A/N: Okay, so, this has been on FF for a while now, but I’m posting it on here too, mostly because nobody else is posting anything here. What the heck happened, guys? It’s barren here! Someone post something!
In the meantime, read this if you haven’t, if only for something to do. I won’t say it’s my best work, but I’m definitely fond of it, so.. yeah, here it is.
Artemis Fowl the second was irritated.
This was not a surprising or unusual thing. Usually, somebody, family, friends, or otherwise, at some point of time in the day, managed to irritate him. However, today was different. Not because, like was just mentioned, he was irritated, but because of why he was irritated.
Today he was irritated because of an illness. The flu, to be exact. And it was irritating him because he had contracted it, and now he was being forced into bed rest by his mother and bodyguard.
He had already deduced the symptoms himself when he had woken up in the morning, however, he was determined not to let it stop him from performing his daily activities. That was. . Until his mother saw him.
He was going downstairs to get something for breakfast when she caught him. He had unintentionally slept in a while and gotten some extra rest, but eventually got up and trudged down to the kitchen. She was just leaving when he entered, but she stopped on sight of her son.
“Oh, Arty!” she exclaimed, stopping a few feet from him. “Oh dear, you look like death!”
“Mother, please don’t be overdramatic,” he sighed. “I have a simple case of the flu. I do not look like death, nor am I going to die; I am merely just. . more sickly than usual.”
She scowled reproachfully at her son, clicking her tongue and shaking her head. “Artemis. You are sick. Go back to your room. Butler will bring your breakfast up, and,” she added, as she felt his forehead, “some medication as well. You’re burning up.”
Artemis sighed and stepped away from her hand, again trying to persuade her to leave him alone. “Mother. Please. I am not going back to sleep; there’s no reason for it, and -”
“No reason for it! My! Artemis, you’re sick! There is every reason for you to go on bed rest. Now go to your room, now!”
Groaning in a way very unlike Artemis and rubbing his face, the human stomped out if the kitchen and back up the stairs to his room, slamming the door shut behind him.
So that was where he still was now: trapped in his room, on bed rest and quarantine until he was better. It was the fourth consecutive day, and he was on the verge of going insane, already bored out of his skull. Most of the days he spent sleeping or reading, for lack of a better thing to do. He’d already gone through half of his Stephen King collection and slept mores than he normally did in a month.
And then, finally some excitement happened.
It was around ten o’clock on the fourth night. Artemis was, sanely, asleep, and deeply, you might notice. But it couldn’t last for long.
The window at the foot of the bed clicked and slid silently open, almost undetectably quiet. Then again, so was the window alarm that the action triggered. . .
And then Artemis was awake, because mere moments after the alarm was triggered, Butler was out of bed and slamming open the door to his charge’s room, gun drawn. He clicked the safety off and pointed the gun in the direction of the window. “Unshield or I will shoot, no questions asked,” barked the Eurasian.
Artemis, who had been shocked into awareness by the sound of the door slamming and his bodyguard bursting in, was sitting bolt upright in the bed and staring at him. “Butler, what’s happening?” he questioned, stifling a yawn with his shoulder.
Butler didn’t answer, in full-blown soldier mode now. “I’m serious. Unshield or I will plug you full of bullets.”
“Whoa, big man. I’m not a huge fan of you either, but my Neutrino is away,” a familiar voice spoke. “Look, I’ll put my hands up and unshield, but put the gun away.”
“How about,” Butler growled, stepping forward towards her voice, “you just do as I told you and once I’m positive you’re not a threat, then I’ll put away the gun.”
The fact her voice was familiar only made Butler more on edge, because this fairy no doubt had a vendetta, after their last meeting. He took another step. . Right into the creature’s buzz button.
It didn’t have a whole lot of effect on the large manservant, but it did tell him where his target was. He grasped the end of the weapon firmly, twisted it out of her hand and crushed it, and then swiftly traced a finger up her arm until he hit her collarbone. Wrapping his fingers around her throat, he lifted her in the air and pressed the gun against her stomach. His finger tightened on the trigger, and she gasped audibly around the pressure on her windpipe.
“Butler, no,” Artemis cut in, with false calm. His voice was low and croaky, but he still managed to come off as intimidating. “She can’t heal that.”
“Fine,” the manservant growled. He let her fall to the ground and then stepped on her throat, effectively crushing her windpipe.
Coughing and hissing violently, Holly unshielded and clutched at her throat, forcing herself on her knees and putting one hand in the air as blue sparks whirled around her. Artemis got out of bed finally, walking over and taking a deep grip on the menservants arm. “Don’t,” he told him softly, when he move towards her again. “Let her heal.”
“She’s a threat.”
“Then keep your gun trained on her. But don’t hurt her again unless she turns actually hostile.”
“Artemis, I really -”
“Don’t,” Artemis interrupted sharply. “If she’s here it’s for a reason. No doubt the LEP is getting her readings and thinking the worst already. I don’t want that now. So just keep your gun steady, but don’t fire.”
Growling, the Eurasian gave in. He raised his gun again and moved to stand behind the elf, placing the gun barely an inch from the back of her head.
However, when Holly sat up, her windpipe back as it should be, she leaned back on her knees and her head pressed right into the barrel of the gun. She tensed, licking her lips and slowly looking up at the human standing over her. Her eyes closed.
“Are you going to shoot me?” she asked, her voice soft and slightly scratchy.
“Not unless I have to,” Artemis replied. He knelt in front of her, meeting her eyes briefly, but before he could speak she looked away. “Holly, I won’t order you to do anything, I promise. I think we got off on the wrong foot, the last time. It’s been years since the kidnapping. If you’re here on a personal vendetta because of that, I really think you should let it go.” When she didn’t speak, he gently reached out and tilted her head up. She blinked several times when their eyes connected, but didn’t pull away. “Captain Short. You don’t have to trust me and you don’t have to forgive me, but at least tell me why you’re here.” His finger traced very lightly under her right eye, where he could see the dark bags there. “You obviously don’t seem to be in good health.”
“You’re not looking very chipper yourself,” she shot back at him. But then Butler nudged her in the back of the head with the gun, and she hissed in pain. “Fine,” she amended quickly. “You’re right, I’m not. But the Commander thinks I’m some sort of expert on you because you kidnapped me and I’ve been closer to you than anyone else. I’m the only one allowed near this place.” She wrinkled her nose. “Not that I want to be too close to it either though.”
“I don’t blame you in the slightest,” he sighed. “I was a monster the last time you met me. I wouldn’t want to run into that version of me either. But, obviously your commander sent you here for something; something that seems to have including breaking and entering my manor. So, I’m inclined to inquire what.”
“Surveillance,” she replied simply. “We used to do it every six months. I’d stakeout here every for a week or so and make sure you weren’t up to anything. Then I’d go home and come back in six months.” She shrugged. “It was boring most of the time. Now. . . Now there’s some trouble stirring up in Haven. The commander thought you might have something to do with it. So I got saddled coming up here.”
“I see,” Artemis murmured, deep in thought. “It just so happens that I know the exact trouble you’re talking about. I am not the criminal behind it, however, I have been monitoring it. Because of the LEP’s inaction, I was worried about it getting more out of hand, so I did put a hand in to stop in, as well as several other crimes that have been set up.”
Her eyes widened. “What do you mean?”
“Virtually, I managed to get in contact with. . an, ah, acquaintance, of the People’s, and have him do some work on the inside. The inside being Haven, obviously.” He tried to smirk at her, but it was tired, weak attempt. “I believe you met him before, Holly, and recently.”
She thought about it. “Off the top of my head I don’t know,” she sighed. “And my head hurts so I don’t want to think hard about it.”
“Understandable.” He stroked her face with a thumb. “Would you like to leave now?”
“I would have liked to not come at all,” Holly admitted.
“I know. But it could be worse. I could be keeping you prisoner again,” he reminded her.
A shudder rolled down her spine. He felt it against his hand. “Hell no. Don’t even try. I’d die before I’d go through that again.”
“As I thought,” Artemis said. “Release her, Butler.”
“Butler, I said release her. We can bind her if you’d like, but that’s all. I won’t have you harm her again.” He looked back at Holly, who was staring at him with wide eyes. He could see the terror the sentence struck up, even though she covered it well. “Holly-”
“They won’t pay,” she blurted, shaking her head.
He blinked, surprised by the outburst. “What?” he asked, pausing in his lecture.
“If you hold me here again, they won’t pay,” she repeated. “Not to mention that I’m sick. You said that yourself, Fowl. I’ll only get worse trapped here.”
Understanding dawned then. “Oh, Holly. I didn’t mean it like that. I-” he hesitated, pulling on her shoulders gently, so Butler finally released her, then helped her to her feet. In his position, he was about her head height; just the slightest bit over. “I’m not going to hold you here. In fact, I was going to have Butler drive you back to the shuttle port. He doesn’t seem to trust you though, so for the ride I said he could bind you. Will that be an issue?”
She blinked. “No, I guess. . But why are you being so nice to me?” As he had her earlier, she touched the bags under his eyes lightly, and a fleeting spark jumped from her fingers. She shook it off. “Are you always this mellow when you’re sick?”
“No, Captain, I have merely matured. It’s been several years; I’m sixteen, almost seventeen now, and I am seeing things in a different light, so to speak. I have no wish to exploit you or your race.” His eyes slid over her once, and he shook his head. “Well,” he amended, “your race, anyway.” Then he stood, looking at Butler. “Bind her hands and carry her out. Don’t harm her. I’m going to grab a few things and then I’ll meet you in the Bentley.”
Butler blinked. “Sir, I really don’t think you should be out in this cold weather in your condition. You don’t need pneumonia on top of the flu, and you know your mother wouldn’t approve.”
“I won’t be in the cold for long, and a jacket is already on my mind to grab,” Artemis dismissed, stifling a yawn. “I imagine with the fairies sensitivity to cold Haven won’t be too unbearable either, and we’ll be riding in the car and in a shuttle there. . .”
“Wait a second!” Holly gasped. “You’re not going into Haven, are you?”
“Yes,” he said, looking down at her quizzically. “Why wouldn’t I?”
“Um, because you’re human?”
“Well, then it’s a good thing we’re going after dark, isn’t it? Most of Haven will be asleep. It should be relatively easy to sneak into the LEP’s headquarters at this hour.”
Holly swallowed audibly. “You. . .” She started, then she just stopped and dropped her head in her hands, groaning. “Commander Root is going to kill me,” she mumbled, rubbing her eyes with the heels of her hands. “And then have a heart attack.”
“Mm. Well, at least his magic will heal it,” Artemis commented. Then he nodded to Butler. “Take her out. I’ll join you in a few minutes.”
When Artemis came out, Holly was in the backseat of the Bentley, hands bound to the headrest of the passenger seat. She watched him with a mixture of wariness and curiosity as he bypassed the passenger door and went around to sit in the back next to her.
“What?” he asked, when he noticed her staring at him.
“Nothing,” she replied, shaking her head. “It’s just strange, that’s all.”
He shrugged as Butler started the car, moving slightly closer to the elf. “Am I strange?” he questioned, sounding honestly curious.
“I. . .” She sighed. “To me, yes, but I’m a fairy. Of course you seem strange to me. What does it matter?”
“Well, as long as you’re just curious. . .” she muttered, looking away.
He raised an eyebrow at her response. ” ‘As long as I’m just curious’, Holly? What, did you think I was going to use your answer as an excuse to lock you up?”
“In all honesty? I wouldn’t put it past you.”
He nodded indulgently, then, thinking, slid closer to her. When she heard it, she turned around, and was instantly surprised to find him only a few centimeters from her face. “Holly, in all honesty. . . Do you think I’m really horrible?”
Any other time, before tonight, a ‘yes’ would have rolled smoothly off her tongue. But now, with him so close, his wide eyes trained on her. . . He seemed so gentle and innocent in the darkness of the car, especially with the look on his face. That look on his face. . . She couldn’t possibly say yes to such a mean question when he had that look on his face. So she just licked her lips and looked at him uncertainly.
He sighed, leaning back, away from her, and looking away. “I guess so,” he murmured, and she couldn’t help but wince at his dejected tone of voice. “Holly. . . I understand if you hate me. But I am sorry. I wish you would believe that. I know I can’t make you. . . But I wish you would.”
Holly stayed quiet. Finally, she whispered, “Artemis. . . You don’t. . . I mean. . .”
He slapped a hand over her mouth. “No. Don’t try to explain yourself to me, Holly. You don’t have to. Anyways. . . It not like I don’t deserve it.”
“Maybe. . .Maybe you don’t,” she whispered, in an apologetic tone. “Artemis. . .” She tugged weakly on the binds and sighed. “I didn’t – . . .wait, what are you doing?” she yelped, when he turned and pulled a pocket knife out of the sleeve of his nightshirt. “Don’t!”
“Calm down, Holly,” he ordered, his tone firm but gentle. He pressed her back against the seat, flicking the knife open in front of her nose as he studied the knot in her wrist binds.
“Artemis,” Butler warned, speaking for the first time since the drive had started. “Don’t free her. It only makes my job harder.”
“I won’t completely, but she doesn’t need to be tied to the headrest. As it is I believe she’s too tired and emotional to be hostile.” He finally located the knot and with a careful movement, sliced it. The rope came undone, unwinding from the headrest, but after that Artemis caught it before it could go much further. With nimble fingers, he took the the severed end and wound it back in through the ropes.
“Sorry about this,” he murmured, not looking at her. “Butler’s paranoid, and I can’t say that I blame him. But you look about dead tired and I don’t feel that it’s right to keep you in such an uncomfortable position with the drive ahead. You need rest.”
“So do you, Artemis,” Butler put in.
“I know, old friend. Perhaps later though. I might in Haven, but I doubt we’ll be provided with any place to stay. We are considered enemies.” He sighed. “I’ll sleep on the way home.”
“Why don’t you sleep now?” Holly asked.
He offered her a weak, but sincere smile. “If I go to sleep now, who will keep you from rolling off when you fall asleep yourself?”
“You will, because that is the one order that I will give you, Captain Short.” He took her shoulders and pulled her down, onto his lap. “Rest, Holly. Please.”
“I. . . I don’t know. I’m not comfortable with this. At all.”
“I’m sorry. But I will not be the reason you illness worsens. You have my word that you can sleep safely. I’ll wake you at the shuttle port.”
“No,” Butler said, cutting in, “I’ll wake you both up. Both of you need rest. So lay down and go to sleep, both of you. And don’t think for a second I won’t tranquilize you.”
Artemis studied the look on his bodyguard’s face. “He’s serious,” he decided. “I suppose I shall humor him.” He pushed her up slightly and laid down, stretching out and pushing himself flat against the back of the seat, then pulled her down beside him. There was plenty of room for both of them, as small as they both were.
For the second time in several minutes, Artemis and Holly were extremely close, maybe closer than before, and they were both centimeters from each other. He smiled kindly at her, and, before she could react, kissed her cheek lightly. “Sleep well, Holly.” Then, to make sure she couldn’t slap him or yell at him, he pushed her head in his chest with one hand and her body further against him with the other, trapping her hands between them and her face covered by his nightshirt.
In this position she could smell him, and practically taste him too. Sliding up slightly to actually press her face in his neck was easy, and she took advantage without really thinking about it. He smelled spicy, like peppermint. It must have been some type of cologne or aftershave; though more likely the latter considering he was in his bedclothes. She thought there was also a hint of fruit, more specifically citrus, which was possibly from his shampoo. It was an odd mixture, but it smelled better than it sounded.
Artemis instinctively tightened his grip when she moved, but was thrown off when he felt her snuffling his neck. “What are you doing?” he whispered, ducking his head slightly to put his lips by her ear.
She jumped, embarrassed at being caught. “Sorry. . . You just smell really good. . .”
He chuckled, nipping at her ear tip. “Well, I’d be happy to let you eat me up. . As long as I’m allowed to have a piece of you as well.”
She blushed, not missing the implication in his words. “That. . . I. . Wow,” she murmured. “That was so close to straightforward flirting.”
He grinned at her. “So was the comment about exploiting you earlier, but you let that slide.” He touched his hand to her hip. “If I didn’t know better I’d take that as permission.”
“Artemis. Go to sleep,” she whispered, exasperated. She wriggled her hip away from his hand. “And keep your hands to yourself.”
“Alright, alright. Exploitation at a later date then.” He sighed and closed his eyes. “That’s fine. I can wait.”
“That wasn’t what I meant. I was trying to-. .”
Holly started to argue, but stopped halfway through. The human was already out.
Sighing, she closed her eyes too, and in minutes she was just as unconscious as the man beside her.
“Artemis. Captain. We’re here.”
Holly’s eyes fluttered open. At first, she instinctively felt trapped, and the restraints around her and the material over her eyes didn’t help. Then she realized the restraints were really Artemis’s arms, and the material on her eyes was his nightshirt. Her face was still buried in his chest.
“Fowl,” she mumbled, struggling up on her elbow and poking him in the ribs with her bound hands. “Get up.”
“Mhm,” grumbled the sleeping human. “I’m up.”
He released her and sat up, coughing into his arm and climbing out of the car groggily. Butler steadied his charge and then pulled Holly out, setting her on her feet and then grabbing his bag off the floor and slamming the door.
Holly looked around, recognizing the scenery as the woods around Tara. “How did you even know where this place was?”
“I know a lot more than you think, Holly,” he answered, sighing as he looked around and adjusted the bag on his shoulder. “Foaly’s system defenses aren’t as good as he thinks they are.”
Holly nodded and yawned once. “I’ll try to remember that, but I may ask again cause’ my brain is frazzled right now.” She paused, and they walked in silence for a minute, Butler shadowing his charge quietly. Then she realized something. “Hey! You said you’d unbind my hands at the shuttle port!”
“I did, didn’t I?” Artemis murmured. He stopped and knelt down swiftly, taking out his knife again and slicing the ropes around her wrists. “Better, Captain Short?”
“Much,” she admitted, rubbing her wrists. “That was really bothering me.”
“I imagine. And again, I apologize. But, it was a necessary precaution, albeit a pesky one.”
The shuttle port was quickly coming into sight. Artemis glanced down at the elf walking beside him. She didn’t look much better after her little nap. Her eyes were still dark, and now that he looked slightly closer, she was shivering.
“Artemis, what are you doing?” Butler asked suspiciously. Holly looked up at the human to see he had handed Butler his bag and was shrugging off his jacket.
“Keeping our little elf from freezing to death,” he replied, locking eyes with her and kneeling again. He took his jacket and wrapped it around her tightly, not giving her a chance to protest, then scooped her up and pressed her against his chest. “I have no wish to be convicted of murder charges.”
“Any other conviction’s just fine though?”
He shook his head and chuckled. “Believe it or not I do not donate near as much of my time to criminal activities anymore, Holly. I told you, I’ve matured, and I’m. . . I’m a better person, if not precisely a good one.”
“Mhm. I don’t know about a good person. . But you make a comfy resting place,” she admitted with another yawn.
“Then rest. I can wake you again when we get to Haven.”
“Don’t I have to pilot the shuttle?”
“No. I know how, courtesy of an instruction manual I downloaded on one of my hacking expositions, and anyways, the shuttle’s have autopilot, do they not?”
“I think they do.”
“Then we’re in the clear,” he told her. “Now go to sleep already.”
“I just woke up.”
“And you still look horrible. You need rest.”
“So do you,” she said defensively. “And you’re not going to sleep.”
He couldn’t fight a smile. “Touché, Holly.” He sighed. “Fine. Don’t go to sleep. But at least relax.”
She snuggled into his chest. “Fine. But only because you’re really warm and comfy.”
He nodded to show he understood, and silence followed. They walked the rest of the way like that, until he took her in the shuttle (not having to stop as Butler had taken care of the guards on the way past), and, without unwrapping her from his jacket, strapped her down in the seat.
The ride down was silent. Holly dozed on and off, and Butler and Artemis talked quietly, mostly about his work and previous and upcoming schemes. A few times the bodyguard tried to convince his charge to go to sleep, but Artemis refused every time, so eventually he gave up.
Holly was sleeping when they reached Haven. Artemis picked her up, infant style, and Butler grabbed his bag, and they were off.
“Do you know how to get to the LEP Headquarters, Artemis?” the bodyguard questioned.
Artemis shot a signature vampire smirk at his bodyguard. “Of course I do, Butler. Do you doubt me?”
“I figured you would, but there’s no harm in asking. I just wasn’t sure if we’d need to wake Captain Short.”
“No. Leave Holly sleep.”
Conversation quieted after that, until they reached the Plaza. Most of the officers were gone now, but Artemis was confident that the commander, at the very least, was still there. So he paced quietly down the hallway, until he got to Root’s office. However, a quick glance through the window told him that the office was empty.
“Not there?” asked the mammoth bodyguard.
“No,” Artemis said, his brow furrowed. Then he was hit with an idea, and he held a finger up to signal to him to wait. Then he paced down the hall, stopping in front of a door labeled ‘OPERATIONS BOOTH’, and knocked lightly.
There was a pause, then the door opened.
“Holly?” asked a familiar voice.
Artemis shook his head and smirked, unconsciously tightening his grip on the elf. “She’s here, however, I would prefer if you would not wake her up.”
Both subterranean creatures snapped their gazes towards the human. Butler closed the door behind them and set Artemis’s bag down, adopting a position closer to his charge, leaning protectively over him.
“Fowl,” they both said simultaneously, though one was more a sigh, and the other one was a plain out growl.
Artemis paid them no attention, instead merely continued. “By the way, Commander, I have to say, I’m rather disappointed in you. Holly needs rest – she’s sick – and yet she’s being put to work at all hours of the night. I understand that you may trust her more with me than another officer because of our personal history, but I do believe if you’d like her to be there for your convenience later she should be allowed to heal up so she’s ready for it.”
“Don’t you dare tell me how to do my job,” the irate elf snarled at him. “And what the hell are you doing here? And what did you do to Holly? Drug her?”
“No. I merely laid her down and convinced her to get some rest she needed,” replied Artemis. “And of course, I’m here for business. But before I get to that, I’d like to lay Holly down in a more comfortable place to sleep -”
“No,” muttered the elf sleepily. She cracked one eye open and murmured, “I’m awake.”
“You don’t have to be. You need sleep, so sleep.”
“No.” She squirmed, and he sighed, giving in and setting the elf on the ground.
“Short, what in Frond’s name is going on here?”
She yawned and shook her head. “Honestly? I don’t know. A very bad situation. But I had no control over it. All I had was a crushed baton and a Sig Sauer to my head; did you really expect me to fight him? Even if I had magic left I couldn’t heal that.”
“What did you tell him?”
Holly started to answer, but Artemis cut her off.
“Practically nothing, actually. See, I didn’t need any information – I already had it. At any rate, in her state, she looks a little too pitiful to harshly interrogate. Not to mention I’m not feeling so chipper myself.” He shrugged. “It was much easier to just come down here and help you, clear any suspicions of guiltiness on my name, and of course bring the little captain home.” He patted Holly’s head as he finished, ruffling her hair. She shot him an irritated look, but he ignored it. “Now, if you would, Foaly, let me see your computers and I will set this straight.”
The technical genius moved aside, and Artemis stepped up to the keyboard, cracking his knuckles as he brought up all the LEP’s data and facts on the crimes he was being unfairly accused of.
The next hour was long and boring. Artemis, indeed, had suitable evidence to clear his name, and proof that he had been helping the LEP covertly, though he still refused to say who his inside partner-in-crime was. He had helped a lot more than he had made it sound like he had, and done a good job of it too. By the end of it, Foaly had readily admitted that the human was intelligent, and Root had grudgingly admitted that he was useful. Both of them had had some choice words, in actuality, but that was their meanings behind them.
That only left Holly.
“What do you think, Holly?” Foaly asked jokingly of the elf who was leaning, half-asleep, against the wall. “Is the Mud Boy moderately alright?”
“He’s not such a bastard all the time,” was all the elf would offer up. “Although he’s always so smug. . . I’d like to knock him out sometimes.”
“Only sometimes?” Foaly grinned, nudging the human’s shoulder. “I think that means yes.”
“Shut up,” she huffed. They both chuckled.
And so an uneasy, unlikely alliance was formed. Fowl would be their surface representative. He would watch and take care of the little breakouts on the surface, and contact the LEP in case of the bigger ones, so that, for the most part, they could focus on the problems underground.
“Why don’t you just give me Captain Short?” Artemis suggested.
“What? No! I’m not -”
“Quiet Holly,” interrupted her boss. Then he looked at the human. “What the hell do you mean?”
“Holly. Get her a long-term surface visa, until we can get these things under control. She can stay with me until these breakouts and things are cleared up, so that instead of contacting you and you having to send her up, she’d already be there and be able to handle it faster and more efficiently. Then she could come back to Haven once they get under control.”
“And how would she stay hidden, genius?” Root growled.
“Simply, actually. Foaly has his new invention, that form-changing bracelet. She could get one and use it to make herself look like a human for the duration of her stay. As long as she keeps it on, and we keep her equipment hidden, there’ll be no chance of exposure.”
Everyone had to stop and think now. Artemis did have a point. Finally, Root looked at Holly, then back at Artemis. “How would she be treated, Fowl? I’m not giving her to you to torture or anything. She won’t be your prisoner again.”
“She will be a guest, simple as that,” Artemis assured. “No harm will come to her by my hands, Commander.”
The two locked eyes. Finally, Julius sighed and nodded. “Fine. From now until further notice, she’s in your care. Foaly, gather all the equipment Captain Short will need. Holly, go home and clear out all your necessities. The shuttle will leave in an hour.”
“What? Commander!” Holly shouted. “You can’t send me back with him! He’s a public enemy, not to mention, the most feared public enemy! Number one! You can’t really expect me to go home with him!”
“It’s for the good of Haven, Holly. The Mud Boy brought up some good points. Suck it up, or give me your badge.”
She stared at him, then, finally, she gave in, shoulders slumping. “Come on, Mud Boys,” she muttered. “I guess I’ve gotta go pack.”