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These Words We Fight With Our Broken Pieces

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You can't always choose your relatives. Roman understood this, very well. But, you can choose who to call family. And sometimes, that's a beautiful boy with bright blue eyes and the softest golden hair, and a stinky ugly brother that supports you no matter what. (Even if that support is more like the "do a flip" kind of support, and often leads to someone breaking an arm or losing teeth.)
The point is, Roman knows what it's like to have shitty parents and extended family - case and point, every morning his mom still greeted him as 'Anna,' or 'Annabelle.' And his wardrobe was full of just skirts and dresses (which all totally slay, don't get him wrong, but would it be too much to ask for some trousers every now and then? Can't exactly go adventuring when you constantly have to worry about your 60$ chiffon getting caught on passing bushes and tree branches.)
Remus was the only one who ever called him Roman, and told everyone that Roman was his "really dumb and boring twin brother." Though he suspected that this might be more to piss off their parents than for Roman's sake.
So, starting Wednesday, Roman would be going to therapy. "Sweetie, we just want our little girl back, Mr. Sleep is a very good therapist - he'll help you work through your issues and you can stop acting out like this."
(What kind of last name is Sleep? Did the guy just change his last name for shits and giggles? Not gonna lie that's kinda badass-)

Whatever. No one could break him- Roman would just have to piss the guy off so much that he'd never want to have another session with him! That, it wait until his parents gave up and decided it wasn't worth the money.

"Remus, you know those shoes that you made in 9th grade - The ones that make the really annoying and gross squishy sounds and lit up like a disco ball - do you still have them somewhere?"
"Ah, the mayo skechers, a classic! Of course I still have em' couldn't let those babies go to waste! What do ya need em for?"
"....There's not actually mayo in the part where your feet go, right?"
"I think you know the answer to that question, brother Cain."
"Nevermind! Forget I even said anything!"

Well, he didn't need super gross shoes to be annoying - he could just choose to only speak backwards, or in parseltongue- plenty of ways to fight this fight, armed with nothing but his wits and his word! Like a true dashing hero, talking down the beast from wreaking havoc!

Maybe Patton had some ideas? Surely he'd met some fairly unsavory people, working in his family's sandwich shop for years. (They really knew how to make an amazing Italian style sub, bless their souls.) He'd talk to Patton about it tomorrow at school - there was still time before the first appointment!

He could do this - Roman Garcia could do anything he set his mind to, because he was a knight in shining armor!

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Maybe Monday and Tuesday went by a little too fast for his liking- but whatever. He could do this! He could. That's what Roman had to tell himself all day, as 1st period went by, and then second and third, and fourth and now it was lunch.
"Hello! My loyal and sexy royal court! Tis I, Prin-"
"Roman, sweetie, Logan is going to get grey hairs at this rate -"
"I already do, Patton! I am 17 with grey hairs!!! Look, it's right In my hairline!"
"Damn, Teech- calm down, freaking out is my thing- might have to sue you for brand infringement."
"V, if that was a self-decaprio that I just heard again-"
"Patton, it's deprecation, not 'decaprio'."
"Well I don't know about all that, but he is a great actor!"
Well, at least he could always rely on his friends to cheer him up, even if they didn't know they were doing it.

But, now matter how he felt going in, Roman wasn't sure he could come out of this 'therapy' in anything but a sour mood. Well. Only time can tell, right?
Walking in was fine. It was a fairly generic reception room. 2 people sat behind the counter, tapping away at keyboards like they were busy but were probably just playing minesweeper. And… wait. As they got closer, Roman realized there was a third person behind the counter - definitely someone who didn't work there. Couldn't be any older than him, but not much younger either. Doesn't matter, really, because soon as they saw him and his mother walking in they ran away into somewhere further inside the building.
Hm. An intern maybe?

When they were directed to a door off to their left, Roman suddenly felt… something. It was like his heart was beating just a little too loud, his hands felt uncomfortable no matter where he put them, and something was somehow sinking in his chest. There was no more avoiding it.
They'd have to sit and talk for an hour about how are you doing? and is something wrong at school, maybe with one of your friends?
He'd gotten in his fair share of trouble at school, and after a few too many trips to the office they started sending him to the school counselor. Stupid Mr. Finnegan and his stupid inspirational posters that gave no inspiration.
("I know you hang out with Mr. Singh a lot in and out of class, and Mr. Avery as well - did they encourage this little stunt, Annabelle? You don't have to lie for your friends, nothing between us leaves this room.")
Just because none of the teachers could tell Mr. Finnegan was clearly racist and homophobic didn't mean Lo and V had to suffer for it!

Deep breaths, Ro. Deep breaths. This will all be over soon.

Probably.

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-Heads up! I have never been to nor met a therapist, so this will not be an accurate portrayal of a real session! These will look a little more like Cartoon Therapy, in all likelihood, okay you can keep reading now.-

 

Thankfully, Mr. Sleep said that he prefers to meet with his clients alone, as long as they do not feel like they need someone there for emotional support. Roman's mom was a little hesitant, but agreed to just come back in an hour, or sooner if they needed to end early for whatever reason.
Roman was just glad she was gone. Maybe he was imagining things, but Mr. Sleep looked happier after she left, too.

"Allright, Anna- can I call you that? Or would you prefer Ms.-"
"Roman! You can, uh… call me Roman. Please." He briefly considered saying that the records had gotten mixed up, maybe his middle name was Annabelle or something, but- well not many people were that stupid. Especially ones who spend years and years in university learning to read people.

"...ah. I think I misinterpreted Mrs. Garcia when we scheduled this appointment, Roman. Do you think that you could tell me why you think you're here?"
"...Because…my parents still think I'm… Annabelle. They- they say it's wrong that I wanna be Roman. They're wrong, but- that's why I'm here…"
"I see. I was told there were behavioral issues, possibly linked to bad influences in school. Well, I'm going to be honest Roman. This kinda thing is like, super uncool for parents to do. I know you know that, and I think maybe you'd like to talk about it? Can't imagine you have, y'know, the best track record with adults if you ended up here, but- well, I'm here to talk with patients about their problems. Whatever those end up being."

Weird. That's all he could think, really. This was really weird, Mr. Sleep is weird, life is weird-
"I… I'd like that. This prince has a kingdom to run, y'know- not a lot of time to… talk."

"Okay. Whenever you're ready, Roman."

Maybe the firecrackers in his jacket pocket could wait. For now, anyway.

. . .

"ROMAN!!! YOU'RE BACK!!! YOU WERE GONE SO LONG AND I WANTED TO TELL YOU I FOUND A HOARD OF STINK BUGS OUTSIDE BUT YOU WEREN'T THERE AND-"

"Hey hey hey, calm down Rem- I'm here, see? Right here, not going anywhere. I just had that therapy thing, I told you like everyday last week."
Remus's separation anxiety could be a hassle, he was loud and always somehow right there- but… it was nice to be wanted, even by a really annoying twin. Every hour of the fucking night. (It was worse, when they were little- Remus would throw a fit any time they tried to put him and Roman in separate cribs. They still shared a room now, but they could have separate beds, at least.)
"C'mon, c'mon, c'mon!!! The stink bugs, Roman!!!! And there were dead mantises too! Guys, I think, cause it was just their heads missing, bit off by the lady ones after they fuck because-"
"Okay, okay, a little at a time, Remus! Remember, bullet points- like Logan showed you?"
"Whatever, let's just go see the bugs, Ro!"

…..Yeah, maybe family was sometimes a really gross brother and his swarm of bugs that would follow his command, for some reason. And hey, that's pretty cool in Roman's opinion.

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So, therapy itself wasn't bad. They met once a week on Wednesdays to talk about whatever was bothering Roman at the moment, or just life. It went on for about a month before his mom started asking questions.
Since he still adamantly refused to be called Annabelle, his parents though that these sessions "weren't working." Maybe Mr. Sleep wasn't as good as a therapist as they'd thought, maybe they should try something new? He fought against this adamantly, saying that Remy really was helping -
Roman now called him Remy, because after 2 sessions it already felt to impersonal to keep saying 'Mr. Sleep.' He'd even asked what the surname meant, where it came from, and all Remy had said was "It's French." Which Roman was 100% sure it was not, but whatever.
Anyway, his parents were looking into finding other help, and Roman was determined to stop them, because the next person might not be as… nice as Remy is. Can't take that chance. Only problem is that to stop them from ending his and Remy's sessions… he'd have to put up with a lot of bs that he didn't want to.
He'd have to wear that stupid bow again. It was neon yellow, way to glittery, and absolutely hideous. Did not go with his eyes at all, got glitter all in his hair - Roman had only been able to make his mom stop trying it in his hair by threatening to just shave his head.
Not that Roman would ever do that, nit to his gorgeous hair that took forever to get as shiny and fluffy as he wanted every morning- but his mom didn't know that, and Remus had been very helpful by shaving part of his own head to show they were serious.

...then again, maybe that was just Remus being Remus.

The idea of spending his Wednesday's actually talking about his gender identity and being asked about his friends as if they were a band of criminals was… very gross and unappealing.
Okay okay, technically Remus and some of his buddies did graffiti that one building, but it was only because their newspaper had published some really homophobic shit, okay? It's fine. They know better now, mostly….
Whatever! So, it's either that, or he has to… eugh. Both sucky options but there has to be a better one. Right?
Really, he would have stopped his therapy sessions by the end of the year anyways- He could just keep sending psychiatrists or whatever off by making them think he was too loony to handle or something. That, it he'd find someone as cool as Remy and they'd repeat this process.
No big deal, right?

Right.

….

Somehow this kid talking to Remy in the waiting room made Roman think different. They were just chilling, Remy was in between patients or something and they seemed to be having a pretty animated, at least on the (intern?)'s part.
This was the first time Riman had gotten a good look at him- light brown hair, with just a hint of fading dye in the fringe. Something light, maybe a pink or yellow. An absolutely adorable sweater-vest and necktie- and they were talking about Steven Universe oh gosh he was swooning, surely.

"they're not just 'magic space rocks', dad- they're alien beings with forms made of light, that's made sense enough to-"

"Oh- sorry Em, I'll see you in a bit. 'Nother client is here, we can talk after, k?"

"Oh! Right, sorry-"

And the kid- Em- was gone again. In a back room or something.

Roman said his goodbyes with his mom and he and Remy moved into the uh.. Remy said he didn't like to call it an office, but it was basically an office. With really nice furniture.

"Not to pry or anything, but was that your kid back there? The one with the glasses?"

"Yep, but we're not really here to talk about him, Roman. These sessions aren't really about my family."

"Well what if I want to talk about your very cute son for a few minutes so I know what he likes and can get his number later."

"Ha! Have to try a lot harder than that- who says Em even likes guys?"

"Does he?"

"...Emmy likes everyone. But I think that's a genetic thing, his mom is very nice."

Weird. Remy didn't say he had a wife or anything. No ring, either. A girlfriend? No, he's pretty sure Remy isn't actually straight- but then again, he could be misjudging.

"...Are you married?"

"I already let us get a bit too off track, these sessions may not be for what the paper says they are, but that's still inappropriate and junk. Not supposed to make buddy-buddy with the patients in general cause it 'makes it too personal.' "

"...oh, sorry."

"But no, I'm not married. Let's move on to what you wanna do today, okay? What's gettin' up in your business this week, huh?"

"Well, there is this thing I've been thinking about lately-"

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Attention! This is a bit of a hiatus notice! I'm getting ready to try and start a... ah, personal writing project. It has nothing to do with Sanders Sides or related characters, so I'm probably not going to be in the right headspace to write any more chapters of this or Falling Stars until I have atleast a decent headstart on this.
So, I probably won't post any new chapters unless I'm SUPER inspired to do so.
Please understand that I have no intention of abandoning this or any of my other current fics, this is just a break, and I promise it will not last longer than a week, maybe a week and a half.

That's all, I hope you all don't hate me for this :|

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Roman was on a mission. So far, he'd made a small compromise with himself - to do nothing. He wouldn't say anything to his parents at all, and it was sort of working. His mom had taken it as a 'big improvement' when he'd agreed to wear heels to a family outing. She seemed a little upset when he wouldn't respond in more than monosyllables, but didn't comment on it.
Because of this, the topic of changing therapists had just dropped suddenly. One day they just stopped talking about it. Of course, this was a relief, but it wasn't the only part of Roman's plan; only the first half.
The second half was to get Em's number. Sure, he could just ask, but he wanted to do something grand! Something to wow him instantly, so that there was no way he could refuse a date!!
Remy still avoided the topic, and wouldn't yield any more information. Roman had seen Em wearing disney themed shirts on occasion, but that might not actually mean anything. Remus had suggested he 'Rip his own heart from his chest and offer it as a gift!!!' Not really a good idea, but Roman did appreciate the flair. Maybe with a candy heart?
...Probably not. Em didn't exactly look like the type to… like that sort of thing.
Remus had suggested a number of other ideas, each worse than the last. One included sheep's blood, another a lion's skin, you get the idea.

"Well why even ask for my advice if you don't want it?!?!?"

"I didn't ask, Remus! Besides, Em looks sweet and sensitive, he'd probably have a stroke if we did any of your plans!"

"Oooohh- you could give home a heart attack, and then perform CPR, and use it as an opportunity to kiss him, and then you two can fu-"

"DON'T EVEN FINISH THAT SENTENCE, I SWEAR-"

"Fuck. You two could fuck."

"REMUS I AM SEVENTEEN-"

"Exactly!!!"

. . . .

Lady luck had fallen in Roman's favor today, apparently. He'd come into his appointment a little early today, (his mom had a salon appointment booked in 10 minutes) and there he was! Em, right behind the counter!
He'd almost looked ready to go hide again, but not today-!

"Hey! Don't go- you're name's Em, right? Or.. Emmy?"

"...oh hi. Uhm, it's Emile. I'm not really supposed to talk to clients, though."

"Good thing I'm not a patient for another 12 minutes then, huh?"

That got a small laugh, and it was the cutest thing Roman had ever heard-

"Seriously though, I don't have a lot of time before I gotta go see your… dad.. uncle? Whatever, so I'm going to make this quick. I think you're hot, and you like Steven Universe, so will you please have coffee with me some time?"

...Roman isn't sure if that noise was from Emile, or if someone had just stepped on a broken squeak toy. Poor kid didn't seem to have anything to say, but he did grab a pad of paper from the desk and wrote something on it, shoving it in Roman's face before running into the back room.

Remy interrupted before he could say anything, maybe chase heroically after Emile..
but as they walked into Remy's office, Roman read the partially crumpled paper in his hands…

XXX-XXX-XXXX
-Emile (0w0)