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jungle321jungle · a year ago
Virgil’s Guide To Avoid Accidentally Falling In Love With Your Boss’ Boss: Step Seven
Virgil’s just trying to fake his way through life, but when he finds it hard to shake his hot boss’ boss’s attention- on account of their adopted sons being twins- things get complicated.
Step Seven: Absolutely Do Not Say It
Virgil had been having a bad day. A bad week. A bad weeks?  
That wasn’t grammar. But then again nothing made sense anymore. Virgil wasn’t entirely sure what time was or what it meant anymore. He had too much to think about and get done to focus on anything else.
The root of all his issues could be traced to work unsurprisingly. He had been given the opportunity to take the lead on a project, which was good and fine. Until he had learned that he would need to present in front of the CEO. And then the person he was working closest with was called overseas so they could only work over video call at absurd hours. And it’s not like this needed to be perfect or anything, because it wasn’t like the CEO was going to have a company party the evening after Virgil’s presentation so Virgil would have to face him twice. 
So yeah work was a mess. 
Virgil was just lucky that Dee was obligated to be on his side.  
“Damnit,” Virgil muttered searching through his suitcase. Finally he gave a sigh and turned to Dee who was watching him. “I’m gonna have to run to my place.”
“It’s almost one am,” Dee said in confusion.  
Virgil nodded and grabbed his keys, “I left stuff in my desk, and this is the only time Daniel is free so we can work.”
“When do you plan on sleeping though?” 
“When I’m done.”
Dee gave a sigh but it was clear to see he didn’t agree, “Alright. Do you want me to make some coffee for when you get back?”
“No, no, you get some sleep. I’ll be back in a bit.”
Virgil entered his own home with a yawn and out of reflex he flipped the switch before he remembered his power was out. What was this, day five now without electricity? The power outage had been a result of a storm and a few other things going wrong and it had succeeded in leaving Virgil’s street without power. But given it seemed there were more important places on the street who deserved power than him and his neighbors. 
Thankfully Dee had allowed Virgil and Roman to stay with him, but Virgil couldn’t help but feel a tad guilty. He shook his head to ignore the thoughts and instead turned on his phone flashlight and moved to his room. Inside he went to the desk and began grabbing whatever files could possibly be important and shoved them in a bag. He glanced at the clock hoping he could make it back to Dee’s before Daniel called.  
“Okay spill.”
Virgil looked up from his lunch confused to see his coworkers has gathered around him, “Spill what?”
“You and the Boss!” Liam said sitting across from the table. “What’s going on with you two?”
“Uh? She gave me corrections on the project?”
 “N-not her! You and Ekans! You guys are crazy close.”
Virgil gave a sigh, “We are raising our kids.”
“You guys are still close.”
“Is there something more going on?” Someone else chimed in.  
“Are you together?” Asked a third. 
Virgil gave a groan. 
“Did you come to my office to simply groan on my couch, or did you come to make out on my desk?”
“Neither!” Virgil answered turning to Dee’s smirking face, wishing his blush would go away. “I just needed a break from people asking me what our relationship is.”
Dee raised an eyebrow, “So to get them to stop questioning us... you came to my office?”
Virgil paused, “I’m tired Dee. Don’t ask me to do things that make sense.”
Dee shrugged and turned his attention to his desktop, “You could just tell them all we’re together.”
“Nope. They freaked when they thought you were playing favorites before. What will they do when they find out I’m your actual favorite?” 
“I don’t believe I’ve ever said you were.”
“I am if you want this to work. And you said before that you didn’t want others to know with your ex lurking in the shadows.” 
“Well it’s been over a month and he’s backed off. And I don’t think he lurks. And you’re much more the lurking the type to be honest. Plus if we admit it, that means I can one hundred percent kiss you whenever I feel like it.”
“I don’t think that would be very professional.”
Dee looks up from his computer with a smile, “So? Long as it’s not with the CEO what is anyone going to do? They’re all pretty scared of me.”
“I...I don’t think that’s a good thing.”
“I do.”
“I don’t know what to do with you.”
 “If you need ideas we could start with you climbing on my desk and-” 
Virgil blinked, “Huh?”
“I just wanted to speak with you a bit if that’s alright,” Mr. Hart said again. “Perhaps just for a bit when you come to pick Roman up?”
Virgil nodded slowly in agreement, “Um, alright...”
The teacher gave him a large smile which didn’t do too much to call Virgil’s nerves. 
What could Roman’s teacher possibly want to speak to him privately about? Had Roman been acting out? Were kids being mean to him? Was he struggling? If he was, why hadn’t Roman told him?
“I can hear you thinking,” Dee commented as they walked back to his car. 
“Mr. Hart wants to speak with me,” Virgil yawned. “I don’t know what about though.” 
“Well I doubt it’s anything too serious,” Dee tried. “He called me in a few weeks ago to tell me that Remus kept trying to eat magnets... I have tried so many times to get him to stop.”
Virgil chuckled, “I have multiple questions about that.” 
Dee sighed, “Logan once used a magnet to pick up a fork or something, and ever since Remus seems convinced that if eats magnets he’ll get magnet powers. Doesn't matter that he’s been trying for years and only succeeded in making me drive to the emergency room.” 
“At least he’s persistent?” 
“Sure. Anyway, my point is, I doubt it's serious.”
“I’m pretty sure eating magnets counts as serious."
“Yes but I have the chaotic twin, you don’t.”
Virgil paused as climbed in Dee’s car, “Is it wrong that I feel a tad better?”
 Dee shrugged, “Hell if I know.”
His nerves were running high. 
Well higher than usual. Well no he had already been worried about work so they had doubled. Or was it more than that? What exactly was math again?
“Dad!” The sounds of Roman’s voice was an instant relaxer. He smiled and bent down to give his son a hug.
“Have a good day?”
“Yeah, did you?”
“I did.”
“But why’d you come inside? Usually you pick me up in the pick up line.” 
Virgil nodded, “That’s true, but this morning when I walked you in to help carry your project? Your teacher said he wanted to talk to me for a few minutes. So why don’t you head with Remus and Dee to get Logan from his class, while I talk to Mr. Hart?” 
Roman frowned, “I didn’t do anything.”
Virgil smiled and ruffled the boy’s hair, “I believe you.”
Roman still seemed skeptical of the situation, but he joined Remus and Dee and left the room. There were only two students left- but they were gathering their things- and their teacher Mr. Hart who gave Virgil a friendly smile and wave. 
Virgil gave an awkward one back as he approached where the man was erasing a whiteboard, “Hi... Mr. Hart.” 
“Hi and just call me Patton,” he greeted. “How was your day?”
Virgil resisted the urge to say he had been stressing about this all day and instead said: “It was fine. You?”
“I’m good- hi Mindy!” He waved as a woman entered the door. 
The woman exchanged a greeting before the two kids left with her talking excitedly about after school. In other words, leaving Virgil and Patton alone. 
“You wanted to talk to me?” Virgil asked awkwardly. 
The teacher nodded and turned to lean back against the board so he could watch Virgil with concern filled eyes. “Roman told me something kind of... disconcerting,” he started gently. 
Virgil gave a swallow as he nodded for the man to go on. “What about?”
“About you.”
This was it. The end of the road. There must have been some type of miscommunication. And now the teacher must think Virgil would harm his son? Is that what this was about? Would- Would Roman be taken away- no no no. He forced the line of thinking away. “What about me?”
“He said that you weren’t sleeping,” the teacher said catching Virgil off guard. “That you have barely been eating, and that you seem worried all the time... Roman is really worried about you. And now I can’t help but be worried either.”
Virgil wasn’t sure how to function well enough to respond. It felt like a kick in the chest.  
Had he really been causing his son so much worry? So much pain?
“I know you don’t really know me but I’m always willing to listen,” Patton said in Virgil silence. He moved to his desk and pulled something out a drawer and scribbled something on it before holding it out for Virgil to take. “If you ever just want to talk about anything and get coffee or something, just let me know. Okay, kiddo?”
Virgil slowly, “O-okay.”
“Is it over?” Roman asked when Virgil joined them in front of the school. 
“Did he get in trouble?” Remus asked. 
“No one’s in trouble,” Virgil replied looking down to Roman before he pulled his confused boy into a hug. “Just reminded that I’ve got great kid.”
“I could’ve told you that,” Roman smiled hugging him back. 
“You alright?”
Virgil looked up from where he had been spinning the teacher’s business card in his hands to where Dee was sitting across the couch from him. “I’m fine, why?”
“Because you’ve seen shaken since we left the school. And you kept staring at that number. Don’t tell me he hit on you.”
Virgil rolled his eyes and looked to where the boys were playing some sort of game before he pocketed the card. “He told me that Roman’s been saying that he’s worried about me. My sleeping and eating habits I mean. I... I didn’t realize he could tell.” 
“He’s smart,” Dee shrugged. “And it’s not exactly as if you’re hiding it... I’m worried about you too.” 
“Once I’m done with this project,” Virgil lied. Lie. He knew it was one. Because there would always be more work to do. 
Dee could see through the lie but instead he sighed and changed the direction of the conversation, “Why did he give you his number?” 
“Incase I wanted to talk? He suggested getting coffee.”
“You should talk to him.”
Virgil frowned, “I don’t know...”
“What’s the worst that could happen?” 
“Do you want me to run through each of the scenarios?”
Dee gave a sigh, “How about this, tell me when the last time you hung out with your friends was?”
Virgil’s gaze fell to his hands, “I-I... don’t have any.”
“Huh? What about-” 
“Everyone at the office doesn’t mind my presence when I’m there, but they’d never talk to me outside of work. There’s the other parents, but it’s clear they don’t like me that much. And your friends are yours... so yeah, I-” he gave a short laugh at his own absurdity. “I don’t have any friends here.”
He felt stupid. He felt pathetic. 
He felt lonely. 
Yes he had Dee and he had Roman, but other than that he had no one. Definition of pathetic right?
Dee’s hug wasn’t helping. It didn’t change the loneliness in Virgil’s heart and yet it was still appreciated. 
“You should meet you with him,” Dee said after a pause. 
Virgil chose to lean into his boyfriend’s chest instead of reply.  
“He seems like a nice person,” Dee tried again. “And it would be good for you to do something for you.”
“I do things for me.”
“Like what? To me it seems like you do everything to make Roman happy, and then a lot to make me and my boys happy, but what do you do to make yourself happy?” 
“I’m happy when you guys are happy. That’s... that's all I need.”
Virgil felt as Dee gave a sigh, “Virgil...”
“Fine... If- if I say I’ll text him will you drop it?”
Virgil arrived early. 
He wasn’t entirely sure why, but here he sat fifteen minutes early in the corner of this cafe. 
He swirled the coffee in his cup as he stared purely as something to do. He was still doing just that when Patton appeared at the other side of the table, a large smile on his face. 
“Hi! I’m so glad you actually texted me!”
Virgil nodded awkwardly, “Um yeah... I can buy you something to drink?” 
“No no kiddo. I can pay for myself, I’ll be right back. Did you want something?”
“I’m still working on this one.”
“It’s kind of funny getting to talk to you actually,” Patton commented when he returned and sat down. “I usually just get to know parents through their kids. I don’t have actual conversations with them often.”
“Only when something’s wrong?” Virgil guessed.
“Or when something is really good. But how are you?”
“Fine I guess, you?”
“I’m good.” There was a short pause and Virgil spent it wondering when the man would just get to the point and began hammering into Virgil about taking care of himself, but instead he just asked, “Can I call you Virgil? Or do you prefer Mr. Storm?”
“V-Virgil is fine...”
He nodded satisfied, “Perfect. You have anything fun planned coming up, Virgil? Roman was saying you were going to a party or something.” 
“Yeah, um work is going to be having a fancy party next week. But um... does he talk about me a lot?”
“All the time. It’s clear you’re his favorite person.”
“Remus is his favorite person,” Virgil disagreed quickly.  
Patton looked surprised but he shook his head, “No, you’re definitely his favorite. He said so himself in an essay about his role model.”
Virgil could’ve died happy in that moment.  
The rest of time proceeded with conversation which evolved from talk about Roman, to talk about Virgil, to everything that was bothering Virgil. It was strange being able to so easily talk to another person. It was like Patton had bewitched him with his smile and forced Virgil to trust him. 
And the worst part was that Virgil wasn’t even upset about it.  
The seriousness of Dee’s voice caused Virgil to look up in surprise from where he had been fidgeting with his blazer, “What?” He asked worriedly. “Do I look stupid?” 
Dee looked confused at the question, “No, you look amazing, what are you talking about?”
“What are you talking about?” 
“This!” Dee shouted holding Virgil’s phone. “Patton texted you.”
Virgil looked at the screen and read the text aloud, “Have fun tonight.”
“It’s not fair,” Dee declared. “You two have been friends for a week and you’re texting casually. Meanwhile you only text me now and then.”
Virgil raised an eyebrow in confusion, “I have literally been in the same room as you all day.” 
“But that was at work during your presentation.”
“I’m sorry, did you want me to stop talking to the CEO in order to text you back?”
“I wouldn’t have minded.”
Virgil paused, “I don’t know even know how to respond to that. So instead can we go to the party?”
“This isn’t over.”
“Yes it is.” 
The party was going... fine?
Once they had arrived Dee had split to go entertain the CEO and placate him while Virgil had been left to his coworkers. But at least there was an open bar. 
Virgil turned and gave a polite smile to the man who had called his name. It was a man from accounting, but Virgil could not for the life of him remember the man’s name. “Hi.” 
“Hey Bryan,” someone else said thankfully. 
Bryan gave a nod, “How are all of you?”
Virgil mumbled a “good” and listened to others talk before a comment caught him off guard. 
“Oh, did you not bring a date Storm?”
“Virgil very single,” Liam answered for him. 
“And very gay,” Marie added. 
“That’s not needed,” Virgil replied awkwardly as he noticed Bryan take a step closer.  
“Someone would pass on you, Virgil?” Bryan asked in surprise.  
Virgil wished he was drunk, “I’m really not looking for anything right now.” 
But unfortunately the conversation and forced flirting continued while Virgil stood awkwardly in between until after way too long Virgil managed to escape to the lobby with the excuse of wanting to call the babysitter.  
He gave a sigh and sat down in a chair and pulled out his phone. 
After about ten minutes he rose from his seat to head back inside but unfortunately Bryan crossed his path before he could escape inside.  
“Call go well?” Bryan asked.
Virgil nodded, “Yeah, he’s- he’s getting ready for bed...”
“How old is your son?” He asked casually, making no move to let Virgil walk away without conversation.  
“He’s seven... um, do you have kids?”
“No, just me. Figured I’d take the dive on that when I meet the right one.”
“That makes sense...” 
“So... do you-” 
“I’m sorry,” Virgil blurted. “Um Bryan? Look you seem nice and all, but um...”
“I’m actually seeing someone. I just haven’t told everyone.” 
The man’s eyes widened and then he gave an understanding nod. “Oh...”
Virgil mumbled another apology and ducked back inside. 
The party was finally winding down when Virgil met up with Dee. Virgil and coworkers seemed to have the same idea as his boyfriend and were grabbing a final drink before the bar closed.  
“Hey,” he greeted. 
Dee nodded and took a swig from his glass, “Hi... Have a good night?”
Virgil shrugged, “It was fine. I-”
“Virgil!” Marie interjected. “Bryan is leaving. You should talk to him first.”
Virgil gave a grimace, “I’m really not interested.” 
“Have some fun! It doesn’t have to be serious.”
“Look really I-”
“He’s not interested,” Dee interrupted from behind Virgil. “He’s already dating someone.”
Marie’s eyes widened in shock, “Y-you are?”
“Dee,” Virgil warned turning to him, but Dee gave him a serious look in return. 
“I wasn’t entirely sure how I felt, but then I saw him talking to you all night. And it was in that moment, when I wanted to break his face for simply being in your personal space, that I realize that I’m one hundred percent in love with you.” 
Virgil wasn’t sure how function well enough to respond. 
He could feel his face darkening into a blush as he heard the surprised twitters of his coworkers around them.  
“We were supposed to be keeping things quiet,” Virgil mumbled. 
Dee seemed to take that as a challenge, and the next thing he knew Virgil found lips on his. Virgil couldn’t help but kiss the man back before he pulled away. “You’re ridiculous,” Virgil smiled. “But I love you too.”
Step Six - Step Seven - Step Eight
Wow the next is the last. Thanks for sticking around.
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kuro-von-shitsuji · 2 years ago
My Process
Not too long ago someone requested a colouring tutorial from me. Honestly I have no actual knowledge of colour theory and the techniques I use are far from being the only correct way to colour. In fact actual artists will probably cringe at this post. BUT I like doing it and have found a way that works with my limited skills so this is the process I use. This isn’t meant as a complete tutorial but rather just some of the steps I keep in mind while colouring.
To start with, I use an old ass graphics tablet with practically no pen pressure and the desktop version of Medibang Paint Pro, which as far as free art tools go is pretty damn good. You’ll also need access to good quality scans of the panels you’re colouring. I recommend getting the newer chapters on Kobo because you can zoom in on each panel without losing too much clarity, unlike iBooks. I’m not sure about the other sites, but Kobo I can vouch for. 
Now first and most importantly you need to separate your line art from the background. There are two approaches to this. Some artists redraw the line art from scratch, which (if you can do it) gives their work a crisp, professional touch. I can’t do this and don’t have the time nor patience to learn how so I use this method:
menu --> select --> create selection from layer/brightness
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This will automatically separate the line art. All you need to do is choose whichever colour you want your line art in (I start with black) and paste it in a new layer.
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Add a white layer in between the two and you’re good to go! Afterwards you should be able to draw under the line art layer like this:
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This might be obvious to some of you but it literally took me years to figure out. The downside here is that you have to play with Toboso’s screen tones and her occasional mistake. You also have to contend with whatever she left out to make it look good in black and white, like Mey-Rin’s eye in the example colouring. Whichever method you pick is totally up to you.  
Next we have to apply base colour. There’s no trick to this, just pick colours as they look right. Generally I like using desaturated colours but experiment and find what works best for you. Don’t use straight black or white because you won’t be able to shade/highlight over them. Also, make sure to put all the colours on different layers, it will make shading easier.
I also recommend naming your layers, but I never actually do it. I just wing it and curse myself later. This particular colouring had close to two hundred layers and I realised upon uploading that I hadn’t shaded Ran-Mao’s eye so I had to sift through those two hundred unnamed layers to find the base colour. Don’t be me. Learn from my mistakes.
At some point you’re either going to find yourself squinting at the lighter tones trying to differentiate them from the white background or you’re going to find lots of gaps in your colours later on. Or at least, I always do. To avoid this switch up the background colour as you apply your bases. I usually use a mixture of red, blue and white depending on what contrasts clearer with the colour I’m using. For example: below on a white background I thought I’d finished Sebastian’s skin. This is how it looked when I switched to blue. If you do this sooner rather than later it will save you time in the long run.
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After base colours are applied it should look something like this. For some edits this might be the look you’re going for, especially if the panel is more comical than this one. Personally, I prefer to add my details in the shading, which is in the next step.
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Shading is the part of the process that makes the least sense for me on paper because I just follow my heart and bam it’s done, but I tried to think through my process this time. I tend add shadow close to the line art and apply highlighter liberally to open areas. I also find I’ll add multiple shadow layers to a base colour for more depth. Say if I had three shadow layers on a skin tone it would start with block shadow, then finer detail, then the tiny details. All of these have different opacities. Again there might be a more efficient method but on the layer front I say go hard or go home.
I do all shading and highlighting on layers clipped to the base colour. For shading I set the layer to ‘Multiply’ and for highlights I set it to ‘Add’ and play with the opacity for both. This is a method I like to call cheating, but it gets results. Remember: highlights are just as important as shadow. It makes the whole image that bit more dynamic.
I do most of this step with the wet watercolour brush. In this colouring the brush was set to 9% opacity the whole time, but I often mix it up. I’ll sometimes switch to texture brushes for hair and very occasionally for fabric, but often the watercolour brush is enough.
I pick my colours for this step purely based on what my base colours are doing. Because this particular colouring had a lot of people in it (and therefore a lot of details) I stuck to shading with pink and highlighting with yellow, but if a colouring has less detail I’ll often vary the colours to match closer to the base colour. Try to avoid shading with black-- it’s not wrong but it does create a washed out look. Also try to avoid overuse of gradients. I use very faint gradients in each character’s hair and often in backgrounds, but they don’t give you much control over a light source, nor the freedom to shade wherever you like as freehand allows. But again, that’s personal preference. 
Once shading and highlighting is done mine looks like this:
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 As with the base colour, at this stage you could call it finished. However, I am a perfectionist and like to colour the line art. Well, like is a strong word. This is my least favourite part of the process. Colouring the line art feels like someone has forced you to draw while wearing thumbscrews because it exposes every error imaginable, but for that same reason it’s worthy doing. I try to use very dark colours when colouring over regions with heavy screen tone because it’s amazing how much it’s going to lighten your colours. I pick the colours for this step by eye dropping the darkest shadows and then darkening it further. In the end it’ll look like this:
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Finally we just need a background. To do this properly you need to strip down and dance naked under the full moon in a shallow spring made from the tears of nymphs. Make an offering to the spirit of the waters, and eat some of the nourishing moss she presents you. You will know you the colour to use. Alternatively just pick a pastel and slap some stars on it like I usually do. In this colouring I spent like half an hour flicking though shades of orange before settling on a gradient. You can skip this process by knowing which colour you want to use in advance. Or if you’re really flexing you can actually draw a background. If you can do this you are already far more powerful than I. You can also just skip the background altogether, but again I’m a perfectionist. 
This is my final result!
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Ultimately though, there is no right or wrong way to go about any of these steps. There are some amazing artists out there who I’m sure have processes completely unlike mine. Don’t take every word of this to heart: these are just the things I’m mindful of when I’m colouring.
Most importantly: do what looks best to you, and create something you’re proud of!
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