Template:Featured Articles/33-2016

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Moment of Awesome - Amadeus Cho: Waking from a nightmare, Quentin finds his roomie in a disturbing fugue state.

Come to think of it, it was the same position Amadeus had been in that morning when Quentin had left for the day.

"Cho," Quentin hoarsely called to his roommate. When he received no response, he repeated himself more loudly. And again. And a fourth time. There was not even an acknowledgment of his existence. And while Quentin had made it clear how he felt about Amadeus, it irked him to be completely ignored in response. He gently left Fuckwad on his pillow and went over to Amadeus's bed to flick his ear. When he continued to not, Quentin muttered something not so kind under his breath, and shoved Amadeus.

The shove did nothing. Amadeus's eyes were fixated on something beyond Quentin. He rolled with another shove, his body simply moving back into position. It was like Amadeus had simply... checked out.

Examination of his notebook revealed a complex set of equations, (mostly physics) with a few genetic components thrown in for good measure. Another set of pages were in Korean, in his cramped but neat handwriting.

"Hey, asshole." Quentin pushed Amadeus again, who returned to the same position like a clown bop bag. "This isn't funny, you little cocksucker." He was half-tempted to smash the bottle upside his roommate's head, but even in his post–vivid nightmare daze, he thought better of it and went back to his bed. Sleep was unlikely to happen at this point, at least not without some help, so he went straight back to the bottle.

A few minutes later, Amadeus finally roused. He blinked rapidly, his eyes flicking back and forth as if he were a computer resetting, and then yawned and stretched, his back letting loose a series of loud cracks.

"Ow," he said, seemingly surprised. He turned and spied his roommate, clad only in his skivvies with a vodka bottle in hand.

"Oh. How did you get there so fast?" he said, voice slightly hoarse.

It was to Amadeus's benefit that Quentin drank himself into inebriation so quickly, or else his question would have elicited another telekinetic fit in the room, this time consciously. "Fuck you. What the fuck are you talking about? It's fucking 3 in the morning. I've been here for two hours. What the fuck were you doing?"

"No, it's--" Amadeus had an internal clock. His awareness told him that he had started his English homework at 9 pm, with every intent of finishing it before going peeping in the social media accounts of a few of the more... libertine members of the Iowa state senate. However, his mind was now telling him that it was no longer 9 pm. It was early morning. Judging by the stiffness of his muscles and-- giving his arm a judicious sniff-- state of sweat evaporation, he'd been that way. For at least 15 hours. If not more.

"What day is it?" Amadeus asked mildly.

"Friday. Keep up with the fucking program. Fuck."

"Oh." Amadeus said, and then ran a hand through his hair. "Shit."

"Yeah." Quentin capped the bottle and set it aside so he had a free hand to pet Fuckwad, who was nuzzling comfortably on his pillow. "The fuck is wrong with you, though? In a coma? You didn't hear any of this?" he asked, indicating the mess he had made in the room, particularly the broken habitat and computer.

Amadeus made a face. "No, I don't seem to ever notice anything when I do that," he sighed.

Quentin blinked. "Do what? Play Sleeping Beauty?"

"I have a traumatic brain injury, and one of the side effects appears to be these..." Amadeus gestured, looking for the right word. "Fugue states. I'm just. Gone. Checked out."

"A brain injury literally explains everything about you," Quentin said with his usual complete lack of sympathy. "You don't, like, go around and kill people and then don't remember any of it, do you? Like some crazy psycho sleepwalking?"

Amadeus regarded Quentin, eyes like slits. There was a long pause where he said nothing. Then he turned to his notebook. "Not that I'm aware of. I apparently decided to work up schematics for a flame-proof material this go round. Last time I woke up in a Tasty Cake delivery truck, apparently having eaten five crates of jelly rolls."

Quentin stared at him flatly. "Of course you did. Why not. Just do me a favor and don't do that bullshit here. It's . . . unsettling."

There was a sharp intake of breath from his roommate. Then Amadeus stood from his bed, stretching, his spine cracking audibly. Then he slowly, purposefully approached Quentin. He lowered himself next to the boy, and put his face very close to Quentin's. There were a few seconds where he let the other boy squirm, and then he spoke.

"I. Can't. Control. It." He enunciated every word carefully, his eyes staring into Quentin's. The pupils were dilated, and it gave the sensation of looking straight into a black hole. "There is an inoperable bullet in my brain. And there is nothing I can do to fix it." There was a faint tremor in his lower left eyelid, then he leaned away from Quentin and stood.

"I can't predict when this happens. I can't control what I do. And I have no idea what I do when I'm out to lunch like that. Thankfully, since hurting people isn't part of my personality, everything I do is benign," he said pointedly. "I know you really only care about your Daddy issues, but if you could be so kind as to make sure I don't accidentally hurt myself when I'm checked out, that would be swell."

It was like someone had replaced the cheerful and apparently carefree young man with an actual human. And if the empty darkness in Amadeus's eyes was not scary enough, the gaping maw that was his mind was worse. Certainly more frightening than dreams of being strapped down while monsters loomed over him.