Many many hundreds of thanks to everyone who read and reviewed this story, and even to those of you who read it, but were clearly far too flabbergasted to review. Also large amounts of gratitude to the people who added my story to their Story Alert/Favorites list, or who even went so far as to follow/favorite me as an author! That really means a lot to me, and I'm very touched. Additionally, for all of you who have been waiting and waiting for months and months that turned into years for an update, you can thank ILoveFowl for giving me the kick in the pants I needed to breathe life into this story once more. I hope that you all enjoy this long-awaited final installment of Sleepless, or that at the very least you find it so utterly ridiculous that reading it makes you laugh until your beverage of choice comes shooting out of your nose. Enjoy! And if you can, please please review!
Artemis was not the type to be rendered speechless on a regular basis, or really, on any kind of basis at all. His genius brain always had the perfect comment ready to be delivered. However, when he opened the door and saw Holly, the only clear thought that his brain registered was that she was now the cause of not one, but at least two of his supposedly rare moments of speechlessness.
Then his brain disengaged for a few moments as the full effect of what he was looking at washed over him.
Holly was human, most likely courtesy of another one of Foaly's inventions, although why either of them felt it necessary for her to disguise herself for this particular visit when all of Artemis's family members knew about Holly was beyond his cognitive abilities at the moment.
She wasn't just human. She was incredible. Artemis had always found Holly attractive in her fairy body, but her human form took everything that made Holly a physically gorgeous fairy and ran with it. Her hair was longer, just hitting her shoulders, which were bare save for the thin straps of the green top she was wearing, a top that was nicely filled out by a chest Artemis was sure she hadn't had before. It was just the right color, he noticed, to accentuate her eyes and her soft lips. He had some trouble unlocking his eyes from her chest, but once he did, he noticed that she too was wearing jeans, jeans that highlighted legs normally obscured by Holly's unisex LEP uniform.
Holly herself was experiencing a similar moment of paralyzing shock and awe. Her brain scrambled to figure out if she had ever seen Artemis in a pair of jeans before or if he had ever worn a shirt that complemented his eyes so perfectly. D'Arvit, she swore inwardly. Forget worrying about HIS self-control; I'm starting to worry about MINE! Artemis Fowl in blue jeans should be classified as a deadly weapon! She forced herself to wet her lips and actually speak instead of just staring at Artemis in stupefied disbelief, although judging by the fact that Artemis's eyes had suddenly grown bigger than Foaly's when presented with a fresh carrot, he wasn't thinking too clearly at the moment either. A gob smacked Artemis Fowl really was a sight to see.
Huh? Oh! Stop staring at her like an imbecile, you're a genius; act like it! Artemis mentally slapped himself and smiled at Holly.
"Hello, Holly. It's so nice to see you again. Here, come in." He stepped back to allow his friend to enter the hallway.
"Hi, Artemis," said Holly, nervously stepping into the hallway. "I bet you're wondering about my er, appearance…" she trailed off, noticing that Artemis was not looking at her face so much as what was somewhat below her face.
Gah! For all his brains, there are some things about Artemis that are irritatingly normal!
Holly conspicuously adjusted her top and cleared her throat.
Artemis gave a guilty jerk. "Huh? Oh, indeed, your appearance. Why have you shown up at my door in the guise of a human? My whole family now knows about you and I don't exactly have any neighbors nearby, so I fail to see the reason for the disguise. In any case, I presume your current state is courtesy of another invention of Foaly's?"
Holly stared. Was Artemis rambling? She resisted the urge to shake her head and grin at the same time. "Yes, I have Foaly to thank for my shiny new Mud Man body. There's no reason for it, of course; he just wanted to use me as a guinea pig for his latest invention."
Artemis tugged at the collar of his shirt. "And how long do the effects last?" he asked, trying his best to sound nonchalant.
This time, Holly allowed herself a grin. She stepped closer to Artemis and put a hand on his shoulder and spoke softly so Artemis had to lean in to hear her properly. "Oh, just a few hours or so. I have another mixture to turn me back if something goes wrong." She allowed her hand to drop from his shoulder, accidentally brushing his chest on the way down. She stepped past him and headed down the hallway to where she knew Artemis's office was. "Now could you please see if you can figure out how to fix my helmet before it does something like try to rally my refrigerator against me?"
Artemis stood, dumbstruck, in the hallway for a few seconds, his shoulder and chest tingling where Holly had touched him. Abruptly, her voice registered in his brain and he turned and hurried after his friend, trying to act as though nothing unusual had just occurred, even though a small part of his brain was screaming: Did Holly Short just flirt with me?!
Once in his office, Holly and Artemis stood looking side by side at Holly's smart-aleck LEP helmet, which was sitting on the genius's desk. "What exactly is it doing that's such a problem?" Artemis asked, picking up the elfin equipment.
Holly sighed. "It makes smart-aleck remarks every time I use it. The last time I switched it on, it shrieked that I had just interrupted a dream it was having about my microwave. My MICROWAVE, Arty. Not only that, it displays reluctance to actually do anything at all and I have to cajole it into action."
Artemis raised his eyebrows. "Well, Holly, it sounds like Foaly had a personality chip installed as a joke. If that assumption is correct, then I have good news and bad news."
Holly stiffened. "What do you mean?"
"Well," responded Artemis, holding Holly's helmet up for closer inspection, "the good news is that personality chips are separate from the rest of the device; removing it is a fairly elementary process and won't damage or alter any vital components. In fact, removing the chip should do the opposite; cause it to stop interfering with necessary functions and thus restore your helmet to normal working order."
"And the bad news?" asked Holly, ready to hear something heinous, like the chip couldn't just be disposed of and would have to be installed in something else and for the rest of her life, she'd have an alarm clock that instead of beeping to wake her up, would scream obscenities.
"The bad news is that personality chips are usually embedded deep within their respective devices so that they are in contact with the heart of the machine, as it were. So while removing it is easy, getting there is the hard part and requires several hours of painstaking work dismantling and reconstructing the equipment."
Holly's heart plummeted. So she'd get to sit here and watch Artemis perform microsurgery for the next three or four hours as the effects of Foaly's concoction slowly wore off? Not exactly the afternoon she'd had in mind. As much as she hated to admit it, Holly had been kind of hoping to, uh, test drive her new, temporary equipment, as it were. Well, at least she'd get to spend a few hours with Artemis, anyway. She inwardly grinned, remembering his expression when she'd started touching him in the hallway, as though someone had suddenly shoved a cattle prod into his back.
Artemis noticed Holly's downcast expression and tried to cheer her up. "Don't worry, Holly, I'm perfectly capable of removing the chip without damaging your helmet; it's just going to take a while thanks to Foaly and his endless affection for practical jokes."
Holly sighed and sat herself down on the nearby couch in a resigned sort of way. Artemis set the helmet on his desk and opened a drawer, selecting a few small tools, including an ordinary magnet. He then turned back to Holly's helmet, and, forcing himself to concentrate on the task at hand and not on his very attractive companion, set to work dismantling the insubordinate equipment.
Holly watched her brilliant friend as he, with great care and attention, took apart her beloved helmet, setting each section gently down on his desk as he removed it before returning to operate on the wad of wires and chips the helmet was slowly becoming.
Suddenly, something occurred to Holly. "There are several computer chips already in there, Artemis," she said, "How do you know which one is the personality chip?"
Artemis didn't dare lift his gaze from his work, knowing that if he met Holly's gaze, he would likely forget his own name. "I will know which one is the personality chip," he responded, "because it is considerably less complex than the other computer chips required to run your helmet. Additionally, it will only be attached to your helmet's control panel, making it easy to pinpoint." (Or something. If I had a rudimentary understanding of the way computers work, maybe my internet connection wouldn't suck so much, hahaha. If any of you reading this are studying and/or otherwise engaged in the field of computer science, feel free to be completely annoyed with me and shout corrections at your screen. And please accept my apologies. Just bear with me on this).
"Oh," said Holly, relieved. She watched Artemis work for several minutes and then spoke again. "So what then? Do I just get to sit here and die of boredom watching you work for the next three hours until my helmet learns some manners?"
"You are welcome to do so, but if you wish, Holly, you may return to Haven and I will contact you when I am finished," Artemis responded. At that point, he looked up at her and smiled. "Although I have to admit, I wish you'd stay, as I thoroughly enjoy your company and we barely get to see each other as it is."
Artemis's smile was thoroughly disconcerting, especially when he was being sincere. Holly found herself agreeing to stick around for the whole process, even though the thought of leaving had never occurred to her; she just hadn't wanted work to be the sole focus of the visit.
Artemis was more than capable of multitasking, however, and over the course of the next two hours, he and Holly talked about anything and everything that came to mind. They talked as they had never had the chance to do so during the course of their friendship, as whenever they were together they were completely engaged in and distracted by some life-threatening, save-the-world-or-we're-all-doomed-forever project. The non-life-threatening nature of the activity allowed the genius and the fairy to engage in a rare couple of hours of uninterrupted deep conversation. Artemis was pleasantly surprised and even a little humbled by the depth of Holly's passion for her people and her dedication to her job. He'd always known her to be a deeply caring individual and a phenomenal police officer, but he hadn't realized that those traits (among others) marked the core of who she truly was. Holly genuinely cared for and wanted to protect the People of Haven.
In addition, Holly was startled to find out that underneath his unruffled, holier-than-thou genius exterior, Artemis was harboring a great deal of love and compassion for the people in his life. He'd pretended that rescuing his father and returning his mother to sanity were nothing more than a business venture, but as he painstakingly dismantled Holly's helmet, Artemis quietly admitted that mostly he'd just wanted his family back. As she absorbed his words, Holly was struck by a sudden realization: Artemis was lonely.
"I've never even had a girlfriend, Holly," Artemis said, using a pair of ordinary tweezers to at last pluck the personality chip from its position on the helmet's main control panel. "I think most, if not all, girls are intimidated by my profound intellect and imposing personality, but I-"
"YOU CHURLISH, PRIBBLING, PUKING, RANK, WENCHING, RUMP-FED, HELL-HATED, WEAK-HINGED, SHRILL-GORGED, CLAY-BRAINED, EYE-OFFENDING RABBIT-SUCKER!"
Artemis jumped about a foot in the air in response to the ear-splitting shrieking that suddenly filled the office. So did Holly, who even went so far as to draw her weapon, looking around for the source of the outdated insults.
"Holly, it's okay; it's just the personality chip. Foaly must have programmed it to, erm, protest if and when someone tries to remove it," Artemis explained over shrieks of "I WILL HAVE YOUR HEAD FOR THIS TREACHERY AND YOUR DOG FOR MY SOUP!"
"Although," he added, "I grudgingly admire the usage of Shakespearean insults; it's certainly not something one expects to have hurled at them in this day and age. Quite creative."
"How do we turn it off?" Holly yelled, her hands covering her ears in a futile attempt to block out the angry accusations of being a "KNAVISH LILY-LIVERED MOLDWARP."
"Like this," said Artemis, hastily severing the remaining wire that connected the panel and the chip, the one that fed power to the chip and was thus allowing it to continue spewing insults at the pair. With a final weak gurgle of "Dragon squirrels can't smell time, yoooouuuu cowsacksssssss, bleearrgggghhh," the personality chip went finally, mercifully silent.
Holly and Artemis stared at it, frozen, for a few moments, to see if it had truly ceased functioning. After a minute or so had passed with no more insults emanating from the device, the two relaxed and Artemis gingerly set the personality chip in a dish on his desk.
"Are you done?" Holly asked hopefully.
"Well, I still have to put your helmet back together, which hopefully won't take too long, but yes, the objective of this endeavor was successful," Artemis replied, still eyeing the chip with some suspicion.
"It can wait," said Holly, coming to a sudden decision, her heart thundering in her chest.
Artemis looked up, confusion etched on his features. "What are you talking a-?"
Artemis never got to finish his sentence because Holly had suddenly closed the gap between them in just two brisk strides and was kissing Artemis like she never wanted to stop.
His brain froze. He couldn't think, could barely move. Holly's lips were warm and soft, her kiss assertive but not desperate. Her arms slid around his neck, her body molded to his perfectly, and the only thing that made sense in that moment was to wrap his arms around her and kiss her back with everything he had.
"Artemis…" Holly breathed, pulling away from him slightly so their lips were still lightly brushing as she spoke. "Artemis…I…I don't know what's happened to me, but I think I'm-"
"In love with you," Artemis finished, pulling her close and silencing her words with another deep kiss. Holly sighed happily, sinking into his arms like she'd finally discovered the place where she'd always belonged.
Finding that he once again had control over his body, Artemis lifted Holly slightly and moved forward until they were sinking into the couch in his office, all without breaking their kiss. She was so warm, her breasts were pressed against his chest, and the only thing that mattered in the world was Holly Short and how much he loved and wanted her. Holly's tongue tickled Artemis' lips, asking a question that he quickly answered by opening his mouth a little further and sucking on her tongue until she moaned with pleasure.
The sound awoke something inside Artemis, and he moved his hands from her back to the bottom of her shirt, breaking the kiss to pull it over her head.
"You're so beautiful," he found himself saying, and it was true. Holly's lean, lightly muscled frame had come with her into her human form, and her thick red hair cascaded messily over her shoulders, tickling her breasts inside her black lacy bra.
Holly smiled and dragged Artemis's head down for another kiss, putting her other hand to work unbuttoning that blue silk shirt that so perfectly matched his eyes. His hand slid inside her bra, teasing her nipple and exciting the most exquisite pleasure Holly had ever experienced. She'd been touched before, but never before by anyone to whom she felt such a deep attraction. Her back arched, and she moaned.
The sound seemed to rouse something in Artemis, and he kissed her a little harder, scraping his front teeth over her lower lip as he fumbled with her bra. She squirmed, trying to help him take it off, but a sudden intense flash of pain caused her to rip her lips from his with a gasp of surprise.
Artemis let go of her like she was on fire, terrified he'd crossed a line. "I'm so sorry, Holly. I…I lost control…Are you okay? Did I hurt you?"
"No no, it's not you; it's this blasted couch of yours. I think it has a loose spring or something, which just now decided to shove itself between my shoulder blades."
Artemis, lips swollen, hair tousled, gave her a wicked grin. "In that case, why don't we move to somewhere more comfortable? My bedroom is just down the-"
Holly crushed her lips to his, gripping the front of his shirt with her hands to emphasize her desire. "Yes," she whispered. "Artemis, my answer is yes."
Artemis did not respond; at least, not verbally. Without a word, he scooped Holly up (Yeah, I KNOW the guy's got no upper body strength, relax, okay?) and carried her straight to his bedroom down the hall, setting her gently down on his (imitation) down comforter.
Holly was pretty sure she'd died and gone to heaven. Since when did Artemis Fowl have the upper body strength to pick up and carry another human being and-oh, gods above, his sheets and his comforter and his pillows smelled just like him, like masculine soap and cologne and warm, clean skin and she was drowning in his scent and-Oh GOD! Holly almost orgasmed on the spot due to the sudden and overwhelming orgy of Artemis scent.
There was a sudden cool breeze on her breasts; Artemis had finally succeeded in removing her bra. He swirled his hot tongue around her areola, sucking and nibbling on her erect nipple. His deft, slender fingers gently twisted the nipple on her other breast not currently occupied by his mouth, sending lance after lance after lance of incredible pleasure shooting through Holly's every nerve. She had never been so wet in her life; she could feel it soaking through her panties.
"Yes," she moaned. "Yes, Arty, oh God, yes Yes YES!" she cried out as his ministrations on her sensitive breasts brought her to a minor orgasm.
Artemis removed his mouth from Holly's breast and started kissing her again instead. She sucked on his bottom lip for a moment before letting it go. Her hands found where they had left off on his shirt and set to work removing the pesky garment. It came off in a moment of swishing fabric and then her hands found his nipples and Artemis gasped, reflexively kissing Holly harder than before.
Artemis reached down and unbuttoned Holly's jeans, fumbling again as he tugged them off, but luckily, Holly took pity on him and kicked her slender legs a bit to get the jeans off. She wrapped her arms around him tightly and started rocking a bit, which confused Artemis until he found himself on his back, Holly straddling his hips and wearing a self-satisfied grin.
Holly kissed Artemis quickly and deeply and then turned her attention to removing his jeans. She'd had more practice than he did at this sort of thing, so she was able to remove the pants in a swift, smooth motion. He was wearing blue silk boxers, which Holly decided to go ahead and take off too while she was at it. She then took a moment to enjoy the sight of a naked Artemis lying in front of her.
For someone who didn't do a lot of working out, Artemis was nonetheless an extremely attractive young man. His adventures with Holly had added a few muscles to his slim frame and his dark hair and blue eyes (currently darkened to a bedroom midnight) contrasted sexily with his pale skin.
He noticed Holly's staring at him and smiled, which was no less disconcerting than the last time, rendering her momentarily breathless with desire and love. He took advantage of her momentary stupefaction and grabbed her, pushing Holly down onto the bed so that he was once again on top of her.
Artemis didn't waste any time removing her panties and throwing them to the floor. She fully expected him to then enter her, although she was so wet at the moment that it would have been more like sliding, but instead he started kissing her again. His lips burned a trail of erotic fire down her neck and along her collarbone as he once more started paying special attention to her breasts. It felt amazing. Holly wound the fingers of one hand in Artemis's hair, causing him to gasp with pleasure.
Then Holly felt Artemis's hand trail down her body and slowly insert two long fingers into her soaking wet center. He thrust slowly at first, the pleasure swirling in a slow circle, but increased his tempo at the same time he moved his mouth back to her sensitive neck. Holly grit her teeth, but couldn't repress an involuntary moan of ecstasy.
"You're a little noisy, aren't you?" Artemis teased as his lips met hers and their tongues resumed battle.
"You just make me want to scream, baby," responded Holly. The tempo of Artemis's fingers increased still further, the hot sweetness building within Holly until she could stand it no longer and let the tension go in a shuddering orgasm that had her screaming Artemis's name.
"My turn," she gasped once her orgasm had subsided. Holly slid her hand down until she could feel her fingers brushing Artemis's cock. She gripped it tightly and began stroking him to climax. Artemis's breathing hitched and he gripped Holly harder as the pleasure built within him.
Mimicking what Artemis had done with his fingers, Holly increased the speed and pressure of her stroking, eliciting moan after ecstasy-drenched moan from Artemis as she pushed him further and further towards orgasm. And then, all at once, Artemis couldn't hang on any longer and he let go, exploding in a more powerful orgasm than any he'd ever been to evoke by himself.
"HOLLYOHGODHOLLY!" Artemis couldn't stop himself from crying out as he was overcome with pure sexual pleasure radiating from her touch.
For a moment afterwards, the two lay side by side on the bed, panting with exertion and riding the last waves of their pleasure. When they had their breath back, Artemis sat up and cautiously straddled Holly, watching for any signs of dissent from her.
His blue eyes locked on her hazel ones. Holly nodded, radiating certainty and desire.
That was all Artemis needed to know. He pushed forward, his manhood sliding into Holly's soaking center, the two of them fitting together like a pair of missing puzzle pieces clicking together at last.
Holly closed her eyes and moaned with ecstasy. Artemis filled her every crevice perfectly, the mere contact exciting the beginnings of intense pleasure. She could only imagine what this would feel like in her fairy body-he'd feel so much bigger and longer. She couldn't wait to try it out.
She felt him lean down and start kissing her neck, her shoulders, her collarbone, and her lips as he started to thrust inside her, pulling in and out in steady succession. She matched each of his thrusts with one of her own, intensifying both her pleasure and his, greatly enjoying the feeling of Artemis's cock filling her to the brim. Thanks to her ministrations, Artemis was rock hard, and she took full advantage of the situation by increasing the frequency of her thrusts, forcing him to speed up in order to match her pace.
Holly could feel her orgasm building, stronger and deeper than before. She kept up the tempo, her sweat mingling with Artemis as she got so hot she thought she might melt. The hot, delicious, rippling pool of sensation built to a boiling point, and just when she thought she was going to burst into flame, Artemis's teeth found her nipple again and she exploded, screaming his name so loudly she was sure that all of Haven must have heard her.
Artemis climaxed a split second after Holly did, the shuddering of his body and his cock driving her to another orgasm that rode on the waves of the first.
Sweaty and spent, Artemis pulled out of Holly and, pausing to drag a sheet over their cooling bodies, hugged her close as the pair fell into a deep, satisfied sleep.
Several hours later, Holly awoke wrapped in Artemis's warm arms, half-certain she had been shot in the line of duty and was now experiencing the best illusion of her life. Then the memory of her intense pleasure came rushing back and she smiled, for never in her wildest dreams could she have imagined such incredible orgasms. Unfortunately, Foaly's potion had worn off while they'd slept, and she was a fairy again. Additionally, since she had not been wearing any clothes when she'd fallen asleep, her clothes were still human-sized.
Holly considered this problem for a moment before deciding that she really didn't care that much. She could roll up and safety pin her jeans and tie her tank top so that it didn't fall off. Or something. Holly decided she had better things to do right now than worry about her wardrobe and gently poked Artemis awake.
His eyes fluttered open. "Hey," he said, his face relaxing into a sleepy smile. "You're a fairy again."
"Yes," said Holly, suddenly seized by an irrational fear that he wouldn't want her anymore now that she had shrunk back to her fairy form. This worry lasted all of half a second, however, as that's how long it took for Artemis to close the distance between them and kiss her softly. It dissipated completely when she realized something was poking her in the thigh, and it wasn't her gun. She chuckled.
"What's so funny?" Artemis asked as his lips found her throat.
"Well, besides the fact that you're still happy to see me, even though I'm no longer in a human form, I just realized that my helmet is still lying in pieces on your desk. We never did get around to putting that thing back together."
Artemis propped himself up on one elbow. "Holly, why wouldn't I be 'happy to see you' in your fairy form? I fell in love with your excellent personality, not your body, and in any case, I think you're beautiful in any incarnation, whether it's human or elf. I have never felt this way about anyone before, and I can assure you, that while I find you absolutely gorgeous, my feelings have almost nothing to do with your appearance and everything to do with your character."
Holly was stunned speechless. Artemis noticed her shock and smiled. "Allow me to prove it to you," he said, casually throwing his leg over her hips and adjusting himself for round two.
"And as for your helmet," he added, "I have no intention of even thinking about it for another few hours, at least."
In response, Holly reached up and dragged Artemis's mouth down to hers, kissing him like she never wanted to stop.