Artemis Fowl Fan Fiction
By Kraven Ergeist
A/N: It's 3:55 AM on Tuesday morning, September 2, 2008. I have just finished reading Time Paradox. Stand by for brain fart in three…two…one…
"I know you don't trust me."
Holly stared back at the teenage Irishman, who had in the span of their five year history together, been her hunter, captor, interrogator, grudging ally, life saver, valued friend, incalculable resource, and one time recipient of lip contact. All in something resembling that order, though some save the latter occurring more than once.
"I used to," she replied, staring at him from across the island beach. The "island" was actually one of seven remaining denizens that were known as krakens, this one having played a key role in Artemis and Holly's latest endeavor. It had stationed itself somewhere off the coast of Iceland, where Foaly had gone to town rewiring Mudmen records and satellites images to accommodate for the sudden presence of a newly fangled "island," itself still sealed off from all human presence. Only the People knew of its existence. Save for one lone mudman.
"I saw myself at age ten," Artemis pulled his Armani overcoat tighter around his neck to cut off the biting chill of Icelandic winds, envious of Holly and her environmental suit. "And I wondered to myself…how different am I from that person?"
Holly's cropped tawny hair trailed off in every direction it could extend as the wind bustled around her face. "We've been over this, Arty," she stifled a sigh. "Would the Artemis of then have risked his life to save his friends?"
Artemis stifled the shiver that fought to rattle his body. In this wind, it would hardly be noticeable, but Holly was perceptive. "The Artemis of then was ruthless, Holly. Do you know what that means?"
Holly rolled her eyes, glancing at her chronometer. "Is this what you called me out here for? In case you weren't aware, I have a pixy to track."
"Ruthlessness," Artemis went on, undeterred. "Is seeing the clear path between point A and point B, regardless of any other consequences. That means the ends justify the means, and everything else takes a lower priority, whether they be lives…consciences…friendships…"
Holly felt herself growing impatient. "Is this about you and me, Artemis? I already told you we were square."
Cold air nipped at the boy's cheeks, red splotches appearing over his face as his blood rushed to circulate heat faster to accommodate the cold air.
"Holly, I want you to listen to me," he said in low, cold voice. "I have a power that few others have – and it weighs on me every time I have to make a decision that will compromise something important for something vital."
The elf pursed her lips. Artemis was right – she didn't trust him. He was getting at something, and he was using all his guile to get around it.
"Artemis, what are you telling me?" Holly's eyebrows knit in serious furrows. "You obviously want something from me, so just spit it out."
The wind and the rustling of his hair had masked the tears in his eyes up until now.
"I've really enjoyed our adventures together, Holly," he said, his voice forced past a clenching throat. "As dangerous, disastrous and unpleasant as they were…they were fun. They challenged me. They made me feel alive, like my life had meaning, real meaning…"
Holly arched one of her fey eyebrows. "But…?"
Artemis lost all nerve and looked away from her piercing eyes, staring down at the gray, craggy, unattractive, but ideally vacant coastline.
"It's too much, Holly…" he croaked, tears welling up in his eyes. "It's too much for me. I can't keep making that decision. I can't lie plain faced to you to do what's necessary again. I can't keep hurting you, knowing the wedge it drives between us, and knowing that I'll do it anyway, because that's my ability, Holly…to put everyone's feelings - even my own - on the sidelines for the sake of achieving what needs to be done."
Holly gaped in disbelief as Artemis began talking faster and faster.
"It hurt me too, Holly…lying to you…wielding that kind of power, and knowing that I had to point it at you. It's not something I should be capable of, and it's something you should never be exposed to."
Holly wanted to speak up, to stop him from bringing up old wounds, but his voice was escalating in volume.
"You can't trust me, Holly," his breathing was raspy, the cold tundra air harsh on his throat. "If I'm put in that position again, I'll do it again. I know I will, because that's what I am. And I can't stand it! I can't stand it anymore – seeing the clear path between point A and point B, and knowing that all it takes is to stab my best friend in the back and hope they forgive me afterward. I won't be that kind of person, anymore. I…I won't do that to you again. I can't. You're too important to me."
He was shivering hard, his shoulder heaving, his back still turned. Holly might have stepped around him to look him in the eye if she wasn't verging on tears herself.
"What…what do you want me to do, Artemis?" she asked rhetorically, trying to sound helpless. She tried to keep her voice even and rigid. It was hard. "This is something you have to work out for yourself. There's nothing I can-"
"There is," Artemis interrupting, turning his eyes to look at her. They were cold once again, all traces of tears gone from face. "Mind wipe."
Holly's eyes widened as his full meaning sank in. "You…?"
"Me," Artemis huffed. "Butler. The whole Fowl family – mother learned some things while Koboi was in her head. They're all better off not knowing, and you're all better off with me not knowing…yourself especially, Holly…"
Holly was shaking her head. "But…Artemis…"
"Holly, please…" he shook his head, fixing her with a cold hard stare that made the surrounding wind seem like a pleasant breeze. "I know you're not one to listen to sound advice, but this is for your own good. It'll make things easier on everyone, you and me most of all, if I just stayed out of your world."
Holly felt the wave of disbelief rise and fall in her stomach, and then be replaced by a pang of guilt, and then, suddenly anger.
"That's just selfish, Fowl!" Holly blurted, tears emerging. "Let you get mind wiped, while me and the People do what? Try to forget about you too?" she grabbed the Fowl heir apparent by the shoulders. He couldn't meet her gaze. "You get to stay happily ignorant, while the rest of us read about you in history books, 'Artemis Fowl the Second, boy genius from Ireland who was the People's greatest hero before he chickened out at age fifteen?'"
Artemis shook his head. "If it were just peace of mind I was after, I wouldn't ask this. After all, my intellect is a valuable resource of the People, and they would be fools to squander it. You'll never get clearance to do this, so I'll put this to you straight…"
His eyes rose to meet hers.
"Wipe me, or I reveal the People to the world."
Holly felt her throat contract. "…What?"
Artemis's emotions were buried beneath a steal box. "You heard me. A genuine threat. You'll have no problems justifying it to your superiors. Mind wipe me, or I go public with the Fairy world."
Holly shook her head, once again in disbelief. "You wouldn't…"
"It's necessary, my friend…" Artemis said, gravely. "I don't see this working any other way. Opal Koboi is on the loose, so it's better for me to be just another mudman. Maybe it'd be easier for everyone if she just took her revenge on me and was done with it."
Holly's disbelief subsided, but it was replaced by a strong sense of urgency.
Artemis simply wasn't in his right mind.
"Calm down, Mudboy…" her grip on his shoulders was firm. "Take a few deep breaths. You're Artemis Fowl the Second, you're above this."
He licked his lips, staring at her as though for the first time. "Evidently, I'm not, as we've both seen. Now wipe me. Or so help me, I'll-"
"You're doing it again…" Holly breathed sadly.
Artemis paused. "Doing what?"
Holly bit her lip, genuine tears flowing again. "Manipulating me. Me, your so called "best friend," to achieve your own ends. Do you really want to resort to the same tactics that made you draw this conclusion in the first place!? Don't do this, Artemis! You're causing more pain than you're fixing! If you really want to change yourself, then change yourself! Stop yourself from being that ruthless Artemis from back then!"
Artemis' resolve wavered. "I…I can't, Holly. This is the only way. I need you to do this for me. Help me, Holly…one last time…"
Holly gritted her teeth. "Oh, I'll help you, alright…"
She tightened her fingers into a fist and punched him square in the jaw, knocking him onto the cold, wet Icelandic sand. Artemis' head hid the ground with a thud and he saw stars for a moment before opening his eyes to stare at the gloomy gray sky.
Soon, Holly's stubborn pout filled his vision.
"Has your head cleared up yet?"
Artemis didn't respond. He didn't move. He hardly breathed. He wasn't so badly hurt or even stunned by the blow that he couldn't get up. He just simply lay there, staring up at her face, framed by the cold, bluish gray clouds.
"I could just take off and let you lie there until your bodyguard comes to fetch you, you know?" Holly sniffed, indignantly. "I have places to be."
She was playing the haughty role, pretending to be completely unaffected by Artemis' plain-faced revelation. That not only was he torn to the soul with guilt, but that it was so much that he was willing to sacrifice everything they'd had together to protect her from it ever happening again. That alone should have left her still weeping.
Artemis' lips curved into an ironic smile. "What would you like me to say, Holly? I've laid my cards on the table. The ball's in your court."
She bit her lip. If she knew what was best for her, she'd do just what she said she should do and activate her wings, and take off straight back to Haven, call in sick, storm into her apartment, and cry herself to sleep. But as Artemis had pointed out, she was not one for taking sound advice.
"I…" she knelt next to him, his prone form still lying flush to the sand, the ground granules wedging themselves into the threads of his Armani coat. "I can trust you, Artemis…I can trust you to do the right thing with the big picture in mind. Everything you do, Artemis, you do with the singular purpose of doing what's right. That much I know…"
She slipped her hand into his as it lay at his side, frozen.
"What I don't know is…can I trust you with the little things?" she felt tears well up again. "Like not breaking my heart?"
Artemis' lip quivered, and it wasn't just from the cold. Though if he remained this way for the long, the cold would become a serious problem for him soon.
"Can I answer that later, Holly?" Artemis said, his lips turning blue. "Right now, it would be best if I went indoors."
Holly rolled her eyes and slung the mudboy over her shoulders, taking him to where Butler's helicopter was surely waiting for them.
Rather than take them to Fowl Manor (With Angeline Fowl in the know about the People, Artemis didn't want to have to make introductions yet) Butler took the two of them to the village of Duncade, to the small shelter that had housed him for three years while Artemis and company had scurried about in Limbo. The man-mountain was oddly quiet. No doubt he had seen the exchanger between the two of them.
Once they were indoors, and sipping hot herbal tea, Holly glanced woefully at her chronometer, bidding farewell to any hopes of making it back to base by the appointed time. It was ok, though. There were more important things at stake here. She could put of the LEP for just a little longer.
Not too much longer though.
"Well, it's later," Holly said, sounding more piqued than she really was. They were alone in the room – Butler had afforded them what privacy he could. "How about it, Artemis? Are you just going to be playing mind games with me forever, or are you going to come clean with me?"
Artemis took a deep, grateful sip of his mug as he sorted through his thoughts, idly gesturing the literature that lined the wall.
"It seems Butler has taken up reading in the three years we were in Limbo."
"Artemis!" Holly snapped, now truly losing patience - both because Kelp would be chewing her out for every additional second at this point, and because she really wanted to hear Artemis' answer.
Artemis polished off the tea before fixing her with a knowing smile.
"You're the one who kissed me, Holly."
Her cheeks were suddenly on fire, and once again she felt cheated.
Artemis set his cup down on the table. "I'll buy the explanation that the time stream gave you a younger body with adolescent hormones, but the fact remains, you were the one who initiated the act."
Holly's arms were crossed. "Your point being?"
Artemis knew he was treading on thin ice, but he knew it was a point that had to be touched upon.
"Yet you were also the one who plainly announced that my fairy kissing days were over, when it was you who had brought them on in the first place."
Holly was furious. "It was a sign of trust, Artemis! And you broke it!"
Artemis smiled unperturbed. "So why does it seem to me like the only one who needs convincing…is yourself?"
Holly's blush spread across her entire face. "You…jerk!"
Artemis' smile was unwavering, and Holly didn't know whether she wanted to smack him again or kiss him again, or in which order.
"My error was twofold, Holly," he explained, growing somber. "I buried my emotions, not letting them affect me or you. But I also didn't have faith in you. I didn't trust you, not fully. And I should have. I should have trusted you with my mother's life. I should have trusted you with the lives of every single member of my family. You've never let me down before, Holly, and I can't explain why I didn't see that at the time."
Holly felt his hand come around hers on the tabletop. It felt warm.
"It's a mistake I'll never make again," he said firmly. "I swear on the lives of everyone in my family. I've seen what the results of such an oversight can entail. It's not a consequence I seek to face again any time soon. "
Holly had learned long ago to recognize the direction Artemis' wayward way of speech usually lead. This was no different.
"If you're going to kiss me, do it now," she huffed, cheeks still a little red, her eyes averted. "I've got work to do."
She caught herself fidgeting, and her eyes flickered back to his to see how the young Fowl would react to her invitation.
She wasn't disappointed.
A/N: It's 6:02 AM, Tuesday September 2, 2008. Time to go to bed. Good night folks.