Disclaimer: You know the drill. I own nothing except my lovely autographed trilogy. And really, my dad owns that...

Summary: Just a short little bit on our darling boy's wedding and Holly's (rather platonic) feelings concerning it. No, fear not, it's not a Mary- Sue. The bride doesn't even have a name. Set after the Eternity Code, as previously mentioned. Enjoy(


Wedding of a Long Gone Child.

The church is beautiful, a testament to human skill and creativity. Pale summer light filters through delicate stained glass illuminating saints and sinners, their eyes turned heavenward in silent prayer. Quite like Holly's appear to be. Then her eyes complete their circuit and return to staring at the tuxedoed back of the groom. God sighs, snapping his fingers in a 'foiled-again' sort of way, and moves on to a more likely spiritual candidate.

Human weddings are dull. Holly will readily admit that she finds almost any ceremony relatively sleep inducing, but this is worse then usual. Has Artemis lost his taste along with his youth? If Foaly were here he would say she was using humor and spite to cover her grief. Which is why she came without him.

It isn't that she's in love with Artemis. No, despite being numerous disreputable things, Holly is not, and never has been, a cradle robber. However, Artemis is her friend, and though the relationship is rather one sided now, she still cares for him. More then she will ever admit.

She will admit, however, that it's incredibly hard to watch a good friend marry a woman you never met, move on to a completely new stage of life, and not even know they are leaving you behind.

Holly runs a hand through her crew cut, keeping up a constant litany of complaints in an attempt to drown out the vicar's voice.

Butler stands to the side, best man. Some random brunette stands beside him, bridesmaid. Juliet and the Fowls sit in the front pew, the woman's family beside them. Butler is trying to inconspicuously dry his eyes.

Are you being left behind as well, old friend? Holly smiles wryly, unconsciously reaching out a hand to pat his elbow, before yanking it back with a mental scolding. You'd think that two decades would wash away all connection she felt to these humans. She wished.

The bride and groom say their vows and kiss. Not anything fireworks worthy, just a sweet little kiss. Holly wonders if he really loves her. The Artemis she had known took so long just to establish a friendship, they'd all have been long dead by the time he fell in love.

It all just goes to show how far gone the Artemis she knew is; that the pale vampire she knew and loved is now just a figment of her memory, no longer among the living. Sometimes she almost misses him. Him, Butler, the only mud man she understands, and fiery little Juliet, the only mud woman (no longer a mud girl) she respects. She wonders if this wife will ever gain her respect. She doubts it.

Before everyone starts to leave, she slips down the aisle and out the door. Outside, Armani clad bodyguards patrol the wedding plaza. She passes by them unseen, depositing a small, wrapped package on the gifts' table. Nothing special, just an acorn in tissue paper and a card wishing an old friend happiness and good luck in his new life.

The wedding entourage enters the tent and she quickly pilfers a few fancy fruits off a plate, weaving her way to the exit. Before wandering off forever into the inky black she turns around to say her last goodbyes. As she does so, she catches Artemis' eye.

He stares straight at her, brow crinkled. He couldn't possibly...? No. No, he can't see her. With a shake of his head he returns his attentions to his inquiring bride. A vaguely disappointed Holly is once again left alone with only her memories of a long gone child whom she knew from a time long ago in a land far, far away.