“Love, please focus. This is no time for juvenile drawings or… whatever you’re doing.”
Patton looked up from the paper labeled “to do” and held it up for Logan to see. Next to the plethora of hearts and stars he had drawn, there were now two stick figures holding hands; one stick figure had a tie around its neck, and the other had a cardigan over its shoulders. “Look babe! I drew us!” He flashed his signature cheerful beam.
Logan raised his eyebrows and took the paper, holding it closer to inspect the drawing. “You drew… something.”
Patton’s face changed to a slightly discouraged frown and he grabbed the paper back. “Like you could do better,” he mumbled.
Logan said nothing, aware of the fact that, objectively, he probably could do better. He forced a small smile. “Good point, dear.” Patton picked up the purple crayon he was using and looked back to Logan for further instruction. “Okay, next write the number 2, then a colon, and the number 30.” He nodded and scribbled down the number 2, then paused. “Patton? Are you okay?”
“Um… What’s a colon?”
“You know what that is. It’s the two dots, like this.” He took the purple crayon from Patton’s hand and drew a colon directly next to the number 2.
“Oh!” Patton exclaimed, smiling. “Time dots! Of course I know what time dots are!”
“Time dots? That’s a colon.”
“Okay, whatever you say Mr. Sanders,” Patton mocked, not realizing that Logan actually loved that name.
“Okay…” He almost left it at that, but he felt an overwhelming need to make sure Patton knew the proper terminology. Quickly, he added, “But it’s not time dots. I don’t… That’s not what that is. It’s… it’s called a colon, Patton.” The other trait stared at him blankly. Logan felt a little mean, and was sure he sounded ruder than he intended, but he still had to be right. He always had to be right. “…Dear,” he added in a quiet voice.
“Why does it matter? It’s just a word. Just a made up word,” Patton reminded him, “All words are made up.”
Logan took a deep breath. He was right about that. He watched as the other returned to doodling stick figures in purple crayon, always giving one a neck tie and the other a cardigan. Logan didn’t know why, but he wasn’t satisfied. Although Patton’s statement wasn’t wrong, it still wasn’t what he was looking for. All he wanted was for Patton to learn; whenever he was able to teach him something, he felt real joy. (Maybe partially due to the fact that Patton would shower him with compliments about his intelligence the whole time.) Coming off as a bit of an asshole was Logan’s specialty however, so over the years he’d been learning to tread carefully with Patton when it came to logical things. Even still, Logan admittedly had little to no filter.
“Patton, I see what you’re saying, and you’re right. All words are, in fact, made up. But I think you’re… I just think you’re missing the point.” Patton looked up from the paper. “The word ‘colon’ was created to serve as a label for this symbol.” He pointed to the colon on the paper. “It has a specific meaning and purpose. And ‘time dots’ is… It describes only a small fraction of what colons are used for. It’s offensive, really. Colons are used following subjects or headers, to introduce an item or series of items, they’re also useful in coding, playwrights use them between a character’s name and their dialogue, and…” He looked up to see Patton staring at him. Logan read his expression as confusion, although there seemed to be a range of emotions displayed on his face, including a hint of a smile across his lips. He decided to try explaining in words that Patton would understand. “What I’m… what I’m saying is… if colons were people… it’s like you’re calling them ‘walking machine’ or ‘talking machine’. It’s… They have names. Humans have names and you resort to calling them a different name that sums up a tiny portion of what they are capable of. And… in this hypothetical example of colons being humans, this hurts their feelings. I presume.” He finished and Patton was staring at him with the same expression. “Sweetheart? Say something.”
His tiny smile grew into a beam and he broke out in laughter. Logan furrowed his brow. Had he said something wrong?
Patton threw his head back and closed his eyes as he laughed.
After a moment of this, he took a deep breath and sighed, still beaming. His gentle hands reached out to grab one of Logan’s.
“Patton, I don’t understand.”
“Oh, Logan.” He ran a thumb across the back of the other’s hand.
“Did I make a joke? Why are you smiling like that?”
“Because…” He chuckled. “Because I’m so in love with you. I’m so in love with you, Logan, and I just don’t know what to do about it.”
Logan’s confused expression went blank, then a smile tugged at his lips. He let out a silent, breathy chuckle, staring at Patton, absolutely starstruck. “Patton, oh my goodness.”
The more one laughed, the more the other did, and it continued like that in a seemingly endless cycle. Calming slightly, Patton gently cupped Logan’s face and moved closer so they were a centimeter apart. They were both smiling, ghosts of laughter still on Patton’s lips. “I just don’t know what to do about it babe,” he whispered. He leaned forward and their foreheads touched. They stared into each other’s eyes. Patton was still letting out soft giggles here and there, and Logan was speechless.
No, he wasn’t too good with feelings. But he knew this was love. Somehow he’d stumbled upon someone who accepted him for exactly who he was. Logan’s whole life he’d been told he was emotionless, a robot, other petty things that stung more than they should’ve. When Patton first confessed his love for him, he finally felt… normal. If someone could love him for who he was, maybe he could learn to love himself too. Maybe he was more than just Logic. Maybe he wasn’t such a robot after all.
“Patton…” he whispered, a smile still present on his lips. “How did I get so lucky?”