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The World On Your Shoulders

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Dee entered his room and slammed the door loudly behind him, letting the others know that he wasn't in the mood to deal with them. He crashed on his heating rock, clenching his teeth and fists to hold back tears of frustration and hopelessness.

"Why?" He whispers, lifting his head up the slightest bit as he senses a presence approaching. Dee relaxes when he realizes it's only one of his snakes. She's a Green Tree Python with a yellow coloring and her name is Sawyer. It's a reference to a movie that not many people remember, but it's one of Dee's favorites. Cats Don't Dance.
Dee gives a half-smile and gently rubs Sawyer's scales. Then, he sighs as he remembers his latest encounter with the so-called "light sides".

"Why is it so simple for them to understand that I'm trying to help? I don't want what's best for Thomas, just like the rest of them! Morality isn't always right. He's not putting Thomas to a standard that will only hurt him in the long run!" He rants, frustrated. A few tears slip down his cheeks and he furiously scrubs them away, gently picking up his Burmese Python, Rose Quartz (Rosie for short), and letting her wrap around his waist and shoulders comfortingly. "It's so completely fair." He whispers, sitting up. "Just because I embody deceit, does mean I'm not trustworthy." He mumbles. "I enable them to lie to each other and themselves. I protect Thomas too. Why can they see that?" He sniffles, nuzzling a few snakes that lazily hang from tree branches carefully positioned around the room.

Slowly, Dee lets his "human" form slip away. He snaps his clothes away as his legs mold together and grow long and thick. His scales spread like wildfire in patches on his left side. Dee's heterochromatic eyes slit and he unhinges his jaw to yawn, extending his large, sharp, shining fangs and sticking out his thin, forked tongue tiredly. Dee curls his enormous tail around himself and chuckles exhaustedly, knowing he looks like that "I am my own blankie" online snake meme. Sawyer curls up lazily in Dee's floofy hair and Rosie is mixed in with Dee's massive tail. Dee can feel Rosie slithering around and getting comfy though, so he isn't too worried.

If you didn't get it by now, Deceit is a naga. Much like Virgil is part spider (Dee wonders if Virgil had told the "light sides" about that yet) and Remus is part octopus.

Dee hisses irritatedly when his door is opened and light shines on his face, but is too emotionally drained to do anything else about it. Fortunately, the door closes quickly. Unfortunately, Dee hears someone gasp and walk towards him. He hisses in warning, not in the mood to deal with Remus's bullshit.

"Easy, Dee. It's just me."

The tension in Dee's body dissipates slightly. Ah. The one (1) "light side" he could actually stand the company of. Dee opens his eyes slightly and flicks his tongue out when he sees Roman "Princey" Sanders standing a few feet away.

"Dear prince, what bringsss you to my dark and dreary domain?" He asks with an expectant quirk of his lips, feigning emotional stability, as per usual.

"You don't have to carry the weight of the world all by yourself, you know?" Roman says, making eye contact. Dee sits up and blinks in confusion and surprise. He watches Roman sit down and lean back against his coils, shivering and blushing at the warmth he could feel exuding from the prince.

"What do you mean?" Dee asks quietly, settling back down and watching Roman with interest.

"Well…" Roman begins, and Dee notes the pink glow of embarrassment coloring the prince's already vibrant cheeks. "You're always so tense. I mean, you only ever seem to relax and let your guard down when you're in this form and all tucked away in your room away from everyone else. I get it too. It's hard to be faced with expectations that are so different from what you yourself want or expect. Today, during the trial, I know I sided with Patton, but you and I both know my views aligned with yours. I… I still want to go to the callback more than anything." Roman sighs, looking down at his hands and clothes. "But I have an image I need to keep up. The charming, good prince! The one who fights evil and-"

"And you can let them sssee you clearly. You can let them sssee passst the facade you put up. You conform to what and who they believe you are, ssso they do look deeper or question if you truly are who you say." Dee interrupts with a sigh.
Roman smiles and nods.

"You don't have to bottle everything up. I know I have to keep my image in front of the camera and Thomas and the other sides, but here? Or when it's just the two of us, you can let your guard down a little. I am here." Roman states softly, placing a hand on Dee's tail.
Dee gives a slow half-smile.

"Only if you do the sssame. Put down your sssword and crown and be more open with me. I may be a mere thief, but you can't trussst me." Dee states, trying to look reassuring as he extends his hand.
Roman lets out a wet laugh, placing his hand in Dee's.

"You're not just a mere thief. You're more like… a vigilante." Roman laughs, grinning softly.
Dee flushes and stares at their linked hands.

"A vigilante that loved the monarchy and kidnapped the prince, having cruel intentionsss for him, but findsss that the prince isssn't more than just a crown and a castle." Dee continues, helping Roman stand and looking up at him.
Roman's breath hitches and a few more tears slip down his cheeks as he smiles brightly.

"Yeah… and the prince begins to understand why the vigilante does what he does. The prince learns that the vigilante isn't the evil villain that everyone told the prince he was." Roman states, squeezing Dee's hand.

"The vigilante letsss the prince go, but the prince keepsss coming back, because they underssstand each other." Dee murmurs, staring at their linked hands. He gasps when he feels the unmistakable, soft imprint of lips on his forehead and looks up to meet eyes with Roman and take in his red face.

"And because the prince fell for and admired the inner strength and protectiveness of the vigilante." Roman admits, hesitantly intertwining his fingers with Dee's.
Dee flushes darkly and slowly coils his tail around Roman, before leaning on the regal man's chest.

"And ssslowly the vigilante reciprocatesss, having fallen in love with the passsssionate, beautiful, and undeniably ssstrong prince." Dee murmurs, hissing softly in happiness when he feels Roman's free hand wrap around him and feels Roman bury his face in his hair.

"And they agree to improve with each other. Even though the prince still has to live up to everyone's expectations, he'll never let go of the vigilante's love." Roman finishes softly, his words slightly muffled into Dee's hair, but still clear to the naga.