A/N: This is the first AF fan fiction I've done in a long time, and my very first songfic. I've been absorbed in the Leandros series, but I heard this song and I noticed how amazingly it fit Artemis's complex. Hope you enjoy :)

UNWELL

Song: "Unwell" by Matchbox Twenty

Book: Pre-AC to post-AC

Disclaimer: I don't own the books, characters, or this song

All day

Staring at the ceiling making friends with shadows on my walls

He lay flat on his back on the king sized mattress, staring up at the intricate scrollwork on the manor's ceiling. The rainy light leaking through the window make the shadows move around. One looked like it had wings, another had four legs. He smiled, a melancholy twitch of the lip. He'd see them soon, tomorrow. He only hoped he could hide himself from them. He doubted it.

All night

Hearing voices telling me that I should get some sleep

because tomorrow might be good for something

"Artemis, are you still awake?" Butler's massive fist gently tapped the door.

Inside the room it was dark, night having fallen. Still Artemis continued to lay there. His eyes were closed now, but he didn't want to sleep. He was afraid, irrationally afraid that if he woke up he wouldn't be himself. Recently he'd been feeling less and less like himself . . .

I should sleep – I have things to do tomorrow, a plan to implement, a meeting to conduct in Iceland. I'll need to be at my sharpest . . . But I can't be. I'm dull. An overused butter knife – and what kind of idiotic metaphor is that? Butter knife, Artemis, really?

Hold on

Feeling like I'm headed for a breakdown

And I don't know why

Artemis waited until Butler's footsteps had disappeared down the hall, and then sat up slowly, feeling more sluggish than usual. He flicked on his bedside lamp and looked around the room.

But I'm not crazy

I'm just a little unwell

I know right now you can't tell

But stay a while and maybe then you'll see

A different side of me

He moved to the bookshelf and quickly ran his hands over the volumes cramming it, pulling out a book here and there and switching them around, making sure they were lined according to size. Good. I'm safe. If they were uneven . . . what? He caught himself, realizing just how irrational that train of thought was. Uneven books wouldn't jeopardize his life. What was he thinking? He rested his head against the bookcase and closed his eyes, breathing through his mouth.

I'm not crazy

I'm just a little impaired

I know right now you don't care

But soon enough you're gonna think of me

And how I used to be

Determined to break the irrational habit he had gotten into, he pulled out a large book and put it directly in the middle of the line, breaking the sequence of biggest to smallest. He stared at it for a minute, a smug smirk on his face. I can beat this, he thought as he walked away. And then, Pathetic. Reduced to gloating over something so trivial. I used to have the ability to topple empires and negotiate with the heads of the criminal underworld . . . He stopped in his tracks, sweat beading his forehead. He whipped around and quickly rearranged the books, making it orderly again. He went to back to his bed, hands shaking.

Me

Talking to myself in public

And dodging glances on the train

Holly was watching him, her eyes full of thinly-veiled concern. He tapped his lapel ten times in staccato rhythm to stem her suspicion and tried to concentrate on giving his presentation. The fairies would never listen if he didn't present a convincing argument for the adoption of the Plan. Please, Holly, stop looking at me. What are you seeing?

And I know

I know they've all been talking about me

I can hear them whisper

And it makes me think there must be something wrong

With me

Artemis tried to ignore the instant messaging he knew was going on between Holly and Foaly. They wore fake smiles of attentiveness while their fingers surreptitiously skimmed along the keys. What were they saying?

Out of all the hours

Thinking somehow

I've lost my mind

"We think it's something called the Atlantis Complex," Holly said, her voice slightly panicked. She was afraid because he was on to their scheme. Abduction – payback for what he had done to her. And she was making up ridiculous excuses. Atlantis Complex. Ha. He might have minor abnormal tendencies that he had to work out, but it wasn't a complex. He was fine. Wasn't he?

But I'm not crazy

I'm just a little unwell

I know right now you can't tell

But stay a while and maybe then you'll see

A different side of me

Orion, he said his name was. Artemis had no idea where the alter-ego had come from. He felt the imbecilic words sprouting from his lips, saw the mistrusting and distraught faces of his friends, and knew that the only thing that had set him apart from others – the only thing that made him special – his brain, had been damaged.

Orion said something idiotic, and Holly got mad at him and stalked away.

Please, don't give up on me yet. Artemis gripped the arms of the imaginary chair in which he was seated and willed his friend to stay with him. I'll get myself back!

I'm not crazy

I'm just a little impaired

I know right now you don't care

But soon enough you're gonna think of me

And how I used to be

"I was wishing you would go away," Holly said flatly.

The words cut hard, before Artemis realized that she was talking only about Orion. Not both of them. Not him, the real him. She wanted him back. If she just waited . . .

Artemis pushed his way through the thick, gel-like substance, trying to get out of the small chamber he had encapsulated himself in. The fours started coming. Faster and faster, the tiny sparkling numbers converging on him. He threw himself backwards. Four means death!

I've been talking in my sleep

"Artemis, Artemis, wake up!" Hands on him, gripping his flailing wrists.

Pretty soon they'll come to get me

"Four is death," Artemis cried, opening his eyes to find a matching pair staring back at him.

And they're taking me away

"You're safe, Artemis," Holly told him, concern creasing her wide forehead. "You're at the clinic. Dr. Argon's sending up a sedative so you'll sleep easier. Okay? Just calm down. There are no fours here. Just fives." She held up a hand, five fingers spread. She wiggled the digits and smiled, but her eyes weren't in it. "See?"

She's talking to me as though I were an infant. Where's the sarcastic banter, the mutual respect? Must everything be taken from me? Artemis groaned and turned away from her to face the wall.

But I'm not crazy

I'm just a little unwell

I know right now you can't tell

But stay a while and maybe then you'll see

A different side of me

I'm not crazy

I'm just a little impaired

I know right now you don't care

But soon enough you're gonna think of me

And how I used to be

"We'll get through this, Artemis. Just trust me on that one."

Trust. Yet another thing he was incapable of. "I'll try," he managed through a suddenly aching throat.

She didn't let go of his hands.