It was raining at Fowl Manor.
Artemis Fowl hated the rain. He hated it more than he hated anything else, except perhaps when people didn’t get his jokes. And email forwards. Even he hadn’t figured out a way to block every single one. He shook his head; that was beside the point. What was the point was that rain was wet and rather inane. When humans had invented irrigation and other ways to transport water, rain had become… obsolete. Still, it was impossible to stop the water cycle, he reasoned. Precipitation was essential to a natural balance.
That didn’t mean he needed to appreciate it.
At that exact moment, the young Irish boy was staring out the window, wishing that the rain would just vanish. He couldn’t get onto his computers because of the risk of electricity, and the lights were flickering dangerously, like they were going to go any minute. He scowled slightly as the peach tree in the front yard bent sharply in half, looking like it was going to snap in two. He hoped it wouldn’t; his mother had taken two hours out of her Sunday afternoon to plant it.
Butler was surprisingly docile; rain made any hostile attack next to impossible, considering the whole hill had turned to so much mud. Also, as the hill was surrounded by lower ground, this ground was slowly filling up with water, giving the impression of being on an island. The bodyguard was leaning back reading Moby Dick, which Artemis found oddly fitting, considering the water surrounding the hill like a miniature ocean.
Rain… sighed Artemis in his head. Why did it seem so exciting when I was young?
Captain Holly Short felt like the luckiest elf in the world.
Fairies loved the rain, since, of course, you didn’t get much of that underground. As it was the wet season in most areas, every fairy was trying to get a surface pass. Holly, of course, was on official LEP business. This, of course, gave her a surface visa.
Foaly had warned her that there was an especially bad storm around Fowl Manor, but Holly wasn’t concerned. On the contrary, she was ecstatic. She could barely contain herself when she finally broke out aboveground, taking that first, rain-laden breath.
The effect that the rain had on her was much like the effect that it had on people living in a natural desert. While fairies weren’t fans of wet, and certainly weren’t fans of cold, the rain excited her, a novelty that her body naturally rejoiced in. So Holly indulged in a few undignified mid-air twirls before setting off to Fowl Manor.
“Holly’s coming,” Artemis announced, receiving something akin to a text message from his communicator.
Butler glanced up from his reading. “Warn her about the water.”
Artemis sighed. “That is fully unnecessary; I am sure she knows about it.”
When Butler shrugged and went back to his reading, Artemis sighed again, getting up.
“I’ll go wait for her, if the porch hasn’t been submerged by now.”
Butler raised an eyebrow, though didn’t glance up. “What that sarcasm I heard just now?”
Artemis shrugged. “I think it was.”
When Holly spotted Artemis waiting on the wooden steps of the manor, she waved a bit spastically. Her wings carried her to the foot of the manor, and she landed lightly in the wet grass. She shook her bright hair once, causing water to splatter in all directions, though the rain only doused her again a moment later.
“Come inside,” called Artemis, one hand to his face as though he could ward off the raindrops blowing inside the porch.
Holly shook her head. “No way!” she called back. “Do you know how often I get to feel rain?”
Artemis gave a barely perceivable scowl. “Then come in when you’re ready to be sensible.”
Holly laughed. “Aren’t you going to come out and dance?”
Artemis nearly choked on air, but managed to recover before he actually did it. “Dance?”
“Yes, silly! Come dance in the rain!”
Artemis turned back, one hand on the wet doorknob. “Why?”
“For the sheer joy of it!”
Artemis scoffed. “That’s not a reason.”
“We’re alive! We’re together! It’s raining! That is why we dance.”
Artemis rolled his eyes. “Holly, I hate to tell you, but I hate the rain.”
Holly assumed a shocked look that was only half faked. “How could you hate the rain?”
Artemis shook his head. “I just do. I’m going inside.”
To his surprise, Holly laughed. Then, he was abruptly grabbed by the sleeve of his shirt.
“Hey!” he objected, but Holly was now hovering beside him, wet hair hanging in her eyes. Her wings vibrated, drawing both the fairy and the reluctant human off the porch and onto the lawn. At first Artemis tried to cover himself with his hands, but realized a moment later that such an effort was futile.
“Come on!” called Holly. She released all but his hand, and flew in a tight circle around him, effectively spinning poor Artemis in something that could be called a pirouette.
Artemis staggered, caught off balance on the slippery grass as Holly completed the turn. Her eyes… her eyes glowed in the half-light, hazel and blue. They sparkled with sheer joy, and, apparently, that joy was contagious.
As Holly drew him into another revolution, Artemis looked up at the sky. The clouds were a dappling of pearl gray and billowing slate gray. They looked so soft that you could make a bed of them. They looked to be the consistency of cotton candy, the rain shimmering flecks in the sky. As Holly led him in another spin, Artemis felt a reluctant smile come to his face.
The rain washed over both of them as they danced. Artemis forgot, for a fleeting moment, that he was a fourteen year old genius, and was just a fourteen year only boy. He felt himself laugh for a passing instant. But he didn’t want that instant to pass. He smiled, for the first time in a long time, and just felt the world around him. He didn’t try to analyze anything, didn’t have a single computation in his head. All that existed to him was the rain, and the tender touch of Holly’s hands interlaced with his.
Laughing breathlessly, the pair collapsed on the wet lawn beside each other, smiling and panting. Then, they looked with new eyes at each other, at the world.
Artemis felt her slightly smaller hand laced with his, saw her smile in her face and in her eyes, reflected in his own. Slowly, vaguely uncertain, but undeniably blissful, he leaned forward and pressed his lips to hers. Holly started, and then moved forward, leaning into the kiss, lengthening it, feeling it. The two gripped each other as the rain poured over them, washing away all the uncertainty and all the bitter feelings of the past. When the kiss ended, and the pair parted, they didn’t let go of each other.
“How did this happen?” asked Holly softly, her eyes shining with emotion.
“I’m not quite sure,” answered Artemis, a bit dazed.
Holly leaned forward and nuzzled his nose with her own, startling him. “I don’t either, but it feels right.”
Artemis’ smile returned. “Yes, it does.”
“And you got it all on tape?” Butler asked Foaly excitedly, staring out the window of the manor.
Foaly whinnied with joy. “Yep! Every second, from the rain dance to the kiss!”
Butler nodded approvingly and smiled, though Foaly couldn’t see it. “Impressive. And a good thing to have on hand. You know, to show the future kids.”
(A/N) Hi everybody!! I really hope you enjoyed that. It rained where I live today, and, as I live in a desert, it was a very special thing. And so this was born to celebrate. Check out my other story, “Search for Life,” which updates daily, and don’t forget to review if you liked!!