Okay, I know this was already up on FF, sorry. But anyhow, now it’s here too! 😀
Chapter 2- Bonding… and Babies?
Over the next few months, Artemis and Holly’s newfound relationship progressed extremely. Both of them grew more and more comfortable with the other. They spent more time together, bonding, and strengthening their relationship, their trust of the other… their love.
It continued to grow, until, unlike in the beginning, things became less fun, and more serious. That was okay, though; they were ready for it, and they both knew they were. This was the way it was meant to be, that they were meant to be.
Late one night, Artemis and Holly were upstairs together, alone in his rooms. The elf was staying for the week, having got a visa from Foaly and a short break from her commander. Kelp hadn’t originally intended to send her aboveground for it, but when she asked, he sighed at her and told her that she could go if she really wanted to, but she had to promise to be careful and be back by midnight at the end of the week. Then he sent her to Foaly for a visa.
Now, Artemis was sitting in his computer chair, reclined back and reading a book. Holly was in the adjoining bathroom, taking a shower. He tried not to think too much about that, considering everything… it caused his mind to wander into strange territory, and that wasn’t good, because Frond knew what Holly would do to him if she knew what he was thinking. But again, that was the purpose of the book- to keep his mind busy. Or, at least, some of it…
Curse my multitasking mind, Artemis thought, snapping the book shut and sighing.
Just then, the bathroom door opened, and Holly’s head poked out. “Arty?” she called softly.
“I’m here, darling,” Artemis answered, sitting up in his chair and stretching. Holly smiled slightly as she watched him. She liked it, for some reason, watching him stretch. He arched his back, almost like a cat, and pushed his chest out. It was really a sight to see, considering the man had next to-no-muscles, yet the ones he had were clearly visible when he did that. “Do you feel better?” he asked, after he finished.
She walked over and curled up in his lap, and he sighed, wrapping his arms around her. “Yes,” she admitted finally. “I do. Especially now that I’m here with you.”
He chuckled. “That’ s nice,” he murmured, leaning down to kiss her briefly, then pulling away again. “Ready for bed?”
“Are you coming with me?”
“Yes, of course.” He slid his arms under her, lifting her off his lap and standing up himself. Then he walked over and dumped her on the bed, climbing in next to her. He rolled over and started to wrap his arms around her, pulling her closer, but she resisted.
He frowned, looking at her. “What are you doing? I thought you were tired.”
“I am… sort of. But I don’t want to go to sleep just yet,” she answered. “I’m not that tired.”
“Oh. Well, what do you want to do then?”
She smiled at him, rolling over to where she was laying on top of him. Putting her hands on either side of his head, she propped herself up over him and said, “hmm, I don’t know. Let me think about it for a minute….” Then she leaned down and kissed him deeply.
Her tongue invaded his mouth, battling with his own for possession. They fought for a while, until he finally sighed into her mouth and gave in. She smiled triumphantly against him, sliding her hands up his shirt and around to his back, pulling her closer. Breaking the kiss, he rolled with her, so he was on top, and she was pinned beneath him.
“We can’t do this,” he said breathlessly.
“Why?” she whined. “Come on, Arty. Don’t you think we’ve come far enough to-”
“I’m not worried about our status as a couple,” he interrupted. “That’s not an issue. I know everything is solid there. However, neither of us are protected, and you’re fertile now, Holly. It’s too much of a risk. I love you, and any other day if you said you wanted us to try this, I would agree, but if something happens….” he trailed off. The statement was not finished, but it didn’t have to be for her to understand what he was saying.
“Artemis, I know what you’re worried about, but I don’t think that’s even possible. I mean, look at Turnball and Lenor. They were together for how many years, and they never had kids. And we know that they were serious.”
“They probably were smart about it, then. It means nothing, Holly, what happens to others. We are us, and you know how bad our luck is.”
She stared at him. “Seriously, Artemis. Would it really be so bad, even if I did get pregnant? Isn’t that what you want?”
“Yes, of course it is. However, I don’t right now. In the future, I would be thrilled, but neither of us are really fit to be parents right now. It would be much easier to just not take the risk, and wait.”
Holly sighed, deflating. “Okay, fine. You’re right. I’m not. You win.”
She pulled out from under him, moving to roll over on the other side of the king-sized bed, where she laid there on her side, her back to him. He watched her and sighed, recognizing the dejected tone in her voice. He honestly didn’t mean to hurt her feelings, but it was the truth. He sighed again. I always did tend to go too far to prove a point… he thought.
Artemis crawled over to her, looking down at her face. She had closed her eyes, and although she opened them again when she felt him looking at her, she closed them again just as quickly.
He laid down beside her again, nuzzling his face into the soft skin of her neck. “Holls, come on,” he implored softly. “I wasn’t-”
“Forget it, okay, Artemis? I’m fine. And you were right; as always. I thought you would be happy that I gave in. That’ s what you were trying for, weren’t you?”
“No! Well,” he amended, “yes, but I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings. I was just trying to stress the point, to make sure I got it across. It really wouldn’t be safe.”
“You didn’t hurt my feelings. I understand. And you got what you wanted- I’m done; I won’t try again. It’s over. Now can I go to sleep?”
“No.” He grabbed her arm and pulled her around, so she was facing him. “Come on, Holly. You’re not being fair, and you know it.”
Holly opened her eyes to glare at her human counterpart. “How am I not being fair? Huh? I stopped trying to get you to do what you obviously don’t want to do, and now I’m trying to do what you originally wanted me to do, and you won’t let me!” She closed her eyes again and rolled onto her back, then stared up at the ceiling. “Why don’t you just tell me what I’m supposed to do, then?” she whispered, her voice cracking, “since I obviously can’t do anything on my own that will make you happy.”
“Holly,” Artemis chided gently. “You know that’s not true. Please, you’re being unreasonable. You know I love you. And just being with you makes me happy.” He paused, taking one of her hands. “And it’s like I said: any other time, if you wanted to do this, I would gladly submit. But not now, okay? Not while you’re fertile. It’s not worth the risk, trust me.”
She just nodded, and finally allowed herself to be pulled over, back into his embrace. He sighed, squeezing the sniffling elf tightly. He knew she was still upset, and he wanted to make her feel better, but he knew he couldn’t without giving in. And he couldn’t give in, even if the temptation was burning him like fire in his veins.
He laid his head down and was going to try to get some sleep, when something wet landed on his collarbone. He froze, realizing Holly was still laying in his arms, sniffling. Is she….? he wondered. No. Then he looked down at her sighed. She is crying. I knew it…
“Hey, Holls, what’s wrong?” he asked, gently pushing her away so he could bend down and look at her face. She tried to turn her head away, but his hand caught her jaw. “Major. Talk to me.”
“Nothing!” she shouted at him. “I’m fine! And I’m not crying! Now stop!”
“I never asked if you were crying,” Artemis pointed out. She growled, turning away and wiping her eyes with the backs of her hands.
“Well, I’m not. Now leave me alone.”
Artemis closed his eyes, sighing again. Is she going to be like this all night? he wondered inwardly. Then he sighed. Of course she is. Unless…. No, I can’t. It’s too dangerous. Then he looked at her again. I suppose she’s right. There’s probably a one in a billion chance that something will happen if we do it. Or maybe one in a thousand, since she’s fertile now… Still, is it worth the risk? He opened his eyes. If it makes her happy, it is. If something happens, we’ll deal with it. In the meantime, she’s hurt and upset, all because of me… “Holly,” he whispered.
“What?” she snapped, rolling over slightly to glare at him again.
He didn’t answer, instead grabbing her arms and rolling her completely over to face him. Then he jerked her up, pulling her to him, and crushed his lips against hers.
She tried to protest, and pull away, but he held her fast, quickly lowering her down on the bed and pinning her there with his weight, and then grabbing her hands and holding them, together, above her head, effectively holding her there. Then he broke the kiss and leaned down to plant little kisses down her jaw. She breathed lightly for a minute, and then asked, “what are you doing?”
“Isn’t it obvious?” he growled. “I’m getting ready to ravish you, of course.”
Her breathing hitched as he moved down and started kissing down her neck, pausing at the collar of her button-down pajama top. He growled softly and nipped at the button experimentally, then frowned and reached down to undo it himself. Watching this, it took Holly a minute to regain her bearings.
“I thought you said we couldn’t do that. It’s not safe.”
Artemis’s hand stilled, and he looked up at her. “Do you want this, Holly?”
“Then we’ll do it,” he interrupted. “I thought about it… and you do have a point. It is highly unlikely that something will happen, and if it does, we’ll deal with it. Okay? So don’t stress, and I won’t either. Let’s just do it and enjoy it while it lasts.”
Holly beamed, and even Artemis had to smile a little bit. He loved watching her face light up like that. “Really?”
She laid back and closed her eyes. “Okay. Thank you, Arty.”
“Mm,” he murmured. “Yes, yes. If it had been anybody else, I wouldn’t have went back on my word. But it was you…” He sighed. “You’re just lucky I love you so much.”
Holly smiled at him again. “Yeah. Yeah, I am.”
3 months later:
“Artemis! Artemis! Let me in!” came a voice from outside the window.
He looked to see Holly floating outside the window, beating hard on the glass. She looked scared.
“Hello, Holly,” he greeted softly, walking over and opening the window. “What are you-”
He was cut off as the elf threw herself in the window at him, sobbing. She clung to him for dear life. She didn’t even take her wings off; they were still on and attached to her back, and the window was still open. He was surprised, but caught her nevertheless.
He shushed her and gently pried her off of him, setting her down on the bed and walking over to close the window and lock it again. She whimpered, shaking, and curled up into a ball on his bed. She still hadn’t taken her wings off, so he walked over and slid them off her shoulders himself. Shutting them down, he dropped them on the floor and sat down beside her.
“Holls, you don’t look good. What’s wrong?” he asked, concerned.
“I have to tell you,” she whimpered. “But I don’t want to. You’ll be mad at me.”
Now he was scared. What could happen to make Holly like this? Nothing he could think of, especially nothing that he would be mad at her for. “Holly. What on Earth are you talking about?” She didn’t answer. “Holly, I am serious. Tell me.”
Holly nodded, crawling up into his lap and muttering to herself. “Please, Artemis, promise me you won’t be mad,” she whispered to him.
Artemis grabbed her by the shoulders and pulled her closer, squeezing her gently. “I promise I won’t get mad at you, Holly,” he promised. “Now, please, just tell me.”
“Okay…” She leaned up and whispered in his ear, the last words he expected to hear.
“Artemis… I’m pregnant.”