Okay, truth? I'm not generally a huge fan of smut. Especially for this fandom (yeah, I know I'm a rabid shipper). I mean, aside from the fact that, generally, smut doesn't come with a lot of plot on this site, and, usually, I find that not mentioning things is much more erotic than mentioning them in great detail. That said, my New School Year resolution was to expand my writing capabilties (I'm currently in the middle of trying to write a romance-free AF mystery story ... we'll see how long that last:P) so I thought, very late last night, after reading a rightfully grumpy email, well, why not smut? So here's my shot at it. I'm borrowing from SIACL Ch 15, because it's the only way I could reasonably think of to get them in bed with each without a shit ton of back story. Hopefully it's not naff.


She brushes her fingers along his throat, thinking. Suddenly she smiles. Pushing him away, she stands up, unsteady on the mattress. She tugs her dress over her head and spreads her arms out. His eyes follow the movements of her hands, pupils dilating.

'Then know me,' she says.

There is only one window in her room and she stands, lips parted, head tilted back, directly in the square of light it spills onto the sheets.

Dimly, he's aware that it's begun to rain. But only because he can see the shadows of raindrops against glass snake down the side of her body. He opens his mouth to speak but finds his throat is dry. He licks his lips. He decides talking can wait.

Resting his thumbs on the lines of her hipbones, he pulls her closer, carefully pressing his mouth to the skin below her navel. She laughs, quietly, and he can feel the tightening of her muscles below his lips. He smiles, looking up at her.

Delicately, she runs her nails through his hair as she sinks to her knees, straddling him. Face to face, she quirks an eyebrow at him. It's all the invitation he needs. Fingers splayed on the small of her back, he dips her backward, like dancer, onto the bed. Legs curling around his hips, she tugs him down with her.

Balancing his weight on one elbow, he curls a hand around her throat, running his thumb along her jaw and down under her chin. She tips her head back, inadvertently pulling her shoulders down, causing her spine to arc below him. The hand on the small of her back travels upward, leaving goose bumps. Her breathing is shallow, her stomach muscles clenching spasmodically when his thumb brushes her side

His fingers follow the bottom of her bra, coming to rest on the clasp. He purses his lips. Feeling his momentary hesitation, she curls one arm up around his neck, kissing him as she pulls herself flush with his chest.

'Pinch them together,' she says, making an effort not to smile. Trying this, he meets with unexpected success.

'Well,' he says, sitting up, 'I'm not a genius for nothing.'

'Clearly. Remind me to write to the Nobel committee in the morning,' Holly starts to shrug out of the bra but Artemis gets there first. With uncommon coordination, he slides the thing off in one go. Impressed, she smiles up at him from the sheets, her eyes half-closed.

Looking down at the woman lying beneath him, a bizarre little noise - half gasp, half laugh - escapes him. He puts a hand to his forehead and pinches the bridge of his nose, trying to concentrate. She stretches her arms above her head, curving them over the back of her pillow, and watches him.

It's rather like new snow, he thinks, you don't want to touch it for fear of ruining it, yet God do you want to touch it.

Skimming one hand up, along her torso, he brushes his mouth along the side of her breast, feeling her legs come up around him again. Something in him snaps as her thighs clench against his hips. He flicks the areola with his tongue and bites her, his hand bearing her ribcage down.

She hisses between her teeth but presses herself towards him. His hand leaves her ribs, thumb rising to rub tight circles around her nipple as, curious, he watches until it hardens. That accomplished, he turns to focus on the other, leaving his fingers to knead the first. With her hands digging into his hair and her legs tightening around him, he sucks and licks and bites again, nuzzling into the warmth of her skin.

When he turns, resting his forehead below her collarbone, letting his mouth run between her breasts, she takes hold of the back of his shirt, tugging it up, over his head. Lower, he can feel her feet pushing at the waistband of his trousers. Obligingly, he reaches down, unbuckling his belt as, with clever, delicate hands she pulls his clothes down and away; her fingers lingering on his thighs as she leans up to kiss him. He shudders when her incisors graze his lower lip.

From the kiss he works his way down, bisecting her body with his mouth, both hands slipping beneath her underwear, sliding it down. Before he can think of how to get it further than that, she wriggles away from him and deftly pulls it off herself, kicking it into the shadows beyond her bed.

Without waiting to see where it lands, he pulls her back around him, running his palms up towards her hips, his thumbs skimming the inside of her thighs. When his thumbs can go no further, he stops, smiles, and, leaning over her again, slides his fingers up and in. As his thumb cuts down through the curly hair, her back arches and the skin of their stomachs meet as her breasts brush along his ribs. Pushing in deeper, he swears he could watch the arc of her spine forever. The minutiae of her body are perhaps the most beautiful things he has ever seen: the curve of her throat as her head is thrown back; the dip of her stomach between her hipbones; the lines of her ribs as they stretch like wings in time to her breathing.

When she comes she doesn't make a sound. Her breathe is cut short and her eyes open wide and for a moment the world is a vacuum, utterly silent. Then she falls back onto the bed, head lolling, chuckling quietly as she kisses him. Sweet kisses, gentle kisses, as she catches her breath.

She doesn't make him wait long.

Nails trailing down his back, her hands come to rest on his thighs. Unhesitatingly, she takes him in hand, her hips rising, waiting, and, suddenly, he is in her. Momentarily, he closes his eyes.

His forehead is on hers, they're looking each other in the eye. His hands are above her head, holding him above her. Her hands come up to cradle his face. She nods, once, and he begins.

Things blur, her nails dig into his shoulders, his teeth sink into her neck. One of his hands grabs her waist, as though, somehow, she could come even closer than she already is. The sound of their breathing is magnified, thundering in his ears. He can't make out whose is whose.

Just when he is sure that he will burn away into ash and nothingness, she wraps her arms around his neck, jerking him into a kiss, so that when they come - together, as they always are -the lack of oxygen sends their blood pounding like surf through their heads.

As it fades, Artemis falls onto her, half-blind and gasping. His face is hidden in the crook of her shoulder and her arms come around him. In the aftermath of his orgasm he feels at once utterly defenceless and totally safe. He feels content. He feels wanted.

Gradually, unwilling, he pushes himself up, not wanting to crush her. The room is cold against his drying sweat. Holly's wide eyes watch him as he starts to move away.

'Don't,' she reaches for him suddenly. 'Don't get up. Stay with me, Artemis.'

After a moment's pause, he nods and stretches out next to her, marvelling at how her sleepy smile has fought off the chill in the air. He wraps his arms and legs around her as, yawning, she curls into him, slipping her fingers through his. As he listens to her breathing slow, he buries his face between her shoulder blades, knowing that staying with her is all he will ever want to do.