Note: Five drabbles, for your reading entertainment. Mind, these are ACTUAL drabbles (meaning, exactly one-hundred words each). It sort of bugs me (kind of a lot) when people use the word "drabble" to lable any old short bit of fiction. A drabble is a very specific thing. ANYway... /endrant


1.|

"Your bodyguard?"

A stupid question. Whatever else would he be?

But, Artemis turns nonetheless – one of those looks, where his lips twitch and his eyes spark – and when he speaks, he purrs, "No…" sarcastic – but not quite so sarcastic, Butler thinks, as he might have been, "he's my gigolo."

Butler prides himself on stoic indifference.

Their host, contrarily, fares less well: coughing, sputtering, blushing, and rendered otherwise completely inarticulate.

Artemis dons an icy sneer. "Of course he's my bodyguard, you blubbering imbecile. Now, will you let us in, or shall I have him demonstrate his prowess?"

Wordlessly, the door opens.


2.|

"Was that completely necessary?"

Artemis slides his suit jacket from his shoulders, tossing it haplessly on the nearest bed and shrugging. "Entertainment rarely is. Why?" He turns, hands at his tie. "Did you find it unsettling?"

Long fingers disappear inside the silk knot at Artemis's throat – loosening it, tugging it free.

Butler frowns. "It's—people might get the wrong impression, that's all."

"Oh? What…" Artemis approaches, "…that I'm actually sleeping with you?" His hands lift, catching Butler's tie.

"Artemis-"

"A twenty-something billionaire bedding his fifty-year-old guard," Artemis muses. "You're right, that would be indecorous…but then, who would believe it?"


3.|

"Honestly, it would never work…" insists Artemis, sliding his rook up three spaces, and Butler frowns at his imperiled queen, as if it his incompetency were her doing. Why he ever concedes to playing Artemis at this is a mystery; subliminal masochism, perhaps. "You're far too moral…and sexually repressed-"

Butler fumbles his piece mid-move.

"-you'd never allow it…even if you were attracted to men. And…" Artemis marches his knight forward, "…checkmate."

Butler reclines in his chair, too old for this. "Next time," he grunts, "we should have a shooting match…"

"Fair enough," is not the reply he expected.


4.|

After an hour, Artemis can sometimes hit the target, and Butler feels better about his incompetence at chess.

After two hours, Artemis is flushed and frustrated, and in a moment of weakness, Butler caves and comes up behind him – steadying his hand, re-angling his hips and shoulders, and straightening his aim. He talks about angles of trajectory, arch-over-distance, and the importance of favoring the right eye, and he doesn't comment when Artemis leans slightly closer than is completely necessary.

When Artemis voices an appreciation for Butler's impressive artillery, Butler gets the sense that he's not talking about metal and bullets.


5.|

"-you? You don't even-"

"Oh, I know what love is," Artemis snarls, and Butler's hand stills, poised to knock, "…and I wouldn't wish it on anyone."

"Then…you are only experiencing half of the equation."

"Half?" scoffs Artemis. "And some bear the full brunt?"

"When steering an aircraft, Artemis," Minerva sighs, "the pilot and plane are interdependent. Without one or the other, the lone body is dashed upon the rocks."

"Then perhaps," Artemis grumbles, "it would be wiser to remain grounded."

"Oh, oui!" she cries. "Because everyone knows, when and with whom we fall in love are matters of wisdom…"


A/N: I may add another five in a seperate chapter - eventually - to finish off this set, but possibly not. Meaning: if you liked it, keep an eye out; if not, tootles to you.

Have a nice day? :)