Hey, guess what? I’m back from the dead! Yay! I’ve been writing non-Artemis stories over on fanficion.net (under the name Glitch Guardian) during the time I’ve been gone, and, I must say, my writing has improved. Greatly.
All most of my interest in my previously written stories has waned, so I’m starting a new one. Be warned, I’m totally making this up as I go along. But, still, enjoy.
I’m doing a one-shot because, if I attempt a chaptered fic, I won’t update in forever, and when I finally do, no one will know what I’m talking about. Woo hoo.
Takes place after The Last Guardian. Spoiler Alert. 😉
It was hard for her to get to the surface now, stuck as she was with responsibilities and the like. It was hard for him, too; it couldn’t be easy adjusting to life after, well, dying. That didn’t mean she wished it was easy, that she could zip up to the surface without a care in the world and no one to tell her no. But she couldn’t, not any more. Everything was different now; he was different. Sure, Artemis had been a pain, a know-it-all, a show-off, but now that he wasn’t, she realized that’s what she liked about him. This new Artemis wasn’t Artemis. Not yet. And she would do all in her power to try and remedy that.
As soon as Holly got a free pass from work, she was gone. Through crowds and quiet corners she zipped, pulling the throttle of her wings as hard as she could, and in no time at all, she was at the shuttle port. A few threats and compromises later, she was on her way to the surface in the fastest shuttle she could find. She didn’t care what kind it was (that was Foaly’s job), she only cared that it got her to Tara faster than a gas-propelled dwarf.
Finally, finally, she had reached the surface, and again she was off like a shot. Speeding through fields, barely even bothering to shield herself, Holly made her way to Fowl Manor as fast as her top-of-the-line wings could take her. Then she saw it.
As she crested a low hill, the grass whipping around beneath her, her breath caught as the highest towers of the manor came into her line of sight. The rest revealed itself to her soon after, and before she knew it, she was alighting on the great marble steps that marked the entrance. She put up a hand to knock, but the door flew open on its own and then Artemis was there, smiling, hugging her.
“Holly! You came!” he cried joyfully.
“Um, yeah,” she replied stiffly, shoving him away. This was all to weird; the Artemis she knew would never hug her. He’d probably lecture her about lateness, a long, boring speech that would trail of into technicalities she didn’t understand so she’d just nod and smile, like, ‘sure, I know exactly what a trans-dimensional thorum is, please, go on.’
Frond, she missed those lectures.
“So what brings you here?” Artemis asked, that ever-present, open smile plastered on his pale face. Sometimes she wanted to smack that stupid smile off for good, but she knew she could never bring herself to do it.
“Oh, I just got a free pass from work, so I decided to visit…” Holly trailed off, waving a hand vaguely in the direction of Tara.
Artemis nodded. “That’s great! Do you want to come inside? I’m sure Butler would like to say hello.”
Holly nodded and followed her friend inside the considerably darker foyer, where she let a smile slide onto her face. Butler. It had been so long since she’d last seen the giant manservant, but her fond memories were still fresh in her mind. He was just as worried about Artemis as she was, and when they talked about what to do, she felt they were more like an old married couple than a pair of worried friends. Still, it would be great to see the man.
Artemis led Holly down a gilded hallway lined with portraits of past Fowls (if she was being honest with herself, they scared the magic out of her) and into a small, secluded side room where Butler was watching an old TV. Unlike Artemis, who had changed somewhat in the year or so since she’d last seen him, as teenaged boys are wont to do (even time-traveling ones), Butler was almost exactly the same. Holly smiled at the sight of her friend, who looked up from some gangster show to see who his charge brought and smiled in return when he beheld the elf.
“Hi, Holly,” he said, getting up (a little stiffly, Holly noticed). “What brings you here?”
“Just some time off of work. I really missed you guys.”
Artemis smiled. “I missed you, too.”
“As did I,” the hulking manservant added.
“Well, then,” Holly spoke up after an awkward pause. “Artemis, where’s the rest of your family?”
“Mum, Juliet, and Father are off with Myles and Beckett to some young scientists’ convention. I declined to go because I am working on a project and do not want to be disturbed.” Holly smiled. Secret projects? The Artemis she knew was returning, it seemed. Although he had called his mother ‘Mum’, she knew the older Fowl had probably goaded her son into it, but he still called his father ‘Father’, which was normal. The boy was on the right track to becoming what he used to be.
When Artemis had first returned from the dead a bit different from what he had once been, Holly had been glad. They could shape him into a better person, she reasoned, so he wouldn’t be as cold as he once was. But, after a time, it had become apparent that everyone wanted the old Artemis to return, with his arrogance and vanity and confidence and genius. So, they had begun to teach him to act like he had before. As one might expect, it was hard to tech someone how to act, especially without being in the head of the one you wanted them to act like. Before the LEP had dragged Holly underground, she had suggested the prospect of finding a way to unlock Artemis’ full persona in his new body to Butler. It appeared the manservant had been making some headway. Not as much as Holly would have liked, of course, but she couldn’t complain. This difference wasn’t like a mind wipe. It was on a deeper psychological level, something she couldn’t even understand the complexity of, but she had t try. For her friends, and for herself.
“Holly, do you want to see what I’ve been working on?” Artemis asked suddenly, breaking Holly out of her thoughts.
“Oh, sure,” she replied, trying to sound upbeat. Artemis didn’t appear to notice her hesitance, and smiled gently as he lead her out of the room, where Butler returned to his previous position in front of the movie.
Artemis had turned a spare room in the rear of his manor into an extravagant workshop, and this was where he lead Holly now. He opened the door for her with a flourish, and she couldn’t help but laugh. Artemis smiled at her reaction (she really couldn’t get used to all of this smiling) and led the elf over to a table, where a solitary cube lay.
“I made this out of some of the best materials known to man,” he explained, gently lifting the cube to show his friend, “but I was wondering if I could borrow some of the People’s. It seems…incomplete.”
Holly’s hand shot to her mouth as she let out a gasp of surprise. C Cube…mix of materials made by Mud Men and the People… This was too much like the Jon Spiro incident for her liking. “Artemis…don’t you remember? You made a cube like this before!”
“I…did?” The raven-haired boy lifted the cube closer to his face, blue eyes studying it thoughtfully. “I don’t…” He trailed off in thought.
“You really don’t remember?” Holly whispered, stepping closer to peer around her friend. “Jon Spiro? Phonetix? How we broke in to Spiro Tower to rescue you and the C Cube? Nothing”
Artemis shook his head sharply, his grip on the cube tightening. “I…I…stop, please…”
With a jolt, the elf realized that a memory or two, possibly many memories, were trying to surface through the haze in the boy’s mind. “No, you must remember. Remember Foaly, and your genius plan to arrest Spiro, and Butler getting shot-”
“I remember,” Artemis whispered sharply, cutting Holly off. “Butler got shot because of me, right?” At Holly’s hesitant nod, he went on. “And then…you were there. You healed him. But we thought it wouldn’t work…and he told me his name…”
Artemis looked up into Holly’s multicolored eyes. One was amber and one was blue: his eye. “Domovoi. Domovoi Butler. I…remember now.”
Eh, small little thing I wrote in one sitting to show you all I’m not dead any more. I hope you liked! XD