Trouble Kelp smiled to himself. Now was the time. Butler was in the cockpit talking to the captain. He was alone in the back of the ship with the most beautiful human girl he had ever seen. And she was French! That just made her even cuter.
He tried to think of something cool to say, but nothing sounded good. You couldn’t flirt and sound stupid, it just didn’t work. Ooh, wait! That sounded okay.
“Minerva. Minny,” he said while silently rejoicing to himself. “I-”
“Are you flirting with me, elf? If you are, then you don’t know who you’re dealing with. For your information, I like someone, just certainly not you.” Ouch. What a way to start.
“Um, okay. I’ll just…” she shot him a glare and he petered out. “stop…talking.”
She ignored him. That was really cruel. Ow. Were all women so fiesty? He thought about Holly Short, and even Opal Koboi. Yes, they were.
Wait, what was that? Did his heart just skip a beat when he thought about Holly? Ooh. Maybe he should let Minerva go.
As he thought about this, he watched her walk to the cockpit. She was gone for a minute, then came back. She walked right up to him with a haughty look, and right in front of him, turned on her heel, making her hair flick in his face.
Trouble should have been humiliated by this, but he was too preoccupied watching the smooth sheen her hair had. If she weren’t in earshot, he would let out a small love sigh. While he secretly gazed at her from the corner of his eye, that sigh grew bigger inside of him. Finally, it was too much to bear.
Covering his mouth, he ran into the high tech bathroom and slid the door closed behind him. Now that it could be concealed as a sigh of relief, he let it out.
To make the sudden run to the loo seem more realistic, he waited a little bit, then washed his hands at the motion sensor sink, and dried them with the Insta-dry water vaccuum.
Composing himself, he opened the door, and walked back to his seat. As he sat, Minerva snickered.
“Leave a large dump, did we? Or are you just too much in love with me?”
Feeling his cheeks burn, Trouble said, “The former of course. I’ve been having, erm, stomach troubles.” He said this grimacing at how disgusting that sounded.
He didn’t think she bought it, but Minerva nodded. At least she hadn’t humiliated him again. Famous last words. Just then, Butler started to appear from the cockpit. She started talking midsentence as if she had been talking all along.
“….can’t stomach yourself then, Trouble. It’s not a wonder, with all you hair products and cologne to try to impress the ladies. Which doesn’t work, by the way.” She finished talking and gave him a little smirk. That did it. He was head over heels now.
She was so cute when she was smug. The way her glasses slipped a little ways down her nose, the sparkle of her eye, even the slight nod of her head. It was all so impossible not to love.
He tried to retort in a way that would make her like him better,but just as he opened his mouth, she turned away from him, holding her hand out behind her in his face. Youch. That really hurts. He’d NEVER gotten a talk to the hand before. At least it wasn’t a talk to the booty cause the hand’s off duty. Too late for that thought.
“Minerva, I-” he said. She stood up and walked out in front of him, sticking her tiny booty in his face.
Trouble grimaced, and Butler chuckled. Butler? Drat. Someone witnessed that! Trouble thought, “I’m toast. Never gonna have a respectable girlfriend now.” Which of course, wasn’t true, but can you blame him? I mean, sheesh, she is totally shunning him.
Trouble walked to the cockpit, where he was slightly surprised and a little annoyed to find Butler following him. Before he could ask for some peace, Butler said, “Don’t worry about her. She really does like you. Flirting just isn’t her way of doing things.”
“I see,” Trouble said, not really seeing. “What other way is there to get to know a girl?”
“Well, if Minerva is anything like Artemis, you’ll never completely know exactly what card she’ll play. You can try anyways, but usually she has to know you before you know her. Normally, she would look up as much as she could about you before she trusted you, but seeing as you’re not in human records, I think she’s a little irked. She’ll warm to you, though. Don’t worry. You just have to prove yourself worthy.”
Trouble’s expression was becoming more crestfallen by the second. He wanted to know Minerva more than anything. Now this mud man was telling him he couldn’t. He would give up anything for her. Heck, he might even give up his LEP position of commander. Maybe he would. Yes, after this job was finished, he would resign. Temporarily. The pull of LEP was just too strong.
Minerva was enjoying herself. She was making the adorable muscular fairy man think that she hated him, when in reality, she practically worshipped him. Already he was head over heels for her and she was in the same state for him. She just couldn’t admit it with other people on the ship. It could be recorded or something. She would wait until it was private.
Just then, the ship docked. They were now underground. She would soon have her time. The humans unboarded the fairy shuttle along with the two other fairy occupants, Trouble and the pilot.
The pilot walked over to record the information from the flight in his computer, and Trouble led their threesome to the technical booth. Inside the technical booth, Artemis was sitting massaging his temples, trying to get used to the fact that Opal was on the loose again. With two of her to take care of.
When the three walked into the room, he looked up and his expression brightened slightly. “You’re okay, Butler. I… I thought Opal kidnapped you? How did you escape?”
“Let’s just say I had a long climb. Maybe I’ll tell you the story some other time, but right now, I believe we have a crisis.”
“Ah, yes. To business, then. Opal Koboi is on the loose again. It’s not just her, though. Her past self broke her out of prison, and now they’re working together for double trouble. However, half of our LEP officers have called in sick today. Holly went to go find some of them, but she isn’t back yet. Oh, nevermind. Hello Holly.”
They group turned to face the door and saw Holly standing there with the entirety of the missing LEP officers.
“You’re good, Holly. Just thought you should know,” Foaly said.
Holly smiled. “These mangrels were apparently having a party. I checked all their homes, and when none of them were there, I looked for any invitations sent over the web. Sure enough, I found some party invitations. I just crashed their party, but I told them what a predicament we’re in, and they came right along.”
“Alright, but now we need to deal with this predicament. You go next door and help Artemis into an LEP outfit. We need all the help we can get. Trouble, you help Minerva,” Foaly said.
“Woah, woah, woah. I’m supposed to be the brains, not the weapon bearer. You have no idea how bad my aim is,” Artemis complained.
“About as bad as an average twelve year old who has never seen any kind of weapon. We know. You should have practiced when I taught you, but there’s nothing for it now. You’re not horrible, just not very good either. Just deal with it,” Butler said.
“Okay, okay. I get it. Let’s go,” he said slightly downcast.
“Hey, Arty, don’t sweat it. You’ll be fine,” Holly told him.
Yeah, like I’m ever just fine, he thought. Oh, well.
Holly went over to the rack and pulled off a suit in Artemis’s size. “I can look away if you want,” she said as he looked at the one piece.
“Oh, no, no. It’s okay,” he said. He was kind of looking forward to this after what had happened in her apartment.
“Okay, I get it. I’ll just look at your face then,”she said stepping closer to him. They leaned in for a kiss.
Over in the adjoining room, similar things were happening with Trouble and Minerva.
“Trouble,” she said when she was certain they were alone. “Everything I said and did in the shuttle….It was all a coverup. I just didn’t want to show my true feelings to Butler. I’m sorry. I guess I just, well I don’t know, I mean,” she said, but Trouble cut her off with an understanding look and started leaning into his kiss.
In the technical booth, Foaly decided that the humans were taking too long to put on uniforms. He lowered the walls between the two rooms so he could talk to both groups at once, and found an interesting sight. Both groups were kissing. This was funny. Stifling back a giggle, he pulled out a remote for this room. This was also the perfect opportunity to test the new shifting tiles that you don’t even feel moving you out.
He pressed a button, and switched the place of Holly and Minerva, since both of them were standing in the exact center of tiles. Neither of them seemed to notice, and the switch was so fast that the males nor females noticed the switch. Both groups completed their kiss. With the wrong person.
When Artemis found himself kissing different lips than the perfect ones of Holly, he stepped back, opening his eyes. Whoever the other person was did the same when he pulled back. Minerva and Artemis stared at each other in horror as Trouble and Holly did the same. The men saw that Foaly was standing in the doorway and figured out the obvious, but the women did not.
“What did you do, you elf?” Minerva screamed at Holly.
“What did I do? What did I do? I think what you mean to ask is what did you do! Stealing my boyfriend, and trying to shove me with this toad!” she yelled, gesturing towards Trouble. “I can hardly go on a mission with you, you filthy little mud whelp!”
“Well, excuuuuuse me if I have no idea what is going on either! I didn’t do any of this! You probably set the whole thing up!”
Just then, Holly saw that Artemis had a small smile. She stopped smiling and turned on him. “YOU?! I loved you Artemis, I thought you felt the same, now you’re standing here grinning like it was all your plan! It was, actually. It’s obvious! I hate you!!! HATE YOU, DA’RVIT!!!!!!”
Artemis realized his mistake and started shaking his head. This wasn’t right. He had just fallen in love with Holly earlier that day. Not officially. Officially it was long ago, but still. Now it was already falling apart. Then he realized what Holly was saying.
“OH, SO YOU HATE ME, DO YOU? MAYBE YOU SHOULD BE HATING FOALY!!! THIS ISN’T MY FAULT, DAG’NABBIT!!!! DON’T YOU SEE HIM STANDING THERE WITH HIS STUPID REMOTE?THIS IS OBVIOUSLY ONE OF HIS TRICKS!!! I HATE YOU!!!!!!!!!!” he screamed and shouldered past Foaly, and Butler who had come when the yelling started.
Outside, he ran to the nearest empty room, sat down in a corner and cried. He had just completely ruined a perfectly good relationship with his temper. Why did he have to act up so much? It wasn’t that big of a deal. Why, why, why?
Artemis heard muffled shouting and angry stomping footsteps in the hallway. Suddenly, the door opened. He looked up to see Holly’s crying angry face storm into the room, then lay eyes on him. When she found that her favorite spot to be alone was occupied by this mud thing, she gave him such a cold glare, that it could have shattered glass. Artemis was heartbroken.
As she stormed from the room, Artemis tried to stop her. “Holly, wait. I’m sorry. Really. I didn’t know what was going on. Please.”
“Sorry? You’re SORRY? Well, I’m sorry, but SORRY DOESN’T CUT IT!!” She continued on her way out of the room and slammed the door behind her. Artemis buried his face in his knees and cried.