A/N: The 3measures challenge involves writing nine fics (in this case drabbles) involving a threesome, to a series of prompts. I've used the prompts for section titles.
Warnings: Dark, adult themes, sexual references, slash, character deaths, creepiness, and angst.
1: The sphinx's riddle
Holly had never seen Artemis lost for words before.
"I'm sorry, Artemis," she said gently. "It's not you. It's just… there's someone else."
"But I…" he said, in a lost little boy sort of voice, then he stiffened and turned away, not allowing her to see into his broken heart.
"I am sorry, Artemis," she repeated. She considered laying a comforting hand on his knee, then reconsidered and walked away.
He only looked up after she was gone, his face arranged – not in the expression of despair she had assumed – but in a familiar vampiric smile.
Artemis had a plan.
2: Camera obscura
The footage was grainy, black and white, perfect.
It was only with the aid of his immense imagination that he could make it out at all, every detail vivid in his minds eye. The tiny camera had taken him nearly two weeks to design, and another week to arrange installation. But there it was, just as he had suspected (hoped).
Two figures entwined in the one bed. Blond and auburn hair mingling. A pale hand clutching at the smaller one's dark-skinned back. All his adolescent fantasies fulfilled at once.
There was no soundtrack but his own breathing.
It didn't matter.
3: Middle finger salute
It couldn't last, of course.
Even Artemis couldn't keep ahead of Foaly's technology, so when Holly activated her bugsweeper accidentally, the tiny camera lit up like a Christmas tree on her scanner. Juliet made a rude gesture at it before dropping it and swatting it with her shoe.
Artemis let out his bated breath as snow crackled over the screen. Neither Holly nor Juliet would be under any illusions about who could have bugged Juliet's newly repaired light-fitting.
But they couldn't do anything about it.
Mutual blackmail, he smiled inwardly, was a wonderful thing.
He began designing a second camera.
Three shots brought Butler down, but even in death he protected his principal. With a bullet lodged beneath his eye – his muscles trained to respond even though his brain was dead already – his cooling body fell over his small charge, protecting Artemis from the spray of bullets until the gunman's car was gone.
At the funeral, Juliet refused to meet Artemis's eyes.
Holly gestured for him to come down to her level so that she could give him a hug, but punched him instead.
Then hugged him anyway.
Artemis finally cried. And arranged to have the second camera installed.
5: Depth perception
They tried only meeting in hotels, gardens, in other countries, even underground; they tried to escape him, but the bugs followed them.
Sometimes they found them, sometimes they didn't. But whether or not they found them, Artemis was always smiling.
They began looking harder. They would find two, three, or more bugs in every room they went to, and still feel the invisible eyes of the young genius on them as they disrobed.
Finally, they gave up. If Artemis wanted to watch, well… there was nothing they could do about it.
Nothing, that was, but give him something worth watching.
6: Poison ivy
"It's best for all of us really," shrugged Artemis. "You want a child. You need a cover. I need an heir."
They stared at him, hands clutched tightly.
"I'm not even asking to be involved in the… traditional way," he smirked.
Their horrified eyes converged on the glass vial which dangled languidly from his left hand, half filled with a pearly liquid.
Holly punched him again, but rather than drop the vial, his hand tightened convulsively around it. His blue eyes laughed at her, knowing they would accept, even as his nose dripped red blood all over the Persian carpet.
7: "In thunder, lightning or in rain"
It rained on their wedding day.
"Fairies," whispered Artemis as they knelt together at the front of the cathedral, the air between them shimmering in the humidity, "consider rain to be good luck on such an auspicious occasion."
Juliet stared him down with hate brimming in her eyes, the swelling at her waist barely noticeable as yet.
Thunder drowned out their vows of love and fidelity.
Lightning flashed through the stained glass windows and, in the strangely coloured light, Artemis could almost see shimmering shadows of a tiny hand covering his own.
They pushed the ring onto Juliet's finger together.
8: The measurement of life
"Her name is Hazel," Juliet told the nurse, darting a secret smile at the shimmering air beside her.
"Hazel Artemis Fowl," clarified Artemis from the door, then entered to inspect his daughter.
"Yes," Juliet smiled at him through gritted teeth. "Hazel Artemis Fowl."
Artemis smirked as he dropped a kiss on Juliet's forehead – because he could, because she couldn't stop him with the nurse there – then looked down into the bundle she cradled against her chest. With one finger, he eased the blankets away from Hazel's downy cheek, then jumped as a tiny fist grabbed him.
"She's beautiful," he beamed.
9: Unfinished trilogy
Artemis died young, died suddenly. Geniuses never live long lives, criminal ones with powerful enemies even less so.
Hazel and Noelle locked themselves in their rooms, too shattered to do any more than cry.
"He was a good father," whispered Juliet to the empty air beside her. "If nothing else, he was that." Then she fell to her knees, crying on Holly's shoulder.
Their room suddenly seemed cold and empty without his invisibly smirking blue eyes watching them.
They made love on the fresh-turned earth of his grave and, for a moment, the world almost tilted back onto its axis.
A/N: Er… so, that was the most twisted love triangle I've ever written. I'd say it was the most twisted thing I've ever written at all, but Blue Yeti and Dim Aldebaran would know I was lying. Made my husband go EWWWWW! anyway.