I'm rather irritable right now, because this didn't seem to want to load for FOREVER. But now that the problem is temporarily solved, I am able to post this. This is my first 50 Themes Challenge fic, and I'm not entirely sure I did it right, so if anyone has any corrections they must make, feel free to do so.
This fic contains a ship or two that may be hard to spot. If you read carefully, you will find it. Also, when you review, Please tell me which numbers are your favorites. It's nice to know what pleases people in writing.
This isn't really another horror-y, murder story, like A Spider's Beauty, but it does run again along the lines of mental instabilities. Have fun.
Disclaimer: I don't own Eoin Colfer. Who in turn owns Artemis Fowl and the other characters. So I don't own them either. But I do own Holly's mental instability. *smile*
"I like gold. It holds its value." ~Artemis in The Eternity Code.
They are hers, the sunsets. Especially the ones that came just after the rain. Liquid gold that swept across the sky in swirling, melting swipes, painted in the west. The sparkling colors dance in her eyes.
She used to go up for the sunsets. At least, that was the excuse she gave the centaur. Was it so wrong to want to be closer, ever closer to him? It wasn't an excuse. The sunsets were merely more beautiful when she could feel him next to her.
Her eyes are on the window, tracing with the lines of tonight's sunset. But her mind is beside her, imagining his face, memorizing it. She feels her heart stop when his finger starts to trace its own designs on her wrist.
'Where does such a beautiful sunset come from?' she asks, knowing that he will know, and explain it to her. The words don't interest her. She just wants to hear his voice.
The dark wins its fight with the light and consumes the Irish countryside with its blue-black blanket. For a moment, her gaze lingers on his face as his eyes linger on hers, until her wings pick her up and up away from his eyes, away from his touch, away from the things they shared.
He has found his own gold. Sparkling, swimming… in a crystal glass. Cold at his lips. Makes him wonder why it can't (wouldn't, couldn't, shouldn't, won't) be.
She stares at the dull light of Haven's artificial night, and considers going back up to see him tonight. Instead, she falls into that restless sleep by the window, the silver light of artificial stars casting a pale glow on her features.
The day's hours creep by. She waits, impatiently, for her hour, her golden hour, to come. Her work, none of it matters. The people, they don't mean anything. Only one. The only one.
'Tonight,' she whispers. His eyes never leave her face. They creep toward each other, their sunset burning in the window behind her. They steal slight kisses that turn quickly into fiery embraces that burn their bodies with intensity.
She has lost herself in waves of euphoria, climbing higher and higher, heat consuming their entwined bodies. She is thrown into glorious release, abandoning control, and welcoming pure ecstasy.
Waking up, she reaches for him, fingertips longing for his soft, pale skin. Her searching fingers only find the bedsheets. She opens her eyes to find him by the window, the born light of morning casting a beautiful glow on his face and in his icy eyes. After a moment she whispers, 'Love?' Her heart tears when he replies, 'Lust.'
She won't believe it. She knows it's more. She hugs her knees against her chest on her soft couch, unbelieving tears straying down her light brown cheeks. How could he feel nothing? When she felt everything…
Sipping his gold, he mumbles to himself. Faithful body guard standing in the corner, watching the drink consume genius and leave behind insanity. Or was it the same thing?
Should she go up tonight? Could she? Suspicions were more than raised. Rumors were more than whispers. How would she ever face him again? Just to see her golden sky? Just to see his silver eyes? Just to be lost again in stolen ecstasy?
He hopes. It's all he can do. He knows he hurt her. Does she want to ever see him? Does he want to see her? But he does. Will he hurt her again? Will they never share the golden sky again? Another glass of gold. Another step into numbness. He knows he will have to hurt her again.
They lie awake, her on the futon that has never made her sleep easy. Him on his four poster king sized bed, tossing and turning, searching for comfort. Both knowing that sleep will only come in the arms of the other.
They both long for their beautiful golden sunset.
She abandons her self-respect for the day and goes up to see him in the middle of the day. His door is the only blockade to her presence. She taps on it. His answer is a grunt and the shattering of glass against the inside of the door. She opens it anyway.
She wraps his shuddering, sweating form in her arms, whispering into his ear, planting small kisses around his temple and cheeks. His breath rushes out, at first in incoherent words, but then she hears his apology flow from his hoarse throat.
'Lust?' she reminds him, voice slightly teasing, slightly longing, their faces agonizing inches apart. He smiles, silver-blue eyes lighting with a promise. He picks a lock of fiery hair from in front of her yearning eyes. 'Love,' he whispers.
Skin burning with passion as it touches the other's, fingers grasping locks of hair, lips searching, teasing, tasting. Eyes squeezed tightly shut, breath coming fast, passion consuming their bodies once again.
They lay together, bare skin touching, caressing, their momentarily forgotten sunset slipping in through the window. Golden shafts of sparkling light glittered on their bodies, whispering tales of passion and alchemy. His voice is a soft murmur, tickling her ear with his breath.
23. Marie Antoinette.
He reminds her of work. Of her duty, as they greet the morning's light with tired smiles. 'Let them eat cake,' she laughs softly reaching behind his head to pull his lips to hers.
Finally, she has to go, night's hours creeping up on them after a glorious day of passion. One final embrace, as she hovers outside his doorway, leaves two wishing it could last forever, one knowing it never could, and neither knowing, through the feel of the other's lips, whether it was right or wrong.
Her old friend could never understand. He didn't know what it was like to be in love. The Commander acorns on his lapel prevented him from seeing what really mattered. She's now unable to get a surface visa. Torn away from her gold.
He drowns himself once more in his deliciously numbing embers. Glass after glass, shot after shot, wiping away memory and replacing it with that perfect, molasses state of mind.
She knows back ways. As an officer, she has to know every nook and cranny that smugglers could sneak into. There are even more accessible to people like her. People who could jump through hoops like an acrobat. But, unfortunately, not through the human-football-player-sized gnome just outside her door.
He stumbles to his room, eyes fluttering, mumbling incoherently with alcohol-soured breath. He can't register his surroundings. Doesn't hear Butler's anxious, warning voice. Doesn't feel his body's muscles fail him. Doesn't see the maroon carpeted floor rushing up to meet his face.
Light brown fingers rub that tense spot in the back of his neck. He sighs, another day's stress tensing his muscles and weighing on his mind. Holly doesn't understand. It's for her own good. She had responded to these arguments with tears and gut-wrenching accusations. He wasn't being overprotective. Just…territorial.
He awakens, the broken sunrise burning into his bloodshot eyes. His head explodes with pain in response to the blinding light. With shaking limbs and shuddering breaths he crawls to the bathroom, his morphed gold rising out of his rocking stomach to stain the white floor. He has to tell her.
Lying with her arms wrapped around her legs, she hears a knock at the door. She doesn't get up to answer it, instead picks up her LEP boot off the floor and whips it in the direction of her old (ex) friend's voice. A satisfying crack as her strength and the boot split the door leaves her smiling sadly as she sinks into depressed sleep, dreaming of her gold.
He avoids his bodyguard's sharp, painful glances as he goes throughout his day. Planning, plotting, as per usual. But when he asks if the boy loves her, his denial gives his heart a lurch and reminds him that the same denial would break his soul when he had to confess it to her.
Another night creeps slowly along for a pair or two. Brown eyes glittering with long-lost hope, a mother watches her little boy sleep, his brow furrowed even in what was supposed to be peaceful slumber. Coming up behind, his muscled bulk blocks the light, and she turns, smiling. 'Your boy is in love,' he whispers, caressing a lock of beautiful cocoa hair in front of equally beautiful eyes. They lie down in her bed, and she kisses his shaven crown. 'Not so different than I,' she smiles, embracing him.
There is no joy in what he does anymore. The pleasure of being an officer becomes harder to bear without his best friend by his side. But he has to protect her. Not only from the destructive human with whom she is so strongly infatuated. But from herself as well. She can't believe that the boy loved her. It would only kill her when he said goodbye.
'Never let them see you cry, son.' His father's words echo throughout his mind. The last words he ever heard from his father. He didn't even cry in solitude. But, now, his rebellious eyes brim with the salty liquid, a single tear dripping to the cold marble surface he sat at, grasping gold in shaking hands.
Despite orders, she slips out of her home as soon as they are around the corner. Orders couldn't hold her back from her beautiful, wonderful, glorious gold. She'll find a way up.
'Find her!' His command leaves many of the force wondering why he should care so much. After all, the Council could just as easily deal with all of this. But they grudgingly obey, exchanging skeptical glances that he was too proud to notice. Or too caught up in jealousy to care about.
She arrives late. The sunset has already fallen behind the Irish horizon, the last of her gold trickling away. He answers the door, purple bags under tired blue eyes, red and bloodshot around the rims. His cheeks hold a green, sickly tinge, and his teeth have started to yellow. A rainbow of colors on his face.
He won't touch her. She moves to kiss him, but he turns away. She reaches to grasp his hand, but he pulls it back. When she asks him what's wrong, he says it's nothing. When she says, 'I love you,' he whispers, 'I can't.'
Her legs fold and her knees find the floor. With tears sparkling in wide eyes, she asks, 'Why?' His own eyes are as flat and emotionless as they told her he would be. He doesn't answer, but instead pours himself another glass. No longer gold. Just joyless, dull bronze.
She doesn't realize her arm shot out until she feels it on her hand. A sickening crack splits their silence, and his nose bends side ways. Again and again her fists connect with his skin, striking hard and swift. Until one final mighty punch sends him to the ground, his drink spilling across the floor. His nose is bloody and his cheeks and eyes are already swelling. Ugly bruises will form under his suit over time. But he doesn't speak.
She leaves before his emotionless eyes drive her to kill him. She soars over the low hills and deep valleys, speeds angrily through the silhouettes of night-darkened trees, jets over the swirling ocean, until she finds the coast and sits down to sob.
Her fists may be small, but the anger that she hurled them with would mark him for several days. But he doesn't feel it. He only feels numb, his drink setting that blanket of hollow ease over his mind. His bodyguard (stepfather, he always forgets) escorts him to his bed, where he lies on his back, a bottle in each hand, drunken nursery rhymes slipping from his lips.
It takes them less than three hours to find her. She had landed no more than four miles from a shuttle port. When they find her, she is in a restless, exhausted sleep, tears still wet on her cheeks. He wraps her up in his muscled elfin arms and flies her home.
His own sleep is more violent. Empty bottles slip from his fingers and to the floor. The liquid from inside them churns his stomach, until it rises into his mouth, but goes no further.
After several hours of deep sleep, she awakens, wanting to go back into her dreamland. He was there, backlit by the most magnificent of sunsets, smiling, loving, golden. But as reality slips into her consciousness, that gold morphs and distorts, bleeding into dull, ugly colors, wiping away what was once so beautiful. Her tribunal will be tomorrow.
'In the case of fairy elf, Captain Holly Short, charged with Class B Rebellion, consorting with human Artemis Fowl, in both traitorous and romantic activities, Tribunal six-oh-two-nine-nine-eight-B-seven finds the defendant guilty of afore mentioned crimes. The Council wishes that all future cases related to Artemis Fowl see her as an automatic suspect. Captain Holly Short is hereby stripped of her rank and relieved of further LEP or related duty. She is sentenced to eight months in minimum security. Sentencing will not be negotiated.' Punished for loving a human.
'We ask that you take this soul, oh Lord. This wonderful, pure soul. A special place in heaven for someone so young awaits. A spirit so innocent, a heart so loyal, a life so gold. Remembered always in our minds, not simply for his great intelligence. But for his generosity, love, and innocence. We ask, Lord, that he walk beside you in his rightful place. That he stroll with his ancestors, happy forever beyond the gates of gold.' He wasn't even religious.
The window in the wall has her cowering behind her bed, shaking and sobbing quietly. Through the window shines the last burning light of an artificial day. A sunset so accurately like the surface's, made with such exquisite detail, now sends stabs of ache and fear to her heart. The battle between darkness and light that the darkness so easily won. Because, to her, gold no longer exists. It died in her heart, like the day. She wraps her hands around her head, trying to hide from the light, pressing her head tightly to her knees, her mournful cries echoing off the walls of her cell.
Sin or wrongful deeds been done.
Turn to gold with setting sun.
Corrupt the souls of men with greed.
Stain the innocent with false need.
With its allure, they fall spellbound,
Until six feet beneath the ground.
That is, for gold, its only fee.
And so the curse of Alchemy.
Some of it was confusing, I'll admit, but I didn't edit very well, and this was the only day I could get it on here for another week. School, and so on. But anyway, please review and say which numbers were your favorites. I think mine were 23, 29, 33, and 47.
Loves you all,