Just a little thing I thought up. Probably done a million times over, but I’m hoping it’s different from the rest. *bows* I hope (must… not… say… y’all…) you all enjoy.
When Artemis had first he had been… blank. It’s not that he wasn’t distraught! No, that would just come at a (ever so slightly) later time. But for the moment he was merely numb, not sure what to think or feel, just numb.
It had happened in class. The teacher had come back in after leaving the students to plan group projects. Artemis, of course, already had his completely planned out and now only needed to write it down and was at that moment re-reading a book on psychology. Needless to say most of the children who were ‘lacking’ in the brains department had come to him to ask to assistance. Most of them were now either waiting by the door sniffling to themselves or staring at the walls in shock.
The teacher, a man in his mid fifties with graying black hair, had called the young prodigy out of the classroom, saying the principal needed to talk to him. Artemis had snapped his book shut and followed the man out with an impassive stare, thinking it was probably something about him being moved up to a higher grade again. At his current rate he’d be at Bartleby’s within the year, seeing as the next highest grade to go into was sixth, thus putting him at a middle school level and into the private school. He wasn’t prepared for the information that met his ears.
“There’s been… An accident.” Were the principles starting words. “Your father’s ship, it would seem, has sunk in the Arctic… Someone will be picking you up soon enough.” The man had put a reassuring hand on the boys shoulder, trying not to flinch at the sudden death glare he was receiving. “I-I’m sorry for your loss.
Artemis had quickly shrugged the man off, almost violently as his jaw hardened. “I’m fine. I do not need your consoling.” The boys voice had shaken slightly, whether with rage of sadness no one would ever know, but remained steeled. He had then proceeded by sharply turning on his heel, ignoring any calls to come back, and went out the various doors needed to go to the front of the school.
It was only when he was outside the building, away from prying eyes, that a few, hard sobs wracked his slim shoulders as he collapsed on the sidewalk, not even caring about how it looked to the world. There was no one around, after all, so surely he would be able to cry in peace, without hearing his father’s words about how ‘Fowl men didn’t cry’?
So the ten year old boy weeped gently into his palms, tears falling onto his light blue shirt, staining the material. But he didn’t care. How could he? His father, the man he looked up to, the man he had always been trying to gain the love and respect of, might have been dead. One of the few people in his life he actually cared about could have been floating in the cold waters of the Arctic right at that very moment, never to be seen again.
The sound of a car engine met his acute ears and he instantly perked, wiping his eyes with the back of his hand. He wasn’t alone any more, he couldn’t let his weakness show! No, father wouldn’t approve. Even though he would never find out, that didn’t matter, the voice was starting to form in the geniuses head, mocking him as every new tear fell down his palid cheeks.
Your weak boy, you know that? Sneered the tiny voice, sounding remarkably like a slightly younger version of himself. Crying for the whole world to see! Daddy wouldn’t be happy. But wait! The voice gasped in fake astonishment. He’s not here anymore, is he? That doesn’t change the fact that your nothing but a snot nosed little weakling, does it? No wonder he never-
Artemis managed to shut off the voice, along with his own tears, as the Bentley pulled up in front of him. He was still shaking and his face was red from the brief but hard crying, but it was more than enough the moment he stepped in the car.
Butler looked back at his charge, his face a mixture of concern and disbelief. “Are-are you okay, Artemis?” he asked in his deep, gravely tones, the words not sounding quite right coming out of his mouth. The boy nodded, though it was clear he was not, but Butler didn’t mention it. He just drove off, most likely faster than he probably should have, back to Fowl Manor.
After a few minutes of semi-awkward silence, Artemis spoke. “How is mother?” He bit his tongue as a few more tears fell, a coppery taste suddenly filling his mouth. There would be no more tears. He had to be strong, now more than ever. He was the head of the Fowl empire now, after all. If he broke it would crumble at his feet, which he couldn’t let happen.
The manservant scowled, muttering a few profanities directed at the driver that had just flipped him off -with both hands, I might add- before hearing his charges question. “Distraught, but fine.” He said as calmly as he could as another two people flipped him off in similar manners as the first. “I believe Juliet said she heard crashed from inside the room last time she checked on her, but she’ll simmer down in a few hours most likely.”
With that final statement the bodyguard rolled down the window and started shouting out something along the lines of ‘get on your own ****ing side of the road, you moron!’ to the driver beside him, who was just about to turn into his lane before realising the Bentley was even there. Some people were bad drivers, some people were half blind, and some people were just idiots. In Butler’s opinion, this man was a combination of all three.
Artemis chuckled slightly as butler fumed silently, keeping an eye on the driver, though it was a dry, humorless sound. It was funny, but he wasn’t in a laughing mood. How could he be? But still his mood brightened, if only by a little bit.
Butler perked at the sound of Artemis’ laugh. It was slightly choked with the tears he would most likely release once he was home, locked up in his room where no one could hear, but the hint of a smile now adorned the boys normally emotionless face, which meant his mask was shattered, for the moment. The bodyguard winced as the thought reverberated around his mind, making him swerve sightly. (That was five drivers now that were mad at him in case you weren’t counting.) He hadn’t seen his charge without that mask since before he was three.
“Are you sure you’re okay?” Nothing. He checked the rearview mirror for a better look at his charge before asking, “Artemis, are you sure you’re okay? It’s fine not to be.” The boy shook his head and Butler wasn’t sure whether he was confirming or denying being fine.
Artemis went back to starring out the window when he was sure another question wouldn’t be asked. He wasn’t fine, but he’d sooner drop dead than actually admit it. He’d be fine in the end. He just needed a little bit of time.