Pairing: Forming Platonic Prinxiety
Prompt:Anxiety & Prince wake up with their clothing swapped, but they can’t change so have to film a video as eachother.
This is a fic for @daymeetsnight for the Sanders Sides fic exchange! I got it done just in time, and it turned out WAY longer than I expected (2935 words), and angstier than planned, but I really hope you like it.
“What the hell?! Give me back my hoodie!”
“How dare you disgrace my royal sash! Hand it over!”
Both were more than happy to comply, but couldn’t seem to get the other’s garments off. This left Virgil in Roman’s royal attire, and Princey as an emo nightmare. They, of course, panicked.
“We are to film a video today, and Thomas will be summoning us any minute!” The royal exclaimed in all his dramatics, “I am a Prince! I cannot possibly allow my subjects to see me looking like I just stepped out of Dead, Goth, &Beyond!”
“Yeah, ‘cause I totally want to look like I just mugged Prince Charming,” Virgil rolled his eyes at the prince as he crossed his arms. “So Sir Creativity, what do we do? I have an image to maintain.”
“Roman!” Thomas’s voice suddenly echoed through the mind palace.
“Gah!” Roman resisted the call as they started panicking more. “Oh! Um… Oh! Quickly, switch places with me! We will simply act like each other, and no one will know!”
Virgil opened his mouth to point out how stupid he thought this idea was, but as Thomas called again, he groaned and switched places with Roman before popping into Thomas’s living room.
‘He’s lucky I read the scripts to death,’ Virgil thought as he struck Roman’s signature entering pose.
“Hello, common folk! Did you miss me?” The commonly dark trait grinned with a flourish.
“Roman, what took so long?” Thomas whispered.
“My apologies. You see, I was caught up in an epic battle with the Dragon Witch and lost track of time.” Virgil thought up as he pretended to fight some unseen beast.
This seemed to be Princey enough for the others as Logan rolled his eyes, Thomas nodded, and Patton grinned.
“Aw! Way to go Kiddo!” The Dad beamed.
Virgil felt absolutely ridiculous performing the action, but as everyone accepted the lie and continued on with the video, his smile became a little more genuine.
Being part of Thomas, he enjoyed acting just like the others, but if any of them truly knew him, they’d know his passion could rival the very royal he was playing. That’s why he always made Thomas so nervous before a performance. He, more than anyone, understood how much they were all truly capable of, and–while he sometimes insisted with things that there was no point in trying–acting was not one of these things, and he wanted Thomas to truly give nothing but his absolute all, even if it was just an audition. If his presence didn’t cause Thomas anxiety, he’d probably be right there on stage with him and Princey.
Acting also allowed the dark trait to be someone else. He didn’t have to be ‘the embodiment of a dark and stormy night’ as Roman once phrased it. He could be free. So as they continued the video, that’s exactly what he was. Free. He played the part of roman with everything he had. Arguing with Logan, encouraging Thomas, and not so subtly degrading Patton; he didn’t enjoy the last part nearly as much but a role was a role, and for once in his existence, the confidence he gave off was real.
Anxiety loved every second of playing the dramatic, overly confident Prince as he threw out another vague reference with a smirk. Every second that is, until the real Princey popped up to play him, and shoot down ‘his’ idea.
Virgil gave Princey’s sassy retort without missing a beat or the barely concealed look of impressed surprise the royal gave him as he responded. He hid his blush, and continued on as though nothing had happened, but as filming went on, Virgil began to notice Princey acting strange.
Being the anxious trait, part of his job was to analyze everything in an instant, and though Roman played him flawlessly, Virgil still almost broke character to frown. As far as Virgil could tell, none of the others had noticed, but the real Prince looked like he was trying to hide the fact that he was in physical pain even as he rolled his eyes as Anxiety.
‘What’s wrong with him?’ Virge wondered as they continued to play each other so no one would know they were stuck in each other’s clothes.
He started to become actually worried, however, when he noticed Roman’s bangs becoming slowly limper as they dampened with sweat. This was when Anx knew this had to end soon, and used the influence he apparently held as Prince to start trying to get the video to move along faster with more one take shots.
It seemed to work, and in no time, Thomas declared them done and they gave their final words before sinking out one by one so Thomas could start editing, and everyone dispersed back to their rooms once back in the mind palace.
Roman tried to use this to escape to his room as well, but Virgil had sunk out before him so was waiting for him outside the currently emo royal’s room.
“What’s wrong? You look more like death than I usually do,” Virgil immediately questioned the prince.
Said prince tried to hide a wince at being found out that, of course, didn’t go unnoticed by Virgil, even as the royal smirked. “Whatever are you talking about?”
“One of my roles as Thomas’s Anxiety is to analyze everything to death to prevent Thomas from making mistakes. Everything includes people so Thomas doesn’t make social blunders. The whole video, you looked like you were in physical pain, and half-way through, you started sweating like there was a great strain on you. What. Is. Wrong?” The dark trait asked with punctuation to each word of the original question to show Princey wasn’t avoiding it.
It was at this point Roman knew he lost. “Can we go in my room for this? I don’t want to worry the other two if they hear,” Roman sighed as he went in his room before the other could answer.
This confused Virgil, but he followed Roman into the Broadway meets Disney tornado version of Thomas’s house with a shrug.
“Jeez, you really do have 101 Disney posters don’t you? I was just kidding when I said that, but I can’t believe it was true.” He gave a half-laugh as he sat on the couch.
“Disney is no joking matter!” Princey huffed, back to his usual dramatics now that he was in the safety of his own room. He appeared more at ease almost immediately.
“So what happened between the times we were in the commons to the time you popped up?” Virgil asked bluntly, feeling the ‘entering someone else’s space’ formalities had been met sufficiently enough.
Roman sighed extra dramatically, “Anxi-my apologies- Virgil, what do I represent?”
The question confused the darker trait, but he responded none the less, “Thomas’s ego, romance, love of the theatre, creativity, and his obsession with Disney?”
“What is another name for theatre?” Roman prompted.
“Drama,” Virgil answered without hesitation.
“Exactly! Virgil, I am Thomas’s theatrics. I am the literal embodiment of drama!” he posed. “You on the other hand,” he pointed to Anxiety, “are even less dramatic than Logan.”
“Yeah, but what does that have to do with you being in pain?” Virgil asked, already having an idea, but wanting confirmation.
“Uuuuugh! Being a Drama King is part of my job! It becomes physically painful to not be my fabulous self!” Roman sighed with a hair flip as though it was the most tragic thing on Earth. “It’s not just an attention thing you know? Though I deserve to have all eyes on moi.”
Virgil sat in silence for a moment, mulling over what he just learned. “Why did you suggest we switch then if you knew it would hurt so much?”
Roman raised an eyebrow, “Virgil, have I ever once, in the entire time you have known me, not been dramatic?”
“You had no clue it would hurt.”
“None at all,” the royal confirmed with a wave of his hand. “The closest I have come to feeling that was when I was apologizing to you, but we were all panicking so I figured it was that.”
“I see,” Virgil nodded. He had been about to call Roman a dolt for not knowing something so important but merely hid his own wince, blaming himself slightly now.
“Yes, but like a true actor,” Prince boasted proudly, “I worked through the pain to put on a stunning performance of our very own Boy Glummer that fooled everyone.”
Virge just rolled his eyes, “Please, your eye roll game was weak.”
Roman huffed, about to retort before he smirked instead, “Yes, I can admit that I could use some practice playing a dark prince. Maybe you could give me some pointers. You seemed to be enjoying yourself out there playing me.”
Anx turned scarlet almost immediately, and wished more than anything that he had his foundation back to hide it. “Shut up,” he snapped, “I have no clue what you are talking about.”
“Oh really?” The prince continued to smirk, enjoying the other’s reaction, “Because you could have fooled me you were me.”
Virgil tried hiding in the collar of the royal shirt he was still wearing, wanting his hoodie, “I didn’t want them to find out…”
Roman smiled lightly now, “Virgil, calling Logan ‘My Chemical Reaction’ wasn’t in the script. I’m actually extremely disappointed it hasn’t been before.”
“Improv,” Virge mumbled, trying to sink into the couch now, unable to handle the compliments.
The royal sighed dramatically again as he sat on the couch with the darker, “Virgil, I’m not teasing you now. That was truly amazing. Why did you not tell us you could act?”
“I am part of Thomas, technically we can all act…”
“I highly doubt the glasses duo could act like that. You were completely unrecognizable as Virgil. Why hide such talent?” Roman pushed, truly impressed.
Virgil sighed, “To avoid this,” gesturing between the two of them. “To use theatre terms, your tragic flaw is you physically cannot not be dramatic. Mine is that I cannot handle praise. The fact that your room seems to boost confidence is probably the only reason I am not having a self-deprecating panic attack,” he admitted, hiding in his knees and awaiting the backlash.
Roman frowned, “By jones, that’s horrible!” embracing the other on an instinct to protect the vulnerable. “Patton compliments you all the time! Why did you never say anything?”
“…It does feel how it’s supposed to at first…nice that is…, but later, when I get back to my room, the room and my own brain start picking it apart and putting me back in my place. That’s why I enjoyed the acting. I was someone other than me.”
Princey’s heart broke hearing the revelation, and subconsciously held him closer, “Oh Virgil…what about now? What happened just now?” He asked this, but honestly he was afraid to hear an answer he was sure he already knew.
Virgil looked up at Roman for a second with an expression that confirmed his suspicions as he caught sight of the wetness in his eyes before he looked down again.
“…🎵You think you do the right thing, but incidentally You find the whole world prefer it differently~🎵”
Virgil sang quietly as Roman’s heart slowly sank more and more, “🎵I never wanted to be the bad guy🎵” he finished for the other. “You still don’t trust me.” Roman sighed, honestly hurt, but understanding why.
“I’m trying,” Virgil sighed, “but you spent so long insulting and making fun of me, it’s difficult. That apology was the first honestly nice thing you said to me you know? That’s why the panic set in so fast afterwards because the room was trying to decide if it was a lie or not and it caused an Anxiety Dump. Even now I’m still trying to accept it because my head keeps pointing out that it was scripted. Since it hurt though, I guess now I know it was real.” Another sigh. “When Logan praises me, there’s no anxiety because Lo finds lying an illogical waste of time and only gives his honest opinion. Patton is nice to everyone, so there is some anxiety over whether it’s true, but ultimately he is Morality and lying is wrong. You on the other hand, what do you have to gain from lying to someone like me? Every compliment you’ve ever given me has always been backhanded. Even this conversation started with you trying to tease me! …So yeah, I’m trying to start trusting you, but it’s hard.”
Virgil let all of this out with the confidence of the room acting as his backbone before he returned to sitting silently. As the silence stretched, however, Virgil tried looking up at the prince, but was cut short as Princey gathered him uncomfortably close and hid his face the anxious side’s shoulder. The darker immediately started squirming, of course, uncomfortable and startled. “Hey! What’s the big i-” That’s when he felt it through the thinner fabric of the prince’s shirt that he was wearing. Roman was crying.
“I am so sorry Virgil. I honestly just assumed it was our normal banter. I never thought to consider your side of thi- no, that is no excuse. I am a prince after all. I should have considered the feelings of all of my subjects, and that includes you Virgil. Especially after your video. Good God, I am horrible. I have been making an effort to call you by your proper name since you decided to trust us with it, but I still cannot do something as simple as be nice to you. For the love of Disney, I reacted to our current situation with accusing you of disgracing my sash when in truth, I am irritated that you look better in it than I do! Now I learn what I assumed was harmless and playful banter would have sent you into an attack. Virgil I am so truly sorry. You are amazing, and an amazing actor on top of it. I can promise that with complete sincerity. That performance was astounding, and you should be proud of yourself. Not even the Sherlock and Watson impersonators could tell it wasn’t me, and to assure you I am speaking from my heart with no dramatics, I can literally say that it would indeed kill me to compliment you at this point, so please know that only about half the stuff I have said since the ‘The Dark Side of Disney’ video, and absolutely nothing since your video was ever meant to hurt you. I would clichély ask if you could ever forgive me, but I would not blame you if you never could. I am so sorry Virgil, but know that you are wonderful, and deserve so much better than how you have been treated. You should never need to feel like you need to be anyone but you.”
Virgil sat frozen in absolute shock as he tried to gather his thoughts. Slowly he hugged Roman back and sighed, “Roman, self-deprecating remember? Anything you said, I had already thought a hundred and one times before. I was never actually upset with you. I was mad at myself that you were right. Don’t apologize for nothing. I’ll probably always think like this…, but thank you. I wasn’t trying to blame you at all. It just came out that way. I just wanted you to know why it will be a while before I don’t internally cringe at any praise from you…Can you please stop crying now? I seriously am not worth crying over.” He mumbled awkwardly.
Prince glared at him now, “Virgil Sanders, just stop it,” Roman warned with his inner Patton coming out. “You are too worth it. You will always be worth it, and from now on, it will be my life’s mission to make sure you know it! And if you ever truly need to be someone else for a while to cope, you now have full access to my costume room.” Roman, decided, producing a skeleton key for said closet that he forced into Virgil’s grasp. “Just please know how much you are loved,” he whispered.
Virgil stared at Princey wide-eyed as he blushed. Roman quickly followed suit as he realized what he just said, “By all of us, of course!” He clarified quickly, face the color of his sash as he covered it with is hands.
Virgil gave the prince one of his rare genuine smiles, and buried his face in Roman’s chest as he hugged him. “Thank you, Roman. Thank you…After hearing that….I think it will be easier now.”
Roman grinned as he hugged the dark prince back without hesitation. “Of course, Virgil. We really do love you,” he smiled, petting the other’s hair.
Virgil made a happy noise that honestly almost sounded like a happy kitten as they stayed like that for a while, taking in their new fragile alliance until Virge thought of something. “Hey, Roman?”
“Yes, dark prince?”
Virgil smiled at that one. “So you think I look better than you in this get up?”
Roman groaned. “We were having such a nice moment!” He exclaimed, back to his dramatics as Virgil cackled next to him. He smiled despite himself; he was just glad to see the other happy. ‘He truly is wonderful, and I will happily spend the rest of my life making sure he knows it every day.’
With this vow in place, Roman finally caved and joined Virgil in his laughter, mismatched clothes all but forgotten.