A/N: Okay, here is the /slightly/ late chapter of Challenges. This story has become my main priority. I hope to update this the most often. People seem quite interested in it and I enjoy writing it. The plotline comes easily. I'm not quite sure if A/H shippers will love or hate this chapter. I guess I'll have to wait and see. WARNING: Like the rest of this story, Artemis's journal is extremely depressing and will get more so as time goes on. You have been warned.
Disclaimer: Love the A/H. Colfer doesn't (although I don't know why. He should understand that his characters are perfect for each other!). So Artemis Fowl & Co. don't belong to me...
Chapter 3: Kisses and Understanding
It was several moments before the two moved away. "Wow," breathed Artemis, blushing slightly.
"Wow," Holly agreed. Then the reality of what she had just done struck her. "Oh my gods, Artemis! I just kissed you!" Although, if she was honest with herself, it was more than a kiss. It had been a full-blown make-out session.
"Yes, you did," Artemis said absently. He reached up and touched his lips, then leaned over and touched hers. "And it was amazing."
Holly realized that she had feelings for this Mud Boy. He made her feel like an adolescent once again, with the sweaty palms and the butterflies in the stomach. She liked Artemis Fowl! The magnitude of this statement weighed heavy on her shoulders. He was a human, for Frond's sake, and she was a fairy!
"You know we can't do this," Holly said finally. "You're fifteen, and I'm almost ninety! Plus, there's the whole different species thing… And finally, you're my best friend! I think… I think we should just leave things the way they were before."
Artemis heaved a sigh. "You're right," he said, a sad note to his voice. "It could never work, and I'd be silly to think otherwise." He reached over and grabbed her hand. "I don't give a damn about the age difference, Holly, nor the fact that we belong to two different species." Holly blinked. 'Did Artemis just swear?' she thought. "But you're my best friend… Maybe it's better if we don't try."
Holly tried her best to ignore the pang of longing that came when he said that. "Yeah," said Holly. "Let's pretend that never happened, okay?"
Artemis snorted. "I doubt I'll ever be able to forget that moment. I don't want to forget that moment. But I will not speak of it, if you don't wish me to."
"Yes," said Holly forcibly. She saw him flinch, and realized that was a little harsh.
"Didn't you enjoy it?" he whispered, almost too quiet for her to hear.
"D'Arvit, Artemis, of course I enjoyed it! I'm head-over-heels crazy for you! Do you realize how long it's been since I've had a crush?" 'Because that's all it is,' thought Holly. 'Right? That's all it can be.' "But did I not just say that we weren't trying anything? Nobody needs to know."
Inside, Holly was dying. She hadn't had a crush since she'd first started training for the LEP. That had been Trouble, but she hadn't acted on it for the sake of their friendship. Just like she was doing now.
Artemis nodded. "No one needs to know," he echoed. He began to stroke her hand, and Holly felt her cheeks get red. Boy, did she want a chance with the infuriating Mud Boy… But no. They couldn't. They just couldn't.
"Do you want to read more?" Artemis asked. Holly nodded. This was a surefire way to get her mind off her feelings for Artemis. She scooted over until their hips touched. She involuntarily shivered.
"I'll read again," she said. Artemis nodded, and moved his arm as if to put it around her, but thought better of it. He didn't drop her hand.
January 1- Today is the first day of the new year. Most people make New Year's resolutions. I have decided to make one: Find a cure for Aidan.
I went into the kitchen today. Mother was there, trying to feed Aidan his typical breakfast. A jar of baby food. No chewing for Aidan.
Butler finished making my breakfast. "Here you go, Master Artemis." I nodded at Butler.
"What do you say, Artemis?" Mother asked. "Don't we say thank you?"
"I said thank you, Mother," I said, exasperated. "I nodded at Butler."
"What kind of thank you is that?" she asked, looking at me.
"That's how Father says thank you," I responded. "If it's good enough for him, it's good enough for me."
Mother sighed, and went back to feeding Aidan. "Mmm-mmm, Arremiii," Aidan said, looking at me.
"Good morning to you too, Aidan," I said, flashing him a smile. He's the only person who gets my real smiles.
Mother shook her head in amazement. "I'll never understand how you're able to understand what Aidan says. I try so hard, I just never can. It must be a twin thing."
"I'll never understand how no one but me can understand him," I said in reply. "Of course, most of the time I don't know what he's saying, other times, it's easy. Isn't that right, Aidan?"
"Yeeee!" Aidan squeaked excitedly. All I could feel was sadness. It isn't fair that I was perfectly capable of speech and Aidan isn't, I thought. I had to remind myself that life isn't fair…
Holly stopped. 'No, life most certainly isn't fair,' thought Holly. It looked like Artemis was thinking the same thing.
Artemis reached up and stroked Holly's cheek without thinking about it. "Wouldn't it be amazing if life was fair?"
"Yes," Holly said. "Yes, because then it would be perfectly acceptable for me to do this." She leaned in again and kissed him softly on the lips. They were warm and tasted of the chocolate cake they had eaten for lunch. She quickly pulled away. "Sorry," she muttered.
"It's okay," Artemis said, blushing and refusing to meet her eye. It seemed to Holly that he wanted to be with her as much as she wanted to be with him. 'It's just a stupid crush,' Holly thought again. 'But if that's the case, why the hell do I keep kissing him?'
She looked around the room and said, for what felt like the millionth time, "I'm sorry about Aidan."
Artemis looked at her and said, "It's alright, really. He's been dead for seven - no, I guess ten - years now. It's just a fact of life. Do I miss him? Of course I do! But no amount of missing him is going to bring him back. He's dead, and there's nothing I can do about it now." In a quieter voice, he added, "There was something I could have done about it then."
'This again?' though Holly. 'I can't stand to see him so guilty.' "Artemis, I'm sure there is NOTHING you could have done. You can't blame Aidan's death on yourself like this."
"You won't understand until we've read the whole thing. But thanks for trying to make me feel better." He put his arm around her and kissed her cheek. "It means a lot."
"Ah-hem," said Butler from the doorway. "I'm supposed to inform you that dinner's ready."
A/N: Like the ending? Review! :)