ASN: We sincerely apologize for the wait. Think of it as…us waiting to build up the tension.
AN: A.k.a, wrestling the computer away from the little brother.
ASN: Besides we were very busy staring at dslguy14's award. We are so honored.
AN: Thank you, thank you, thank you. We love you.
ASN: *Grins* Are you single?
AN: Right. Anyway, last chapter. We hope you've had as much fun as we have with this.
This chapter is dedicated to all our faithful reviewers, who fixed our plot holes, checked our typos, and provided Lessa with bunches of death threats. We love you all.
Phire Phoenix Chan
And there are so many more. Again, thank you.
Artemis walked down the hallway. It had been a long day, and an even longer week. He sincerely hoped this was going to be the last emotional confrontation he was subjected to. After all, there wasn't anyone left to confront. He opened the door to his bedroom.
There was a very familiar auburn haired elf, sitting square in the middle of his bed.
"Hi." she chirped. A grin split her face as the boy's jaw dropped in a most un-Artemis Fowl like expression of surprise.
"What are you doing here?" he asked, letting his bag slide to the floor with a thump.
The grin disappeared, to be replaced by a look of quiet desperation. "Um…this is really awkward." She muttered.
Artemis raised an eyebrow. "That sounds ominous."
"Well, I had to tell the commander about how we met and you regained your memories." Artemis studied her.
"I take it that it didn't go well."
Holly laughed shortly. "Nope. In fact, he fired me."
Artemis was barely able to stop his jaw from dropping for the second time in as many minutes. "I'm…sorry." His eyes narrowed in sudden suspicion. "Why are you here?"
"Well," Holly looked up at him, pleading hope in her eye. "Well, since now I don't have anywhere to go, and since it was your fault I got fired…I was wondering if I could stay here for a couple weeks? Until Commander Root calms down?"
Artemis stared in shock.
After a moment of dead silence, he stepped backwards out of the room, and wordlessly shut the door. The teen then turned and headed down the stairs. He faintly heard light, mocking laughter come from his bedroom.
Just as Artemis reached the empty study, Holly appeared in front of him. Her smile was wide and lively. "You're not laughing." she said playfully.
"It wasn't funny." he retorted.
"Well," Holly said, mirth bubbling in her voice, "The expression on your face was quite amusing, since you usually don't have an expression."
Artemis sighed deeply. "Captain, I thought we went through this before. What have I done to deserve this? You paid me back for all the things I've done to you." He paused for a moment, then added dryly, "With interest."
"Well, you got to keep your memories, so someone needs to keep an eye on you and make sure you're behaving." Holly stopped to judge his reaction to that, and then settled into his computer chair. Artemis glared at her for a moment. When she didn't move, he sat in another seat.
"And are you satisfied with my behavior, Captain?" he asked a little sternly.
"Actually," the elf said, leaning forward and gazing at him innocently, "You seem a little uptight. Is something wrong?"
The teen honestly didn't know whether he felt like laughing at Holly or throttling her. He settled for rolling his eyes. "If all friends as annoying as you are, then it is no wonder that I have avoided them for so long."
Holly lit up in a brilliant smile. Artemis noticed the look and frowned.
"What is it?" he asked shortly. She just continued to smile.
"He called me a friend." she thought delightedly. "He's finally starting to act like a regular teenager. Maybe Simone was a good influence on him."
"Excuse me?" Artemis said coolly, interrupting the elf's thoughts and making her realize she had said the last sentence aloud.
"Oops. Sorry." she said sheepishly.
The teen did not seem to believe her apology. However, he decided to let it go. "Did Commander Root really fire you?" he asked.
"No." Holly said. "He asked me to tell him why I was here. And when I did, well, he wasn't overjoyed, but he didn't get half as mad as I thought he would."
Artemis raised an eyebrow. "So, you told me you were fired to see if it would make the great and grand Artemis Fowl Junior snap."
Holly cringed. "I didn't know you heard that."
"It wasn't worth mentioning before going into a dangerous situation. Besides, I didn't want you following me, armed with a large and deadly laser, and angry at me."
Holly laughed. "Probably not. But no matter what, I wouldn't have killed you."
"And why would you have shown such restraint?" he asked cynically.
"Well, number one, Butler would have killed me." she answered.
"And number two…"
"Root would have killed me as well." Holly said with a perfectly straight face.
Artemis did not seem amused. "That is the other reason? I didn't think Commander Root was that fond of me."
"If he's not allowed to lose his restraint, neither are any other LEP officers." Holly told him. "It's an unspoken rule."
"Why are you here?" Artemis said, changing subject abruptly. Holly frowned at him.
"Every time we have a civil conversation, we end up on that question. Why, Arty? Do you not like having me here?" she asked, trying to pout and failing miserably.
"I have homework."
The elf snorted. "Oh, please. How long is homework based for an average mortal student going to take you? Fifteen minutes?"
"Considering I have homework in English Literature and Advanced Algebra as well as Chemistry, I believe it will be closer to... ten minutes." he deadpanned.
She rolled her eyes and leaned back in the computer chair. "I'm not surprised. And before you ask again, you want to know why I'm here."
Artemis had been planning to ask again, but he didn't show any surprise whatsoever. "I would like to know, yes. You should be in Haven."
"I should. I really should." Holly smiled. "Actually, I was sent here to keep an eye on you for a while. Yes," she held up a hand to stop Artemis from saying anything, "I know the Council decided you were trustworthy enough to keep your memories, but they tend to err on the paranoid side."
"More like his inspiration."
Artemis smirked slightly. "And they decided you were the best officer for the job?"
"Actually," Holly began, "The Council said I should go, since I am the officer most familiar with you and your tricks, but Commander Root implied I was too emotionally involved for the job. That's why it took a couple days for me to get up here."
"Too emotionally involved?" Artemis echoed.
"Since you're here, I assume you persuaded Commander Root otherwise."
"I did. It didn't take very long, either."
"And what did you do?" he asked.
"I went to his office and screamed at him." Holly said brightly. Artemis blinked.
"You…screamed at your commanding officer?"
"Well, I figured it would be effective." Holly shrugged. "Besides, he does it to us all the time."
"I see. And he wasn't offended?"
"He was definitely surprised. And he let me come. So, if what I did worked, I'm not going to knock it." she said casually. "Anyway, the job's not too hard."
"And what are you going to be doing while you are here?" Artemis asked.
"Well, I'll be doing random inspections. You know, making sure you aren't doing anything illegal, checking on what activities you join-"
"Looking for my copy of the Booke." Artemis interjected. Holly flashed him a bright smile.
"Thank you, I'd almost forgotten about that." she remarked. "Just little things like that. But, I figured you'd like a warning of some sort."
"Yes, I do appreciate it." he answered dryly. "How long will you be here?"
"You just can't wait to get rid of me, can you?" she asked, grinning. "I'm not sure. But I won't stay here; I'll just check in every once in awhile and see how things are going."
"I look forward to it." Artemis said with great sarcasm. Holly jumped out of his chair and smirked.
"I thought you might." the elf said. "Well, I'll be seeing you around." She put on her wings and began to buzz to the door. As she reached it, Artemis stopped her.
"When you went to yell at Commander Root, were you mad because he said you were unable to perform your duty, or because he thought you were emotionally attached to me?"
All traces of a smile disappeared off Holly's face. "I don't know what you're talking about." she said, shielding and opening the door.
The door had almost closed when she heard him say, "Because you were emotionally attached. I see." The elf instantly lost her temper and kicked the door back open. She unshielded, fury radiating from all three feet of her.
"Why you, pompous, conceited, arrogant, snotty Mud Boy!" she hissed
"You forgot self-centered." he said blandly. Her fists clenched, but she reined in her anger as comprehension struck her.
"You're hitting all my buttons on purpose." she stated rather than asked. Artemis smirked.
"What are friends for?" he responded. She glared at him once more before heading toward the door once again. He sensed him following, and sighed theatrically.
"I hate you." she muttered.
"I'm certain that's exactly what you told Commander Root." he commented wryly.
The teen calmly ducked the fist that came flying in his direction and gently pushed the irate elf out the door. "Goodbye, Holly."
She sighed and smiled back. "Goodbye, Artemis. I'll be back in a few days."
"I'll see you then." he answered. "Tell Foaly I said hello."
"I'll do that." Her grin widened, and then she soared down the hall and out the window into the green Irish countryside. Artemis watched her go, and then turned to start his homework.
AN: And there you have it.
ASN: All right, before we leave you all, (until the next story), we still need to make some changes on this story. Fix mistakes, and so on.
AN: So, if we missed your name on the dedication chapter, please tell us.
ASN: With almost six hundred reviews, it's hard to keep up with everyone. We mean it. If you feel you have been a faithful reviewer, tell us.
AN: *Looks at list* That's it. We're all done. *Sniffs* It's over!!!!!
ASN: *Sniffs as well* Again everyone, this has been great. We're so glad you enjoyed this. We had a ball writing it, and a wonderful time sharing it with you.
*Lessa and Ryn both wave* Love ya all!!!!!