((Written with apologies to Joan and co. This is pure fiction [obviously] and any real people are written as fictional AU versions of themselves. If I misgender Joan anywhere please tell me, I tried hard not to but I’m not perfect!!!))
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The sides were sitting on the couch when Joan arrived an hour later.
Thomas was still pacing the floor, and the sides had decided by unspoken agreement to get out of his way. Virgil had drawn his hood up over his face and tugged it down over his eyes, claiming in an annoyed mumble that Thomas’s pacing was making him nervous. Thomas hadn’t paused to reflect on the irony of that for long, certain if he did, he might go mad.
They hadn’t spoken much, after Thomas had gotten off the phone with Joan. Thomas had decided that if they weren’t really there, as he suspected they probably weren’t, it might be a better idea not to feed into his own delusions by continuing to talk to them. So they’d been mostly silent on the couch, watching him pace. When he dared look at them, he was met with sympathetic looks from Patton, dry smirks from Virgil, regal concern from Roman (somehow, everything Roman did was regal) and thinning patience from Logan. It was…utterly bizarre, seeing so many versions of his own face looking back up at him, and there was a tiny little part of him that was beyond overjoyed. They were here. His sides, his characters, they were here, and they were real! He couldn’t have been more excited if he’d walked in on Santa Claus filling his stocking as a child.
But that was just it: he wasn’t a child, and there was no way this could really be happening, so he couldn’t–absolutely could not–let himself get excited. It would just make things harder, when Joan walked in and looked at the (empty, of course it was empty, it had to be empty) couch and asked quietly if Thomas maybe didn’t want to take a ride over to the hospital with them.
When the doorbell sounded at last, Thomas practically sprinted down the entry hall to answer it.