please get off of me

The last time Miranda had a gaping mouth reminiscent of a fish face staring back at him, it had come from a glassy reflection separating his birthplace from the rest of the world instead of a bathroom mirror merely showing a pale face relishing in a splash of cold water. He’d turned off the flow of the faucet a few minutes ago, but the sound of air flowing through the vents could have deluded him into thinking that he’d forgotten about the strict water allowance. Anders wasn’t here to remind him to turn off the faucet anyways, being that Miranda had waited until his partner was asleep and then ditched him and his warm bed for the cold floors of downstairs.
The doorknob clicked, and Miranda flew into the shower and pulled the curtains around him, fearful of a guard that might use his being alone to take advantage of him… but it didn’t matter anyways, since Argentina’s voice answered, “You’re not fooling anybody, you know.”
“Argentina? Is that you?” Of course it is, idiot. Who else could ever own that voice?
“Who else would it be?” Called it.
He peered out from behind the curtains, unsure whether to step out or stay in the porcelain confines. “Well, unless I’m mistaken, subjects aren’t allowed to be roaming after hours.”
“They’re probably all surprised that I even bothered to get out of bed.” She pulled the curtains back, and Miranda warily stepped out of the shower. Crossing her arms, she continued, “Good thing that I was so lucky to find you in the bathrooms, or else I would have had to fight with the guards to get upstairs to where Anders was keeping you- and yes, we lowly subjects have noticed how you’ve completely disappeared from the rest of us.”
“What do you want, Argentina?” Miranda balled his fists, hoping that the ball of pain that had intruded on Giles’ questioning didn’t return. “Surely your bladder could have waited a few hours for the change of guards.”
She shrugged, coming up close and wrapping her arms around Miranda’s neck to force him to sit on the lidded toilet. Her face softened, sickening Miranda with how over-the-top seductive she was attempting to appear with a brush of the lips across his neck. He stiffened in her grasp, clearly feeling awkward, and she whispered, “It can wait a few more minutes. Please do explain how you know my real name.”
He drew in a long breath, shrinking away from an Argentina who refused to detach herself from his neck. “Because Anders killed your girlfriend, who he apparently had a thing for, and stuck parts of her brain inside mine when making me. And nowhere in my memories do you overexaggerate like this.”
At the mention of the late Samhain, Argentina shuddered, but she didn’t relinquish her hold. “How much do you remember?”
“Well, biology class in seventh grade keeps popping up, and I’m sure that I could dig up some more memories if you really needed more.” His eyes traveled up to the ceiling in exasperation, watching a small spider make a web in the opposite corner in the shower. “Why are you here, Argentina? I know I’ve technically only been alive a month, but considering I’ve got the body of a twenty-year-old, it’s really creepy having a teenager wrap herself around me.”
“Shh. I just want information from you.” She moved to beside his ear, positioned to whisper directly in his right ear. “Why is the memory-erasing machine here? Has Anders told you yet, or is he keeping secrets from his own partner?”
“Because I nearly went ballistic when he restored my memories and then became violently ill when I pushed them too far?” He gently pushed Argentina off of him, and she sat down silently on the floor. “He also mentioned you this morning when discussing the machine, but I wasn’t paying enough attention.”
Argentina’s eyes flittered open, cold and persistent. “Keep them as long as you can, and write down every detail that you can remember and hide it away somewhere that Anders won’t stumble upon so that he can’t destroy it and pretend that the memories never existed. They’ll be useful in the future.”
“How, exactly…? What are you planning?”
“Miranda, do you love Anders?”
How am I supposed to answer her when I don’t even know that myself? He bit his lip, hestitating to answer for a few heavy moments while Argentina braced herself on the sink counter and stood up. “No. I don’t think I do, anyways. Sometimes I get surges of gratitude for the preferential treatment, but then I remember the rest of the subjects, and then it feels dirty and wrong.”
“I want to avenge my dead girlfriend, and he already knows that I hate him, so I need somebody close to him who won’t have qualms about betraying him.”
“Betraying?” He stood up, moving to leave the bathroom before Argentina blocked it. “Please just leave me alone… I have a good life, and Anders said something about returning you to your proper one sometime soon, so there’s no point. You already killed him once. Isn’t that enough avenging? And won’t he just be rescued by his cronies and resuscitated like last time?”
“That’s why I need you to help me. It’s okay if you’re unsure. I’ll leave you alone for a few days while you make up your mind.” Argentina swiftly turned around and promptly exited the bathroom, leaving Miranda wondering what exactly he’d come downstairs for anyways when there was a bathroom in the private suite.


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