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to catch a thief (Heist Society, Kat/Hale, 705 words)

Kat stood at the edge of the ballroom, a champagne flute dangling from her finger tips. She watched the throng of people dancing in front of her, mentally assessing the value of the jewelry that hung so carelessly from their necks and ears, trying her best to pretend to be someone that didn't pick out marks when on a date with her boyfriend.

It was the only thing Kat couldn't pretend to be.

"Having fun?" Hale's voice whispered in her ear, his arm going around her waist and pulling her into his side. He snagged the champagne flute from her hand and drank deeply, before setting the empty flute on a passing waiter's tray. He nodded his head towards a woman dressed in blue and dripping with diamonds. "If you're picking out people to steal from, start with Lucinda Barnsworth. She once tried to send me to bed without supper at a dinner party at my grandfather's."

Kat tipped her head back to look up at him, amusement dancing in her eyes. "Hold a grudge, do you?"

"Of course," Hale said, dropping a kiss at the corner of her mouth. He hovered there, his lips brushing against hers as he spoke. "Want to get out of here?"

Kat gave a sigh of sheer relief. "Yes," she said, feelingly. "I thought you'd never ask."

Hale's mouth turned up in a lopsided grin and he kissed her again, just a beat too long for the time and the place.

Kat found she didn't mind at all.

He took her hand in his and led her from the ballroom, but instead of turning right towards the doors and blessed freedom, he went left, deeper into the house.

"Where are we going?" Kat hissed, tugging on his hand.

Hale tightened his grip on her fingers and said without looking back over his shoulder, "You'll see."

Without seeing a way to avoid whatever it was Hale had planned, Kat let him have his own way. He led her down one hallway and then took a right and down another. He led her up a flight of stairs and down another hall, until without any warning at all, he opened a door and pulled her into an empty room, shutting the door firmly at her back.

Kat blinked and surveyed her surroundings. It was a den or a study, with an unlit fireplace and a wall full of shelves filled with leather bound books. A massive desk stood to one side, and there were chairs artfully arranged before the fireplace. It looked like this room was actually used, like it had purpose beyond simply adding to the room total of the mansion.

"Okay," she said, turning slowly in a circle as she finished her assessment. "So what are we doing here, Hale?"

He rolled his eyes and made a noise that Kat knew was one of frustration, but that was all the warning she got before his mouth found his way to hers once more.

He kissed her and she kissed him back without thinking, because it was Hale and for all the things he did extremely well, kissing was on the very top of the list and Kat still regretted how long it had taken her to figure that out. He tasted like champagne against her tongue, and she trembled, just a little, when his hands skimmed over the sides of the dress that he'd picked out for her.

"For a bright girl," he said, as he kissed his way down her neck, "you can be pretty slow sometimes."

Kat bit back a laugh, but she couldn't stop it from becoming something more like a moan when he reached the spot where her neck became her shoulder that Hale knew made her lose her mind.

Her hands tangled in his hair and she tugged his face back up to hers. "Hale?" she said.

He grinned at her, the dishevelment only serving to make him even more attractive and if she didn't want him so much she'd hate him for it. "Yeah?"

"Shut up."

And with that, Kat kissed him.

Hale shut up.


the fear you won't fall (L'Engleverse, Vicky/Adam, 820 words)

The words come when Vicky least expects them, when she's past the hope of ever hearing them or of being able to offer them in return. They've been on the tip of her tongue more times than she can count in the four years that she's known Adam -- that's she loved Adam -- but even though he's always demanded nothing but her whole self, as thought it was his by divine right, Vicky's always been careful to keep that part back, too afraid to offer what Adam can't -- or won't -- give.

She loves Adam. She has always loved Adam. She will always love Adam.

How Vicky feels has never been in question. How Adam feels has never been anything but.

It is late summer, just weeks before they will part again. Adam, back to Duke, and her, back to Oberlin. The miles that separate them can be counted in the hundreds now instead of the thousands, but sometimes Vicky thinks they have never been further apart.

But the distance is for later, and for now, Vicky is glad to be sitting at his side in Aunt Serena's parlor. His arm drapes over her shoulders -- or really, against the back of the cramped sofa that Aunt Serena had not so subtly nudged them towards. Vicky knows that Aunt Serena would like nothing better than for things to be official between them. Vicky would like nothing better herself, but knows that she lacks the courage to take that step herself. Not without knowing that Adam will be waiting for her on the other side.

"Vicky?"

Adam's voice jolts her back to her senses, and Vicky feels her cheeks go hot. "I'm sorry," she says. "What were you asking?"

Aunt Serena smiles indulgently. "I was asking if you and Adam would like to take a walk in the garden before he drives you home. They're lovely this time of the evening, nice and cool."

Vicky looks up at Adam's face, trying to ascertain his reaction to this latest matchmaking scheme. He smiles back at her, with the light that she loves so much in his eyes, and that is all the answer she needs.

"I'd love to," Vicky says.

Adam stands and holds out a hand to help her to her feet. He doesn't relinquish it like Vicky expects, but keeps it held warmly in his own as he leads her through the house and out into the garden.

"Oh," Vicky breathes, stopping dead in her tracks to admire how beautiful it all is. Aunt Serena was right, only lovely seems like such an inadequate word for the riot of color that's in front of her.

"I know," Adam says. He tugs on her hand. "Come on."

They meander down the gravel path, hand in hand. Neither of them speaks; neither of them needs to.

Eventually they settle on a stone bench, and Adam's arm goes back around her shoulders. Vicky leans into him -- not so much that it's obvious that she's doing it, but enough that she can feel him pressed up against her side. There's warmth everywhere they touch, and to Vicky, nothing has ever felt better.

Adam's voice breaks the spell once more. "I'll miss this," he says. He turns his head to look at her, his spare hand coming to her chin to tilt her face up towards his. "I'll miss you."

Her breath catches in her chest. "Adam," she says, intending to say more, but the words won't come and his name is left alone, adrift in the night air.

His thumb strokes along her cheek. "I will," he insists. "Won't you miss me?"

Vicky looks away. "Of course I will."

It is the truth. It is an incomplete truth.

"Vicky," Adam says, her name a command on his lips. "Look at me."

She does. She doesn't know what she sees.

His eyes are lit from within, and he's smiling, but there's something else in his expression, too. Something she doesn't recognize, that she doesn't know.

"I love you," he says, and she stops breathing entirely.

She's waited for so long to hear those words, had given up hope of them ever coming. And now he's said them and he's looking at her like he expects to hear them said back to him, and Vicky remembers that she hasn't said anything at all.

"I love you, too," she manages, half laughing, half crying. "Of course, I love you."

Adam laughs a little, too, and then he kisses her, there in Aunt Serena's gardens. He kisses her and Vicky knows that this will be something that will last forever.

The sun sets.


domestic bliss (Pink Carnation, Miles/Henrietta, 348 words)

Miles found Henrietta in the library. She was curled up like a cat in a chair before the fire, and she was concentrating so hard on the book in her hands that Miles was actually able to sneak up behind her and had to resort to clearly his throat quite loudly -- more than once -- in order to get her to notice that he was there.

She tipped her head back, exposing the creamy line of her throat and the tops of her breasts to his view, and though Miles tried manfully not to let them be the only things he noticed -- well, he failed quite spectacularly.

"Miles," Henrietta said, with an annoyed emphasis that he knew meant that she had tried to get his attention more than once.

"Hello, my love," he said, leaning over the back of the chair to kiss her. "Did you have a nice day?"

She tried to frown at him as he pulled the opposite chair close enough that he could take her hand in his, but her lips turned up in a fond smile anyway. "You didn't hear a word I said, did you?"

"I know there is a right answer to that question," Miles evaded, possessing himself of her hand and toying with her fingers. "I know that there is a wrong answer, and one that is true and one that is a lie. Which would you prefer?"

Henrietta heaved an exasperated sigh, and Miles gaze dropped to her breasts once more. Really, he loved the current fashions. He hoped they never changed.

"Miles," Henrietta said again, but this time with barely repressed laughter in her voice and in her eyes. "What on earth am I going to do with you?"

Miles grinned and tugged on their joined hands until Henrietta was settled firmly in his lap. "If you need suggestions," he began.

"I don't," Henrietta assured him.

It was the last either of them said for quite some time.


do you remember (L'Engleverse, Dave/Suzy, 518 words)

Dave doesn't recognize her.

She's just the new blonde intern, the one the nurses rave about and the doctors praise when they think no one is listening. He sees her from a distance, fleeting glances of harried loveliness, but he doesn't connect those images with those of an annoying, precocious twelve year old girl and a time in his life when genies and magic lamps were real. There's no logical reason that he ever would.

Except that she is that girl and he was that boy and Dave's dumbstruck when they come face to face and he sees that it's her.

"Suzy," he says, breathing her name like it's a question though there are few things in his life he's known with more certainty.

She smiles, and it's like fifteen years haven't passed. "Hello, Dave," she says, holding out her hand. "I'd heard a rumor you were wandering around her somewhere."

He shakes her hand automatically, still too stuck on the sight of her there, in front of him, to really hear what she's said. When the words finally penetrate, he frowns. "You knew I was working here, too, and you didn't try to say hello?"

Suzy's cheeks go pink, and she looks twelve again, caught doing something she wasn't supposed to.

It makes him want to kiss her, badly. Dave pushes the feeling aside and listens to her answer instead.

"Well," she says, looking down at her ugly white shoes and her hands twisting nervously in the fabric of her scrubs, "I wasn't sure you'd want to see me, really." She looks up at him through her lashes, with the unconsciously come-hither eyes that she's always had. "When we were younger -- I was the most dreadful pest."

"You weren't," he denies, the words coming automatically even though there's truth to what she said. "Of course, I'd want to see you."

She laughs then, only it's not the dainty, tingling laugh that he remembers from days gone by, but a real laugh, a laugh with depth, and weight, and he wants to kiss her more than he wants to draw his next breath.

He settles for inviting her for coffee instead. "Listen," he starts, trying to hide the nervousness he feels, "what time are you off?"

She looks down at her watch and then back up at his face. "That would be now."

"Want to get some coffee? I should warn you -- I'm not going to take no for an answer."

A smile blooms across her face. "With an invitation like that, how could I possibly refuse?" She tugs at her scrub top. "Wait for me to change?"

Dave nods, and off she goes down the hall. He watches her walk away. He knows he will watch her come back.

Wait for her to change, she'd asked. Somehow, Dave knows that he would wait forever.


but the night is young (Heist Society, Kat/Hale, 429 words)

"I'm kidnapping you," Hale said.

Kat blinked. She looked back over her shoulder to where Hale stood in the doorway of Uncle Eddie's kitchen. "You're kidnapping me?" she repeated, arching her eyebrows quizzically. "Is that really something you announce beforehand?"

Hale laughed, the careless, confident one that never failed to send a shiver down Kat's spine. He took the three steps to reach the table, pressing a kiss to the top of her head before dropping down into the wooden chair next to hers. He took her hand in his, prying the pencil from her fingers and twining them around his own. "When it's you?" he asked. "Yes."

She made a face at him. "What, I'm not an ideal kidnapping victim? What is the ideal kidnapping victim anyway?"

"One that wouldn't kick Marcus the entire way into the car," he said, making a face right back. "He's not getting any younger, Kat. You don't want to be responsible for being the one to break him, do you, Kat?"

"I hate you," she said.

Hale just smiled. He stood and pulled her to her feet. "Come on," he said, not bothering to acknowledge her last comment. "We're burning daylight."

"It's night," Kat pointed out as she was led out of the brownstone and into Hale's waiting town car.

Hale laughed again. Kat resisted the urge to punch him.

Barely.

*

An hour later when they were safely ensconced in the Upper East Side apartment that Kat knew for a fact Hale hated, she turned to face him, hands firmly on her hips. "You kidnapped me to bring me here?"

Hale rolled his eyes, and closed the distance between them, replacing her hands with his own. "You know," he started, leaning down to kiss the side of her neck, "for a bright girl you can be pretty dumb sometimes."

Kat brought her hands up to tug his face so that it was level with her own. "Are you telling me that you kidnapped me so that we could make out?"

"Well," Hale said, lingering over the word for far longer than it required.

Kat narrowed her eyes at him. Was that a blush she saw staining his cheeks? She didn't know he could do that.

Apparently having decided that stalling wasn't a viable method of getting out of answering her question, Hale shrugged. "Yes."

"Why didn't you just say so?" Kat asked.

She didn't give him a chance to answer.


your fear of the future (The President's Daughter, Meg/Preston, 357 words)

"It's time."

Meg looked back over her shoulder to find Preston standing in the doorway of their hotel suite. She turned back to the window, and the lights that marred the perfect darkness of the night sky. It might be time, but that didn't mean she was ready.

Preston's hand settled at her hip, and he bent his head to her ear. "Meg," he said, his breath tripping hotly across her skin. "We have to go."

"Let's run away," she said, turning into his arms and wrapping her own around his neck. "Who would notice if we left?"

He laughed, low and deep, and the sound of it was enough to send shivers down her spine. It amazed her every day that he could do so much to her by doing so little. It didn't seem fair, somehow, that any one person should have so much power over her.

And if ever there was a wholly ironic thought for the moment they found themselves in, Meg thought, that was it.

She sighed. "We have to go."

Preston nodded and then kissed her once, gently. He took her hand in his, and together they walked to the door.

At the sight of the assembled security, Meg gave serious reconsideration to the running away plan. Preston's hand tightening on hers and the simple fact that they could outrun her held her back.

"Don't even think about it," Preston said, just for good measure.

Meg laughed. "Let's get this over with," she said.

*

An hour later, she stood hand in hand with Preston once more.

"Ready?" he asked.

She shook her head. "Never."

From somewhere overhead, the PA system boomed to life, and the words echoed around them. "And now, for the first time -- your nominee to be President of the United States, Meghan Powers-Fielding!"

Preston kissed her cheek. Meg smiled up at him. "I'll see you out there," she said, not waiting for his answer.

Meg stepped out onto the stage.


cabin fever (Secret Society Girl, Jamie/Amy, 326 words)

"Let's go outside and do something," Amy said.

Jamie looked up from the obscenely thick textbook in front of him. He looked out his kitchen window. He looked back at her. "It's still raining," he pointed out, his voice taking on the Amy's gone a little bit crazy and we have to humor her voice that she hated more than just about anything.

Amy frowned at him, even though she was pretty sure that was just going to make him use the voice again. "I'm not blind."

"So you want to go outside, where you'll get soaked, when you could stay right here and watch movies?" he asked, using the voice again and throwing in a slowness of speech that wouldn't have been out of place when talking to a small child for good measure.

Amy decided it was time for drastic measures. She took the two steps to reach his chair and pulled it out far enough that she could fit between him and the kitchen table, dropping down into his lap. She wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed his jaw just below his ear. "Please?" she whispered. "I'm so bored, Jamie. It's been raining for three days and I've watched all the movies that you own and you don't have cable and you've been so focused on studying that I haven't even tried to seduce you and --"

"For the record," he said, cutting her off midstream, "you should feel free to do that last thing any time you want."

Amy grinned, pressing her lips against his exuberantly. "Does that mean we're going outside?"

"Does that mean you're going to seduce me when we get back?" he countered.

Amy kissed him again in lieu of an actual answer. Jamie seemed to get the message anyway.


a preponderance of parchment (Pink Carnation/Bridgertons, Colin & Miles, 835 words)

Miles was quietly enjoying a snifter of the best brandy that White's possessed and trying not to doze off by the fire like the old man he feared he was becoming when the note arrived. The note itself wasn't unusual. Miles was besieged with notes. From his wife, from the War Office, from his mother-in-law, from his wife. There was nothing Henrietta liked so well as sending a note.

Miles considered. There were things that Henrietta liked as well, but they were not among the things that gentlemen were supposed to think about their wives in public places.

The bearer of the note coughed, discretely, his hand still outstretched.

"Right," Miles said, taking the note in hand and waving his arm vaguely in the direction of the chair opposite his own. "Sit down, Bridgerton."

Colin Bridgerton sat.

And that, Miles remembered, was what was odd about this note. Bridgerton was not the usual bearer of such missives, no matter their originating source. Bridgerton was more likely to be a companion at the card table or to be the sort that one exchanged sheepish nods with while squiring one's wife around the dance floor, for Bridgerton had the good sense to be equally besotted with his own wife.

Wives. The note. Miles shook his head, as if to clear away the cobwebs. "I don't know what's wrong with me today," Miles said, breaking the seal and unfolding the parchment. "I can't seem to remember if I'm coming or going from one moment to the next."

"Is Lady Henrietta still redecorating?" Colin asked, a smile twitching around the corners of his mouth.

Miles nodded, distracted, as he scanned the contents of the note. He knew before he'd finished the first word that it was not from Henrietta. Henrietta's handwriting was as familiar to him as his own, and was rather more looping and ornamental than the terse scrawled before him. He read the rest of the missive as quickly as he could, his eyes narrowing and his mouth shifting from an easy smile to a dark scowl with every word. When he was finished, he almost lept from his chair, shaking the parchment in Bridgertons face. It was only the remembrance of Geoff's many lessons on just what the word discretion meant that stopped.

"Where did you get this?" Miles hissed instead, trying to keep his voice low enough so the rest of the men enjoying their brandy and cigars would not overhear. "Where?"

Colin blinked, clearly surprised at Miles outburst. "I don't know exactly," he replied. "Someone pressed it into my hand at the steps. I assumed it was a runner your wife had employed. I take it that was not the case?"
Miles shook his head. "It was not."

A look of interest settled onto Colin's face, a look that Miles recognized all too well. It was frighteningly similar to the one that Henrietta adopted whenever there was going to be an adventure that ended badly. "Was it," Colin began, dropping his voice low, "from the War Office?"

Miles shook his head again. Really, he'd thought Bridgerton was quicker than this.

"A French spy?" Colin pressed, and Miles considered whether or not he could make the lie believable. It was not an area in which he excelled. He knew it. Henrietta knew it. The War Office knew it. Probably the French did as well, which is why this threat had been delivered to him and not to someone higher up the British Intelligence chain of command.

Miles heaved a sign and nodded.

Colin looked delighted. "A French spy," he mused. "I must tell Penelope. She's always wanted material for her own horrid novel. She's quite the fan of Miss Butterworth and the Mad Baron, you know."

Now it was Miles turn to blink. "I did not," he said. "But that isn't the point. Do you remember anything about the individual who gave you this?"

Colin shrugged his shoulders. "I'm afraid I do not," he answered. "I wish I'd been paying attention -- it would have been rather nice to have been able to help thwart a French plot -- but I was not attending."

"It was too much to hope that you had been," Miles said. He stood. "I must be off. You understand."

"I do," Colin said. The twitchy smile expression reappeared on his face. "Do let me know how it turns out, won't you?"

Miles gave a curt nod and strode purposely for the exit. He hated to abandon his drink and the fire, but when it came to a good French plot, well, such luxuries ceased to be of the slightest importance.

After all, what was brandy in the face of the French?


Never Been Kissed (Young Justice, Wally/Artemis, 636 words)

"It's locked," Artemis said flatly, watching Wally struggle with the door to the janitor's closet. She slumped back against the wall, wincing as her head made contact with a broom handle. "Why is it locked?"

Wally turned to face her, righteous indignation written all over his face. "It wasn't me!" he huffed, folding his arms over his chest. "You can't possibly think that I would choose to be trapped in here with you."

Artemis narrowed her eyes at him, pushing herself off the wall and stalking across the small space until they were nose to nose. "I certainly didn't do it. I don't have to resort to cheap tricks to get dates."

"Dates?" Wally spluttered, his cheeks going red.

(Artemis didn't notice that it was kind of adorable. Really, she didn't.)

He poked her in the shoulder. "I don't have any problems there, sister."

Artemis snorted. She poked him right back, leaning even closer. "Please."

Wally didn't answer, and they stood there like that, bodies rigid with barely restrained frustration, just inches away from touching for Artemis didn't know how long. She didn't even know why she was mad. She knew it wasn't Wally's fault that they were locked in there. It wasn't his style. If she had to place the blame for it on anyone, it would be on a pesky, sunglasses wearing troll that she had every intention of making pay as soon as she figured a way out of there. But Wally was here and the mad had to go somewhere and it wasn't like she wasn't going to be mad at him for something later anyway, so why not now, she reasoned with herself. It couldn't be something else. It couldn't be anything else, no matter when M'gann had been trying to insinuate for weeks now.

Wally hated her and Artemis hated him and that was that. That had to be that.

Wally cleared his throat and Artemis jerked to attention, her hand coming to rest on the soft cotton of his t-shirt. She looked down at her hand. She looked up at Wally's face.

She didn't move her hand.

"Artemis?" he asked, his voice taking on a weirdly high pitched tone that she found just as weirdly endearing. "Are you --"

The rest of his words were lost when she leaned forward and kissed him. His lips were dry against hers and it took him longer than she expected to kiss her back, but when he did it was the first time Artemis had ever seen (or in this case felt) him do anything slow. His hands settled on her waist, and her fingers curled into the fabric of his shirt. She stepped closer and he stepped back and then his back was up against the door, and really, this was the best worst decision Artemis had ever made in her life. His fingers slipped under the hem of her shirt and she made an approving noise in the back of her throat and of course that was when the door behind them opened, sending them both tumbling to the ground.

"Was I interrupting?" Robin asked from above them, all innocence.

Artemis scrambled to her feet, leaving Wally staring up at her from the floor. She strode as fast down the hall as she could, the sound of Robin's laughter and the feeling of Wally's eyes of her back trailing behind her.

She'd make the troll pay. And then, if she wanted to find a way to convince him to do it again, well, that was no ones business but hers.


Gone Quiet (Bridgertons, Simon/Daphne, 280 words)

Daphne sat at her writing desk, addressing a thank you note to Benedict and Sophie. Caroline had come back from the country full of Uncle Benedict this and Aunt Sophie that, and with an increased enthusiasm for art that Daphne hadn't quite expected. She didn't think she'd seen her daughter without a paintbrush or pencil in her hand since her return. Daphne wondered how soon would be too soon to send her daughter back for another round of lessons.

The door to her study opened and Daphne looked up, smiling at the sight of her husband. "Simon," she said. "What are you --"

He pressed his finger to his lips and closed the door firmly behind him, taking care to lock it. Daphne's heart pounded just a little faster and her shoulders shook with barely suppressed laughter.

"Simon," she said again, as he stalked across the room with a familiar gleam in his eyes. "Simon, what are you doing?"

He grinned at her wolfishly and that was all the warning she had before he swept her up in his arms. "I think you know, wife," he said, taking a seat on the striped settee. He settled her in his lap, his fingers going automatically to the buttons on the back of her gown.

She made no attempt to stop him, winding her arms around his neck in invitation instead. "I think I might need some clarification, husband," she teased, rubbing her cheek against his throat. "Was there something you wanted?"

Simon's mouth came down on hers in answer, and he pressed her back into the cushions. No further words were needed.


Walk the Line (Downton Abbey, Matthew/Mary, 333 words)

Matthew finds Mary walking in the garden at twilight, lost amidst the rose bushes. There's an almost dreamy smile on her face, and it makes Matthew smile in return.

"I hope that's for me," he calls out, walking faster until he is at her side.

Mary starts, a hand pressing to her chest. "Matthew," she says, letting his name out on a long sigh. "You startled me."

He takes her hand in his and brings it to his lips. "I'm sorry," he says, not meaning the words at all. It isn't often that he sees her like that, and he wouldn't trade moments like this for the world. He knows how close he came to never having them at all.

Mary arches an eyebrow at him, but she doesn't pull her hand away. "You're not."

His smile grows broader. He loves how well she knows him. He simply loves her.

"You're right," he says, kissing her fingers again before tucking arm through his. They resume Mary's walk and the night grows darker around them. The air is peaceful and still, and Matthew knows that it is not a night that he will ever want to forget.

When the hour grows late enough that propriety demands their return to the company of others, Matthew escorts her back to the house. Tucked into the shadows, he kisses her goodnight, lingering over it, reluctant to part for even a few hours.

"I will see you in the morning?" Mary asks, as if there is even the slightest chance that she won't.

"I will be the one standing at the front of the church," Matthew answers, and he can't resist kissing her once more. "There is nothing that could prevent me from becoming your husband tomorrow." He cups her face between her hands, holding his eyes fast on hers. "Nothing, Mary."

She kisses him in reply and it is all the answer either of them wants.


The Breakfast Club (Young Justice, team, 278 words)

M'gann is the one to suggest the weekly team breakfasts. It'll be a good bonding opportunity, she says and even though they all have different reasons for agreeing, they all eventually agree to take part. Conner says yes because it's M'gann doing the asking, and Wally because it involves food. Robin is in because Wally will be there and that means there will be opportunities for mocking and Kaldur because it is his team and he feels that means he is honor bound to participate. Artemis holds out for the longest, but eventually even she succumbs to M'gann's pleading. There's only so much sad eyes any one person can be expected to stand up to and Artemis is only human.

They gather for breakfast in the cave and M'gann has the kitchen counters covered with eggs and pancakes and muffins and types of food that Artemis has never even seen before. She's impressed despite herself.

"Wow, Meg," she says. "This is..." she trails off, not really sure how to finish that sentence.

"This looks delicious," Wally finishes for her, elbowing her in the ribs. "What are the rest of you going to eat?"

M'gann laughs, which makes Conner smile just a little. Robin passes out plates and Kaldur waits patiently in line behind Wally as he loads his plate with enough food to feed a family for a week. Artemis watches them, and she smiles too.

This is her family. This is her team. And right now, she really wants some pancakes.

"Get out of the way, Wally," she orders, elbowing him aside. "I'm hungry."


everything put together falls apart (Bridgertons, Violet/Edmund, 349 words)

"I thought I might find you here."

Violet didn't look up from the bed of tulips she was weeding. The gardener would surely have her head in the morning, but they were her gardens after all. If she wanted to weed, she would weed. Or in this case, if she needed to weed to prevent herself from throwing something at her stubborn, wrong husband's head, she would do that too.

"Violet," Edmund said, and oh if she couldn't hear the amusement in his voice. "Violet, I know you can hear me."

She sniffed, and turned her back just a little more on him. She wasn't done being angry yet, even if she could no longer quite remember what they had been fighting about in the first place. He hadn't apologized, and that was enough.

But because her back was turned, she didn't see him approaching and because she was busy ignoring him, she didn't hear him either, and that meant that she had no warning when she was pulled to her feet and swept up into his arms.

"Edmund," she gasped, her arms going around his neck without her permission. "What on earth do you think you're doing? Put me down this instant. What if the servants see?"

He grinned at her, his face lit with the charm and mirth that she loved so dearly, and Violet could feel the last of her anger cracking and falling to pieces at their feet. "If the servants see," he said, not breaking his stride as he carried her towards the house, "they will merely have confirmation of what they have known for months, which is that I am a besotted fool and that I love you beyond measure."

"Oh, Edmund," Violet sighed. That had done it. There was no use even pretending to be angry any longer.

"Does that mean I am forgiven?" he asked.

Violet tightened her arms around his neck and leaned up to whisper in his ear.

"Hurry," was the only word she said.

Edmund hurried.
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earwigfic

March 2013

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