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Before I Sleep

Artemis was in bed early for some unknown reason he just didn't feel like being the "big brother" figure today with the twins. He had sneaked away after diner had concluded and locked himself in his bedroom just staring at the ceiling trying to pinpoint exactly what his feelings where. It was as he concluded later a mixture of sadness, loneliness and surprisingly anger towards himself.

Himself how interesting this would have to delve further into when he felt up to it. Artemis had no idea how long he had laid there staring at the ornate celling above his 4 poster bed. He soon reasoned only about an hour had past when he heard a soft knock at the door.

Artemis are you there is everything okay came the hushed whisper from the bodyguard that had saved Artemis numerous times through no only time but through death itself. Coming back to the boy after he had been shot dead by Arno Blunt all those years previous.

"You can come in butler I am fully dressed"' butler entered hesitantly his young charge seemed to lack that certain spark that made him who he was. How made Artemis fowl the genius he was. Butler took 6 quick strides to make up the distance to the bed eyeing his charge with a quizzical look. Even though Artemis Knew this look he still thought Butler might be constipated. "Yes old friend?" Artemis looked up waiting for a response however butler just knelt down beside his charge letting out a small groan. "Artemis what's wrong I know when something is gnawing at you" Butler had only guessed this and was trying to see if it would make the boy open up. In less than a minute Artemis had turned over and said a simple clipped sentence " I don't know" then promptly rolled over and cried.

Butler let this proceed for a minute then rolled the boy over gingerly. Giving a warm hearted "tell me everything look" which if you knew butler this defiantly did not look natural on his face. But it achieved the desired affect making the boy sit up and look butler dead in the eyes and try to explain what he thought he was feeling..

After a brief consultation with the memories in his head butler stated that Artemis might be lonely after all he was 18 technically. He should really find himself someone to date relax and live a little with.

Or live with me thought the guard even though he knew Artemis would never even consider it. He was interested in holly and the guard was twice his age anyway it would all be based on sex and not much else.

Butler Decided to trundle out of the room and leave the boy with his thoughts which he looked deep in and all Butler wanted was for him to know what Butler really thought of his employer. As he reached for the handle a muffled voice wafted from behind him a voice that was layered with sadness regret and surprisingly fear. "Butler before I sleep can I tell you something? "Butler turned and wanted to shout anything, anything he remained restrained and said "okay…".

"Butler I Love You."

Butler was taken aback from this remark and just stared at Artemis

"You were staring."

He said nothing.

"Any particular reason why?" he pressed. When Butler didn't answer Artemis huffed and narrowed his eyes, straightening as he lifted his chin. "I don't know how it is on where your from old friend, but where I come from staring is considered rude. Some people can even be killed over something as innocent as glancing a certain person's direction,"

Butler raised an eyebrow, amused. "Not that I'm going to have you killed—that would be absurd. I'm sure you'd take them out before they reached for their weapons anyway, so that would be kind of a little bit pointless. Anyway, I'd like to know just what what I have said has you so intrigued, if you wouldn't mind telling. I can't very well go throughout the =house with a pair of eyes following me everywhere, now can I, hm"

Butlers stare widened it wasn't that he didn't love his employer he did but it was forbidden Madam Ko would have a heart attack if she ever knew. "Protect the principal" defiantly not love the principal butler knew he was a fool. He had to draw a line and quick.

"Master Artemis I'm Sorry but this can never work I simply don't love you" even thought clearly a lie Artemis took this in a disconcerting way with a terse "I see" and slumped back into the bed crying his heart out to the pillow. He was destroyed with a simple set of words he had caused the pain to his principal trying to protect him now he was the treat.

Buyler reached down and grabbed Artemis's head in both hands and captured his lips firmly under his own, effectively silencing him. There was a small deferral where he made some kind of noise that was a cross between a hum and a whimper, but Butler was pleased when Artemis returned the kiss rather than pushed him away, he didn't have to worry. Artemis's mouth was pliant and responsive, giving just as much as he received.

Alas, they had to stop before he got too carried away.

Despite his reluctance, he pushed the smaller boy away and rested his head on his shoulders "Thought you'd never shut up." he grumbled blithely, each word brushing his lips over Artemis's temple. "But I think Its time to sleep I will stay with you until you go to sleep and we will discuss this in the morning".

Rolling Into bed Artemis's heart lifted when butler climbed in after him and laid there while the boy tried in vain to sleep, soon sleep would claim the young master and would fill his dreams with nightmares.

An hour later Artemis awoke with a start scared awake from a dead bodyguard on a rope or something of that nature it was hard to tell with the nightmares evaporating from memory and disappearing into the either from where they came. Butler was still there asleep with him in bed looking at him through a squint of sleeping eyes asking if everything was okay. " It is old friend, now that you're here" rolling over and spooning with the older man again.

"Don' worry. M'here. Won' let an'thin' bad happen t'you," Butler slurred, obviously not really awake. It was a testimony of his exhaustion that he didn't fully wake up when Artemis did, because usually Butler was able to wake up lucid even at the worst of times.

"Before I sleep Butler promise you won't leave me" and with that sentence sleep claimed the young man again

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