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Negotiation

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The mists have always been a part of his room. Echoes of dreams and ideas that he could decide to chase or simply let drift away. There have been so many through the years and often times the evidence of achieving one disappeared from him completely. Instead the memory of success, taking whatever physical form suited it best, ended up in Patton’s room. And all Roman would be left with is a fresh cloud of mist to chase after. It’s not that he minds this situation. He’s the one who comes up with ideas, but his powers stay strictly within the mind. It’s Logan who comes up with a plan to bring his ideas to fruition, Patton and Virgil who give Thomas the emotional drive to achieve. He just wishes in this instance that he could bring this mist to life.

Roman watches dejectedly from his cluttered desk as the wispy black form of Virgil moves around the room. It doesn’t do much, the shadow, just paces slightly before sitting down in its usual chair or on the edge of the bed. Every now and then it’ll softly echo the other facet’s laugh. He groans and puts his head in his hands. Well. No need to worry about dwelling on Guys and Dolls anymore. Not when he’s fallen head over heels for Virgil. Admitting that, even in the security of his own mind, makes his insides curl with warmth. But the sensation is quickly doused when the black mist gets a little more solid. Roman tries to dispel it, but the ghostly form only shudders for a second before retaining its shape.

He doesn’t have time to be daydreaming about Virgil. He’s supposed to be coming up with an idea for the next video. But there the shape goes, solid enough that Roman can see the quirk of its lips that makes his stomach do fluttery little flips.

A tentative knock sounds against his door and the surprise is finally enough to make the mist fall apart. Smoke still swirls in the air, drifting up towards the ceiling, a reminder that the thoughts are still on the back burner.

“Just a moment,” He says as cheerfully as he can as he pushes away from his desk and approaches the ornate door. “Oh, hello Patton, what can I do for you?” Roman greets the other facet as he peeks out into the hall.

“Hey there, kiddo, hope you don’t mind, but I was starting to feel like you had something on your mind.” He raises a brow.

“Oh, ah, no not that I can recall, padre. Just in here, working on an idea for the next video.”

“Now Roman, I don’t mean to push,”

He sighs. It’s not like he’s getting anything done anyway and honestly, how much could talking to Patton really hurt? “Welcome to my kingdom.” Roman says without his usual flare and opens the door wide enough to let Patton in. The other side beams at him and practically skips into the room.

“Ooooh you redecorated!” Roman watches Patton look around the room like an eager puppy.

“Not really, Pat.” The only thing that’s changed is the small table and set of chairs he’d left as a permanent part of the decor. A place he and Virgil often sit to discuss their sex life, limits, kinks, safe words. Roman is constantly enthralled and surprised by how knowledgeable Virgil is with it all, how patient and open he is as Roman learns. And sometimes they just sit there and talk. Not about anything in particular but just enjoying each other’s company. Those conversations are just as fascinating.

“Whoa there.” Patton says, dragging him back to the present moment. Roman looks over at the other facet and finds Patton standing in the middle of the room, hand pressed to his chest. “What were you thinking about?”  

“Oh I’m sorry if I caused you any discomfort, Patton.” He says, feeling a flush trying to creep up the back of his neck. “Would you like to sit?” He gestures to the table and the other nods, still rubbing small circles into the place over his heart.

“Don’t worry about it,” he beams. “I’d much rather have you bursting with love than anything else.”

Roman clears his throat slightly. “Still, I had hoped to be a little more discrete.”

“So what’s going on buddy? I haven’t felt you this head over heels in a long time, and never when Thomas wasn’t falling hard too.”

He shouldn’t be nervous. This is Patton he’s talking to. He’d never judge or mock his feelings, but it doesn’t stop Roman from hesitating. Without thinking his eyes drift up towards the ornate ceiling and the black mist is swirling around more agitated than before. Like it wants to take shape again. Roman takes a breath, deep and steadying, reaches for the courage that’s always been such a prominent part of himself.

“It seems that I’ve fallen in love with Virgil.” He says with a sincere smile.

Patton stares back at him, hand coming to a jerky halt. His eyes are wide behind his glasses and the silence stretches between them. The longer it goes on the more Roman wonders if he’d misjudged the situation. Maybe it is wrong that he’s developed these feelings when he’s not even a real person. Maybe it somehow would hurt Thomas or betray his autonomy for he and Virgil to keep seeing each other, in whatever capacity that occured. Roman is distinctly away of his nervousness starting to tick upwards into panic and he desperately tries to calm down. If this gets too out of hand Virgil himself will appear and he doesn’t know what he’d say.

And then the shock melts off of Patton’s face. He looks at Roman with the softest, proudest smile that seems to warm the entire room. It soothes his fraying nerves and stills the writhing black mists above.

“Roman,” and his voice is golden and sweet as honey. “I’m so happy for you two.”

He smiles weakly back. “Ah, well, Patton, you see, Virgil doesn’t know.”

“Oooh.”

“Yeah.”

They sit in silence for another long moment. “Do you want to tell him?”

“That’s where things get complicated.” He finally says. “You see we’ve, well,” his cheeks flush. It feels wrong to corrupt the child-like innocence of the other by mentioning their sex life. “We’ve been intimate quite a few times now and that’s wonderful.” Roman says quickly. “So wonderful, in fact, I’d dispare to lose it by asking for more.”

After the discussion that they’d all had with Patton when he’d gotten out of hand thinking about Guys and Dolls, it shouldn’t surprise Roman that the other facet takes his time to really think about what he’s said before he responds. Soft laughter echoes from the ceiling and they both turn to watch the mist swirl delicately above. Roman only hopes Patton won’t ask why the object of his affection is cast in black instead of the usual passionate red his past romantic interests have taken on.

“You might not like to hear this, kiddo, but it sounds to me like you’re being a bit of a cowardly lion.” The criticism is delivered in such a kind tone Roman can’t even be stung by the insult. Cowardly lion, huh? He watches the smoke for another minute. Fear is where this all started, it shouldn’t be the thing that brings it screeching to a stop. Rejection is always painful but he supposes only a real coward would never even bother asking the question. And if Virgil does reject him, his heart twinges at the thought, he doubts the other side would be anything but cordial. Not when he’s proved over and over again over the course of these past few months that he’d never do anything to hurt or disrespect Roman’s boundaries. If Virgil hadn’t judged him for asking to be flogged he finds it hard to imagine Virgil will shame him for his feelings.

He takes a slow breath. “Yeah I guess I am.” He turns back to Patton with a determined grin. “So then I guess it comes down to figuring out how to tell him.”

Patton beams. “Do you have any ideas?”

“Not yet, perhaps we could brainstorm together? You are the master of all things in the heart.”

“Absolutely! What about something classic? A romantic meal, maybe?”

“Wine and dine him? I don’t think that’s quite the right setting.” Virgil would probably be too uncomfortable to even register that he’d confessed.

They go back and forth for a while. Long enough that their absence is probably going to be noticed soon. But they keep coming back around again and again to trying to find a way that’s suitably Roman enough that won’t put Virgil on edge.

“Hmm, when would you say you fell for him?”

“A few months ago, why?”

Patton shakes his head. “I mean what was going on when you realized it?”

“Oh, uh,” he feels his cheeks redden. There is no way he’s going to explain to Patton that they’d been postcoital and Virgil had been bandaging up the wounds that he’d begged for in the process. “He was taking care of me and it just clicked. I just realized that I wanted him there for me and I wanted to be there for him.” The thought, though it’s been ricocheting through his mind for ages, sounds so much more sappy when he says it out loud.

“Well maybe you can start by telling him how much that meant to you and how you want to return the favor?”

Like a lightning strike the idea forms in his mind. It’s such a sharp and clarifying thought that the black mist above them disappears entirely. Making room for Roman to focus on the new thought completely.

“Patton you’re a genius.”

He laughs. “No, I’m a dad.”


 

Roman takes two days to prep before he even approaches Virgil. Two days spent leeching Thomas’s internet access to read up on all the necessary background knowledge and hours upon hours practicing tying knots. When he can do it with his eyes shut he has to admit to himself that he’s likely just stalling.

And that’s far too cowardly for his taste. So he pens a quick note to Virgil, the other still having a firm ban on any of them popping up in his room after the last time, and sends it off with a crow, fashioned out of the black fear drenched mist. He hopes that the other will find the gesture suitably ‘edgy’ enough to make him smile. And then he’s left to wait.

And wait.

And wait.

He waits so long Roman wonders if Virgil will come at all. But this isn’t the first ‘booty call’ that either of them have sent over the past few months. And it would be strange for Virgil not to send any reply if he wasn’t in the mood. Feeling his nervousness increasing Roman starts in on Thomas’s breathing exercises. It would be horrible if Virgil was really trying to avoid him and then he forced the other to appear through his turbulent emotions. He could never take away the other facet’s agency like that. Those thoughts manage to keep him calm.

A knock finally sounds against his door and Roman almost goes boneless with relief.

“Hello,” he’s ready to go on but his mouth stops working when he sees the other side. “It didn’t dissipate?”

Virgil gives him a half smile. “No, can I come in?”

“Of course,” Roman waves the other, raven perched on his shoulder, inside and shuts and locks the door behind him.

“Sorry for the wait,” he says as the crow leaps from his shoulder. They watch it circle the room, flying up to the high domed ceiling and weaving its way through the dark mists that linger there before dipping back down to settle on the back of Virgil’s usual chair. “Thomas got an urgent business email and needed Logan and I to help him with the response.” And just like that whatever worry had been building in him disappears.

“It’s no trouble, would you like some tea?”

Virgil quirks a brow at him before he sits. “Are you trying to butter me up?”

“Whatever would give you that idea, you skeptical Jack and Sally?” But his smile hides nothing. Virgil just shrugs so Roman waves his hand and another wave of blackened mist is pulled from the ceiling and coalesces into a regal black tea set, embellished with gold.

“If it comes up later I told Thomas and Logan that the crow was representation of a subconscious worry I needed to take care of before it started bothering him.”

Roman looks at Virgil skeptically as he passes him his cup before he takes his own seat at the table. “And they believed that?”

“Thomas did, I think Logan is starting to get suspicious. Thanks.”

Roman hesitates before his next question. “Does it bother you?” Because if it does, if Virgil doesn’t want the others to find out, then this all will be for nothing. Any romantic relationship they might have built will be over long before it started.

“Not really.” Virgil says rolling his eyes. “You asked me if I wanted tea, which means you’ve got something in mind for our next scene..?”

Right. Roman takes a breath, captures his nerve and meets the other’s inquisitive stare head on. “We’ve discussed, in passing, that both of us might be interested in… switching up our activities, is that still the case?”

Virgil blinks, but aside from the split second of surprise Roman can’t read any discomfort on his face. “You’re interested in being a dom?”

“I’ve been giving it some thought and I keep circling back to something akin to curiosity and awe at how you behave during our scenes.” He mentally gives himself a pat on the back at his own candor. “I am always stunned by how you are able to take charge, how can push and threaten and in the same breath make me feel completely at ease and safe under your command.” As he speaks he sees a flush work its way across the other’s cheeks but Virgil’s eyes are warm on him, affectionate even. “I was hoping that I could learn to make you feel the same way, if that’s what you want.”

“Wow Princey. That was, uh, that was really good to hear.” And he’s smiling. It used to be so hard to get him to smile and Roman counts every one as a victory. “And yeah, I would definitely be interesting in switching.”

Roman beans. “Excellent! What do I need to know to craft a scene to cater to your preferences?”

“Uh, well, I’m fine with being on the receiving end of anything we’ve already tried.” he pauses, his smile slipping and a darkness passing over his features. “Except I can’t do breath play, it’s a hard limit.” Roman nods, not expecting or asking for an explanation. Virgil had never pushed him about his own limits, the least he can do is return the favor. But after a second of worrying at his lower lip he’s privileged enough to be trusted with the information all the same. “It’s too much like a panic attack and I-- it would just take me out of the scene.”

“Understood, and I had planned on drawing on some of our previous scenes for inspiration.” Virgil nods.

“Oh, I don’t think fear play is going to work on me, for obvious reasons. And speaking of that, what are we going to do about it?” He asks, fiddling with the handle of his cup, and Roman won’t have him feeling ashamed of his own skin.

“I had thought perhaps gloves might help circumvent that problem.”

Virgil nods again and pauses. “...Leather ones could be appealing.”

Roman grins. “Of course. What else?”

He thinks about it for a moment. “I think you should make the rest of the big decisions. Everyone has their own style and it’ll be good for you to explore that. We can adjust whatever works best or doesn’t afterwards.” His research had said a lot along the same lines. “Uh, if you want to get really creative,” Roman opens his mouth and Virgil waves away his words. “I’m aware of who I’m talking to. But if you want to plan like, a full roleplaying scene, that’s fine but I have hard limits on parent/child incest ‘cause that’s going to remind me of Patton and student/teacher--”

“Because of Logan,” Roman can’t help but cringe at the thought. “Yes, let’s firmly strike both from the ledger.”

“Otherwise I think I’m cool with most roleplay.”

“Fantastic.” Something to think about for the future provided this all turns out well.

“Do you think the usual safewords will be cool?”

“Yes, I think that they will be perfectly suitable.”

They chat for a while longer, making sure that they’re both on the same page for limits, kinks, and aftercare as usual. And Roman finds it reassuring at how much freedom Virgil is willing to give him. He hands over full control of the scene without hesitation and that speaks of a level of trust Roman is determined to prove he deserves. Especially when this will be the first time he’s acted as a dominant. But eventually the conversation winds down and they get to the last important question.

“When are you thinking this is going to happen?” He says before he sets his teacup back onto its sauser.

His heartbeat ticks up nervously. “Ah, as I said I’ve been thinking this over for a while, would tomorrow evening be too soon?”

“No, tomorrow is great, you know provided Thomas doesn’t have some kind of crisis.” He stands to leave and the other follows suit, intending to walk him out.

“Shhh!” Roman says vehemently, but he can’t keep the giddy smile from his face. “You’re going to jinx us.”

Virgil smiles again. “Maybe you’ve been spending too much time around me. You’re starting to sound paranoid, Roman.”

“Although it greatly contradicts what I’ve said in the past, I don’t actually believe I could spend too much time with you, Virgil.” Maybe it’s a bit much, maybe a bit too transparent for his true intentions, but Roman doesn’t want to lie.

And it doesn’t put Virgil off at all. If anything he looks deeply amused as they hesitate at the door. “You are really excited about this, aren’t you?”

“Is that so wrong?”

“No, not at all.” He’s still smiling and doesn’t make any move to resist when Roman settles a hand around his waist and pulls him in so he can taste that smile. Fear creeps into him from the other’s lips, little needle pokes of doubt that make him wonder if this will be one of the last kisses they’ll share, but he pushes it away. It’s so much easier to focus on the way Virgil’s mouth is soft and welcoming against his own. How there’s a breath of laughter, the same that he hears repeated back at him in his misty fantasies, caught between them as they kiss. The warm solid weight of Virgil’s hand on his shoulder. And when they part Roman is gifted with another soft laugh. “You sure you want to wait until tomorrow?”

“Only the noblest of princes could resist a temptation such as that, and I find myself nearly swayed.” Virgil scoffs quietly.

“I should stay just to throw that ‘nobility’ of yours into a questionable light.”

“You wound me.” It’s a poor choice of words because Virgil gets a wicked gleam in his eyes before he leans back in. When their skin touches this time Roman doesn’t just feel the passive low-level fright that the other facet claims always pours from him. This time he feels the concentrated terror that the other exudes during their sexual escapades. Adrenaline surges through his skin and Virgil pairs it with a sharp nip to his lower lip. And what Roman wouldn’t give to just pull him over to his bed and keep him there for the rest of the day. But after a moment the fear lessens and though they’re slow to do it, they part.

“Maybe next time.” Virgil says a little wistfully. They each have their own responsibilities to see to. Half reluctant, Roman pulls open the door for the other. They both jolt with surprise when an angry black blur swoops towards them. The raven settles firmly on Virgil’s shoulder and they both stare at it for a moment. “Is this not going to fall apart?”

“I don’t know? It was supposed to.” He tries to will the bird back into the mists it was shaped from but the thing seems determined to stay in one solid feathery piece.

“Okay then I guess I have a new pet until you figure out what fantasy is keeping it together.”

“I am so sorry.”

Virgil shrugs. “Don’t be. It’s a pretty cool pet.”


 

Roman floats for the rest of the day. Almost literally. The mists keep him light on his feet as he works. He feels boundless. Like anything is within his grasp and it’s been so long since he felt this way. There used to be a time when he was content with himself, when Thomas was very young, back when he was given full creative control often and he and Thomas would build worlds together and there was nothing to hold them back. But they grew up. Thomas needed to focus more on reality and people became more open in their criticisms of the ideas Roman would give him. Logan came to him only when he could be useful, no more playing together in the metaphorical sandbox with Logan agreeing that a planet that looked like a donut should have a giant alien who would want to eat it. Patton was still there, still reveling in childlike wonder, but the older they got the more time he’d spend in his room. Roman feels a slight pang at that thought. He’d isolated himself to keep his sadness from them. A little laugh echoes from the ceiling, soothing the melancholy that threatens to overtake his exuberant mood.

And then there had been Virgil. Anxiety had gone from the little voice that wondered if monsters were under the bed and cowered in fear of the dark to a presence that could no longer be soothed with a kind word from Patton, a logical explanation from Logan, or a happier daydream from himself. Their relationship from that point on had always been a tug of war. Roman would push to pursue bigger dreams, wilder fantasies and Virgil would try to keep them safe, safer than they wanted to be often times. And when Thomas’s mind was coiled tight with tension and he felt so utterly isolated and lost in the world, Virgil would nudge Roman. And he would get to create new worlds again. Ones that could, and usually did, reassure Thomas of his presence in this world. But he’d hated Virgil for causing so much trouble in the first place. Unlike Logan or Patton who couldn’t fantasize much at all, Anxiety’s ability to be creative has always nearly rivaled his own. And instead of growing closer, instead of Virgil using that power in tandem with Roman, he’d conjured nightmares-- waking and sleeping ones--that left Thomas feeling horrible.

Roman can’t quite smile looking back on those times. It had been hard back then and it hadn’t really gotten better until Thomas was able to summon them into the real world. When they’d started making the videos they’d gotten to become more themselves than they could have ever been before. He’d been put in front of an audience all his own. He wasn’t acting through Thomas anymore. The comments, the art, the stories that their fans gifted to them, some of that was specifically for him . A little twinge of jealousy seeps from him, less and less was for him , but he banishes the thought violently. The videos had forced them all to see eye-to-eye with each other. They had all been led back to Virgil. And if everything went well tomorrow then he’d never think twice about the amount of fans he has… well he’d think about it less.

Maybe.

He strings together a few more ideas for Thomas and crafts a few plans that will need to sent to Logan for fine tuning over the course of an hour. Spinning the mists into organized files is usually a tedious task at best but today it takes barely a flick of his quill for the iridescent blue of inspiration to morph itself into neat sheets of paper with shimmering ink.

Roman’s expecting the knock on his door when it comes. Logan always right on time to pick up the ideas he’ll need to figure out how to bring into the real world. “Come in,” he calls, snapping his fingers to open the latch. “I’m just finishing up an excellent proposal for Thomas’s next video.” Logan enters the room and doesn’t speak as he shuts the door behind him. “Ah, and I believe that I have come across a way to get around that frustrating scheduling conflict that was going to prevent Thomas from being able to--”

“Roman.” The tone is so grave that he stops in his tracks, quill halting in its frantic strokes to turn mist into words. When he glances up at Logan he sees the cause for concern.

“Oh, I’m sorry. I was just feeling rather inspired.” He hadn’t realized that the blue mist has been swirling through his room like a tornado, the shimmering clouds blowing so strongly Logan’s tie is whipping in the air and his glasses have gone crooked. Roman takes a few breaths and claps his hands twice. The swirling storm settles slightly into something closer to a gentle breeze.

Logan clears his throat and straightens his glasses and tie. “Thank you.” He approaches the desk and picks up the stack of folders with his name on them. “It appears you have been highly productive today.”

“Yes well I wanted to get ahead of the curve.” So hopefully nothing comes up while he’s with Virgil tomorrow.

“Preparation and productivity are always the ideal we should strive after.” He replies stoically. “I am not well versed in the ‘creative process’ you and Thomas cling to so dearly, but would it be a sound hypothesis to say that your current burst of productivity is due in large part to the romantic feelings you are intending to confess to Virgil?”

The room goes very still as the blue mists stop dead in the air. The only sound is Logan carefully paging through the top file as he waits for a response.

“I don’t--” A raised brow. “I don’t know what you’re talking about--”

Logan doesn’t even bother to look up. “Falsehood. Try again.” He says mildly.

He can’t outright deny it. Logan knows. He knows . “How do you--”

“Did you really believe that Patton would be able to conceal something like this from me or Deceit?” Logan pulls a pen from his shirt and circles something in the folder. “He didn’t betray your trust if that’s what you’re thinking. His behavior and mannerisms changed in a way that lead me to confirm my own suspicions.”

“Deceit knows too?” He says, dread welling up inside of him. That’s bad, that’s very, very bad. His stomach goes cold and sour, inspiration mists going a sickly olive as they turn into scenarios of Deceit twisting Roman’s feelings for his own ends.
Logan looks up then and glances at the room around him. “Fear not Roman, Deceit won’t be interfering.”

“And did he say that?”

“He did, but Deceit has yet to be able to slip a lie of this magnitude past Patton. He won’t interfere.”

It doesn’t feel very reassuring but Roman manages to disperse some of the foul ideas filling his room. Logan gives him a minute to collect himself, lingering with the folders. It clicks then. “Why are you bringing it up? I would have thought the last thing you’d want to do is discuss feelings with me.”

Logan snaps the folder shut. “You are extremely correct. If it were up to me I would have never engaged in any conversation about your personal life so long a your work was being done satisfactorily.”

“I’m so glad we bonded the past few videos, Logan. You really are quite the pal.”

“Don’t be facetious, Roman. My unwillingness to discuss your romantic life has nothing to do with the value I place on your contributions to keeping Thomas functioning or how much I appreciate you as a companion. However,” and Roman’s glad that Logan keeps talking because he doesn’t know how to react to the rest of the other’s comments. “I felt I needed to address this topic because it appears you are throwing yourself into this situation, as all others, with reckless abandon.”

“I assure you Logan there is nothing careless in how I am pursuing Virgil.” Roman replies earnestly. If he only knew the half of it.
“Yes, I believe several of the websites you failed to clear from our shared computer made it explicitly clear what could happen if one went into a ‘scene’ recklessly.” He sets the file back on the top of the pile and glares down at him.

Roman feels heat rush to his face. “I--”

“In addition to that there is the matter of the Corvus Corax that you sent to Virgil earlier.”

“The crow?” He asks a little dazedly. The conversation has spiraled so far out of his control he feels like Logan has thrown him into a wormhole that’s spit him out eight talking points ahead of where he started.

“Yes the Corvus Corax. Thomas believed Virgil’s excused but he likely won’t the next time. However, my biggest concern is that Virgil was recently seen still carrying around the construct and it showed no sign of returning to the aether.”

“I’m trying to figure out why it’s doing that.”

“See that you do.” Logan gathers his papers and Roman thinks for a split second that he’s going to be freed from this roller coaster of a conversation. But Logan pauses, opens his mouth, thinks better of it, and then opens again. It’s such a strangely hesitant action that Roman is put on edge. “Have you given any thought about what you’ll do if,” his voice lowers into something almost regretful, “your feelings are not returned?”

Roman stares at Logan and the other facet just looks sternly at the spot over his shoulder. He doesn’t know quite how to react to that. It’s not that he hasn’t thought about it. He’s thought about how he’ll handle the rejection more than he thinks he’d fantasized about a positive outcome. He just didn’t think he’d have to explain those thoughts to anyone, let alone Logan. Rejection would be agony but he’s learned his lesson. If Virgil turns him down he’ll just have to move on-- It finally clicks. Roman takes a closer look at the typically stoic side. There’s a crease between his brows, his mouth twisted into a pinched frown, and his posture is even more rigid than normal.

“I’ll move on, Logan. It would likely be very unpleasant, but I’m not going to drag any of you through that with me. Least of all Patton, not after last time.”

It seems to be the right thing to say because after a second Logan relaxes, well as much as he ever does. “That is… reassuring to hear.”

“I bet Patton would be very touched to hear that you’re worrying about him.” Roman can’t help but grin.

Logan sniffs dismissively and the air between them feels lighter than it has since he’d first come in. “This is not ‘worry’ it’s merely a professional concern.”

“Of course.” And with the tension between them ebbing Roman finally gets the chance to ask, “So you and Patton are spending time with Deceit now?”

Logan straightens his glasses, as if it will keep Roman from spotting the color rising in his cheeks. “Thank you for getting these ideas finished on time. Delete the internet history more thoroughly.”

“Sure thing, you better go before I catch wind of any more of your human emotions, Spock.”

Logan turns his nose up and strides from the room without a farewell.


 

And then it’s tomorrow and Roman is finally, finally pulling Virgil into his room, almost vibrating with nerves. The other facet glances around the room suspiciously, as if he hadn’t expected to find the usual interior.

“No elaborate set dressings?”

“Not this time.” Roman says taking his hand and leading him further into the room. As they stop at the foot of the bed he reels slightly. He has no idea where to begin. It’s not that he hasn’t been thinking the scene through, over and over again for days now, but actually implementing it suddenly seems like a herculean task. Virgil watches him, not a trace of discomfort or doubt on his face. His expression is open, trusting . And that’s all he needs to see. Roman’s spine straightens, easy confidence sliding into place. “Stay here.” He orders and Virgil straightens up as well. He doesn’t move far, just over to their table before moving to stand in front of the other again. “Here,” he can’t help but be pleased at how quickly Virgil reaches to take the offered parsel. “I hope these are to your liking.”

Virgil looks down at the white leather gloves and Roman watches him swallow hard. His fingers trace along the soft material slowly before he glances back up. “Uh, yeah, these are good.”

“Good.” He holds out one of his hands. “Now I believe I should be wearing them before we proceed.”

“Can I..?”

Roman almost grins. He thought that the other might like that. Instead he says in as soothing and gentle of a voice he can manage, “You can have whatever you like, so long as you ask properly.”

Virgil hesitates, a flush creeping up his cheeks. “Can I put them on you please, sir?” Shit. Well. They’d agreed that honorifics were fine, with a few exceptions, but it’s the first time he’s heard one pass Virgil’s lips. Maybe someday he’ll get Virgil to call him ‘your majesty’.

“Of course you can.” He allows instead. Like with everything else involving skin-to-skin contact Virgil is extremely careful as he pulls the perfectly fitted gloves over Roman’s hands. But his touch lingers against the leather, traces along the shape of his fingers and he catches the quick pink flash as Virgil’s tongue darts out to moisten his lips. But once the gloves are properly in place his hands retreat back to his sides to wait for Roman’s next command.

Roman brushes the back of his knuckles against the other’s cheek carefully, reverently. He’s almost sorry to disappoint. “Do you have any idea how stunning you are?” The words hit Virgil like a slap, body jolting and eyes going wide as he realizes what kind of scene Roman has in mind. “What color are you, darling?”

It takes him a second. “Green, sir.”

“Good.” He fully cups Virgil’s face in his hand and presses a lingering kiss to his lips. The shaky tang of nervousness is expected and easily dismissed. “Relax,” he commands. “I’m going to take care of you. You don’t need to worry about anything.”

“Yes sir.” The words are breathed into the space between them and Roman can see Virgil’s pupils blown wide.

“Let’s get you out of all this.” He says easily.

He orders Virgil to stay still as he strips him. It’s a far cry from the haphazard way their clothes usually get left behind during their play. This time Roman removes each article of the other’s clothing carefully before folding them and setting the pile of dark material off to the side. For his part Virgil is loose and pliant, moving only to make the process a little easier, and by the time Roman has gotten him naked his cock is half hard and flushed. Roman circles him. He inspects his bare form, takes note of the line of tension that makes Virgil’s spine go rigid the longer he says nothing. Roman reaches for him then, fingers tracing down the curve of his back.

“Relax. I’m only admiring how beautiful you are.” The words come easily. There’s little performance in them. That’s the point. This is the best way to lay out all of his feelings and let Virgil know his thoughts and heart.

“What about your clothes, sir?”

“Would you like me to remove them?” Virgil hesitates before shaking his head. “Would you like to remove them for me?”

Another beat. “Not yet, sir.”

Roman smiles and drops a kiss to the jut of Virgil’s shoulder. “Good, lay back on the bed for me.”

He watches as Virgil lays down, the other facet not taking his eyes off of him the whole time. There’s still tension in his frame and Roman hopes that’s due to anticipation of what night be coming next and not a sign of discomfort. Maybe he’s doing this all wrong. Maybe Virgil had been hoping for something far rougher, more like their usual activities, and Roman had gotten his preferences all wrong. Virgil’s mouth opens then he seems to think better of it and he doesn’t speak.

“What is it, baby?” There’s no missing how the other shivers at the name and Roman finds it vastly reassuring. He has to be doing something right. “Tell me what you need.”

“I-- will you kiss me, please?” The word come out on a nervous breath. Virgil’s eyes even drop from his gaze and Roman’s chest feels like it’s going to explode. After all they’ve done together to see Virgil turn into this bashful creature, it only makes his affection double. He follows Virgil onto the bed, leans over him and gives him the kiss he so sweetly asked for. The other facet melts, lips parting readily and mewling when Roman licks into his mouth, slow and dirty. He traces circles over the other’s hip, wishing he could feel the softness of his skin beneath his fingers. He’ll have to content himself with just the press of their lips for the time being. It’s Roman’s every intention to suck the air from Virgil’s lungs, to stain his lips pink with his teeth and tongue, so he takes his time. There’s no reason to rush this.

But eventually they do have to part and Virgil sucks in shaky breaths. He’s trembling all over and Roman drinks in the sight of him for a moment before he leans back. “You’re being so good for me, baby.” Virgil’s cock, fully hard now, twitches at the praise. “Let me take care of you.”

The other can’t seem to find his voice and he only nods quickly.

“Put your arms here.” He instructs gently, gloved hands sliding along the length of Virgil’s arms as he helps to maneuver him into the right position. Roman reaches for his nightstand and pulls the length of silk from it and unravels it slowly. “It’s cliche, I know,” he admits when Virgil quirks a brow slightly. “But I love your skin.” He presses a gentle kiss to the smooth surface of the other’s wrist and enjoys the way his pulse jumps. “It’s so soft and perfect. If I choose to mark it I want each one to be intentional.”

He takes a breath before he starts in on the knots. All of the practice pays off his muscle memory makes the process smooth. His gloved fingers don’t fumble as the silk twists up and down Virgil’s arms, securing him in place. When he finally finishes Roman swallows hard and when he speaks again his voice is hoarse.

“You should see yourself. You look so good wrapped up in my color.”

Just the words seem to affect Virgil in the same way. He lets out a low moan but he still manages to breathe, “Narcissist.”

“You’d think so, why wouldn’t you?” Roman allows. “But you’re wrong. I don’t notice the ways we’re similar, I just adore the things that are uniquely you.” He starts at the tips of Virgil’s fingers. Whispering against his skin as he presses a kiss along each digit. “Your hands fascinate me. I could watch you play with the strings of your hoodies for hours. When you don’t want to talk I can still find out exactly what you’re thinking just from watching your hands.” He moves away from his hands, puts his own on Virgil’s cheek. “Your eyes,” Roman whispers, each word pulled from deep within him, every sentence genuine and leaving him feeling picked raw from the sincerity. His thumb brushes ever so gently over the dark shadow, careful not to smear it. “Your eyes are amazing. It’s a privilege whenever I catch your gaze because you always see right through me.” Like they are right now. Boring into him, caught between trepidation and arousal. Roman tries to ease him, leans down and presses a soft kiss to each eyelid before shifting his hand to trace careful fingers over his lips. “And your mouth, baby, your mouth is going to be the death of me. Sometimes I can’t do anything but daydream about your smile.” Virgil’s tongue flicks out over the covered pads of his fingers. “So eager, go on then.” And as soon as he’s given permission the other opens his mouth wider and Roman slip his fingers inside. “Fuck, your lips look so good when you let me stretch them open.” He has to take a steadying breath, the sight and feeling of Virgil sucking on his fingers going straight to his cock. Roman pushes his own arousal to the back burner. This isn’t about what he wants. Right now everything is for Virgil.  

When he removes his fingers he goes on. Pressing kisses to Virgil’s neck, biting little patches of color across his shoulders, tongue flicking over his chest, and murmuring, whispering against his skin how much he cherishes every part of him. And for his part Virgil finally seems to let go entirely. He melts under the attention and praise and Roman is careful with that trust. He takes him apart inch by inch until the other is writhing under him.

“Tell me what you want.”

“Your cock, please,” and Roman nearly comes apart at the breathless begging.

“‘Please’....”

“Please, sir.”

“Good boy, you’ve been so patient, but you need to wait a little longer.” Virgil keens at the sharp sound of Roman snapping his fingers, bottle of lube materializing in his hand. He tugs the gloves free and as soon as his hands touch Virgil’s skin the breath is punched from his lungs. Terror fills him. Like a wave of needy desperate heat that crashes through his veins and leaves him shaking. Roman tries to catch his breath and blink back the darkness that threatens at the edges of his vision. And the longer he touches, as he strokes over Virgil’s hip and pets along the soft trembling flesh of his thigh, Roman is able to pull the feelings apart and make sense of all the sensations. The fear is ever present, but it’s different than the usual flavor. The other is scared by how badly he wants this. Terrified of how badly he wants to just fall apart and let Roman put him back together.

The warmth that bubbles up behind his ribs just about strangles him as he leans down and whispers against the shell of the other’s ear, “I love you, Virgil.” The fear spikes and then goes shaky and cold.

Red .”

Roman freezes. “Shit,” he backs off a little hand falling away from Virgil’s skin. “What can I do?” His heart breaks as his eyes flick to Virgil’s face and he catches sight of the tears welling in his eyes. The other tries for words, but all that he manages is a sob. “Hey, hey, it’s alright, I’m going to untie you, is it alright if I touch you?”

Virgil manages a shaky nod.

He tries to ignore the ache in his chest as he works loose the careful knots. He can worry about his shattered heart later, right now he has to be here for Virgil. It takes a few minutes, the other sniffling and trying to stop the tears, and when his hands are finally free he immediately wipes at his face.

“I’m sorry.” Hr croaks softly.

“Don’t apologize, do you want me to give you some space?”

Virgil shakes his head and Roman gathers the other into his arms and holds him close, one hand rubbing soothing circles along his back and the other combing gently through his hair. Roman’s not sure how much time passes before the fear starts to ebb and Virgil stops shaking but it’s even longer after that before he finally speaks.

“I’m okay now.” He murmurs, the words vibrating against his shoulder.

“Do you want to talk about what happened?”

“Yeah.”

Guilt claws its way up his throat. “I’m sorry, I should have checked in with you more, I--”

Virgil’s hand smacks him lightly on his other shoulder. “No, you were doing good.” He says easily, as easily as he always talks about their scenes. “I didn’t expect the gentle dom routine but it was nice. The power play and body worship was done pretty well, you’re a natural.”

“Would you want me to treat you more roughly in the future?” Provided there is a future.

“Yeah, sometimes. I don’t want you to treat me like I’m glass all the time, but,” his voice lowers and he finally wraps his arms around Roman in return. “Every now and then I wouldn’t mind doing this.”

He doesn’t want to push, Fairy Godmother knows he doesn’t want to hurt the other, but he can feel them tiptoeing around what they really need to discuss. “What went wrong?”

Virgil doesn’t say anything for a long moment and Roman feels his fear start to leach out again. “The praise was good to. Seems like your long windedness is only good during sex, princey.” He tries to lighten the air between them and Roman allows it.

“Don’t be coy, my chemically imbalanced romance.”

“You’ve used that one before.’ Virgil murmurs.

“I know.” He replies before shifting back so he can see the other’s face. “I am far more concerned with making sure you’re mentally and emotionally sound than I am with coming up with new nicknames.” Virgil’s eyes are still slightly red and his makeup is a little splotchy, but otherwise he doesn’t look particularly upset anymore. If he couldn’t still feel the worry pulsing under his skin Roman might have made the mistake of letting it go. “What happened?”

Virgil’s eyes drop and he has to take a breath before he responds in a low voice. “You said you loved me.”

Roman’s heart shatters all over again. “Oh.”

“It was too much.” He admits. “I don’t want to hear you say that during a scene.”

“Understood.” His voice is too tight, almost strangled when he speaks. “It won’t happen again, then.” Sharp dark eyes zero in on him and Roman desperately tries to will his expression to neutrality.

“Oh,” Virgil says, sitting up a little, pulling back slightly from the circle of arms. “Oh.” He sighs and Roman wishes he could dissolve into mist. “Roman you idiot.”

“No need to be rude.” His voice still doesn’t sound quite right to his own ears and he knows that the other has seen the hurt etched across every feature. But Virgil just shakes his head and Rolls them over so he can lean over him.

“This is definitely something we should have talked about yesterday.” He says firmly. Roman opens his mouth, ready to apologize, but Virgil just shushes him. “But I was too scared to bring it up.”

“What?”

Virgil’s lips quirk into that perfect smile and hope blossoms in his shattered chest. “Out of scene, in full honesty, do you love me?”

“... yes.” He croaks, fear curling through his bones that has nothing to do with the other’s touch.

“Good, I love you too.”

Roman can’t quite believe his own ears, throws on false confidence as he tries to put the pieces of his heart back together. “Well who wouldn’t love me?”

“You don’t need to do that.” Virgil murmurs before leaning down to press a kiss to the corner of his lips. “I’m sorry for scaring you earlier.”

“I’m sorry I sprung this on you in the middle of a scene. I thought it would be romantic,” he laughs weakly. “I realized I loved you while you were taking care of me, I wanted to confess while I was doing the same for you.”

“It was a sweet plan, but you should know by now that I ruin all of your plans.” Roman pulls Virgil closer.

“No, you just remind me to think them over more carefully.” And because he thinks he can get away with it he pulls the other into a kiss, murmuring again, “I love you, Virgil.”

“I love you too, Roman.” When their lips touch the fear still pulses between them and Roman doesn’t let it deter him. He holds tight to his courage and promises to chase that sensation for as long as he’s able. “So you daydream about my smile, huh?” And he says it with that damnable smirk on his face.

“I take back everything kind I have ever said to you, you are the worst.”

“Don’t be embarrassed. I can’t wait to return the sentiment. I could talk about how gorgeous you look strung out and bleeding for hours.”

He almost keens. “I thought this was my scene.”

Virgil kisses him again, all teeth and tongue for a moment before it turns into something far softer. “It is. Please take care of me, sir.”

It takes him a second to collect himself again. “Okay, come on, lay back, baby.” Virgil does as he’s told without hesitation.

“If you ever call me that in front of the other’s I’ll--”

“Punish me? Sounds like fun, but right now it’s time to be quiet.”

Virgil’s mouth snaps shut with a soft click as Roman begins kneading his fingers into the skin of his thighs. “Good boy.”