one, two, three, fall in love with me
Fandom: Sanders Sides
Characters: Logan, Virgil, background Roman & Janus
Rating: Teen & up
Warnings: Language, food
Word count: 8660
Read on AO3!
analogical week 2021
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Summary: Logan and Virgil go on three dates that are each an introvert's dream come true, and each time, they fall for each other a little bit harder.
Notes: Day 4 of Analogical Week 2021! @analogicalweek
At this point in the AU, Janus uses they/them pronouns.
They are sitting side-by-side on the floor of Virgil’s dorm room, shoulders not quite brushing. Logan has three textbooks, two sets of notes, a stack of flashcards, a pencil, two pens, eight highlighters, and, for some reason, a small potted fern, all spread out neatly around him; his head is bent over the notes as he transcribes his thoughts. Virgil has a file folder filled with the loose sheets his professor hands out as homework (because the man can’t be bothered to learn to use the internet), a pencil, and a pair of headphones as he attempts to do the homework from memory because he doesn’t want to go across the room to get his textbook or his notes. He doesn’t want to get up and move away, because then he will have to come back and sit down again, and he knows he won’t dare to sit as close to Logan as Logan chose to be to him. His right hand is sitting on the ground by Logan’s left, their pinkies almost touching. It would be so easy to move the last half-inch of space and link their fingers together. So easy to reach out and take Logan’s hand. So easy, and yet the hardest thing in the world.
Virgil realizes that he’s been staring at Logan’s neatly manicured nails, and not his homework, for the last definitely too long. He tears his eyes away, cheeks hot. (Logan’s hand is about the same size as his, but his fingers are shorter and thicker than Virgil’s. He has two tiny, dark freckles right next to each other on the back of his hand between his thumb and index finger. One freckle is barely even a pinprick, the other a little bigger, almost sheltering the first, and they make Virgil think of the binary stars Logan loves so much.)
Virgil doesn’t make much progress on the homework. He really should go get his textbook, but he doesn’t want to lose the subtle warmth of Logan’s body right beside his. But just as he’s getting frustrated enough to actually push himself to action, Logan touches his shoulder, and Virgil’s heart stutters as he startles and raises his eyes to meet Logan’s dark brown ones. (Dark brown eyes have always been Virgil’s favorite, but even so, Logan’s are beyond compare.)
“Huh?” Virgil pulls his headphones off his ears, heart beating loud and clear now because Logan hasn’t taken his hand off Virgil’s shoulder and he’s leaning towards Virgil and his face is so close to Virgil’s own and damn, Virgil is far gone on this boy with his pretty, solemn eyes and hands that do everything with the same thoughtful dedication Logan applies to everything.
“Would you like to go on a date with me?” Logan says, calm and direct and perfectly serious, and Virgil forgets to breathe for a second because there is no way he heard that right.
“Huh?” Virgil manages to repeat, his eyes wide and hooked on Logan’s gaze like the most simultaneously blissful and terrified fish to ever overanalyze a question asked him by a pretty, pretty boy almost close enough to kiss.
“Would you like to go on a date with me?” Logan repeats. He pauses a beat, and his voice sounds almost shy, if someone as bold and certain as Logan could ever be shy. “A romantic one. If that wasn’t clear.”
“Like—me?” Virgil manages, then immediately decides it was a stupid question and he should probably fling himself out the window into the ugly square bushes that line the outer walls of the dorm.
Logan nods twice. “Yes, please.”
“Okay,” Virgil breathes, wondering if this is the best dream he’s ever had. He reaches up and puts his hand shyly over Logan’s where it still rests on his shoulder. The black nail polish on his hand, ever so slightly chipped, makes a nice contrast next to Logan’s plain, tidy nails, at least in Virgil’s opinion.
But he doesn’t look at their hands too long, even as Logan laces his fingers through Virgil’s and squeezes, because he looks back at Logan’s face and Logan is smiling, eyes fixed on Virgil with a focused attention that normally might make Virgil nervous but just now only makes him… well, still nervous, but a really good kind of nervous, nothing like the other kind. Virgil thinks that if Logan smiled at him like that long enough, he could probably take on the entire world.
They go to a museum. Virgil wasn’t sure about this—paintings sounded dull, which meant there would be that much more pressure on him to be interesting enough for Logan. Even though all the evidence—two years of close friendship and, you know, the fact that Logan had asked Virgil out on this date—pointed to the fact that Logan found Virgil plenty interesting, it still felt like too much pressure. But….
“Trust me!” Logan had said when he’d told Virgil where he wanted to go, grinning and practically bouncing with excitement.
So Virgil did. He showed up outside Logan’s apartment building, just off-campus—they were in the beginning of their third year and no longer required to live in the dorms, but Virgil was an RA—ten minutes early, shifting his weight from side to side in his worn purple converse that he’d dyed himself. He’d worn a band tee and skinny jeans, sure, but he’d swapped out his normal hoodie for a black leather jacket, and he’d done his makeup properly for once. He was wearing dark purple eyeshadow and lipstick, with sharp wings of eyeliner and contoured cheekbones. He’d even touched up his nail polish. He’d felt good when he looked in the mirror, and one of his residents had done a double take and high fived him when he passed them on the way out of the building, which had honestly been a fantastic confidence booster. Even now, fidgeting on the sidewalk in the chilly breeze that always comes with overcast days like this, Virgil can’t quite find it in himself to be as nervous as he normally would.
Logan appears five minutes later, brightening when he registers Virgil’s presence, and then outright stares at him for a second. He looks sharp: he’s traded out his polo for a short-sleeved button-down, black and covered in stars, with a blue bowtie. His jeans are cuffed neatly and he’s wearing dress shoes, and his hair is combed.
“Hi,” Virgil says. He gives a little wave.
“Hi,” Logan responds, sounding—flustered? He’s still staring at Virgil. “You—um—you look really good,” he adds after a second.
Virgil stifles a grin. “Yeah?”
“Yeah.” Logan glances away, and yep, he’s definitely flustered.
“You look cute, too,” Virgil tells him. And, since he may as well do something with this sudden rush of confidence, he adds, “Uh, this is for you.”
“You didn’t have to—oh!” Logan breaks off in the middle of his sentence, eyes widening.
“You said you like these, right?” Virgil says, even though the look on Logan’s face is confirmation enough.
“You remembered,” Logan says, grinning wide like he can’t control it as he takes the empty snail shell Virgil found on the side of the road. “Thank you,” he adds, although the expression on his face is better than any thanks Virgil could ever imagine.
After Logan puts the snail shell in his apartment so it won’t get cracked, the pair of them make their way to the bus stop. The bus they take downtown isn’t too full, and they’re able to get a nice pair of seats by the window. Virgil lets his hands rest at his sides and alternates between glancing at Logan and looking out the window.
He’s looking out the window at the buildings flashing by when there’s a sudden warmth against his palm. He looks back so fast he almost gets whiplash, and discovers that Logan has tucked his hand into Virgil’s, and is determinedly staring at the back of the seat in front of him, shoulders just a little tense.
His hand is warm and soft, and it’s not quite dry but it’s not unpleasant or sticky either. But most importantly, it is holding Virgil’s, and it feels a little bit like coming home.
Virgil squeezes Logan’s hand and watches Logan relax and bite back a smile.
“No way,” Virgil says in awe as they step into the first room of the museum; tickets had been $8 each, and the lady at the desk had stamped the backs of their hands with a blue-inked stamp of a seahorse in a circle with wavy lines like gentle waves behind it.
“Isn’t it great?” Logan is bouncing on the balls of his feet, still hanging onto Virgil’s hand and absolutely alight with happiness, watching Virgil’s face hopefully for his reaction.
Virgil looks around the room. Logan had said it was a museum; he had neglected to mention it was a science museum. An interactive science museum. The lighting in the room is fading from blue to purple and back again. There’s a huge contraption that looks like it might be a clock in the center of the room, and exhibits line the walls. A handful of people are interacting with them. A group of boys Virgil pegs as jocks are crowded around a ball toss game, taking turns wearing a pair of thick goggles, which Virgil guesses probably warp the perspective or something, and proceeding to absolutely fail the shot. Someone is scribbling on a sticky note, which they add to a wall full of handwritten notes. An elderly couple is taking turns dancing in front of a greenscreen. On the far end of the room, three doorways lead out from the space, each one leading to a different colored light scheme. Logan snagged a map on the way in, so Virgil’s sure he’ll have an opinion on which way to go and Virgil won’t have to stress over it. It isn’t too crowded in here, at least at a first glance, which is nice.
“It’s really cool,” Virgil says, unable to hold back a smile. “What do you want to do first?”
Logan is off like a shot, tugging at Virgil’s hand as he makes a beeline to one of the exhibits at the other side of the large room. Virgil has to almost run to keep up, and he lets out a delighted laugh at Logan’s enthusiasm, bordering on glee.
“Look at this,” Logan says, skidding to a halt in front of a large box, covered with a plastic sheet and filled with sparkling black dust. He picks up an object from a shelf above the box—it looks like a small wooden car—and places it in Virgil’s free hand.
It’s much heavier than it looks, and upon examination, Virgil discovers it has what looks like a magnet on the bottom.
Logan has another object off the shelf in his own grasp now—this one shaped like a pine tree. “Look, it’s full of iron filings,” he says, placing the tree on the plastic lid.
A clump of the dust jumps up, clinging to the underside of the lid beneath the tree and forming little spikes. A matching cluster of spikes reaches up from the bottom of the box.
Logan drags the tree sideways, and a trail of spikes begins to form in the iron filings, forming a line that curves around at the end. “Isn’t it awesome?” he asks Virgil, his eyes alight.
Virgil takes the car Logan gave him and carefully draws a mirrored version of Logan’s line, turning it into a slightly wonky heart. Maybe it’s cheesy. (It’s definitely cheesy.) But Virgil is thinking about the way Logan’s been in a state of utter delight ever since they walked through the door, and how even in the middle of what is clearly one of his favorite places in the world he keeps glancing back to Virgil every few seconds like Virgil is the most interesting thing in this building, and Virgil doesn’t care if it’s cheesy.
“Yeah, it’s awesome,” Virgil says with a small noise of wonder, and he’s not sure if he’s talking about the science exhibit or Logan himself.
Thank you, I had a lot of fun, Logan texts that evening.
Virgil sits in the chair at his desk with his knees curled up to his chest, staring at the text and grinning himself silly, covering his mouth with a hand even though there’s nobody around to see him like this.
me too, Virgil types, and then, in a fit of daring, he adds 😘 and hits send before he can change his mind.
Logan’s response is almost instantaneous.
Logan: I’m glad.
Logan: Would you like to go on another date with me sometime?
Virgil: if ur down
Logan: I am!
Virgil: cool cool
They leave off the conversation there for the evening, and for a couple of days, Logan doesn’t bring it up again. Virgil would worry about this, but Logan’s texts are perceptibly warmer, more eager, like he’s making an effort to show how much he enjoys talking to Virgil.
And then after a few days, Logan texts a screenshot of his calendar and asks if there’s a time that would work for Virgil this week. After they figure out their schedules and pick a time, Logan asks, Where would you like to go?
Virgil takes a moment to think about it. It has to be good. It has to be impressive. He doesn’t know if he can pick something perfect enough. He considers panicking and sending the question right back to Logan and making him choose instead.
But even if it’s a date, it’s still Logan. Logan who he’s been friends with since their first year. Logan who never judges or makes fun of him. Logan who always seems happy to just quietly exist in the same space as Virgil. Logan who took Virgil to a science museum and found wonder in a box of magnet dust.
For once in his life, Virgil doesn’t overthink it. He asks if Logan wants to go to a thrift store he likes, one that always has good finds.
Of course! :-) Logan texts back. The emoticons are a new addition to his texts. It isn’t exactly the most romantic of gestures, but Virgil can’t help but be endeared by it. He might be reading too much into it, but it seems like Logan is intentionally being more emotional and open with his communication style since first asking him out, and Virgil thinks the vulnerability means more than heart emojis or flirtatious texts ever could from Logan.
They meet on the corner of the main street that leads off campus into the city. The thrift store Virgil has in mind is only about a fifteen minute walk, and in his opinion, it’s good walking weather: just a little chilly and overcast, but not so cold that it’s unpleasant.
Logan is already waiting by the lamppost on the corner when Virgil arrives, leaning against it and staring up at the pigeons perched above the traffic lights, fingers drumming on his thigh. He’s wearing a NASA tee, a brown letterman jacket, and acid-wash jeans. His hair looks soft and fluffy and freshly washed, and it keeps falling in his eyes like he didn’t put any product in it.
He smiles when he sees Virgil, looking for a second totally unguarded, and Virgil’s heart warms at the reaction.
“Hi,” Virgil says.
Logan straightens and offers Virgil his hand to hold. “Hi,” he says, his smile not as big as it was in that first instant of recognition, but still very much present. With his other hand, he pushes the button for the crosswalk, then comfortably leans some of his weight against Virgil’s shoulder as they wait for the light to change.
It’s about a million years too early for Virgil to admit to himself that the word “love” has even crossed his mind, but the casual way Logan is affectionate with him is… staggering. Overpowering. Wonderful. Every word and more.
Virgil looks at the boy with brown eyes, which are closed right now, his lashes resting gently against his cheeks as he clasps Virgil’s hand and leans on him like he could ask for nothing more in this moment, and Virgil thinks that for this casual tenderness, he would be willing to give Logan the whole wide world.
The thrift store is quiet. When they step in, the noise of the breeze and of cars roaring past die away, replaced by warm stillness that smells of old things, and the quiet clacking of plastic hangers in the small clothing section at the back.
They’ve each set a $20 limit on what they can spend, with a challenge to find as many interesting things as possible in ten minutes, and then they’ll compare and spend the rest of the date hanging out. The store isn’t all that big, but the two rooms that it has are both packed full of tiny winding aisles. Logan and Virgil bump into each other occasionally, each time prompting a round of hushed giggles and awkward “hi”s, but for the most part they are successfully able to peruse without seeing what the other is finding.
When the time is up, they meet at the doorway between the two rooms of the shop. There’s a nook in the corner, clearly designed for small children, with a rug and some picture books and tiny chairs; Logan tugs Virgil over to it and sits down, crossing his legs and spreading his finds out in front of himself.
Virgil follows suit, feeling oddly delighted at the tiny taboo act of sitting on the colorful rug. Nobody else is anywhere near and Virgil’s pretty sure there aren’t any kids in the shop at all right now, so it’s not like they’re taking the space away from those it’s intended for, and he can enjoy the moment without feeling guilty.
Logan has found a tiny wooden sculpture of a hedgehog, a very old children’s book that’s almost falling apart, a small cloth bag full of marbles, a dented kazoo with the name “Trent” written on the bottom in worn Sharpie, and a rainbow tie dyed bandana, totaling at $19.87. Virgil has a ceramic soap dispenser labeled “ketchup,” a piggy bank shaped like Kermit the Frog, a toy car the size of a quarter that looks like it’s handmade from scrap metal, and a wooden spoon with the handle carved to look like the neck of a duck, coming in at $17.50.
Logan says, with a lighthearted grin, that this means he wins, because he was closer to hitting the exact limit. Virgil counters that he found objectively more interesting things.
“But I found more things,” Logan says, his grin only widening.
Virgil raises his eyebrows at the challenge. “I’m sorry, did you find ketchup soap? Hm? I feel like that’s an unqualified win.”
“I suppose it would have been smart of us to decide on the winning criteria before we started,” Logan muses.
Virgil snickers, which sets Logan off, and they both devolve into peals of laughter.
“Let’s call it a tie?” Logan offers.
“Fine,” Virgil says with a grin, “but only because you’re cute.”
Logan’s eyes widen, taken totally aback, and the look on his face is priceless and so adorable that Virgil decides he wants to keep the memory of it forever.
“Oh,” Logan manages after a moment, flustered and pleased.
Virgil files he gets really cute and flustered over flirty compliments away for use during his bolder moments. “Do you want to check out the clothes section? It’s always fun to see what they have, even if I’m not planning to get anything.”
“Sure,” Logan agrees, getting to his feet and offering Virgil a hand up. They gather up their selections—Logan has the presence of mind to grab one of the handful of baskets at the front of the store—and make their way, hand in hand, towards the racks of clothing in the back of the second room.
In the end, they make their way out of the thrift shop with the hedgehog, the book, the soap dispenser, the toy car (which Virgil saw Logan eyeing, and plans to give to him during finals in a few weeks as an early holiday gift), and a new hoodie for Virgil that’s black with galaxy print fabric on the sleeves and pockets. (“We’ll match!” Logan had said in delight, gesturing to his NASA shirt, and after that Virgil had had to buy it.)
Logan hesitates as they begin to near campus. “Would you like to come over to my place for a bit?” he asks.
Virgil looks at him questioningly. What kind of come over? he doesn’t quite ask aloud.
But Logan continues speaking anyway, so Virgil doesn’t have to ask. “I have this brownie mix I’ve been meaning to bake, and I was thinking it could be fun to do that together. Roman and Janus should both be home, but they’ll leave us alone if you want.”
Hanging out at Logan’s place is nothing they haven’t done before, but it’s not their usual mode of operation. Usually when they spend time together, they hang out in public spaces or else in Virgil’s dorm, because as an RA, Virgil doesn’t have roommates, and in an off-campus apartment, Logan does. Two of them. And they can be quite noisy at times.
Well, that’s not entirely fair. Janus isn’t usually noisy—unless they’re bickering with Roman, who is noisy and who knows exactly how to to rile Janus up until they drop their cool, collected persona and give him as good as they’re getting. From the few visits Virgil’s made and the frequency of Logan’s fond complaints about them, he suspects the two bicker often.
But when Roman and Janus are getting along, they’re the best of friends, and Logan doesn’t seem to think there’ll be a problem. And Logan has consistently proven himself to be quite adept at anticipating what Virgil might find distressing or overwhelming. And brownies, especially brownies with Logan, sound very tempting. And Virgil doesn’t have anywhere else to be today.
“Sure,” he says, and follows Logan down the street that leads to his apartment.
“He’s home! How was your date?” Roman calls loudly from within the apartment the second Logan begins to turn the doorknob.
“It’s going well, thank you,” Logan says, stepping in and holding the door for Virgil.
“‘Going’?” Roman looks up from the television, where he’s playing some video game Virgil doesn’t recognize. “Oh, hi Virgil!”
Janus, who’s sitting in an armchair set kitty-corner to the couch with their legs draped over the coffee table and their feet in Roman’s lap, looks up from their book and makes a peace sign with their fingers in greeting.
“We’re going to bake brownies,” Logan announces as Virgil sets down the bag from the thrift shop on the kitchen table.
“Ooh, can I have some?” Roman, who’s already returned his attention to his game, asks.
“Some, yes.” Logan washes his hands at the kitchen sink, then makes room for Virgil to do the same. “Not most.”
“I know that!” Roman laughs. (Virgil bets, from the skeptical look on Logan’s face, that Roman does not know that.)
Logan makes a polite, noncommittal noise, rummaging in a cupboard and pulling out a box of brownie mix. “Virgil, would you get an egg from the fridge? Top shelf of the door.”
“Do you want us to clear out?” Janus inquires as Virgil follows Logan’s instructions.
Logan looks up from the oven he’s preheating. “Virgil?”
Virgil hesitates. “I mean, this is your place too,” he says. “It’s not a problem—”
“Uh-huh. Roman, get up,” Janus says, swinging their legs to the ground, tucking their book under their arm, and straightening to their feet, all in one smooth graceful motion.
“Wh—but he just said it was fine!” Roman protests.
“It’s called a context clue and also basic manners, try looking for them sometime. Save the game now or I’m taking your controller.” Janus looms over Roman with their arms crossed. They’re a beanpole, tall and lanky, and they’re clad in all black, so the effect is something like Roman is being threatened by a particularly goth pencil.
He grumbles, but hits a few buttons and puts the controller down on the coffee table.
“Cheer up,” Janus tells him brightly. “You can always fail to beat my high score at a different time.”
“I still maintain that you cheated to get it,” Roman says, elbowing them in exasperation.
“Sore loser,” Janus says affectionately, heading down the hallway that leads to their and Logan’s bedrooms. “Catch you all later.”
Roman stares after them in exasperation for a second, then shakes himself and turns to Logan and Virgil. “Have fun!” he tells them with a bright grin, and takes the other hallway, which contains his room and the bathroom. His door clicks closed, and a minute or two later, the muffled noise of the Newsies Broadway soundtrack begins blaring, followed by the sound of Roman singing along.
“At least he has a nice voice,” Virgil comments wryly.
“I suppose,” Logan says doubtfully. “I wouldn’t know. I don’t know much about singing.”
Virgil grins. “He’s pretty good, but don’t tell him I said that.” He glances to the brownie supplies spread across the counter. “What needs doing?”
“I’ll melt the butter—would you put the mix in the bowl and maybe grease the pan?” Logan asks.
They work together to get the brownie batter mixed and into the pan, their hands brushing against each other every so often as they maneuver the tiny kitchen.
Virgil, struck by an impulse, sticks his finger into the batter as Logan goes to pour it, and he dabs the dollop of batter on Logan’s nose.
It’s cliche, sure, but Logan freezes, processing, his eyes wide and startled, and he looks adorable.
“Oops,” Virgil says teasingly.
A grin spreads across Logan’s face. “I believe,” he says slowly, “that traditionally, you’re supposed to kiss that off.”
Virgil hadn’t thought this far ahead in the process, and now it’s his turn to freeze, cheeks going warm and a feeling lighting up in his chest that is definitely not negative. “Oh,” he manages, and it comes out slightly choked.
“I—only if you want to,” Logan says cautiously, watching Virgil with a nervous, hopeful look in his eyes.
Virgil thinks about the expression on Logan’s face earlier, at the thrift store, when Virgil called him cute. He summons his courage, because after all, Logan did very much just ask, so it’s not like there’s any question if he’s interested. “C’mere, then, pretty boy,” he says in his best confident voice.
If he thought Logan’s startled face a minute ago was adorable, it’s nothing to the way he reacts to that. He looks like he’s forgotten how to function for just a moment, eyes fixed on Virgil and lips slightly parted. “Ah,” he says eloquently after a beat, and steps closer.
Virgil laughs, reaching up to brush Logan’s hair out of his eyes. “You liked that one?”
Logan quirks an eyebrow. “I like most things you say,” he says. His voice lowers a fraction. “I think it must be a side effect of how very attractive you are.”
Virgil forgets how to breathe for a second, gazing up at Logan in perhaps the gayest panic he has ever experienced. Evidently he can’t take what he deals out.
Logan raises an eyebrow. “You liked that one?” he says in a surprisingly good mimic of Virgil’s teasing tone, only it’s somehow about a hundred times hotter coming out of Logan’s mouth.
“Shut up,” Virgil says, stifling a laugh, and to cut the teasing short he reaches up and cups Logan’s face in his hands, his heart beating loud in his ears.
Logan shuts up, and one of his hands comes to rest on Virgil’s waist with a touch ever so light and careful.
Virgil examines Logan’s face for a moment, eyes locked with Logan’s brown ones, and then before he can lose his nerve he leans up on his tiptoes and kisses the brownie batter off of the taller boy’s nose.
Logan’s eyes flutter shut and he lets out a tiny sigh. His lips look so soft and pretty, and they’re right there, barely even inches away from Virgil’s own, and all Virgil can think about is how nice it would probably feel to kiss them.
Virgil lingers for a moment, his nose brushing against Logan’s. Logan’s eyes are shut and he’s holding very still, like he doesn’t want to scare Virgil off; his skin is warm and soft and his hand is still on Virgil’s waist, though neither of them has moved to close the space between their bodies and instead their only points of contact are their hands and the spot where their noses brush together. Logan is close enough that Virgil can feel his breath on his face.
He thinks again about kissing Logan and leans a little closer.
And he chickens out at the last second and presses a tiny kiss to his cheek instead, before settling back onto his feet and pulling away, his whole face burning hot and his stomach full of butterflies because he still technically just kissed Logan. Twice.
Logan lets out a soft breath and opens his eyes. He meets Virgil’s gaze. “I like you a lot,” he murmurs.
Virgil quirks a half smile. “Thanks.” He reaches for Logan’s free hand and receives a happy squeeze in return. “You’re pretty neat, too.”
And perhaps, as they pour the brownie batter into the pan, they stand a little closer together than before. And when they turn on an episode of Doctor Who to watch while the brownies bake, maybe Logan wraps an arm around Virgil’s shoulders and draws him so close, resting his chin on top of Virgil’s head. And possibly Virgil presses another tiny kiss to Logan’s shoulder through his t-shirt before snuggling into his hold.
It is a very good second date, all things told.
Virgil: wanna grab coffee this weekend?
Logan: I would like that very much. :-)
Virgil smiles to himself as he reads the text and tucks his phone back into his pocket, hurrying to his next class.
It’s been almost a month since their first date, and he has settled into an odd state where he is no longer so anxious about the fact that he goes on dates with Logan, but is becoming more and more anxious about the question of whether they are going on dates, or dating. Because there is a difference. And if he gets it wrong, it would be absolutely mortifying.
And, see, he would assume that it’s only “going on dates,” and not officially “dating,” since they haven’t talked about making it official. Except that it’s Logan, and as wonderful as Logan is, he’s just absentminded enough that Virgil could totally see him assuming that they’re on the same page and that it’s official, without ever actually having that conversation. But there’s no way to know without having the conversation. Which involves bringing it up. Which Virgil kind of doesn’t want to do, because what if the answer is supposed to be obvious and asking messes it up somehow and then Logan won’t want to talk to him ever again?
(It’s Logan. He wouldn’t do that. Virgil isn’t seriously worried about that bit. But he is anxious, in spite of all the common sense he tries his hardest to apply.)
Virgil sighs and tries to focus on the lecture he’s been zoned out of for the last ten minutes.
He’s going to have to figure this out sooner or later. And everything he knows about Logan suggests that it will go well, when it’s brought up.
But it’s still scary, and he still doesn’t want to bring it up. But he needs to know.
He chews on his thumbnail. Maybe Logan will bring it up. That could happen, right?
Has it even been long enough to be having this conversation? Is it weird, to have gone on two dates and to say hey, I want you to be my boyfriend?
Because Virgil… Virgil would really like that. And maybe it’s weird, to be this sure about it. But he wants Logan to be his boyfriend, and he is more certain about that than he can remember being about most anything, ever.
And sure, Logan is hot and holding his hand is really fucking cool and doing more kissing would be super neat. But even aside from how attractive he is, he’s just… all-around awesome. Kind of the closest thing to a perfect boy Virgil can imagine. He’s smart, but he never makes Virgil feel bad for not knowing things, and he gets so excited about little things. He’s thoughtful, and kind, and curious, and he cares about Virgil, and he’s one of Virgil’s best friends. Logan is easy to be around. He’s not overwhelming. He’s great. Virgil loves spending time with him; he always has, and he thinks he probably always will.
So yeah, he wants Logan to be his officially-boyfriend. He’s thought a lot about it lately. But Logan is important, and Virgil doesn't want to mess this up somehow. And no matter which angle he thinks about it from, he can’t assure himself it’ll go perfectly.
But he has to try. It’s Logan. Logan is important.
The clock strikes the hour, and the entire room begins packing up their things to leave. Virgil has been sitting in the corner staring off into space for the last half hour at this point. He’s going to have to ask a classmate for their notes, isn’t he?
But his phone buzzes as he’s walking down the stairs out of the building. And it’s a text from Logan. This made me think of you :-) it reads, and attached is a picture of a baby raccoon.
Virgil actually can’t breathe for a second over how fucking cute the entire text is and how much he likes Logan. He scrolls through his camera roll for a moment and responds to Logan with a meme of a shiny-eyed kitten surrounded by heart emojis.
Sure, he’s still kind of terrified about the whole boyfriend question. But mostly he’s just really looking forward to another date with Logan.
Logan waves to catch his attention as Virgil steps into the cafe; he’s sitting at a tiny round table in the corner by the big window, the sunlight catching in his hair.
Virgil crosses to him, smiling, and takes a seat. “Hey there, cute stuff.”
“Hello,” Logan says, responding to Virgil’s smile with a grin of his own so fond it makes Virgil’s heart ache a little. “I ordered for both of us, if that’s alright. You usually get the cinnamon mocha, right?”
“I—yeah,” Virgil says, taking a second to process that Logan knows his coffee order. (Granted, he knows Logan’s too: he’s more varied than Virgil, but patterns are still plain to see. Logan orders lattes with an extra shot of vanilla syrup, or caramel fraps if it’s warm out. But the thing he really likes and seems to go to for comfort is black tea, especially citrus flavors.) Virgil is grateful for the fact that he won’t have to interact with a barista now, but— “Uh, what’s your Venmo?” he asks, digging in his pocket for his phone.
“Oh, it’s fine, I have a rewards card and they owed me a free drink anyway,” Logan says quickly, waving him away.
“Still. Let me pay you back,” Virgil says. It’s a sweet gesture, but he can’t quite brush away the anxiety.
Logan hesitates for a barely-noticeable beat. “What if you paid me back by getting me coffee next week?” he inquires hopefully, gazing at Virgil from across the table with that look that seems to suggest that Virgil is by far the most interesting thing in the room, maybe even the most interesting thing Logan’s ever looked at.
Virgil’s heart stutters a little in his chest. Logan’s suggestion is a fair solution, and more importantly, is clear interest in further dates. “Sure,” he says shyly, reaching across the table and catching Logan’s hand in his.
Logan grins, rubbing his thumb over the back of Virgil’s. “Excellent,” he says, a pleased note in his voice.
The barista calls his name a minute later, putting two cups on the counter, and Logan excuses himself to go gather them. He passes one to Virgil as he sits back down and cradles the other in one hand, reaching for Virgil’s hand again. “How have you been lately?”
Virgil cradles his coffee in a motion that unthinkingly mirrors Logan’s. “I’ve been pretty good,” he says. “How’s philosophy treating you?” Logan’s been complaining about the class over texts to Virgil regularly every Tuesday and Thursday for the past three weeks; it’s an introductory level course he’s taking for a general education requirement, and he can’t stand the unit on Descartes. He thinks the man’s entire line of thought is pointless. Virgil sympathizes, of course, but he’s also amused by the entire situation; he can’t get the image out of his head of a furious Logan blatantly texting his complaints to Virgil in the middle of class, while sitting front and center like he knows Logan always does. What a way to send a message to the professor.
Logan rolls his eyes at the question, but smiles. “It’s going terribly as ever, but we’re wrapping up this unit at the end of the week. I’ll live. Are your classes going alright?”
“Eh. They’re whatever. Kind of stressful, but like you said, I’ll live. How’ve you been beside class?”
Logan considers this for a moment, fingers absently running back and forth over the ridged cardboard texture of the heat guard on his cup. “Fine.” He looks up and meets Virgil’s eyes. “I am glad to be here right now. It’s been a while since we hung out, and I’ve been missing you.”
“Oh,” Virgil manages, feeling a grin stretch across his face entirely without input, wonder radiating through his chest at the fact that Logan missed him and said it so simply, like it was an obvious fact. But he barely has time to process this, let alone begin to formulate a proper response, before Logan continues speaking.
“If you could design a hot air balloon, what would it look like?” he asks seriously.
Virgil lets out only a single huff of startled laughter. Logan has brought unusual icebreaker questions like this to every date so far, and he’s not quite used to them yet, but he did prepare his own for today. He supposes he’ll bring it up later. “You go first,” he says, not even pausing to worry about the request, because Logan’s always had an answer ready, to give Virgil time to think about it.
“Promise not to laugh,” Logan says with a grin.
Virgil raises an eyebrow. “Depends on whether or not you’re funny, pretty boy.”
“Stop,” Logan protests, half-laughing.
Virgil smirks. “Make me.”
There is a sudden, very poignant pause filled with silence and wide eyes and bated breath; Logan swallows, undeniably staring at Virgil’s lips. Virgil’s heart is suddenly thrumming through his veins, so loud he can barely hear anything else.
Logan tears his eyes away, back up to meet Virgil’s, and something about the moment breaks, and Virgil remembers how to breathe even at the same second his heart plummets just a tiny bit in disappointment, like when you expect there to be one more stair than there actually is.
“I—” Logan says faintly. He swallows again. “I would—okay, so you know how hot air balloons are made of those big rectangles?”
“Yeah,” Virgil agrees, trying not to let his disappointment show.
Logan fidgets with the cuff of his sleeve. “I would have a dark blue balloon, but some squares would be white, and they would make constellations—like, two or three constellations, as close to accurate as possible.”
Virgil can’t help it; he covers his mouth to stifle a fond snicker.
“You said you wouldn’t laugh!” Logan protests, hiding his face in his hands, but Virgil can see that he’s grinning.
“I said it depended if you were funny,” Virgil counters. “And it’s really funny when I can almost word-for-word guess what you’ll say.”
“You couldn’t!” Logan protests, sounding delighted anyway. He peeks out from behind his hands, beginning to lower them.
Virgil chuckles. “I mean, if I’d taken two seconds to go ‘hm, what would Logan respond to this question with?’ I bet I’d have gotten pretty close.” He reaches out and chucks Logan under the chin. “It’s really cute, though,” he assures him.
Logan bites his lip to hold back a smile, looking away. “Oh,” he says eloquently. His eyes unfocus, and he blinks a few times, then reaches for his smudged glasses.
“Here, let me.” Virgil reaches over and, when Logan tilts his face towards him, takes the glasses ever so gently off his face. He begins to clean them with great care on the soft fleece inside of his hoodie.
“What would your design be?” Logan asks softly.
“Huh?” Virgil realizes he’s talking about the hot air balloon question. “Oh. I dunno…” He thinks about it for a moment, moving from one lens to the second. “I mean, probably something super emo, knowing me.” He chuckles. “Mostly black. Maybe with a band logo, or some purple. I like purple.”
“You do,” Logan agrees with a fond look.
Virgil finishes cleaning the glasses and settles them back on Logan’s nose, adjusting them with care. “There you go. Handsome as ever.”
Logan covers his smile with one hand. “Thank you.”
Virgil sips cautiously at his drink, finding it a pleasant temperature. “Of course,” he tells Logan. “So, hot air balloons, huh?”
“Roman and I saw some the other day when we were grocery shopping,” Logan explains. “And then he would not shut up about them for the rest of the afternoon.”
“Ah,” Virgil says, laughing a little bit.
“Normally Roman isn’t allowed to grocery shop,” Logan adds. “He brings home too much sugar.”
“Oh, right, as opposed to you and your perfectly reasonable amounts of sugar,” Virgil teases, tapping the “add vanilla syrup” marked on Logan’s cup.
“Hey!” Logan protests, laughing.
“Sorry not sorry,” Virgil tells him, reaching for his hand once again and resting their clasped hands on the table between them.
“At least I can make a decent meal plan,” Logan says, once again rubbing his thumb along the side of Virgil’s hand. “Roman can cook, but he can’t plan for it to save his life.”
This is likely to be fair, though Virgil knows nothing about the dining habits of Logan’s roommates. “Yes, you’re very smart,” he tells Logan.
Logan lifts his chin, looking pleased. “Thank you.”
“So,” Virgil says after a pause, remembering his own conversation starter, “if you had to completely change your major, minors, area of study, whatever—just, change everything about what you’re learning. What would you choose instead?”
Logan’s eyes widen. “Oh. I like that one.” He pauses, his face scrunching up thoughtfully. “But it’s hard.”
Virgil grins. Logan goes on a tangent about a new major he’s discovered and fallen in love with practically every other week; his ramble about how interesting it is is always endearing. Virgil’s curious to hear what he’ll choose today.
Before Virgil knows it, nearly two hours have flown by, and their conversation hasn’t died down once. They’ve been holding hands practically this entire time, and Logan keeps doing the soft little thing where he rubs his thumb along Virgil’s hand, and it melts Virgil’s entire heart every time without fail. So that’s been nice. Virgil has gotten in lots of quality staring-at-Logan’s-eyes time, too. (His eyes are absolutely gorgeous, their dark brown captivating, the way they catch the light absolutely perfect—Virgil could go on. But Logan just has really great eyes. And everything else, sure. But Virgil is weak for this man’s eyes.)
But it’s been nearly two hours, and their coffee is long gone, and there’s only so much longer they can stay here before the side-eye they’re beginning to get from the baristas turns into passive-aggressive table wiping, and it’s not like Virgil wants to make their job harder than it already is, anyway, so they should probably clear out soon. But he promised himself he’d bring up the question, the one he’s been avoiding asking this whole time because it’s scary. The dating one. It’s been nearly two hours, and he can’t even bring himself to ask a simple question. (Wow, it’s almost like he has anxiety, or something, he thinks dryly to himself.)
There’s a lull in the conversation; Logan has trailed off, looking at him with the faintest smile on his lips and the softest look in his eyes, clasping Virgil’s hand on the table between them like it is the most precious thing he’s ever held.
Well. Now or never.
“Hey,” Virgil begins, and his voice promptly dies in his throat.
“Hey,” Logan responds, sounding bemused but not annoyed, that damn smile not leaving his face.
Virgil draws in a breath. “Um, I wanted to ask you something.”
“Sure.” Logan nods.
“So—” Virgil struggles with phrasing for a moment, and Logan squeezes his hand. It’s grounding. “So, like, we’ve been on some dates.”
Logan nods again. “That is correct.”
“I—they’re nice,” Virgil says, slightly strangled.
“They are,” Logan agrees.
“Uh, and you’re—you’re really cool, and hot, and I—I like talking to you, and dates with you, and shit.” Virgil’s face is warm all over, and he can’t meet Logan’s eyes; he focuses on their joined hands on the table between them.
“Thanks,” Logan says, sounding—maybe shy? Maybe flustered? Virgil thinks it’s positive, whatever it is.
“So I—” Virgil draws in a breath, screws up all his courage, and looks up to meet Logan’s gaze. Fuck it, let’s go. “I wanted to know, um, if maybe you’d like to—uh—make this official? And be boyfriends?”
Logan’s eyes widen, and his lips part on a tiny gasp as he absolutely lights up, looking at least as excited as he did when they stepped into the science museum on their first date. “Really?” he asks, sounding delighted.
Virgil bites his lip and nods once.
Logan beams at him and nods back, hard, over and over again, and his glasses bounce on his nose and they’re going to fall—
But Virgil reaches out almost without thinking and catches them. “Careful,” he says, settling them back on Logan’s nose and letting his hand linger on Logan’s cheek.
“Thanks,” Logan says, leaning into the touch and still smiling wide like Virgil just handed him all the stars in the sky. “And yes please. I would like to be boyfriends with you very much.”
“Good,” Virgil says with an answering smile, feeling so relieved that his chest aches, but also so comfortable with this idea that it feels like coming home.
Logan looks at him as if trying to memorize his features, that gorgeous grin still lingering on his face. After a moment he rouses himself, glancing around the cafe. “We should probably go soon…” He sounds reluctant.
“Yeah,” Virgil agrees. He gives Logan’s hand a little squeeze. “Wanna walk me home?”
Logan lights up again and squeezes back. “I’d love to,” he says easily, and Virgil’s insides do a funny little flutter.
They make their way out of the cafe, hand in hand, discarding their empty coffee cups before they go, and walk down the sidewalk in the afternoon sun, shoulders brushing gently.
Virgil glances up after a moment only to find Logan already looking at him, that same smile back on his face. He smiles so much around Virgil lately. Virgil likes it.
“So,” he says, gently knocking his shoulder against Logan’s, “boyfriends, huh?”
Logan’s smile stretches into a grin. “Boyfriends.” He squeezes Virgil’s hand tighter.
They make light conversation, sprinkled throughout with the softest, gayest compliments Virgil has ever dreamed of, and the walk back is all too short. But as they’re drawing near to the dorm building Virgil lives in, Logan’s steps slow too, like he doesn’t want the parting to come any more than Virgil does.
“I—” he says hesitantly. “I have a question, too.”
Virgil glances up at him. He looks almost shy, glancing away and worrying his bottom lip between his teeth. (It’s attractive, and does interesting things to Virgil’s imagination.) “Shoot,” Virgil says.
“So,” Logan says carefully. “Sometimes. Boyfriends kiss.”
Virgil’s heart gives an eager, nervous thrill. “That they do,” he responds softly.
Logan blinks several times, still looking anywhere but at Virgil. “Would you be interested in that?”
“Fuck yeah,” Virgil says, before he can even think his answer through. It startles small chuckles out of both of them.
Logan finally meets his eyes. “Would now be okay?”
Virgil glances around. Nobody’s in sight, but the building up ahead is full of windows. “Hang on, I don’t want my residents to see. They’re great, but some of them have no concept of privacy.” He tugs Logan off the sidewalk into one of the little garden areas the university cultivates around the dorms. It’s empty, thank goodness, and one of the corners has a tree in it that provides shelter from the surrounding dorms. “Here,” he says, leading Logan to the corner, and he turns and looks up at him, his heart beating loud in his ears.
Logan lets go of his hand, only to cup Virgil’s face in both hands, cradling it tenderly and gazing down at Virgil with a focus that is breathtaking. Virgil feels strikingly vulnerable, like Logan can see right to the heart of him—and yet it’s Logan, and Virgil feels safe.
“Okay?” Logan asks, his voice very quiet, his eyes moving down to Virgil’s lips.
“Okay,” Virgil breathes in response, half-rising on his tiptoes and sliding his hands to rest on Logan’s shoulders.
Logan’s lips twitch in a smile, and he bends down. Virgil closes his eyes.
Logan’s lips are soft and warm and smooth, just a bit tacky with the remnants of the chapstick he put on twenty minutes ago, and the way they press against Virgil’s is everything he’s ever imagined (and oh, how he’s imagined this) and more. Virgil lets out a soft sigh into the kiss, leaning against Logan a little more, and Logan tilts his head a bit in response to kiss him even better, and Virgil wants this to never end.
He’s a little breathless when they pull away, almost dizzy with wonder, only able to lean against Logan and let out a soft laugh of delight. “Damn, Lo,” he says, grinning up at him like a fool.
Logan grins, his hands moving from Virgil’s face to his waist. “That was—nice,” he says.
Virgil nods emphatically. “It was, yeah.” He reaches up to touch Logan’s face reverently.
Logan adjusts his glasses and returns his hand to Virgil’s waist. “I—um—could we—again?” he inquires shyly.
Virgil lets out a small chuckle. “You can kiss me anytime you want, Logan,” he assures him, sliding his arms around Logan’s neck and leaning up to brush their noses together.
Logan looks delighted by this information. “You can, too,” he says, and wastes no time at all in connecting their lips once again.
Virgil thinks to himself that this boyfriends thing is probably the best idea he’s ever had, and then Logan’s tongue cautiously swipes against Virgil’s lower lip, and after that he doesn’t bother thinking about anything but making out with Logan for several wonderful, amazing minutes.
He’s very much looking forward to being Logan’s boyfriend.
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