Deviants, ch. 3
Posted October 24th, 2020 by katchyboo
in Subcon Forest
That was the first thought that Artemis had once she woke up - and she had a right to it. It was, indeed, green.
As she became more aware of her surroundings - and the pounding pain in her head - she realized that she was in a forest, something she’d only heard about in stories, legends from before Elysium.
“...wow…” she mumbled, sitting up and wincing as the ache in her head grew stronger.
She glanced around, trying to figure out where in Elysium she was-
Before remembering that she wasn’t in Elysium. Not anymore. Dr. Meredith had obviously made sure of that.
For a while, she sat there, taking in the fact that she’d probably never see Elysium again. She’d probably… she’d probably die out here.
When she finally got up, the headache had subsided, and she was able to more clearly study the forest around her - a beautiful tapestry of green, brown, red, gold… it was like nothing she’d ever seen. Nothing she’d ever imagined.
Suddenly, she heard a caw! from above and jumped, glancing up at the crow that had just taken flight. ...Oh, she thought, sighing in relief. Just a bird.
Artemis felt a lump in her throat, remembering that right now, her classmates were probably settling into their new homes, talking to their new partners. She shivered as she remembered the spell, realizing that her classmates were probably under its influence and didn’t even know it.
She picked a random direction and started walking - what harm would it do? It wasn’t like she could get back to Elysium, nor did she want to, not after… what she’d seen.
For a long while, she walked, trying to get those thoughts out of her head - the ones telling her that she messed it up. You’ll never see her again.
Why, starsdammit, why couldn’t she get Spencer out of her head?! Sure, they’d been friends, but she’d been friends with other people. It wasn’t anything special.
Artemis, shut up, she told herself. No point in thinking about that now-
Then, white specks started falling from the sky, swirling gently in the wind. Artemis was struck silent, mouth hanging open slightly, as she stared.
Again, it was something she’d only ever heard about, seen on Yule cards. It was a myth, just like forests - and just like forests, here it was, right in front of her.
She shivered. Apparently, the stories about snow being cold weren’t inaccurate. I need to find shelter.
Artemis tried to, she really did; she walked, she kept walking, but eventually everything started to blend together. She wasn’t sure where her body ended and the ground began, or when she’d started walking - all she could see was snow.
She chuckled to herself weakly. Well, then, guess this is how I die…
Artemis heard, vaguely, a voice telling her to wake up. Shouting, nearly. A slap, a sharp pain on her cheek.
Despite that, once again, everything went black.
“...wha-?” Artemis muttered, opening her eyes, though it was harder than it should’ve been. “Uh, who’re you…?”
“And NOW they wake up!” someone yelled, obviously at someone else in… uh… wherever she was.
“M’ a she?” Artemis said, though it came out sounding like a question.
“Oh, well then. She. Now she wakes up. Anyway, hello, I’m Logan,” the person - Logan, apparently - responded. “And this is Phoenix.”
Phoenix waved at her, adjusting faer glasses.
“Oh, hello, I’m Artemis… I guess…” Artemis sat up, wincing slightly as she felt a stab of pain in her head. “Ow.”
“Yeah, you passed out in the snow. And hit your head on a rock,” Logan explained, helping her up. “Also, sorry for calling you ‘they’ - I’m not really one to assume gender.”
“What do you mean?” Artemis asked, confused.
“Ah, yeah, you’re a city kid. Well, there are some people here - namely Phoenix - who don’t really… fit into the whole boy/girl thing. Fae’s neither.”
Phoenix nodded, smiling and holding out faer hand, then continued Logan’s sentence. “So, yeah, we don’t really tend to assume.”
“Oh. Uh, okay.” Artemis was still a little confused, but she tried not to show it. She shook Phoenix’s hand.
“You alright?” Logan asked, her tone softer than it had been. “This must be hard for you.”
“I- I’m fine. Confused, a little bit scared, but I’m fine.” Artemis was a little surprised to realize that she wasn’t lying.
Another person walked into the room. “Oh, they’ve woken up!”
Logan nodded. “Hey there, Cameron. And yeah, she says her name’s Artemis.”
Artemis nodded awkwardly.
“Hi! I’m Cameron,” the person - Cameron - said, holding out his hand. “It’s nice to meet you.”
“Yeah, uh, you too…” Artemis looked around the room, examining it closer. It was big, and made of wood, with four sleeping bags tossed haphazardly into the corners. There were a couple of windows - out of which she could see the forest still covered in snow - and a door.
Which promptly opened, revealing a girl who Artemis recognized-
Artemis gasped, eyes wide.
It was Spencer.
“Hey there,” Spencer said, closing the door behind her. “I heard someone new-” Her eyes widened. “Artemis?!”
“Do you two know each other or something?” Logan asked, one eyebrow raised.
“Yes, we know each other,” Spencer breathed, still staring. “She was my best friend back in Elysium.”
“Wait, she’s that Artemis?” Cameron glanced at Artemis.
Spencer smiled, a huge, genuine smile that Artemis remembered from their Elysium days. “Yes!”
“Oh my stars, you found her!” gasped Phoenix, hugging Spencer.
“Wait, is this the sibling you told me about once?” Artemis asked, pointing at Phoenix.
Spencer giggled sheepishly. “Maybe.”
“And did you tell all of these weirdos about me?” Artemis feigned disappointment, staring at Spencer.
“Maybe. Okay, who am I kidding, yes.” Spencer laughed, a tinkling of bells, and Artemis couldn’t help but laugh along.
“GAY!” called Phoenix, grinning. Cameron’s mouth twitched, as if he was about to smile.
“Phoenix, no!” Spencer tried to stifle her laughter, but it was useless, which made Artemis laugh harder. “No, no, come on. I have to do the big… the big dramatic welcome!”
“Sure, impress me!” Artemis nearly yelled, trying to stop laughing.
“W- Welcome… welcome to- oh, I can’t do this!” Spencer giggled, wiping her eyes.
“I’ll do it,” Logan volunteered, smiling slightly, in that I’m-not-amused-but-actually-I-am way that she had. “Welcome to Asphodel!” She swept an arm out behind her, gesturing towards the door.
“Impressive!” Artemis gasped through her laughter. “N-nice door!”
“No, you fool, Asphodel isn’t the door,” Phoenix said, in an uncanny impression of Logan. Fae wagged faer finger. “Asphodel is this group, and also a cabin and some tents. Very impressive!”
“I’m dying,” Artemis wheezed. “You all have killed me. Spencie, I always knew you’d betray meeeee…” She flopped backwards, closed her eyes, and stuck her tongue out.
“Oh no, we killed the newbie,” Cameron deadpanned. “Now we have to deal with the body. You unclean wretches.”
“I- I have one last message… Cameron, come here,” Artemis whispered in mock weakness.
Cameron leaned in towards her. “Yes, O mighty newbie?”
“You… you’re… you’re gay,” Artemis muttered. “Bleh.” She flopped backwards.
“Huh, the newbie had wisdom!” Phoenix shouted, ruffling Cameron’s hair. “You are gay! For me!”
Logan shook her head. “You’re all ridiculous.”
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