Written entirely on a whim (so it’s not my best 😕 ) a few months ago when FG crashed the first time. Based loosely on something that happened whilst the three main characters were hiding out on AFC. If you can tell me what Tig is from, you get e-cookies. No answering if I was the one who told you 😉
Artemis Fowl belongs to Eoin Colfer; Ally Kat, Muri, and I belong to our respective selves. By the by, if you read this, can TWS, CC, posf, and Silver please check their PM’s on the forum?
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They sat across from each other at the table, the taller slumped over on her elbows, the shorter leaning back in her chair. The day was hot, the kind of heat that made the air around dry and slow, pulling any potential activity to a lazy stop. The water cooler had run out of water, and there were only a few small drops of condensation coating the inside of the large, plastic jug. The two girls had long ago abandoned writing; they had intended to finish their stories today, but the sun obviously had other ideas. Now they sat idley, waiting for the clock to signal the end of their time in the office building.
Kaye, the elder of the two girls, let out a long sigh, straightening up and looking around her. There had to be something they could do to fight off the boredom… The eyes of Allison, the other, followed her movements, her eyes half-lidded in her sleepy state. As Ally stretched her limbs, trying to keep herself awake, she felt Kaye’s finger poke her shoulder. Confused, she glanced at her friend, who was giving her a cheeky grin.
Ally raised an eyebrow, wondering what on Earth her friend was doing. Kaye was still peering expectantly at her, her eyes sparkling mischeivously. Hesitantly, Ally reached out a hand and proaded her shoulder.
“Tig,” she echoed, somewhat confusedly.
Kaye grinned insanely, returning the blow and dodging away quickly.
“Tig-tag,” she said gleefully, leaning casually onto the table again.
Ally shook her head incredulously. What was the point of this? Tig? That wasn’t even a game. Shrugging, she leaned forward and poked Kaye’s arm.
Laughing, Kaye shot forward with one hand and barely touched Ally’s own arm, shouting her unusual battlecry of “Tig!” once again. Before Ally could retaliate, a smile creeping onto her own face, another girl strolled into the room. It was their friend Muri, and by the looks of things, she was tired.
Muri stopped in her tracks once she saw what her friends were up to. She stood still for a moment, watching the two girls swipe at each other and calling out “tig!” or “tig-tag!” and several other variations on the theme, then she tentatively moved forward to stand between them.
Kaye, who had not noticed Muri come in, jumped a bit. She froze mid-tig, staring guiltily at the newcomer. This was quite unprofessional behavior for an editor to be caught taking part in. She could only hope Muri wouldn’t report her to the universal moderators.
Slowly, the Texan opened her mouth, and, with the straightest of faces, raised one finger to rest just between Kaye’s eyes.
For a moment, the room was still and silent, differing from the atmosphere of a tomb only in temperature. And then, simultaneously, Kaye and Ally grinned, each catching Muri on either side of her head, both shouting,
The walls were filled suddenly with bright laughter as the three girls burst into their makeshift game, assaulting each other with tigs and togs, double-tigs and tig-tigs, and any other manner of the word you could imagine.
In the midst of their fun, unnoticed by all three, another figure slipped into the room and hung back, leaning against a wall and watching intently. His presence was a rare one in this place, as the employees were quite likely to launch an attack at merely the first sight. However, in his experience, these three had not been ones to tackle him and lock him in dungeons. And it was a terribly hot and dull day…
Knowing he would probably live to regret it, Artemis strolled up to the group of girls and tapped one, the one of middle stature, on the shoulder. She turned immediately, a broad grin still plastered on her face. It disappeared as soon as she realized who this was. Before she or either of her companions could say a word, Artemis himself cleared his throat and spoke.
“This game you’re playing,” he began authoritatively. “What is it?”
For a moment, the three fangirls were stock still, staring wide-eyed at the Irishman. Kaye was the first to break free from the uncast spell. A look of sheer glee crossed her face, and she made some cryptic signal to Ally and Muri before providing an answer.
“It’s Tig,” she explained, quickly composing a set of nonexistent rules in her head. “Don’t tell me you’ve never heard of it!”
Artemis raised an eyebrow, looking from face to face. All three looked dead serious. Perhaps this Tig was a more popular game than he had realized. He had never been good at keeping up with the trends in areas like this. At his silence, Ally stepped forward and chimed in.
“Do you… do you want to play with us?”
Artemis stared cautiously at them, wondering if it was safe. He had seen them playing, and it didn’t seem to be a particularly dangerous game from watching… Besides, he wouldn’t be able to get back to Fowl Manor for quite a while; he’d be stuck in this madhouse alone if he didn’t at least pretend to be enjoying himself…
“I suppose it could do no harm,” he conceded. “Inform me of the rules, if you please.”
The three girls exchanged a positively sadistic look before turning back to him, identical smirks adorning their features.
“Why don’t you just start playing?” Muri asked. “The rules are simple enough. If you do something wrong, we’ll just stop you.”
Artemis shrugged, and, swallowing every ounce of pride he had left in him, reached out a finger and poked Ally.
All three girls nodded encouragingly, and soon, after much exaggerated and somewhat violent poking of each other, it came to be Artemis’ turn again. All three of them stared expectantly at him, at least one obviously trying to hold back a devious smile. Awkwardly, he reached out again and touched Kaye’s shoulder.
“Tog,” he said, a bit more confident. From watching, he thought he had caught onto the main rules. It was just like tag, really, only with more moves. With a sinking heart, he saw Muri shaking her head exasperatedly at him.
“No, Artemis,” she explained. “You can’t tog a tig. It’s one of the most important rules.”
Artemis straightened his collar, trying to retain at least what little dignity he had left. He mentally stored away this information for later rounds, wishing he had a rule book to go from. The three girls, he discovered, had continued playing, skipping his turn entirely. He jumped when Muri rather forcefully jabbed his arm, shouting, “Tig-tig!” at the top of her lungs. Clearing his throat and making sure to look as if he knew exactly what he was doing, the boy tapped Ally’s arm in turn.
Again, he was met by more head-shaking. He sighed as Kaye quickly explained that it was egregiously against the rules to tag another player after one has just been tig-tigged. It seemed as though the young genius had finally found something that he wasn’t perfect at. This fact, of course, presented him with just enough of a challenge to force himself to continue. He was going to learn this blasted game right.
Unfortunately, the next few minutes did not bring much better fortune to the Fowl boy. The air around them was littered with frustrated cries of, “No, Artemis, you can’t tig a tag!”, “What are you doing; you can’t tig-tig a tog!”, and finally, the straw that broke the poor Irish camel’s back, “How many times, Artemis, you can’t double-tig a tag!”
Artemis scowled at the three girls, recoiling the hand with which he had intended to tig one of them. This was ridiculous. There was no way that he, Artemis Fowl the second, could be so utterly inept at anything. Surely, this game had been invented by the devil himself as karma for all the bad things he’d ever done. And to be honest, it was doing a fairly efficient job of guilt-tripping him.
“Would one of you be so kind as to produce the rule book for this game for me?” he asked, his normally cool voice strained and clipped.
As two of the girls sank into each other’s arms, both shaking with uncontrollable laughter, Artemis felt the beginning of what promised to be a pounding headache throb against his temple. If it wasn’t one bloody annoyance, it was another…
By this time, Kaye, Ally, and Muri were nearly in stitches with hysterics. They had known from the start that messing with the boy genius’ head would be amusing, but they had never anticipated that he would be so easily tricked for so long. Perhaps it was the heat getting to him, or maybe the author had exaggerated his intelligence more than they had assumed; either way, none of them could think of anything they’d rather be doing.
“Rule book?” asked Ally incredulously, tears of laughter beginning to show themselves in the corners of her eyes.
“There aren’t enough pages in the world!” put in Kaye, nearly falling over in her fit of mirth.
Enraged and unusually confused, Artemis opened his mouth to reply with some witty banter of his own, but was interrupted by a long tone coming from the speaker in the corner. He froze. Oh no. That was the bell to signal the end of the work day at the fanfiction offices. Any moment now, dozens of screaming fangirls would be swarming the halls. And the rest of them weren’t like these three irritants; if just one caught sight of him, he was doomed.
By the looks on their faces, the three tigging girls knew this just as well. Kaye was sporting a grin that quite obviously showed things couldn’t possibly get any better in her book. Muri was rubbing her hands together with sheer maniacal glee, and Ally was fumbling with a tiny video camera she had extracted from her pocket. Artemis gulped. They didn’t exactly seem about to help him get away.
The sound of many doors opening in the halls around them sent a frightened chill down the boy’s spine. As casually as he could, he surveyed the room, taking in each of the supporting walls around him. He had to make his escape, and he had to do it now.
“Tell me,” he asked in a business-like tone, “which one of these is the fourth wall?”
He was met by three blank stares, each, in turn, mocking him more than even their game had. Exasperated, he reiterated his question, only to have it met by the same response. Footsteps in the hall set his adrenaline flowing, his thoughts frantic. This could be the end of Artemis Fowl.
“Please,” he said, keeping his voice in just enough check to prevent it from sounding like the desperate plea it was, “I need to know how to get back on the other side.”
At last, a reaction. Muri nodded, grinning and extending a finger as if to point out the wall in question. Artemis nodded eagerly, waiting for the final answer. He might make it out of here after all.
As the last seconds of time he had ran out and the fangirls poured into the room, Muri let an innocent smile creep across her face, and, with her still outstretched finger, tapped Ally on the shoulder as Artemis vanished under a sea of squealing teenage girls.