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One-Shot #5 - The Snow

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Nov. 15th, 2006 | 06:19 am

Title: The Snow.
Fandom: Artemis Fowl, Band of Brothers.
Author: Ellie M.
Challenge/Prompt: OMGANGST or insane fluff? Both!
Pairing: Totally implied Gene/Holly.
Genre: Angst, fluff.
Rating: PG.
Word Count: 1,564.

Synopsis: The snow. It was an odd thing, could mean so many different things to so many different people. So many good things. So many bad things.

Author's Notes:

Blame polychromatic for its addicting plotline and beautiful characters. Because, um. Yeah. ♥

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The Snow

The snow.

It was an odd thing, could mean so many different things to so many different people. It held laughter and bright afternoons for the children; it meant lovers entangled by the fireplace; it meant Christmas, holidays and family. It was white, it was pure; the little ones used to think the clouds were raining, and they delighted in such games and dreams.

So many good things.

It held emptiness and despair; it spoke of endless fields, of loneliness and death. It blanketed the world in frost, pierced the good green earth with flakes of needles, bit into men’s hands and feet, stung their eyes and burned their cheeks. It was white, it was pure; it was a misnomer, a distraction that flashed with beauty as it fell, killed as it landed. It covered life, it hid dangers, it stole your breath away.

So many bad things.

* * *

The City was a mystery to many. Did the seasons exist? Was there a spring, a summer, an autumn or winter? Would the leaves dance on the wind, ballgowns shifting from emerald to gold, to bronze to ash? Could the snow touch them here?

Icy wind rattled on the windowpanes, and throughout the flat, the silence was deafening. An odd phrase, that, but true nonetheless; so alone that it would press on ears and accompany the death rattle with its one note solo.

* * *

On one end, she lay in a tangled mess of blankets and memories. Hazel eyes flickered to the misty window, and she could almost imagine it was the Arctic again. Blinding snow, a silence so reminiscent of the one now. No breath for words or jokes. No breath for breathing. Just walking, the crunch of snow underfoot.

It was possibly the only mission she had worked on with him.

Julius. He never liked the snow, the radiation ate at the gel smeared on their faces, he had almost lost his best officer to a train door. She curled her fingers into a fist at the thought; sometimes the scar ached with the ghost of a memory. The rush of wind, the snap, the flash of pain, the dark. Cold reminded her of it, of him. She’d never wanted to do a mission in the snow again, and she never did. The shouting, the lectures, the strategizing and the water he had given her. He actually cared, under all that fire.

The only mission she had ever worked on with him.

She saved his life, vice versa. How many decades had she known him? How many times had she said she hated him only to realize he was the father she never had? The elf turned over in the too-large human bed and let loose a punch to the wall, fist colliding with plaster, teeth grit and eyes squeezed shut. A thin thread of pain wrapped around the fading scar on her finger.

Don’t think about it.

* * *

On one end, he lay in bed, blanket neatly tucked around a mostly-hidden man. Old habits die hard; he had to be sheltered from the elements, from the snow in particular. He had seen the cold take lives just as quickly as any bullet or bayonet. If he closed his eyes, trees would loom into the sky, distant shots rang out, mingled with the desperate cries of help from the wounded and dying. And then there were the lulls in battle, and he would sit, at the base of those great trees, and the silence would rush in to fill the fleeting halt in slaughter.

He kept his eyes open, unseeing of the memories, staring hard at the ceiling.

Now and then, the ghosts of pleading, his comrades, the artillery and the choke of a last breath would weave with the wind. He’d hear it all again, and the silence was almost a welcoming respite. But then he’d be forced to dwell on the thoughts alone, with no sound to distract.

Keep your eyes open.

How many lives had he saved? How many had been lost before he even got to them? How many left the field before he knew what happened to them? The soldier sighed, closing his eyes slowly, willing restless thoughts to still for just one night. Just ignore it, just forget it. Not Bastogne. Never Bastogne, never again, never –

Thud.

* * *

He found her in the sitting room, tiny frame silhouetted in the ghostly light from some streetlamp outside. She stood by the window, and if she turned her head just so – yes. Pointy ears. He had to suppress a shiver at the sight, still unused to it, though the apprehension was unconscious. In slippers he had found under the bed and a jacket, he walked toward her.

She was barefoot, restless as her toes skimmed the carpet, the one hand still curled into the fist. Auburn hair tousled into spikes as she glared out the window. Stop. She wanted the snow to stop. It was annoying, it was cold, fairies hated cold. Just excuses to ignore why she came out in the first place. Why was she thinking of him now, after so long? Blame it on the snow. And so she did.

From behind, he noted that she could almost be a child. He knew well enough not to actually say it, but she did. But the stance was far from any little girl he had ever seen; firm, upright, shoulders slumped just so with the weight of years. The eyes unnerved him, too; where most spoke of years, hers spoke of centuries. It was cold in the sitting room. It was never cold in Louisiana, he never wanted the cold again. Too many...

She jumped when a hand touched her shoulder, and she spun, fluid, like a dancer. Her already curled fist was raised, was flying through the air –

Connected with a palm held up in quick defense. She scowled and looked up, expression vanishing when she saw who it was. In the half-light, it was almost impossible to tell if the elf was surprised or not. The larger hand closed around her fist, enveloping it in warmth, and now it was almost impossible to tell if she was even blushing or not.

“Sorry,” came the murmured apology. A pause, then: “It’s freezin’ out.”

“I didn’t notice,” was her glib reply, even though she knew he was right.

“Your hand’s cold.”

“What are you doing awake?” Avoid the question. Just avoid it.

“Couldn’t sleep. You?” Nice and vague.

“Oddly enough, I’ve the same answer.” D’arvit.

What were they talking about? Why was his hand still holding hers? Why were they even standing in the middle of the sitting room? It was dark, it was cold, it was ridiculously late. And all they could do was dance around simple conversation, though they both knew the other was hiding something. To each his or her own.

All soldiers held secrets.

There was a pause.

“You okay?” he asked.

“Fine,” was the quick reply. “Did I wake you? I’m sorry if I did.”

“That was you, huh? What’d the wall do to you?”

He was loosening his hand, he was going to let go of hers. In the moments before he did, she found herself already missing the comforting warmth. But he didn’t. He was holding her hand to the light, tipping it, eyes narrowed and quick.

“Nothing, I was just... thinking.” Should she remind him that she could heal herself? That there was no bruise to be found? She opened her mouth to add to her words, but he beat her to it.

“I know you’ve got magic,” he said, eyes flickering to hers with just that hint of a smile. “I can’t help it, can I? Let me make sure.”

If it was any other being, below or above the surface, she would have protested.

So why didn’t she?

Another few moments passed in silence. But the silence was different from earlier, held a different note, less heaviness. Comforting, almost, in spite of the cold. It never took this long to check for a bruise that wasn’t even there.

Her hands were so small in his. Callused, fingers slim and quick. He frowned when he caught the trace of an old scar around her forefinger before he recalled what she had told him. She had lost her trigger finger in the field, and yet here it was. If only he could reattach legs the same way. Then maybe it wouldn’t have been so bad.

Then he realized what he was doing.

She blinked when he let go. She flexed her fingers out of habit, then shot a grin up at the medic.

“Thanks, though,” she said. It was an interesting accent. A bit of everything. He tried to pick out the ones he knew, English or French, maybe something European. Was it an excuse to listen to her closely? Just interest. “Are you alright, Gene?”

He smiled sheepishly, rubbing a hand over the back of his neck. “Yeah, I’m fine. I was just thinking.” A memory of their first conversation. He decided to repeat what she did; which was, of course, return her words. “Oddly enough, I’ve got the same answer.”

She laughed, then, and he chuckled quietly at the sound.

The snow and silence were lost to it.

FIN.
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Comments? Crit? Leave 'em here!

*smooch*
-Ellie

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Comments {4}

ange

(no subject)

from: jackalite
date: Nov. 14th, 2006 10:30 pm (UTC)
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*gets on knees, bows*

Awesome beyond words. They're both so perfectly in character, too!

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ange

(no subject)

from: jackalite
date: Nov. 15th, 2006 02:55 am (UTC)
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Oh, by the way! I was bored and made an icon. Yes, an icon.



Text are from the song "Wonderwall" by Oasis.

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(no subject)

from: ellimental
date: Nov. 15th, 2006 08:48 am (UTC)
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OMG SO CUTE SQUEE I DIE.

And also? I already told you, but I want to say it again -- I'm so glad you liked it! Of course, this is the first of... many. Ridiculously many. There shall be more fanfics and fanart and we will both explode with the love. XD

By the way, yes -- this is my main journal. Mind terribly much if I add you to my f-list? ♥

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ange

(no subject)

from: jackalite
date: Nov. 15th, 2006 09:56 pm (UTC)
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I don't doubt it! I got to thinking that I should pick up a prompt at 1sentence for Gene/Holly--unofficially of course; I'm way too lazy to sign up and so on--and see if I can complete it. It should be fun.

I don't mind at all. I added you too. ♥ Beware, though, I have terribly bouts of fangirling!

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