Artemis Fowl Fan Fiction

Professional Relationship

By Kraven Ergeist

A/N: Well, just finished reading "The Opal Deception," the fourth book in the series, and incidentally, it was a welcome replacement for the ending given to us by "The Eternity Code." I definitely recommend reading it for those of you who haven't, but if you have yet to read it, here's the lowdown:

Fowl is, indeed, back up to speed. I won't give away the story, but insofar, Artemis has found a relatively moral outlet for his criminal mind: Namely, finding lost and/or stolen piece of art, and giving them to museums. He also shares a business relationship with Holly Short, who has quit the LEP to work as a private detective.

No, I didn't invent all of this, this was actually written in the book. Some of the parts I didn't like – such as the lack of substance in the dialogue between Artemis and Holly, which was originally fuelled by their rivalry. Since they're not really rivals in the book, that was somewhat off.

Anyhow, here goes.

xxxxx

Chapter One

Butler was pleased with Artemis' work so far. He had stolen, removed and excavated over a dozen masterpieces from their previous holders and presented them to over eight museum's worldwide, a phenomenon coming to be known as "The Artistic Benefaction."

Artemis gave little thought to the security guards framing the museum's most recent and most valuable acquisition. He had not long ago removed that very piece from much tighter security. These two cronies were nothing.

Artemis allowed himself a smile as he gazed upon his latest act of goodwill: "The Rose Guardian." The picture showed a woman of fey nature, though of which exactly, he could not place. She was standing amidst a garden of red and green, her clothes an ornate blend of similar colors. Her smile, however, was the most captivating aspect of the piece.

"You're drooling, Mud-boy," a familiar voice sounded.

Artemis closed his mouth, not turning around. "I do not drool, Holly, and certainly not in the presence of others."

The figure standing behind him, dressed in human clothes, wearing a green beret to hide her ears, smiled, as she stood next to the boy.

Artemis glanced at his pocket watch. "You're late, by the way."

Holly smiled, closing her eyes. "Come now, a little leniency on your part couldn't hurt."

Artemis spared a glance at the elf's ambient features. Anyone looking at her would see a girl no older than twelve or thirteen, when she was actually somewhere in her early hundreds. Her auburn hair peeked daintily from underneath her beret, and her hazel eyes shone with a fiery glow unmatched by most.

"Our client was most pleased," Holly ventured, detecting a loss of small talk, and proceeding to business. "And our accounts have been adjusted accordingly. Are you sure your parents are not going to recognize the sudden swell in their account?"

Artemis sighed. "Holly, if my parents and I used the same account, they would have noticed the increase years ago. My own, private account I keep secret from them. They don't mind, of course. We believe in our mutual privacy when it comes to our finances."

Holly nodded. "Of course. So, anything else we need to do, besides ogle over our most recent acquisition?"

Artemis nodded. "As a matter of fact, there is."

Holly passed him a look. "And that would be…?"

Artemis held up a finger. "Now, now, Mrs. Short, where would the fun be in telling you?"

Holly's face reddened. Whenever he addressed her like that, it always meant he was planning something devious. "Arty…" she muttered, counterbalancing the formality with familiarity. "What are you planning?"

Artemis held up his hands, as he began to walk out of the museum studio. "Nothing too rash. Just a little diversion from our professional lives. Come now, we shouldn't delay. Butler had to make reservations and everything."

"Butler?" Holly queried. "Reservations?"

xxxxx

The site that greeted Holly was not what she had been expecting. Having known Artemis for two years, she had grown slightly accustomed to what to expect from the boy. But this blew everything out of proportions.

"This is what you wanted us to do?" Holly asked, somewhat put off.

Before her was a glass table complete with glass chairs, in a glass room, over five stories in the air, with a stunning view of the midday Swedish landscape where the museum resided.

They were standing in the museum restaurant.

"Oh, don't be that way," Artemis said. "When's the last time the two of us ever sat down quietly to talk about anything but business matters?"

Holly looked a little flustered. "Well, we…I…" she harrumphed. "Never."

Artemis nodded. "Exactly. Now, we have the room to ourselves here. I went ahead and ordered ahead, and I'm having Butler deliver what we order. So, there's no need to hide your true nature here."

Holly took her cue, and removed her beret, letting her ears twitch free, and her auburn hair, now at ear length flowed freely. She also removed the loose, billowy outer clothing that hid her proportions, making her seem younger than she was. She was now only dressed in a cropped green shirt and rouge pants, and now appeared to be a pint sized 22-year old woman, while Artemis retained his puny appearance of a 14-year-old boy.

Holly smiled. "Well…that certainly feels better. It was so hot in that damn cloak, I thought I was going to boil over."

Artemis sighed, offering her a seat. "Please…"

Holly smiled, taking the seat. "How gentlemanly of you."

Artemis nodded, taking his own seat. "I try."

Holly waited for him to be seated and smiled. "You certainly outdid yourself with this one, Artemis."

Artemis smiled. "Hardly. Given what I can spend, we could own the museum at the snap of my fingers." He took a sip of the water that had been placed there. "But you didn't come up here to listen to me brag now, did you?"

Holly chuckled. "No…it's kind of a turn-off."

Artemis almost choked on the water her was drinking. "Really, Holly, I wanted to digress from business matters, but don't you think that's taking it a bit too far?"

Holly smiled, enjoying watching him stumble. "Not at all, Mud-boy."

Artemis scrunched the side of his face. "That 'Mud-boy' title is rather stale as well, Mrs. Short. And anyway, when's the last time you've ever known me to associate with mud?"

Holly sighed. "Oh, a few months ago, when you were rolling in it in hopes of staving off that barrage of Trolls."

Artemis leered. The girl was good. "We were both rolling in it at the time, if I remember correctly – and remembering correctly is never a certainty wherever it concerns the People."

Holly put on her best innocent look.

Artemis sighed. "And besides, that was out of necessity. Most humans see mud as something to be avoided if at all possible. But I don't feel like getting into a debate over the two peoples. To be perfectly honest, I'd rather talk about you."

Holly blinked. "Me?"

Artemis nodded. "Holly, we've made the occasional rendezvous when you needed anything done above world, if ever I needed something from the People, but that's all we've really done."

Holly shrugged, looking innocently at him. "Well, what are you expecting, Mud Boy? A date?"

Artemis chuckled. "Well, unless I'm mistaken, and I rarely am, that's exactly what we're doing right now."

Holly leered. She did not like being on the losing end of a discussion.

"You have made mistakes in the past, Mud Boy."

Artemis smiled, enjoying this game. "Then am I also mistaken in assuming that the 'Mud Boy' title, contrary to its original inception, has evolved into a term of endearment?"

Holly caught her breath, her cheeks a very becoming shade of red.

"Oh, I'm sorry," Artemis chuckled. "Did that strike a nerve?"

Holly pouted. "Well, if it is…then I suggest you not look a gift horse in the mouth, Artemis."

Artemis sat back in his chair. "Oh, so now it's Artemis all of the sudden?"

Holly sighed. "Why do you care so much about what I call you?"

Artemis took a sip from his drink. "I am a trafficker of many things, not the least of which is information. And you, Mrs. Short have persisted in eluded me."

Holly blinked, now more befuddled than ever. "I beg your pardon?"

"You can discern quite bit from someone by the way they speak with you, particularly the manner in which they address you."

Holly stared hard at him. "What do you want from me?"

Artemis smiled genuinely at her. "Simply to know you better. We've maintained one of the few friendships that I've ever been permitted. Yet even Diggums reveals more about himself than you do?"

Holly eyed the Mud boy, curiously. Was he being serious?

"Why the sudden interest?"

Artemis shrugged. "Curiosity for one thing. Propriety for another – we've been acquainted for all of two and a half years, with minimal prying into the deeper recesses of our respective lives."

"And you mean to tell me that this sudden urge has nothing to do with your newly acquired teenage mind?"

Artemis fought the urge to smile. "I admit, perhaps my hormones have gotten the better of me, at least in terms of their affect on my, ah…inhibitions."

Holly tossed her hair, smugly. "Or lack thereof."

"My point is…" Artemis steeped his fingers. "The scheming, omnipresent genius you've always known is still running the show."

"Pity…" Holly sighed. "And here I'd hoped you'd become a philanthropist."

Artemis permitted himself a brief chuckle. "There are a scant few in this world, Miss Short, who have born witness to any display of generosity on my part."

Holly fixed the boy with a serious look. "I know. I'm one of them."

Artemis smiled, letting her know that what she'd said was his exact point.

"Well, what do you want to know about me, Artemis?" Holly shrugged. "Whether or not I enjoy long walks on the beach?"

"Do you even know what a beach looks like?"

"I've seen them before."

"Seen, but not visited I take it."

"The People don't really frequent the upper world for social outings," Holly shook her head. "At least, not the places a human would go to."

Artemis shrugged. "Have you ever considered it?"

"Considered what? Going to the beach?"

"Or any place a human might frequent."

Holly rolled her eyes. "I'll try to work that into my schedule."

"Is private practice really so demanding as to allot you that little free time?"

Holly eyed the mud boy warily. "I suppose not. But why would I ever go to something like that? I hate the sunlight, and salt water really irritates our skin."

Artemis nodded. "There's something else we have in common."

"Then why are you trying to convince me to visit a beach?"

"You're the one who mentioned the beach Miss Short," Artemis pointed out. "I simply meant for you to come topside more often."

Holly smiled. "A-ha. So now the truth comes out."

Artemis blinked. "Excuse me?"

"As much as I'm loathe to admit it, Artemis, you and I share a myriad of interests," Holly pointed out. "And nearly all of them can be met within the confines of a regular human establishment, not unlike your own."

Artemis nodded. "Go on."

Holly suppressed a giggle. "I don't see what more needs to be said. It's rather obvious when a boy makes this much of an effort to spend time with a woman he likes."

Artemis felt his palms grow sweaty.

"Some would say that you are presuming a great deal to make such a suggestion."

"That thing is, Artemis…" Holly locked eyes with the boy. "I don't think it's presumption."

Artemis felt compelled to avert his gaze, but he forced himself to meet her stare. "And why do you think that?"

Holly smiled, crushing the air from his lungs. "Because you haven't taken your eyes off me for the entire day."

This time, Artemis couldn't help but look away. "I…seem to be at a loss…"

Holly set her silverware down, her meal finished. "About time. A challenge is one thing, an unbreakable wall, however, is not fun at all."

Artemis sighed. "Well I can only hope steadily wheedling down my resolve has proven entertaining for you."

"Very much so…" Holly smiled, flashing a smile that left him stunned. "I might be inclined to allow for a rematch, say…this coming weekend? Your place?"

Artemis stumbled for words. This was downright embarrassing! "Uh…sure. The Fowl Manor is always open to the people."

"Watch what you say, Artemis," Holly chided. "You might end up regretting it."

Artemis nodded. "But I meant it."

Holly blinked. "You just invited ever faerie in the world to enter your house."

Artemis nodded. "Think of the challenges they could present. Every day, trying to catch one sneaking in. And if they make off with something, it will be all the more fun trying to steal it back. And the best part is, they can't even escape underground – I've got an inside man. Well, woman."

Holly sighed. "I'm not gonna just drop everything to help you, Artemis."

The boy genius sighed. "It's not going to be all that much. Maybe a phone call to get me pointed in the right direction. And besides, it's not like People are going to be swarming to get in – nobody knows I've invited the People in except you. So you determine the amount of unwelcome visitors I receive."

"That's putting an awful lot in my hands."

"I know," Artemis smiled at her. "I trust you."

Holly felt her shoulders slacken. "…Thanks Artemis…" Then, shifting the mood back to one of humor, she winked. "One day, I hope I'll be able to return the favor."

"Don't hold your breath," Artemis sighed, standing up, deciding to wrap up the luncheon for the day. "So, when can I expect you this weekend?"

"Friday, midnight," Holly smiled, getting to her feet. "If I've learned one thing about you, Artemis, it's that you can be just as much a creature of the night as any of my kind."

The boy smiled, nodding. "I'll take that as a compliment. Until Friday then?"

Artemis took Holly's hand in his, kissing it hesitantly.

Holly didn't let any reaction show. "I'll see you then…"

Holly retrieved her coat and beret and disappeared down the hallway.

Artemis turned back to see Butler quietly clearing the table.

"I trust everything went well?" the Eurasian man asked.

The young Fowl heir apparent remained pensively silent. Already he was making plans for getting Holly back on the ropes.

Artemis Fowl was one boy not to be taken lightly.