Purple, yellow, pink, blue, white, red, green… the colors piled themselves up in the bathroom, water colors that are safe for the skin, and a pile of wet, colorful brushes resting next to the sink. Virgil sat in front of Roman, tongue sticking out of the corner of their mouth in the cute way that made Roman want to hold and kiss their cheeks and ruffle their hair and lick their tongue in the way that always made Virgil grumble and was often times a war cry, the opening shot to the start of so many tickle wars. A small smile started to creep up his features despite his best efforts. His Zucchini scowled, glaring at him.
“Stop moving! We will be late for the parade!” they swatted at Roman’s nose playfully, grabbing his face while Roman closed his eyes, trying not to giggle (which he was unsuccessful in), humming and fidgeting with his squishy, a small fuzzy chicken plushie Logan got him when he learned what his last name meant. It could have been interpreted as a purely innocent gift if Logan had not delivered it with such a smug look on his face, and the seemingly innocent comment made Virgil collapse on the floor, wheezing in laughter, and for Patton to look extremely proud and spout rooster puns and dick jokes for about ten minutes straight. Remy had it all on video.
Finally, Virgil finished the watercolor makeup, nodding in approval.
“Well, its as pretty as it's gonna get.” They joked, reaching for the setting spray, only to yelp in surprise when a hand snaked around their waist, making them squeak as they were gently pulled into Roman’s lap, making them blush furiously, making Roman smirk at them triumphantly.
“Ah, so that is the fearsome beast that terrorize the lands! I must say I am surprised you managed to hide so well in the form of a genderqueer knight! Well, no more! Ye shall be slain, foul beast!” he declared, eyes tingling in the tell-tale sign of an upcoming tickle war.
“Princey, I swear I’ll fucking spray you in the motherfucking face if you don’t let me set your makeup.”
Pouting, the Latino sighed, helping untangle the scowling Russian from his lap and giving them the setting spray, closing his eyes and sneezing as the setting spray hit his face.
“I fucking hate it, it always smells and feels weird. Can’t we do the makeup without it?” he complained for the hundredth time, wiping his hands and starting to help organize the palettes and brushes and millions of tiny things that made his fancy makeup possible. Virgil snorted, rolling their eyes and pasting a quick kiss to Roman’s shoulder as they used their cane to pull themselves up to stand, dumping their tools in their makeup trolly.
“You wanted this elaborate watercolor shit Princey, you will suffer in silence or the color would be sweated away after five minutes cause its, you know, fucking water based.” their voice was tired, flat and rough around the edges as they smoothed down their skirt, organizing and checking their hair and makeup, applying another layer and some more setting powder, looking as smug as a person can be. Their makeup was fairly simple - instead of their usual emo makeup, they switched the black to the colors of the genderqueer flag, their lips in the colors of the aro and ace flags and their nails the colors of the pan and trans flag. Roman’s makeup demanded more work, their skin looking like it was the colors of the demiboy, bi and pan flags, not like it was simply flags drawn on him. His eyes were covered in glittery paint of the same colors, dramatic and resembling more of his drag queen persona than his usual self. He wasn’t going to perform this year, wanting to enjoy the parade without the pressure of performing, but it seemed his emo couldn’t resist the temptation to make him as dramatic as his personality. A knock on the door cut his musings short.
“Huns, yer partners about to jump from the motherfucking window from anticipation, and I swear I’ll choke ya both if we are fucking late . I swear if you are fucking in the bathroom you will not get Adato coffee for the rest of yer life!”
“ Suka blyad’ “ they both breathed at the same time, Roman booking it out of the bathroom while Virgil angrily limped outside, shooting daggers at Remy that calmly slurped on a rainbow frappuccino, wearing a rainbow hijab, her trademark sunglasses, her cropped leather jacket and a rainbow flowy dress, fingernails painted in rainbow colors and covered in pins and flags, the genderfluid flag hanging off her shoulders like a cape. “Works every fucking time.” she commented smugly, snapping a picture of both of them. “Y'all look fabulous huns! Especially you coffee bean, come’ere!” she motioned to Virgil, standing on shaky legs from her rainbow colored electric chair as they hugged. Roman snapped a picture of the two hugging (They were just too cute!) on his Polaroid camera, smiling at the picture he took and sneaking a kiss to Virgil’s hair, giving them the picture.
“Guys, we are gonna be seriously late to the parade if we don’t hurry! Virgil, get your electric chair so we can roll!” Emile peaked around the corner, smiling at his child, inciting another stream of curses in various languages from all three young adults. And just like that, they were out.
The parade was fabulous, as always, and it got better every year. The poly quartet plus Remy, Emile and the various parents of Patton, Logan, Roman and Remy, all dressed in respective flags (or, in the case of Roman’s parents, just with supportive messages) and were raring to go. It was a very nice summer day, the parade was wheelchair and Deaf/hoh accessible (Virgil, Remy and Emile wore noise cancelling headphones and sunglasses, for the sensory accessibility was nowhere to be seen), and march (or wheel, in Patton’s, Virgil’s and Remy’s case).
And march they did.
The return home was the complete opposite of the drive to the parade. While in the start of the day they were all excited, boisterous, and loud, chattering and signing and stimming from excitement, they collectively collapsed and dozed off ten minutes into the drive home, completely exhausted, muscle and sensory systems aching and begging for some peace and quiet. As Emile shook the teenagers gently, helping them into their wheelchairs or to step out, all blinking the sleep from their eyes, yawning, groaning and stretching from the impromptu nap in the car, he ran the numbers in his head, calculating the amount of pillows, sleeping bags and mattresses that would need to be placed in Virgil’s room.
The sleepover was a silent one, Roman, Patton and Logan cuddling together while Virgil slept on their bed and Remy curled into a burrito away from the cuddling pile.
The morning after, they will eat pancakes, and then huddle together with snacks in a pillow fort in front of the television and watch a movie after a movie in a marathon which had no specific theme. After that they will eat Patton's legendary homemade spaghetti, and Emile will help them make it. Then they would depart to their respective homes and families, leaving Emil and Virgil to their traditional Family-Bonding-After-Pride-Parade tea and Star Wars night.
After that there will be summer projects to work on, activities to pursue, queerphobia and ableism to fight, skills to learn and college applications to plan, dates to have fun at, gossip to share, people to prank, and much, much more.
But for now they were teenagers, just kids enjoying themselves and being who they are, in spite of all the hate and discrimination.
For now, they are just sleeping kids, enjoying a sleepover together.