His body is not always his own, and Jessica finds it odd that she’s not more scared of that than she is.
They regard her when she sees or greets them, waltzing around the house in his body, a far off yet sharp gaze fitted into his eyes.
They don't speak, she noted. Only simple head shakes or jumbled, half assed sign language when they felt like it. She doesn’t push them to speak, and they don’t make any attempts to.
She had asked Tim about them before, but all he could tell her was that, “sometimes they just, show up,”
It wasn’t helpful, not really, but that was okay. They seemed indifferent to her presence in the house, and often times they would just stay clear of each other.
That day was just an exception she supposed.
They usually stayed held up in Tim’s bedroom, running their hands against the soft blankets and pillows Tim had laid out over his bed, but when she looked up from her drying nails to glance at the old cartoon rerun she had playing, she nearly dropped the nailpolish bottle at the sight of them sitting on the floor in front of the couch. They sat there with their knees drawn up to their chest and one of Tim’s blankets draped around their shoulders as they stared at the cartoon playing on the tv.
They were rocking back and forth slightly, and picking at Tim’s nails, but their attention was fully on the screen in front of them.
“Uh, hey,” she started softly, “you okay?”
She honestly didn’t expect them to answer, but they nodded their head gently in response.
She stared at them and their swaying form, then she looked down at the nail polish in her hands, and was struck with an idea.
“I just got an idea,” she prompted, and tried not to smile too hard when they gave her a tilt of the head in question. Their eyes were glued to the tv, but she could tell they were still listening to her as she continued.
“Want me to paint your nails?”
They slowed their rocking, and gave a quick look down to their hands before slowly nodding their head and looking back up to the screen.
Jessica smiled. Bonding time engaged.
She pushed around in the small bag of nail polishes she had until she came to find the newest sapphire blue she had.
It was kind of sparkly, but not overly so, and it’s sluggish movements inside the bottle kind of reminded her of those glitter bottle stim videos and gifs Tim sometimes sent to her.
Grabbing it and the bottle of nail polish remover along with some q-tips and cotton swabs, she situated herself off the couch and onto the floor next to them.
“Is it ok if I touch you?”
They shot her a small blank look before nodding their head and looking back to the tv.
“Let me know if you want me to stop at any point, okay?”
Tim probably hadn’t told them that she knew they didn’t really seek out physical contact when they fronted.
They pulled their hands apart and moved one to face her. Their other hand cupped their knee, and they shoved their chest closer to their legs, leaving no room between their legs and their upper body.
Jessica gently took hold of their hand, and started to subconsciously run her fingernails across the rough pads of their hands as she looked at the skin around their nails, checking for any open points she would need to be careful of.
When she didn’t find any, she hummed to herself and opened up the nail polish remover.
Pouring some out onto a cotton ball and quickly pulling it across the surface of their nails. They didn’t have any nail polish on their nails, but Jessica had seen Tim walking around with clear nail polish on sometimes, and she figured, just to be safe.
When she was done with that, she uncapped the nail polish, no longer grimacing like she used to at the smell, and started to paint their thumb the cool, sparkling sapphire.
She moved to each finger quickly, and spread the polish on them lightly.
Jessica looked up at them for a moment, just to see if they were still watching the show, but she found them staring right at her.
She smiled at them.
They flipped the hand that she was painting palm up, and used their free hand to start finger spelling.
Jessica herself didn’t know much sign language to begin with, but she knew the letters, and she had always been pretty good at charades.
They were hesitating with spelling something on their palm, and looked down at their thigh before shifting to face her completely and then starting to spell.
She looked at them quizzically.
Taking the hand that they had spelt with, they placed it, palm down, onto their chest. Then they took their index and middle from each hand and crossed them over one another in an x shape, their right hand above their left, tapping the four fingers twice in the middle.
“Your name’s Velius?”
Velius nodded, a small smile on their face.
“That’s such a cute name,”
Taking their hands, palms facing them, they placed one set of fingertips on their chin. The other hand stayed farther back into the space behind it. then they moved both hands away from their face, pausing once then continuing to a stop.
Jessica chuckled at the small blush on their cheeks.
Picking up their other unpainted hand and cleaning off any old paint on them, she continued with the soft sapphire nail polish.
They kept facing each other, not speaking much, and listening to the tv playing in the background.
As she finished applying the clear top coat to their nails, they had moved back to sitting facing the tv and at first she felt sad as the moment appeared to end, but she felt herself brighten as they leaned to the side and rested their head against her shoulder softly.
The reminder of Tim saying that Velius usually didn’t trust people with their name or physical contact flooded her mind, and she felt herself melt into the contact as much as she could.
If she almost cried a little at the sweetness of it all, that was a secret between her and Velius.
And she was okay with that.