Remus had long ago learned to embrace his intrusive thoughts. He’d even come to like them to an extent. He enjoyed some of them immensely. What else could he do? They were part of him.
But sometimes they became too much even for him. Too dark, too intense, too… intrusive…
At those times he’d seek out Janus for comfort. Janus helped calm him when he felt he was drowning in those thoughts. And he never complained about it. Virgil had helped too when he’d been there, explaining about breathing techniques and holding his hands despite Remus’ sharp nails leaving marks on Virgil’s skin.
But Virgil was long gone. And Janus had left too.
It wasn’t on purpose, Remus knew that. That was just what happened when a “dark” side was accepted, their stuff and themself were moved to the “light” part of the mindscape. And once one was there one couldn’t go back.
For some reason “dark” sides could go over to the “light” part of the mindscape, but it didn’t work in reverse. That was because the “dark” part of the mindscape might corrupt them, and even if a “light” side wanted to come over they usually got lost in the maze that was “the dark side”.
Even so, Janus was gone, and Remus was now completely alone with his thoughts
Sometimes he contemplated going up there to see Janus, to receive the comfort he so desperately needed. But he knew that the others probably wouldn’t like that. And he didn’t want Janus’ progress with all of them to suffer because he’d shown up, his presence wouldn’t do Janus any favors and would probably make them accuse Janus of all kinds of stuff.
Besides, it wasn’t so bad yet. Yes, his thoughts had acquired this ominous humming sound, and sometimes he was scared he’d gone blind because the darkness never let up.
But he was fine, really.
Remus could manipulate shadows. All three of them could, with Remus being the best at it, he liked to play around with the shadows. Virgil could make them dance around and had liked to shape them into all kinds of shapes to make others be on their guard. Janus mostly used them for dramatic effect.
Right now, Remus was using the shadows to hide in the corner of the “light” sides’ common room. They were watching a movie, laughing and enjoying each other’s company.
And there Remus was, lurking in the shadows. It was where the monsters belonged after all. He was watching their happiness and realized he couldn’t, shouldn’t, intrude on them. They were so content and at peace, he’d just ruin it.
His control of the shadows slipped briefly, exposing his face. Virgil – ever vigilant- met his eyes with a gasp. Remus hurried to cover his face up again, hoping Virgil would think it had been a trick of the light.
No such luck.
“Remus, I know you’re there.”
He felt Virgil taking a hold of the shadows, and despite his best efforts Virgil pulled them away seemingly without any problems.
Now they were all looking at him. He swallowed nervously.
“Well, look at that. You found me. Now it’s your turn to hide. I’ll go count in another room.”
Before he could sink out there was a hand on his wrist.
“Remus, what’s wrong?”
Remus stared into Janus’ concerned eyes and felt like throwing himself into his arms. But out the corner of his eyes he noticed the darkness that had been haunting him lately was slowly leaking into the room.
He promptly panicked.
“I have to go. Let go of me!”
He struggled, but Janus’ grip grew tighter and suddenly he found himself wrestled to the floor. He was babbling incoherently, and the darkness kept spreading. Eventually his babbling turned into apologies. He kept apologizing as he closed his eyes, waiting for the darkness to consume them all.
Remus woke up. That was weird, he didn’t remember going to sleep. But then again, he hadn’t really slept at all lately so maybe he’d just passed out.
Slowly his senses returned to him. He could hear soft music from somewhere. There was a sweet smell in the air, like someone was baking something. He was laying on his side. And his head was in someone’s lap, fingers running through his hair. It felt really nice.
Then he remembered what had happened earlier. His eyes flew open.
The room was not covered in darkness. It wasn’t bright, but there was a soft light coming from somewhere. Nothing looked out of place, from what little he could see without turning his head.
“There he is.” A voice said, tone excited but volume low.
“What?” Remus asked, completely confused.
The fingers in his hair disappeared, and he couldn’t stop a small whine from escaping his mouth.
He was slowly helped up into a sitting position and he looked around. Everyone was there. He had, apparently, been lying in Logan’s lap. They were all looking at him worriedly.
“I… I’m sorry,” was all he could come up with, not sure what else to say.
“Remus, no… You have nothing to be sorry for. Janus explained everything. We should have checked on you. If we had known we never would have…” Patton trailed off, he looked so sad.
Remus swallowed, not sure how to respond, nor really understanding what Patton was getting at.
No one else was speaking.
“Should… should I go?” he asked, not really wanting to, but he felt extremely out of place.
“NO!” came from every mouth, making Remus jump.
“You are not going back there!” Roman said firmly.
Remus wasn’t sure how it had happened. He certainly hadn’t been accepted by Thomas, but his room had moved. Just like that. The “dark” side of the mindscape didn’t seem to exist anymore, or he just didn’t have access to it. He had tried to leave a few times, feeling like he just made the others suffer, but there was nowhere he could go where they didn’t eventually find him
They all reassured him he was welcome and they wanted him there. They helped him when he was drowning in his thoughts without complaining. They sought him out just to spend time with him.
Eventually he became less doubtful of their affections. He started believing them.
He was okay. Everything would be fine.