This is my first fic, so please be gentle. Reviews appreciated, no flames please.

DISCLAIMER: I do not own anything, only the plot


Trouble Kelp looked at the mirror in front of him, and sighed. Giving his tie a last hopeless tug, he headed toward the door of his flat. "Grub," he called, "Get your butt out here, now! We're supposed to be at Police Plaza in five minutes."

Late and lazy as usual, Grub came trotting out into the living room good-naturedly. Why does mother insist I live with him,thought Trouble. "But Tru-uubs! I'm not done with my bowtie yet," Grub whined.

"Only you would wear a bowtie to the annual LEP Christmas party. At any rate, it doesn't matter. We know have three minutes to get there. And don't call me Trubs."

"I bet you'd like it if Holly Short called you that," Grub teased, and then winced with regret. Even after three years, Holly Short was still a sore spot with his brother. Trouble had always had a big crush on her, and now she was presumed dead.

"Get moving. And it is Commander Kelp tonight." Trouble's voice was cold, and his words cut through the air like ice.

As the two walked quickly to Police Plaza, Trouble heaved a deep sigh. Holly. Just when he had almost succeeded in masking his pain, his brother said something like that. Even being promoted had lost its sparkle, for Holly wasn't there to tease him about it. Tonight Trouble was required to give the ending speech at the party, about the New Year, new directions for the LEP, and hope for the future. How under the world was he supposed to talk about that?

When Grub and Trouble burst through the doors of the meeting/party room, all eyes were on them. Trouble was immediately surrounded by a sea of glittering girls, all of them interested in catching the commander's eye. However, Trouble was having none of it. Grub spent his time trying to attract some of the girls that surrounded his brother and talking to a gnome that worked in complaints processing, the HR department that had needed to be set up when Grub started writing an average of fifty complaint letters a day.

Trouble wandered around the throng of people aimlessly, trying to shake off some of his followers. He occasionally stopped to talk to a council member or some other high ranker. Since Holly's disappearance, he hadn't really spent much time with his friends, no matter how much mother had tried. He had finally evaded her by moving out, unfortunately ending up with Grub as a roommate. Trouble couldn't help but think that it would be different if Holly were there.

The call to meal roused Trouble from his thoughts. As he took his seat, with Wing Commander Vinyaya on his right and Council Chairman Cahartez on his left [the three being the only ones without spouses or escorts to sit with], Trouble began to dread his coming speech. The feast was delicious, although somewhat lacking in conversation. Trouble sat bored and silent for most of it. By now, people were used to his sullen behavior and left him alone.

As the dinner neared its end, Trouble was beginning to rise out of his seat to give his speech when the doors to the room flew open………..


Should I leave it as a one shot, or write more? Reviews greatly appreciated. Thx!