It was the last place you’d want to beon your birthday- a humid, cramped cell that smelled like fish and stale bread. This birthday, there was no cake, or presents, even a happy birthday wish. No, Artemis, and, I guess you could say Orion, had spent their latest birthday staring at a clock on the wall. Two more hours, and the birthday would be over.
Currently Artemis was on the outside of his body, while Orion had settled in. Lately, Orion had became depressed and weary from the lack of companionship, only to be stuck with dreadful conversations on science from that boorish boy Artemis. But for once, they both agreed, that this was not a good birthday.
“It was a year ago from today” Artemis whispered under his breath. How foolish he was, thinking that Foalys shuttle was an illusion. He still couldn’t stand himself for being so self centered that his actions nearly killed her. Sure, she said that it was diesease, but the diesease WAS, and always will be, a part of him. A part of him that Artemis would refuse to embrace, because even when Orion was gone, he’d still be in the back of his mind.
And then, footsteps, loud yet as clear as day. He closed his eyes, expecting it to be argon. But instead, Holly appeared, her usual mother like look of concern on her face, being let into the room by the nurse.
Artemis was too astounded to say a word.
“I’ll stay here with you in case he becomes unstable”
Holly rolls her eyes, and rests her hands on her hips “I think I know how to control a human”
The nurse protested “By law, we must have him watched upon at all times for public safety”
“Well, you seemed to do a GREAT job keeping Opal Koboi under control here”
The nurses eyes widened, and she walked out of the room, astounded.
Holly looked around to make sure the coast was clear, and then, in a shocking gesture of affection, ran up to Artemis and hugged him. He embraced her back, and for a momment, time went still.
“Artemis, is that you?” she asked, sitting down next to him on his cot “Please, no games”
“It’s me Holly” He said, smiling “You know, forgetfulness is very unlike you”
“Well I did remember your birthday”
Artemis smiled at this, pushing his palms together in delight.
“You seem to remember everything Captain Short” he said, half frowning “Do you remember what happened a year ago, today?” He asked coldly, resting his head in his palm “I was such a fool. I still am”
“Artemis! whats with you? it’s your birthday! we should celebrate!”
“With what? with who?”
Holly sighed, resting her hand on Artemises, which took him by suprise. Ever since they went back in time, Holly had been afraid of expressing affection towards him.
“Why don’t you tell me a story for your birthday? and then, I’ll give you your present”
Artemis looks into the distance, even though there is none. A story for a present? what an easy task. He might aswell humor himself.
“I used to tell the twins this one all the time” he began, standing up, pacing “I’ll see if I can remember it for you. You are my guest after all”
“Once, there was a falcon, who was lonely and seeked someone. The falcon had lost too many other things in his life though… he seeked a companion, except, he did not intend for it to be anything more. H ejust wanted to learn from a new bird, instead of surrounding himself with just falcons in the past. So one day, the Falcon saw a hummingbird in the trees, and she was the most mysterious thing he’d ever laid his eyes upon. But he knew that if he told any one that he, a beast, had be friended a hummingbird, that no one would accept him. So he had to keep his desire for the humming bird a secret, until one day, when the hummingbird least expected it, the Falcon snatched her and brought her to his nest. But the falcon did not know how to charm someone- he had made a foolish mistake by taking the humming bird as his own. And everytime he tried to talk to her and be something he wasn’t, the hummingbird would turn away. Until one day, the falcon had grown sick, and began to give up of being someone he was not. And as the hummingbird watched him, she realized he wasn’t truly the beast he had been made out to be. She had realized that the falcon just didn’t know how to love, so she nursed him back to health. The End”
“Good story” Holly began, running her hand through her hair
“I miss telling that one- I miss… well…”
“Do you miss everything Artemis?”
“Yes’ he answered blankly.
“Every day, I try so hard to become better for My mom and dad. The twins, foaly, mulch. I try to become better for you”
“But what about yourself? your the most important person right now”
“But I still have the right to miss things… I still miss myself… I miss you…”
Her eyes widened
“Artemis, why can’t you always be like this? why can’t you tell me these things?” she began, crying
“I finally let my guard down, you may say. I’m sick, and I just missed having someone”
She smiled through her tears “I know, Artemis… because I’ve missed everything too- the adventures, the antics, the jokes” She said, now stradling him as he laid back in his bed
“I miss when we went back in time, because of all those things I’ll never be able to do again, like…”
“Like what Arty?”
“I miss the time we kissed”
“Who said that was over?”
“Pardon If I sound cliche…” she began, leaning in and rolling her hands through his raven hair “But I beg the differ”
And she leaned down and kissed him, beginning to wrap herself around him. They curled into eachother, a flutter of hands and kisses and deep, panted breaths. And as he unduttoned her shirt, he suddenly froze.
“Artemis?” She asked calmly”Are you still… there?”
“I’m always there Holly”
She smiles, playfully lifting off his shirt.
“Why now Artemis?” she pants, her skin against his “Why are we al of the sudden like this?”
“Maybe we both escaped the nest” he whispers, nibbling her ear.
She kisses him softly, yet passionately.
“Happy Birthday, Mud Boy”