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Playtime and the Imagination

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The sun was bright in the Imagination. The sky was clear, and the air was cool.

It was a spur of the moment decision (almost, but not quite), but Patton and Logan were busy helping Thomas out with something, and this was the perfect opportunity.

Virgil was stressed and Roman simply wanted to help him relax. So he’d thrown together a bag and went to find Virgil, explaining his idea to the anxious Side.

“I…” Virgil chewed a thumbnail almost absentmindedly, which Roman had learned and recognized as sort of a nervous tic when he was thinking about regressing.

“I have goldfish crackers,” Roman said in a light, almost teasing voice.

Virgil bit his lip to hide a smile. It didn’t work. “I guess I could… take some time for myself,” Virgil said slowly. “Are you sure the others aren’t around?” Roman nodded surely. “I’ll be right back.” Virgil closed the door.

Roman waited for a few moments, and the door opened again. A much smaller Virgil now looked up at him.

Roman grinned and held out a hand for the younger to take. Virgil took his hand, and Roman led him to the doors of the Imagination.

The sun was bright in the Imagination.

Both Sides shielded their eyes for a moment as they adjusted.

“Is there anything you want to do first?” Roman asked, but when he looked to Virgil, he found that the boy was already gone. “Oh.”

Roman didn’t have to look far to find him; he had gone into the forest but was still relatively close to the edges of it. Virgil was looking around curiously.

“Having fun?” Roman asked. 

Virgil hummed pleasantly and nodded. After a bit, he sidled up next to Roman. The princely Side looked down at him in slight confusion before Virgil gave a small smile and tapped his arm, before running away.

Roman laughed, and went after him.

They played in the Imagination for some time, before coming around to where they had been near the beginning of their trip. There was a pond, and Roman had placed their things down. Virgil started to spin around, but his foot slipped, too close to the pond. His eyes widened, afraid he’d fall in.

Roman reached out a hand to steady the boy and pull him away from the edge, and he did, for the most part, but the bag of goldfish crackers Virgil had been holding couldn’t be saved.

Virgil looked genuinely upset for a moment, until he noticed movement in the small bag. He furrowed his brows, staring at the bag, until a little orange fish swam out, and Virgil gasped. Roman was sure that if it was possible, Virgil would have stars in his eyes, like a Steven Universe character.

Roman smiled when Virgil looked at him, pointing at the fish. Roman just nodded, taking a seat nearby.

Virgil picked up another bag of goldfish crackers. He ate one, and then he looked at the pond, clearly suddenly curious.

“Wait—” Roman said, quickly reaching out to stop him, but Virgil had already poured the bag into the pond. Roman sighed softly, but Virgil just laughed, watching the pond fill with small orange fish.

After Virgil watched the fish for a bit, he hummed and went to sit down next to Roman and lean against him, starting to look quite tired. The Imagination provided some sort of energy, but it wasn’t enough to stop being tuckered out.

“Ready to go home?” Roman asked, and Virgil just nodded, standing up with Roman’s help. "Come along now,” Roman murmured, as Virgil followed him to the Imagination’s entrance.

The Imagination’s door never quite stayed in the same place, so when they exited, they found themselves in a different part of the Mindscape. Luckily, it wasn’t too far from any of the main rooms, so they walked. Virgil trailed dutifully behind.

Roman halted in the doorway to the commons room. Virgil tried to peek around him to see what happened, but when he heard Roman stammer out, “Ah- hello, Patton, Logan,” Virgil moved even more behind Roman, to stay hidden. Now he understood why the other had moved in front of him.

Patton was none the wiser, greeting Roman cheerily as Virgil held onto the back of Roman’s shirt.

“Well, I have things to tend to,” Logan finally said, after a minute of listening to Roman and Patton chat, and Roman moved aside. Logan paused under the guise of reminding Roman about a schedule, but he also discreetly held out a hand to Virgil. So Virgil grabbed his hand and Logan continued walking, with the smaller Side next to him.

Virgil looked back to see Roman leading Patton away from the doorway, not letting the moral Side see him. Oh, okay. Virgil let Logan lead him back to his room.

“Was your time in the Imagination satisfactory?” Logan asked, and when Virgil tilted his head, Logan explained, “Roman has expressed an interest in taking you to the Imagination during a time you are regressed. I assume that’s what he did today?”

“Oh,” Virgil said, as he nodded at Logan’s question. And he knew Logan probably didn’t care much, but he couldn’t help it. He was still buzzing from energy from the Imagination, so he rambled a bit.

Logan didn’t seem to mind too much, at least.