Disclaimer: I do not own any/ all entities featured in this segment. I rent.
You would be traumatized, too, if you spent countless, horrible months under the influence of an evil alien.

"Photophobia" means "fear of light", by the way.

I dedicate this tale to Destinyshipping (Aster x Sartorius), because I think it's touching, in its own peculiar way. Anyone else agree? Okay, it's more of a friendship thing, but friendship is love as well, no?

WARNINGS: I'll just summon it in one word: stupidity. And it gets kind of fluffed-out near the end...


Part I

You would've liked to believe that expelling that stupid Wave of Light and dissolving the Society made everything better, huh? After all was said and done, I could forgive Sartorius, squash my traitorous guardian, "D", go home, and everything would be hunky-dory. After all, that's the impression you got after watching the finale of season two, I'm sure.

Yeah, I wish things would be like that. Only problem was, they weren't. In fact, after my first year at Duel Academy, daily life was the exact opposite of "all right".

See, as it turns out, all those months under the Light left my old friend Sartorius more emotionally rattled than we first assumed. Oh, he gave up the tarot card-reading thing, just let the cursed deck blow away on the breeze and wished them good riddance. He told Sarina and I that he wished never to hear words like "destiny" or "fortune" again. True, we all felt terrible for what he'd been through (and what he'd put us through).

But we never actually expected that he'd still be so traumatized in the weeks that followed his release from the hospital. At the apartment where the three of us had lived in since we were kids, the first couple of days were quiet. But soon Sartorius began to act a little...funny, so to speak.

First came the nightmares, when he'd wake up the middle of the night shrieking and quivering with sobs. "Help! HEEELLLPP!! The Light's got me!! Leave me alone, please!!" It was enough to disturb all the neighbors in the three floors below us. Ooh, did they get snappy with their complaints ("Can't you get that freakin' psycho roommate of yours to shut up?!"). Not only that, but it'd always take a hour, maybe two hours, to lull him back to sleep. Two merciless hours of rubbing his back, assuring him that it was only a bad dream...even getting him some of that special tea that's supposed to put you to sleep. It was like tending to a baby...a colicky eighteen-year-old baby.

Next came the bizzare reactions toward light. If I clicked on a lamp, Sartorius would screech like a bat and duck under the sofa, hands over his eyes. If Sarina shined a flashlight, he'd shoot straight to his room with the lights out, and stay huddled in the corner for hours. Why, he even took to only eating anything in the pantry just because he said the food in the fridge was "poisoned with the evil of light"!

Then, he quit going outside altogether. Whenever I had money to spend, I'd suggest that we would go out. Every time, he'd make up a quick, anxious excuse, then retreat to his room and lock the door.

While he was beginning to avoid all light, I was beginning to lose my patience. I wasn't the only one.

Sarina and I were sitting down at the table one day. Sartorius was asleep in his room, with the door locked. Twirling a lock of her raven-black hair around her finger, I could tell from the look on her face that she was troubled.

"I can't take it anymore, Aster," she said to me. "He's only getting worse. Quite frankly, I liked it better when he was still possessed by that alien. At least he didn't run away when you clicked a light on and lock himself in a closet. He's looking so pale and skinny..."

"You think it's best if we sent him back to the hospital?"

"I probably would...except it's so bright in there, he'll just run amok like a blind bat."

"We gotta get some kind of help for him! You think I like this? The only plus on this situation is that we've saved a truckload on the electric bill...at the expense of creature comforts. Maybe if we hooked him up with some sort of shrink?"

Sarina exhaled through her nostrils. "Yes...but it'll have to be a doctor who does house calls. You've seen what's resulted when we've tried to lure him outside."

A little later on, I found him in the den, reading a book. All the shades in the room were drawn, and all the lamps were off. It was like walking into a cave. Sartorius was curled up on the couch, a thick dark blue comforter pulled over him.

"You're reading a book in the dark? Isn't that gonna hurt your eyes?"

"The only thing that hurts my eyes is the evil 'L-word', Aster."

I snorted. He was so scared of light, he couldn't even say its name. "Ooo-kay...Sartorius, can we talk?"

He set the book on an arm of the sofa. "Of course. Sit by my side, please."

I plopped down next to him. "Listen, don't take this the wrong way, but...can you tell me that you truly and honestly like living like this?"

"Like what?"

"You know what I mean! Sarina and I are worried about you, man! You live almost like a...a vampire or something, only without the thirst for blood. You're getting paler and skinnier, and I never thought that was possible until now. We don't hang out anymore-"

"What? Am I a burden on your reputation?"

Where the hell did that come from? "Hey now, I never said that! That's got nothing to do with what's going on here; I'm more concerned with your health than my rep. The point is, Sarina and I were talking this over and think...well...you need help."

Sartorius just stared at me, pulling the comforter tighter over himself until only his wide amethyst eyes were showing. "H-Help??"

I nodded.

At first, both of us were silent. I wanted to let it sink in, if it was.

Then, the silence was broken with, "You're not going to throw me back in that hospital, are you? It's everywhere...it'll take me again, for sure...I'm so sorry, Aster. If I could, I would find my own place to live, just to ease your discomfort. Yours and Sarina's. If only there wasn't so much of it ravaging about..."

I slapped my forehead. It was official: if Sartorius wasn't going to find help for himself, then it was up to me.

Better hit Google.


I don't know what exactly happened to old Sartorius at the end of the season; this story is just based on a humorous hypothesis. And this was only part one, too! Flame me, if you will.