Fifteen: Ever After

[Artemis Fowl] kept the existence of the People quiet only so that he could continue to exploit them over the years, which he did on several occasions. His one mistake was leaving Captain Short alive. Holly became the LEP's foremost expert in the Artemis Fowl cases, and was invaluable in the fight against the People's most feared enemy. This fight was to continue across several decades.

Excerpt from, The Artemis Fowl Files by J. Argon, .

ooo

How very convenient it is for Dr. Argon to publish these reports all these decades later when neither of the two in question is able to respond to them. Especially with regard to the allegations relating to the later years of their acquaintance. Dr. Argon paints a picture of a relationship based solely on manipulation and monstrous self-interest, one entered into by Holly Short at the behest of the Fairy Council in an attempt to control the threat of Artemis Fowl. I assure you that this depiction is entirely false and grossly misleading.

Not only have I had the opportunity to read the so-called Artemis Fowl Diaries, but I had access to the unedited recordings made by Artemis himself over the course of the years. But above all else, I knew them, I considered them friends and I can tell you with great certainty that it was, in fact, a relationship that evolved over time to be based on mutual betterment and respect, genuine affection, and, above all, on love.

Excerpt from Fowl and Fair: The Truth About Artemis Fowl and Holly Short, by No1, Warlock.

ooo

Artemis embraced Holly tightly beneath the bows of the willow tree, thankful beyond words to have her in his arms again after so many weeks of separation. More than twelve weeks – eighty-four and a half days to be precise.

"Artemis." Her voice was little more than a whisper against his ear.

He took deep breaths of the cool, night air, inhaling the scent of her skin, of her hair. How he had missed these things! Drawing back, he spent a minute looking into her face, into those mismatched eyes, the twin of his own, before pressing his lips to hers.

Her arms wrapped themselves around his neck, eager for his embrace. Her tiny frame pressed closed against him until he could feel the thrum of her racing heartbeat even above the mechanical hum of her suit's wings, which kept her hovering at his level.

When they broke apart they were almost dizzy for want of air, but still they clung to each other. "I am very glad to see you," he said.

A smile curved her lips. "I can see that." She rested her forehead against his and closed her eyes for a moment, letting out a long sigh. "I thought Internal Affairs would never finish their investigation."

"Is that the only thing that's kept you away?"

"Hmm?"

"I've had the impression from your messages that Commander Kelp was more reluctant to let you off the leash, so to speak, now that he's aware of what exactly it is you do when you come to 'check up on me.'"

She laughed. "Trouble wasn't exactly thrilled, but he won't interfere either. Just as long as you don't cause the People any problems."

"I'm pleased to hear that, as I'll brook no interference with our relationship." There was a dangerous glint in his eyes as he spoke.

Holly must have seen it for she sighed and shook her head. "Can we trade idle threats another time? I can't stay very long."

She leaned close to kiss him again, but he put a finger to her lips. "Holly, one day I will ask you to stay, but I will not do so until I know your answer can – and only will – be 'yes.'"

She reached out to let her fingers trail down his face. "It may be a while."

"I am capable of patience."

"And what if the Council interferes, if they try to prevent me from seeing you?"

"If they do so, I shall have to kidnap you again. And this time I will not give you up for a metric ton of gold, nor for all the gold in the LEP ransom fund, nor for all the gold in Haven."

He could feel the tension drain out of her slender form at his words. A sly smile crept onto her face. "You don't know what you're dealing with, human."

"I beg to differ."

She snagged him by the tie, drawing him to her. "Oh you'll be begging all right."

"Mmm," was about all the response he could manage then as she pressed her lips to his.

Content for a rare moment in his life, Artemis leaned back against the gnarled bark of the willow. His arms wound tightly around Holly, wrapping her in an embrace just as the willow's drooping branches enclosed them in a shadowy bower. After everything they had been through, it was enough to know that she was his. After everything... After all.

THE END


A/N:

1) The first section by J. Argon is a direct quote from the end of book one. I hope Colfer never contradicts himself since it says that the Artemis Fowl cases continued for "decades." Decades sounds good to me. I like the idea of their having decades together.

2) I'm not sure how this ending will go over with most readers. The story was meant to explore Artemis and Holly's relationship, how they would go about having one, not to encompass their entire lives. There are a lot of questions I don't have the answer to in this story: Can they have children? Will they ever find a way to be together on a more regular basis? How long will they live?

It seems to me that answers to these question would all be stories in and of themselves – quite long ones in fact. The idea that I want to leave off with is simply that I believe that, whatever happens, they will be together. They've become so much a part of each other in the course of six books that I can't imagine them the one without the other – nor do I wish to. I believe that whatever twists their lives take and whatever their end may be, they will be together.

3) Finally, thank you to everyone who's taken the time to review. It's much appreciated. And thank you to anyone who chooses to review in future. It's always nice to know people are still reading a fic that's already been posted for a while.