Summary: Why Artemis was so keen on getting rid of those psychologists. Butler really should have known better.

The C-Word

Juliet found Butler sitting hunched over on the stairs, head cradled in his hands – the picture of misery. Even when he had fought a troll, Butler had retained his stoic composure, showing no signs of stress or pressure. Juliet was very worried.

She ran over to him.

"Butler! Is everything alright? Did something happen to Artemis?"

Butler shook his head still not looking up.

"No, Artemis is fine but-"

Juliet frowned. What else could cause such distress in the bodyguard.

"But what? What happened?"

"All those people, Juliet. I have ruined innocent lives! Oh how am I going to live with myself?"

Juliet narrowed her eyes. Even when he had killed people, Butler had never expressed such remorse.

"What are you talking about?"

Butler looked up at her and his eyes were desperate. "I said it, Juliet!"

Juliet was at a loss. "Said what?"

"The C-word! I said the C-word to Artemis!"

Juliet's eyes widened and she took an involuntary step back.

"What! You-you…to Artemis? Are you out of your mind? How could you?"

"I-It just slipped!" Butler explained desperately. Juliet had crossed her arms.

"That doesn't excuse it, Butler. You've known Artemis for years. How could you say that to him?"

Butler buried his head in his palms. "I don't know! I don't know what I was thinking! And now the consequences…" he shuddered.

Juliet took pity on him. She sat down next to him and put an arm around his shoulders.

"How bad is it?"

Butler shrugged. "What happened was-"

A couple of hours ago:

Artemis was irritably adjusting his tie. Butler seemed amused at his foul mood.

"Oh come on, Artemis! It won't be so bad…"

Artemis clucked his tongue impatiently.

"Don't patronize me Butler. Of course it will. What was mother thinking?"

Butler smiled tolerantly. "She's simply worried about you, Artemis. Who knows; maybe speaking to a psychologist might actually help."

Artemis looked skeptical. "Yes. And by going to school I might actually learn something."

Butler sighed. "It's not the same thing, Artemis. What if he's a good psychologist?"

"He's not." Artemis stated.

Butler frowned. "But other students at your school think quite highly of him. They've found him very helpful."

Artemis glanced at him in the mirror. "Exactly."

Butler was still amused. "Well, it's your mother's wish that you go for counseling. You're going to have to go. You might as well go with an open mind."

Artemis raised an eyebrow. "Open mind?"

Butler nodded. "If you have to do something, you might as well do it cheerfully."

"Maybe I don't have to," Artemis muttered darkly.

Butler laughed. "What are you going to do? Get him kicked out?"

Artemis remained silent.

Butler raised a sardonic eyebrow. "Oh come on, Artemis. That won't help, you know. Principal Guinea will simply hire a new one. And you can't get rid of every new psychologist that comes to your school."

Artemis turned and looked thoughtfully at Butler. Then he smiled a slow, evil smile.

"Can't, you say?"

Butler paled. "N-no! Artemis, I didn't mean it like that! I-I meant…"

Artemis was smiling in a way that made Butler's hair stand on end. His bad mood seemed to have all but evaporated.

"But if I heard you correctly, old friend, that sounded like a challenge."

Butler wanted to bang his head against the wall. "No! It was not a challenge! Definitely not a challenge! I just-"

Artemis cocked his head. "Don't try to cover, Butler. You obviously believe I can't do it. Well, I'll just have to prove it."

Butler paled further. "No! No y-you don't have to, really!"

Artemis raised an eyebrow and smirked. "But what are you worried about, Butler? As you astutely pointed out, maybe he is a good psychologist. Maybe I won't be able to."

Juliet looked at him sympathetically. "Well we can hope, you know. Maybe he really won't be able to."

Butler smiled. "Juliet, this is Artemis."

Juliet sighed. "Yeah you're right. Who am I kidding?"

After the session with Dr. Rupert-

Butler raised an eyebrow. "Well, how did it go?"

Artemis shrugged casually. "As expected."

Butler did not find this comforting.

The next day, Butler got the news that Dr. Rupert had retired.

Butler said a quick prayer for the other unfortunate souls to come.

Many days and psychologists went by. After the Dr. Stevens incident-

Butler sighed. "You win, Artemis. You can get rid of any and all psychologists."

Artemis smirked. "Thank you, Butler."

Butler smiled rather unwillingly. "Although I have to say, Dr. Tyler was an idiot. I mean he really believed you burned the original Da Vinci painting."

Artemis shrugged. "I told him I stole it from the Louvre."

Butler let out a bark of laughter. "And he bought that?"

Artemis narrowed his eyes dangerously. "Are you saying I can't steal from the Louvre?"

This time, Butler did bang his head against the nearest wall.

A/N: Feedback appreciated! ^_^