Our Brother's Secret
Rated: Teen for romance. (ArtyHolly)
Summary: Future Fic. Myles and Beckett Fowl have never been that close to their older brother, having long since left Fowl Manor to begin his own Empire. But what happens when they discover their older brother's little secret?
Disclaimer: Artemis Fowl and all recognizable characters and locations are owned by Eoin Colfer. I make no money from this glorified hobby.
LES: I've read quite a bit of Artemis Fowl fanfiction in the last few days, and haven't found a fic about Myles and Beckett discovering their big brother's secret. So I decided to write it myself. This fic includes a romance between Artemis Fowl and Holly Short, because I have a lot of love for them. :3 Myles and Beckett are thirteen years old now, so Artemis is twenty-five. One final note: as you read, you'll see footnote headings that look like this: blah blah blah(1).This is to show that Artemis and Holly are speaking in Gnommish, which Myles and Beckett do not understand. When you see this, there are notes at the bottom of the story that tell you what Artemis and Holly said for each instance. So on with the story!
In many ways, the Fowl twins were like many other boys… if you happened to ignore the fact that they were youngest in a criminal dynasty spanning hundreds of years.
Even though the last ten years had moved the Fowl family more towards legitimacy, no family could shake off the reputation they had earned over the centuries. Most people who did business with the Fowls these days would smile politely to their faces, and double check their financial records when they were not looking to be certain that they had not fallen to the reported hacking abilities of the Fowl's eldest son.
Artemis Fowl the First and his wife, Angeline, were still the heads of the Fowl empire, running a legitimate business for the benefit of humanity. Of course, their finances did not suffer. They were Fowls, after all. Aurum potestas est.
Artemis Fowl the Second, the Fowl's eldest son, was now a fully grown man and had long since moved out of his parent's home, living a comfortable life in a Manor of his own purchase, and completely revolutionizing how the world thought of Green Energy. Of course, that was his primary business. Artemis Fowl the Second had so many different projects going under so many different pseudonyms that only the genius himself could keep track of his numerous projects. He still contributed to scientific journals for countless subjects, used his hacking skills to put many less-than-savory companies out of business, and continued his little project of returning lost masterpieces to the public sector.
Compared to their older brother, Myles and Beckett Fowl were practically boring. Myles was smart, but not as smart as Artemis was at his age. Beckett had the misfortune to inherit none of his father or older brother's intelligence, but he was by far the biggest trouble-maker. Together, they were a nightmare to their parents. Beckett had the mischievous side to come up with the biggest plots, and Myles had the know-how to carry out his plots. They had tormented their older brother relentlessly until the day he moved out of Fowl Manor seven years ago. In fact, they still tormented him a little on their regular visits to his house.
In fact, that is where they were at that moment. Their parents had decided to go on another honeymoon, which they did every few years, and had left the twins in the care of their older brother. They had been living in their older brother's house for the last week, and had still seen next-to-nothing of him.
Myles and Beckett were flummoxed, to say the least. Having grown up with a different home life than Artemis, where family was the most important thing, the twins could not understand their brother's distance. Honestly, they found out more things about Artemis Fowl the Second from trashy tabloids!
Artemis had just put them to bed, but opted to not to allow them to stay up past their curfew as their parents allowed them to sometimes.
"Why?" Beckett protested. Myles was quite peeved as well. As far as the thirteen year old genius was concerned, sleep was time wasted.
Artemis sighed heavily, rubbing the skin between his mismatched blue/hazel eyes as if he had suddenly developed a sinus headache. "I don't have the time to argue with you two about this." He said firmly. "Father and Mother told me to get you two in bed by ten each night, and that is what I intend to do. I have a lot of work to do."
"What sort of work?" Myles asked curiously. He was reasonably sure that Artemis would not suspect that Myles had attempted to hack into his laptop that very afternoon. His older brother was busy on a mysterious project that occupied him during all of his waking moments, and he had attempted to find out what it was.
Not only did he find Artemis' laptop was locked tight with Firewalls that Myles could not bypass no matter how hard he tried, but what he did manage to extract from his older brother's projects was written in a completely unreadable symbol-based language. Useless.
"It is nothing that concerns you." Artemis said shortly. Once again, Myles was dumbstruck by how different his brother was. Out of the three Fowl children, Artemis most resembled their father, and Myles and Beckett resembled their mother, but Artemis' personality was something else entirely. He had their father's looks, but he was cold and distant. "Go to sleep. I'm not going to keep playing this game with you." The eldest Fowl boy stood without another word and strolled out the door, probably back to his laptop with its impassable Firewalls and strange language.
Myles waited a few moments for Artemis' footsteps to disappear down the hallway before he turned to face his brother in the other bed. "Hey, Beckett?"
"What?" The boy responded, turning towards his twin.
"Don't you wonder what sort of project Artemis is doing all day that keeps him so busy?"
"Not really." Beckett admitted.
Myles rolled his eyes. No wonder Beckett was just 'normal'. He had no intellectual curiosity. Then he spoke in a language that any Fowl could recognize… crime. "I tried to hack into his laptop today, and there was a pretty powerful Firewall protecting it. I couldn't get past it."
Beckett stared at his twin in amazement. After all, Myles was known to hack into the most secure networks in the world… just for fun, and the challenge to prove that he could do it. To say he couldn't get past Artemis' Firewall meant that computer was locked up with more security than most governments put around their Top Secret Classified files! "Really?"
"Yes." Myles replied.
There was silence in the room, and both boys were left to imagine at what sort of secrets their older brother kept. What could possibly be on that laptop that demanded so much security? Surely, it had to be something earth-shattering?
"Are you thinking what I'm thinking?" Beckett asked.
Once again, the Fowl twins were in agreement. Time to do a little snooping in their brother's business!
Since Myles had all ready established that hacking into Artemis' computer was impossible by any means known to him, the twins decided to take a more hands-on approach, which basically involved spying on their older brother.
The 'where' was the easy part. Artemis was in his lab, the same place he had been for the past week. The 'how' part was a little tougher. The door was locked with a combination lock which Artemis changed daily with a ten digit code. Unlike the combination locks that Myles had gotten past when he was a child, this one wasn't going to budge any time soon. Maybe if Artemis kept his normal habit of only changing the pass code monthly, Myles would have eventually cracked it, but Artemis had long since learned that he couldn't be too careful with his brothers around.
Myles spent several minutes glaring at the combination lock before, shockingly; it was Beckett who came up with the way around it. Beckett pointed to the thin space between the bottom of the door and the floor and pointed out that there would be more than enough room to angle a mirror under it and get a reflection of what was going on inside the room.
Myles could have hit himself! After all, he was the genius of the two, and should have been the one to come up with the clever solution. But Beckett pointed out that Myles had thought too hard about the problem, and sometimes overlooked the simple solutions. It was a common problem among geniuses, as proven by the fact that, for all his security, Artemis had a lab door that allowed someone to eavesdrop through the crack.
After getting a mirror, Myles held it under the door and angled it to get a proper look into the room. He could see his older brother at his laptop, staring intently at pages of the strange symbols that he had seen earlier. Their older brother did not seem to be stumped by the symbols. Indeed, Myles could see the look of comprehension on his face. Whatever those symbols were saying, their older brother could understand it perfectly.
For some time, nothing happened; and then a voice spoke from inside the locked room.
Both Myles and Beckett jumped slightly in shock. They hadn't seen anyone else in the room a few minutes before, and they swiftly adjusted the mirror until they say some strange girl in the room.
"What—what is she?" Beckett gasped quietly.
For once in his life, Myles did not know the answer. She appeared to be very young, but had the developed body of an adult. She had dark skin; auburn hair cut short and… pointed ears? And then, most shocking of all, Myles noticed that her eyes were just the same as their big brother: one blue and one hazel, except mirrored.
Their brother turned around to face the young girl who had appeared quite suddenly in his lab. "Holly." He said simply.
"Did you really think Foaly wouldn't notice?" She asked. "You've been doing an awful lot of digging into the mythology of The People again."
"I've long given up the delusion that my network is safe from Foaly." Artemis said. "I've made no attempt to hide my doings."
The girl named Holly sighed. She stepped into clearer view, and Myles gasped when he noticed the weapon at her hip. It was like no weapon that he was familiar with, and almost seemed like a toy, except for the barely-visible complex inner workings. Whatever that gun was, it was real. "Wait; let me guess… this is another attempt to get our attention because you want something? Is this going to be a repeat of the C-Cube incident all over again? You haven't changed, Fowl."
"Am I really that transparent?" Artemis wondered.
"Always, Mud Boy."
"Really, Holly, if you are going to call me that, at least call me Mud Man. I think I've earned that." Artemis said, standing up and moving over to her.
"You're—you're right, Artemis. I'm sorry. You're a far cry from the twelve year old Mud Boy I first met." Holly said. "So, why did you try to get our attention? What piece of technology do you want us to recover for you this time?"
"While it's true that I purposefully did not hide my activities from Foaly's bugs in an attempt to get The People's attention, is it so hard to believe that I was merely sending a message that I miss you and I wanted to see you?" Artemis said. "I haven't seen you since…"
"Since you were discharged from Argon's psychiatric hospital." Holly finished for him. "So how is your mind, Artemis Fowl? Orion giving you any more trouble?"
"No." Artemis answered. "Orion was fully integrated back into my personality, and my Atlantis Complex was cured entirely. I feel no obsessions or compulsions, delusions, or paranoia."
Myles combed through his memories. Being blessed with a photographic memory, Myles could still remember even his early childhood memories, which most people found deteriorated over time. He could remember nearly a year when Artemis had been gone for an unexplained reason. His mother had simply told him that his older brother was not well and needed specialized help.
Judging by their words, Artemis had been inflected with some psychosis that gave him Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, delusions, paranoia, and Multiple Personality Syndrome. But he did not recognize the name of the disorder. Atlantis Complex? There was no such disorder.
"Holly." Artemis said simply. "I've missed you."
Holly sighed. "I've missed you too, Arty." Myles and Beckett were shocked that, not only did their older brother not protest her use of his nickname which was reserved pretty exclusively for their mother, but he knelt down to her level and embraced her firmly. She even kissed him on the cheek without so much as a protest escaping him!
Outside the room, Myles and Beckett were almost too shocked to see what happened next.
"Holly, come look at this with me." Artemis said standing and pulling her over to the laptop.
She followed him, with a roll of her mismatched eyes. "Of course you'd call me here to see your next project. That was my second guess." She glanced at the screen with him, apparently able to understand the language as well. "I recognize this. It's from the Book. It's…" She paused as she read the text, and then her eyes widened. "Artemis? Why are you studying this?" She demanded.
"Because I doubted that normal human methods would be effective." Artemis said. "Normally, I'd consider a human courtship to be sufficient, but I'm making the choice to pursue someone who is not human."
Myles and Beckett glanced at each other. "Not human?" They whispered.
Apparently, the girl seemed to be just as disturbed as the twins were. "Artemis… I've told you before why we can't…"
"The Book does not forbid courtship or marriage between a human and one of the People." Artemis said. "I checked the text thoroughly."
"Maybe it's not forbidden because the writer never thought that a relationship could develop between..." She trailed off. "The Council would not approve at all. And humans…"
"Mankind is not even aware of the Fairy Folk's literal existence." Artemis said, shocking Myles and Beckett outside the door.
"But humans do have a word for loving outside your own species: zoophilia, and that is looked down upon." Holly said.
"Perhaps that is so when zoophilia involves a human loving a dumb animal." Artemis said. "Fairies are not animals. Fairies are capable of returning the love of a human."
"It's not just about species." Holly said. "Artemis, our age difference is too vast. I'm old enough to be your great grandmother!"
"In human years." Artemis finished. "However, if you consider our relative ages, we are physically the same age now. I've waited many years for this. Look!" He pulled up another screen on the laptop, still written in that strange language. "I've studied human and elfin genetics as well. This clearly shows that, if we so choose, we would be able to have children."
"Artemis… Arty… are you sure that you are not Orion right now?" Holly asked. Myles and Beckett couldn't see, but she sounded slightly choked up.
"Yes, I'm sure. Holly, if Orion were in charge, he would be spouting some clichéd love poetry right now."
"You're right." Holly said. "Only Artemis Fowl would turn love into a matter of science. My great grandfather would be so disappointed."
Outside the door, Myles and Beckett were both holding their breaths. They were barely able to comprehend what was going on inside Artemis' lab, but it seemed that their older brother was seriously trying to pursue a romantic relationship with someone who most-definitely wasn't human! Do Mum and Dad know about this? Myles wondered to himself before he dismissed the idea. No, they certainly do not. Just a few months ago, Beckett had admitted to his mother that he had a crush on a young girl, and Angeline Fowl had instantly invited the girl and her family over for dinner with the family. There was no reason to assume that Angeline Fowl would not do the same for her eldest son if she knew that he had feelings for someone.
"I know that love isn't a science, so there's no need to offend Cupid." Artemis said. "Although I do admit it is comforting for me to treat it like it is. Holly, the purpose of this project is to show you that it is possible. The Book does not forbid it, so the Council would not be able to take away your magic."
"They could exile me." Holly said.
"I will not abandon you, Holly." Artemis swore. "I love you."
Holly seemed to get even more distressed, running a nervous hand through her short hair. "Why are you so good at making things complicated, Fowl?"
"I suppose it's because I am a Fowl." Artemis said. Holly did not respond for several moments, at which Artemis began to look concerned. "Holly?"
"Curse you, Artemis." Holly said shortly before she flung herself at him, pulling him into an embrace and kissing him passionately. Artemis returned her embrace and her kiss with equal passion, causing the two eavesdroppers to blush brilliantly. "Curse you." She repeated softly as she pulled away from him. "Curse you for making me love you."
Artemis whispered something to her(1) in a strange language that Myles had never heard before, and she responded(2) with a similar phrase.
It was only at this time that Myles and Beckett got the distinct impression that they had seen far more than they bargained for. Even Myles was having trouble wrapping his intelligent mind around the things he had heard in the last few minutes. Not only had he learned that the mythical Fairy Folk were real, but he had actually seen one and found out that his older brother was in love with her! Though, to be fair to Myles, even the most intelligent person would have trouble taking so much in at once.
Myles tapped on Beckett's shoulder and made the universal hand gesture that they should back away from the door. Beckett nodded in agreement. They picked up the mirror and stood up, beginning to back away from the door. However, Beckett was so preoccupied with what he heard that he failed to notice the antique rug running down the hallway and tripped over it. Before Myles could do anything, Beckett had crashed (loudly) into the opposite wall.
All noise in the lab came to a halt, and the girl spoke again in the strange language(3), but Myles could tell from the inflection of her voice that she was surprised and shocked.
"Oh no…" Myles heard his brother say in English.
Before the twins could even think about making themselves scarce, the lab door opened and their older brother appeared in the hallway, staring at his brothers with an expression of shock that they had never seen on his face before.
For several long moments, no one spoke, and then Artemis sighed. "How long have you two been out here?" He asked.
"We… saw the whole thing." Beckett admitted guiltily.
"D'Arvit!" Artemis swore angrily. Or, at least, Myles and Beckett assumed that he swore, because it wasn't a swear word they had ever heard before.
From inside the room, the girl spoke in that strange language(4) again, but this time Myles recognized his brother's name.
Artemis turned around and replied in English. "My twin brothers."
"Oh Frond!" Holly said, stepping out into the hallway. "And here I was thinking that we'd have time to get adjusted and figure things out before we had to tell anyone about us, especially your family."
Looking at her up close, Myles and Beckett had to admit that she was quite pretty in an exotic sort of way.
"I suppose we can always mind wipe them, or you could use the Mesmer to make them forget." Artemis commented.
"It probably won't work." Holly said. "You Fowls are notorious for breaking through mind wipes and the Mesmer."
Artemis sighed. "You're right, Holly."
The fairy (?) smirked at him, and spoke once again in that language.(5)
Artemis gave her a withering look and turned to his younger brothers. "Myles, Beckett, we need to talk."
One good thing came out of Artemis' talk with the boys, according to Beckett. It allowed them to stay up nearly two hours past their bedtime. On the other hand, Beckett could hardly understand some of the things his brother spoke about. But he got the jist of it: there was a super-advanced race living near the Earth's core, and his older brother had been in contact with them for many years, since before the two of them were born!
Myles, on the other hand, absorbed everything his older brother said, though at times he could hardly believe it. It seemed more likely the events of some fantasy novel rather than real events that had happened to his brother: an odyssey that included massive sieges, trips to the center of the earth, battles against unsavory businessmen, friends won and lost, time travel, time travel again, and Artemis' descent into madness before he finally lost most of his contact with the fairy world years ago. And, now, years later, it seemed like a new chapter would be written in the form of his brother's budding romantic relationship with a FAIRY! Elf. Myles corrected himself. She's an elf, but also a LEPRecon.
The twins had never heard their brother talk so much or for so long, unless it was to lecture them.
Finally, Artemis finished. "Do you two understand why you can't talk about this with anyone?" He asked. "The threat of a cross-species war is very real, and a war between the fairies and Mud Men… excuse me… humans would likely lead to the destruction of both. Besides…"
"Besides," Myles finished. "If there was a war between humans and fairies, neither side would be very happy about you two being in love, right? A venerable Romeo and Juliet story."
A slight blush colored Artemis' face… a first. "Exactly."
"It's best if this whole thing is kept quiet until Artemis and I can figure out what we are going to do." Holly said, having sat quietly and listened to Artemis' story, only interjecting for events that he had not witnessed himself.
"Myles, Beckett… we're trusting you with one of the best kept secrets in human history. It is imperative that you do not speak about the Fairy Folk under any circumstances. Do you understand?"
Beckett was the first to respond. "I won't say anything, Artemis."
"Myles?" Artemis prompted.
Myles did not speak for a few moments, weighing his options. Finally, he realized that he really didn't have any options. Like his older brother, he saw the potential to exploit the Fairy Folk, but he also realized that war and his brother's happiness was too big of a price to pay for an uncertain payback. "I promise I won't tell anyone." Myles promised. "But there is one thing I don't understand…"
"What is it?" Artemis prompted.
"How do you two intend to copulate? The difference in your stature is sure to make it difficult." Myles stated simply.
For the second time in so many minutes, Artemis blushed, turning a deeper red this time. "He's a chip off the old block, all right." Holly said with an embarrassed laugh.
LES: What did I just write…? Did I just write a romance fic… without any smut? Holy crap… I must be losing it…
LES: The following footnotes are basically what Artemis and Holly say every time Myles notes them speaking in Gnommish.
1: "I love you."
2: "I love you too."
3: "What was that?"
4: "Who is it, Artemis?"
5: "I have to be right sometimes."