YES I’M EARLY BUT THINK ABOUT IT-
Imagine the first Halloween after Virgil was accepted, and the sides are having fun planning Halloween night for themselves- with lots of candy and food and games and a movie marathon and, of course, dressing up.
At the mention of costumes, Patton bounces up and down, clapping his hands together because “Oh, that’s my favorite part! There are so many things I want to be, how can I possibly narrow it down?”
And Logan rolls his eyes but smiles fondly, “Patton, you say that every year, and every year you wear your cat onsie because, and I quote, ‘there’s just nothing better than cats’.”
Patton giggles, and Roman strikes an extravagant pose, “Indeed, finding the perfect costume is the greatest quest of all! Clearly I must outdo you all, as I do every Halloween,” he smirks, “but more importantly I must outdo MYSELF! It may seem daring, but this year I will do even better than last year’s Aladdin costume!”
Virgil smiled, so excited already for the end of the month, and turned to Logan, “What are you gonna be?”
Before the logical side can answer, Roman rolls his eyes, “He always steals his costumes from The Office.”
Logan huffs, “Jim Halpert mastered having simple, clever costumes while still maintaining professional attire.”
As they all chuckle, Patton turns to Virgil excitedly, “Oh! I can help you pick out a costume if you want!”
But Virgil looks away shyly, “Actually, I already picked my costume for this year-”
“Oooooh I bet tall dark and dreary will have the scariest costume!” Roman grins, “Five bucks says Logan screams the loudest!”
“I beg your pardon??”
Patton interrupts, gasping in excitement, “You’re right! Oh, you probably have the best scary outfits! I’m so excited! And nervous. But mostly excited!!”
And dear sweet Virgil blinks at them for a moment before recovering quickly by giving them a sly smirk, “Yeah, gotta keep you guys on your toes, right?”
“So what are you going to be?” Logan asks.
“Well now I want to keep it a secret. Then I can really scare you on Halloween.”
And Roman groans and whines but eventually give up and they all go back to picking out games and movies.
So they continue planning stuff, and slowly decorate the mind palace over the month, and as time passes they start to notice Virgil pulling away, spending more and more time in his room, being quieter, snapping more easily, etc. And the others are concerned, but they don’t really know what to do about it.
Then Halloween arrives. And Patton is in the kitchen making pumpkin pancakes, dressed in his cat onsie with an apron over it. And Logan comes down wearing a white dress shirt with three black circles taped to one side and a long black tie, followed shortly by Roman, gliding down the stairs in a legit Belle ball gown, twirling to show off the rinestones and sparkles. Half an hour passes, and they start looking worriedly towards the stairs.
“Strange, Virgil is usually awake by now…” Logan starts.
“And it’s Halloween! We can’t start the festivities without him!” Roman chimes in with concern.
So Patton decides “I’ll go check on him,” as he throws his apron onto the counter and bounds up the stairs. When he knocks on Virgil’s door and calls out to him, he hears the anxious side reply, “Go away,” his voice soft and shaky, which does nothing to lessen Patton’s worry.
“Kiddo, are you alright?”
“I’m fine, just go away,” Virgil responds, sounding Not Okay at all.
“It’s Halloween! Don’t you want to come downstairs? I made pumpkin pancakes, and if you want we can eat on the couch and watch some of the movies on our list before we start the rest of the party!”
“I’m not coming.”
Patton’s face falls, “What do you mean? You were so excited before- did something happen?”
“No, I just….” Virgil sounds a bit choked up, “It’s dumb. I’m not going. I’m gonna ruin everything.”
“Virgil, I promise you wont,” Patton doesn’t get a response, “Can I come in, Kiddo?”
And Virgil takes a minute to answer but finally Patton hears a soft “okay” and so he pushes the door open to enter Anxiety’s room. And he’s startled because there are clothes scattered all over the floor and the bed, different monster masks scattered about, and some bottles of fake blood on the desk. It takes him a minute to find Virgil amidst the chaos, but eventually he notices him sitting sadly on the floor in the center of a pile of discarded fabric, eyes red as if he’d been crying.
So Patton immediately rushes over and pulls him into a hug and asks what’s wrong, what’s going on, what is all this about?
And Virgil breaks down and explains, “You all expect me to dress up as something scary, but I don’t want to! I spend all year being scary, and I’m so tired of it. Halloween is supposed to be the one day I get to be something else. But now you all expect me to be something scary and I really tried to put something together and come up with something scary but I don’t want to be scary anymore and now I don’t know what to do.”
And poor Patton is practically crying he just feels so bad. He is quick to pull Virgil into another hug, explaining that Virgil isn’t scary all year long- he’s barely scary at all! And even if they spoke carelessly before, it’s all for fun and of course he can be whatever he wants for Halloween!
“Before we all talked over you, you said you knew what you wanted to be.”
Virgil nods, but he looks shy, “You guys are gonna laugh at me.”
So after some gentle and also not-so-gentle encouragement, they both stand up and after one last moment of hesitation, Virgil snaps his fingers to change into his costume.
Patton squeals with delight at the sight of Virgil in a perfect replica of Lapis Lazuli’s dress, the purple in his hair changed to a dark blue. Virgil blushes as Patton raves at how perfect and beautiful it is, and makes him spin a couple times to see how the skirt twirls around him, and to see the drawn on gem on his back.
When they finally go downstairs, Patton is wearing Thomas’ Steven Universe shirt, with a pink gem drawn on his stomach and his arm linked with Virgil’s. Roman gasps at the sight of them.
“No one told me we had a theme this year!! Now I look ridiculous!!” And with a snap of his fingers the ball gown is replaced with Amethyst’s shirt and leggings, skipping over in white boots to admire Virgil’s costume. Sighing in defeat, Logan quickly shifts into Pearl’s dancer outfit, a decision he immediately regrets when Roman shouts “FORM OPAL” and pulls him into an overdramatic waltz. Virgil and Patton laugh, and Virgil gives Patton a piggyback ride as he “flies” around the living room. The rest of the day is filled with games and movies and far too many sweets, and at least one dramatic performance of the Crystal Gems’ theme song. And they all fall asleep on the couch together, surrounded by candy wrappers and still in their costumes. The next morning they all agree that they should do group costumes every year.
After all, it’s more fun as a family.
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