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Love to Hate and Vice Versa

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It was a perfectly wonderful day. The sun was shining, birds were singing, most likely happy little clouds were making their way through the sky.

Mim hated it. Why couldn't there be a storm? A tornado, even. Now that would be a welcome reprieve from all this lovely weather.

She was feeling less ill today -- her violent sneezing had subsided into an insistent cough, but she still felt too fatigued to leave bed, so instead she was dozing on and off in the cheery sunshine.

That was when a soft knocking came upon the door of her hut. Blinking sleepily, Mim rubbed her eyes and called out, "Come in," as she pushed herself up into a sort of sitting position. She could hear the door of her hut swing open and then: "Hello? Madam?" It was Merlin's voice. Of course.

"Ah," he said cheerfully as he appeared in the doorway of her bedroom, "you're looking better today. I see your spots are gone."

"Yes," Mim muttered darkly, "it's about time. Quite a nasty infection you gave me, Merlin. It should've been against the rules. Yes, next time, I'll be sure to add that -- no germs or maladies of any kind."

"I'm quite sorry for all the pain and discomfort," Merlin said, looking very apologetic indeed. He rummaged through his satchel and produced a hot bowl of soup, steam rising off the top in the warm air. "Here, Madam. I brought you some soup."

A bowl of soup? That was completely unexpected, but she was in the mood for something warm, so she took the bowl and began spooning its contents into her mouth.

"How are you feeling today?" Merlin asked her as she ate.

"Horrible," Mim said between sips, "Better, but still horrible."

With a smooth motion Merlin placed a hand on Mim's forehead. "Well, your fever seems to be gone at least."

Fever or no, Mim felt the heat rush to her face. Why did he check up on her like this? Why did he always have to be so good? It infuriated her beyond all reason. It would have been easier if he had laughed at her misfortune or cast a curse on her. But Merlin wasn't like that at all. Being nice came natural to him -- he was nice to everyone. Something burned inside her. It felt like her blood was boiling and her face was on fire. "I hate you," she said suddenly, her voice shrill. She grabbed handfuls of her hair and pulled, shrieking, "I hate you I hate you I hate you!"

Sitting in a chair at the side of her bed, Merlin blinked twice at this sudden outburst. "I... see," he said finally, the expression on his face one that Mim had never seen before. He looked almost mortified. Clearing his throat, Merlin stood from his chair. "Well, I should be on my way. My apologies for intruding, madam."

No, it was all wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong! "Merlin, wait!" Mim shouted. "I meant -- I like hating you... but you just make it very, very difficult." She wished she could hate his visits too but, as much as she was reluctant to admit it, she actually enjoyed them very much.

At that Merlin gave a small smile. "Well, I'm glad to hear that. But I actually really must go," he said, indicating his watch. "I've got to teach Wart his lessons." He stooped to pick up his bag and dusted off his robes.

"But you'll visit again?" Mim asked hopefully as the old wizard crossed the room to the hut's front door.

From the doorway, Merlin turned and said, "Of course." Before he shut the cottage door behind him completely he added, "Get well soon, Mim."