying out before he’d even finished opening the door. “Logan, Logan, your brother called… he’s bringing Jay tonight!”
Logan’s jaw dropped, an open-mouthed smile spreading across his face. “He called you?” Remus’ voice failed and he’d just nodded, pulling Logan inside the apartment and into his arms, letting the door close behind them. “Oh, Love…” Logan whispered, squeezing him tight and Remus melted into his embrace for a few moments.
He suddenly lifted his head. “I should get some stuff at Key Food… I don’t know if he’ll have had dinner yet… I should’ve asked…” Remus broke away and started putting on his boots. “We’re out of tater tots and I wanna get some chocolate milk and Jay just tried kiwis for the first time and liked them and—”
Grinning broadly, Logan had opened the door, then had followed Remus back into the hall. “It sounds as though you could use a hand, then.” An excited laugh had slipped through Remus’ lips as he’d locked the door and given Logan’s hand a quick squeeze.
“Of course I didn’t have to. I wanted to.” Logan smiled as he put down his bags then took Remus’, placing them on the floor near the kitchen. Remus began to protest, but Logan reached up, cradling his face with both hands. “It was cold out on the way back. The groceries can safely sit for a moment.” Logan pressed a long kiss against his mouth, feeling a small laugh bubbling in his chest from the tickle of Remus’ mustache against his upper lip.
“Remus, I am happy to help you in any way I can.” Logan leaned forward, hands reaching back to thread behind Remus’ neck, tugging him down for a deeper kiss. He smiled, murmuring against his lips, “And not just because I can do this now.”
When they came up for air, Remus tilted his head forward and pressed his forehead against Logan’s. “Thank you,” he whispered.
Humming as he kissed Remus one more time, Logan took his hand and turned toward the mass of bags they’d left near the kitchen. “I will help you get these put away and then head out.” Heaving up the bags containing milk and cheese, Logan brought them to the tiny counter next to the refrigerator, plucking out cold items first. “It would be good to give the two of you time together.”
Remus’ face crumpled for a moment but then smoothed. “Are you sure?”
Nodding firmly, Logan set aside a small stack of tuna cans, uncovering a box of frozen spinach.
“And you’re not just avoiding your brother?” Remus asked quietly, setting down more bags on the kitchen table.
Chuckling, Logan shook his head. “No, we have a planned discussion tonight.”
“You scheduled an argument?”
“‘Argument’ is a strong word, but….” Logan shrugged, joining Remus to empty the bags covering the table. “It would not be entirely inaccurate.”
When the last of the groceries were neatly put away, Remus convinced Logan to stay for just another few minutes while he started dinner. “How can I help?” Logan asked.
Remus looked up as he finished drying his freshly washed hands. Grinning, he took each of Logan’s hands, gently moving the man to stand behind him. Remus then wrapped Logan’s arms around his own waist. Logan chuckled, holding him from behind as Remus sprinkled pepper and salt on the chicken pieces he was preparing to put in the oven. “Not that I mind, but will this really help you prepare dinner?”
Closing his eyes briefly and nodding as he let out a soft sigh, Remus hummed. “Mm-hm… You have no idea how much.”
After a few minutes, Remus patted Logan’s arm and stepped back to add the tray of chicken to the oven. He then turned in Logan’s arms, facing him. “Thank you for everything tonight, and… and for the last few days. I don’t think I could’ve managed without you—” Remus’ voice cracked and he tilted his head forward, leaning against Logan’s.
Logan carded his fingers through Remus’ hair. “You are stronger than you realize. I know you would have managed.” Smiling, Logan met his eyes. “But I’m glad you didn’t have to,” he whispered before kissing him softly.
Glancing at the clock, Logan swore under his breath. “I do not wish to leave but…” Remus nodded, closing his eyes as Logan pressed one last kiss against his mouth.
Remus walked Logan to the door, feeling a dull ache in his chest at the realization that they would spend the night apart. “Will you call tonight? After you talk with your brother?”
“You can count on it, Love.”
Remus checked the time on the coffee maker for the seventh time in the past five minutes. 6:53. He took a deep breath and looked around the kitchen, checking for the fuck-knew how many time that everything was ready. The table was set. Dinner was cooked and covered in foil in the oven on low to stay warm. He’d already re-organized the fruit in the fruit bowl three different times, first sorting by color, then arranging the pieces in a kaleidoscope of different colors, then going back to sorting by color and type. Remus had displayed and taken down Jay’s latest drawing at least four separate times before finally leaving it up, carefully setting it just above Jay’s eye level so he’d be sure to notice that Remus had found it.
Making himself wait until he’d counted to ten, he checked the clock again. 6:54.
Fuck. Bending down and crouching on the floor, he gripped his hair, tugging just hard enough to make himself wince. Remus was convinced the waiting was actually going to kill him when suddenly there were four sharp knocks at the door. He jumped to his feet and raced to the door, taking a microsecond to peer through the peephole before flinging it open.
“Jay!” Remus’ voice came out as a sob and he dropped to his knees, arms opening just in time for the boy to throw himself at his chest. Jay wrapped his little arms around his neck, burying his face against his shoulder. Soon Remus’ shoulder was wet from the little boy’s tears, and he realized his own crying was similarly seeping into the corduroy of Jay’s jacket. “I missed you, Jay.” He whispered into his hair. “So, so much, Buddy.”
His little arms just tightened as Remus rocked him back and forth, one arm wrapped around his back, the other gently cradling the back of his head, ruffling his hair. After a few minutes, Remus stood, still holding him close. He wasn’t sure what it would take to get the boy to let go of him, but he was in no rush to even try.
Finally, Remus looked up at Patton who’d been standing silently in the hall, a large file tucked under one arm, Jay’s backpack slung over his other shoulder. Remus was surprised to see tears in the social worker’s eyes. “Will you come in, Mr. Sanders?”
Nodding and pulling a tissue from his pocket, Patton wiped his eyes and stepped inside, murmuring in a rough voice, “Thank you, Mr. Puños.”
They walked into the kitchen, Jay peeking at Patton over Remus’ shoulder, fingers tightly gripping the back of Remus’ shirt. The boy stiffened as Remus shifted him to one arm. “It’s okay, Jay, it’s okay. Just needed my arm to open the oven.” He smiled, “Can you smell what’s for dinner?”
Jay’s stomach rumbled in response as he nodded.
Remus frowned briefly, then pushed a little smile on his face. “Let me get your plate, okay?” He plucked the plate from Jay’s usual spot and set it on the counter next to the stove, piling on tater tots, chicken, and green beans. When Jay’s stomach audibly grumbled one again, Remus caught Patton’s eye, glaring sharply. He softened his gaze when he turned to ask Jay, “I guess you haven’t eaten much today, huh?”
Jay looked away and tucked his head against Remus’ neck in response.
“The counselor told me that Jay didn’t eat much at dinner last night and…” Patton shifted the folder from one arm to the other, looking down at the floor. “And he refused to come down at dinnertime tonight.”
Remus clenched his jaw as he stared at Patton, breathing hard through his nose. He closed his eyes for a moment and took a deep breath, letting it out slowly. Later. He relaxed his jaw and smiled at Jay, “It’s a good thing we’ve got plenty here, then, yeah?”
Meeting his eyes, Jay’s mouth upturned slightly as he nodded.
Kissing his forehead, Remus’ voice cracked as he murmured, “Yeah.”
He set Jay’s plate down on the table and poured him a large glass of chocolate milk. “Do you wanna sit down to eat?” Jay looked at his chair, then at Patton and shook his head, grip tightening on Remus’ shirt. “Do you want me to sit with you?” He nodded quickly, eyes still fixed on Patton.
“Okay, no problem. I need to sign some papers for Mr. Sanders”—Remus glanced over at Patton—”so how about we all sit down and you can eat while I sign, okay?”
Patton used the chair furthest from Jay while Remus got him situated in his lap so he could reach the plate and his milk. Jay continued to cling to Remus, his tiny hand darting out quickly to snatch a few tater tots from his plate.
“There aren’t many forms I need Mr. Puños to sign, Jay.” Patton said quietly. “And then I’ll go.” Jay frowned at Patton, but nodded as he took another bite of his food. Patton opened his folder, taking out a small stack of carbon-copy forms. “Just at the bottom of each of these, please, Mr. Puños.”
Remus read quickly as he signed. Jay gradually relaxed in his arms enough to turn and face the table completely, drinking his milk and having two pieces chicken. Remus had gotten through most of the papers by the time Jay wiped his mouth with his napkin and again settled against his chest, watching Patton.
After he’d signed the last form, Patton tucked everything back into the large folder and stood. He tilted his chin toward Jay’s slowly dipping head as he lolled drowsily against Remus’ shoulder. “I can let myself out, Mr. Puños,” he said quietly.
Remus smiled as he looked down at Jay’s sleepy little face. “Thanks.”
Patton was turning to leave when he spotted Jay’s new drawing on the refrigerator. He looked at it closely, head tilted.
“Did Jay draw this?,” he asked Remus, eyes fixed on the picture.
Jay was drifting off to sleep in his arms. Remus nodded, his voice just barely above a whisper. “Jay really likes to draw.”
Patton stared at the picture, a shaky smile tugging at the corners of his mouth. He looked at Jay, nearly asleep, head resting against Remus’ chest, fingers tangled in his shirt. He nodded as he looked back at the drawing. Patton chuckled. “I recognize the tie.”
The following Tuesday, Remus, Logan, and Jay walked together into CBGBs for The Fists’ rehearsal.
“Hey!” Hilly looked up from where he sat surrounded by booking calendars and flyers and called out when he saw the trio. “We missed you two last week! Good to see you!”
Logan nodded and smiled while Jay gave Hilly a little wave as they made their way over to Jay’s usual table. Remus swallowed hard against the growing lump in his throat as he recalled just how empty their little corner had looked last week. He looked up as Virgil and Roman approached.
Giving a little high five to Jay, Virgil looked at Logan, “So where were you two last week?”
Logan peered at Remus, frowning. He raised an eyebrow, the question clear. ‘You didn’t tell them what happened?’
Virgil looked carefully between the two, narrowing his eyes. Remus gave all of his attention to his bag, sifting through it and pulling out Jay’s headphones, a large box of crayons, and a stack of construction paper.
Resolve withering under Virgil’s unrelenting glare, Remus stalled, muttering a quick, “Well…” while rubbing at the back of his neck. He exchanged a look with Logan, who simply smiled and kissed his cheek before sitting down with Jay and helping him adjust the headphones.
Logan studiously avoided the pair’s eyes as Virgil and Roman grinned at each other. He glanced at Remus, his smile quickly growing into an amused smirk. “Jay and I are fine here, please do not let us impede on your limited rehearsal time.” Remus stood awkwardly for a moment until Logan winked at him before giving his attention back to Jay.
Remus cringed at Virgil and Roman’s expectant expressions. “Can we rehearse first and then get into it?”
Roman started to shake his head, but before he could speak, Virgil rubbed his arm and nodded at Remus. “Sure, man. Let’s go.”
After a several songs, they took a short break, gathered around Virgil’s drum set as he made a few adjustments.
Remus stood with his hands in his pockets, glancing up from time to time at Logan and Jay as they sat at their table. “So, last week, a social worker”—he shook his head, waving away the rest of that part of the story—”took Jay for a couple of days and… and put him in a group home while they processed my paperwork to be an official emergency foster placement.” Remus’ voice cracked and he drained the last of his water.
Virgil’s eyes ballooned. “What!? That’s why they weren’t here last week?”
Remus nodded, an echo of last week’s ache blooming again under his breastbone.
Virgil lightly shoved his shoulder. “What the fuck, man?” He stared at Remus, shaking his head. “Why didn’t you tell us? We coulda, I dunno, helped or something, man….”
Remus shrugged, glancing briefly at Roman then looking away, “It just didn’t seem like the time to—”
Shoulders slumped, Roman mumbled, “You mean you didn’t feel like baring your soul to the guy who’d just punched you?”
“Well…” Remus muttered, “Things were getting kinda strained between us, you know?”
Virgil met Roman’s eyes and stepped closer to rub his back. “Yeah. Yeah, I know they have.” Roman said quietly. Remus looked closely at his brother, suddenly noticing how his hands shook and that he had dark shadows peeking through the cover-up under his eyes.
Virgil whispered something in Roman’s ear, then jumped down from the stage and headed to the bar with Roman’s empty water glass.
“Yeah, I’ve been working on not making it worse.”
“You wanna talk about it?” Remus put his hands in his pockets.
“Yeah, but, maybe later? I need to… Later. I promise.” Roman looked down. “I’m… I’m sorry I swung at you, Re. Being drunk is no excuse, and I…”
“You looked like Dad.” Even as the whispered words spilled out of his mouth, Remus fought and failed to pull them back. Instead, they hung in the air between the brothers, almost palpable.
Finally, Roman muttered, “Yeah, I know. Virgil said the same thing when we got home.” He shifted his arms, first putting his hands on his hips, then crossing them, before finally squeezing his hands into the pockets of his tight leather pants. “I’m really glad you got Jay back. I…” Roman breathed hard through his nose, looking away.
Remus gently bumped their shoulders together, shaking his head. “Later, Ro Bro, it’s okay.”
“Can I… hug you at least? I mean, I—”
Remus laughed, plowing into his brother, squeezing him in a bear hug. “No.”
“Oh, okay, as long as that’s clear,” Roman chuckled, squeezing him back.
Virgil appeared with two glasses of ice water, handing them to the brothers. “So… when were you planning on telling us you and Teach were finally ‘you and Teach ?’”
Remus shook his head, a light blush dusting his cheeks, “I—I don’t know what you’re talking about…”
“Oh. Oh, okay. I’ll just go ask him, then. Hey, Lo—” Roman began to walk to the edge of the stage.
Yanking on the back of his collar, a broad smile softening his words, “Don’t you fucking dare.” Roman laughed and remained on stage. “Don’t we have another song to rehearse?”
Okay so we know that the upcoming Sanders Sides season finale is gonna be a 2-parter. Here's the thing about that.
Both of the other 2 parters in the series (excluding SVS cause that one doesn't have "Parts one and two" in the titles) had the sides and thomas going into one of the sides's rooms. First Virgil, then Patton. Which means I'm guessing that we're finally gonna get to see either Roman or Logan's room!! My guess is that we aren't gonna see Janus's or Remus's rooms yet cause the angst overall is mostly focusing on Roman and Logan right now.
Now I could be comepletely wrong and the finale could go into an entirely different direction, but I have a strong hunch that this is where things are gonna go.
I'm calling it now, we're gonna see one of the sides's rooms. My bet's on Roman's room cause his angst is the one that's been the most up front in the sanders sides episodes recently (in asides it's definatly Logan but I'm just referring to the Sanders Sides episodes themselves)
Either way though, I'm extremely excited to see how the finale turns out, whether it goes in this direction or does something else entirely. This show is awesome as hell and Thomas and crew are so good at providing amazing content. Can't wait to see how it goes!!! :D
Yeah this video’s only 3 seconds long but let me tell you I started spinning long before Indy started recording and I may have bumped into a wall or three due to dizziness but that’s none of your business.
Roman breathed a sigh of relief. Finally, after over a week of evacuating citizens and fighting a fire, he was home, and in a few short minutes he would be back in the arms of his love. He wondered if Patton had heard that he was back yet, or if he would get the joy of surprising the cook. It took everything in him to not just sprint down the halls until he reached the kitchens (he was still walking at an unreasonably fast pace, but he wasn’t running).
“My love!” Roman yelled as he burst through the kitchen doors. None of the kitchen staff even started, all of them seasoned veterans to Roman’s dramatic declarations of love for the head cook.
Barely a second later, the Captain’s arms were full of the cuddly cook “Roman!”
Roman buried his face in Patton’s raven curls, feeling the weight of the last week’s events slip from his shoulders. Nothing mattered as long as Patton was in his arms.
Patton allowed Roman to take as long as he needed, seemingly content to just hum and sway gently from side to side.
“You’ve heard about our guests?” Roman asked, unwilling to exit their embrace.
“I have.” Patton rubbed his hand along Roman’s spine, feeling a little more tension leave the knight with every pass. “We’re making soup for supper since it will be easy to make a lot of on short notice. We’ll have something more substantial to serve tomorrow.”
Roman hummed. He would have to leave the embrace soon if he didn’t want Patton’s swaying to rock him right to sleep, but it just felt so nice, and it had been entirely too long since he’d fallen asleep in the arms of his beloved.
“My brave knight,” Patton said softly. “I will hug you for as long as you need, but if you fall asleep right here, I’ll be floored!”
“Apologies, my love.” Roman mournfully released Patton, taking a step back to prove that he was supporting his own weight. “I am just tired, I have had a long, stressful week.”
“Would you like to tell me about it?” Patton asked, taking both of Roman’s hands in his own.
Roman gave him a tired smile. “The fire had already reaped so much destruction by the time we’d reached it, it will take the forest some time to recover. Much of Antilæ was already on fire when we got there. We aided the evacuation, but I shudder to think of how many didn’t get out. How many more people could we have saved if we’d gotten there just a day sooner?”
“You did the best you could,” Patton assured him, giving his hands a squeeze. “And many more would have perished if you’d gotten there a day later.”
“I know you are right, but I can’t help thinking that we could have saved the whole village if we’d just gotten there sooner. All those people in the courtyard, they no longer have homes; many of them don’t have anything more than the clothes on their backs. We can’t keep them in the castle forever, where will they go?”
“I can’t answer any of your questions, but I can tell you this: those people are alive because of you and your knights. I don’t know what tomorrow brings, but today, they’ll have hot soup for dinner, and a safe place to sleep.”
Roman brought one of Patton’s hands up and placed a delicate kiss on his knuckles. “I have missed you, Patton.”
“I have good news and bad news,” Remus announced as Roman walked back into the courtyard after his Patton-prescribed nap.
“What’s the good news?” Logan asked, appearing suddenly at Roman’s elbow. The Captain jumped, but both of the kings ignored him.
“The good news is that Emile’s finished looking at all the injured, and everyone’s going to be fine.”
“And the bad news?” Roman asked wearily.
“Well, we’ve finished taking a census of all the refugees,” Remus started before grimacing. “And we’re missing two people.”
“Are you sure?” Logan demanded.
“We’ve checked, and double-checked, but we’ve only got two hundred eighty-one refugees. Two people entered the castle grounds and now are missing.” Remus pulled out a scroll with the list of villagers on it to show them.
“Well… that is a problem,” Logan sighed, rubbing a tired hand over his face, pushing his glasses up in the process. “Have the grounds searched, perhaps they got separated from the group. In the meantime, have we identified a village leader? I’d like to ask them about who might be missing.”
“I’ll organize the search,” Roman offered, already dreading the thought.
Well, Roman thought as he left to round up some knights, no rest for the weary.
“We have identified the Village Elder,” Remus told Logan after Roman left. “She’s basically the leader.”
“Where is she?”
“Right this way,” Remus gestured with one hand while offering his other arm to Logan once more.
Remus led him to the ballroom where much of the castle’s staff were hard at work making the refugees comfortable. At the far end of the room, an old woman sat in a chair, watching the commotion carefully.
“Mrs. Elaine Dodge,” Remus started, greeting the woman with a nod of his head. “May I introduce his Royal Highness, King Logan Sanders.”
“Your majesty!” The woman cried, pushing herself to her feet.
“Please,” Logan said, gesturing for the woman to stay seated. “You’ve had a difficult journey, do not push yourself on my account.”
“Thank you, my lord.” She said, taking her seat again. “At least some people have the graciousness to let old women rest.”
She shot a dirty look at a knight who was helping a family a few feet away. Logan expertly hid his grimace at her tone. Remus had no such manners.
“I have some other business to attend to,” Remus said, all but openly glaring at the Village Elder. “I trust you can handle this on your own, my liege.”
Logan barely suppressed an eyeroll (it wouldn’t do to behave childishly in front of a guest); he gave Remus his most regal and detached nod, and turned back to Mrs. Dodge, effectively dismissing his husband.
“Ma’am,” he started as Remus walked away, taking a seat beside her. “We seem to have fewer villagers now than when you entered. I wonder if you might help us identify who isn’t on this list.”
Logan pulled out the scroll for her to look at.
“Well, your majesty…” she said, studying the list carefully. “There are a good many souls not on this list, may their spirits find peace, but none that I can recall having seen on the journey over here.”
“Can you tell me some of the people who may have escaped your notice?” Logan pressed. It was possible that Roman and the gatekeepers had miscounted, but he’d prefer to at least know who they might be looking for.
“Hmm, there’s a hunter who lives in the woods, he comes into town every now and then to trade his furs. A bit unwashed if you ask me, but he is willing to trade his furs for less than they’re worth so I suppose we can look past his hygiene.
“There was the-” she grimaced “-naga family that lived at the edge of the woods.”
“Was?” Logan interrupted before she could continue.
Logan’s calm mask stayed firmly in place, but his distaste for the woman grew. “You said ‘was’. You spoke of this family in the past tense, but of the hunter in present tense.”
“Oh! Well, we saw the fire take their home, the family was trapped inside and we couldn’t help them. Such a shame, eight kids you know. The mother used to be such a pretty thing; she could have done so much better than that snake. Such a shame.”
“Hmm.” Logan didn’t trust himself to comment further, but he had the feeling that it was so much ‘couldn’t help’ as it was ‘wouldn’t help’.
“Then there’s Mrs. Harrison, a widower you know. Now you didn’t hear this from me, but I heard that this was the fifth husband she’s lost, makes you wonder, doesn’t it?
“Um who else, who else… oh I know! There’s a beggar boy in the village, I don't know what happened to him, but he didn’t have a home to get stuck in.”
Logan quirked one eyebrow up, the closest he would get to a shocked expression in semi-public. “A boy?”
“Oh yes,” she said pleasantly, seemingly ignorant to Logan’s mounting rage. “Scrawny little thing, his mother died last winter and no one wanted to take the little rat in. He might have survived the fire.”
How a woman could speak so candidly about an entire village allowing a child to be a homeless orphan, Logan would never know.
“Excuse me, your highness, but there is an urgent matter that needs your attention,” Valerie said, appearing at Logan’s side after having no doubt noticed that Logan was seconds away from acting in a very unkingly manner.
“If you’ll excuse me, Mrs. Dodge,” Logan said, walking away before the woman could reply.
“It looked like you could use some help,” Valerie commented when they were far enough away.
“Thank you, Valerie. Please make sure that that woman is never anywhere near me ever again or I might have to take drastic measures.”
“I’ll pass the message along,” Valerie laughed. “The kitchen staff is about to bring supper out, I’m sure Patton’s made enough for everyone.”
“Yes, I’m sure he has. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I am going to go hide in the kitchens for the rest of the night.”
Valerie laughed again but shooed him off, promising to send Remus along as soon as she saw him.
Logan and Valerie parted ways with Logan heading for the kitchens and Valerie circling back to the ballroom. Logan walked swiftly and with purpose towards the kitchens, his so-called “murder face” keeping anyone from getting in his way or trying to speak with him.
Hopefully Patton would have some jam cookies left, Logan could really use a few of those right about now.