No Need To Knock
Because I’ve written a bit of Virgil looking after Roman, now it’s Roman’s turn! <3 Also on a03 here.
Roman is incredibly nervous. It’s a feeling he’s been getting too familiar with- and of course there was that dreadful spike in Anx-Virgil’s room, and ever since then it’s crept up more insistently than on average.
“Uh, Roman?” Virgil’s voice is loud, with a slight echo, and Roman cringes at how he automatically flinches away. “I can hear you pacing a mile off, just come in, no need to knock or anything.”
Roman clears his throat and shifts on the balls of his feet, keeping himself in limbo, just outside of Anxiety’s room space. “I-uh- no offense, Hot Topic, but I’d rather stay put.”
He can practically hear Virgil’s answering eye roll. “Of course, I know the doom and gloom is a bit much.”
“No! Well- yes, sometimes, but I meant-” He scrubs underneath his eyes in paranoia, but there’s no eyeshadow. He gathers a bit of courage. “I’m feeling rather… unsure and I think going in your room would… heighten it. That is- I don’t want to put you to any trouble.”
Suddenly, Anxiety is in front of him, a crease between his eyes. “You’re feeling ‘unsure’,” he echoes, complete with hesitant air-quotes.
Roman fights with his instinct to act affronted and storm away. Instead, he says, “I’m just a bit worried. About- about you, I mean.”
He didn’t realise how easy it was to make Virgil look absolutely flabbergasted. His mouth gapes open. “Um, well, that’s…” He scratches the back of his neck. “New?”
Emboldened by the lack of sarcasm, Roman continues: “Look, it’s just- you’ve been in your room. A lot. And, yes, I get it, familiar bubble yada yada, but it’s- I’ve noticed it’s been a bit. Much.”
Virgil is biting his lip. “You noticed all that, huh?”
It still floors Roman how shocked Virgil can sound. “Look, Patton and Logan noticed too but they- they didn’t want to push you. And- and neither do I but-” He sighs. “I don’t like the thought of you cooped up in there when you don’t want to be.”
Virgil blinks. He makes a quiet humming noise, very similar to when he revealed his name, and Roman doesn’t really know how to react. He sounds anxious, there’s no other word for it, and the last thing Roman wants is to make things worse.
“Listen, I was only wondering if you’d rather visit my room for a bit?”
He almost laughs at how Virgil’s mouth immediately drops open again. He scoffs, but Roman is beginning to recognise when it’s just a front. “Is that a request or a demand, Sir Sing-a-Lot?”
Virgil rubs his temples in thought. “Not that I’m saying no but… aren’t you concerned about what might happen?”
Roman tilts his head. “What do you mean?”
“Well, what if I ruin it? I don’t know what’ll happen, what if I start….um, turning the walls black or melting your Disney posters or-um-”
Roman shrugs. “You didn’t worry about us messing up your room, why should I?”
Virgil pauses. “True, but… but what if-”
Roman cuts him off with an extravagant hand-wave. “Trust me, if my room starts looking like a Dementor’s hit it, I’ll send you packing.” Then, at Virgil’s panicked look, he adds: “I was joking, Virgil. It’ll be fine. Besides, if you could conjure up more Nightmare Before Christmas posters, that’d be flippin’ sweet man.”
Virgil half groans, half laughs. “Nice try.” He swallows. “Alright, then. Okay.”