If I Was Smart, Would You Love Me?
Summary: Virgil is stupid, even he knows that. He also knows that someone as smart and talented as Logan would never love someone as stupid and worthless as Virgil.
But when a mysterious glowing orb says it can change that, that it can make him smart, should Virgil accept the offer? Surely it can't actually do that... Surely Virgil is unfixable... Right?
Warnings: crying, cursing, character repeatedly says and thinks he's stupid, placing ones worth on how smart one is, hurt/comfort (well, actually it’s fluff angst fluff)
Characters: Patton, Logan, Virgil, Roman, Janus
Perspective/main character: switches between Virgil and Logan (but it is more about Virgil)
Appear: Janus, Patton, Roman
Relationships: analogical, everything else is platonic
Word Count: 10,323
Link to my Masterpost
Hope you enjoy :D
He should be asleep. He really should.
Virgil should be in his bed, asleep, or at least trying to sleep, but despite all that… he wasn't. He was very much awake, unable to fall back asleep after a nightmare woke him up.
And instead of trying his usual methods; tea, extra blankets, even more white noise; he had snuck into Roman's room, slipped through the door of the Imagination, and was wandering around the forest.
He'd hoped that it would tire him out and put his thoughts to rest, and it had, the first part more so though.
He was just about to turn back, his eyes starting to finally droop, when a strange noise prickled at Virgil's ears.
It was rather faint, but it got louder the farther into the dark, twisting forest he walked. It was like a… a hum, of sorts. However, it didn't sound like it was made by a human, but rather sounded almost otherworldly.
And even though it sounded odd, it almost felt… homely, inviting. Despite Virgil having never heard it before, it sounded familiar even. Safe. Yes, it felt safe, and Virgil couldn't help but pick up speed a bit.
It was getting louder and louder, but it always seemed to be just out of reach, and the prolonged anticipation building up was starting to really annoy Virgil.
He was starting to believe he'd never find the source of that mysterious pulsating hum when he stumbled across a small clearing, the humming now so close, Virgil could feel it in his chest, in his bones.
The clearing was empty save for a grey, cracked, and crumbled pillar in the dead center. Virgil hadn't taken two steps past the treeline when a dim glass ball he hadn't noticed started to glow a bright orange and float rather ominously over the pillar.
Virgil couldn't help but move closer as if it drew him in.
The humming grew painfully loud before fading into a soft voice.
"A human? It's been… so long. What's your name, dear mortal?"
"Oh, well hello, Virgil. Do you know what I am?"
"A weird glass ball?"
The orb let out what could have been considered a laugh. "Well, I suppose you're not wrong. But my purpose is actually to grant a wish to anyone who stumbles upon this little gap in the trees."
"Hah, that's a long story, and you'd have to ask the person who cursed me to get that answer."
"Wait, cursed? Were you—"
"A human? Yes. I was. But that was a long time ago, for now, let's just focus on helping you."
"Sorry. I didn't mean to bring up anything you didn't wanna me to."
"But seriously, a wish? You just expect me to believe that? You're not gonna even put a limit on it like 'rule number one, I can't kill anybody. Rule number two, I can't make anybody fall in love with anybody else. Rule number three, I can't bring people back from the dead.' I call BS."
"Hah, Aladdin, nice."
"You know Aladdin?"
"Of course I do. I know a lot of things."
"Anyway, I do actually have limits but they're more like, I can only grant a certain type of wish. It's actually pretty specific. And you only get the one."
"Wow, so you're like, useless."
"No, I'm not!"
"Dude, if you weren't some weird orb, you'd be pouting, wouldn't you?"
Virgil snickered. "Right. I definitely believe you."
"Shut up! I mean… anyway. Let's move on. The specifics are that I can fix one flaw for you."
Virgil couldn't help but squint his eyes in suspicion. "Really?"
"Yes, you get one wish to fix one flaw. So, what'll it be?" The glowing mysterious orb asked. "If you could change one thing about yourself… what would you pick? What horrible flaw that makes you completely unlovable would you fix?”
Despite every bone in his body screaming in him to say no, that this was dangerous, and he should get the fuck out of there, he found himself walking a little closer to the orb and saying, "Any… any flaw?"
"Yes, any flaw you could think of, I can fix. What's keeping you back from the people you care about? What part of you makes you worthless in their eyes?"
"N— no. They… they care about me." Virgil dropped his voice down to a whisper. "I know they do."
"Oh, really? Then why are you here? In the dark forest, wishing to be good enough, wishing that they cared? If you really think that they love just soooo much, then why aren't you there, with them? Oh, there's someone in particular, isn't there?"
"What!? No, I— how'd yo—"
"Please, you're practically pushing your lonely thoughts at me. Let's see… I believe his name is Logan?"
"I… m— maybe."
"Ah, I thought as much… Do you know what flaw you'd pick?"
"Ugh, no. Hell, I'm not even sure if I'm gonna let you fix it or not. I mean, a weird magic glowing orb in the middle of the woods is telling me it can fix one of my flaws, what am I supposed to think? It's just…"
"A dream come true?"
"Weird. I— I was gonna say it's just weird."
"That's alright, I'm in no hurry. You can think this over as much as you'd like. But of course, how are you supposed to think over what decision to make when you don't even know what I'll be fixing? So since you seem to think you just have too many flaws that need fixing, I can actually help with that too."
"If you'll let me, I can take just a peek, just a really small one, I promise, and then I can tell you what your biggest flaw is."
"You… you can?"
"Yes, believe it or not, I just want to help you."
Virgil chewed on his lower lip before sighing. "Okay, just… don't go too far."
Before Virgil could get worried about what the orb would see or do, he was surrounded by a bright blue-white light. It grew in intensity before it pulsed a few times.
The orb spoke again, "Ah, you, of course, have the flaw of pushing others away… but your biggest flaw…"
"Yes?" Virgil asked, rather desperately, eyes still closed due to the unbearably bright light.
"Your biggest flaw is…" The light vanished as quick as it had come. "Is that you're stupid."
"Wh— what?" Virgil blinked his eyes, trying to adjust to the dark woods once again, the orb's light now dim in comparison to the pulsating glow of before. "Are… are you sure?"
"Absolutely positive. Why do you think that Logan, the smartest person you know, doesn't love you? You're just too stupid. If you were smart, he'd actually love you."
"No, I mean… he's not that shallow. I mean yeah, he doesn't love me, and probably never will but that's just because… um, because… oh, fuck."
"Yes, he's not interested in you. Because why would he? You're boring. You have nothing to offer him. Why would he want to be with someone who can't keep up with him?"
"But if… if you did make me smart, not that I'm necessarily gonna say yes, but… but if you did, wouldn't it be weird if I was suddenly smart?"
"Hmm, I don't think so. Everyone might be a bit surprised, especially if they thought you were stupid, which you are right now, of course, but can you imagine how pleasantly surprised Logan would be when you answered his nerdy question with a nerdy answer?"
Virgil could, Virgil all too easily could.
The orb continued, "Why he'd be so pleased that he'd want to spend more time with you, and after spending more time with you and seeing how smart you are… he'd fall in love with you."
"I… I don't think that's how it works. And you're… I mean, that's a big promise to make."
"You really think he could resist? Have you ever said anything even remotely smart to him?"
"I… well, maybe like, a few times."
"And did you see his reaction after you said it?"
"Well… yeah, bu—"
"And how did he look?"
"Uh… pleasantly surprised."
"And did he seem more open to you after that?"
"…Yeah, he… later he invited me to discuss it more but my throat closed up and I was too an— anxious to say anything 'cuz I was gonna make an absolute fool of myself and he'd think I was silly and stupid an— um, yeah. God, he looked so disappointed though. He always thinks I'm better than I am, he expects better. And he's right, I— I should be better."
"You could be better."
"Yeah, he'd… he'd finally see… and I'd finally live up to his expectations, to what he seems to think I'd be, if I just tried. Of course, he doesn't know I'm just like this, I'm just stupid, but… but I could fix tha— er, you could fix that, I mean."
"I could. Easily."
"And… and of course I'd understand if he still didn't want me, I do have a lot of flaws… but if… if there's a chance… and if you fix this big one then maybe I could work on a few of the smaller ones… yeah. Yeah!"
"Have you made your decision?"
"I… I think I have."
"Weird magic glowing orb thingy, I wish for you to fix my biggest flaw and make me smart."
The surface of the orb began crackling and fizzing louder and louder until Virgil could barely hear himself think. Then, as quickly as it'd started, it'd stopped again.
And the last thing Virgil remembered before he blacked out, was a voice that was somehow everywhere and nowhere at once, whispering, "Gladly."
Virgil was awoken by three uniform raps on the door.
Wait, last night… Virgil opened his eyes and quickly sat up. Did last night really happen?
"Virgil? Are you awake yet?" Logan's soft voice called.
Virgil didn't feel any different than usual, but perhaps it was a more subtle, a more unseen thing.
"This is around your natural waking up time…" Logan continued, "Oh, unless you accidentally stayed up later than usual and are sleeping in."
Although now that Virgil thought about it, he did feel a bit more like he knew what he was doing, a kind of gentle determination settling in his chest.
"Hmm, perhaps I should come back later then."
"No, wait!" Virgil all but cried out, jumping out of bed and to the door. "Wait, I'm awake."
Virgil yanked the door open to where Logan was standing there, a slightly surprised look on his face.
"Virgil! Um, greetings. I am… what I mean to say was that… um, apologies, I seem to um…"
Virgil leaned against the doorframe, his arms casually crossed, and an eyebrow raised in amusement. "Uhhhh, you good, Lo?"
"Yes! Yes, of course. I apologize for my… strange behaviour. I suppose my thoughts weren't in order. That is one disadvantage to saying things without thinking first. Although spontaneous dialogue and conversation can be quite interesting and usefu— ah, apologies, I've gotten off-topic."
Virgil snorted loudly. "Nah, it's okay, Logan. I actually really enjoy your tangents, and find your vocabulary and the way you construct your sentences to be fascinating. Plus, they're often quite educational as well… Wow, I sounded kinda like a nerd." Virgil grinned. "Cool."
Oops. No way was Virgil going to let Logan know that he'd trusted a random orb from the Imagination to make him smart. Damn, that sounded like a bad idea, not only from an anxious standpoint but from his new logical one.
"Uhhh, nothing. Anyway, what were you saying? Like when your thoughts weren't in order."
"Ah, yes, thank you for reminding me. I was just um, saying that it's good to see you. I— well, I rather missed your company, I suppose."
"Oh, really? You… you missed me?"
Logan twisted his fingers together. "...Yes, I… I did."
"O— oh. I missed you too."
Logan squinted at Virgil. "Really?"
"Oh. Well, good, er, um…"
"Oh my God, you're adorable."
"Oh, uhhhh… huh."
"I…" Logan blinked a few times. "I um…"
"It's okay, Lo. You don't haveta response… oh! If you feel up to it, wanna hang out this afternoon? It's okay if you're busy, just thought I'd ask."
"Oh, um, no, I'm not busy. Shall we go to my room? Or try to get Roman to let us in the Imagination?"
"Unless you're feeling more like a homebody, I vote for bullying —don't worry, I don't think we're going to actually bully him— bullying Roman into letting us use the Imagination. Maybe we'll get him to make us a nice field— oh! We could have a picnic. If you want, I mean."
"I'd… really like that."
"Well, if you wanna ask Roman to set up the Imagination in a bit, I'll get the food? And we can make our way to the imagination and set up around 3ish?"
"Oh, excellent. That works for me. And yes, I'll ask him. And uh, what type of food were you thinking? Sandwiches and chips?"
"Of course. A picnic classic."
"And shall we stare at the fresh cookies Patton made until he sends some with us? Which is like 4 seconds from when he first spots us."
"Absolutely, but of course, he only takes that long to offer because he's smiling so much."
Logan had been feeling weird lately, and he even figured out why. While feelings weren't his strong suit by any stretch of the imagination, he was quite observant, and was able to confirm his hypothesis into a theory with only a bit of research.
But that didn't mean he had everything figured out. He didn't know what he wanted, or even should do. And seeing as this was an emotional matter, Patton would hopefully be able to give him some advice on the matter.
Logan almost stopped by Patton's room to see if he was there, but it was mid-morning and Patton was probably in the kitchen making some baked goods before he started on lunch.
Logan walked to the dining part of the common room, stopping in front of the open divider/bar that was in between the common room and the kitchen.
Ah, he was indeed correct. Patton was there, already getting things out.
Logan softly cleared his throat, hoping to not startle Patton. "Good morning, Patton."
Patton looked up from where he was looking at a recipe and getting out ingredients, startling slightly. "Oh, Logan! You made me jump, kiddo. What's up?"
"I… I could use your assistance."
"Oh, of course! What type of help do ya need, and would cookies help?"
"Well, it's… it's an… emotional matter, so you can imagine how it's out of my expertise… and cookies always help."
"Oh... okay! Yeah, can do! Sit at the bar if ya wanna, I'm just starting some chocolate chip cookies. I'm listening though, 'kay?" Patton looked back at his… recipe card?
Logan briefly furrowed his eyebrows. Patton didn't usually need a recipe for chocolate chip cookies. Actually, now that Logan thought about it, he'd only ever seen Patton with a recipe if it was something he'd never made before. He memorized them impressively fast. But perhaps he merely wanted to try someone else's way of making them.
"Yes, that sounds pleasant. Thank you." Logan internally winced at how long he took to reply, and gingerly sat down on the barstool, watching Patton go about the kitchen.
"Of course! I'm always here for y'all."
Was it Logan's imagination or was Patton having a harder time finding things than normal?
"The measuring cups are in the third drawer down, not the second."
"Oh, yes! Silly me. So what's up?"
"Well…" Logan drummed his fingers on the counter. "I realised something and I don't know how to… I don't know what to do."
Patton turned away from where he'd been gathering ingredients and looked at Logan, eyebrows lightly furrowed. "This is something pretty serious, huh?"
"No, it's… it's silly. I probably shouldn't be bothering you with it. Nevermind. Thank you for being willing to listen anyway." Logan made to get up but Patton gently held onto his hands.
"Hey, it's alright. I don't mind at all, Logan. I'm glad you felt like you could come to me for help. Can I ask what you realised?"
Logan sighed and forced himself to relax as Patton let go of his hands. "I believe that I am… romantically interested in Virgil."
There was a split second where Patton didn't say anything, making Logan briefly and rather illogically panic, before the brightest smile crossed Patton's face.
"Aww! That's so pure, kiddo!" Patton put his elbows on the cabinet in between them and rested his head in his hands.
Logan felt his face warm slightly. "Yes, well, um, I've been having weird symptoms around Virgil and when I think about him for more than a few seconds. So, I cross-referenced them with different sicknesses, and what I found was that it… it fit how people describe the way they feel when they are in… um, in..."
"In love?" Patton asked, a knowing twinkle in his eye.
"I, um— yes, that. So, what do I do? Should I ignore it? It'll go away if I just ignore it, right?"
"Well, not usually. Feelings, especially romantic ones, are pretty tricky. But even if you don't wanna try for a romantic relationship with him, I don't think ignoring it is the best way to go about it. But of course, we should make sure that you don't actually want a romantic relationship with him."
"What? Why wouldn't I want to be in a relationship with Virgil?"
Patton frowned. "Then why were you gonna just ignore it?"
"Virgil has anxiety—"
Patton's eyebrows shot up. "Excuse you—" Patton all but growled.
Wait, did… Logan blinked and it was gone again. "No! Not like that. You didn't let me finish."
"Sorry, sorry." Patton took a deep breath. "What did you mean then?"
"He has anxiety and I'm… I know this sounds rather silly but… I'm worried he'd feel obligated in some way. And the last thing I want is to make him feel forced, or hurt him in any way. He's… very important to me, and if he's happier with us being friends then so be it."
"Okay, well, first of all, you're assuming that Virgil doesn't like you romantically, or wouldn't want to try for a relationship at all. And you don't actually know if he'd be happier if you two are friends. Maybe he'd be happier if you two got together, of course maybe he wouldn't, but the point is you don't actually know. And you can assume and even make educated guesses, but you can't know for definite sure—"
"Unless I ask him."
"Yep, exactly. And I… I will say that he obviously cares about you a lot. Even if he doesn't feel romantic feelings towards you, or doesn't want to try for a romantic relationship, I know you two will still be very good friends. Ah, that might not be as comforting… sorry."
"No, it's alright. I… you've given me a lot to think about. And I… I think I will ask him. We're having a picnic this afternoon and that seems like an opportune time.
"Alright, kiddo. Just don't rush into anything, 'kay?"
"Hmm? Oh, of course. I will think about this a bit more until then, but I'd already wanted to ask him. I just felt like I didn't have a concrete idea of the whole thing. I was letting my fears and worries cloud my thinking. I can't know or change the outcome, but I can ask. I'd gotten wrapped up in 'what if's and forgot that the easiest way to know how someone will react… is to just ask them. You helped me remember that."
"Well, you know I'm always happy to help, kiddo!" Patton smiled at Logan before he looked back down at his recipe card.
"Yes, and I really appreciate it. Thank you, De—"
'Patton' looked up in surprise.
"Er, I mean, Patton."
He sighed. "...Godamnit. And here I thought I was rather convincing." 'Patton's form twisted for a second before it settled back into Deceit's usual appearance. "It was how angry and protective I got over Virgil, wasn't it?"
"That was when I first realised, yes. Although I did think it was weird that you had a recipe for something that you would've supposedly made dozens of times. But anyway, Patton can be quite protective, but that wasn't quite how I think he'd react to me. Perhaps to you or Remus, and I'd no doubt get an earful if I was going where you thought I was. But after your left eye glowed a bit after you practically growled at me, it wasn't hard to put it together."
"Ah, well, damn."
"May I ask why you were in our kitchen?"
"Well, it couldn't be that I was trying to make cookies. I didn't think that was rather obvious."
"Ah, I should've been more specific. Why were you baking in our kitchen instead of in your side of the Mindscape?"
"Oh, Remus exploded our sink again, and I absolutely refuse to bake under such circumstances. Plus, who knows when Remus will get around to fixing it."
"Hm, well you're more than welcome to use ours in the meantime. Although I would ask that you come as yourself."
"Thank you. And I suppose I should apologize. After you said it was an emotional matter, I shouldn't've let you continue."
"It's alright. It wasn't anything I mind you knowing. And while you weren't who I was looking for, you still provided some valuable information. I would, however, like to know it was you before I speak about an emotional matter next time."
"Oh, well, that's not reasonable. I really do apologize for that. I should've told you to come back later, instead of asking more questions and prying my nose into things."
"Apology accepted. And I suppose it does make this next part easier anyway."
Deceit raised an eyebrow. "Oh?"
"Seeing as you assisted with the majority of Virgil's upbringing, Deceit, I'd like to formally ask you for your permission to pursue a romantic relationship with Virgil."
"Me? Virgil and I are barely on speaking terms as it is. I mean, he hisses at me practically every other word!"
"Yes, your and Virgil's relationship is rather strained right now, but that doesn't discount how close you were before. And I believe under all the surface conflict and hurt, you two still care about each other a great deal more than either of you would care to admit.
"And you could've quite easily steered me away from pursuing a romantic relationship with Virgil, but you actually recommended I talk to him instead. Which makes me believe that you actually want us to get together. So, with all that in mind, the least I can do is formally ask for your blessing."
"I… alright. You have my blessing, just— don't go around telling people that. I do have a reputation to uphold after all."
"Ah, yes, of course. Wouldn't want anyone to think you could be soft, after all."
"My my, is that sarcasm I hear?" Deceit put a hand to his chest in mock shock. "Logan the stoic and concise, using sarcasm? Didn't think you'd have it in you. Why I am surprised at you!"
"Ah, yes. I usually don't use sarcasm as it can make conversation confusing, but I felt it was appropriate in this case. Especially since you often use sarcasm or opposite speak."
"Oh, I am just so proud, Logan. Good job."
Despite Deceit's sarcasm and words, Logan didn't feel mocked. Quite the opposite actually, a strange sort of warmth filling his chest.
"Alright, alright. Well… I'll let you get back to your baking. I should go anyhow. I need to get some work done before lunch."
"Oh, Logan, I almost forgot." Deceit clicked his tongue. "Before you go. I presume I don't need to give you the 'hurt him and they'll never find your body' talk."
"You are quite correct in that presumption, and I'd expect nothing less. I don't want to hurt him any more than you do, Deceit."
Deceit paused, taking in Logan's words before he nodded. "Good… oh, and I… I suppose if you happen to use my name, I wouldn't like, be mad or whatever."
"Oh, I see. I shall endeavour to use the correct one then… Janus."
The corner of De— Janus' mouth quirked up. "Alright. I— good."
Logan gave a small smile of his own and hoped it wasn't too awkward. He hadn't had much practice smiling lately.
They stood there for a moment before Janus cleared his throat. "Well, have an absolutely dreadful time this afternoon."
"Oh, thank you. I hope you have a pleasant afternoon as well."
Virgil knocked on Logan's door. "Hey, Lo? You ready to go? I have the food."
Logan opened his door. "Oh, excellent. Um, and did you grab the—"
"Pickles? Yeah, I got you your nasty vinegar cucumbers."
"Oh, so it's my 'nasty vinegar cucumbers' is it now?" Logan stepped out of his room, pulling the door shut behind him. "So it must've been Janus who I saw eating an entire jar of pickles a few days ago, not you."
"Exactly… definitely Jan. That foul snake… how dare he. Pretend to be me. And eat pickles, therefore besmirching my good name. So rude."
Logan laughed, making Virgil smile, his chest filling with warmth.
"Yes, how dare he. I shall have to have a conversation with him about such unlawful actions."
Virgil giggled, although it was half snorts. He, however, couldn't find it in himself to be too embarrassed. They were having fun, and that's what mattered.
After Virgil finally settled down, happily noting that Logan still had a pleased look on his face, Virgil said, "So, you ready for that picnic?"
Virgil normally, light-heartedly, of course, complained about Roman being extra, but this was one time that he certainly wasn't.
The green grass rolled across the gentle hills, while a light breeze blew soft, white clouds through the endless blue. A little farther off the start of the forest could be seen, and to the left of that, the lake sparkled. Flowers of all colours dotted the entire area.
"Wow," Virgil said, almost breathless. "Roman really went all out, didn't he?"
"Well," Logan adjusted his glasses, a small smile on his face, "I did ask for a good picnic spot, and he certainly didn't disappoint."
"Yeah, geez. This is… anyway, um, shall we set up over here?"
"Yes, this does look like a pleasant spot."
Virgil set down the picnic basket and, with Logan's help, laid out the blanket and food.
"Oh, I've been meaning to ask," Logan said, partway through their meal, "How've you been liking the book I recommended?"
Virgil perked up, quite sure his eyes were all but sparkling. "Oh! I haven't finished it yet but I've absolutely loved it so far. Josephine is such a compelling main character and her 'friend' Beth Ann is so sweet. And the obvious pinning between them, I just— how can they be so oblivious!"
"I know, right!"
"Ugh, and the baker, oh, whatever his name is—"
"Yeah! That bastard. He just pisses me off so much. But when Beth Ann threw the rock at his window, I about woke up the whole Mindscape because of how hard I was laughing. I just—" Virgil snorted. "Anyway, yeah. It's been good."
"Ah, I'm glad. I thought you'd enjoy it."
"Yeah, thanks for letting me borrow it."
Logan smiled. "Of course."
They ate more, chatting all the while, until they were comfortably full.
Logan cleared his throat. "I would just like to preface this by saying that I, in no way, want you to think I'm saying this because it's a bad thing."
"Uhh, okay? What's, um, what's up?"
"You seem to be in a good mood. You're very, uh, open and confident. I'm very glad you're—" Logan pulled out a flashcard, "—'Feeling your oats' as the phrase goes."
Virgil snorted. "Yeah, man. I feel good. I've just been able to relax, ya know?"
"Mm, I'm glad. I know how stressed you can be, and it's… it's nice to see you take some well-deserved downtime to just 'chill out'." Logan dragged two fingers down as if to put quotation marks around the last two words.
Virgil raised an eyebrow in amusement. "Wh— why is 'chill out' in quotes?"
"I… do not know. That's a very good question."
"Ah, well, really, why do any of us do anything?"
"Well, actually, we, as a human race, do the many things we do for a wide variety of reasons. Of course, not everything has an easily identifiable reason but— ah, apologies, that was a rhetorical question and I just took it and, metaphorically, ran with it."
"No, you're good! I was just— I was, mm. I… sorry but, oh my goodness, how— how are you this…"
Logan's face fell, causing a pang to shoot through Virgil's chest. "Annoying?"
"What? No! I was going to say cute and nerdy. I— shit, Lo, I don't think you're annoying. You're really interesting, and really passionate when talking about the things you enjoy. I love listening to you. Really. And I'm sorry if I ever made you think that I thought you were annoying. Because you're not. You're the opposite. You're enrapturing! And… and life would be quite dull without your fascinating, and oftentimes educational, rants."
"...'I shit Lo'. "
"Oh, come on. That's what you take from this."
Logan let out a small laugh. "I'm only teasing, Virgil."
"You certainly are teasing Virgil," Virgil muttered.
"But in all seriousness—"
"Necktie… sorry. Continue."
"I really do appreciate your… kind words. And I'm very glad to know I'm not bothering you, and that you seem to enjoy my rants and rambles about as much as I do."
"I— yeah, of course, man. It— yeah."
Logan gave Virgil a lopsided smile. "Right… oh, um, I had a question…"
"Is… is this a date?"
"Oh! It, um, what?"
"It's alright if it is a platonic outing… but if it was a date… um, I'd like to know, considering that would be, um, vital information."
"It… um, do you want it to be a date?"
"I… I would rather like it to be, but only if you want it to be a date as well. Um, do… do you want it to be a date?"
"I— yes. Holy shit, yes, I do. I'd love for this to be a date."
"I… ah, good. Then it's a date."
"It's a date. Yeah." Virgil couldn't help the wide smile that crossed his face, all too aware he probably looked ridiculous, but he couldn't find it in himself to care.
"Would that… and apologies if this is too fast, I don't exactly have the best idea of how quickly this should go, especially because everyone has different speeds and boundaries… but, would that… make you my boyfriend? Or does one have to go on multiple dates first?"
"Uhh, I think it depends and maybe like, usually multiple… but like if— um, I mean, do you want to be boyfriends?"
"Yes! I mean I would very much like that, if you do, but if this is too fast, I completely understand."
"No, it… yes, I very much would like to be your boyfriend."
"Oh! I um, good. Then we're boyfriends."
"Yeah," Virgil's face warmed. "Boyfriends."
Virgil came back to his room, having just finished his ninth date with Logan, and it took everything in him to not squeal with happiness the instant the door shut.
Logan had even walked him back to his room like the gentleman Logan was. Virgil paused for a moment more and, after hearing Logan's door down the hall click shut, allowed himself a small squeal, which quickly turned into giggles, albeit very quiet giggles. But still, Virgil giggled. Virgil!
They'd only been together for 6 days. And while Virgil knew they were still in the 'honeymoon phase', he couldn't help but look at it optimistically.
Hell, he couldn't remember a time he'd been this happy, and especially for this long.
Sure, soon things would mellow out, and they were bound to have disagreements at some point, but it didn't seem so daunting. Not when he knew he'd have Logan by his side, and smarts in his brain.
Virgil knew they were being the overly sweet, PDA couple, but he couldn't find it in himself to care. They were enjoying themselves, and everyone was nothing but supportive, teasing included.
Everything was going well. Things were… amazing. Virgil would even, albeit hesitantly, go as far as to say things were beyond amazing. They were practically perfect in every way.
So really he should've known it wouldn't last. Things never went well for him.
~One week after the orb encounter~
When Virgil woke up he almost felt like something was off. He blearily blinked his eyes. But what was off? He felt… normal. Wait, normal? He wasn't supposed to be feeling normal! He was supposed to be feeling smart. Just like he did every morning this past week or so. (Well, except the first day as it'd taken a moment to sink in.) So if he wasn't feeling smart the second he woke up...
What… what happened? What had happened to make him stupid again!?
Virgil jumped when a knock sounded on the door.
"Virgil? Are you awake yet?"
Shit, Logan. Oh fuck. God fucking damnit! Virgil couldn't be stupid again! Logan would… he would… oh god.
"Virgil? Are you hyperventilating? Remember your breathing exercise. In for 4, hold for 7, and out for 8… it's alright, you're alright. Just try again."
How the hell was Virgil supposed to get control of his breathing when he was stupid again? God, Logan will be so disappointed. He'd want to— Virgil choked back another sob.
"Virgil, please. I'm worried about you. Just breathe, okay?"
Logan would want to break up with him. There was no way Logan would ever want to be with anyone this stupid.
"Mm, you may not feel like it, but I promise that you can, Virgil. And it's alright if it takes you awhile to do so, but you can. You're allowed to breathe. Whatever is distressing you, can be solved. You don't have to go though this alone. I'll do everything in my power to help, and I know the others will want to as well. We're here for you, Virgil."
Virgil only barely muffled his sob. "N— no! Don't w— want you h— here."
Oh god. Why was Virgil like this? Sabotaging everything before it could have half a chance to get bad.
Virgil could practically see Logan's eyebrow raise. "You don't? If you would prefer, I can get someone els—"
"No! D— don't. Please."
"...Alright. I won't. Will you please at least tell me what's wrong, my love?"
Virgil didn't quite stifle this sob in time, the sound all but echoing through his room.
"Oh, starlight. You can tell me. And, unless you absolutely insist for me to go, I'm not leaving you. I'm right here."
Of course he wouldn't just leave unless Virgil was an absolute dick. Of course Logan was so patient and kind. He was amazing.
"Of course I w— want you to l— leave. G— god you're s— so…" And wow, Virgil was the worst person ever, "so a— annoying."
"O— oh. I see."
The smallness and just pure heartbreak in Logan's voice almost broke Virgil completely. He almost, almost opened the door, apologized, and confessed everything to Logan.
But… he couldn't. It was like there was a physical barrier keeping him from doing so, and molasses in his entire body, weighing him down.
"Well… I apologize for annoying you. It wasn't my i— intention, yet I made that mistake anyway. I shall attempt to do better in the future… thank you for c— correcting me."
Yep, Virgil actually hated himself. Why couldn't he ever do anything right?
"J— just… just go away."
Logan didn't deserve this. Didn't deserve this mess he'd accidentally invited into his life.
He was too polite and kind to tell Virgil that he needed to get his shit together directly. But when Virgil inevitably couldn't, he would break up with Virgil.
But Logan… he wouldn't get it, not really. He'd still, even if it hurt him, be so kind and gentle to Virgil. And that… it'd be better if Virgil broke up with Logan before Logan had the chance to.
That way, Logan would feel betrayed, sure, but he could heal from that, and have no problem being cold towards Virgil. He'd finally recognize Virgil for the poison that he truly was.
It'd hurt Logan short term —something which Virgil would never forgive himself for—, but then he wouldn't have to be hurt by Virgil long term.
"Please, g— go."
"I… yes. Of course. And f— for what it's worth, I'm… I'm sorry I couldn't be of more assistance."
Virgil choked back a sob. He hadn't been planning on doing it right now, but he certainly couldn't break up with Logan in this state. It would drag it out farther but it'd be better to wait a bit anyway. He needed a game plan.
God, Virgil was not going to make it through that conversation without crying.
Virgil had been ignoring Logan, and Logan couldn't, for the life of him, figure out what he'd done wrong.
He'd only gone to tell Virgil 'good morning', the day before, but, for seemingly no reason, Virgil had been absolutely distraught. And to make matters worse, when he attempted to help soothe Virgil, his presence had only distressed Virgil further.
Of course, perhaps Virgil being upset had nothing to do with Logan and he just need a lot of space. Then again, maybe Logan had greatly offended him somehow.
And the more Logan thought about it, the more he confirmed his conclusion that he wouldn't be able to solve this on his own. He really needed someone with more emotional experience to talk to about this. Hopefully Patton wouldn't be too busy right now.
After receiving no answer to his knock on Patton's door, he went to check the common room.
"Oh hey, Logan!" Patton looked up from his crochet, his smile quickly turning into a frown at Logan's downcast demeanour. "What's up?"
"I was… wondering if you were busy, Patton. And if you aren't, then I was wondering if you could assist me with an… emotional matter."
Patton tilted his head to the side and set his crochet stuff on the coffee table. "Nope, not busy at all! What's on your mind?"
"Well— er, apologies but I must ask you, are you Janus?"
"Nope! Oh shoot, that's what he'd say though. Darn. Hmm… what's something he wouldn't know?"
"It's alright, Patton. I believe you. I— uh, I actually have an agreement with Janus that he'll reveal himself before I say anything… rather private. So I was just checking before I began."
"Oh! Okay, well, that's good. I'm glad you two are getting along."
"I am as well."
"You, uh, wanna sit down?"
"Hmm? Oh, yes. Apologies." Logan sat down on the couch, making sure to leave plenty of room between himself and Patton.
"It's alright! You got nothing to apologize for, Lo… So, what did you wanna talk to me about?"
"Well, it's just… so you know how Virgil and I have been together for approximately 7 days and 23 hours?"
"Well, Virgil won't talk to me now. I… I went to go see him yesterday morning but he was very upset and said to go away. I, of course, understand that sometimes he needs alone time, especially being the same way myself, and had absolutely no problem giving him the space he needed."
"...But?" Patton prompted.
"But… he ignored my asking if he was okay yesterday afternoon, and my asking if he was up to eating supper with us in the evening, and was completely silent when I asked him if he wanted any breakfast and was he alright this morning. Usually, if he wants alone time he will state as such. Not turn off his music when I knock and then say nothing."
"Oh, hmmm. That is pretty unusual for him. Maybe he just really didn't feel like talking? Or said something but it was just really soft?"
"I… that seems rather doubtful, but thank you. Perhaps… or perhaps I did something to upset him? He called me… annoying and I thought it was just because he was just upset in general but… I mean, I can't recall saying anything that might've been rude or insensitive… but then again I suppose I'm not really good at telling when I've hurt people's emotions."
"Hmm, this is pretty odd. Maybe try giving him a bit more time? And then tonight maybe you should try asking him if he's upset, and if he's upset with you. Oh, and maybe try telling him that you can't know what's wrong if he doesn't tell you, and if you can't help if he doesn't let you. And if he still won't talk to you, I can see what's up with him tomorrow."
"Yes, I— thank you, Patton. This has been really, figuratively, weighing on my mind. I just hope whatever I've done wrong, I can fix."
Patton sighed. "It might've been something you said, but it might not be. Just remember that, Logan. Okay?"
"Yes, you're… you're right, of course. I… yes. It might be something unrelated to me, or at least nothing that I've said or done. But of course, then again maybe it is something I didn't and he doesn't… hold me in a… very fond regard anymore. Perhaps I did something so bad that he won't forgive me and I just completely ruined our relationship and he hates me foreve—"
"Hey, hey, Logan. It's alright." Patton sat his hand on Logan's shoulder. "You're catastrophizing, okay?"
"Yes, I am. I need to calm down. I'm just… just so worried. I mean, what could've happened for him to… to push me away like this. Wh—" Logan choked back a sob. "What did I do wrong, Patton? I just can't figure out what I did wrong."
"I can't say for sure, of course, but it really sounds like you didn't do anything. Maybe something happened but if you said something, you didn't know and I really don't think you could've done something that bad and that easily. Like, I don't know, based on his reaction, I just think you'd at least have a general idea of what you did."
"Yes. Yes, of course. You're right, Patton. I— thank you."
"Of course, Logan. I'm always here for you. And I really hope your conversation goes well tonight."
"I… I hope so too."
"Oh, Bed, Goth, And Beyond?" Virgil heard Roman call from the other side of Virgil's door. "Why are you moping? Did something happen between you and Logan?"
Virgil pulled his blanket even closer and sniffed into his pillow.
Roman continued, "He's been looking really sad and you won't come out of your damn room."
Had Virgil really upset Logan that bad? Of course, he had said some really mean things. It was all a blur, he couldn't really remember what he said… except, he'd called Logan 'annoying'. And that was… God, he was so insecure about that and Virgil had just been an absolute prick and said it anyway. Of course he had. He really was stupid. He just kept fucking things up.
That's all he knew how to do. Be stupid and fuck things up.
"Virgil? Please? Will you please talk to someone about it? It's alright if it's not me. You could work it out with Logan, or talk to Patton. He's always so helpful with stuff like this. Or perhaps I could help in some way?"
Virgil had to bite his lip from wanting to call out to Roman to yes, come help him. He'd fucked up and didn't know how to fix it.
"Oh gods, it'd be so awkward if you're asleep and I've just been rambling at your door. Are you awake?"
Tears sprang to Virgil's eyes. He shouldn't be bothering Roman. He had to stop fucking everything up.
"Oh…" Roman's voice came from farther away, "Well, alright then."
"No!" Virgil exclaimed before he could stop himself.
"Virgil?" Roman asked, voice louder again.
"Are you okay?"
"Hah, what's an 'okay'?"
"Oh, Virgil. May I come in? I want to help."
Virgil furiously scrubbed underneath his eyes. "Sure, why not."
Roman knew Virgil was awake and probably heard the upset in his voice, likely causing Roman to worry. Better to get this over with and let Roman think he'd helped so Virgil could go back to wallowing in his self-pity and loathing.
The door opened with a small creak to reveal Roman there in his pajamas. "Hey, there," Roman said, his voice surprisingly soft. "Having a bad time?"
"...Yeah, but it's my fault so whatever."
Roman closed the door and sat on the bed next to Virgil, patting his shoulder sympathetically. "I'm sorry to hear that. Do you wanna talk about it, or be distracted from it?"
"Is okay. You don't need to do anything." Virgil pulled his blanket over his head.
"Like I said, I wanna help. Whatever's bothering you is clearly something important, even if you don't think it's big or something to make a big fuss over. If it's gotten to this point then it's something that needs to be taken care of."
"...If I tell you, will you promise not to tell anyone?" Virgil asked, voice rather muffled from where he'd buried himself.
"I won't tell anyone without your explicit permission. I promise, prince's honour."
"Okay. Well, I…" Virgil finally sat up, removing the blanket from his face, and cocooned himself in it. "So I… kinda did something stupid. Like really stupid. Like, if I were in a horror movie, the people watching would be shouting 'no, don't do it!' at the TV… Although, in my defence, it was a really smooth talker."
Roman tilted his head to the side. "What was a smooth talker?"
"Well… I went into the Imagination… kinda like, without your permission… oh, this was like over a week ago, by the way."
"And I found this like, glowing orb."
Roman raised his eyebrows. "A glowing orb? I've never seen it, but I'm not saying I don't believe you! I do, and my lands are quite vast."
Virgil deflated slightly. "Oh, so you don't know anything about it?"
"No, but I could ask around in the Imagination. Tell me more. What happened?"
"Well, it… this sounds a bit weird but, it spoke to me."
"Doesn't sound weird to me. There's quite a lot of interesting and unrealistic stuff in the Imagination. What did it say?"
"It…" Virgil picked at a loose thread on his blanket. "It said… that it could fix my greatest flaw. Big bunch of fuckin' baloney."
"And… and what did you say?"
"That's the stupid thing I did. I said yes."
"Hmm, what did it hypothetically fix? And did it?"
"It… it made me smart. And yeah, it worked… for a while… but then it stopped. It only worked for what… a week? Yeah, it was a week. But anyway, yesterday morning I woke up and I was stupid again."
"I see. There's one thing I don't understand though. I mean, but… you're already smart?"
"No, I wasn— er, no, I'm not. I'm so fuckin' stupid. Like it's not even funny how stupid I am…"
"Oh, Virgil, you're not stupid! You never were…
"And yes, I did notice a bit of a difference this past week, but you just seemed more… hmm, how do I put this into words… like happy and… confident! Yeah, that's the word I was looking for. Like you seemed unafraid to share and show your contributions. And being with Logan really seemed to help your overall mood. It was quite refreshing to see you so… invigorated, ya know?"
"O— oh. Um, t— thanks, Roman."
"Shit, got off-topic. As I was saying, you're not stupid. You know lots of stuff! You're the only one who can give Logan a run for his money when we play trivia. And! You've got a lot of emotional intelligence, ya know?"
"I…" Virgil sniffed. "Yeah. I guess."
"Well, you do. You always know what we need when we're upset, and how to calm us down, or help us let it out."
"Well, I mean... I do kinda know how to handle anxiety attacks."
"You do!" Roman agreed. "And you know what?"
"Even if you weren't regular smart or emotional smart… we'd still love you."
"Y— you would?"
"Yes, absolutely. We would."
"I— o— oh." Virgil's face was not wet with tears. Thank you very much. "Okay."
Virgil nodded. "Okay. I— fuck, I believe you."
"Good, that's… that's good. I— oh, Virgil, are you crying? Um… oh! Would you like a hug?"
"I… if you, um… yes, please."
Roman wrapped his warm arms around Virgil and he couldn't help but bury his face into the space in between Roman's neck and shoulder.
"It's alright, I've got you. And don't worry about the orb, okay? I'll look into it and see what I can find."
"I…" Virgil pulled back his tear-stricken face from Roman's shoulder to look at him. "Really?"
"Yeah, you just get some rest, even if you can't sleep. Just, I don't know, read a book, and I'll take of it." Roman tucked a loose piece of hair behind Virgil's ear. "Oh, if I find anything tonight, do you want me to tell you what I find when I do, or should I wait till tomorrow?"
"I— tonight, if you don't mind. I highly doubt I'll be able to stop thinking about it long enough to fall asleep."
"Alrighty! Should… um, do you think you feel well enough for me to start my search now?"
"Oh, yeah, of course!" Virgil pulled back, already missing the warmth. "Sorry, I didn't mean to make you feel obligated to stay."
"It's alright, Virgil. You didn't. I stayed because I wanted to. And I'm only leaving now to get to the bottom of this for you."
"Oh, that… sounds like a lot of work. I'm sorry."
"Nonsense! You have absolutely no reason to apologize."
"Well, then… Thank you. I really… I really appreciate this."
"You're welcome, Dark And Daring." Roman smiled heroically. "Farewell!"
"Bye, Princey. Stay… um, stay safe."
Roman's smile softened. "I will."
Virgil knew that reasonably, Roman hadn't been gone that long, but it still felt like it was dragging on forever.
He'd tried reading, listening to music, and just about anything and everything to try and get his mind off of what Roman was doing, and if he was okay. God, Virgil really hoped he was okay.
Virgil was just about to start pacing while reading… again, when someone knocked on his door.
"Hey, guess what, my Emo Screamo?"
"I did a bit of digging and! I found the thing you were talking about!"
Virgil opened the door. "The… thing?"
"Yeah! It's called a Wisher Orb." Roman wiggled his fingers, doing jazz hands. "The Dragon-Witch spotted it in a clearing when she was flyin'."
"Oh, wow, that was fast. It's only been like, an hour or two."
"Yep! It wasn't too difficult… Wanna go check it out? Seemed kinda like you have some unfinished business with it."
"Yeah, I guess so… uh, meet you at the door of the Imagination in ten? I gotta change into something more… suitable for traveling in the woods."
"Sure, Short-Pale-And… uh…"
"No, no. Please finish that, Princey." Virgil said, voice light. "Go right ahead. Say it… I dare you."
"Heh, sorry… and uh, I'll see you in ten then."
It had taken a frankly ridiculous amount of time for Virgil to find the place again, but somehow, after only getting turned around about six times, they finally got to the familiar clearing.
For a brief second Virgil was afraid the orb (what had Roman called it? The Wish-it Orb?) was gone as the clearing, but just like before, he'd barely gotten three steps beyond the trees when it sparked to life.
Virgil wearily approached the glowing, orange orb, noticing that Roman hung back, close enough to be able to jump in and assist if necessary, seeing as he was still in earshot, but far enough back to give Virgil and the Wish-it Orb some semblance of privacy.
"Ah, hello, Mortal. I presume you're back because it wore off, considering it's been a bit over a week. I am a little surprised it took you this long to come back though."
"Shut up," Virgil hissed. "You could've at least told me that it would only last for a week!"
"Oh, but where's the fun, the lesson in that?" The orb laughed, sounding rather like a bell tinkling. "Actually, this whole thing has been a lesson. Both in self-confidence and in realising that you're much smarter than you think… although I must confess something…"
"Oh god, what now?"
"I didn't make you smart."
"What the fuck are you talking about? But you did. I know you did."
"Mmm, not really. You were already smart. I just gave you the confidence you needed."
"Wait, really? That can't... but I… but what about all the facts I knew?"
"You already knew them. You were just never confident enough to share them."
"...What? No, that can't… I mean… o— oh."
"Oh. Oh, shit... Oh, fuck."
Roman stepped closer. "Uh, Virgil? You alright?"
"I… y— yeah. Just my own worst enemy… a— apparently."
"Remember what you've learned."
The Wisher Orb suddenly crackled and fizzled, the light spluttering until the sound stopped and the light faded, giving one last flicker before it shattered, the tiny shards and pieces scattering everywhere.
"No," Virgil croaked out before he all but screamed, "No! It c— can't just— no!"
"Hey, hey, hey. It's okay. It's alright, Virgil." Roman rushed forward, hesitantly setting his hand on Virgil's shoulder, and wrapping his arms around Virgil when Virgil all but clung onto him.
"Stupid fucking— it… pathetic." Virgil all but howled, and didn't think he was just talking about the Wisher Orb anymore.
"Hey. Hey, Virgil. It's okay. It's gonna be okay. You're alright. It's okay… it's okay."
Virgil didn't leave his room for a couple of days. He knew it seemed like he was throwing a fit, but he needed the time. Both to think and to just, take a breath.
Patton had come by the morning after Roman took Virgil to the woods, and told Virgil that Logan had gone to talk to him the night before but he hadn't answered, so Patton came to see what was wrong. Virgil could see how concerned Patton was and told him everything that'd happened. Everything. He couldn't have opened his room door if he was in the Imagination, now could he?
Virgil promised to talk to Logan the next day and explain, and asked Patton to tell Logan that Virgil was okay and not mad at him.
He knew he needed to tell Logan what happened, that he wasn't avoiding him because of anything he'd done, but his throat threatened to close up every time he thought about it.
He was still going to do it, of course. He may not be getting any of that fake confidence from the orb anymore, but he had his own little piece of bravery. Just because he was scared, didn't mean he wasn't going to run away.
He was going to tell Logan, even though it absolutely terrified him. He needed to. Logan should know what had happened, and if Virgil got any say in the matter at all, he would.
Virgil took a few long deep breaths, before knocking on Logan's door.
Logan opened it in record time, staring at Virgil with wide eyes. "I— Virgil. You… hello. Can, um, how can I assist you today?"
"Hey, Lo. I… I came to explain the past few days."
"I— ah, I see. That's… alright. Um, would you like to come in?"
Logan shut the door behind Virgil and they sat on Logan's couch, the large gap between them feeling like a chasm.
"So…" Logan began. "What… what did happen? Did… have I done something?"
"What? No! You haven't done anything, Lo. I promise."
"Then… what? I just… I don't understand."
"Well…" Virgil explained, he explained it all. Everything. From making the wish to its end, from all his fears and insecurities to how Roman had helped, to how much Virgil loved Logan. He told him everything. He laid himself bare for Logan.
Logan just sat there for a few moments —minutes? Virgil's sense of time wasn't the best— and processed.
Logan took a deep breath. "I… I see. That… certainly sounds like an ordeal."
"Do… do you h— hate me now?"
"Wh— hate you? I don't think I could ever hate you. Why would I hate you?"
A few tears slipped down Virgil's cheeks. Dammit, and he'd been doing good so far! "Be— because I… I made a bad decision, and t— tricked you into loving me, but really I'm just… I'm j— just stupid. And I— I lied 'n said y— you were a— annoying, even though t— that's so not t— true, 'n you're really i— insecure about it, 'n it's n— not right! You're n— never 'nnoying. A— and s— so I'm sorry. I'm so sorry, Logan. I n— never wanted to h— hurt you!"
"First of all, we all make bad decisions, but I… I'm not so sure that could be considered a bad decision. Perhaps not the best one, but you're alright, and you've learned from it. That's the important thing, yes? That you're okay, and you learn something from it."
"I… yeah, I g— guess."
"Second of all, you have certainly not tricked me into loving you. I have not been tricked, and to my full knowledge, you have not attempted to either."
"B— but I said yes because I thought you'd love me if I was smart… and t— then you did. It w— worked."
"Oh. Oh, Virgil. I loved you long before that. I was glad you seemed to be feeling a bit more confident, but my love for you in no way relies upon how confident you are, or your intelligence. I love you for you, Virgil. Not for what you can give me, for you."
"Shit, Lo. I'm a— already crying. Oh my God, y— you're so sweet."
"And you're very kind."
"Mm, Lo!" Virgil briefly buried his face in his hands.
"Ah, yes. I don't want to overwhelm you."
"O— oh. Thanks."
"Of course. Your physical and emotional well-being is very important to me."
"But… I s— still said those r— really awful t— things to you."
"Mm, that brings me to my third point. You said some hurtful things, and it did upset me. I acknowledge that. But that doesn't change the fact that I care about you. I realised that you'd only said that out of a deep hurt. A hurt that I couldn't help with at the time.
"You have apologized, and I take it you will attempt to avoid saying a similar thing in the future?"
"Yes! You're never 'nnoying and I h— hope I never s— say that again."
"That's good. I… did not enjoy hearing it, but anyway. I do not wish to dwell on it, and would rather discuss other important things. So, that being said, is there anything else you'd like to say or talk about?"
"Um, j— just to clarify… you like, actually w— want me, even though I'm an a— absolute mess?"
"Yes, exactly. I very much want you, mess included. For as long as you want me, I want you."
"Oh, I— yeah. I w— want you too."
Logan smiled softly. "Good. That's… I'm glad."
Virgil felt his face warm. "Yeah, 'm glad too… so we— um."
"We're like, good then, yeah?"
"Yes, very much so. I love you, and am very glad that you're my boyfriend."
"I— good, and I… I love you, and 'm really glad you're my boyfriend too. You're— you're really awesome, Logan. And I—" Virgil wiped underneath his eyes. "I c— can't tell you how much it means to m— me that you d— don't hate me, and in f— fact really truly c— care about m— me."
"Oh, dearest. Hmm… ah, if you feel up to it, would you like some physical contact?"
It took all of Virgil's strength and willpower to not throw himself into Logan's arms. "I— would y— you?"
"Yes, I would not be offering it if I didn't wish to partake."
"Then… yeah, I'd— I'd r— really like t— that."
Logan gently grabbed Virgil by the shoulders and guided them both to where they were lying down on the couch.
"It's alright now, starlight. You're okay. I'm okay. We're okay. You can rest now."
"Love you, Lo."
"I love you too, my love."
And as Virgil lay there with his head on Logan's chest and Logan's warm arms around him, he knew that Logan would always be there for him. Just like he would for Logan...
Now and forever.