Say Goodbye (pt. 2)
Together, Sean and Anti finish the video, entitling it “Say Goodbye,” and sit back to watch the views roll in. “They really love ya,” Sean whispers. “Probably more than they like me.”
“Yer just sayin’ that because Wooshie left,” Anti pouts.
“It’s ‘Wiishu,’ and maybe. I don’t know.” Sean gets up from the desk and starts walking around the room. He’s nervous and full of energy and doesn’t know how to get it out.
“Stop that, yer makin’ me nervous,” Anti shouts, doing the equivalent of jumping up and down and slamming his feet against the floor of Sean’s mind. “What about getting’ me a body? When does that happen?”
Sean drums his fingers against his leg to the beat of some song stuck in his head and thinks. “I’m not entirely sure how we would go about doing that. Do you?”
Anti stops jumping up and down for a minute and makes a face. “Do ya think we’d still be in this mess if I knew how to get my own body?”
Sean moans in frustration and heads for the kitchen. “Fine, ‘m hungry. I want some brain food,” he mutters, riffling through the contents of the pantry and then the refrigerator. Anti pulls Sean’s head to the side and makes him hit it against the side of the fridge. “Ow! What was that for?”
“Why didn’t you stop Wooshie from leaving?” Anti asks, glitching them both. “I thought you love her.”
“I do! But I can’t make her stay if she doesn’t want to and after what she saw…” Sean pokes at the injury on his neck. It’s already scabbing over. “I didn’t want to see her look at me like that anymore.”
Anti glitches them again. “Coward.”
Sean shakes his head. “I refuse to be insulted by a figment of my own imagination.” He drops into a chair with a huff, a needling headache beginning to form between his eyes. “So tell me, Antisepticeye, how does a person like you get their own body?”
“How should I know?” Anti pouts. “I don’t get some kind of rule book! All I know is that I want my own body, and I want the fans to notice me!”
“Ok, ok, stop yelling,” Sean says, dropping his head onto the table and covering his head with his arms. “Attention, you desire attention. It makes ya stronger. It makes it easier for ya to control me, right?” Anti nods inside Sean’s mind. “Alright, then, but what makes you… you?”
“How people perceive me, I think,” Anti hums. “When I first showed up, I acted crazy to get the fans’ attention, and now… I think that’s what I am.” Anti glitches around again. “So, maybe if they thought I had my own body, I would!”
Sean sits up slowly. “We have to make another video, one explaining you. If I say yer just some concept that me and Robin came up with for Halloween, maybe that’ll do the trick. The fans love to theorize about that sorta thing.”
“I’m willing to try anythin’,” Anti whines.
And so they make another video, one where “Jack survives Anti” and the glitch was nothing but a trick of editing created by him and Robin. In the days that follow, nothing seems to change. Anti grows restless and starts to make Sean pick up knives again, always stopping just in time before cutting into the skin.
Sean starts to lose it, until one day, Signe knocks on his door.
“Woosh? Yer back?” Sean tentatively opens the door a bit more, and his hand twitches towards her.
“How are you doing, Sean?” Singe readjusts the strap of her purse like she does when she’s embarrassed, and Sean smiles because it’s so cute when she does that.
“’m alright. And you?” He grabs the hair at the back of his head and tugs on it to keep himself from running to hug her tight.
Signe punches him in the arm. “You scared me! I thought you’d lost your mind.” She hugs him, all the while refusing to meet his stunned gaze. “Don’t you dare let me leave again, Sean McLaughlin, or I swear I’ll bake you in the oven like the potato you are.”
Sean laughs breathily, warming at her touch and holding her
tight. He’s missed her so much. “I think I know what will help,” he whispers. Signe looks up at him, a question in her eyes. “I’ll tell
ya all about it when I can, I promise. But no more cuts, no more crazy talk,” he whispers, placing a hand against her face as his thumb traces her cheekbone.
Anti feels Sean’s guilt, feels his love, feels his gratefulness that he feels towards this other human. Every rib-shaking thump of his heart, every nerve lit on fire with joy at seeing her face again, Anti can feel it all. And it only makes him hate Sean more. Sean has everything.
And Anti doesn’t even have a body to call his own.
That’s when Anti flips the switch. That’s when Anti decides to become Sean, and he is determined that no one, not even Signe, will be the wiser.