Yes, after three years, I'm back!
I am 'republishing' this to get it out of the dusty archives of three years ago. I will start releasing chapters from the sequel I have written to this soon, and I want people to reread this first. I am unsure how soon I should publish the sequel, though, so I made a poll in my profile; PLEASE vote on it if you like this fic and care enough to read more. :D
I wish I had written this a little better, but it was my best writing at the time. I decided not to tamper with it, so it's preserved in it's original form below:
I don't usually write oneshots— I don't know why, because I like them if they're well written, but I think I'm better at writing long stories. However, this was something I really wanted to write, and basically this scene is something I've written in numerous stories, none of which are published, since I didn't like them. I don't publish a lot of my stuff.
Right now of course, Flame of the Gods is in progress. I'm not turning this out as a substitute because I don't have another chapter, so don't worry. I just wanted to publish this right now. Anyway, it's A/H, nothing explicit, and unlike most of my other stories, there's no violence. ;) I hope you guys like it. I do.
Disclaimer: I do not own anything except the things I own. The things I own are the things not owned by Colfer. Colfer owns everything except the things I own. The things Colfer owns are the things I do not own. :) Try that one, all you people who think you're the next Artemis Fowl.
Holly hesitated outside the gate of Fowl manor. It was four in the morning, and the house was dark. Somehow though, she doubted Artemis would be asleep.
Earlier that day, Foaly's computers had gone berserk when almost every major newspaper in Europe had simultaneously released the story of Artemis Fowl the Second's sudden inheritance, and the fatal car crash that was a suspected murder. Artemis had been on the phone for over nineteen hours with the press, the police, political leaders, investors, and agents. He must be exhausted, but…
If he was asleep, she wouldn't wake him up, she decided. Holly flew over the gate towards his bedroom balcony. The door was open. She touched down lightly, and slipped in. He wasn't there.
If he was in his computer lab, she wouldn't get anywhere near him. They were hidden to begin with. Holly turned, and went back out, rising into the air again, and revolving slowly, looking for him.
There he was—by the lake.
Holly swooped down, landing gracefully on the path behind him. He was standing on the end of the dock with his back to her, gazing out over the moonlit lake, soft black hair ruffled by the breeze. Something dangled from his fingers, sending a spray of glittery reflections across his feet. He was standing very still.
Maybe she shouldn't bother him. She almost turned back, and then decided not to. Grieving alone was almost as bad as losing someone. Cautiously, she made her way along the dock until she reached him. "Artemis?"
Artemis spun, taking a half-step backwards before seeing that it was her. He hastily stuffed whatever he was holding into his pocket, and leaned down. "What are you doing here?"
His eyelashes were wet.
Slowly, Holly reached up and touched his face. That was wet too. No matter how natural tears sounded, seeing Artemis Fowl cry bothered her. It wasn't right. "I came to see you."
"Thank you." Artemis looked away, and then straightened. "Walk with me?"
Holly caught hold of his hand, and trotted after him off the dock to the path, feeling ridiculously like a small child. "You had a busy day."
Artemis nodded. "I had no idea how much my father screened me from. I mean— I did, but I didn't realize just how horrible most of those people were. Someone wanted to do some kind of research project on me, if you'll believe it! And they'd got some government grant to do it too."
"Doesn't surprise me. They should have offered you the project though. You'd probably do a better job." Holly stopped beside him. "Artemis? I'm sorry it happened."
"I know you are, Holly. Thank you for coming." For a moment, he rested his hand on the top of her head. Then he sat down in the grass. "I had guessed it would probably be something like that—I mean a murder—but not that it would happen so soon."
"We never expect that. We don't understand until later." Holly wrapped her arms around his neck, and rested her head on top of his. "You ought to go to bed soon, Artemis. It's going to be no different than yesterday. Phone calls. Business deals. All of that."
"I'm not tired."
Holly tightened her grip on him protectively. "Alright."
Artemis shut his eyes and leaned against her, relaxing slightly. "I'm glad you're here, Holly. I mean— I have Butler and Juliet, I suppose, but it's different with you."
"What's in your pocket?" Holly kissed the top of his head, mouth twitching as his soft hair tickled her face. "That sparkly thing you were holding earlier. What is it?"
Slowly, Artemis withdrew a necklace from his pocket. It had a thin gold chain, and dangling from it was an ice-blue diamond, the exact same brilliant color as his eyes. "My mother's." Carefully, he coiled the chain in her hand, and dropped the diamond on top of the mound.
"Is this from the…"
"From the tiara?" Artemis smiled tiredly. "Yes. I gave it to her because it's the color of my father's eyes."
Holly looked at him. "And yours."
For a while, neither of them said anything. Holly clutched the necklace tightly in her fist, and stood against him, her other hand buried in his hair. Artemis gazed out at the soft, rippling water.
"What?" Holly glanced down questioningly, giving him back the necklace.
"I need to tell you something, and I think you're going to hate me."
She tensed, and slowly stepped back. "You didn't— you didn't have anything to do with your parents'—"
"No!" gasped Artemis, looking horrified. "No! Nothing like that! No, Holly!"
"I'm sorry." Holly stepped back, and sat down beside him. "That must have sounded really horrid. I didn't mean it that way Artemis. I didn't think that even if you had it would have been more than an accident. I know you. You're not like that."
Artemis nodded. "Holly? I think I'm in love with you."
Holly froze. "You what?"
"I'm sorry," said Artemis miserably. "I didn't mean to. I always made an effort not to, because I knew I shouldn't, but I couldn't help it. It just sort of happened."
"You know we can't, Artemis."
"Yes." Artemis rose suddenly, and turned away from her, shoulders bent. "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have even said that. I'm sorry Holly. Forget about it. I just wanted to tell you. It's not like I wanted to act on it, or anything. Don't worry about it."
"Are you sure you just—"
"I'm sure, Holly. Maybe you ought to leave. I'm sorry."
Holly hesitated, uncertain about whether to leave or to stay. "If it was anything I did, Artemis, I'm really sorry!"
"It was nothing you did, Holly. You did nothing wrong. I just… I'm sorry. I think you'd better go. It's late, and I'm tired, and I kind of ruined things, if you know what I mean."
He looked down over his shoulder at her. "Yes?"
"I do care about you."
For a long moment, Artemis looked at her, studied her, watched her. Holly didn't move. "Will you let me do something?"
Very slowly, Artemis turned around, and sank down on his knees, so that he was closer to her eye level. "Will you let me kiss you? Just once? For just a moment?"
Holly hesitated, caught up inside the sparkling ice-blue of his eyes. "Yes," she whispered finally.
Artemis gently pulled her against him, and bent his head, brushing his lips against hers. It was a chaste kiss. It was a quiet kiss. It was an undemanding kiss, but it brought Holly's whole world tumbling down over her head. She'd had no idea Artemis could be this way. She'd had no idea… no idea she ever loved him like she did.
She could almost feel the overwhelming hurt in him when their lips touched. Hurt for everything. Artemis understood the things he had done when he was younger, and the pain of the people he'd hurt was magnified in him. She desperately want to hold onto him, like a small child. To ease the pain and the hurt.
Artemis needed just one person to love him. Just one. But the one person he'd decided to love, he couldn't have.
He pulled back quietly, caressing her face with his fingertips. "Thank you."
"Never," he whispered hoarsely. "We can't. Forget it happened, Holly. But thank you. Thank you for letting me love you. I just needed to love you for a moment."
Holly swallowed. "Goodbye, Artemis."
Slowly, Holly shimmered out of view and rose into the air. Why did she want to cry? What was wrong?
For a long time, Artemis stood where he was. Then he walked out on the dock, and dropped to his knees at the edge, burying his face in his hands. His shoulders began to shake, at first a tremble, and then they were shaking hard, and Artemis Fowl was sobbing like a child.
Holly felt a tear of frustration trickle down her cheek as she watched him. Why? Why did this have to happen to him?
"Oh Holly," he sobbed. "I love you Holly…" He sat there, rocking back and forth, and whispering her name softly to himself. Below him, the lake water rippled quietly under the moon, stirred by the breeze.
At last he got to his feet, and stood there, fist clenched tightly against his side. Tears trickled down his cheeks, but he did not move. "Goodbye," he whispered again.
Slowly he reached into his pocket, and pulled out his mother's necklace. The gold sparkled, and the diamond glowed. Artemis looked at for a moment, and then hurled it out over the water as he turned back towards the house.
Almost automatically, Holly reached out, and snatched the necklace as it flew past her in the air. She stared at the diamond, the exact same sparkling ice-blue of Artemis's eyes. After tonight, she'd never be able to look at him the same way. She didn't know if she'd ever be able to look at him again without running the risk of tears.
She looked up at Artemis's shadow as he wound his way up the hill towards the manor, head down, hands in pocket. Slowly, she slipped it over her head, and let the diamond fall between her breasts. "Goodbye," she whispered.
Sorry if you're a happily-ever-after-er. I couldn't do that. If I did, this thing kind of loses the emotion. However, after Flame of the Gods is finished, I might write an A/H with a happy ending.
Please review. I don't know why, but a tiny fraction of people seem to be reviewing my other story, and a few other people have pointed out that readers just aren't taking the time to write a review. It doesn't have to be long or brilliant, it's just nice to hear what people think of your story.