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The Aspects of Being Human

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    With Logan’s success in confessing to Patton and the date he was about to ask him to go on, Virgil had a very rare boost of confidence. Surely, this would be the right time.

    “Ro, we need to talk.”

    The moment those words left his mouth, that confidence left too. That didn’t matter, though, because he had to. And not because of Logan, but because of something he realized just a few days ago:

    He loved Roman.

    Quite honestly? He’s probably loved Roman for a long time. A twenty-second google search told him that, on average, people fall in love after 4-5 months of a crush. Not only has Virgil had feelings for the drama queen for longer than a year, but he also tends to get… attached to people pretty easily, admittedly.

    How did he realize he loved him instead of just crushing on him? Well for one, the words simply felt right in his mind, and that never happens with words like love. Moreso, though, he noticed (a little too late) a change in how he thought of him. Before, his thoughts were more selfish, as crushes often are. He would… think about what he would gain from a relationship, and what he wanted from Roman. Now, he can’t help but think about what he wants to do for Roman.

    (Embarrassingly, he would probably give the world to him without expecting anything in return. But maybe, in retrospect, that’s just unhealthy.)

    This is what really made him realize how horribly selfish he’s been. I mean, he’s known that it was wrong to continue hiding his feelings for no reason, but Roman, the side that battles his insecurities alone, has to live with the idea that the person he likes doesn’t like him back. Roman, who probably believes in soulmates and fate. Roman, who dreams big only to be faced with disappointment. Roman, who probably doesn’t think he deserves any love from him after everything he’s done.

     Fuck that. Roman may be an asshole sometimes, but he did not deserve what Virgil’s been doing to him. Especially since Virgil actually wants to date him now.

    God, who has he become?

    So, yeah, he has to confess. That doesn’t mean it’s easy.

     Roman seems uncomfortable, too. He’s shifting in his seat suddenly, and it looks like he wants to say something. “Virgil, if I’m correct in what this is about, may I say something first?”

    “Uh, yeah?” What does he think we’re talking about? Does he know? What if he doesn’t want a relationship? What if he doesn’t like you that way anymore? What if-

    “I don’t want you to force yourself to like me.”

    Oh.

    Wait- “What?”

    The creative side gives a deep sigh, and there’s a redness in his cheeks now. “A couple weeks ago, you asked me to be patient. I realized later that what you were asking me was to wait for you to like me back, which is-”

    Oh hell no.

    It was at this point that Virgil tuned out of what Roman was saying as he tried to think how he’s supposed to tell him. Love, or any words like it, have never left his lips, and-

    Wait. That gives him an idea.

    It was the kind of thing that probably only happened in movies, but Roman does like dramatic gestures, right? This isn’t something Virgil would usually even consider doing, but it provided a solution to two dilemmas. One, it told Roman how he feels, and Two, it shut him up.

     Kiss him.

    “It’s unfair to you, to-” Virgil leaned in quickly, ready to dramatically crash his lips into Roman’s without another thought, and-

    He crashes his nose right into Roman’s, instead. “Ow! Wha…?”

     Oh no. No no no no no, this could not be happening to him. He instinctually moved to cover his hurt nose, then decided instead to just cover his entire face because oh god he could not look at Roman right now. Why would he do that? Why did he think that was a good idea when he doesn’t even know how to kiss?! Roman probably thinks he’s an idiot, he deserves better than you.

    “Did you just… try to kiss me?”

    “Uuuugghhhh,” Virgil groaned in his hands, moving to curl in on himself on his side of the couch. “Just laugh and get it over with, Princey.”

    “I don’t understand.” Surprisingly, Roman didn’t have any hints of ridicule or laughter in his voice, just confusion. “You don’t like me. I would have known if you did.”

    Virgil moved his hands away from his face, but kept his forehead resting on his knees to avoid looking at Roman. He hates that he has to explain this all again, especially after what just happened, but Roman deserves to know the truth. “Ro, we aren’t real. I hid all the signs that I had a crush on you, it wasn’t that hard.”

    “Why would you do that if you knew I liked you back? What’s the point?”

    “Because I’ve liked you for a year, Roman! Since last fucking March!”

/

    Roman felt his heart fall to his stomach.

    A year ago. Longer than a year ago. Four whole months before Virgil was accepted. Nine months before Roman accepted his own feelings.

    He screwed up. Badly.

    For all the months he’s had to deal with the fact that his love doesn’t like him back, Virgil has had to deal with much more. Virgil had to face constant ridicule and hatred from the man he had feelings for. He had no choice but to hide anything that could allude to the truth, knowing it would only lead to heartbreak.

    Oh god, and another thing: Wasn’t Roman the one who told him all sides could experience love? Virgil seemed so unsure about the concept, surely it was something he struggled with. What if he thought he was broken all that time?

    Whatever the case is, Roman felt horrible. He wanted nothing more than to wrap his arms around Virgil as tight as possible, to kiss him and tell him how amazing he is, how brave he is, how much I love him-

    Well, perhaps that lost thought should be saved for another time, but it’s true. Virgil may not always be easy to handle, but god, he loves him so much.

    “Look, Roman,” Virgil spoke up after a somewhat long stretch of silence. “It’s not a big deal. It was just a small crush back then. I’ve been through worse.”

    “Big deal or not, that couldn’t have been easy.” Roman honestly didn’t know what to say. As the anxious side uncurls himself, still not facing Roman but showing bright blush on his face, he reminds himself that Virgil is willingly showing this new vulnerability. It was crucial that he didn’t screw this moment up. “Virgil, may I hug you?”

    There was only a slight hesitation before Virgil whispered, “Yeah.”

    Roman has not been blessed with many opportunities to hug his counterpart, though he’s learned from both experience and observation that Virgil doesn’t tend to return hugs as most do. He doesn’t wrap his arms around the person hugging him (unless they need it) but instead curls up against the other person’s chest. To be on the other end of such a gesture is something that will never fail to make Roman’s heart completely melt.

    “So you like me,” Roman whispers after a while of this. A giddy, joyful feeling passes through his chest and fingertips at that thought: Virgil likes him back. It didn’t really hit him until just then, but he’d never thought he’d be able to even think that, much less have it genuinely be true.

    Virgil scoffs in response. “Surprisingly, yes.”

    “And I like you.”

    “I think we got it, Princey.”

    “And you tried to kiss me.”

    “Do you really have to remind me?” The darker side moved from his spot in Roman’s arms, only to find himself very close to his face. “If you ever mention what happened to anyone, I’ll kill you.”

    Roman chuckles at that, absolutely beaming with joy. With his right hand on Virgil’s hip, he ever-so-carefully moves his left hand to cup Virgil’s cheek. He watches the bright blush on his cheeks form, pupils dilated, and he’s so glad he’s allowed to see that now. “Do you want to try again?”

    There was another moment of pause, as if Virgil had to legitimately think about it, before he groans in both annoyance and embarrassment.

    He takes a moment to giggle before slowly, carefully leaning in until he brushes against Virgil. He can feel the rough texture of his lips from anxious biting, and he’s vaguely aware of Virgil’s arms wrapping around his waist, but his mind isn’t quite focusing on those details. All he can think is Finally.

    The kiss really isn’t anything special in itself. It’s chaste and patient, and only ends up lasting a few seconds. But the fact that Roman is able to kiss Virgil now at all is more than amazing. Finally, he can be with the person he loves and show it. Eventually, he’ll be able to say it, too-

    “I love you.” Uh oh.

     Oh no oh no, why would he say that? Virgil’s not ready for that! He didn’t even register that it came out of his own mouth and not-

    “ Shit. I- I didn’t mean- That wasn’t what I-”

    Oh.

    Roman wasn’t the one who said it.

    “Virgil, hey,” Roman immediately soothed. If he didn’t say something soon, Virgil might start hyperventilating, and he does not want his counterpart having a panic attack over something like this. “Can you look at me?”

    Virgil simply ignored him. “Look, I know you haven’t liked me as long, and we aren’t even- I shouldn’t have even-”

    “I love you too.” Out of shock, Virgil finally looked up at Roman. “Yes, I haven’t known of my feelings for as long as you have, but I do know what love feels like, and this is it. I love you, so much.”

    There’s a deafening silence for a moment. Virgil’s simply staring at him, and it’s starting to make Roman nervous, until...

    He feels his entire heart shatter when he sees tears building up in Virgil’s eyes.

    “Virgil?”

    It was easy to make Roman cry; just play any well made animated movie, or a sad song, or, if he’s being honest, ridicule his work enough. But Virgil? Virgil never cried, not even in his worst moments. He just wasn’t a crier, from what he’s heard from Patton’s experiences with his anxiety attacks. It makes sense, too, with what has happened to him in his lifetime, so what would make Virgil cry?

    “Shit, sorry, I’m being stupid, it’s just- I never thought I’d hear you say that, I guess.”

    Virgil would never cry from pain, not with everything he’s been through. No, the only thing that would make Virgil cry is pure happiness, and that made Roman almost cry, too. (Now that he thinks about it, though, crying could be another thing Virgil stopped himself from doing, and he was finally letting that go.)

    The darker side laughed through his tears, wiping his face with his sleeve. “After that ‘Apology Talk’ we had, I specifically didn’t want this confession to be emotional, yet here I am, fucking crying.”

    Roman giggled as well, more out of fondness than anything else, and leaned forward to place a soft kiss on Virgil’s forehead while wiping away the wetness on his face with a gentle thumb. “Does this mean we’re dating now, angel?”

    He didn’t miss the blush that rose over Virgil’s cheeks and ears at the nickname. He sniffed one more time and sighed. “You know I’m not going to be good at this, right? There’s gonna be days where I’m distant, or where my anxiety will convince me you’ll leave. It’s going to be frustrating- God, I don’t understand why you even like me in the first place.”

    How could he possibly express how much he loves Virgil? How could he show him every reason why, from his beautiful hair to his strong-willed interior? What would convince Anxiety?

     Perhaps he should simply start from the beginning.

    “Let me tell you a story, dear.” When Virgil quirked an eyebrow at that, Roman cleared his throat and continued.

    “When we first accepted you, I was very… confused. Conflicted. But also, fascinated. In one day, you completely flipped my views. You changed my world before I even knew what was changed. It was a wake-up call I definitely needed. I realized I didn't know you. I never bothered to. So after that, I paid extra attention to you, and I saw something…”

    “Someone who needed to be saved?” Virgil asked in a gruff, quiet voice.

    “Not quite. Someone who needed help, maybe, but that’s not even half of it.” He thought through his next words very carefully. He knew what he wanted to say, but he didn’t quite know how to say it. But he’s the romantic side, for heaven’s sake! He’s got to say something!

    “I saw someone who… who loved so much that it almost broke him. Who protects the people they care about in any way he can, even if it’s self-destructive. There was someone who was creative in ways that I, Creativity, could never be.” Suddenly, it was becoming much easier to compliment Virgil. There was just so much about him that Roman adored. “I saw a man who used to be lost but stayed so strong, and once he was found he let himself be vulnerable and becomes even stronger, every day. I saw a snarky, sarcastic attitude that was sometimes from hiding away and other times it was just you, just who you are, and isn’t that wonderful? I saw-”

    “ Roman, ” Virgil finally stopped him, both amused and exasperated. “I get it. You’re a sap.”

    “One more thing!” The creative side cleared his throat one more time, attempting to put on just a slightly deeper voice. “I also saw someone who was very, very attractive.”

    “That's it, I'm breaking up with you.”

    “Ah, see, but the problem with that is, you never confirmed we were together in the first place.”

    Virgil made a sound between a scoff and a laugh, then ducked his head on Roman’s shoulder in what appeared to be defeat. “Guess I should probably say some stuff now,” he mumbled into his shirt.

    “You don’t have to say anything you aren’t ready to say,” Roman reassured automatically. Then again, didn’t he deserve at least a bit of an explanation? “But considering I’m only just now discovering your feelings, it would be nice to know what all started all of this.”

    The emo facet sighed. “No, you’re right, you deserve something. ” Moving only slightly away from Roman’s shoulder to still avoid eye contact, he rubbed at his face as he thought. “Ugh, okay- Honestly, when I first started liking you, I don’t think it was even- I just wanted attention, positive or negative, and you gave me a lot of the ladder, and you were also hot, or something.”

    “Aww, you think I’m hot,” Roman mocked, both amused and intrigued. Virgil put up a hand as if to slap him, but as the creative side flinched away and giggled, he flopped back down with a roll of his eyes instead.

    “ Anyway,” he began again but paused as he put his thoughts in place. “Uh, yeah. But eventually, I started seeing through your walls. I saw your insecurities, and you just became more, human, I guess.” Without warning, the blush that has remained on Virgil’s face disappeared in an instant, but the bashful way he picked at his nails proved to Roman that the redness did not go away naturally.

    “Virgil, you don’t have to-”

    “I know,” he interrupted. “I’m not trying to hide, it’s just, uh, a lot.” Virgil took a cautious, small glance through his bangs towards Roman, so his counterpart simply gave him a patient, hopefully encouraging smile. Maybe it was selfish, but he really did want Virgil to continue.

    “I wanted to be protected, and who better to do that than an egotistical prince with a sword?” Well, that is certainly not how Roman would describe himself, but it was clear Virgil wasn’t accepting any complaints at this time. “I never had that, obviously. But then… when I started seeing the real you, I also wanted to protect you- which yeah, that’s kinda my job, but it was different.” The darker side placed his palm against his forehead. “I don’t know what I’m saying, I just- I fell in love with your flaws, if that makes sense. I fell in love with you when I stopped seeing you as some Disney prince and started seeing you as an actual person. You-”

    He couldn’t listen to this anymore. Without another thought, he crushed Virgil into a hug.

    “Virgil, you-you're- How are you so amazing?” He wrapped his arms even closer around his counterpart, burying his face into his shoulder. “How do you always know exactly what to say? How did I get so lucky to have you?” Wait a second… He pulled away from Virgil, just enough to see his face. “I do have you, right? Because I’ve asked you three times now and I still haven’t really gotten an answer.”

    The darker side gave a small, nervous chuckle and ran a hand through his own hair. “Uh, yeah. But can we skip the awkward dating phase and just call each other boyfriends?”

     Boyfriends. Oh, didn’t that sound lovely? He would have to try to convince Virgil to let him take him out on dates some time, but for now, just being boyfriends sounded like more than enough. “Are we gonna tell Logan and Patton?”

    “Ehh, let’s wait a bit to mention anything, let them have their own fun. Besides, they practically already know.”

    “Okay,” Roman whispered. He wasn’t sure why he whispered it, at first, but then he realized how close he was to Virgil’s face. Of course, he couldn’t risk the temptation to look down at his lips. “May I have the honor of kissing you again, darling?”

    Virgil huffed in response, closing the distance between them before Roman could again.

/

    Roman’s eyelids creaked open when the sun was barely all the way in the sky, soft beams of light shooting through the curtains covering his windows. Right, he was supposed to wake up Patton today. He just barely moved to wake up, when-

    The rolled up ball next to him that was, in fact, not just blankets made a tiny sound of protest and curled closer to him. Ah, right.

    He really didn’t expect Virgil to come knocking at his door at 11 Pm, nervously asking if he could sleep in Roman’s room tonight, but he’s certainly glad he did. Apparently, the anxious side only really sleeps well if he’s absolutely exhausted, or if he’s with someone else.

    What he especially didn’t expect, though, was waking up to Virgil almost desperately clinging to him for warmth, the only thing visible in his form a mess of purple hair and closed, relaxed eyes. It would be an absolute crime to disturb this rare peace.

    Patton would have to deal with waking up late this one day.