Title: Cross Fire
This is my entry for Kit's TBR contest.
The theme song for this is The Remedy by Jason Mraz.
I would like to thank xybolic for all her help with this. Seriously, without her, I don't think this story would even exist. Thanks girl! ^_~
The break room in Police Plaza was actually quite spacious. When you walked through the door you saw that it had a counter running along the full length of the right wall and another counter running along the first two thirds of the left wall, and then there was a row of double stacked lockers. On the right counter there were various knick-knacks that some careless officers had left behind. Among the things that were actually placed there by the resource department were two sim-coffee machines, regular and decaf, along with some creamers and sugars. There was also a two gallon thermos that contained hot water for those fairies that preferred tea to coffee. Further along the counter there was a sink where coffee and tea mugs could be rinsed out. The right counters, while free of clutter, featured circular stains from coffee cups decades past. There were also two faux wood tables and plenty of chairs for officers and techies who were on break to sit on, along with a pair of matching brown couches sporting a low coffee table inbetween them.
The atmosphere of the break room was currently quiet and calm. There were a few officers sitting around each of the tables and Lili Frond was currently rinsing out the decaf coffee pot, in preparation for making another batch.
The relative peace in the break room was abruptly ended when the door slammed open and Captain Holly Short walked in, followed closely by Foaly, Qwan, N°1, and none other than Artemis Fowl the Second himself. Of course, he was currently going by the name Orion, and acting like a complete git.
Holly had a dangerous scowl on her face as she marched over to the couches. The others followed her and when Orion came to stand next to her, a sultry smile still on his face, Holly grabbed his left ear and dragged him around to sit on the right side of couch. She then went to stand at the other end, crossing her arms, the scowl never leaving her face.
N°1 stood close to the right armrest of said couch while Qwan had followed Foaly to the other side, near the counter. They were discussing a vial that contained a blue liquid. Qwan finally gave Foaly a quick nod and walked over to his student.
Trouble Kelp walked through the door a moment later, and spotted the group immediately. He walked over and took a spot behind the couch that was opposite the one Artemis was sitting on.
"How is she?" Holly asked Trouble.
Trouble sighed. "Still in a coma. Doctors said that there's not much that they can do for her now. It's all up to her."
Holly nodded. "She's strong. The wing commander is a strong woman. She'll make it."
That was the moment that Foaly choose to start the meeting and actually explain why they were there. He held up the vial containing a blue liquid. "This-" he said proudly, "-is the cure to the Atlantis Complex."
"I thought that there wasn't any physical cure though," said Holly, blinking in surprise.
Foaly frowned. "Well, there's no complete cure. This is really just a temporary solution. Fact is, we need Artemis Fowl to help save Atlantis and this-" he held the vial up again, "-is what is going to bring him back."
"Is it safe?" asked Holly.
Foaly fidgeted a little bit. "Well, technically, it's still experimental, but it should be perfectly safe. After all, I was one of the main creators."
Holly nodded in satisfaction. Then she groaned, as it was at that moment that Orion decided that he once again wanted Holly's attention.
"Do you like the surface Ms. Holly?" Orion asked casually.
Holly sighed in exasperation "Yes, Orion. I like the surface."
Orion smirked and leaned forward, resting his right elbow on his right knee and his chin on his palm, his other arm resting lazily on his left leg. "Exactly how much do you like the surface?"
Holly, who, despite being very visibly annoyed, answered him. "I love the surface. Even with how much damage you Mud Men have done to it, I still love it. I don't know what I would do if I could never see it again."
"Well, my dear captain-" Holly scowled at him, but his smirk didn't falter in the least, "-why don't you simply live there then?"
Holly gave a small snort and rolled her eyes, crossing her arms and leaning back against the table that was positioned between the two couches. "And how precisely do you propose that I do that, hmm?" she said, giving Orion a look that clearly said, 'You're an idiot.'
Orion's smirk only widened at her comment. It became so similar to Artemis's vampire smile that if it hadn't been for his posture, words, and the way his eyes seemed to covey a deep desire to devour her, Holly would have sworn that it was actually Artemis sitting there in front of her.
"Why, by doing exactly that, my dear."
Holly's left eyebrow arched up sharply at this. She hadn't thought it possible, but Orion's smirk widened even more.
"Marry me," he said very simply.
Absolutely all noise left the break room at his words. All eyes were now completely focused on their group, mainly on Captain Short and Artemis/Orion Fowl.
Holly could only gape at him, her eyes wider than they had ever been. Her face conveyed pure and utter shock.
Orion just continued right on smirking, burning her with the intensity of his gaze. "I love you. Very much so. It's as simple as that."
Holly just continued to gape at him, her shock keeping her completely frozen.
So Orion pressed on. "You are a very beautiful specimen of the female gender, Ms. Holly. And your personality..." something flashed across Orion's eyes, too quickly for Holly to be able to tell for sure what it was. Even if she had had the time to discern exactly what that flash had been, Holly was almost certain that she didn't want to know, and before she could dwell too much on it Orion continued, "Your personality, well, let's just say that I can think of some very…fun situations that that fiery attitude of yours cou-"
"That's it!" Holly had finally managed to unfreeze her body and she straightened up, arms going to her sides, fist balled up, as she stalked over to Foaly. She reached out with her right hand and grabbed the vial out of his hand and held it up with her thumb and index finger, gently shaking it back and forth, causing the liquid inside to swish around gently.
Orion just went back to smirking, obviously completely pleased with himself.
"This is done?" Holly asked Foaly.
He could only stare at her and then at the ice blue liquid the vial contained-a blue that, surprisingly enough, matched Artemis's original eye color perfectly-almost as if he couldn't quite comprehend exactly what it was she was asking of him.
"Well?" Holly gave the vial another small shake and Foaly snapped out of his daze enough to give her an answer.
"Huh? Oh, I mean…uh…um, yeah, it's done," he said, stumbling over his words as spoke.
"You're sure?" Holly asked, not quite trusting that Foaly had understood her question yet.
At that, Foaly snapped completely out of his daze and he pawed the linoleum floor with his right front hoof in indignation, his tail swishing back and forth.
"Of course I'm sure. It's perfect. The Mud Boy drinks that and he'll be Artemis Fowl the Second again in less than two minutes."
"Less than two minutes?" Holly questioned.
At Foaly's affirmative nod, she wrapped her fingers around the vial and turned towards Orion. When she spoke her voice was dangerously sugar sweet. "Perfect."
At first Orion wasn't fazed and just kept right on smirking at Holly. That was, until he noticed the look in her eyes. Her eyes gleamed in a way that very closely resembled a cat. A BIG cat. A big cat that hadn't eaten in a week and had been stalking its prey for the last few days and was now finally ready to strike and go in for the killing blow. All in all, Holly very closely resembled a very happy predator.
As soon as Orion realized this, his cool, calm facade faltered and he sat up straight and scooted further towards the right arm rest of the couch, away from Holly. Away from the blue liquid in the vial. Orion held up his hands, trying to calm her and keep her away, even though she was not yet within his reach.
"Now, Captain Short, remember what I told you in the cave in Iceland? About boorishness? About how Artemis is a boor and I am not?" Holly merely continued with her advance, eyes still sparkling in anticipation, and Orion continued to scoot away, until he hit the armrest and he could go no further. "I really think that you should think about-" The predator stuck, "-this!"
It was over in just a few moments. Holly's thumb went to cover the open end of the vial at the same time that she darted forward. Then she was on the couch with her left knee digging into Orion's stomach and her right on the cushions next to his left thigh.
With her free hand she gripped his jaw and forced it open. His hands grasped at her wrist, trying to pull her away but it was no use. Holly worked out almost every day and Artemis had never worked out a day in his life, and, as such, neither had Orion.
Holly forced his head back and brought her left hand up to his mouth. Removing her thumb from the top, she tipped the entire content of the vial into Orion's mouth. She dropped the vial and used both hands to force his mouth shut.
Her left hand held his bottom jaw closed by pushing up on the bottom of his chin, making his head tilt even further back. He tried to force his jaw open but it was no use. With her right hand fingers Holly pinched Orion's nose, denying him air. Orion struggled for a moment more before he was forced to swallow the liquid. The whole thing took about 20 seconds.
Holly blocked his air flow for a moment longer before she let him go and moved back off of him and then the couch, taking a few more steps back till she was near the other armrest.
Orion bent over and clutched at his neck, gasping and choking after the rough treatment. He looked up at her, still clutching at his neck and scowled. Then suddenly his spine went rigid and his head snapped back. He fell back against the couch cushions and convulsed slightly, his spine still stiff, along with his arms.
Holly shot an alarmed look at Foaly. "What's going on? I thought you said this was safe!"
Foaly sighed and tried to calm her slightly. "It is safe Holly. But suppressing an Alter's mind, especially one that's as strong as Artemis's isn't easy. Give him another minute and he'll be fine."
Holly looked back towards Orion/Artemis and watched as he continued to convulse every few seconds for the next minute and a half. Then, suddenly, his entire body relaxed and his head slumped to the side.
Holly rushed forward and kneeled on the couch next to his still form.
"Artemis?" She shook his shoulder gently and when there was no response she shook him a little harder. "Artemis!"
He groaned and reached his right hand up to clutch at his head as he leaned forward, eyes still closed.
"Artemis?" Holly put her hand on his back to help him sit up.
The boy cracked an eye open and glanced over to Holly, a small smirk already threatening to break out on his face. "Yes, what is it Holly?"
She stared at him. "You are Artemis right? Artemis Fowl the Second? Criminal mastermind?"
At this Artemis did smirk. "Yes, yes, and I thought you didn't want me to be a criminal. Did you change your mind? Though, I am afraid that I can't quiet help being a mastermind."
Holly let out a huge sigh of relief. "Thank the gods you're back. Orion was driving me insane!" She stood up.
Artemis sat up straight and looked at Holly, his expression a mix of amusement and curiosity. "Really? Tell me about it."
At that, Holly proceeded to go into a five minute rant about all the things Orion had done and said, including telling Artemis the exact number of that Orion had hit on her throughout the day ("He hit on me 35 times!") and how he was a complete playboy, not to mention a pervert and a useless jerk. Holly was very expressive in her rant, pacing back and forth and throwing her hands around in the air.
As she came to the end of her rant she took a deep breath and turned to face Artemis. "At least I know that you are not going to declare your love for me or start proposing or anything."
Artemis blinked and stared at Holly for a moment before shrugging. "Well, I have to say that I am terribly sorry about the way that Orion treated you Holly. I can assure you that normally I would never be so crass. But, Captain Holly Short..." and here Artemis looked Holly straight in the eyes, freezing her in place, "I am in love with you. Just like Orion told you."
Foaly saw Holly's expression and couldn't help but snicker at her face. "Well? Aren't you going to say something to him Holly?" he asked.
Holly could only stare at Artemis, her face a mix of so many emotions that it was impossible to pick a single one out to focus on. Then, her gaze switched over to Trouble, who had, so far, been silent throughout the entire ordeal.
She did this a few more times before she fixed her gaze on Qwan. "You're the smart one." There were short sounds of protest from Artemis, Foaly, and N°1 at her words, but she completely ignored them. "So, why do my male friends all keep asking me out?"
Qwan just shrugged and Trouble opened his mouth to protest, but Artemis beat him too it.
"I didn't ask you out Holly. I just told you that I am in love with you. It's completely different." Artemis looked totally innocent as he said this and Qwan and N°1 sighed. They knew that with a mind like Artemis's, an Alter's personality wouldn't be able to be completely suppressed, merely because the Alter's minds were nearly as strong as Artemis's own, sane, mind. Apparently, and luckily for Artemis, the part of Orion that appeared to have remained was his general politeness and good nature.
Holly switched her gaze to Artemis and just stared at him blankly for a moment, and then, "HOW is it different?" she practically yelled, her stare fierce.
Artemis twitched slightly at the four word sentence, but the tick wasn't anything that he couldn't control, unlike back in Iceland.
Artemis opened his mouth to answer, but before he got a chance to speak, Foaly broke into the conversation with a loud snicker.
"Something you've been meaning to tell us, Holly?" Foaly said, still chuckling to himself.
Artemis twitched again at the multiple of four, but no one seemed to notice other than Qwan, who, while still paying attention to the rest of the conversation, was doing a good job managing to keep a close eye on Artemis's behavior.
Holly snapped her head towards Foaly and unleashed an extremely menacing glare. This, however, proved to be counter effective, seeing as how Holly's cheeks had by now turned a few shades darker, causing Foaly's chuckles to evolve into full blown laughter, despite the future pain Holly's glare promised him.
Holly suddenly paused, her glare becoming momentarily unfocused, her right ear twitching slightly as a thought flashed through her head. Then the moment was over and her eyes widened slightly, a hint of alarm showing on her features. She quickly took two steps back, visibly increasing the distance between her and her friend. She quickly realized that this only brought her closer to Artemis and so she stopped her retreat, but was unable to bring herself to step back towards Foaly, despite her feelings regarding Artemis's previous declaration.
In spite of her trepidation of being near Artemis, Holly couldn't remove her gaze from Foaly's form, still shaking with laughter. With both ears twitching now, Holly spoke in a slightly nervous voice, "You're not going to start asking me out too, are you?"
At this Foaly began laughing even harder, bending over to place his left hand on the counter in order to better support his shaking frame. His right hand clutched his stomach as his laughing fit became almost painful.
"Because I really don't think that Caballine would appreciate that very much," Holly said.
At the mention of his wife, Foaly choked on his laugh and let out a few more small burst of laughter before managing to, mostly, compose himself and straighten up, his eyes still shining with mirth and a few small chuckles and snorts making their way out. But he knew that Holly would have no qualms whatsoever about telling Caballine all about this little incident and he knew for a fact that Caballine wouldn't appreciate Holly's, no doubt exaggerated-not that that was saying much-description of his laughing fit.
Unfortunately for Holly, her embarrassment was not yet complete. Trouble had noticed her blush.
Holly and Trouble had known each other since the Academy. Granted, they weren't exactly in the Academy together for a long time, and they had really only known each other by face and reputation during the time that they were both there.
However, after Holly's entrance test into Recon, the two officers had become quite good friends, mostly outside of work of course, and because they were friends, Trouble knew that Holly Short just did. Not. Blush. Ever. Period. But now she was, and there was only one thing for her to be blushing about. Artemis Fowl's declaration of love.
"Wait, wait, wait!" Trouble waved his left hand in front of him, his right still resting on the back of the couch opposite the one Artemis was currently seated on. Trouble directed his gaze and comments towards Holly. "Is that why you said no?"
Holly looked puzzled for a moment and Trouble sighed. "You're blushing," he said flatly.
At his comment Holly flushed a shade deeper and at the same time insisted, "No I'm not!"
"Yes. You are." Trouble replied. "And you're blushing because of what Fowl said to you. So I repeat, is that why you said no?" Trouble asked, looking Holly straight in the eyes.
It took her another second but Holly finally realized what he was talking about. Her eyes widened slightly and she practically shouted her answer. "No, that is not why I said no!"
Holly had a look on her face that was a mix of horror and indignation. "Gods, you think I turned you down because I'm in love with some human? Gods Trouble, what is wrong with you?"
Trouble immediately became annoyed. "Well, if the Mud Boy isn't the reason then what is? You never did give me a clear answer on that."
The rest of the break room's occupants watched this exchange with a type of morbid fascination. Except for Artemis, Foaly, and Qwan, who all wore slightly amused expressions, but all for different reasons.
Holly just groaned and rubbed her temples with the pads of her fingers.
Foaly didn't even bother trying to hide how funny he thought this conversation was. He also couldn't resist cracking a joke that he was sure would mess with his friend's minds.
"Well, Holly," Foaly started, "if you're so upset about all of your male friends declaring their love for you and asking you out..." Holly's gaze shot to Foaly and she narrowed her eyes dangerously, but Foaly ignored her and kept right on going, "Then I guess you would prefer it if Lili confessed her love for you."
Everyone started at Foaly. Holly's face was unusually blank and Artemis only seemed to have become more amused by the situation. Lili Frond stood by the sim-coffee machine, looking as if she had just been slapped.
Holly was the first to recover, other than Artemis, but he didn't really count, seeing as he had never gone into shock in the first place. When she snapped out of it, she narrowed her eyes even further, to a dangerous degree, and practically hissed her answer to Foaly's question in a voice filled with venom. "Yes, actually, I would prefer it if Lili confessed her love for me rather than Artemis or Trouble. Or any other guy for that matter!" Holly scowled at Foaly's stunned expression.
Lili Frond now had a look of utter horror on her face and, completely forgetting her coffee, she started inching her way towards the door while everyone's attention was still focused solely on the group around the couches. Once she was about 5 feet away from the door, she bolted. No one noticed her exit, as they were too stunned by Holly's answer.
Trouble stared at Holly for another moment before he was shocked back into his senses. "Wait! So..." he looked at Holly as she continued scowling, now focusing her attention on him "You turned me down because…you like Lili?"
Holly's scowl became a glower and she practically growled out her response. "No, I do NOT like Lili."
"Then why would you prefer her to say she loves you?" Trouble was still lost. "I mean, come on, if you want her to confess her love-"
"Would everyone just SHUT UP?" Holly shouted. "For Frond's sake! I already HAVE a girlfriend!"
Holly glared at everyone in the room, even the few officers and techies that were really just innocent bystanders. There was complete and total silence as everyone tried to process the Captain's outburst. All except for one person, that is.
"You're a lesbian." It was said so simply and calmly that some weren't even sure they had heard it at all.
Holly looked at the man who had made the statement. "Yes, Artemis. I am. So I'm sorry but-"
Artemis just waved his hand to stop her from apologizing. "Don't worry about it. Orion was the one to confess first, remember? He didn't know."
Holly raised an eyebrow at this. "Oh? And I suppose you did?"
Artemis smirked. "But of course, my dear Captain. Your girlfriend, her name is Dione, is it not?"
Holly could only stare at him for a few moments, but finally managed to find her voice. "Yeah."
She blinked, still not quite sure how Artemis knew her name and even less sure that she wanted to know how Artemis knew her name. "Her name's Dione. But she's not too fond of it, so we all just call her Dee."
Artemis nodded at this. "You see, Holly, I never expected you to say that you loved me too. I mean, I know that you care for me as a friend, but not in a romantic sense, so it's not like I was expecting you to reciprocate. Just because I'm in love with you doesn't mean that you have to be in love with me too."
Holly looked at him curiously for another second and then nodded slowly. As luck would have it, it was then that the rest of the room unfroze and pounced on Holly, everyone asking question about who this 'Dee' was and how did they meet and did they have sex and just about every question in between.
Qwan and N°1 stayed standing near the end of the couches, away from all the mayhem, watching casually.
N°1 looked up at Qwan. "Qwan, does this mean that Artemis and Holly won't be a couple?"
Qwan looked down at his only pupil with a slightly amused expression and patted the young warlocks shoulder. "No, N°1, Artemis and Holly will defiantly not be becoming a couple."
"Oh," said N°1, not sure if he should be disappointed or not.
Qwan patted his shoulder again and looked back up at the squabbling, and still growing (seeing as how anyone who entered the break room and managed to make out parts of what was being said and asked immediately joined, making it even louder, hence attracting even more people) crowd of people surrounding Holly Short. "Don't think about it too much N°1. Everything's the way it's supposed to be. Exactly the way it's supposed to be."
...-scowls- Okay. Seeing as how I stupidly managed to delete my original A/N, I'll just do a new one.
First thing: Please, for the sake of those that have yet to read this, DO NOT put the words lesbian, lez, bi, gay, or anything else of that nature in your reviews! Use the code word people! Only one person has managed to follow this rule and they're anonymous so I can't even thank them!
Code Word: Monkey.
Second: I have NOTHING against anyone who is lesbian, gay, or bi. Hell, half of my friends are one of the above.
Third: Dione is pronouced D-on. Dee-on. Ignore what Kit tells you or how she pronounces the name in the podfic. She knew damn well how I wanted it pronounced and she did it the other way anyway.
Fourth: I want first reactions in reviews people! Don't write something and then delete it b/c you think it's random babble. I love random babbling! Just try not to chew me out TOO bad okay? I know this isn't everyones cup o' tea, but I AM the only one who won 2 catagories in the contest.
Hope you enjoyed the story. Later all. ^_~