“For the record,” said Haley’s Self-Loathing, “I’d just like to declare that you’ve officially sunk to a new low.” Haley did her best to ignore Self-Loathing and focus on what she was doing as the monologue continued: “I mean, seriously? Is this the way it’s going to be from now on? You’re just going to forget all about Elan and ever getting your voice back and just write Vaarsuvius a dirty little note every time you feel a little lonely?”
“Could you shut up for like one minute?” Haley’s Latent(?) Bisexuality asked as Haley playfully flicked the tip of one of V’s ears while they continued to kiss, “Or at least until the robe comes off? I don’t want to miss a second of this!”
“You shut up,” Self-Loathing replied, “Curiosity doesn’t make it right, you know. Furthermore, I hope you realize that he’s only committing adultery with you because he pities you that much because you’re that pathetic!”
“Feh,” said Haley’s Distrust, “Adultery. I don’t know about the rest of you guys, but ever since he told us about his mate, I figured the slut was going to hurt him one of these days. This is for the best.”
“Your hypothesis has absolutely no basis,” Haley’s Intellect pointed out quietly.
“You know what?” Mistrust shot back, “Let me tell you a little something about my ‘hypo—Did anyone else hear that?”
“Of course not,” Self-Loathing drawled, gesturing at Haley and Vaarsuvius, “Of course we choose the worst possible moment to get distracted and stop paying attention to our surroundings. Why, what’d you hear?”
“Sounds like someone’s com—”
“Hey guys!” Elan’s voice proclaimed cheerfully as the door was flung open, “What—uh…” He frowned, a flicker of something that might have been jealousy passing behind his eyes. “But you… I thought…”
“Hwni!” Haley cried while Vaarsuvius froze, horrified.
“Maybe he’ll be up for a threesome!” said Haley’s Optimism. The other phantom-Haleys stared at her. “What?” the child-like personification said, oblivious to how odd the sexual suggestion had sounded coming from her, “It could happen!”
“That was awesome,” said The Part of Haley’s Brain That is Sick of All This Emo Crap and Wants to Get Back to Comedy.
“It’s not what it looks like?” Vaarsuvius said with a weak smile.
“Oh,” said Elan with a relieved smile, “Okay!”
“Okay?” Vaarsuvius repeated, blinking.
“Of course,” said Elan, “This is the classic comedic scenario of one character walking in on one or more other characters who look like they’re doing something they ‘shouldn’t’ but were really doing something else. Hilarity Ensues as they try to explain what was actually happening and only manage to incriminate themselves further, something you guys would pull off quite easily with Haley not being able to talk and V’s low charisma. I know how much you and Roy hate unnecessary comic relief, V, so I guess I’ll leave this one alone…” He looked a little disappointed about giving up the opportunity.
“Um, yes,” said Vaarsuvius awkwardly, “Thank you.”
“See ya later, then!” said Elan brightly, exiting the room.
“Make sure he’s actually gone before starting up again,” said Mistrust.
“Starting up again?” repeated Self-Loathing, “After a rather obvious sign that this is wrong?”
“I’m sure V’s still up for it!” said Optimism happily while everyone else avoided eye-contact with her.
“I’m with her,” said Debatably-Latent Bisexuality.
“Would it not be wise to utilize this lull to take further precautions against discovery?” said Intellect.
“Znnsvbzjbv?” said Haley aloud, trying to ignore the discussion.
“I am sorry, Miss Starshine,” said Vaarsuvius, “That intrusion was most unfortunate and easily preventable.” He rose to lock the door but paused with his hand resting on the knob. “Unless you do not wish to continue?” He kept his back to her while waiting for a reply.
“How come he’s not looking at us?” said Mistrust, “I don’t like it…”
“Way to go,” said Self-Loathing, “As if it weren’t enough to cut Elan out of the picture, at this rate you’re going to turn your best friend against you too; look how hurt and ashamed he looks!”
“She didn’t even say—uh, that is indicate—anything yet,” Optimism pointed out, “And he’s probably just a little embarrassed.”
“J'd vtssk, Z, jo'v abvo…” Even if she’d been able to speak properly, Haley still wouldn’t know what to say.
“I understand,” said Vaarsuvius, “Perhaps we should have taken more time to consider this before an unlikely coincidence forced us to reconsider. I’ll go.”
“He understands?” said Self-Loathing once the elf was gone, “That’s kind of funny considering you still don’t get it.”
“Yeah, yeah,” said Latent Bisexuality petulantly, “Here you go again with Elan’s the answer to everything and we all suck. Could you spare us the lecture just this once?”
“At least now we know we can always trust Vaarsuvius to think about what’s best for us!” Optimism said.
“I dunno,” Mistrust said, “You never know when he might—”
“Will you all just give it a rest?” Haley mumbled numbly, curling up on the bed, alone, “I need to get some sleep anyway…”
The next morning, Haley wasn’t at breakfast.
“I hope she’s not sick or something,” said Elan anxiously.
“Probably just sleeping in,” said Roy, “I say, let her; a few extra hours of sleep can do anyone a world of good, and we’re close enough to Sunken Valley now that waiting a while before we head out won’t make much of a difference.”
“Cool,” said Elan, “That means we can just chill.”
“Actually,” said Durkon, “I ‘aven’t prepared me spells fer today yet, so I best be gettin’ started.” With that, he left.
“And I’m running low on potions,” said Roy, standing up, “So I need to go shopping.”
“I guess I’m coming too,” Belkar grumbled, “Wouldn’t put it past you to wander a mile away just for kicks…”
No, thought Vaarsuvius as he realized what the situation was turning into, This cannot be happening…
But it was. Within seconds, Vaarsuvius and Elan were the only ones left at the breakfast table, trapped in a prison of unbearably awkward silence.
Is he now finally going to ask what I was doing with Miss Starshine? Vaarsuvius wondered. The fact that he still hadn’t bothered the elf a great deal; it was if that idiot bard had literally forgotten all about the incident but that just couldn’t be the case…
“You know what I’ve always wondered?” Elan asked, staring into the middle distance dreamily.
This line of conversation must somehow lead to the question, Vaarsuvius thought, overcome with dread, while out loud he warily asked, “What?”
“How come I can’t remember anything about Nale. From when we were little, I mean,” said Elan, “I understand why I don’t have any clear memories, I was too young, but a lot of stories of this type will leave the brothers with something really vague in the back of their heads somewhere…”
Completely nonplussed by this unexpected train of thought, Vaarsuvius ended up saying, “Since you were so young when you were separated, any memory you could possibly have of that time would be buried far too deep for you to access.”
“Yeah, I guess,” said Elan with a sigh. He suddenly perked up, “But you think that I might still remember something, deep down?”
“It is possible,” Vaarsuvius hazarded.
“Cool!” said Elan, “Maybe there’s some kind of magical hypnosis out there that could bring it up that I could try some time.”
“Also possible…” said Vaarsuvius, suddenly sounding rather evasive.
“Hey V,” said Elan, with what was probably supposed to be a sly look on his face.
“Yes?” said the elf weakly.
“I’ll bet you’d know about some sort of special mind-melding magic that would let me look at all my old memories.”
“I’d also know that there is no good reason to spend time and resources on such an endeavor,” said Vaarsuvius.
“Aw, c’mon!” cried Elan, “For all you know I could be repressing something important!”
“I find this very doubtful,” said Vaarsuvius.
“Please?” said Elan, “Please, please, please?” He pulled out his lute. “Help, help, help, help the good twin recover possibly essential information about the evil twin!”
“Oh for the love of—Fine!” Vaarsuvius cried, “Fine. We can try to explore your unconscious memory through the Elfin Mind Link.”
“Yay!” exclaimed Elan, “Let’s do it!”
Sighing and standing up, Vaarsuvius said, “Come with me to my room; it’s best done privately.”
“Now first you will have to calm yourself and clear your mind as much as possible.”
“Now what, V?”
“You’re already done clear—yes, of course you are. Now, both people must rest their fingertips on the other’s ears.”
“Ah! Get off, get off! … No. Lobes, not points.”
“Are you ticklish?”
“Your ear-points. Are they ticklish?”
“You’re blushing. I think that means you’re lying…”
“Please try to focus on the task at—ah! Stop that!”
“Ha! I knew it!”
“Fine. Whatever now—hey! Quit that! Please!”
“You’re ticklish, you’re ticklish!”
“Stop! I implore you!”
“Wonder where everyone’s gone?” said Haley to…the rest of herself upon seeing the empty breakfast table.
“Maybe they left with out you,” said Self-Loathing.
“Don’t see why not,” said Mistrust.
“Maybe they're planning a surprise birthday party!” said Optimism.
“Let us check Vaarsuvius’ room,” Intellect suggested.
With a shrug, Haley headed back upstairs and down the hall to the elf’s room.
“I hear something,” said Mistrust.
“Red alert,” said Self-Loathing.
“I doubt the door is locked,” said Intellect.
“Maybe that’s where the party is,” said Optimism stubbornly.
“Oh, I hope so,” said Latent Bisexuality.
Stealthily, Haley opened the door a crack and peeked in. Her jaw dropped in shock.
“Gods, quit pinching like that…”
“Hwni?! Znnsvbzjbv?! J fti'o qhwhjzh jo!”
“This is not what it looks like!” Vaarsuvius insisted.
“Now see?” said Part of Haley’s Brain… Comedy, “I’m the only one here who can appreciate the beauty of the irony of the situation.”
“Oh, we got the joke, butch,” Self-Loathing growled. “They are going down! And I hope you’re happy with this, because this is all your fault!” This last was directed at Haley.
“Maybe it really isn’t what it looks like,” said Optimism, but her heart didn’t seem to be in it.
“I know I’ve been quiet for a while,” said Haley’s Self-Reliance, “But, now I’m saying let’s get out of here. Who needs these punks?”
I do… thought Haley, as she silently walked away anyway.
“But we didn’t even look like we were doing anything bad…” said Elan sadly after a moment of stunned silence.
“You’re an idiot,” Vaarsuvius muttered.
“I don’t think your hair makes you look butch,” Latent Bisexuality told Part of Haley’s Brain…Comedy shyly.
“Really. I think you really know how to pull it off.”
“Thanks. So… Next time we get a chance to spend some time together off-panel, wanna…”
“I’d love to!”