A/N: No, of course I don't own the characters. Wish I did, but don't we all?

The man with the cream pullover checked his watch. 10:13. Two minutes early. He attempted to calm himself as he stared up at the large wrought-iron gates. It wouldn't do to arrive at a meeting unprepared, and today was no exception. His finger (shaking slightly; a sign of anxiety rather than stress or fear) hovered over the intercom. He pressed it. "John Watson, for an appointment with Artemis Fowl the second."

Artemis glanced up from his cataloguing as the buzz from the intercom sounded. He was working on a new project – how to tell the maximum amount of information about a person by just looking. Although deduction was not an area he had much experience in, he had been fascinated by the tale of London detective Sherlock Holmes. After extensive research, Artemis was sure that many of the legends surrounding him were true, and became determined to become his equal. Unfortunately, the man had apparently committed suicide two months ago, and although after a careful review of the facts Artemis was sure it had been faked, there was no sign of the detective. On the plus side, Artemis was beginning to gain a reputation in yet another specialist circle. This was his fourth case. From habit, he turned to face the screen showing CCTV, even though he already knew who was there: "John Watson, for an appointment with Artemis Fowl the second."

The two sat opposite each other in the large, dark-panelled hall. Artemis already knew the man was a doctor (John H. Watson, M.D., his business cards stated) and had deduced from the slight stains on his teeth but not his fingers, and the pale brown spots on the cream pullover, that he was a fan of tea. Probably Earl Grey. He called to Juliet: "Two cups of Earl Grey, please. You know how I like mine, the doctor appears to like his…" he checked the pullover again: "strong." He turned to John. "I've been practising."

"So I see. But the question is…" John hesitated, "are you as good as Sherlock?"

Artemis raised an eyebrow, a slightly intimidating trick he had mastered aged nine. He hadn't been expecting something like this quite so soon, and mentally berated himself: Always expect the unexpected. His eyes dropped for a second. "No."