Artemis ran his hands through his unkempt or otherwise wild ebony hair. He pushed the strands of hair that fell in front of his eyes back be resuming what he was working on. This new plan of his wasn't put together that well, and the genius was worried that it would fall apart at the seams.
He sighed contentedly and sat back when he was done with what he was doing. His part was completed, and now it was up to the others to pull it off. He signed off of the computer in front of him at the exact moment a knock came at the door.
"Come in." Artemis said flatly, not wanting to show off any regards to his plans. He knew exactly who it was and what was coming.
The door opened a crack, unsure at first, and then opened all the way after a moment. In stepped Butler, his nervousness obviously showing. An odd feature for the usually stoic body language.
"What's wrong, old friend?" Asked a very unusually concerned Artemis. He quickly composed his amused smirk, remembering his plans.
"I'm sorry to bother you, Artemis." Butler started, worry lines on his forehead. "But it seems as though Juliet is in need of my assistance. It will only be for a short amount of time, a few days at the most. But she is in dire need of some accompaniment to help her with a tournament coming up. There's a good possibility she is hurt."
Butler was about to go on when Artemis held up his hand to stop him, sitting up straight. "I understand completely. When will you be leaving?"
Butler fixed his nervous composure when he realized he was being completely unexceptional as a bodyguard at the moment. However, it was his sister they were talking about. He didn't know what was going on. "Tomorrow sir."
"Oh?" Artemis said, feigning surprise and arching his right eyebrow, "I would have thought Juliet would have given you more of a notice."
Butler's mouth became a annoyed slash as he recalled what had happened. "It seems as though her manager had forgotten to email me until 20 minutes ago."
Artemis sighed, looking back at the laptop sitting upon his desk. "Very well then, you may take the absence."
Butler was pleased that he could leave, but something still stirred inside the top notch bodyguard. "Still sir, I believe that with your activities of mysteriously coming back from the dead, it would not be safe to leave you here by yourself. As you well know-"
"Yes yes." Artemis said with a wave of his hand, "Mother and Father are on vacation with the twins. If you were to leave, I would be here by myself, unguarded and unprotected."
Butler nodded. "Which is why I'm calling Holly, to see if she can come up here and look after you in the time I am gone. I know you haven't seen her in a while, sir."
Artemis scowled, but inwardly he was glad, "Butler, I am not in need of a babysitter. I am a grown man, must I remind you."
"A grown man who came back from the dead a few years ago, might I remind you. Which is why I am calling Holly and having her come over to keep an eye on you."
Artemis closed his eyes and shook his head dramatically. "Fine. If it will ease your nerves."
Butler raised his eyebrows, usually, if the man wanted something, he fought hard for it. He didn't usually give up that easily. Either way, his sister needed him and from the email he just got, it was urgent.
So Butler left, closing the dark wood door behind him and entering the hallway to pack and call Holly. After he was done filling his suitcase with what he would need for the trip, he realized he had to go right then or he would miss his flight.
"Artemis." The manservant called. "You are going to have to call Holly. If I don't get a confirmation that she is here from her, I'm coming straight back." He said as he left the manor.
Artemis chuckled, knowing Butler would be back when he realized Juliet didn't really need his help. But still, if it meant he got to see Holly one last time, it was worth the trouble.
As soon as he heard the front doors close and lock, Artemis got up from his desk chair. He strode to a picture of a grand oak on the wall, removing it to reveal a hidden wall safe (so cliche, I know). He spun the dial to the right numbers before opening the safe.
Inside was a numerous amount of fairy items, ranging from LEP helmets to the very item he was looking for, his communicator. Ever since their last battle with Opal, Artemis decided that the phone wouldn't be as necessary as it used to. That and two 6 Year olds running around, talking to Holly when she was busy was not a good idea.
The genius reached into the safe and pulled out the small ring that was his communicator. He stared at it for a moment, remembering all of his past escapades, before shaking his head and putting the ring on.
He used the communicator, calling Holly with it. It rang three times before she actually answered hers.
"Artemis? Is something wrong?" She asked hurriedly, worried because her friend hadn't used this type of communication for two years now.
"Perfectly fine." The man replied, "It was just that Butler wanted me to call and find out if you could come over. You know how on edge he has been about my safety ever since the last incident."
On the other end, Holly nodded, even if Artemis couldn't see her. "And why did Butler want you to call me? Why can't he watch you?"
Artemis sighed, "Butler is away at the moment, helping out Juliet. I told him that I wouldn't need a babysitter, since I am a full grown man."
"Well Artemis, you did just come back from the dead. A lot of people are wondering why you were proclaimed dead and then suddenly alive after the funeral."
"That has been blamed on the US government, I can assure you."
"That doesn't mean everyone believes that. I'll be over Artemis. Just tell Butler he's lucky because I already had to come up for a ritual today."
Artemis smirked. Of course he knew she was already topside. He planned it. "Of course." He replied. "How long until your arrival?"
Holly paused, looking around at the ritual site she was now in search of an acorn. "Not long. Half an hour at the most." But then the wings she was wearing died out.
"D'arvit!" She cried, taking them off and trying to restart them.
"What's Wrong?" Artemis asked quickly, before she hung up in a rush.
"It's these damn wings! They aren't working-ugh!" She answered on the other line. She opened the gas and battery compartment, "Nothing seems to be wrong, but it won't work!"
"Where are you?" The genius asked.
The elf growled in frustration before answering, "I'm at Tara." She answered, then mumbled, "I knew I should have taken that mechanism class..."
"Well, just stay there and I'll be right over." Artemis said.
"Wait, Artemis are you sure that's a good-" She replied, cut off when he ended the call in the middle of her statement.
"Idea." She finished, sitting on the ground and awaiting Artemis's arrival.
Twenty minutes later, Artemis arrived at Tara. It was windy out, but the sun was setting in the distance, casting an ominous glow around the ritual site.
Holly was next to the river, staring at it blankly as she looked at her reflection. He walked up behind her, the winter breeze causing both of them to shiver.
"Hey." She greeted, not turning around to look at him, but still looking at the various colors the river was emitting at the bottom of it.
"Hello." He said, groaning as he sat down next to her, hating the idea of getting dirty.
"How long has it been now? Since the siege." The elf asked, still not looking at him.
Artemis chuckled, "In world time or our time?" He asked, considering the demon circumstance.
"Ours." She replied shortly.
Artemis sighed, "10 years."
Holly closed her eyes and shook her head, "A decade." She breathed, "and look where we are now." She opened her eyes and finally looked at him, smiling softly. The elf stood up, "Hey Arty." She said before entering his warm embrace, making it contrast with the cool air around them.
Artemis held her tight, closing his eyes and reveling in the fact of holding her so close. He hadn't seen her in so long, almost two years since she last visited him.
Holly pulled back and Artemis sighed internally as he had to let her go. She smiled warmly as she looked into his eyes. He looked back, never wanting them to leave their gazes.
But then she broke the trance when she looked over at the black car parked in the field with them. "We should go." She whispered quietly. "Before it gets dark and really cold out."
Artemis nodded his agreement as he looked and saw the last rays of sun slip out of the horizon. He got up and lead her over to the car. Out of all of them, this was the only one Butler allowed Artemis to drive when he wasn't there. This one just got an installment of bulletproof glass.
Holly literally hopped into the backseat, not wanting to run a risk of exposure sitting in the front. Artemis started the car and soon they were on their way to Fowl Manor.
"It's been so long Arty." She said, staring out the window absent-mindedly.
"Yes, it has." He agreed. He then asked, "How is work?"
Holly smiled at the first sign of a,real conversation with her friend. "Well enough, although being a Major isn't what I normally planned to be. It's more paperwork and less topside time."
Artemis nodded, "But you enjoy it?"
Holly nodded, "Yes, although not as much as my Captain job before."
"I imagine. Not saving the world every other day must be boring."
Holly laughed, "Yes, I do miss it." But then her smiled died as she remembered something. "There are rumors going around that Trouble is leaving. I-if he does, I'll be promoted to commander."
"Oh." Artemis said, he knew Holly's discouragement. If she was Commander, she would be too busy all the time and never be able to come up and see him. She never wanted to even become a Major in the first place. "Well...Congratulations." That was when they reached Fowl Manor. "I suppose we will talk about this later, Holly. Don't worry about that right now."
Holly smiled a bit and nodded, hopping back out of the car. It was dark now, and the elf shivered when the freezing air caught up to her.
Entering Fowl Manor, she realized its dark and empty threatening aura. But looking over at Artemis, it lifted. "Where's your family? I thought they would be here."
Artemis quirked his eyebrow, confused. "No. Butler wouldn't have had me call you if they were here."
Holly nodded, "I didn't think of that." She said, surprised. "For some reason..."
Artemis nodded and led her inside. "It's getting late. I'll show you to your room."
Holly smiled as she followed Artemis. She looked around the manor. Not much had changed since the last time she was here, two years ago. Although, she shivered when she crossed the basement stairs, like always.
Artemis opened a door, turning on the light to illuminate the room. He sighed as he turned to the Major, "Good night Holly." He said, knowing it was late now. He turned and headed the opposite direction, towards his study.
"Night." Holly called after him. She rolled her eyes and shook her head as she entered the room.
It was beautiful. Light Green painted the walls and went well together with the cream carpet beneath her. To the right of her was the adjoining bathroom and a dresser. To the left of the elf was the bed and nightstand, and in front of Holly was a canvas window, white curtains covering the darkness that lied beneath them.
To Holly, the room seemed rather large. But then again, being an elf, everything the humans used was big. She climbed onto the bed sitting on the covers that matched the walls surrounding her, and when she looked at the foot of the bed, she saw that Artemis had laid out some bed clothes for her arrival.
Holly smiled, she didn't know she was coming to the manor, so it was nice of Artemis to put out some pajamas for her.
She held up the dark green shirt that was lying on top of the pile. Then she remembered that this was the same night shirt that she had left the last time she was here...two years ago.
'Why would Artemis keep them this long.' She wondered, but then shook her head. It was hard enough trying to figure out the mud man as is.
She slipped off her shimmer suit, putting on the bed clothes. Even though it was two years ago, they still fit perfectly. However, then again, elves didn't grow that much.
She laid down, burrowing under the covers at the sudden coldness that had hit her when she took her suit off. Warmth was slow to come, but after a few minutes under the multiple blankets on top of her, Holly's shivering subsided.
She fell asleep, but a deep rumble shook her from her sleep. She turned on the lamp beside her on her bedside table on and looked out the window. Lightning flashed quickly in the window and immediately the lights flickered off.