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A Vessel

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Roman was anxious, which was not usually a trait he possessed. So much so that the purple side bearing that title stopped him when he was pacing down the halls.

“Hey, Roman, the fuck? What’s with the pacing?” Virgil asks, pulling him to the side of the hallway by his arm.

“I’m trying to think of the perfect way to approach the subject.” Roman groans, having racked his brain for hours on how to handle this very hot potato.

“What subject?” Virgil quirks his head, violet bangs softly sweeping across his eyelashes.

“Thomas… well, Logan hypothesizes that Thomas gets something out of being in pain.”

“So, a masochist.”

“It has a name?” Roman is shocked.

“I mean, if he enjoys being in pain? Yeah.” Virgil shrugs, sipping from a box.

“Is that grape juice?” Roman asks, seeing the purple container.

“What are you going to do if it is?” Virgil cocks an eyebrow.

“I’d assume you were the kid friendly version of Dionysus.” Roman joked.

“Trying to make me Greek to your Roman?” A groan is heard from the mentioned side, rolling his eyes in response.

“And now I will be Roman away from your attitude,” he says, throwing his hand up.

“That was objectively worse.” Virgil deadpans.

The veil that separates the world of the sides from the world of Thomas is thin, every day getting thinner. Every step Roman takes down the stairs solidifies the mental realm into the real world, his shining black shoes like staples pinning his imagined world to something real.
Roman knows he’s powerful, knows his strength is drawn from something truly special.
He had to wonder, did he create himself? Did his spirit work through Thomas to create everyone? How far apart were they? Who came first, the Sides or Thomas?
He shakes his head, wiping his mental slate like an Etch-A-Sketch.

This was real. Thomas was real. The ideas Roman wrestled with were very, very real.

When Roman found him, Thomas was watching The Good Place on the couch, a lifeless stare into the distance as it was obvious his mind was other places.

When Roman sat down next to him, the human tensed. Roman could feel his heartbeat pick up.

“Is everything alright, dear?” Roman bit his lip as the term of endearment slipped out, accidentally slipping a little too much.

“You of all people know it’s not.” Thomas sounded bitter.

“It’s a bit of a stretch to call me a person.” Roman remarked, trying to cut the tension.

It didn’t work.

“So what are you, Roman? What are we? What am I to you?”

“I…” Roman can’t find the words.

“I… I’m your Roman. We’re… attached. We fit into each other. And… you’re our Thomas. We… we love you, Thomas.” Roman feels like he’s been punched.

“So I’m really that lonely, huh.”

“You’re… not lonely.” Roman defends halfheartedly.

“Roman, tell me why I’m talking to myself right now.” Thomas says, running his hand through his hair in frustration.

“Listen, Thomas, I didn’t come here to be bossed around by someone who can’t stand up to himself and face the truth-” Roman snaps, fed up.

“You do realize I created you, right? You only exist because of me.” Thomas snaps back.

“Bullshit. You’re our physical form. You’re nothing but a vessel for us to exist in.” Roman’s words cut deep, hitting where it hurt.

“Then why do you keep touching me, if you’re not physical?” Thomas is almost shouting.

“I don’t know, Thomas, why do you want me to?” Roman yelled back, staring the other man down.

“Leave me alone, Roman.” Thomas shoves him backwards and gets up from the couch.

“Thomas, you can run from me, but you can’t run from who you are.”

Thomas whips around. “What do you know about who I am? I’m just your vessel, remember?” He sneers, upset.

“Because I feel the same way. I know how you feel. I see the same things you do. Your imagination is my realm, did you really think these things would slip from me?”

“Shouldn’t Remus be yelling at me right now instead?” Thomas didn’t understand Roman’s endgame.

“You’d rather get it from me.” He rolls his head, staring Thomas down.

Thomas balls his fists at his side, glaring back.
“You’re sick, Roman.”

“No, Thomas. You are.” The both of them fall quiet until Roman gets up from the couch and strides over.

“For what it’s worth… it’s not like anybody else would know.” Roman is quieter now, looking at Thomas in a way that makes the human feel vulnerable.

“Would it… help?” Thomas asks, heart pounding.

“Would you like to find out?” Roman sees Thomas flush red.

“This is ridiculous-” he covers his face with his hands. Roman gently grabs his wrists and pulls them away. The grip makes things so much more real.

“Thomas?” Roman asks, not sure what the rules in this situation were.

“I… just…” Thomas is nervous, but then he leans his head on Roman’s shoulder.

Roman feels him draw closer, needing something from him.

“...need to be out of my own head.” he finishes, Roman now rubbing his side.

Roman feels a weird tug in his chest. What the fuck was going on? Did he want to know?

“Thomas, is it strange to admit I have confusing feelings toward you?”

“It’s already strange. And right back atcha.” He murmurs into Roman’s neck, sending shivers down his back.

It’s when Thomas initiates the first kiss that Roman realizes how far gone he is, and by extension, all of the others are too.

Pulling away, Roman says, “I don’t know how we’re doing this.”

“I don’t care, I just need more of it.” There’s a more mutual sense of interest now, different from the antagonizing tension of earlier before.

The rest of the night is spent in a state of questioning, oneself and the ‘others’ around him.

Patton visits Thomas the next morning, catching him just as he awoke.

“Hey there. Mind if I talk with you?” he asks softly.

“Ugh…” Thomas is tired and sore. “I mean, do I have a choice?”

“Thomas… we love you. A lot.” Patton confesses. “Every single one of us thinks about you kind of like how Roman does.”

“All… all of you.” Thomas is too groggy to fully process this information.

“We were wondering if we could all kind of be… together? A lot of us like each other too and I just want us to be one happy family.”

“So… you know what, I’ve been thinking about this for weeks.” Thomas feels the heat rush to his face. “Please. Let’s all be together. That’s exactly what I want.”

And that’s how their strange relationship came to be.