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The price for friendship

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When it first happened he wasn’t sure what was happening. He had been cheerfully doing his own thing (gluing dildos to a couple of mannequins) when he felt this weird pulling sensation in his gut and, suddenly, he was in Thomas’ living room.

“Good, now that we’re all here…” Thomas started.

Remus was too confused to focus on what Thomas was saying, he wasn’t sure why he was here. This was the first time he had been summoned. It was weird. What was weirder was that no one was looking at him with fear and/or disgust.

Looking around the room trying to figure out what was going on he missed most of the discussion.

“How does that sound to you Remus?” his head snapped to Logan at that.

Shit, he still had no idea what was happening. But everyone was looking at him now, clearly expecting an answer.

“Yeah! Sounds good,” he blurted, nodding enthusiastically and gave three thumbs up, the third came from his pocket.

At least the faintly disgusted frowns that were now directed at him felt more familiar than everything else that had happened.

“Then it’s settled,” Roman clapped his hands together and everyone nodded in agreement.

When they all sunk out Remus was still feeling incredibly confused.

A few days later Remus was lying on his bed, absentmindedly throwing knives at the ceiling, when there was a knock on the door. That was strange. No one knocked on his door. The only visitor he got was Janus, and Janus always just popped up in his room rather than knocking.

Creeping towards the door, his Morningstar dragging on the floor, he called out.

“Who is it?”

“It’s me.”

Throwing the door open he stared at his brother in bewilderment.

“What?” he said stupidly.

Roman rolled his eyes.

“Hurry up, will you? Everyone is waiting.”

With that Roman grabbed his wrist and started pulling him along. Remus came without any resistance. What was everyone waiting for? And why was he being involved?

As they entered the light sides’ living room Remus stopped and stared. Roman continued to the couch where everyone else were sitting. This was a movie night. Why was he here?

Virgil looked up and smiled at him, patting the empty space next to him. Remus was still not sure what was happening and stayed where he was. Virgil rolled his eyes, looking amused, and then used the extendable arm-trick to grab Remus and pull him towards the couch.

“Sit down so we can start,” Virgil said.

Remus sat. The movie started. Everyone made themselves comfortable. Apparently, that meant Virgil snuggling up against Remus. Janus, on Remus’ other side, put an arm around his shoulders.

No one objected to him being there. They were cuddling with him willingly and insisted on him choosing the next movie. Snacks and soda were shoved at him and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves despite the fact that the movie Remus had chosen wasn’t really their sort of movie.

A weird feeling was creeping up Remus’ chest. He felt warm and relaxed. As the night continued people were slowly falling asleep where they sat, and Remus found himself trapped simultaneously under Virgil and in Janus’ embrace. He couldn’t move. He didn’t want to move. This was unlike anything he had ever felt. It felt so nice. And it was terrifying.

What the fuck was going on? Why were they being so nice to him? And how could he make it last?

He fell into an uneasy sleep on the couch, still pondering the last question.

It was weird. He kept on being invited to the discussions, despite not contributing much, and the sides kept involving him in their different activities:
He got to bake with Patton, and he made a conscious effort not to make anything too disturbing. Patton looked pleased with the result, apparently zombies didn’t freak him out.
Logan had asked him to research with him, they hadn’t talked much but whenever Remus blurted out some, disturbing, fact about whatever they were researching Logan looked more fascinated than anything else.
He and Roman had spent a day in Roman’s part of the imagination, going on an incredible adventure in the jungle Roman had conjured up. At the end of it they were both grinning wildly, catching their breaths from the excitement.
Janus and Virgil spent a day with him in Janus’ room, just listening to music. Remus’ taste in music matched Virgil’s pretty closely, and Janus didn’t really care what they were listening to. It was nice just hanging out with them. Kind of like old times, but better. No one flinched at his presence.

Weird, but nice.

He kept being invited to things. Slowly he started to notice a pattern. Because, whenever they hung out he was usually too flabbergasted or too scared to get disinvited to really say much. And they didn’t say anything about it.

Evidently, they liked it when he was quiet. He got to spend time with them if he was quiet.

Oh fuck! That was such a tall order for him. Now that he knew, how could he keep himself quiet? There had to be something…

Looking around his room his eyes landed on his sewing kit.

Inspiration struck.

He was just about finished when they called him for movie night. His lips hurt terribly, but it would definitely be worth it.

As he rose up in the living room he got a brief smile from Patton. Then Patton did a double take and turned to stare at him in horror. Remus stared back, feeling equally horrified. What had he done? He hadn’t even said anything! Why was Patton reacting like that?

“Remus, what?” Roman sounded annoyed. “That’s not funny.”

As Remus turned towards his brother Roman snapped his fingers. Remus tilted his head curiously, wondering what Roman had tried to accomplish. Roman’s annoyed looked slowly transformed into horror.

“Those aren’t conjured, those are real,” Roman gasped.

Remus blinked, wondering why Roman was so surprised. Obviously they were real (as real as anything could get in the mindscape anyway). The problem with conjured items was that they could be removed so easily, by anyone, and he couldn’t risk that.

Suddenly hands were gripping him, six hands to be precise, restraining him.

“Logan,” he heard Janus’ voice.

Logan was suddenly in front of him holding a medical kit in one hand. With dawning horror Remus realized what they were about to do and started struggling. Janus’ grip was tight, and Logan grasped his chin in a punishing grip. Remus grew more frantic. In any other situation this kind of position would make him rather excited, but now there was too much at stake. But Logan and Janus resisted his struggling. His mouth hurt from earlier, and Logan’s grip wasn’t helping. He could hear voices shouting and his breathing sped up. He was still struggling. Everything felt like it was spinning. And he hurt so bad. This wasn’t supposed to happen. Why was this happening?

Then everything turned black.

He woke up slowly, his memory of what had happened returned along with his consciousness. A groan escaped him, and he realized his mouth wasn’t hurting. That was weird.

As he opened his eyes he noticed he wasn’t in his room. He was in the light sides’ living room still. Why had they kept him here? He had obviously done something to upset them. Why hadn’t they chucked him back to his room?

There was a rustling from somewhere, then Logan was in his field of vision.

“How are you feeling?” Logan’s hand was on his forehead, and a part of him kind of wanted to bite it.

Instead he shrugged in response.

“Why am I here?” he asked.

“So we could keep an eye on you,” Logan said it as if it was obvious.


Remus sat up abruptly, a brief dizziness sweeping over him as he did, and saw that everyone was there. They were all sitting close by.

“Remus, kiddo,” Patton looked as if he had been crying. “Why did you do that? Why would you…” Patton’s voice broke.

Remus looked around at everyone. All of them looked upset, and even slightly angry. Patton was crying. Remus didn’t understand.

“Are you upset about the stitches?”

“Yes, obviously,” Virgil snapped.

“But… it wasn’t hurting you. Why would you be upset about it?”

They all stared at him, like they were the ones who didn’t understand. The silence felt oppressing, so Remus kept talking.

“I mean… you all seemed happy to spend time with me if I was quiet. I thought I’d make sure to keep it that way.”

They gaped at him, then exchanged looks that looked more than a little bit horrified. Remus really wished they’d stop looking like that, it was getting repetitive. And he still wasn’t sure why they looked like that or what he had done wrong.

Then Patton was hugging him.

“Kiddo, no,” he sounded heartbroken.

The others approached as well, crowding in on the couch by him.

“That wasn’t what we were trying to convey at all.”

The others chimed in with their own versions of what Logan had just said. Remus groaned, this was tedious, and he was getting frustrated.

“Can you just speak clearly? What were you trying to do?”

“We wanted to spend time with you. To make you feel welcome and included,” trust the master of deceit to be the one to speak plainly.

“Why? You haven’t wanted that before,” the question was directed at everyone but Janus as Janus was usually happy to spend some time with him.

“And we were wrong not to. Remus, as hard as it is to believe, we have learned from the past. We want everyone to feel included and stop with this whole light vs dark business.”

It was Remus’ turn to gape. He had never expected those words to come out of his brother’s mouth.

“I see we should have been more direct with our intentions rather than just spring it on you,” Logan stated.

Remus, dumfounded, nodded in agreement to that.

“Remus… will you do us the honor of joining our part of the mindscape and let the mindscape merge into one? And to let all of us be friends, or whatever?” Virgil finished his speech by scratching his arm, looking a bit uncomfortable.

A brief, slightly hysterical, cackle escaped him and he found himself nodding enthusiastically.

“Sounds good.”

If Remus kept quiet for too long these days the others looked almost scared, and he found himself jabbering on about whatever. No one chastened him or looked disgusted at his words. They even asked follow-up questions. It was more than he could have ever dreamed of.

It was good.