Ever since Thomas's teenage years, the different sides had discovered that Thomas getting off had some quite adverse and embarrassing effects on each of them. These effects have led to quite few red faces when asked about by Thomas after Patton made the mistake of saying "Son I don't think we're really up to a video today after that long session you put us through last night, I mean I may be your loving side but I didn't expect this, that was another kind of loving out of you, let me tell ya".
That was quite a mistake as Thomas quickly asked what on Earth Patton meant and after some deliberation the sides decided that an explanation was probably in order.
They started with Virgil's symptoms, the best out of the bunch. "He gets incredibly loving." Logan explained. "Which while it doesn't seem to bad for Virgil ,in fact he describes the whole experience like being hidden under a soft blanket, but with added memory lost. However for his victims of choice I.e us, it involves being begged by Virgil to be petted, cuddled, snuggled and generally held. We've learnt unwillingly after the first time it happened that not giving Virgil what his body seemingly needs at that moment leads to physical pain for the him and means that his now regular forgetting of such experience is null. Due to the extreme pain that Virgil experienced both during and after the experience that took a three hour long hug pile to relieve him from which was uncomfortable and awkward for everyone involved, some rules had to be put in place to help with the pain."
"And what exactly are the rules?" Thomas asked curious despite the clear hesitancy of the sides to tell him even the baseline information but he figured that if he scared them of the topic he'd somehow get it out of Patton later.
The sides all share a glance, surprisingly Virgil opens his mouth. "I might as well tell him cause you guys will make it sound weird or accidentally kinky"
"Wait I thought Virgil didn't remember these experiences?" Thomas said already confused.
Roman kindly stepped up to explain "Well Thomas, my need to protect even the grossest minxs just came to the rescue in the heat of such a surprising experience and I told everyone we couldn't make up rules while My moody romance here was at least semi lucid.” "While yes it was Roman was indeed the one who said we should wait, it is important to point out that it was merely his uncomfortableness that prolonged the rule making not his valiant need to protect"
"Aw, come on Lo let Roman dream" Patton interrupted giving Thomas a chance to get the conversation back on track. Thomas turned to Virgil and asked quite bluntly "So what are these rules then?"
Virgil blushed but seeing that the other sides were distracted with arguing pulled out a laminated slip that Thomas had seen briefly before on occasion but hadn't been quick enough to read. Thomas looked at Virgil curiously.
"I'm supposed to carry it everywhere just in case, they were agreed upon by everyone but Logan laminated it and wrote them out, not me. Big geek said something about needing to preserve it." He muttered.
Thomas looked at the short list of rules:
1. Don't bring up anything that happened to Virgil up with him. Under any circumstance.
2. Virgil is not to be left alone during the period of time that Thomas is masturbating. Even when he'd prefer to be.
3. Do not touch Virgil anywhere explicit. No matter how primitive your brain is don't allow yourself to give in.
Thomas almost choked over the last one. "Okay, everyone stop fighting! What in God's name do you mean by this last rule?!" He said utterly confused and needing an answer immediately.
"Ah, yes. You see kiddo..." Patton started but trailed off with a blush.
"I think what Patton's trying to say is that..." Roman tried but failed to actually get out without sputtering.
"When you masturbate my usual Logical and cold demeanour is replaced with that that gives into even the most ludicrous or dangerous needs" Logan explained calmly, seemingly unfazed by while the others stared incredulously at him.
"What do you mean dangerous needs?" Thomas asked tentatively, afraid of what he knew already would be the answer.
"Because my logic is gone when I want something I take it. For instance a normal affect for you masturbating is,Virgil gets needy.”
"I'm not needy!" Virgil interrupts abruptly
"When Virgil's needy, which is perfectly alright and not meant in a bad way." Logan says pointatively "My brain interprets it as needy for sex rather than affection when I have to listen for too long undistracted. while I'm able to control that now it was a bad mistake those first few times to have me undistracted with Virgil.”
"Wait, does that mean you guys have had sex?" Thomas says stunned.
Virgil blushes and the whole room is silent.
"Who else in this room knew they had sex?"
Patton and Roman are deadly silent but their meek looks say it all.
"Why didn't anyone tell me?"
"Well, Thomas as your passions I understand that passions are hard to stop, none of us wanted to make you feel bad about what masturbation does to us"
"Yeah, like Roman said kiddo, we didn't want you to feel bad or embarrassed." Patton says attempting to calm Thomas down.
"You didn't want me to feel bad about me making Logan raping Virgil !?" Thomas shouts.
At this point Virgil looks around nervously and meets eyes with Logan. He opens his mouth once and close it again before speaking so quietly Thomas almost misses it.
"Logan didn't rape me, we had sex later after the whole hug pile thing. He said that seeing me like that helping me with my pain afterwards helped him realised that he always wants to, help me, in anyway he can. I've always kind of had a thing for him, I trust him to ground me during panic attacks and curb my anxiety with facts"
"But if you had consenting sex afterwards and I assume still do and are probably in a relationship then why does the sheet say that Logan shouldn't touch you explicitly?" Asks Thomas still suspecting a lie.
"I put it in there because even if we agree to do it before hand, I don't feel comfortable with doing that to him" Logan explains.
"Well damn, sounds like you guys have been hiding this from me for a while, if you've got such in depth rules"
"Sorry Thomas but Lo feels so bad about his needs. Virgil insists we never bring it up and well Patton, we don't see him a lot when we're like this. We just don't really like these parts of ourselves." Roman says in a heart-breakingly honest voice.
"I get that but don't you think that maybe in the twenty plus years this has been going on for that you could have told me?" Thomas says looking betrayed and crestfallen.
"Hey, Thomas we're sorry, we are but it's hard when your knee deep embarrassment and lies" says an equally upset looking Virgil.
"Well this is quite the downer, hey. How about I tell you about me?" Patton says in attempting to cheer people up and distract everyone.
"Yeah, Patton you never said what happens to you" Thomas says momentarily distracted.
"Well, I'm your emotions. I feel whatever your feeling in that moment. So to put it briefly kiddo I get turned on."
"Wait really ?" Says a shocked looking Virgil.
"Well yeah." Patton replies looking slightly sheepish.
"You guys didn't know?" Thomas says relieved to be on a level playing field and missing Roman's nervous look.
"Well to our defence we thought it rude to ask as what we undergo is not usually pleasant and if I may indulge my feelings: have you ever heard of anything more unPattonly!" Logan says level right up until the end where emotions begin to leek into his voice.
"Yes it is kind of unbelievable but I think I'll choose to trust you on this Patton, at least I don't feel as betrayed because clearly you guys didn't know everything going on" Thomas says in a gloating voice.
"Well actually we wouldn't know anything if it weren't for Roman acting weird the next day" Virgil pipes up with a glare in Roman's direction.
"Are you really that mad after all this time? At least now everything's more organized and safe."
"Again I ask: what on Earth you're talking about?" Thomas exclaimed mad to be no longer on level footing.
"Well as your confident side I don't undergo any changes."
"Roman we've discovered, doesn't experience any changes and unlike the rest of us who either experience complete black outs or foggy memories. Virgil is still quite mad about the whole thing as he seemingly blames Roman for telling everyone about his symptoms. I however have been trying to explain" He turn to Virgil who's bored look says he's heard this rant before." That it's quite helpful to have someone maintain the balance and peace."
"But why isn't Roman affected when everyone else is?" Thomas says confused for the hundredth time.
"Well I like to think that my confidence gives me immunity." Roman says with valiance.
"While yes I do believe that it may be tied to your confidence I think it may be more to do with Thomas needing functioning fantasies and the confidence to pull of such a 'stunt' as the aforementioned masturbation." Logan says coolly clearly not enjoying such unjust pride to be taken in simple coincidence.
"Virgil said that Roman was acting weird though so maybe he was affected?" Thomas said mostly talking to himself.
"Well kiddo" Patton starts and laughs a little, partly at the memory and partly at Thomas's expression at an actual answer "What Virgil meant was that we got up the next morning after your first ever time masturbating and all individually decide not to bring up the strange spaces and positions we woke up in with no recollection of how we got there but Roman was being so sketchy, sketchyer than an etcha-sketch like seriously and when we asked about it he just sputtered angrily at us."
"That's not fair, I though everyone remembered and was joking around to spite me!" Roman shouted grumpily.
"Eventually though we managed to get it out of him, though not with out thorough babying and coddling something that I must insist we never do again." Logan says the judgement clear on his face. "Unless needed of course" He adds quickly after a glance over at Virgil's awkward look at being implied that he was causing problems. Virgil says nothing but visibly relaxes and dashes a quick smile at Logan.
"I genuinely thought he was joking at first. Apparently I jumped Roman like a dog. Ruff" Patton knows it's not a good or well timed joke but he giggles anyway. He just loves dogs okay. " While Virgil cried for hugs and kisses, quite literally cried in the corner with his arms wrapped around himself like the cutie he is" Virgil looks miserably at Thomas in plea for help and to save him from the awkwardness of being complimented but Thomas laughs it off. He knows no real harm is being done to Virgil, if anything some compliments are good for him even if they're given in a situation like this. " All while Logan stuffed himself of Crofter's jam using his hands as spoons" Patton can't stiffle his grin at that.
"For information's sake I must add I've never eaten jam with my hands outside of your sessions" Logan adds hastily.
"Damn, Roman what did you even do with them all?" Thomas says ready to impressed by whatever the brave side did.
"Well I walked right back out!”
"What, Roman, why would you do that?" Thomas says decisively shocked that his courage left people in need.
"Calm down I just needed time to think of a valiant plan. Pause for dramatic effect. And I did. First I put Patton in his room after checking he was okay but after getting only dreeeadful pick up lines back, I just locked him in there with some food and water."
"What can I say I'm a sucker for punny pick up lines" Patton says not looking apologetic at all.
"Then I got back to Virgil as quickly as I could. I'd never seen you cry that hard Virge or ask for hug" Roman muses.
"And I'll never ask for one again" Virgil grumbles.
"Virgil, sweety no one blames you. You're body was putting you through lots of pain both during and after that" Patton says carefully. Virgil doesn't respond but looks at Patton thankfully. Deciding Virgil is fine Roman continues.
"Anyway I scooped him up and put him on my waist, luckily we can choose to weigh practically nothing if we want and it was easy to carry Virgil round on my hip while I cleaned up Logan with a little dab of magic" At the horror of Thomas he adds "Not that kind of dab"
"Then I put Logan away in a room with nothing but a copy his favourite book I attempt to calm him down from the craze he was in because of the jam"
"Don't diss" Logan holds up his vocab card "the delicious Crofter's hand made and labelled jam. However I am glad it was a copy, I tore that books to spreads just because I wanted to" Logan shudders at the end disgusted with his behaviour.
"Yeah I thought you might, I'm glad I didn't put any extra food in there with you as well. I thought you'd had enough jam and I was right, you had a killer stomach ache the next day"
Roman laughs afterwards. Logan really did have a stomach ache the next day and he complained all day long and three days straight after.
"But if you helped Virgil with the hugging thing, why did he need so a three hour long hug pile afterwards" Thomas points out.
"I don't know what it was, maybe it was that you were basically finished by the time Roman found us but I hurt so much still afterwards. My chest felt like an elephant was stepping on it, my head was pounding and my body felt like it had run a twenty-four hour marathon. Luckily everyone's affects wore off pretty soon and they could help me because seriously I felt like I was dying" Virgil says with a scrunched face like he was relieving the pain.
"Thank you by the way Roman, I think it would have been the actual death of me if you hadn't listened to my cries or just decided you didn't want to." Virgil says looking away, bracing himself to be told that Roman only did it to shut up his whiny cries.
"Virgil, you don't need to thank me, ever, for helping you through your effects. I care about you, I know that sometimes I don't make it clear but I'll always be there for you"
"Me too kiddo, I'm sorry I was too caught up in lust to realise your pain"
"I two am sorry for listening to the call of Crofter's over you"
"Guys, shut up. You were just too under the affect to know what was happening" Virgil says looking surprisingly sure of his words for someone made of doubt.
"I feel so bad, I put Virgil in pain and Logan and Paton out of control but don't worry that stops today. I'm never masturbating again." Thomas says defiantly.
The sides look at each other in shock and then burst out laugh.
"What?!" Thomas shouts over the laughter upset his promise is being laughed at.
"No offence, kiddo not only do we have things down here now, but seriously?"
"Yeah, plus, I never feel better than when I literally have to let myself be taken care of for the day and Lo finally gets to do all the stuff he wants to but deprives himself" Virgil adds.
"Thomas, you masturbate almost every night, don't jest yourself." Logan chuckles out.
"Okay maybe I might be pushing it but I can cut down, after all none of this is helping you or Roman"
"Actually Thomas there's something quite freeing about being so at whim to my sexual needs. There's no pressure to be happy or sad at given times. The same way that you masturbate to be free from life, I get that freedom because of it." Patton says surprisingly grown up for once.
"And I get to my friends enjoy themselves for a few moments a day which in turn helps me step out of what others might call my self absorbness and help support others as well."
"What I think we are, far too emotionally, trying to say is: masturbation helps all of us, as well as you. Now I believe it's time for you to go to sleep as per our agreement last week."
"Well if that's the case then maybe I'll go sleep" Thomas says but his wink and quotation marks around "sleep" give away what will really happen. He turns to each side hugs them goodnight before sanding in the centre of the room and waves at them as he spins into the ground.
That night in bed, while Thomas masturbates, the sides enjoy their freedom from their castes.
Virgil sits in Roman's arms a quiet puddle of platonic love, while Roman runs his fingers through his hair and silently enjoys the feeling of being able to help and provide. Virgil looks at Roman while Roman watches Logan paint a mess on a canvas, finally able to be free of his uncreative boundaries and rules he sets for himself and happily and productively distracted from Virgil, not that that's a problem when Virgil is sated, in fact they've been trialling having the two boyfriends helping each other out . It's going quite well and Roman is unconcerned because he's been promised by Patton that they'll find a new way for Roman to help. Patton's wink was not unmissed.
All this cuteness goes on while in a far way room Patton is finally able to focus on his own feelings rather than helping others, with the help of his hand of course. All is well with the sides. Until next time Patton lets a secret slip.