Shiny Happy People

Chapter 12

11:01 AM, MARCH 15 XXXX

When it comes to scuffles with the law, it's best not to talk about them unless you're a newscaster or a journalist.

In both Behemo's and Levia's cases, they weren't newscasters or journalists, which could prove exactly why they didn't want to talk about scuffles with the law. The 'brother' had drugged two policemen. The 'sister' could only stand there in the same board room with her bound colleagues, who were looking at her and the phone as if they were the only mediums to their own freedoms. Neither one of them knew the situation of the other.

In fact, it was best that Levia didn't know what Behemo did.

She couldn't leave the room or help her colleagues due to the effect of the law taking place. No leaving a room when an interrogation is taking place, even if the other party has left somewhere else. Stay put so that the police can conveniently find you. Always do your part for the convenience of those who are protecting the society, your family, and you, said some handy police pamphlet she remembered reading from.

Levia wished that she didn't have to conform to measly patriotism, if it's going to be that way.

But Behemo himself was having even more problems in trying to wake the unconscious policemen. Earlier, he had doused his burned arm in water, and while that caused a lot of well-deserved pain, it at least washed a bit of the blood off. The fabric of his dress shirt stuck to his wound, and Behemo rolled the sleeve up with much difficulty and wincing. His blazer was badly charred at a sleeve, and the expensive garment was at the sink, absorbing the running water from the tap.

He closed his eyes and tried to imagine that his burned arm didn't hurt.

"Agh….argh…!" Behemo hissed, letting out some pent-up pain as he gritted his teeth.

It does hurt, you nitwit. It hurts as if you've been to hell and back.

The blood from his burned arm wouldn't stop flowing, even though he wrapped it up with a spare cloth. The whiteness of the cloth became a madder red with his blood, and his blood only made the cloth stick to his wound like liquid glue on two pieces of drenched paper. In fact, he didn't know what to call the burn: first degree, second degree, damn it all. It feels like (and certainly looks like) an animal bit into his flesh and tore it out, leaving nothing but the sight of bleeding muscle.

Thank god it was his left arm. It reached to his hand to an extent.

Behemo turned to look at the man who gave him the most trouble – the redhead. Half an hour had passed, according to the clock, and some scientist will come in within the next half hour, according to the records. He needs to clean the place up. He needs to get these policemen to wake up. He needs to return to the goddamn hospital or he'd spend his new life without an arm.

"Sir," Behemo tried, wincing in pain as he took deep breaths.

Whoever said that taking deep breaths is a calming action was completely wrong.

"Sir, wake up, sir..." he tried again.

Nothing.

"Come on!" Behemo exclaimed in frustration and anger. "Wake up!"

A groan, but not from the man who took his time to interrogate him. It was the quiet one – the one with blue hair.

Behemo turned to look at the other policeman, who looked plenty dazed instead of angered at being in a research room. He clutched at his head, brushing away a few blue strands of his hair as he looked at his surroundings, first at his still unconscious colleague, and then at Behemo, who looked very much irritated and in pain. Disorientation overwhelmed him, but lack of speech, fortunately, did not.

"Mr. B-Behemo…." the blue-haired policeman managed.

"It's me, yes," Behemo nodded, and took a sharp gasp. "Bloody hell...it hurts," he added, biting his lower lip.

"Your arm, it's bleeding..did Farad do that?" the policeman asked, alarmed. "I'm sorry, let's get-"

"-eeding…? Nemit, who g-got...who's bleeding?"

"Mr. Behemo's bleeding," Nemit said, seemingly more aware as he got up, opening the door to reveal the pristine hallways of the outside. "We need to get him a Casting."

"Right, right, let me get up first," Farad groaned, and Behemo shut off the tap, retrieving his blazer and his cane, as well as the empty orange medicine case. It was odd that they suddenly got so concerned about him when they were both hell-bent on wanting to murder him, so he decided to keep quiet until he remembered the board room.

"The board room," Behemo said. "My superiors and my elder sister are still inside."

"Oh! Certainly, certainly..." Nemit nodded, looking at Farad. "You guide Mr. Behemo to get his arm a Casting. I'll go to the board room."

Farad nodded as he watched his colleague leave for the board room, and then he looked at Behemo, seemingly not remembering the fact that he was the one who threatened him, interrogated him and most importantly, burned his arm. Behemo looked back at him like a deer in the headlights, hiding his arm from view.

"...I did that," Farad bluntly said, leading Behemo to a much more lighted up area of the laboratories. "I'm terribly sorry. I hope you have no misgivings, because I really don't remember most of what I really did..."

"Then how did you know that you burned my arm?" Behemo asked, more acidly than he should have for very good reason.

"My powers-"

"What do you mean you don't remember most of what you did?"

"Actually...oh goddamn, give me a moment," Farad said, looking genuinely bewildered. "...I don't remember anything else, other than being given the assignment to question you about Professor Zorach..."

"Let me guess," Behemo said, his irritation growing by the second. "You don't remember shit but you clearly remember burning my arm with fire that just appears in your hands? Next thing you'll tell me is that you don't even remember you coming here in the first place."

Farad paled.

"I...I don't."


11:31 AM

"Don't tell my sister," Behemo said, moving his left arm around as soon as it was Casted. Cast, with a capital C. Without the capital C, it meant as it is, 'casting your arm in a block of cement or wrapping it up as it heals in a painfully slow manner', but Casting is when three trained specialist nurses touch your wound and sweep their hands over your angry burns, making it as good as new. No scars. It looks like it's never even been burned, and his skin was fully restored and baby soft.

Like magic.

"Of course, Mr. Behemo," a nurse complied, but as soon as she said that, the door burst open, along with mentions of 'Dr. Levia, please wait…!' from the medical aides in the Treatment Room #21. The sounds of Levia's heels clicking against the white-tiled floor along with her hysterical exclamations prompted Behemo to pretend to look at least like how he was half an hour ago – fatally wounded and out of shape. All it took was for him to close his eyes and form his mouth into a frown as he remained seated.

In two seconds, he felt Levia's cold hands on his right arm, and then her arms wrapped around his body.

Her entire weight was on him, and the sound of her voice, although laced with hysteria and panic, made him feel so reassured. Most people would say that the sound of well-played music would make them calm, which also applied to the young gentleman, but it's hard to describe how he felt when he heard her voice and felt her against him.

The closest he could get to describing the feeling is the feeling of returning to a loved one after a long time of being away from them.

"Behemo – oh god, Behemo, wake up…! Your arm...Behemo, please…!"

Behemo opened his eyes and took a deep breath, then returned the embrace.

"I'm up. My arm's fine," he quietly said.

Levia pulled away from the hug to see her counterpart better, and Behemo could see the worry practically written all over her face. "The police?" she asked, a little too loud for comfort.

"An officer got you and the rest out, right?" Behemo asked. "That reminds me, where did the other one go?"

"Officer Farad had signed up to see one of our consulting psychologists," a nurse helpfully said. "Rather unusual, but they're currently having a session. The officer thinks that he's having either insomnia or short-term memory losses."

"Short term memory losses?" Levia repeated, looking at Behemo. "The other officer said something along the lines of not remembering how he bound the departmental heads."

"Frankly, I've had enough of the bullshit," Behemo sighed exasperatedly. "Officer Farad, or whatever his name is, because I've no intention of remembering his name anytime soon, burned my arm off with fire that just appeared in his hand. Care to explain that?"

"Oh, it's...um, natural here," the blonde said, blinking. "It's not common where you're from?"

"Magic's only in fairy tales," Behemo scoffed, rolling his eyes.

The nurses and Levia looked at him as if he was blaspheming against God, or saying that the grass clearly isn't green, you fools.

"It's very much real, Behemo," Levia slowly said. "I even have-"

"No, no, I think I'm very much better off without knowing. I'd prefer forgetting the fact that I was magically burned, thank you very much, sister," he hissed, trying to remind himself that this isn't his good old home, but he was raised with the knowledge that magic doesn't exist, and back where he came from, when you clap your hands and say 'I do believe in fairies!', it usually earns you an amount of ridicule from your peers.

It doesn't make you fly.

But to Behemo's surprise, he didn't upset Levia – he encouraged her intent to boast him off to the nurses.

"Isn't he cute?" Levia suddenly said, pinching his left cheek as the nurses readily agreed with giggles and swoons. "He's so cute when he's in denial!"

"His stubbornness is really cool, Dr. Levia!" a nurse chimed in.

"Like a cool male lead in a reverse harem drama!" another suggested cheerily.

Behemo expected himself to feel heavily offended, but to his surprise, no. It only served to prove that she knew him best, and he knew her best, even without them knowing. It was merely annoying, but it wasn't offensive at the very least, and he did let out a few annoyed sounds when Levia pinched.

"Kindly – ouch, Levia, my cheek…!"

"Mr. Behemo, sir," a voice came from behind him, prompting Behemo to turn around to notice (as the nurse quickly nodded towards as a gesture of recognition) the psychologist who was responsible for treating the officer. "And Dr. Levia, madame."

Behemo got up from his chair, saying a small 'thank you' to the nurses who treated him and addressed the doctor. "Yes, sir?"

"A word, out of the room if I may, sir, madame."

The 'twins' looked at each other, with Levia walking out first. Behemo followed, closed the door, and the psychologist looked around to see if anyone was around. The halls weren't empty, but everyone were too busy with their own businesses to even bother.

"Sir, madame, I've diagnosed Officer Farad."

"What is your diagnosis?" Levia asked, and the psychologist sighed, biting her lower lip.

"...Malice, madame. He had been administered drugs beforehand."

Levia froze.

"Administered-" Behemo began, but cut himself off. "I sort of...drugged the man."

"It was a good thing you did, sir," the psychologist said, twirling her teal hair. "His symptoms lessened significantly right after."

"Well, that's good," Behemo nodded, failing to recognize the brevity of the very thing itself. "Do you think it's safe to put him under such medication for a constant period?"

Levia inched back a few steps.

"But then again..." the blond male continued, suddenly realizing something. The pills were the same as what Levia wanted to give him earlier on, and he forcibly shoved it in the policeman's mouth without knowing the repercussions. He hadn't the faintest clue what Malice is, but from the looks of it, it seemed like it was something serious.

Then…

Behemo turned to look at Levia.

"...Why did you give me the pills for Malice? What is Malice?" he asked.


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