It had just been an all around bad day for Virgil.
Not only had he fallen out of bed this morning, clocked his head on the nightstand hard enough to need stitches, and fallen behind in his work, he also lost his spider and had two panic attacks alone in his room, one over his missing spider and the other without cause. And of course, tonight was game night. He really didn’t want to go, but he knew the others would probably notice his absence and nag him about it later.
So, he begrudgingly trudged down the stairs into the communal living room where Patton, Roman, and Logan waited. Roman appeared to be setting something up on the TV while Logan and Patton sat chatting with controllers in their laps. Oh, this kind of game, huh.
Patton lit up when he saw Virgil. “Virgil! Great timing, we’re almost ready to play, uh... not Frogger... what game was it again, Roman?”
“Super Smash Brothers,” Roman said, still affixed to getting the console hooked up. “To even think that Frogger would even come on a refined system such as this. You’re such a dad, Dad.”
“Yeah, that! I hope you’re ready to have a Super Smash-ing time!” Patton said.
Logan grumbled. “I trust the stitches are holding well?” he asked.
Virgil just nodded and flopped onto the couch, pretending not to notice Patton’s eyes lingering on him. With an abrupt start-up noise, the console came to life, startling Virgil just a bit from where he sat. Mmmmm, breathe, Virgil, it was just the TV, no one noticed.
This time, Logan looked over to him. Crap! “Virgil, you seem a little more on-edge this evening. Is everything Gucci, fahm?” he asked, pulling out one of his note cards.
“Ugh, Logan, I keep telling you, it’s pronounced fam, not fahm,” Roman snapped.
“Not important. Virgil?”
Virgil shrunk in on himself a little. He really didn’t want to be here right now. “Yeah, perfect,” he mumbled.
Logan nodded. “Good.”
For once, Virgil was glad his sarcasm went over Logan’s head. He sat and watched as Roman got the game up and running, all the while prattling on about how it did, too, matter how things were pronounced while Logan simultaneously agreed and disagreed. He really couldn’t care less about their petty arguing, not with this soul-deep aching in his bones.
Patton, with a semi-concerned look on his face, got up off the couch and said, “Alright, how about you two blow off some steam by playing the first round? Virgil, would you like to help me with something in the kitchen?”
Virgil had been around long enough to know that was Patton-code for, “I know something’s up and I want to give you an out.” So he, too, rose from the couch and followed Patton into the kitchen and sat on the floor with his back to the cabinets.
Virgil looked at his lap. “Today’s just... really not been great,” he replied.
“Do you wanna talk about it, kiddo?” Patton said softly, moving to sit beside him.
Virgil leaned against him. “You already know about this,” he said, pointing to the bandage on his forehead, “and that was just the beginning. I left the lid off of my spider’s enclosure and she got out. I still can’t find her. And then, when I was looking, I had a panic attack and couldn’t get calmed down for almost half an hour and when I did, I started having another one even though I know she couldn’t have gone far and I didn’t want to come down here like this but I had to and, and, and--” Virgil was already sobbing, just noticing the comforting weight of Patton’s arms around him.
“That’s it, let it all out,” Patton cooed, stroking soothing patterns on Virgil’s back.
“Wh-what if I never find her again?” Virgil blubbered, turning to look at Patton.
“It’ll be okay. I can um, help you look for her,” Patton said. “If that would help.”
“B-but you’re scared of spiders, Pat.”
“Well, yeah, but that’s not as important as helping you feel better. I’ll uh, find a way to manage! But for now, whaddaya say we get up there and start looking?”
Virgil nodded and wiped his eyes with his hoodie sleeve, leaving a smoky stain on the purple patches. He wrapped his arms around Patton and held him close. “Thanks, Pops.”