Dedicated to The Huntress, and her story “Of One Accord But Two Minds,” which inspired this. Read, hate and respond.
Holly walked down the halls of the Argon Clinic slowly, which was unusual. Usually she hurried to see her sick human friend. But today she was tired and run-down.
She approached his door quietly, and was surprised to hear a voice inside. She couldn’t make out any words, but it sounded annoyed, maybe angry.
The elf pushed the door open, and glanced around, opening her mouth to say something. But the words died in her throat.
Artemis was the only person in the room. He sat cross-legged on the bed, leaning against the wall. Talking to himself. No–not to himself. To Orion.
“Will you be quiet about Holly? Yes, she is beautiful. NO, I am not in love with her.”
Then the tone changed. Orion’s softer voice issued through his mouth. “Yes, you are, my alter. Your thoughts are my thoughts. And besides, you built me from parts of your personality you did not accept. And I love Holly.”
I never considered that, thought Holly.
“Regardless–” Artemis started.
“How did you feel when she kissed you?”
He gasped. “What?”
“Don’t argue, just tell me. Admit it. That is the first step to healing, correct? To accept me? And besides, it isn’t like I don’t know already, so it isn’t new.”
Holly waited in silence, closing the door and sitting in the only available chair. Artemis was immersed in his own mind; she knew nothing short of a slap to the face would awaken him.
Moment of truth.
Orion was impatient. “Well? Would you like me to say it for you? I can hear your thoughts, you know.”
Artemis sighed. “I felt… complete… Whole… Fulfilled… Amazed.” He was warming to this. It felt good to finally, finally say it. “Overwhelmed. Burning. Fascinated. Invincible.”
“In one word?” Orion asked gleefully.
Artemis spoke in barely more than a whisper. “Perfect.”
The indominant personality was businesslike. “So you do love her.”
“What difference does it make, Orion?!? She doesn’t love me, and never will! So stop playing matchmaker and let me suffer in silence!”
“You don’t suffer when she’s there.”
“Yes, but it hurts when she’s gone. Because I can never, ever have her.”
“You don’t know that. You could tell her.”
Holly wholeheartedly agreed with this sentiment. You idiot Mud Boy.
“And if she doesn’t love me?”
Orion was silent.
“Exactly. Go die somewhere in a cold forgotten corner of my brain.” Artemis sounded choked, as though on the verge of crying.
“Merge me into yourself, why don’t you? Heal your complex, and then confess your love to the fair Holly?”
“And how would you propose we ‘merge’? Any bright ideas?”
“Admit it out loud.”
Every consciousness in the room instantly knew what he meant.
Artemis spluttered for a moment, then composed himself. “Will it work?”
The two boys that were one breathed deeply, then, as one, spoke, voices layering as they said what the elf in the room now desperately wanted to hear.
“I love Holly.” A confession,
They gasped, convulsing then quieting.
And Artemis opened his eyes. He looked at his hands, and searched his brain for another personality. And found nothing. “He’s gone.”
“Not technically,” said Holly, smiling at him. “He’s part of you. Or all of you. Or you’re all of him. You can probably explain it to me better than I can explain it to you, though.”
When she started speaking, Artemis’s eyes had popped wide open. When she finished, he slowly turned his head to look at her. “Holly?”
“You’ve been speaking out loud to yourself for the last… oh, I don’t know, maybe ten minutes now?”
The boy was apparently not quite ready for words.
“So,” Holly continued blandly, “I suppose it’s only fair that I should let you know…”
Artemis squeezed his eyes shut. Bracing himself for rejection.
“I love you too.”
And she pressed her mouth to his.
PLEASE, someone tell me how to post a chapter!!! I’m dying! My brain is bursting! Heeeeelp!