Disclaimer: Artemis Fowl and anything related to it does not belong to me. It's the property of Eoin Colfer and I'm just torturing his characters for a bit of fun.
A.N. I know, I know. I have five fics I need to finish and here I am starting a sixth. This is going to be a very short fic in five short chapters. I hope you enjoy it. TLG spoilers ahead!
Chapter One: Denial
The Kübler-Ross Model, also known as The Five Stages of Grief, was hypothesised by Mud Men during the latter half of the twentieth century. Needless to say, fairies had been toying with the idea of the model for centuries and refined it somewhat, but the general principals still remained true. That was that many people who grieve for any reason go through five stages; denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally acceptance. Not everyone goes through all these stages and not always in that order. But some people do. Holly Short was about to become one of those people.
It had been five months since that fateful day when Artemis Fowl the Second's soul had been given a new home in that of his clone. Within hours, he recognised those closest to him. Within days, many of his memories had been returned to him. Within two months, one could say that it was like he had never died. His family and friends had accepted him back, with questions, yes, but also with open arms. His genius, cunning and cleverness had returned along with his memories. Everything was back to the way it should be.
Except one thing.
"I'm sorry, Captain Short- sorry, Holly," Artemis stressed the name, willing himself to remember to call this unfamiliar woman by her given name. "I remember what happened- I remember kidnapping a fair. I remember Spiro, Butler's death and how a fairy healed him. I remember remembering all of this after Opal Koboi killed Julius. I remember Hybras and Atlantis and Orion. I remember everything happening." He let out a puff of air as he focused on her. "I even remember you being there through it all. I just don't remember you."
It didn't make sense and it wasn't fair. When Artemis had made that damned foolish decision that got him killed in the first place he had said to her that almost everyone he loved would be killed if he didn't. Almost everyone being his family, Butler and Juliet. Humans. Almost everyone, but not everyone. Surely, then, there were fairies he cared about. And surely, after everything they'd been through together, he cared, even just a little, about her?
Apparently not enough to remember her.
But she wouldn't give up. She had sworn for the six months that it had taken to get Artemis back that she wouldn't give up on him. And she swore for the next two months that she would help him remember everything he needed to. For the past three months, she had been repeating a mantra to herself that she would not give up on helping him remember her.
And so her visits to Fowl Manor continued. She'd clock off at work and fly straight to the surface whenever she could get a visa. She was at Fowl Manor at least once a week, sometimes every other day. She was trying. But when one receives no fruit from their labours, even the strongest of wills can crack a little.
Butler, it seemed, cracked first.
At the end of the fifth month since Artemis's resurrection, Butler accompanied Holly out of Fowl Manor with a distinctly serious air about him. The twins had been put to bed before she had arrived and Juliet had been free to join Butler, Holly and Artemis in their reminiscing of times past. The visit, however, had ended like all the previous ones.
"You still don't remember me, do you?" Holly's voice was no longer tentative or hopeful as she asked the question. Instead, her voice was laden with sadness and disappointment.
Artemis shook his head ruefully. "No, Holly. I'm sorry, but I don't."
Holly turned away as Butler watched his charge run a tired hand though his hair in despair. It was that final action that set him in his convictions to do what was necessary. No matter how painful it was.
"Holly, we need to talk."
Holly looked up at the big man and gave him a small smile. "Be careful, Butler. Those words never mean anything good is going to be said."
He sighed and looked heavenwards. He wasn't sure if what he was about to say would break the woman, or eventually save her.
"I don't think you should come here for a while, Holly," he stated gruffly. He tried not to look down at her, knowing that the emotions on her face would fluctuate from confusion to misery to anger. This was worse than breaking up with one of his old girlfriends.
"What?" He heard the spark in her voice. "Why?"
"These visits aren't helping him or you, Holly. He knows the stories by heart and even remembers parts of them. But the other parts... it's like the difference between looking at a photograph and having been there when it was taken."
"But Artemis was there!" Holly protested. "All he needs is the right trigger and it will all come back to him!"
Butler paused. He didn't want to tell her what was so plainly obvious to everyone but her. But she couldn't live in denial forever. It would only hurt her worse in the long run. "You mean his memories of you will come back to him. You're the only person he doesn't remember. Maybe Foaly's right- the gate took him because of your eye. Now we've got him back but the gate stole you from him to compensate and I don't think it's possible for that to change. It hurts him that he doesn't remember you from before he... he left. And the pressure that these visits put on him to remember..." He took a breath and bent down in front of Holly so he could look her dead in the eye. "I'm Artemis's bodyguard. He's my principal. It's my job to stop things from hurting him. This is hurting him."
Holly's jaw was tight, her teeth clenched. She stared at him, daring him to say the inevitable.
"I think it would be best, for both of you, if you didn't visit for a while. I'll contact you on the communicator or get a message to you through Foaly if anything changes but for now..."
Holly didn't even protest. There was no point. Butler was deadly serious and she knew nothing she could do or say would change is mind. That would have to be up to Artemis. "Very well, Butler." Her words were sharper than she intended them to be but it was necessary to keep the brittleness out of her voice. "I'm going to say a proper goodbye to Juliet." She swallowed, "Stay in touch."
Ten minutes later, with her goodbyes all said, she flew towards Tara, barely able to see as her vision blurred with tears. Her open-ended invitation to Fowl Manor had officially been revoked. What the hell was she going to do now?
A.N. I'm going to try and update this once a week because each chapter is going to be so short, but anyone who knows my general schedule for updating will know not to hold their breath. Please let me know what you think!