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Love-Languages

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It’s been a few weeks since Logan and his brothers had moved in and had been under the guardianship of Emile Picani. While Picani seems to be taking handling the situation as well as many could be expect someone who suddenly, and unexpectedly, had to be saddled with handling six children, let alone superpowered children. Not as if Picani knew about their powers as of yet, but the point still stands.


Picani seemed to be taking this all in stride, even though he seemed flustered and often unsure of what to do when handling his brothers, Logan still did not know what to think of the man. Sometimes the man seemed to be very wise and educated. He did have a PhD and was a licensed therapist, which he showed. Picani often shocked Logan and his brothers by his wise observations, and he was often seen in his office, doing research and reviews for many scholarly articles. It was clear that Picani was incredibly smart, especially when it came to emotional intelligence, which was an area that even a supergenius such as Logan himself severely was deficient in.


But at the same time the man just seemed to be so incredibly childish! How was Logan supposed to be able to take Picani seriously in any way as their caretaker if every other sentence out of his mouth was supposed to be some sort of reference to some cartoon that Logan had never seen. This man acts more childish than himself and all of his brothers combined most of time!


Despite this, however, a few of his brothers seemed to be able to connect with Picani fairly quickly. Roman seemed to have an instant connection to their uncle, a few kind words and conversations about various disney movies, and suddenly Roman managed to form an unbreakable bond with Picani, and seemed almost as close to him as to his brothers. Thankfully Roman hasn’t told Picani about their new abilities, but he often seems close to it. Clearly Roman managed to form some deep connection with Picani and trusts him.


Remus wasn’t too far behind his twin. He was much more distant from Picani that Roman was at first, but nowhere near the level that Logan himself was at. But then something changed. Logan isn’t sure what exactly changed. Remus himself has not mentioned it to anyone, although he may of mentioned it to his twin. While before Remus acted like Picani did not have any influence on his life, but now Remus spends more time around him, and has become much more physically intimate with Picani.


Thankfully, the twins powers’ were based around thought and creation, otherwise they may of had revealed themselves to their uncle. Unlike Patton and Virgil, and possibly others some of the others, Logan hadn’t had a chance to run too many experiments yet, who had powers based on emotion and were susceptible to being noticed when their emotions were more extreme. There were many times in which Patton’s joy had gotten away from him, which had caused his feet to lift up in the air. It was only due to Virgil or Dee pulling him down back onto the floor and Picani’s general obliviousness stopped their secret from being noticed.
Patton was another one of his brothers who seemed to be able to forge some sort of connection to Picani. It was very strange to see Patton get along so well with someone other than himself and his brothers. Patton never seemed to do that much outside of help his brothers with everything they could need. It was a little selfish perhaps, but Logan found himself missing Patton’s presence. Patton was still around his brothers almost all the time, but now he was spending more time doing other activities. It was strange, but even Logan could tell that he was much happier than he had been.


Even Virgil was starting to ease up around Picani, which was completely unexpected for anyone who knew Virgil even just a little. Virgil has always been super guarded and mistrusting around every person. But there was something about Picani that has allowed for even someone who believed every person that he ran into was willing to hurt him, that actually allowed Virgil to trust their cartoon loving uncle.


Picani was slowly but surely making all of his brothers slowly start to be able to trust and connect with them. But there is simply no way for this to ever happen with Logan. He did a statistical analysis on the probability of being able to connect with Picani, it had averaged out to 1.24 percent. They simply had nothing in common to be able to connect with, regardless of whether or not that Logan was the youngest of the brothers and Picani’s mental age seems to be stuck around five. Logan will just focus on his enjoyments, and Picani will continue to enjoy the same childish things, and they don’t have to interact more than is strictly necessary for guardian and child relationships.

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“HEY ARNOLD!” Logan suppressed another groan at their uncle. Picani’s attitude and overall demeanor is definitely starting to get on his very last nerve, with all of these weird references that he is quite sure he will never understand. He was just the most fascinating book on balck holes and did not need to deal with any unnecessary distractions.


“For the last time, Mr. Picani, my name is Logan, not any of these weird substitutes that you have deemed necessary to replace my name with."


Picani laughed, a very loud and joyful sound, “Of course Logan, granted you stop calling me Mr. Picani instead of Uncle Emile. how is my little brainiac doing? Got any brain blasts in the old noggin?”


Logan breathed sharply through his nose, “Whatever in the name of Crofters that means, I simply wish to continue reading my book.”


“Hold on there. I know you read just like a little Dipper Pines, but I have a little surprise that I set up for you. Would you mind coming with me to see it?”


Logan sharply closed his book, “I suppose that you won’t stop bothering me until I humor you with this. Well let’s go at least I will be able to finish my book afterwards as long as we do this efficiently.”


After asking Patton to look after his brothers for a few minutes, Picani led them towards the apartment elevators. While logan was stiff with boredom, for some reason Picani seemed to be physically buzzing with excitement. He kept doing this weird thing, where he kept flapping his hands about and rattling his bracelets - Logan believed that Patton mentioned that this was called stimming.


While Picani had obviously become quite excited over whatever this is, Logan had his doubts that it could ever be anything that he would even have infinitesimal interest in. Although, he does admit that his curiosity was piqued when they went into the basement of the apartments and pulled out a key for the door into the large main area of the basement.


“NA-NA-NA-NA-NA-NA-NA-NA-NA-NA-NAAAAAAAAA-”


“PLEASE JUST OPEN THE DOOR!”


Picani huffed out an annoyed breath and grumbled about Logan ruining his “Mojo Jojo,” and pushed open the door.


When Logan and his brothers gained his powers, there had been a constant buzz in his mind. This only seemed to increase when he used his telekinesis. Talking to his brothers managed to dull the buzz, but nothing managed to completely quiet the noise.


Until now.


It was silent in his mind, as Logan stood in the doorway, absolutely stunned at what he was seeing. Everything exited from his brain as he look forward at what Picani had done for him. He stood, for one of the first times in life, completely speechless from complete and utter gratitude.


It was a lab. Picani had gave him an entire lab. Picani had trusted Logan enough to give him with an entire lab.


This was the nicest thing that anyone had ever done for him.


A soft voice broke Logan out of his trance, “Logan? Are you alright? You’re crying.”


Logan’s hand flew towards his face. It came back wet. He looked from his hand to Picani’s face to his hand again. Only a moment passed until suddenly he was hugging his uncle. “Yes! Yes of course I love it!” He leaned back and looked at Picani’s face, “I do not believe that I have the vocabulary to properly express how much this means to me but this - this is huge!”


Logan ran over to one of the lab tables and grabbed a pair of goggles and through them onto his face. “Look at all of this different equipment! There’s so much I could do down here and I have so many ideas, I never had such a cool space like this! Oh, I have so many experiments that I want to run! There are so many cool things that I can create in here! Where do I even start -”


Picani let out his joyful laugh again, “Slow down there Jimmy Neutron! I have a few rules for this place. One, there are gonna be camera’s here that the front desks watches and if the see anything too dangerous they can tell me and I can cancel lab privileges.”


Logan eyes the camera in the corner. He could probably loop footage that would set whenever he came in.


“Two, no experimenting in here alone. I want at least one other person in here with you at all times. I don’t care if it is me, or one of your brothers. And three, always tell me when you are coming down here. And four, I reserve the right to come in and interrupt you at any time. Now,” Picani broke into a huge smile, “Go. Have. Fun!”


With that, Picani held out the keys dramatically. If the keys floated a little into Logans hand, he didn’t notice it. But you’ll have to forgive him. He never seen Logan smile so wide.


“Yes! Yes! Yes! Anything! Oh I could- oh I have to tell everyone! They’ll be so excited!” With this Logan grabbed Picani’s hand and eagerly pulled him towards the elevator so he could show his brothers.

 

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“Wow Lo, Uncle Emile is really just giving all of this to you?” Virgil was sitting awkwardly on one of the lab tables, peering over all of the equipment with wide eyes.


“Well, of course that he put on caveats on the lab, and of course he will only allow me to work in here for so long a day, and I still need to spend ample amount of time in the apartment. But I agree, the whole situation is,” Logan pulled out some vocab cards and shuffled through them, “lit a-f. Was that correct?”


Roman groaned from the corner, “UGH. Technically? I regret making you those.”


“Aw shush, kiddo. I’m proud of you! Although have thanked Uncle Emile yet? I’m sure he you lab for you to thank him!”


“I’m ignoring the pun. I simply don’t want to just say thank you for such a gargantuan gift from him.”


Remus nods seriously here while picking his nose, “Yeah if you don’t he might think you hate him and send you away!”


Everyone stopped and stared at Remus. Dee hissed at him in his snake form.


“Can a have a new twin?”


“No you’re stuck with me loser.”


Patton shuffled around a little awkwardly, “Well I don’t really think Emile would ever do that kiddo. But I’m sure that you will figure out something out Logan! You’re so smart, you can find something that he would really appreciate how about something like a card!”


Dee shifted his form from his cobra form, into his human form, “Yeah, he totally wouldn’t feel underappreciated by something as simple as a card.”


“I regret to admit it, but you are right. I just do not understand what could appeal to someone so different from me than Picani.”


“Well,” Roman said, “what about something based in one of the cartoons that he loves. I know that he is currently into Steven Universe at the moment.”


A light lit in Logan’s eyes. “You know, I think I have an idea.

 

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A small knock sounded on the door to Emile’s office. “Come in.”


Surprisingly, it was Logan that came through the door. Logan rarely came and bothered him while he was working. He also seemed to be as nervous as Courage the Cowardly Dog as he came through, holding a large box.


“Hey there Logan! What can I do you for?”


“Uncle Emile, I would like to thank you producing the lab for me. I have made something that I believe that you appreciate.”


The phrase Uncle Emile, kept repeating in over in his head. Logan had never called him uncle before. It was also such an incredibly professional Mr. Picani, but now it is Uncle Emile, something so incredibly personal and lov-


“Uncle Emile?”


“What? Oh yes of course?” Emile took the box from Logan. It was heavier than he expected it to be. Then he opened it.


“Do you like it? I had artificially created some crystals based on the main characters from that cartoon that you like, Steven Universe; Pearl, Amethyst, Garnet, and Rose Quartz. I did decide to two different garnets instead of a ruby and sapphire. I also tried to get them in the shape and the approximate size of their gems. I hope this is an appropriate way of showing my grat-”


Emile burst into tears.


“What? No, please stop please do not cry!”


Emile whipped his eyes, then knelt down to Logan’s level and grabbed his shoulders. “Logan, this means so much to me. That you would spend so much time working on this for me. I know that you have been a little rattled since you guys came to live with me, and I am so happy that you would do something like this for me.”


Logan broke into a large smile. “Oh, uh good. I am glad that that you like it.”


Emile looked at him gently, “Logan, would you like a hug?”


At this, Logan launched himself at Emile hugging him close, gripping his cardigan close to him. And for his part, Emile quickly squeezed Logan close to his chest, letting them exist close together. From this hug, they both felt an incredibly strong feeling towards each other.


Love.

Chapter Text

Declan “Dee” Picani didn’t trust others. Adults never were around to help and those who were did try to help them out have an ulterior motive. So Dee didn’t exactly trust anyone outside of his brothers. That goes double for his Uncle Emile. Just because he was forced to take them in didn’t mean that he was never going to trick them. He was probably just waiting for Dee and his brothers to slip up. That way he could easily send them back without having any guilt on his back. It was only a matter of time until Emile slipped up his little nice charade, and then he and his brothers are sent packing.

But Dee would do anything he could to protect, or at the very least delay, this possibility. Uncle Emile, with his position as a well-known and respected therapist, has financial security. And when they did get sent away, they could get separated, and Dee absolutely could not have that. Roman and Remus were almost never apart, they would be devastated. And Patton would be crushed if he couldn’t help the others all the time. Not even to mention how bad Virgil’s handle on his powers and anxiety currently is even with the help of his brothers. Who knows how out of control Virgil’s powers would get if he was separated from them. Logan acts like he is fine with everything that happened, but it’s clear to Dee that Logan would break if something else out of control happened.

Dee would do anything to make sure that his brothers stayed safe and protected. Even if that means keeping everything close to his chest. Hiding their powers, interacting with Emile as little as possible, and hiding the interests that history has told him adults didn’t take too kindly.

It would be a bit easier to do so if his brothers weren’t so damn trusting however.

He did expect this from Roman and Patton. Roman has always been incredibly susceptible to flattery. He would know, he has used it himself plenty of times, he had to get someone to model for him so he can practice make-up somehow. The flattery plus shared interest in Disney and animation in general? Roman barely had a chance.

Patton also was also likely to be tricked by Uncle Emile’s attitude. Patton may be protective as their oldest brother, but he was also incredibly naive. He took the foolish attitude of I will trust you unless you give me a reason not to. Dee loved his brother, but couldn’t he adopt any other philosophy? One that didn’t open you up into being hurt, perhaps? However, that is the way of thought that Patton lives by, so of course he quickly fell for Uncle Emile’s smile and kind words.

But call Dee foolish, but he thought his other brothers might of lasted at least longer than this. It’s been what, a few months? And already his other brothers were falling for all of Emile’s tricks, and were going to get so incredibly hurt.

Remus never really cared for the opinions and thoughts of his adults. He always just did his own thing with no remorse, even if said thing was always gross and disturbing. But something must of changed with their Uncle to get Remus to start actively seeking him out. Logan never operated on his emotions before. But as soon as he was given that lab, Uncle Emile apparently became one of the few people that he was willing to trust.

But he had never expected Virgil to trust Uncle Emile. He was so anxious and mistrusting of everyone around him. He’s always been like that for as long as Dee could remember. There is absolutely no reason for Virgil to start trusting him. Virgil was the one that agreed with Dee that they should hide their abilities. He knows that it is only a matter of time until Emile gets fed up enough and ditches them. Somehow despite all of this, Virgil is actually trusting him.

It’s fine though. If Virgil or any of the others weren't going to protect them, Dee will gladly protect them.There is absolutely nothing that he wouldn’t do for his brothers. Even if he had to use some of his more unsavory powers. He could protect them. As long as nothing else changes, he would be able to protect the people who he cares most about.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Something else changed. Dee managed to get out a strangled hiss, “What do you mean, ‘maybe we should just tell him!’ Do you even hear yourself!”

They were sitting around while Emile met up with a client, while the babysitter was making them lunch in the kitchen, when Patton dropped that particular bomb.

Patton at least had the decency to look a little bashful. “Well kiddo, I just thought that Uncle Emile has been nothing but nice and understanding! And not having to sneak around all of the time would be just super!” “No! Absolutely not! We can’t afford to trust him not with this! You can’t be ssserious-”

“Declan, the evidence supports Patton’s claim that he has consistently been understanding.” Logan then went and pulled out an actual notebook out of somewhere which apparently had listed evidence. “He has repeatedly been there for us and has had plenty of excuses to betray us. Patton’s line of reasoning is perfectly logical.”

“Plus,” Roman smirked, “he has dealt with my truly terrible twin for a while now. If he hasn’t kicked us out yet, he probably won’t.”

Remus looked up from trying to lick his foot. “You are just jealous that I’m the pretty one.”

“You literally conjured a mustache.”

“Yeah, exactly. How can you not jealous?”

No! How can’t any of you see how incredibly foolish this is! Virgil, can you please talk some sense into these idiots?”

“...”

“Vee?”

Virgil sighed loudly, “Maybe we should. I’m just so tired of sneaking around all of the time and hiding everything. Maybe-maybe he would actually understand? That he could actually not hate it? I mean, he’s dealt with my anxiety already and actually got me help. I guess, if anyone could help us, maybe it would be him?”

Dee felt like his whole world started to twist under him. How could none of them realize the dangers that this would unleash? How could they possibly take such a world-altering risk? Do they not realize what horrible consequences would be unleashed? He needed to make them understand.

“No! Just think about what you are saying for five minutes! Virgil, I never would have pegged you willing to take such a dumb risk. And Patton, don’t you care about us! I don’t want to risk anything happening! Who knows how close Uncle Emile is jussst -”

“Kiddo! Dee I need you to calm down, okay? You’re freaking out on us.”

Dee’s hand immediately flew to his face, feeling along the skin, or well, what used to be the skin, of his left side of his face. Scales had replaced his skin, and if he found a mirror, he’s sure his eye would be deformed as well.

Dee took a deep breath. Then again. Then again.

He touched his face again. Gone. “Dee. Kiddo, I’m not gonna force you to do anything that you aren’t ready to do. This obviously is freaking you out, and I don’t want you to do anything that you are uncomfortable with. Just think about it, ok? If you are ever ready to tell him, then we’ll tell him. If you aren’t then that’s ok too. We’ll wait until you are ready to scale this obstacle, ok?”

Dee felt himself blush even as he responded ok. Even so, he was sure that he would never let Emile close enough to trust him with a secret like this.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Things seemed to be alright for a while. Nothing seemed to be too far off or different for a while. His brothers never seemed to mention their argument again, even if Patton keeps sending him weird looks all the time.

He shouldn’t have let his guard down. He needed to be more careful than this. It was a nice apartment but there are seven people living in it. If he wanted to truly keep everything away from Emile he needed to be more careful. But it’s too late now. He knows.

Not about their powers. Emile is a little too dense to realize that

But Emile had walked into his and Logan’s room. With a clear view of his room.

Dee had always been interested in making costumes. He was the one that had created all of their hero outfits. But it didn’t stop there. He loved making all sorts of outfits. Not even just for his brothers, but for himself. He absolutely adored making outfits for himself. Including dresses and skirts. His latest skirt, a knee-length, flowing yellow skirt adorned with flowers on the bottom. Dee had been trying it out for the first time, seeing how it had looked so far. In full view of Emile.

“Declan? Are you alright?”

His heart froze. This is everything that he had ever feared. He can see his skirt, him wearing a skirt. He felt sick, and he felt tears come to his eyes. No. This couldn’t be happening. He won’t let it happen. He refuses let Emile send them away.

“What are you doing in here! I didn’t say that you could come in here! You’re not supposed to be in here!”

“One of my clients canceled so I came back early. Where did you get that skirt? It looks-”

“Well, I’m so sorry that have to see me like this! You shouldn’t of come in here! Then you wouldn’t have had to see me like this! I’m just so sorry I’m such a disappointment here. Why don’t we just forget that this had never even happened!”

“What? Declan, no, it’s perfectly fine. I have friends who wear skirts all the time. You’ve seen Remy, they’re genderfluid, and they are my best friend. It’s ok Declan. I promise you that it is alright. You can wear whatever makes you comfortable and happy. I’m sorry Declan if there was something that I did that made you think otherwise.”

Emile was just looking at him, with those annoyingly warm eyes and his too kind to be trusted smile. No, this wasn’t how this was supposed to go. Dee can’t do this anymore. He can’t keep guessing like this.

“What is wrong with you?”

“Excuse me?”

“What is your deal? This isn’t supposed to be how this is supposed to work? You’re supposed to hate it! Hate me! This type of stuff isn’t allowed! Why would you be different? Come on, I know that your just waiting for an excuse to send us back already! Stop hiding and admit it! Admit that your tired of us already!”

Emile stepped back for a second. “Declan please, calm down. It’s, it’s not like that. I don’t know what I did to cause for you to think I would ever do anything like this to you. I have always tried to be accepting of others, and I could never purposely harmful to you and your brothers Declan. Please believe me. I could never-”

“Oh yeah?” Dee could feel his powers welling up inside him, like pressure rising up and being ready to blow. His teeth became sharper, his face started growing scales, his voice dripping with venomous power, but Dee couldn’t seem to be able to make himself care. “Yeah I’ll bet. YOU SHOULD JUST SEND US AWAY FOR ALREADY.”

Dee could tell what he did even before he finished. Emile’s eyes glossed over and his eyes turned yellow. He did something that he swore that he would never do to another person again. Something so appalling and controlling that Dee had nightmares about it.

Mind Control.

Dee didn’t think that the control lasted very long, but they didn’t know anything about it. This is it and it is all his fault. Emile now has no choice but to send them to some orphanage, and it’s because Dee is physically forcing him to. He just wanted to protect them. But now Dee had destroyed his family. He could feel tears sting at his eyes.

But then something strange happened. Just as quickly as his eyes turned yellow, they went back to their original warm brown. “Dee? What, no, please listen, I couldn’t do that. Please I swear I care about you.”

With this Emile started to lay his hand on his arm, and then Dee was immediately jerking back away from him like he hurt him. Then the next second he was out the door and Emile could hear the door to Patton and Virgil’s room slamming closed.

Emile wasn’t sure what had happened, but he didn’t know what to do. He cared so much for these kids, but he was never prepared for things like this. Against his will, he started to shake, and the tears came not long after.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dee wasn’t sure how much time had passed, seconds, minutes, hours, but when Logan came into the room he was curled up in his snake form in Patton’s lap. His touch was just so comforting. It felt so nice to be squished around Patton, especially after the type of day he had just had. The world just seemed easier when he was in his snake form, no dealing with arguments that went to far with any Uncle.

“Salutations Patton, Dee,” with his Logan joined them on the floor, with his hands holding one of his research journals, trying to look as professional as possible when he is squatting down on the floor with them. Dee would snort if snakes could do so. “I have just finished talking to Uncle Emile. He seems to be quite upset but does not seem interested in any sort of punishment for the argument or seem to have any sort of knowledge of Dee’s superhuman abilities.”

Patton spoke up with an incredibly soft voice, “How is he right now? Is he alone?”

“No Roman and Remus are currently trying to distract him with whatever concoction that they have created in that weird world that they made up. They believe that he needs some fantasy make believe right now.”

Dee returned back to his human form so he could talk. However, he was still hugging Patton. Usually Dee was upset that he was the smallest out of all of his brothers, even though Logan is the youngest. But now it was comforting to be able to be cuddled so tightly by Patton. “Dee? We should probably talk about this. What exactly happened?”

“I just,” Dee fidgeted with the strings on Patton’s hoodie, “I don’t know. I just.. I don’t know. I thought I could protect us.”

Patton made a sad little sigh, but Logan just looked confused. “From Uncle Emile? He can’t hurt us. He has not developed any sort of powers. Not to mention he does not seem like he could be good in any sort of physical confront-”

“Logan. I’ll handle this. Dee, why would you need to protect us from Uncle Emile? Did he say something to you?”

“I just - I just thought that if I did something wrong, he would send us away, and - and then I would be separated from everyone and I…”

“Yeah, Dee?”

Dee’s voice went impossibly quiet, “I couldn’t live without you guys.”

At this, Patton squeezed Dee even closer. “Dee, I wouldn’t ever let anything bad happen to you, alright?”

“But there’s only so much you can do Patton! You’re only fifteen! I know you love us, but what can you possibly do against the government Patton! If Emile saw one thing he didn’t like, he could send us packing! I wouldn’t be able to deal with losing you! I’m sorry that I can’t trust people like you can, but the world just doesn’t work that way.”

It was silent for a while before anyone spoke up again. Surprisingly, it was Logan, “I suppose that I can understand your logic, even if it is flawed when he consider Uncle Emile’s past actions and overall personality. However, there is one thing that I am still confused on. What exactly was the catalyst for this altercation?”

“...What?”

“Ugh. What started the argument.”

Dee stayed quiet for a while, playing with his the hem of his skirt, until he spoke up so quiet that no one can hear him. “...He saw he wearing the skirt.”

“Wait, what? Dee, did he say anything to you. Because he has no right to stop you from wearing whatever you want. Do you need me to talk with him? I won’t let-”

“No he didn’t say anything. But everyone else does. Especially the adults, I always hear them talking. That it’s not normal. What exactly makes Uncle Emile so different? How can he just constantly be so supportive? No one is that nice? He has to be hiding something. I’m sure of it. Or- or at least I was.”

Patton let out this deep sigh, the type that made you forget that Patton really wasn’t too much older. “Ok, so we are definitely going to talk about this later, alright? And it really isn’t your fault, but you should apologize to Uncle Emile because you said some things that weren’t ok.”

“...Ok. Can we cuddle a little bit longer, though?”

“Oh of course, kiddo! You too Logan. It’s Patton’s Patton-ted Cuddle Time!”

Logan exaggeratedly rolled his eyes, but still joined them, leaning his head against Dee. Being around his brothers, Dee was able to actually relax, and for the first time since the move, feel truly safe.

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Later that night, there was a knock on his door and he could hear Emile from the other side, “Declan? Can I come in? I brought you dinner? I made mac ‘n’ cheese! It’s your favorite!”

Dee came over and opened the door. Logan is down in the lab right now, so it was just him and his uncle.

“Uncle-”

“Declan, I’m-”

They both broke away, with Dee blushing and Emile letting out a little laugh. “Ok, you start first, Declan.”

Dee took a deep breath and said the apology that he had practiced with Patton and Logan. “I am sorry for the things that I have said to you. It wasn’t right of me to say such horrible things about you and your character. It was unfair to judge you in such a harsh way. Please accept my apology and let us continue to stay here. Please.”

Emile then knelt down to his level and grabbed his hands, “No. Dee, I’m not going to lie to you, some of what you said to me did sting a bit. But it is my fault if you have felt that way in the slightest. This home is supposed to be your safe space, your crystal temple, your mystery shack, your batcave. If you don’t feel safe here, around me, that is my fault not yours, alright? I want you to be able to know that you can dress however you want to dress.

“I know that this is a pretty big shift for you, and it is ok to be scared. But know that I will never hurt you or any of your brothers.” And with this, with enough time for Dee to be able to pull away, Emile enveloped him in a hug.

Oh. OH.

It wasn’t as if Dee had never been hugged before. His brothers hug him all the time, especially Patton. And he had received tons of hugs from his mom before she died.

But this, this was different somehow. No one had hugged him quite as fiercely as Uncle Emile was hugging him right now. He could feel his strong arms wrap around him and clutched him tightly. It felt so incredibly soft, grounding, warm, and comforting all at the same time. Even through his tears that eventually showed up, they kept hugging through it.

Dee clung to him like a lifeline. He needed this. Maybe he couldn’t exactly understand why he needed this so desperately, but it just felt so incredibly right to be hugged like this from his Uncle.

The hug felt like home. And with time, so would Uncle Emile.

Chapter Text

“Hey there Roman. What are you doing there?”

Roman looked up from where he was kneeling on the ground. “Oh, hi Uncle Emile. I’m just looking through your movies. I didn’t even know that there were so many Disney movies!”

Emile smiled down at him. “Well that’s not just Disney, there’s plenty of Dreamworks, Ghibli, and other types of animated movies. I do believe I have every animated Disney movie. Although the sequels are in a different cabinet because they are sort of their own class. Oh, except for the Toy Stories and Finding Dory, those should be in here too. And, Monsters University and Incredibles 2.”

Romans eyes grew and almost looked like they had stars in them as he looked up at Emile. “Wow! That’s so cool! Uncle Emile can we watch one! Mom only had a few Disney and they were so short! Please please please please please please PLEASE!”

“Oh sure Roman, I’d love to! How about you pick out one that is the sword to your She-Ra and I’ll go and make us some popcorn.” 

When Emile came back with the popcorn, Roman was holding one of the DVD covers out to him. The cover had the very familiar image of a blue alien, a young girl, and a teenager all surfing. “Can we watch this one? I like all of the pretty colors on it.”

“Oh my stars, is that Lilo and Stitch! That is one of my absolute favorites Roman! You really haven’t seen it yet! Oh, you’ll absolutely love it! Oh my goodness I’m so excited!"

Emile then ran over and put the movie in, then quickly ran back over to his couch. Roman quickly grabbed one of the bowls of popcorn and then cuddled up to Emile. He was startled at first, but then he slowly started to give Roman a small, nervous smile.

“Alright! Let’s get dangerous!”

“What?”

“We’ll get to Darkwing Duck soon.”


 

The movie had just ended, and Roman was practically bouncing in his seat. “Oh my goodness that was just the greatest!”

“I know, isn’t it just amazing! Now, what was your favorite part?”

“When Stitch just completely launched the big whale dude out of the plane! That was epic! Oh but maybe when they were all learning how to surf, that scene was so cute!”

“Oh, that has to be one of my favorite scenes too! That’s when you really see how much Stitch is really trying to be part of their family, because despite the very large dangers that water presents to him, it is this point where the audience really starts to see how much he wants to be part of a family.

Before this in the movie, despite his extremely cute and lovable appearance, he has been shown as a creature whose entire motivation was the need for destruction and annihilation. But here we start seeing him actually reaching out not only to Lilo, but also Nani, who has never seen to of had the greatest opinion of Stitch, which shows him expressing the need to be part of their family unit. Jumba Jookiba even states that there is no logical reason for him to do this. Here it is shown that Stitch no longer thinks of them as just shields, but instead as family, or at least they could be family.”

“Yeah! It’s so freaking amazing! And it’s so pretty!”

“It’s actually the last Disney movie that uses watercolor backgrounds, which gives this movie an incredibly unique, soft look to it.”

“Really? I thought animations were all done with computers?”

“Well, more and more often that has become the case, but there are plenty of movies that were made with traditional animation, which includes things such as hand painted backgrounds.”

“Oh, cool! Hey, Uncle Emile, can we get a dog?”

At this, Emile jumped and looked down at Roman. “What? No! You boys have only been here for a little while now. I don’t want to overload anyone with a dog! This is already a huge change, and a dog is a huge responsibility!”

“But Stitch only cost like, five bucks!”

“Oh, ok that makes more sense. I’m not sure where that came from, but dogs usually cost a few hundred dollars, and that’s not even considering any supplies.”

“Aww, lame.”

“Hey look, Roman. Maybe in a few years, when everyone is a bit more comfortable living, we could think about getting a dog.”

Roman leaped up and threw his hands around his neck, “Yes! You are just the absolute best, Uncle Emile!”

“Well, I don’t know about that Roman. But, I appreciate the compliment. Whoa, would you look at the time there, I’d better start dinner. We can probably watch another Disney movie if you are-”

“YES!”

Emile laughed, “Ok, Roman. That was a wonderful conversation, it was lovely to talk with you.”

“See you later Uncle Emile!” With this, Roman ran back upstairs into his room without another word.

Emile chuckle and looked softly at where Roman had vanished off to. Maybe we wouldn’t be so bad at this parent thing after all.


Roman and Remus were both hanging out in their room, which was what Logan referred to as “complete and utter pandemonium,” but Roman referred to as his glorious temple of his most brilliant ideas and Remus referred to it as stink-pad supreme.

They had a few conflicting views.

But as cliche as it sounds, the twins both had almost identical ways of thinking. No one in their family had ever seemed to be as creative as they were. They were constantly thinking of new ideas and new worlds. Their brains simply never seemed to be able to stop moving, making characters, storylines, and so much more that their brothers couldn’t even dream of. While Logan thought in statistics and numbers, and twins thought in colors, disconnected thoughts, and different worlds. Instead of being grounded, the twins had their heads in the clouds, thinking of all the possibilities in the mystic and magical. 

That being said, it wasn’t as if they shared a brain. Both Roman and Remus have their strengths and weaknesses. Roman is amazing at building characters and their relationships with each other, showing their complexities and how strong relationships that are founded on principles such as love or friendship could be. He was also amazing at building the aesthetic of his worlds, managing to be able to bring any of his readers to the place that he had brought to life, in his worlds of magic and wonder.

Remus, on the other hand, had a completely different collection of skill sets. What Remus really excelled at was his writings of horror. He was amazing at making brutally cruel areas, and creating a sense of tension that feels real. He was amazing at writing conflict that had felt not only heartbreaking, but was also terrifyingly realistic.

But where they had been able to be incredibly successful, they were usually unsuccessful in each other’s fields. They could sit for hours, bouncing ideas off each other, which was what they were doing now.

“Hey, megadork, read this, it needs to be lighter, so when it gets dark it’s cooler.” Remus then threw his journal at Romans face, hitting him square in the forehead.

“Ow? Rude much.” Romans eyes scanned the lines, and every once in a while looked up to give Remus him a disgusted look. “You need to give them some sense of hope, give them the idea that things could be fine, that someone might sweep up the damsel like a noble knight!”

“Ugh, boring. I hate that you’re right.”

“Hope isn’t boring, grimdark is.”

“You take that back!”

“Never. Hey, I’m trying to design what the villain's weapon is. Want to take a look?”

“Hell yeah, I love murder sticks! All the blood and guts and-”

“Ew, ew, ew, ew, ew, gross! A stick?”

“Yeah you always use swords.”

“Not always .”

“Well is it a sword?”

“...Maybe.”

Remus rolled his eyes. “Get over your sword fetish and show me.”

Roman raised his hand and summoned the sword. In a bright flash of light, a red sword appeared in his palm, with an intricate handle, with the hilt pointing out to give the appearance of horns. The blade itself was a smooth, double sided blade.

“Ohh, red, I likey.”

“Remus, everything I summon is red. Like everything you summon is green, Grosszilla. And actually the blade is as black as night, but it fades into red.”

“Ohhh, dark, especially for you, I like it. So what’s wrong with it?”

“It’s just… too polished. He’s supposed to be enraged and cruel, not cool and confident! But I don’t know how to fix it and if I don’t fix it I’ll just die!”

“Never accuse me of being dramatic again. What if you made the blade jagged. So they wouldn’t be able not to bleed out once stabbed.”

“Not without the power of friendship!”

“You disgust me.”

“Shush already. I just want this one to be really good. I was thinking about showing this to Uncle Emile.”

“Wait what?” Remus suddenly popped up from where he was laying on the floor to be able to glare at Roman. “Why do you want to do that? Why do you care about what he thinks? And since when did he have any sort of idea how to create a story?”

Roman sat up and matched his brother’s glare. “Hey Uncle Emile is smart! Don’t be mean to him!” 

“Why the hell not? It’s not like his opinion really matters that much. He just took us in because he had to. It’s not like he actually cares about us.”

“Of course he cares about us! You’re just being mean!” Tears started to spring at his eyes, “Uncle Emile is so nice! Don’t act like you know him when you don’t ever let him talk to you, you jerkface!”

“Roman!” Remus jumped onto the bed with him and hugged him. “Stop crying! I’m sorry ok? I didn’t mean to hurt you!”

Roman whipped his eyes, “It’s fine. Sorry.”

“No, Roman it’s fine. Are we still friends?”

Roman rolled his eyes and leaned more into his brother, “Yeah, of course we are still friends. How could we not be friends.”


 

Remus’ words stuck in his head, even as he approached Uncle Emile with his journal clutched in his hands. He was pretty sure that his uncle liked him, but there was a difference between watching a movie that he already liked, and liking his work. But it was his work, of course it was amazing! He shouldn’t have anything to worry about.

Then why was he so nervous about it?

He’s not even doing anything right now, he’s just reading a Ducktales comic. There’s no reason why he can’t just approach him and ask him to read it. He’d already done so much in the story it would be a waste not to show it to someone. 

And Roman was nothing if not incredibly impulsive, so without another thought he had ran up to Emile, “Uncle Emile! Can you read this?”

Emile put down his comic, “Yeah, of course Roman, what is it?”

Roman gave a wide grin as he answered, “It’s a story I’ve been working on! It’s a fantasy setting, but I usually write in a fantasy setting. I kinda wrote it with you in mind, so I was kinda, really hoping you would like it?”

Emile looked startled for a little while, like he was incredibly shocked before responding, “Oh, of course I’ll read it Roman. Just give me a little bit and I will read it, alright?”

It was only a few hours later when Emile re-approached Roman, with his journal in his hand, and smiling brightly at Roman.

“Uncle Emile! Did you finish it?”

“Yup! I just finished it!” 

Roman suddenly looked down and wrung his hands nervously, “Did- did you like it?”

“Like it? Roman, I absolutely adored it! It was spectacular! It’s been a while since I read a story as good as this one! To be completely fair, I’ve had to read a lot of Psychology journals lately and those are really, incredibly dull. But I really mean it when I say this is one of the best things that I have ever read Roman!”

At this, Roman positively glowed. He looked like he had been given Christmas, his birthday, and every other holiday all at once. “Really? You didn’t think it was too fluffy or happy or anything?”

“Well, it’s not as if there is anything wrong with happy stories. Dark stories have their purpose in the world, but I much prefer something that lets the reader feel good when they read the stories. Something like this, which show the good aspects of humanity - well not quite humanity, because the characters aren’t really human - is an incredibly important story to tell. And Roman, you do this in a way that is incredibly implemented.”

Roman was smiling so wide, it looked like his face was going to split open. “You really think so? What was your favorite part? Was the main character good? Did you like the setting?
“Oh absolutely! The setting was beautiful, it felt like it was a place as magical as Mewni, and at the same time as diverse as the Land of Ooo, and…”


 

“Why are we here again, nerd?”

“Because, Dracula, my love for our dear Uncle cannot be expressed through mere words alone! I must do something grand for him to know how much I truly appreciate what he has done for us. I need to be able to show him how much I so incredibly deeply care for-”

“Yeah sure, whatever. But why am I here? And why here?”

Roman laughed at him. “Don’t act like you don’t like Disney, Virgil. Also Patton said I had to go with someone and everyone else was busy.”

“But,” Virgil paused as he passed a wall of kid princess costumes, “isn’t this a little childish? I mean he’s like a therapist right? Wouldn’t he like, I don’t know, some pens? You know, boring adult stuff?”

Roman gave Virgil a strange look, “Have you like, talked to him?”

Virgil flushed deeply, “I mean, I’m super busy you know, don’t really have time, and my room is just much more comfortable, and -”

“Virgil, I think we both know that’s a lie.”

“Ugh, fine no. It’s only been a week, it'll be fine. And how exactly have you two suddenly become the best of friends so quickly.”

Roman spread out his hands wide. “Because, hot topic, he has the soul of a selfless hero! The knight who would do anything for his charges! You really need to give him a chance Virge. Then you would see how much of a supercalifragilistic person he is!”

“Yeah sure.”

“Virgil!”

Virgil sighed, “Just, how can you just trust him so easily? You don’t know what he would do if he found out about us. And plus, he has a PhD in psychology. He probably knows exactly how to manipulate people. I bet that he’s just waiting to reveal what he wants from us.”

“Wow, ok there, Gloomy Gus, he’s not like that. Uncle Emile would never! He’s such a good person who cares so much! He is such an incredible person, and I am honored to have been in his presence.”

“You don’t know that.”

“Yes I do shut up. Now stop being such a Negative Nancy and help me pick up something. Ooh, how about that!” Roman then dragged Virgil to a display table where they had several items in a glass case. Roman was excitedly gesturing to a replica of Cinderella’s carriage, which appeared to be covered in gems.

“Roman we have like twenty bucks.”

“I could conjure money?”

Virgil raised his eyebrow. “Glowing, red dollars that disappear when they leave your hand? For some reason I don’t think that it will work.”

“Well just take all of my fun out of my life, why don’t you?”

“Come on, let’s just get something cheap already then leave, alright? It’s way too crowded in here.”

They wandered around the Disney store for a little while longer until they landed at one of the walls of stuffed animals. Then Roman let out a sharp, sudden gasp. 

Virgil quickly shoved Roman behind him, “What is it? Did you see something? Where’s the danger?”

“No, Dorkules. I found it! The perfect gift!”

“When I eventually snap and kill you, no one could blame me.”

“Oh shush.” He excitedly picked up one of the stuffed animals from the shelf. “This is perfect, he’s going to love it!”


 

“Uncle Emile! I got you something!” At this, Roman ran up to him and thrust a rainbow colored bag at him.

Emile reached out and grabbed the bag. “Hey Ro, what’s this for?”

“Nothing in particular! Just for being the bestest, most awesomest Uncle ever!”

“Well I don’t know about all that,” Emile chuckled. “Alright, let’s see what is in here!” Emile looked into the back to see a familiar stuffed creature.

It was a cute, honey colored bear, who was wearing a Stitch onesie. It was the cutest little creature that Emile had ever seen.

Plus it was cute and fluffy!

“This… this is for me?”

“Yeah! I remembered how much you liked him when we watched the movie! So when I saw him I thought you might like it!”

“Oh I’m going to cherish him forever Roman!” Emile was squishing the stuffed animal against his face. “Oh, he’s so soft! I’m going to love him forever!” Emile then opened his arms up to his nephew, “Thank you hug?” 

Roman jumped into his arms before running off to find his brothers. “Bye Uncle Emile! I love you!”

Emile blinked a few times. Roman loved him. Already? It had only been a little while since he first meet the kids and brought them in. And Roman loves him?

Emile looked down at the Stitch in his hand.

Oh

That explains the story that Roman had showed him and the Stitch. He was just showing his love through the gift giving.

And you know what? Emile thinks he might already love his nephew as well.

 

Chapter Text

Remus, simply put, didn’t really care that much for his Uncle. It’s not that he didn’t trust him like Declan and Virgil. But he sides more with Logan, which surprisingly wasn’t super uncommon, they actually got along fairly well. They often spent time telling each other weird, disturbing facts. Like, did you know that the blue-ringed octopus has powerful enough venom to kill humans? No? Well now you do.

Neither of them seemed to think much of the therapist. He’s just doing what he has to, not that he cared about any of them. That would be weird. It’s not as if he had played any sort of role in their lives before they were orphaned. Plus, it’s better to keep distance, and not gross out the person who gives him his allowance. After all, someone is selling a jar of fake eyeballs in this antique store, and Remus needs that. Well, it’s probably fake anyway. Cooler if it’s real. 

Not that he would ever mention this to his brothers. Especially Roman. He loves his twin but he just so annoying emotional all of the time! He gets attached way to easily. The first time he brought it up, the dork burst into tears! Also Declan said something to him and he actually summoned a sword and said, and he quotes, “To take back your villainous words about our dearly beloved uncle, you silver-tongued serpent!” And people call him dramatic, just because he screams randomly when people aren’t paying enough attention to him.

Even Logan had started to like Picani for some reason. Most people wouldn’t have noticed, but Remus did. There was less annoyed grunts and more fond smiles whenever their uncle said or did something weird. 

But whatever. Just because the others are spending more time around Emile and less time around him doesn’t mean that he has to spend time around him. It’s not like he needs to be around people all of the time.

And even if he did want to, what is going to do, talk to Uncle Emile? Yeah, like that is ever going to happen. He’s random, not stupid. It’s obvious that everyone gets creeped out by him. Teachers, the principal, babysitters, his Mom, everyone was at least a little creeped out him. Even his brothers sometimes. The only person who never acted truly repulsed by him was Roman. 

Sure, sometimes Roman would make fun of his tastes, but he never was repulsed by him. Even Patton, who has spent most of his life doing everything he could to make his brothers happy, got creeped out by him all of the time. But Roman justs rolls with it, still spends so much time with him. But not so much anymore.

No, now it has to be all about Uncle Emile now. Spending so much time with him - watching movies, showing him projects, talking about characters, and sometimes not even doing anything with him! One time he was just waiting around for dinner and was just sitting there! When he could of been hanging out with him!

But it’s whatever. It’s not like he needs him or anything. He will just keep living his normal life. He can be happy by himself, he doesn’t need to be around others. 

Oh who is he fooling? Remus left to go bother Logan again. 


“Ok, so I need to be able to test how dense this material is, to see if it would work as some sort of shield. I want it to be flexible but still be able to provide protection without it being too burden-” 

“BOMBS AWAY!” Logan whipped his head around to see Remus holding two cartoonish, green bombs in his hand, grinning maniacally. He gave a crazy laugh, and then threw the bombs at Logan’s experiment. 

Logan quickly levitated his experiment out of the way out of the blast radius. “Remus! Look at my table, it’s all burned now!”

“Well, I thought that you wanted to test it. Don’t be such a wuss, Lo.”

“Yes I wanted to test it in a controlled environment . Not you throwing actual bombs at my work Remus! I don’t know anything about the bombs’ what is their potency, what material that they are made of, nothing .”

“Ugh, why do you have to be such a baby about things.”

“I’m more mature than you could ever be! There is nothing childish about the scientific method!”

“Yeah, yeah, we all know you’re in love with science.”

“Don’t be obscene. I do not love science, I just admire it more than what most people would typically consider to be ‘the norm.’”

“‘Don’t be obscene?’ Lo, buddy, have you met me?”

Logan rolled his eyes and started to put some of his equipment away. “Well, I suppose I will have to take care of this mess that you made later. I promised Uncle Emile that I would go up and watch one of his movies with-”

“No!” Remus’ arm lashed out to grab him, “I mean, why would you want to do that? You’ll probably hate whatever that he’s going to show you anyway, there’s no point in going up. Plus it’s not like you are going to have fun watching whatever kid junk he decides to put in front of you. Besides, hanging out here is just so much more fun! Wouldn’t you want to hang out here, with all the cool nerd things?”

Logan arched his eyebrow at him. “Calling my interests ‘nerd things’ does not persuade me as much as you seem to think it does. My enjoyment level of the feature does not factor in, I have already told Uncle Emile that would watch it with him. And it would be foolish to try to decide how much I would enjoy such a thing before even knowing what it is.”

“Yeah but there is no way that it could be more interesting than this stuff! Come on, you love all of these chemicals … and fire … and experiments… and beakers … and...”

Logan arched his eyebrow over at Remus. “You are acting very peculiar. I said I would partake in this activity with him and I will. Why do you want me not to go so badly?”

“What? I don’t care if you go or not. Go, see if I care.”

Logan retracted his arm back from Remus and started walking towards the elevator. He managed to get a whole eight steps before something lashed around his wrist.

“Ew, Remus what even is this? Is this an octopus tentacle? You can conjure living things?”

Remus glanced back down at the octopus arm that had seemed to extend from his own arm. “Maybe? I’m not sure how alive it is tho.”

Logan sighed and pinched his nose. “Remus, what is your dilemma? What is so wrong with me simply watching a short movie with our Uncle?”

“Nothing is the matter, I just don’t…”

“Don’t what?”

“I don’t want to be so bored all the time! It’s been so boring and you guys have all been hanging around Uncle Emile more often and I need people to be around me if I want to bother them.”

“I’m sure that there is someone else that you can bother.”

“Not for much longer! Everyone is hanging around Uncle Emile more and more often and less around me! You and Virgil were the only ones not hanging around him literally every second of the day, and now he’s got you too! Soon enough it’ll just be me rotting down to my bones in my misery! Then one day you guys will be like, ‘hey, what happened to that other brother we had? Roman’s twin?’ and then you will find me and have to stare at my rotting flesh! And as cool as that sounds, no one wants that!”

Logan jerked back at his outburst, taken aback. “Remus, that’s ridiculous. Just because we are hanging around with Uncle Emile with more frequency, it doesn’t mean that we will spend less time around you, especially since we are all figuring out how our new powers work. Besides, I fail to see what is causing you to be unable of joining us while we hang around him.”

Remus rolled his eyes at Logan, “Yeah I’m sure that would go over real well. Not only is he an adult, but he’s a therapist. Even if he doesn’t put me away, I’m sure that he would hate me.”

Logan walked over to him and put his hand on his shoulder. “Remus, I don’t think that he would do that to you. Your fears here are valid, but I do not believe that Uncle Emile would take those actions against you.”

Remus shyly ducked his head, “Whatever. Go watch your stupid nerd movie with him, nerdy Wolverine.”

Logan hesitated, glancing between Remus and the elevator. “Will you be alright?”

Remus started to push him towards the elevator. “Yeah, yeah I’m fine. Get going or I’m going to light my shirt on fire.”

“Please do not that is quite unsafe. Alright let’s leave. Also you have to help me clean this mess up.”

“Fuck!”

“Patton said that’s a no-no word.”

“Shut it.”


 A few days later, Remus and Roman sitting at the breakfast table, fighting over some of the plays that they enjoy, while Uncle Emile was making them pancakes in the background.

“How dare you say that Heathers is at the level of Legally Blonde!” Roman brandished his fork at him like a sword. “How could you slander the spectacle that is Legally Blonde!”

“Uh, I think that you mean a total snooze fest! Heather’s is so much more interesting! Murder, blackmail, unnecessary drama, THE WORD FU-”

“AH-EM” 

Both the twins look up to see Patton, pausing from cleaning up to glare at Remus, and Emile chuckling in the background.

“Fuuuuuu - frog. Frog what else could I say.”

Roman started smiling, way slick to be any sort of subtle, “Remus, I don’t particularly remember the word frog in there, maybe you could enlighten me?”

Remus pointed his knife at Remus, “Shut it, or I’ll stuff a warty frog down your throat.”

“Ok boys,” Emile intervened as he picked up their plates and huddled them out of the kitchen, “break it up. It’s time to get ready, let’s get going.”

They both go up and started to head up to their room, but not before Roman let out, “Bye Uncle Emile, I love you!”

Remus felt his smile fall from his face.


“Knock,Knock! Do you, how do?” Emile’s voice floated through Remus’ door. Great, now he can’t even avoid him in his own room.

“What is it?”

“Can I come in, Remus? There’s something that I want to show you!”

“Yeah, I guess. Roman isn’t here though.”

Emile opened the door and sat on Roman’s bed across from Remus. He was also holding something behind his back, and smiling a little to slyly. Not that Uncle Emile was very good at slyly , but he was at least better at it than Patton.

Remus rolled his wrist to make a hurry up at start talking motion. Might as well get whatever he wanted to talk about over with.

Emile chuckled, “Yeah, yeah I’ll try not to take up too much of your time. But I heard you and Roman talking the other day. I hope you don’t mind, but I wanted to get you a little gift! A sort of, welcoming gift.” Emile then revealed what was behind his back, a poster from the movie Heathers.

“Oh cool! This is for me? This is sweet! Wait you were actual listening?”

“I hope it doesn’t bother you too much, but I was listening in a little bit.”

Remus blinked a few times, confused, “But, why? It doesn’t really benefit you to do that.”

“I don’t care whether or not I ‘benefit’ from it or not. Look, Remus, I know that it’s been difficult moving in here with me. I understand that you may not be happy here, or even like me, and that’s completely valid. But I want you to be comfortable here, and not feel like you have to hide from me all of the time.”

“But - but don’t you think the kind of things I’m interested are gross or wrong? I’m not Roman, all unicorn horns and dragon tales. You shouldn’t want to get to know me.”

“Remus, I’m not going to lie to you, some of the darker stuff that you like is outside my comfort zone. But that doesn’t make your thoughts any worse than Roman’s, or any of your brothers for that matter. You are just as important as anyone else and anyone who tries to tell you otherwise is wrong.” Emile went over to his bed, grabbed his shoulder, and looked him in his eyes. “You are worth being loved for who you are Remus. And I would love to be able to know you Remus.”

Remus looked at Emile, then too the poster in his Uncle’s hand, then back to Emile. For the first time it really hit him. His uncle actually cared for him. Not even in the fake way most adults did, but actually cared about him. He actually was willing to talk to him, to know him.

A smile slipped onto his face, “Yeah, I think that would be alright.”


Remus wasn’t quite sure how it had happened, but Uncle Emile had slowly but surely started to become one of only a few important members in his life. After that conversation, Remus found that he was willing to spend more and more time around him.

Next time that they watched a movie together, Remus was there, watching the movie with them. Suddenly Remus was using every opportunity to spend time around Uncle Emile. Spending time writing his stories, while playing games with his brothers, even when he was doing nothing at all - he kept finding excuses to be around his Uncle.

It didn’t even stop there, he kept talking to his Uncle. But he never even acted like this was weird, Uncle Emile treated what came out of his mouth just as important as what any of his brothers talk about.

Uncle Emile even started to include him on his interest, now that Remus was around him more often. He introduced Remus to Gravity Falls, and he completely fell in love with the weird, strange elements of it. The Weirdmaggedon episodes have become one of the best things that he had ever scene, and he treasured every single minute of it.

Not only that they continued to talk to each other about their incredibly different interests. Remus could talk for hours about whatever musical that he was into at the time, and Emile would listen to him. Actually listen and engage with him, even if most of the time he had no idea what Remus was talking about.

And to his surprise, Remus started to do the same thing with Emile. Sometimes his Uncle would start talking eagerly about some new cartoon, Remus would occasionally chime in and talk about it with him, even if he had no idea what he was talking about. 

After they have moved in with Uncle Emile, Remus has started to feel more and more lonely. He had felt so isolated being in a new space and more and more of his brothers had started hanging around him less and Emile more.

But this was before he let himself become close to Emile. He was constantly around people, not only his Uncle but also his brothers as well. He has never been happier. He is constantly surrounded by people who love him, and, as gross as it sounds, he loves them back as well. 

Despite how hard he had desperately tried not to become close to Uncle Emile, he had managed to become one of the few people in his life that he cares about.

Chapter Text

Breathe, Virgil, you just need to breathe! 

Virgil was currently trying to hide inside his closet, and was having another panic attack, because of course he was. The dark area and the lack of open space in the closet was helping, but Virgil was still spiraling out of control. Again . He thought he was starting to have a handle on the move and all of his powers, but no, he can’t ever get what he wants, can he.

And he was doing better, he swears! He was just hanging out around his family, and they were having a good time! Nothing was even going wrong! But his stupid, broken mind started to turn dark. What if one of his brothers got hurt with this whole stupid superhero thing they started to do? What if someone’s powers went wrong? What if Virgil wasn’t able to protect them? What if Virgil hurt them?
So, long story short, Virgil was now hiding in his closet, trying to calm himself down. But each time he took a breath, it felt like he couldn’t breathe even more than before, and he could feel his powers slipping away from him, creeping out under the door, and out to who knows where, completely out of his control, and -

KNOCK, KNOCK . Virgil tensed up even more, but felt his body relax when he heard Patton’s muffled voice come through the door. “Virge? Kiddo, are you in there?”

Virgil didn’t think he had the energy to speak anymore, so he reached and knocked on the door.

“Ok, good Virgil. Can you breathe with me? How about you, uh, knock twice if you can do that for me Virge.” There was a long pause, but eventually two knocks came through the door.”

Patton immediately started taking very long, over-exaggerated breaths, but it did the job. Virgil started copying Patton, and eventually he was able to get his breathing back to a normal rate.

“Virge? Not to make you come out of the closet again, but do you want to come out?” 

Now that he had calmed down from his he felt absolutely exhausted. He slowly pushed open the door, and then leaned against Patton. His brother quickly gathered him in his arms, and hugged Virgil tight.

They sat together, with Patton’s arm wrapped around Virgil for a long while. They stayed together for a long while, just sitting together, just the two of them existing in their own world, even for just a moment. Eventually, Patton leaned away abit in order to talk to Virgil. “Do you want to talk about it?”

Virgil’s eyes darted around the room. Suddenly, the room seemed too small, too cramped. He needed to get somewhere open, somewhere safe. “Maybe, not here?”

Patton winked at Virgil, “I gotcha, kiddo.” He then walked over to their window,  removed their screen and opened up the window. Patton gathered Virgil in his arms, which was much easier since Patton got his powers, and jumped out the window.

Usually this would cause Virgil to panic a lot, now he just tightened his grip slightly, as they both shot up towards the sky.

Out of all of them, Patton was the only one that has been able to fly and it fit him really well. Patton and Virgil’s powers seemed to be the only ones that were driven by emotions. Even with this, their powers were both completely different. Patton’s were driven by his happiness and love. Of course Virgil’s would be driven by his fear and anxiety, constantly spiraling out of control.

Before long, they landed on top of the roof of the apartment building. Patton sat on the edge of the roof, and swung his legs off of the edge, while Virgil sat a little farther way, far from the danger of falling off.

Patton leaned back to look at Virgil, “So, kiddo, do you want to talk about that? It’s fine if you don’t, we can just sit here if you want.”

Virgil curled up his legs a little closer to himself, and took a deep breath. “No, no it’s fine. I’m not entirely sure what happened. One second, everything was fine, but the next everything was too loud and … I don’t know. Everything was just spiraling out of control.”

“Is that all?”

“...No. It’s just, my powers. I still don’t have everything under control. I should be able to control them by now. Everyone else has it under control. Look at Logan, he’s only eleven and he’s still able to control his powers! Mine are still out of control! I’m just going to blow it and ruin everything.”

“Virgil, our powers, they’re not like the others. Their powers, it’s more like a muscle. Everytime they use their powers, it gets a little easier for them to control. But ours is a bit more connected to us.”

“Oh great, so I’m never going to figure it out. Fan-freaking-tastic.”

“No, I didn’t say that Virgil! These powers are still new and weird to us. But I have faith in you. You’ll be able to figure everything out, I’m sure of it.”

“That’s easy for you to say. You already got such a great handle on your powers.”

Patton’s eyes unfocused as he stared off into the distance. “I’m not so sure about that.”

“...Patton?”

Patton blinked a few times and focused on Virgil again. “Oh, sorry there, lost my focus a little bit. You know me, I get a little silly sometimes.”

“But, Patton-”

“It’s not important, you’re important right now. Look I know that you are afraid of your powers spiraling out of control, but even something does happen I doubt that anything would happen to us.”

“Really?”

“Really, Virge. You love us so much, and we love you as well. Your powers are a part of you. You would never dream of hurting us, so your powers would never hurt so. Everything will be alright, ok?”

Virgil took a deep sigh and flashed a small smile at Patton, “Ok.”

Patton gave Virgil a bright smile back, “Good. Now we should go back before Uncle Emile get suspicious.”

Virgil let Patton pick him up, and they flew back to their room. Virgil did feel a little better, at least for now. He should probably talk to Patton soon though. Maybe later.


The next day, Virgil was trying to relax a bit and unwind with some drawing. He needed some well deserved alone time, especially after yesterday’s rollercoaster of emotions- from going from being incredibly happy to having a panic attack in his closet. He was spending time in their living space, because even if it made him anxious being out in the open instead of being in his room, it was so much more relaxing to be around his family. Well, at least most of his family. There was one family member he wasn’t quite used to yet. 

Uncle Emile’s head suddenly popped up in front of his face, “What’s up, doc?”

Virgil exaggeratedly rolled his eyes and clutched his notebook closer to his body. “Not really in the mood there Emile. Why don’t you go and bother someone else, I’m busy.”

“Now hold on there a Momo.” If Virgil rolled his eyes much harder, he’s pretty sure they might roll right out of his head. “I know that you are pretty busy there. I wouldn’t interrupt your creative process and coping mechanism for nothing. But I think that you would really like this.”

Surprise flashed across Virgil’s features. It was just so easy to forget that he had a doctorate in psychology when he keeps sprouting cartoon lines all of the time. But Virgil quickly rearranged his expression into indifference. “Fine, whatever. But it’s not as if I’m going to enjoy it.”

Emile broke into a smile, “Great! It’s still in the car, I haven’t pulled it out yet. Let’s go!”

Virgil groaned loudly. “Ugh, I hate surprises.”

“Oh don’t you worry Virgil! This will be a great one, I’m sure of it!”

Virgil rolled his eyes again, but followed his Uncle down into the elevator to the parking garage.

Once in the elevator, Virgil started to feel more and more anxious. It was just such a tight spot with only his uncle around. He’s pretty sure that there were no surveillance cameras in the elevator. A voice that sounded suspiciously like Remus telling him just how easy it would be for his Uncle to just get rid of him right there. No one would even know, it would be so easy to just-

“Well, it looks like were here.” Oh. Virgil didn’t even notice that they arrived in the parking garage. “I might need some help carrying some of the stuff up to your room, I may have gone slightly overboard.”

“Overboard? With what?”

“Ah, no ruining the surprise!”

Virgil pouted, but walked over to where Emile’s car was parked.

“Are ya ready kid?”

“I’m not singing the Spongebob theme song with you.”

Emile pouted, “You kids are no fun.” And then he opened the trunk of his car. Virgil’s eyes went wide, because the trunk of the car was filled to the brim with art supplies, all types of supplies. Sketchbooks, pencils, markers, colored pencils, paints, watercolors, even a few small canvases. Virgil had never seen so much art supplies in his entire life. Virgil’s had flung to his mouth as tears stung his eyes.

Emile looked down at Virgil and gave him a small smile. “I’ve noticed that you’ve always seem to be drawing, especially if your stressed. But I noticed that you are always using notebooks and mechanical pencils. So I just thought that it might be nice to have some better equipment so you could create better things. Also, it might help if you could explore different mediums, to see what you like best. Is that alright?”

Virgil was feeling incredibly overwhelmed, and all that he could do was quickly shake his head up and down. 

Emile’s smile got brighter as he ruffled Virgil’s hair. For once, Virgil couldn’t really bring himself to care. “Alright, let’s bring all of this back up to the apartment!”


 

Virgil found that he absolutely loved being able to use all of the new art equipment. It was so much fun to be able to experiment with different mediums, and use actual quality material. Even just the move from his notebooks to the new sketchbook did wonders for his art. He found himself particularly inspired more and more often, and he Virgil would admit that he was happier since Emile gave him the new supplies. 

This wasn’t the only seen where his emotional and mental state wasn’t the only the only indicators that he was doing better. He has been having less problems with his powers lately, like they were actually listening to him for a change. Not lashing out at every little thing possible. He felt … at peace.

“Hey Jason Toddler, pay attention to me!”

“What about me, you narcissist!” 

Most the time. He felt at peace most the time. Especially when his brothers would not bother him every ten seconds. He looked up to glare at the twins.”What do you two dorks want.”

They both looked at each other, then they looked back at Virgil and spoke in perfect union, “We got bored.”

“So? Go bother someone else.”

“Patton is doing surveillance before dinner and Logan and Dee kicked us out of the lab.”

“Yeah and it’s all your fault!”

“My fault! You’re the one that needed to go on a stabbing spree!”

“Yeah but you’re the one that decided to give his project wings! You didn’t need to make it fly around!”

“Logan said that he wanted to see if there are any ways of increasing mobility. It’s not my fault he’s such a killjoy.”

“Please guys, just chill for five seconds.” Both of their heads swirled to look back at Virgil. “I really don’t care. Do you have to bother me though?”

“Obviously.”

“Duh.”

Virgil tried to ignore them, but then Remus stole his sketchbook. “Hey! Give that back!”

The twins of course ignored him, and started flipping through it. “What happened to your notebooks? When did you get all of this junk?”

Virgil snatched his new sketchbook back, “Don’t touch my stuff! If you have to know, Uncle Emile got it for me.”

“Ohhhh, fancy. I want something. Hey Ro, do you think he’ll get me a crocodile?”

“Why a crocodile?”

“It would be cool! I could train it, and ride it into battle!”

“No!” The twins heads jerked back to Virgil, “No live animals! Geez, what is wrong with the two of you? You guys could get hurt.”

“Eh, it’s just natural selection. It would be fair.”

“No! No dangerous animals!”

A slick smile came across Remus’ face, “Did you know how crocs eat? They first tear up-”

Virgil’s hands slammed on top of his ear “I’M NOT LISTENING!”

“Really, Remus?”

“What? I was just gonna tell him about how they first tear apart their prey, before vore-ing them whole?”

Roman covered Remus’ mouth with his hand. “Enough about crocodile’s that you’re never going to - EW DID YOU JUST LICK ME!”

Remus stuck his tongue out at Roman.

“Gross!” Roman whipped his hand off on Virgil’s leg.

“Hey!”

“So, that was cool of Emile to give you this stuff. Why did he give all of this to you.”

“I think he just noticed that I was anxious or something? And he noticed I draw when I’m anxious so he got me some stuff.”

The twins shared a look before looking back at Virgil. They were strangely quiet for a moment before Roman shyly piped up, “Do you think that he could you know, help?”

“Help? With what?”

“Your anxiety?”

“I mean, it’s not as if we really know how to help.”

“I don’t want to bother him, he has his own problems. Like dealing with the two of you.”

Roman gasped loudly at this.

Remus butted in, “Yeah, we’re the worst. But he knows all the brain things.”

“Yeah, I don’t think so. I’m not going to ask for help.”

“It is literally his job to help though!”

“Stop being such a pussy!”

Virgil rolled his eyes, “Look if it would get you two to shut up, I will consider talking to him.” Not that he actually had any plans to actually talk about it, but he did think about it. For five seconds, but still.

“Yeah!”

“Thanks Vee!”

Virgil smiled at them. “Great! Now scram.”

“Nooooooooo!”

“But we’re still bored!”

“So?”

Roman ran to look through some of the games Emile had. “So play Mario Kart with us!”

Virgil squinted suspiciously, “You guys cheat.”

Remus conspiringly leaned against Roman, “Ohh, sounds like someone is a chicken!”

“Give me the controller.”


Would Virgil ever go willingly talk to Emile? Despite all of his anxieties, he did want to be able to talk to him. He trusts Emile more than any other adult that he had met before. His anxiety however kept screaming at him, saying that it’s a horrible idea.

So, of course Virgil procrastinated enough that the decision was made for him. He was trying to help around the house a little more. Help his Uncle a bit because it was obvious that he was so unprepared to suddenly have to take care of six kids. Plus, it was nice to be able to help him. It’s not like Virgil is going to actually say that he cared about him. So Virgil was cleaning around, while his uncle was watching one of his cartoons, while going through some paperwork. 

Everything was fine at first, but then Virgil remembered that Roman and Remus were on patrol, but they should have been back by now. Why aren’t they back yet? They should be here. Or at the very least, they should of sent a message. Virgil quickly whipped out his phone, but there was still no new messages. Did they get into a fight? Just the two of them? They could have gotten seriously hurt! Or worse! They could be dead, and he wouldn’t even know about it! He knew that these patrols were too dangerous, he should of stopped them from going! Why was he so stupid, he could of done something, now the twins are probably hurt, or even dead, and it’s all his fault! Everyone is going to hate him, and now the twins are -”

“...gil! Virgil, can you look at me? Virgil!”

Virgil swung his head up to see Emile looking right at him. “Good Virgil, that’s good. Can I touch you?”

Virgil couldn’t speak, so he nodded a few times, and Emile grabbed his hands. “Virgil I need you to be able to do something for me ok? I need you to breathe in for four seconds, ok? I can count for you. One, two, three, four.” Emile squeezed Virgil’s hand as he counted, and Virgil breathed in with the counting. 

“Ok, good job Virgil. Now I need you to hold your breath for seven seconds.” Virgil’s eyes went wide at this one, how would holding his breath help, he needs to breathe? Seeing this, Emile tried to quickly calms him down, “I know it sounds scary, but just trust me with this. Let’s start from the beginning again. Ok, breathe in for one, two, three, four. Now hold for one, two, three, four, five, six, seven. Now breathe out for eight. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight. Good job Virgil, let’s do it again. One, two, three…”

They went on for a while like that, with Emile counting for Virgil, and squeezing his hand with each count. They stayed together until Virgil managed to calm down. Eventually, when Virgil calmed down enough, he hugged his knees together and looked away. “You didn’t have to do that, you know.”

“No Virgil, I did have to do that. As your guardian, I should be willing to help you in any capacity that I can. Anyone who told you that you shouldn’t be helped is wrong. And it is no burden to me to help you, that is what I am here to do. It is my absolute pleasure to help you get better in any way I can. Let’s get off the floor here, and move to the couch. Now, I do not want you to feel pressured to answer this, but are your panic attacks frequent?”

They moved around to the couch, with Emile making sure to give Virgil plenty of space. Virgil nervously played with the sleeves of his hoodie as he answered, “I mean, they aren’t not frequent. It’s just, it’s not very important. You have other things you need to worry about, there is no need to make you worry about me.”

Emile suddenly reeled back as if struck. “Virgil, of course I should worry about you! You are important to me, just as much as your brothers do! I know I’m not really good at this parenting thing yet. I never had any kids before, and this whole thing was kinda sudden. I’m no Greg Universe here, I’m not going to be perfect. But I am trying my best, and I am so sorry if I have done anything to make you feel as if you were less important to me.”

“No, Uncle Emile, you haven’t done anything wrong! It’s just that I am not worth it, the others are more important!”

At this, Emile’s expression changed from upset, to something of an understanding sadness. “Virgil, I’m going to try to tell you something I tell some of my patients who struggle with self-worth. I think it might help. Instead of trying to tell yourself things that you may not be able to believe yet, try telling yourself this: perhaps I am not as worthless as I think I am.”

Virgil smiled at his Uncle, “Yeah, okay. I can try that. And, uh, thanks for helping me down from my anxiety.”

“My absolute pleasure. Even if there is no one around, the 4-7-8 trick can still help you calm down a bit. Another trick that you can use is trying to ground yourself in your surroundings. Try finding five things that you can see, four things you can touch, three things that you can hear, two things that you can smell, and one thing you can taste. Experiment around and see what works for you.”

“Thanks, Uncle Emile.”

“And one more thing that I want you to think about. Would you be open to seeing a therapist?”

Virgil’s eyes went wide and he suddenly scooted backwards, almost falling off the couch. “What? I’m fine, I don’t need any help.”

Emile looked straight up at Virgil. “Virgil, therapy isn’t just where people go when something needs fixing, and if your anxiety is debilitating your life you should consider seeking help. And it would be completely on your own terms, you wouldn’t have to do or say anything that you are uncomfortable with. And I know a few therapists that I trust that I could recommend.”

“Why can’t you just do it? I would probably be more comfortable talking to you than some stranger.””

“Well, you can come talk to me any time Virgil. But I could never be unbiased, you would need someone as a completely neutral party for the best possible help.”

“...Maybe. I’ll think about it at least.”

Emile laid a hand on Virgil’s shoulder, “That’s all I can ask. Why don’t you get some sleep, you must be more tired then Remy is before his coffee. I’ll wake you up soon.”

Virgil wanted to object, but he did feel exhausted. A wait laid on him, and he realized Uncle Emile must of laid a blanket down. He soon closed his eyes and drifted off to sleep.


It wasn’t for a little while longer, but Virgil did eventually choose to go to the therapist. Not that he would ever admit it, but he was doing much better now that he was seeing someone. His problems weren’t magically fixed by any stretch of imagination, he still had plenty of bad days, especially with his brothers being physically incapable of doing stupid things. But he was doing better. Instead of his bad days constantly outweighing the good days, it started to switch. He found himself being so much happier than usual.

It was… nice, to be able to be in a place where he was happy. He wasn’t sure of the last time that happened. Maybe before their mom died, maybe even before then. But now he is willing to be able to be happy.

One of the best changes was from his control of his powers. Everytime before, when he tried to control it, there was always some sort of lack of control. Always lashing out, always a few moments from spiraling completely out of control.

But now, it listened to him more. When he guided the shadows, there was less resistance in how they listened to him. It felt less of a bomb that could explode at any second without controlling it every second that he was awake, and more like an extension of him. 

He did still lose control of his powers occasionally, just as he still had bad days. But then he realized that he had a little trick to helping real in his powers. It was right in front of his nose. And it was taught to him by his uncle.

When he starts to feel his powers slip away, he stops. Then he breathes in for four seconds, holds his breath for seven, and breathes out for eight. He feels himself centered, and not quite out of control. He is able to tell himself something that he never knew he would be able to tell himself:

Everything might just actually turn out alright.