A/N : Since the only story I have written thus far is a short one, I've finally decided to work on a long one. I started this last summer, and now since it's almost that time again, I'm gonna work on getting it up here! So, please, enjoy! :)
A small eatery in Haven's downtown district played host to a variety of customers. From rich fairies throwing swanky dinner parties drinking the fanciest of human wines, to families of average fairies enjoying dinner together, and the occasional fairy couples spending time getting to know one another, this area of the crowded metropolis offered a lot to its citizens.
Two of the area's patrons were eating together, dining as the occasional couple demographic in a smaller, less crowded bistro. Seated in a booth with digital advertisements for the "newest" technology, the two elves were chatting about their jobs, enjoying what time off work they had to spare for this date. Both of them couldn't help but feel a sort of awkwardness in the air as they ate, but both tried their best to ignore it.
Captain Holly Short of the LEP sat on the inside of the booth, eating a fruit salad made up entirely of diced melons, berries, and other citric fruits. She glared down into her dish. Looking up from her plate would mean looking up into her date's eyes, something she'd never been good with. Holly spared a glance up and found herself staring right into Commander Trouble Kelp's eyes.
"You know, you could take a picture. It would last longer," Holly said, faking a smirk.
"And you could actually eat that food instead of playing with it," Trouble responded. With a slight movement of his head, he inched closer to Holly's face. "You know, this 'eatery' charges a lot more than it should."
Holly frowned. "You told me not to worry about price!"
"Holly, I'm just joking," he said as he leaned back into his seat.
She half-chuckled, half grimaced, tossing the fork into the bowl. "Good, because this is really gross." Holly took notice of the advertisement flashing on the display screen wall beside her. "I bet this tech ad would drive Foaly crazy," she said, adding a small laugh.
"If he even bothered to look at it," Trouble said, tilting his head. "That pony probably has no tolerance for lesser tech that isn't his."
Everyone at the Lower Elements Police HQ in Police Plaza was aware of Foaly's general lack of tolerance to any sort of technology that wasn't his own. The centaur's only interest in these "lesser beings of advanced technology" was motivation to make a better model of the item in question, and now that the summer months had rolled around, Foaly found less and less time to create these improvements that he longed for so much.
The change of seasons in Haven always leads to the LEP becoming increasingly more active. When the schools in the underground city let out for the summer, the juveniles find ways to break the law. And it's almost always juveniles. While the general rate of crime does rise over the summer in Haven and also in Atlantis, underage fairies usually are to blame. It was for this reason that Holly Short and Trouble Kelp could barely find time for this evening out.
The two sat in silence for a while, until Holly became fed up with the poor excuse for a fruit salad she was trying to eat. "So, how goes the job of the Recon commander? You've been pretty busy these past few weeks."
Trouble seemed glad for the introduction of new conversation, but wasn't too thrilled about the topic. "Busy can't even begin to describe it, Holly," he said. "A couple days ago, a juvenile decided to go on a theft spree, and managed to escape from his arresting officer. For some reason, the underage pixie gave us more difficulty than he should have."
"Doesn't seem too bad," she noted, feeling more comfortable now that this was their topic. "I would have buzzed the kid and threw him in a cell for the night."
Trouble's expression changed into amazement as his eyebrows rose. "I hope you're kidding," he said, almost begging it to be the truth. It was that kind of attitude that had gotten Holly into certain situations before.
"Unfortunately, yes," she replied, smiling. "I'm not that much of a loose-cannon anymore." Holly laced her slim elfin fingers together, and rested her chin on her hands.
The commander relented, relieved that he wasn't going to have to switch into superior-inferior mode with her. "Good. He was still a handful though. Summer break brings in a tidal wave of juvenile activity. You know that."
"That is true," she answered. "If only I were a major, I could do so much more to help ebb that wave." This was jokingly stated, of course. Holly wouldn't play that card against her commanding officer, especially in this situation. Trouble laughed, and stood from the table.
"If only, Captain," he responded mockingly. He handed Holly her sweater, and she took it playfully. Trouble knew this didn't bother her, and that she was actually quite open to teasing. It gave her a chance to argue, which was one of her favorite things, even if she'd never admit it.
"Mmm-kay, Trubs. You keep giving me these surface missions and I'll promise not to complain anymore," she relented, smiling. The exact opposite of what Trouble had expected her to say.
As Holly headed toward the door, Trouble put his jacket on and took a minute to place their bill down on the digipad on their booth. He also took a minute to watch as Holly Short strode to the door, in a rather jovial mood that he'd never really seen from her. It was almost as if Trouble had broken the shell on this tough, headstrong, long and lean female… He was letting his mind wander. Having to convince himself to put away his manly notions and inclinations, he followed Holly out the entrance and into the faux-night sky.
The pair arrived at Holly's flat, located on the outskirts of the main district. The wind slightly picked up, sending Holly's short bob twisting in the breeze. Trouble resisted the urge to push the hair back into place behind her ear.
They stopped at the door, and Holly began searching her pockets wildly.
D'arvit, she thought, I can't find my entry card… I knew this was going to happen.
"What's the matter?" Trouble asked. "Can't find the card?"
The security card, along with a five digit key code, acted as the keys to Holly's apartment. Both were necessary to reassure the security system that she was indeed Holly Short.
"Oh… Actually, no, I have it right here," she answered, eventually finding the card tucked away in the bag hanging off her shoulder. After sliding the card into the slot and entering her five digit code, she glanced up at her date.
The wind seemed to pick up in this moment, sending shivers down her spine. Either that or it was the way Trouble Kelp was looking and grinning at the elf.
Holly hid the anxiety that was creeping upon her. "I had a fun time tonight, Trubs," she said, managing to smile. Even though the food at the bistro was lousy, the wind being almost uncontrollable, and losing the key card, Holly genuinely did have a good time. She enjoyed spending time with the commander, hoping that their relationship could become something else.
"So did I, Holls," Trouble replied, smiling, using her nickname from the Academy and his personal choice for her. Making the movements undetectable, he gradually stepped closer to the female captain.
Holly chuckled, looking out to the surrounding apartments. "It's kind of surprising that we both had the night off, especially with our schedules – "
"Would you mind if I come in?"
Holly didn't say anything for a second, trying to gather her thoughts about what was going to happen. Holly Short was by no means an inexperienced elf, but she wasn't all too sure what could occur in her flat.
"I… Yeah, I mean. Sure," she stammered, "I wouldn't mind at all."
She pushed the door open, pocketing her key card. "Don't mind the clutter, I wasn't really expecting anyone."
Trouble smiled, taking in as much of the apartment that he could see from the doorway. "After you."
Holly returned the smile, entered her flat, and headed her kitchen counter. "I really should clean up a bit. It probably looks like a pair of trolls had a wrestling tournament in here."
"Trust me Holly. This isn't bad at all. I promise," he said. Trouble crossed over to the couch and sat down. "This is quite a roomy flat. It looks smaller from the outside."
"Yeah, I know," she said, taking off the 3 inch heels she had on, and her green cardigan, setting them on the counter. The whole set up of the apartment was an open floor plan. It would have been large enough for a family of four, let alone a single fairy. Holly walked across the living room and took a seat beside Trouble. This man was her coworker, her superior. It was almost impossible to believe that she was sitting beside him, in her apartment, at 2 o'clock in the morning.
"How long have you been at this flat?" Trouble asked, curious to know more about his officer.
Holly shifted on the sofa to face him, unaware of how close she actually was to him. "It's been a while now," she answered, thinking back to when she actually purchased the apartment. It had been a long time. Before her father passed away.
"I see," Trouble nodded, continuing to glance around. He took notice of the picture frames on a side table. "Is this Coral?"
Holly smiled. Trouble had noticed the picture of her mother. Coral Short had been killed during a mission with the LEPmarine unit, which had led Holly to join the LEPrecon. She took the frame from Trouble's hand, preparing herself to answer any question he had to ask her. "Yes, that is the famous Coral Short. People say I look just like her, but I can't quite see the resemblance myself." She laughed, fully aware of how identical she looked to her mother. "I haven't had time to sit down and just... Just look at her photo like this" She was getting emotional, and she knew it. Holly did not want this to happen.
Trouble felt the sadness welling up inside her, and strategically placed a hand on her leg. He was getting too good at this. He shook the thought from his mind.
Holly isn't going to just be one of those girls, he convinced himself. She's special; something about her is special. I am not going to ruin this chance with her. He moved his arm from her leg to around her shoulders.
"Your mother was a great woman, Holly. And you take after her in more than one way. You should be proud of her accomplishments. And I'd say you're more than living up to her expectations."
Or maybe he would ruin this chance. Sweet talking the girl into doing what he wanted was a common tactic he used.
Holly looked down at her lap, placing the digital photo frame back on the table. "I'm sorry. I didn't think I'd get emotional. I wasn't really planning on crying in front of you tonight," she said, wiping a miniscule tear away from her almond shaped eyes.
"I'm sorry too, Holly," Trouble replied, pulling Holly in for a hug. "I'm sorry you lost her. But you're stronger than this." He lifted her chin with his finger. "You're an LEP captain."
Holly smiled. "Thanks Trubs. You know how to cheer a girl up."
There it was. She was learning his strategies, one of the many Trouble had told himself he wasn't going to do tonight.
"Let me also apologize," he began, "For any way I may have treated you recently."
Holly looked puzzled.
"I know that you know, and everyone else at the LEP, about my history of, well…" he looked away from her eyes, desperate to confirm that she was not one, "…of my flings. I really like you Holly, and you deserve to be treated as woman, not as one of the bimbos I've slept with in the past."
Still, Holly was confused. "Trouble, I'm not quite sure – "
"You're more than just that to me, more than I bimbo, I mean, but not a bimbo – "
"Do you always have to interrupt me?"
"You're not a bimbo, and no, I don't, but…"
"Holly, I really think you could be special for me. I want this to go as far as it can go," Trouble finally spit out, now looking Holly straight into her mismatched eyes.
Instead of an answer, even a small, one word response, Holly leaned in and kissed him. Trouble found himself accepting this as an answer, and delved with his captain further back onto the sofa.
Ch. 2 preview: The morning after! Everyone's favorite anti-hero makes his first appearance! Holly makes more witty and sarcastic remarks! Stay tuned! :D