Summary: “The thought of kittens was enough to distract Patton from the worrying thought that there was fear breeding more fear in the mindscape.” Fluff, I think.
Warnings: mild panicking, some yelling, mild injuries from animals
Tags:@yep-another-fander, @softlogic, @literallylogic, @tssanderssidestrash, @diplomatic-arsonist, @saltequeen, @fallingineternity, @satisfied-sanders-sides, @vixenneko, @the-strange-universe-of-cake, @fangirlfiles1, @winds-and-stardust, @the-laarmy, @pfftwhatnoimhuman, @gaysaxaphone, @mira-jadeamethyst, @frustratedwaffle, @romananalogicality
The early morning peace was broken by Anxiety. Logan was mildly surprised. Usually he was asleep until at least 10 am.
“PATTON!” Virgil was yelling. “PATTON WHERE ARE YOU?”
Logan wondered if Patton had played some sort of prank on Virgil. The two emotional traits were rarely at odds enough to yell at each other otherwise.
Virgil whipped around the staircase and slid right into the couch, tumbling right into Roman’s lap and knocking the book out of Logan’s hand. “Sorry,” he said. “Where’s Patton?”
“What’s going on?” Roman asked. Virgil was noticeably not put together for interaction with other people. He was wearing boxers, socks, and his unzipped hoodie, like he’d rolled out of bed in a hurry. He wasn’t even wearing makeup!
“Did I hear someone yelling for me?” Patton asked, stepping out of the kitchen.
“Patton!” Virgil said, instantly off the couch. “Today’s the day!”
Patton was just as confused as the rest of them, Logan was glad to note. “The day for what?” he asked.
“Come on!” Virgil said, grabbing Patton’s hand. “Or we’re going to miss it!”
With no further explanation, Virgil dragged Patton down into the mindscape.
The two remaining traits stared at the spot where they had been, then looked at each other. Then, as the smell of something burning hit them, they jumped up and sprinted for the kitchen. Apparently Patton had been making pancakes. Logan quickly took charge, removing the offending pancake before it actually caught on fire. Roman put more batter in the pan. When Logan looked at him, he shrugged. “We have no idea how long they’re going to be gone. We might as well finish making breakfast.”
“Valid point,” Logan said. The two settled into the breakfast making process, wondering what Virgil had gotten so worked up about this morning.
Virgil and Patton popped up in Virgil’s room. There was a creepy, high pitched wail coming from somewhere in the room. “Uh, kiddo?” Patton asked, eyeshadow already appearing and getting darker by the second. “What exactly did you bring me here for?”
“Shh,” Virgil said. Then, quietly, “She’s behind the couch. Be quiet though, don’t scare her.”
He tiptoed over to the couch and laid down on the floor so he could look behind it. Patton joined him curiously. It was dark behind the couch, but he could just make out the outline of something black. It appeared to be the source of the noise.
“What is that?” he whispered. He was apparently not quiet enough because suddenly two glowing red eyes were glaring at him. He shivered in fear, considering leaving. Instead his hand made its way into Virgil’s, clutching tight.
“She’s a Fear,” Virgil said. “And she’s about to have kittens.”
The thought of kittens was enough to distract Patton from the worrying thought that there was fear breeding more fear in the mindscape. “Kittens? I didn’t know Fears looked like cats.”
“This one does, so the babies probably will too, at least for a little while.”
The Fear had started glowing in more places than just the eyes now. There were jagged lines now crisscrossing her body and glowing red like lava breaking through the surface. In fact, Patton almost thought it was lava. The Fear was steaming, and it seemed to be melting from the inside out.
“Is she supposed to do that?” Patton whispered worriedly.
“I think so,” Virgil replied.
Then, the Fear came apart. Patton screamed a little. She melted into six different pieces, five black, one white, all glowing red at the edges. Once they stopped glowing, Virgil pulled a flashlight from off the couch and pointed it at the pieces of the Fear.
The pieces had now formed into six somewhat kitten-shaped beings. The black ones had red eyes and little bitty teeth, but the white one had piercing blue eyes and large fangs that poked out of its mouth. No doubt the white one would look intimidating when it got bigger, but even the large teeth couldn’t cancel out its cuteness. Patton found himself “awww"ing.
Patton reached out to pick up the white one. “Careful with that one,” Virgil said. “That’s a Hope. They bite and don’t let go.”
Mindful of that advice, Patton picked up the Hope. It growled at him, sounding more like a chihuahua than a cat. Then, it happily curled up in his lap. Virgil looked shocked.
“Are you going to keep them?” Patton asked, hoping that the answer would be a definite ‘yes.’
“No,” Virgil said. “They belong in the wild parts of the mindscape. I don’t even know how the mother got in here.”
“But they don’t have parents! How will they survive out there?”
“Trust me, they’re self-sufficient,” Virgil said, getting up and moving to a different part of the room.
“What are you doing?” Patton asked.
“Putting pants on, now that I’m not in a rush to find you. Plus I need more pockets.”
“What do you mean, why? I’m going to take the kittens to where they belong.”
“And you’re going to put them in your pockets?”
“Well how else would I carry them?” It was not lost on Virgil that all this kitten talk was making Patton’s eyeshadow get lighter and lighter.
“In your arms, silly!” Patton said, picking up the white one in demonstration. How he remained unbitten, Virgil didn’t know.
“Did you miss the part where they bite?”
“They’re kittens. It’s not like they can–ow!” Patton quickly snatched his hand back from one of the Fears that he’d been attempting to grab. It had bitten him hard enough to pierce skin, and Virgil saw Patton’s eyeshadow suddenly get darker and darker.
“Nope, time to get you out of here,” Virgil said, grabbing his hand and pulling him right back into the common room. Then he disappeared again to get the Fears.
The fear that had suddenly infected Patton subsided, though his heart was still going way too fast. Now it felt like the end of a rollercoaster ride rather than a hundred thousand spiders coming for him. Patton managed to take a few breaths and calm himself, petting the Hope as it curled up on his arm.
“Ah, Patton!” Logan said, spotting him. “…What is that?” he asked, spotting the Hope.
“It’s a Hope! Isn’t it cute?”
“It sure is…something,” Roman said, leaving Logan in the kitchen and joining Patton. “A Hope, really? I’ve never seen one look anything like this before.”
He picked it up by the scruff of its neck to examine it, and almost dropped it when Virgil popped back in, pockets full of screaming and hissing little demon cat things.
“And what do you have?” he squeaked indignantly.
“Fear!” Virgil said, grabbing one and holding it right up in front of Roman’s face. “Wanna see?”
Virgil smirked as Roman stumbled back. The Hope sank its claws into his arm, and Roman yelped. It was mostly from surprise; after all, Roman was the trait whose realm encompassed hopes and dreams, so the denizens of said realm couldn’t really hurt him. He’d still given Virgil an un-princely reaction that he could make fun of though, which annoyed him to no end.
Roman glared at him. “Whatever,” he said. “I shall be taking this back to my realm, where it belongs.”
“Can I come too?” Patton asked excitedly.
“I would like to go as well,” Logan said. “For scientific purposes.”
The three of them looked at Virgil. “I have to take the Fears to the Nightmare Realm,” he said. “I doubt Princey wants them running around in Tinsel Town.”
“Well then, the logical direction is going to the Nightmare Realm first, and then to Roman’s realm,” Logan said.
Neither Virgil nor Roman were expecting that. Roman recovered first. “Of course!” he said exuberantly. “A quick jaunt into the Nightmare Realm, and then off to the palace!” There was a confident grin on his face.
Virgil looked at them like he couldn’t believe that they wanted to go with him. Even Patton, still clearly unnerved from being bitten by a Fear, voiced no dissent.
“Sure, whatever,” Virgil said, trying to sound like he didn’t care one way or the other if they joined him.
“Then off we go!” Roman said, taking charge and sinking into the mindscape. Everyone else followed. The pancakes were left forgotten on the counter.
Roman already had his sword drawn when the others showed up. The Nightmare Realm had a habit of being dangerous, and he wanted to make sure that the others would be protected. The Hope was perched on his shoulder, glowing softly in the darkness.
Virgil appeared and immediately started taking the kittens out of his pocket and setting them on the ground. He had just dropped the fourth one and picked up the last one when it bit him. He gasped a bit in pain, which made the others look at him worriedly. He grit his teeth, refusing to succumb to the sudden urge to sprint and hide from the others, and hissed out a slow breath. Then, realizing the Fear had discovered shapeshifting and had coiled around his wrists like ropes, Virgil slammed his wrists down onto his kneecap. The Fear squealed and melted off of him. It was fine. He was okay.
Virgil’s instincts took over. He sprinted away as quickly as he could. There was a shout behind him, and he tried to go faster. Then, something tackled him, and he fell.
The ground was surprisingly soft, and hard to get any traction in, but Virgil fought despite the ground moving with him. Whatever this thing was, he wanted it off of him. It had his arms pinned to his sides and it was laying on top of him, but he did his best to thrash and squirm anyway.
Wait. He knew that voice. It was…Princey. Roman.
“You have to stop squirming so I can get off you. Can you do that for me?”
His voice sounded…strange. Not as pompous. Almost…caring? Still, Virgil stopped moving, and the weight that was crushing him disappeared and his arms were freed. He got up too quickly, accidentally slamming the back of his head into Roman’s face. Both of them reeled back in pain.
It was very bright here. Virgil squinted, trying to adjust. Someone handed him sunglasses, which he quickly put on. He was in some sort of white room with a huge glass door leading to a balcony. And he was on a bed. One with a red comforter and pillows. The light streaming in through the windows and door was painfully sunny. There was a wardrobe, a chest of drawers, and a desk with a chair, all mahogany and all beautifully crafted. Logan was sitting in the chair, Patton on top of the chest of drawers, and Roman, clutching his nose dramatically, was on the bed next to him.
“I loog bedder in doze dan you,” Roman said irritably. Ah, the usual voice was back, if somewhat hard to understand at the moment.
“Where are we?” he asked, finally calming down to his usual state of nervousness.
“Da mind palaz,” Roman said. Then, pain subsiding, he stopped clutching his nose and wiped away the tears from getting hit in the face. He sniffled, and said, “But it’s my part of the mind palace, not the part that I made for Thomas and then he never used.”
“Where’s the Hope?” Virgil asked.
“Uh…” Roman looked around quickly, stood up and looked around the room, looked at the others, who shrugged, then frowned. “It must have run off when we arrived. Not to fear, though, they’re very self-sufficient.”
“Are you okay?” Patton asked Virgil. “You got bitten.”
Virgil looked at his hands. His wrists had definite bruises on them, and there were black marks in the shape of a bite on his left hand in between the thumb and forefinger, but he wasn’t bleeding. “I’m fine,” he said.
“That’s good, kiddo. I was on the verge of worry.”
“Since everyone is alright, I’d like to propose going back to the common area,” Roman said. “There are some pancakes just sitting there getting cold, and cold pancakes aren’t nearly as delightful as warm ones.
Everyone agreed, and moments later they were all sitting with some lukewarm pancakes in front of them. And if anyone noticed that Logan kept accidentally speaking in couplets, or that Patton was extra punny, or that Virgil almost joined in singing with Roman at one point, no one said anything. The rest of the morning was far more peaceful than the beginning.