As Virgil dreaded this silence, he realized one thing; John was really worried about him. But even then, there was one thing more important at this moment—to finally be able to charm successfully.
“I’m sorry,” Virgil said to John, as he got John’s arm off him, walking back towards the amulets in front of him. “This one’s the last time for today, I promise.”
At last, his anxiety had settled down from earlier—so he should be able to complete the charming process at least once, for today.
Knowing that he only gave himself an attempt before he headed home to John, Virgil’s concentration on the charm was calm—as if he had already given up being anxious around John’s presence.
This time, the magic essence and his concentration flowed together—and Virgil knew he would never have another moment he’d be this calm—so he could only continue to charm this amulet, basking in his calmness.
When the charming process was done, silence filled his mind. There was no sense of relief, accomplishment, and like.
Even just a little, Virgil could understand his family at this moment—they would’ve felt the same indifference. Even when Virgil used to be genuinely proud of his accomplishments, it was nothing on a greater scale.
But instead of dwelling in this apathy, Virgil turned to John—who had given him some kind of appreciation ever since they first met, even if they had never truly reached Virgil’s heart.
“Let’s go home.”
Once they arrived at the home, Virgil heard some exchanges from the kitchen coming from Carson and Ace. They seemed to be cooking something.
“Oh, hey.” Carson turned back to Virgil and John. “I invited Ace over to help me cook. Ace’s been a good teacher!”
Virgil glanced at Ace’s expression—even if Ace seemed tired as he cooked something in the pan, there was a slight smile he had never seen on Ace before.
John looked at Ace, then Carson. “Didn’t know you were buddies with Ace.”
“Yeah. Virgil’s been busy, so I had more time hanging out with Ace on his day offs.” As Carson replied to John, he turned to Virgil. “Oh, and welcome back.”
“Thanks,” Virgil replied, knowing well that he had been obsessing over charms lately, rather than spending time with Carson. He must’ve been lonely—if it weren’t for Ace. “Hey, Ace. Thanks for taking care of Carson.”
Ace only nodded in response.
Now that Carson and Ace were busy in the kitchen, John headed upstairs, and Virgil followed.
“You’re not staying downstairs?” John asked as he sat down on his bed.
Virgil got a chair from John’s desk and sat there. “Mhm. I still have some things to talk about… I, I’m sorry for yelling at you earlier.”
“Eh, it isn’t the first time I’ve seen this from someone… But thanks for apologizing, though. You didn’t look too good back then, and…”
“Hopeless. Honestly, I’ve always gotten this gloomy aura from you ever since we first met. But this time, with the charms… I couldn’t ignore it.”
“I… Do I really look that gloomy?” Virgil looked at John, knowing that he had never gotten this comment from John specifically.
“You do. And say, could I ask you one thing?”
“What made you get into charms?”
“Oh, I’ve always been interested in it since I was a teenager, and I thought I’d need another hobby to take my mind off the job.”
“I see. Have you practiced it, before you moved here? I haven’t seen you say anything about it.”
“Yeah, until I, well.” Virgil pointed at his eyepatch, chuckling dryly. “This happened.”
“But eh, it’s not like I’ve always liked it before that accident. I thought I would’ve grown to love it when I picked it up again on my own, but yeah…”
“Hmm. Who taught you?”
“Remember the time I told you about my dad’s friend?”
“Oh, that guy.”
Even knowing that John would’ve hated the person who taught him charms, Virgil couldn’t help but feel a certain fear inside him. He couldn’t bring himself to hate them, unlike John, who was enraged when Virgil first told him about them.
“Does that guy still… haunt you? Like, do you feel like they’re judging you and your charms?”
Virgil could only chuckle. “Sort of… But eh, can’t blame them. I’m the one putting myself down too.”
“Aw. By the way, are you practicing charms tomorrow?”
Virgil thought of the moments John stopped him earlier, remembering how worried John was back then. “Maybe? I could stop practicing, if you want to.”
“What, no. I’m not stopping you. I just didn’t want you to you know, make yourself more miserable…”
“I meant it, Virgil. I wanted to see you enjoy charming.”
“If you’re happy, I’m happy.” John sighed, smiling. “When I got home and Carson told me about you, I got so worried.”
Knowing that someone was worried about Virgil’s well-being was… truly one kind of emotion.
He would hate getting too emotional in front of John. He hadn’t considered John a part of his family—so there’s still a part of him that couldn’t believe John was this worried about him. Why would someone outside of his family be this concerned about his happiness? Did he really deserve someone to worry about him this much?
As Virgil pondered, John opened his arms. “C’mere.”
Confused, Virgil got up from his chair and walked over to John—who pulled him in for a hug.
At this moment, Virgil couldn’t figure out anything that would deny that John was really worried about him.
“Yeah, you can cry on me if you want to. I know you worry a lot.”
“I’m not crying,” Virgil chuckled—as he distracted himself from the tears brimming in his eyes. He’s really not crying. As another means to distract himself, he wondered—was this how Carson felt, when Virgil was this vulnerable with him?
“You got any goals for charms? Do you want to eventually charm Carson’s amulet, join an alchemist’s group, or something else?”
“Just remember, you’re doing this for yourself. You don’t need to prove yourself to that guy.”
- Ask John for his other suggestions.
- Charm Carson’s amulets. If he doesn’t let Virgil touch them, then Virgil could try it on another amulet, and give it to Carson as a gift.
- Charm something for John as a gift, but keep it as a surprise to John.
- Get a good accessory, and charm it for himself.
welp, chapter vii’s done
i have 12 chapters planned, and virgil’s story is about to be wrapped up
im genuinely very anxious about writing john’s incoming story but eh, I’m leaving that to future me
time for a week’s worth of a break from this, before i start uploading each part of a chapter in the next week again
take care, y’all