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Baby Steps

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Virgil hummed as he ran his fingers through his freshly dyed hair. He tilted his head left and right, trying to make sure that he looked okay. This was the first time that he dyed his hair a different colour, or colours, than purple and he had to say, it didn’t look half bad. It wasn’t his usual look but it still made his heart swell each time he saw it. 

He startled when there was a sudden knock on the bathroom door and his Pops stuck his head in. “Hey, Kid. You almost done in here?” He paused and slowly lowered his sunglasses, staring at Virgil’s green, white, grey, and black hair. “Gurl, where’s the purple?”

“Hey, Pops,” Virgil said, running a hand through his bangs. He nervously glanced up at him. He had gotten his hair dyed without letting his dads know and this was the first time either of them had seen the new hair. “Um, I went down to the hair salon with Roman. Ze wanted to dye zir hair with the non-binary colours and suggested that I dye my hair in aro colours and I know that it looks a little stupid but I really, really like it and -”

“Whoa, whoa, whoa!” His Pops stepped forward and held up his hands. “Gurl, Kiddo, you’re rambling. The hair looks great, I promise.” He grinned and cupped Virgil’s cheeks. “Your dad’s gonna love it. You know, Patton got their hair dyed with the colours of the Grey-romantic flag when we were in College. They loved it so much and they’re going to absolutely squeal when they see your hair.” He smiled at Virgil and brushed back Virgil’s bangs. “Now, we gotta take some pictures. We’re going to have a freaking photo shoot up in here!”

Virgil blushed and smiled hesitantly. “Yeah, alright. You really like it, Pops? It looks okay?”

His Pops smiled fondly. “Virgil, you’re showing pride in your identity. It looks amazing. ”

Virgil took a deep breath and stared at his laptop screen. This was it. He could still back out and pretend that he had never even considered doing it. But Roman was sitting behind him on Virgil’s bed and ze was looking at Virgil with a soft smile, newly dyed hair tied back into a bun. What if Roman got upset for him for chickening out?

He was actually considering coming out on his Tumblr. It shouldn’t be that big of a deal. His family and friends already knew and accepted him. Why should he care if random people on the internet did? But it was making his stomach turn in knots and he honestly thought that he might be sick.

“I don’t know if I can do this,” Virgil admitted, leaning back in his desk chair. “Like, this is big, Ro. This is freaking big. What if people get mad?”

“Who cares,” ze shrugged. Roman leaned forward and smiled at Virgil. “Vee, you don’t have to do this. Only you can decide when you want to come out. If you’re not feeling ready then don’t do it.”
“But I am ready,” Virgil cried. He threw his hands up in his air. “I want to do this! But I’m just so freaking scared. What if I get hate for coming out?”
“Then I’ll kill them.”

Roman had said that so casually that a startled laugh escaped Virgil. He looked at his friend with wide eyes and only laughed louder when ze grinned at him, looking like zir twin for a split-second. Though, Virgil thought that it wouldn’t be a good idea to tell Roman that.

Roman slipped off Virgil’s bed and walked over to him, sitting on Virgil’s desk. Ze leaned forward and smiled at Virgil reassuringly. “You got all the time in the world to decide if you want to come out or not, Vee. There’s no rush.” Ze placed a hand over Virgil’s. “If you want to come out today, then cool. If you don’t, that’s still cool. If you don’t think that you’re ready then save this post to your drafts and post it when you are. Try taking baby steps, Vee.” 

There was a long pause before Virgil ran a hand through his hair, a green lock falling into his eyes. He changed the post’s settings to ‘save as draft’ and immediately, the knot in his stomach loosened. Roman smiled at him and squeezed Virgil’s hand gently.

He had taken a big step dying his hair. It sent a single to people. And maybe someday, he’d be ready to say it outright that he was Aro. And the picture of him and Roman with their hair dyed in their respective pride colours would be ready to be posted when he was.