A June Wedding
"We're planning a June wedding."
Artemis had no idea how true his words would be, Butler reflected absently as he roamed through the halls of Fowl Manor. But then again, nobody expected this would happen at all, even a genius who could predict any outcome of a situation better than some crackpot psychic.
The upcoming Fowl-Paradizo nuptials, that is.
Butler was responsible for the day's security. Though there were only a few guests, around twenty as Artemis and Minerva only wanted a quiet wedding with minimum audience, there were a lot of things that could go wrong.
Traditionally, Fowl weddings were done on churches though not necessarily on Irish soil. The garden wedding would be a first and it was just as Minerva had wanted it.
The whole manor was abuzz with activity. Even if the preparations were for a ceremony only a handful would attend, Angeline was adamant that this special day would be the stuff of girl's dreams. White roses and tulips were imported from the Netherlands; bolts of the finest silk, satin, and cotton arrived in boxes; even an expensive French restaurant in Dublin was hired to do the catering.
"As any mother, it is my duty to see to it that my son has the most memorable day of his life," Angeline had said when Artemis protested that they wanted a quiet ceremony with minimum fuss. The tone in her voice was one that refused to brook over any argument.
Mr. Paradizo agreed. No way would he give his daughter away in a ceremony short of spectacular. Reluctant about the whole thing though he was, he couldn't help but be softened by the obvious happiness of the youngsters in love.
Butler surveyed the back gardens where neat rows of chairs were being arranged. A woman nearby was adding finishing touches to the altar bouquet.
"One, two, I'm at the back," Butler spoke to a radio in his sleeve. "How're things in the bride's room?"
Juliet, who agreed to be the bride's maid of honor, responded.
"The bride's here, dressing in her gown," said Juliet. "It's really beautiful. Maybe when I get married, I'll have a gown as beautiful as that one."
Butler nearly popped an artery. "What?!"
Juliet giggled. "Take a chill pill. Phil hasn't asked me yet. But I'm hoping that it would be soon," she added just to annoy him.
Phil was another wrestler Juliet met when she was on tour in America. He was the only wrestler who didn't feel bad getting pinned by the powerful Jade Princess. After the match, he had asked Juliet out and she accepted. They've been dating for two years.
He wasn't exactly the type of man Butler would pick for his sister but she seems happy enough. Of course, she didn't know about the threatening phone calls and visits from Butler, saying that if Juliet ever cried because of him, the next time anyone would cry over him would be at his funeral.
That was enough to make any guy faithful.
"I should hope not," Butler growled, going up the stairs to Artemis's room.
Holly, who was in the room with Minerva and Caballine, spoke up. "She's not sixteen anymore, you know."
"No, she's only an impulsive thirty-year old," retorted Butler.
Butler could almost hear Juliet roll her eyes as she said, "Whatever. Over and out."
Artemis was in his study, enjoying some whiskey with Mulch. Foaly wasn't drinking any but was joining the conversation.
"Not having any wedding jitters?" Butler asked Artemis after nodding hello to the other two occupants of the room.
"A little," Artemis admitted, fighting the urge to play with his bow tie. "I know everything's going to be fine. After all, I am a genius and I planned the whole thing. Okay, Mother did, but only because I let her and I don't think planning for weddings is part of my expertise. I am a really nervous though—about the whole thing. I mean, marriage is a big step. I'm sure about loving Minerva with all my heart—more than enough for me to want to picture our lives together—"
Butler put his hands on Artemis's shoulders. "You're blabbering. That nervous, huh?"
"I guess," said Artemis. "It's just that, I think to myself what I did to deserve her. Whenever I look at her, I just feel as if everything's right in the world."
"Love's a powerful thing, it seems," said Butler.
"You're reading too much fiction," said Artemis.
"Blame your bride," retorted Butler lightly. "She's the one who got me started reading fiction."
Artemis smiled. "She's changed all of us, hasn't she?"
"She's a special girl. Try to keep her," said Butler. "I may be your bodyguard for life, but if you break her heart, I'll break your bones."
Artemis laughed. "Changing loyalties now, old friend? I'm wounded."
Butler grinned. "She's the daughter I never had. Fathers do tend to protect their daughters more."
Minerva was certainly the daughter he never had. During Artemis's disappearance because of time tunnels, they had become good friends. Butler began looking forward to her visits during school holidays with her bags packed full of books—all of them novels—that she'd been dying for him to read.
Before long, Butler was ordering books instead of weaponry and surveillance equipment online.
Butler looked at his charge looking impeccable in his black designer suit. He couldn't help the surge of pride he felt for Artemis. He had gone through so much during his younger years. Though Butler was there with him every step of the way, he was still a boy and managed to get them through it all with the help of his big brain.
And now he was facing another challenge: marriage.
How Artemis and Minerva had gotten together wasn't exactly a mystery. Minerva was the first girl of Artemis's own age who had managed to hold on to his interest for more than a passing second. In addition to being exceptionally beautiful, she also had an IQ almost as high as Artemis.
Though the bickered a lot, it was only about minor disagreements about different theories. Both never really had time to enjoy themselves as they were both very busy.
Artemis was Chairman and President of the newly instated Fowl Industries. He also was President of a boarding school he set up for gifted youngsters. Minerva was a very famous psychiatrist for the rich and famous and also trotted around the world promoting her books and signing autographs when her novels became instant bestsellers.
So it was a miracle that they managed to have so long a relationship without having much problems.
"Yeah, yeah," said Mulch. "Obviously, Arty here is having second thoughts about his own wedding. I told you that you shouldn't have gone through with this. You should have taken the same path of uncommitted bachelorhood as I have. No complications. Foaly, work up some blood tests from Mr. Nutso here. He might have been taking drugs when he asked Minerva."
"You're only saying that because you're sad," Foaly sneered. "While all of us are in marital bliss you get to roll around your precious mud."
"Shut it, donkey."
"Make me, reprobate."
"Artemis. The wedding's going to start. We should head on downstairs," said Butler, checking his watch. "You two better be invisible by the time we head out."
Foaly snorted. "These suits are none like the LEP is wearing nowadays. This is even better than Section Eight issue because of the integrated cooling system I put in. you could have been standing in the Sahara all day and feel as if you're enjoying a breeze in the Mediterranean. Plus, I've also upgraded the shielding system."
"But you forgot that this suit is so skin tight it's showing out the curves on my behind," growled Mulch. "There isn't any bum flap on this thing! What if I explode?"
Foaly just grinned nastily.
"Yes. I'm ready," answered Artemis. He touched Butler's arm. Though he had grown quite taller over the years, he just about reached the giant manservant's shoulders. "Butler, thanks for being my best man."
Butler smiled. "It was a choice between Bobo and the twins."
"Yes, I couldn't forget the argument on who would be my best man."
Bobo and the twins fought over the title with great gusto. The three of them wanted the pleasure of dancing with the maid of honor.
Butler simply raised an eyebrow on the fight over dancing with his sister. To spare any bloodshed (mostly on Bobo's part), Artemis decided that his manservant would be the best choice.
Nobody brooked any argument.
Simply because they knew how protective Butler was of Juliet.
"I'm having enough problems with Juliet because of that Phil guy of hers," grunted Butler. "I didn't want to add Bobo and the twins in my list."
Artemis chuckled. "Bobo said that he likes blondes and the twins were gaga over Juliet since they hit puberty."
"The Fowl puberty should be something to look out for. Remember what happened to you and Minerva."
"I couldn't. Given that I wasn't hitting my puberty then, I still would have become attracted to her. She was so like me. I liked that. I never met a girl my own age before who could match me in intellect."
"Only you would think a girl showing an IQ of more than one-eighty is a definite turn on."
Artemis stared at Minerva as she walked down the aisle. She was wearing a cream-coloured silk gown that thankfully didn't make her look like an overlarge meringue. In fact, she looked positively exquisite.
And she's going to be mine.
He felt his breath hitch when she finally reached him. He shook hands with Mr. Paradizo and drew Minerva's arm through his.
Artemis, with the special iris-cam Foaly had given him, could see all of his fairy friends who were invisible to everybody else except Minerva, Butler and Juliet giving him the thumbs-up. Mulch was hidden behind a grubby handkerchief and Holly was patting his back. Foaly had his arms wrapped around Caballine. Qwan and Number One were there as well.
"Dear brothers and sisters. Today we are gathered here to witness the joining of two wonderful people in holy matrimony…."
Artemis was only half-listening. His mind was taking him back to the time when he saw Minerva for the first time after a three-year 'disappearance'.
They had met in a small café in the outskirts of Paris, near Minerva's university. He thought he was prepared for what should be a casual conversation. Instead, the minute he saw Minerva, he was bowled over.
Without warning, she had her arms thrown around him and was talking a mile a minute. Artemis could only stare at her.
She had grown up a lot. She was as tall as him and had her previously corkscrew curls softened into golden waves that framed her face. Even in uniform, she looked like a model. Not that Artemis knew anything about modeling down the runway.
The conversation revolved mostly around what happened at Hybras. When they parted five hours later, Minerva had promised that she would visit Fowl Manor for the holidays.
"Minerva, when I first saw you, I didn't know that this would happen to both of us. For all of my brain power, this was the very thing that I never counted upon. Being happy no words could describe. And it's because of you. You have made a man happier than he could ever deserve…."
When the holidays came, it was full of surprises. Minerva arrived, saying that she boarded the train as soon as classes were over for the term. Mr. and Mrs. Fowl were surprised at the sight of their son with a girl of his own age no less and having a decent conversation with her that didn't involve too much quantum physics. Angeline was impressed with Minerva and the two had become great friends as well.
After the holidays, Artemis and Minerva had started dating, both taking time off university whenever they can to just walk around the streets and have a good time.
"I love you, Minerva. Those four words are something you should never tire of hearing because I'll say it to you everyday…every minute of our lives…. I swear to protect you, take care of you and our future children with all of me."
Their first fight had been about the new theory about ripping space and time. Artemis, having experienced time tearing apart in front of him, had lots to say. Minerva, however disagreed with him on some points. The debate turned into a blazing row and ended with Minerva slamming the door in Artemis's face.
The two refused to talk to each other for two weeks. It would have taken longer had not Holly, Mulch, Butler and Foaly interfered.
"Artemis. The circumstances which pushed us together was less than pleasant I agree. But as I knew you bit by bit, I realized that you were someone I treasured as a friend. Later on you would become the very person I couldn't live without. You were always beside me when I needed you…."
Artemis proposed after more than ten years of dating on and off. They were having another argument again. In the middle of the debate, he shouted Because I want to marry you, so there. Butler's eyes widened. Artemis started, not believing that the words came out of his mouth.
Minerva just stared at him, disbelieving herself. The damage was done. He had to face it. Butler slipped out quietly, giving them some privacy.
Artemis asked her to marry him—less than eloquently as he would have liked.
Minerva gave a heartfelt and tremulous yes.
"And now it is my solemn vow to give you all of me."
The priest looked at them both before announcing, "I now pronounce you man and wife. You may kiss the bride."
"You know what, Holly," said Foaly. "I think that this relationship is going to last. Don't you think so?"
Holly nodded. "Stop crying, Mulch."
"Artemis is going to the bowels of the earth now. He's going to die!" Mulch sobbed.
Foaly irritably threw a clean handkerchief at the crying dwarf. "For goodness sakes, dwarf! He's getting married, not getting himself killed! You said that during my wedding to Caballine and here I am, still happy with my love."
Caballine squeezed her husband's hand gently.
Qwan said to Number One, "Ah, this is one magic that even humans posses: love. So simple yet so powerful"
"I agree," said Number One though he knew that his master was talking like some cheap romance novel again.
Mulch quickly found another reason to cry about. "But…but…what about his thieving days? Those wonderful days are over! I can't work for him anymore."
This time it was Holly who grew annoyed. "He's been out of that life since we butted in it. Face it Mulch, you're just sad that everyone you know is getting married and you think that we're leaving you alone."
"What? No way! What about you? Are you getting married?"
Foaly, Caballine, Qwan, and Number One stared at Holly, waiting for her to speak. Holly turned crimson, which made her look like some stuffed Christmas ornament.
"It's really not official yet but…I met this elf at this function one time. His name is Trace and he also worked for the LEPretrieval before setting up his own PI business. He asked me out once and that is it."
Foaly and Mulch stared at each other with smirks on their faces. Later on, they would make a bet on the outcome of this particular relationship. Foaly, blinded with ideas due to romanticisms, bet that Holly would marry in the next five years. Mulch said that one day she would catch the jerk cheating on him and would readily blast his bum with a Neutrino that would put any dwarf's smoking bum to shame.
Mulch won. And it's only because he knew the guy. Holly wouldn't speak to him for two months.
"Hey, you never asked if I knew the guy," Mulch protested when Holly gave him a nice shiner that all in all made him resemble half a panda.
"Great, the ladies would never like this one bit."
Artemis stared at the setting sun, his arm wrapped around his wife.
"Did it happen?" asked Minerva softly. "Have we really done it?"
Artemis laughed. "Well, if that ring on your finger isn't proof enough, maybe you would like a demonstration?"
Artemis didn't say anything but swept her up in his arms.
"Now I'm going to show you that we are truly married. And this time, you're allowed to scream."
Disclaimer: Don't own Artemis Fowl. Can't you see I'm bitter? The amazing Eoin Colfer owns it.
A/N: Please REVIEW and thanks for reading. Unbetaed so all mistakes are mine. This is my first Artemis Fowl fic, so please be nice. :P