Disclaimer: Don't own, so don't sue. Also, warning, characters will be waaaaay OOC this chap. Ho hum.
Wow! Final chapter. We're here at last! I am flattered by all the reviews I got from last chapter. Thank you all. Really.
Holly woke up coughing. She made a move to sit up, but someone gently pushed her back down. Opening her eyes and blinking a little, everything came back into focus.
She was lying down on a soft bed, the same one she had fainted on. Butler was at the side of the bed, putting away a set of smelling salts. Holly glanced at the digital clock on the nightstand and realized she had only been unconscious for a few minutes.
Butler finally spoke. "Master…Artemis…" he mused in a way that led Holly to be nervous. Very nervous. "What happened?" He pointed to the fairy communicator lying about a foot away from her. "It was blank when I came in."
Oh, you think you can get away with that Fowl, Holly thought, remembering the events that had just happened a few minutes ago. Holly looked at the white screen and realized Artemis had taken out his iris-cam and earphones. She was no longer connected.
"Artemis? What happened in here?"
"Weee-ee-ll…" Holly said, stretching out the word. What could she say that wouldn't give anything away?
"Who were you talking to? Captain Short?"
So the Mud Men are getting smarter… "Well, you see…" Holly looked at the clock again. It was very late already. Should she tell Butler about the switching dilemma? Would he believe her was the most important question. If he didn't…things were not looking pretty for Artemis.
On the other hand, Holly was sick of holding in all this information. Artemis might be able to control his emotions through meditation and such, but there was no way she herself could do that. So much was expected of her as Artemis, but she didn't know how to live up to what he was like.
Butler would understand. She hoped.
Holly swallowed and prepared her words. It probably wasn't best to just hit Butler over the head with the truth, but at the moment she couldn't think of anything else to say. OK. So I'll go, 'I'm in Artemis's body, but I'm actually Holly.' Yeah. Then he'll say, 'Artemis, you need to go to a mental hospital.
She opened her mouth. "Butler-I'm-I'm-"
Artemis was in Holly's bed, but was unable to sleep due to the fact that he knew Holly was going to kill him the moment she laid eyes on him. He knew he shouldn't be worried about it, but he had actually hit someone. Artemis was usually the one to rely on words. Violence was something he never resorted to (Well, maybe sometimes it was, but it was never him actually doing the violence). But he had been so nervous and something like 'that' (Artemis was now mortally afraid of the word 'kiss') had been just enough for him to burst.
Artemis tried to meditate, but he couldn't take his mind off the matter. It was no use, he couldn't find his inner calm.
Artemis reached over to get the communicator, then hesitated. If he called Holly to apologize now, there was the possibility she was already asleep. Even if she did pick up, she would probably be too mad to talk. Best to try again in the morning.
Deep in his own mind, Artemis knew he was just making excuses not to face up to Holly, but at the time he didn't really care. So he laid back and tried to go to sleep. Tried being the key word. Before long guilt got the better of the infamous Artemis Fowl (I have got to learn to control my emotions) and he sat up and reached to take the communicator once again.
His fingers barely touched the communicator's smooth, hard surface before he was WHAMmed like Holly.
Foaly was sleeping in his office again, though this time it was because he was severely overworked (at least that's how he put it).
"Oh, my dear darling tinfoil hat…" Foaly muttered in his sleep. "I have loved you so… I cannot imagine life without you safe and snug on my head… will you marry me?"
Next to Foaly, forgotten on his nightstand, was what looked like a small remote control. There were tiny digital numbers counting down from nearly 24 hours ago. When they reached 00:00:00, the remote gave a quiet beeeeep and though none could feel it except two, sent out an invisible signal through the air.
In his bed, Foaly tossed and turned and moved on to another dream fantasy. "Mmm… I would be honored to accept this award, commander… Who would I like to thank? Myself, of course… my brilliant mind… oh no, you don't have to say I'm a genius, I know that already…"
Foaly, clutching his blanket, rolled over once more, this time off his bed and onto his hard wood floor.
His vision dissolved as he felt himself spinning through space, not an enjoyable sensation. His body felt cold, then freakishly warm, then abruptly, his body ceased spinning and came to a halt. When Artemis opened his eyes again, he was back in his own room. In Fowl Manor.
The potion…wore off?
Artemis gasped upon seeing Butler next to him. "I'm perfectly fine," he said in as calm a voice as he could manage.
"Artemis, what happened? Just a second ago you looked fine, then you look like you're going to faint again…" The manservant held on tight to his smelling salts lest Artemis lose consciousness once more.
"Oh, Butler, it's a long story," breathed Artemis. "Nevertheless, I shall tell you as you have every right to know." So Artemis spilled his guts.
When he finished his story, it was impossible to read Butler's expression, whether he believed Artemis or if he simply believed he should call the police. "Artemis," Butler said at last. "It's not that I don't believe you, but why don't you get some sleep and we'll continue in the morning. It's very late today."
So he didn't believe him. Fine, he would have to persuade him in the morning. Artemis bit his lip and keeping his voice even, murmured, "Very well, Butler. We shall talk in the morning." Artemis laid back down, the signal for Butler to leave. So he did.
Holly's vision faded into black when she was succumbed to a sensation not unlike her first time in a pod. Before she got used to the feelings of nausea. I shouldn't have eaten that pepper-and-mushroom pizza a week ago. I knew that thing was rotten…
She squeezed her fists into the nothingness. What was happening? One minute she was ready to let Butler know each and every detail of the day, and the next she found herself being pitched into a black darkness of which there was no escaping. Yet another reminder of how much she needed to kill Foaly.
Suddenly she felt her body being chilled, much like when you go outside on a cold winter's day and find that you really should have worn that ugly sweater Grandma knitted you. Except Holly wasn't thinking about grandmas or sweaters at the moment.
And abruptly, the cold sensation stopped, to be replaced with a hot feeling. Not like the tropical-island-lying-on-a-beach hot or the sinking-into-a-tub-of-hot-water hot, more like the I'm-so-exhausted-after-running-a-five-mile-race-and-I-wish-the-stupid-author-would-stop-giving-lame-examples hot (wow, I wonder what that would feel like). Without the sweat, of course.
Holly took a sharp intake of breath when her world stopped spinning. Where am I? I feel nauseous…
Her eyes were closed, so with tremendous effort, she opened them. Everything was blurry, so she blinked a few times until things came back into focus.
Oh my God.
Blink. Blink. Rub.
Artemis hid a huge yawn behind his delicate pianist fingers. Time to go to bed. At last.
Switching off the lights and tucking his soft blanket over his body, Artemis was most startled when the sound of beautiful orchestra music washed over him. 'Spring' from the Four Seasons to be exact. (Random fact: I can play Spring and Autumn on the violin!). He lay still as a statue, listening to the clear sound. BEEEEP!
"Pick up the darn communicator, Artemis!" A feminine and rather annoyed voice issued from the fairy communicator. Artemis could guess who it was. "It's Holly! Pick up Mud Boy! D'arvit!"
Ever so slowly, Artemis turned on his lights. He reached for the communicator (which was still featuring Holly's angry voice) and pressed the green phone button. "Hello?" he said tentatively.
"I AM GOING TO KILL FOALY!" Holly burst out. "AND YOU!" she added as an afterthought.
"Why me?" Artemis questioned ever so innocently.
"Do you really need to ask? Not my reputation will be RUINED at the least, not to mention Trouble is gonna HATE ME FOR LIFE!"
"Calm down! I said I was sorry!"
"No you didn't!"
"…oh yeah. I'm sorry."
"You think that's gonna solve everything?"
"No, but I do have an idea as to how I'm gonna make it up to you and how to give Foaly exactly what he deserves."
"Really?" Holly tried to say it sarcastically but failed.
The next morning Holly woke up early, not believing what she had to do that day. She got up and dressed, then set off to work with as much dignity as she could muster.
Once she reached the LEP building, Holly entered through the back door instead of the front. It would be a longer walk to her cubicle, but a better one to where she was going.
Holly walked for a good ten minutes before she reached Foaly's office. The back part. Since there was a wall separating each half of his office, the back door was the only way to access the other half.
Artemis had cracked Foaly's code to open his office doors, so getting in wasn't any problem. He had also hooked up his laptop and created a loop for Foaly's various cameras and other means of security that completely erased Holly from everything. Cameras, motion detectors, even her thermal energy form was gone. Holly had to admit, by now her grudge against Artemis was severely diminished from what it had been last night.
Now the only problem was to stay hidden. Foaly could be anywhere, office or not. Like all fairies, Foaly did have a fairy helmet that could see through fairy shields.
The back part of Foaly's office was where Foaly created and improved his gadgets. It also had a shower, a bedroom, and a rec room for when the technical genius took time off. Since he rarely did, everything in there had a fine layer of dust on it.
Time to explore. Holly looked in the bathroom first, though she barely thought Foaly could be hiding something in there. But she knew Foaly, he was quite clever when he wanted to be. He could have hidden things anywhere.
Holly opened his mirror cabinets and giggled upon seeing Foaly's wrinkle cream moisturizer. She sifted through the contents of the rest of the cabinets. No dice.
Holly left Foaly's bathroom and headed into his lab after first peeking through the doorway to make sure he wasn't there. His laboratory was huge; it would take her hours to search it all. She had come to work early, but she wouldn't have enough time to look in all the places in Foaly's lab.
So Holly decided she would look in the most logical place first: Foaly's refrigerator. Pulling open both doors, she was considerably disappointed when her search provided no results except for some fairly spoiled milk. After looking in a few cabinets just for the heck of it, Holly left Foaly's gigantic laboratory for his office bedroom.
The room wasn't large, considering it was part of an office. All it had was a small twin-sized bed, a nightstand, and a desk which was overflowing with folders and papers. Half-finished gadgets were littered all over the carpet. Holly frowned as she nearly tripped over what looked like a dark blue whistle with buttons all over it. Had the pony ever heard of the word housekeeping? You'd think that since he was so paranoid, he wouldn't just leave his technology lying on the floor, but…
Aha. Holly strode over to Foaly's nightstand. Lying on it was a miniature remote control. Turning it over, Holly saw two things on the back of it: 1) Foaly's obnoxious logo he put on everything he made, showing an exaggerated picture of Foaly's head saying, 'If I made it, it's guaranteed to word!' and 2) the engraved words 'Use to make mind-hearing potion active'. Perfect. Holly pocketed the remote as her eye caught the potion right next to it, labeled, 'Mind-hearing potion'. This was too easy.
Now that she had what she needed, it was time to go. Holly slipped out Foaly's doors and checked the time. Good, she still had a half hour.
Holly walked all the way to her cubicle and picked up a folder with some completed paperwork. Then she jogged over to the coffee machine to fill a Styrofoam cup full of coffee. Hunching her back so no one would see what she was doing, she opened the lid of the potion vial and added a few drops. I hope no one thinks I'm poisoning the commander…
Holly skipped over to Root's office, humming and hoping that she looked casual. She knocked on his door, changing her tune.
"Come in," someone grunted.
Holly entered Root's office, smiling. "Here's some finished paperwork, Commander. I would give it to Foaly but he's nowhere to be seen."
The commander accepted the folder with another grunt. "Really? I thought I'd just seen him by the water fountain." Right. Thanks for the tip.
"Eh-he-he, then I must not have looked close enough. By the way, would you like a cup of coffee?"
"Thank you, Short." Root took a sip of the coffee, then looked suspicious. "You aren't trying to bribe me into forgetting what happened yesterday, are you Short?"
"Oh nooooo, I would never. Well, I'll be going." Holly slipped out of the office to the coffee machine once more. She made another steaming cup of coffee and stirred in some potion.
Holly bounced over to the water fountain. Foaly was right beside it, smoothing some water into his hair.
"Hey Foaly." Holly put on her most innocent face ever. "Congrats on making that potion, it really worked. You are such a genius, you know."
"I do know. You had doubts?" Foaly smirked, bathing in her praise. Holly had to bite her lip to prevent her hands from strangling the centaur.
That stuck up little pony… "No, of course not. I made you some coffee. Hazelnut Mocha, with cream and sugar, your favorite…"
"Thanks." Foaly took a deep swig of the drink, smacking his lips. "You know, Holly, you never seemed like the type to--" But when Foaly turned around, Holly had already made her 'escape'.
Holly ducked into the women's bathroom, hiding in a stall, taking out her fairy communicator. Accessing her contact list, she selected the first name on it- Artemis Fowl.
Ring. Ring. Artemis's face appeared on the screen. "Did you get it?"
"Yep. And I've already given them the potion."
"Good, good. Well, do the honors." Artemis actually grinned, rubbing his hands together.
"My pleasure." Holly took out the remote control and pressed the single button on it.
That was for you, Trouble.
Too much to do, too much to do… Julius Root looked over his things-to-accomplish list for that day. Meet with the Council, talk to Foaly about his new satellite, finish the report on swear toad invasions…
His body suddenly tingled, like when someone tickles you, then he felt himself slipping away from consciousness…
Funnily enough, the moment after his eyes closed, Julius was jolted back to Earth. As his vision cleared, he realized he was in the men's bathroom, looking in a mirror.
That can't be my reflection.
What the hell…
Wait a sec…that's...
"THAT BLASTED CENTAUR!"
It's done! Yay! There will be a sequel if people want. I didn't find time to edit this so go easy if there are mistakes…