Patton had made the realization a week ago: none of them had ever heard Virgil laugh. Snickers aside, he’d never actually laughed in front of any one of them. Patton had presented his finding to Virgil, looking for some kind of solace, but instead he’d just gotten a noncommittal shrug.
“Yeah? So?” He said as he lounged on the stairs, pulling at the loose threads of his sleeves.
“Sooo we’ve gotta hear you laugh! I bet it’s a wonderful laugh and I’d love to hear it sometime.” Patton looked into Virgil’s eyes hopefully, shoulders tensing in anticipation as Virgil leaned closer. He opened his mouth and after a short pause, spoke softly into Patton’s ear.
“Say something funny and maybe I will.”
Patton’s shoulders slumped in defeat. “Well I’m loads funny!”
“Sorry, Pat,” Virgil said, leaning back on his elbows, sounding entirely unapologetic. “It’s gotta be funny in the moment or it isn’t happening. Or–” he gasped, “what if I can’t laugh?” He said mockingly, covering his mouth with false disbelief.
“Oh, stop it, you goof,” Patton said, swatting lightly at Virgil’s knee. “We’ll hear that laugh sooner or later, just you wait.” Virgil shrugged again and Patton turned on his heel, stomping away to start planning schemes to make Virgil laugh.