Disclaimer: Joss owns BTVS. Eoin Colfer owns Artemis Fowl.
AN: Rest In Peace, Andy. The world will not see your like again.
“Is this absolutely necessary, Artemis?”
“You know I wouldn’t be here otherwise, Butler.” Artemis Fowl regarded the scene in front of him with distaste. “However… my meeting with Mr. Spiro is quite important. I need a little guidance, and this is, reputedly, the best place to get it.”
“Going on reputation, Artemis?” Butler’s lip curled a bit. “Not tactically sound.”
Artemis nodded. “I’m aware. But, when it comes to this particular underworld… We have little choice. They enjoy being vague.”
They were interrupted by a… green man. In a blindingly flamboyant suit. How does he function in clothing like that?
Artemis wondered idly.
The Host smiled at them. “Hey there, sugar blossoms. I’m Lorne. Welcome to Caritas.”
Artemis rolled his eyes. “Lorne? You couldn’t think of something original?”
The smile faltered just a bit. “Short for Krevlorneswath, of the Dethwok Clan. It’s a bit of a mouthful, so I just use Lorne.” His smile came back full force. “So. I’m sensing you want a little direction. Not hard, since that’s what most people come in for. What are you going to sing?”
Artemis raised an eyebrow. “Sing? I do not sing
. I am here for a reading.”
Lorne shrugged. “Sorry, Babycakes. I can’t read you unless you sing. When you sing, you bare your soul, and I can see it clear as day. Any other time, it’s like having the mother of all cloud covers dimming your view of the fog.”
Artemis sighed. Why couldn’t magic be straightforward and logical? “Very well. However, the song means nothing to me. Select something, and I shall perform.”
Lorne almost protested, but it was clear that the boy in front of him wasn’t one who would budge easily. It was easier to simply make a selection. “Alright. I’m going to guess you’re not familiar with most current tunes, so it won’t matter what I pick. Go up on stage. I’ll have the song ready.”
Butler stepped forward to… persuade
Lorne to do a private reading, but Artemis gave a subtle shake of his head. This was a small concession, and Artemis could make it for the information he would receive.
Artemis went up on stage, and took the microphone in hand. He nodded to Lorne, who had a strangely satisfied smile on his face.
“Alright folks! Let’s give a hand to this young man! He’ll be gracing us with a well known number tonight, so make him feel welcome!” There was a smattering of applause.
Artemis began regulating his breathing. He may not enjoy singing, but he knew how. Using the diaphragm to maximum potential was something he’d learned years ago.
He heard the music begin. As soon as he did, he instantly regretted telling Lorne to select a piece of music. He’d heard this being blasted from the headsets of many girls at school…
Sighing, he began to sing. I think I did it again. I made you believe/We're more than just friends…
(AN: Hehe. I’m not gonna subject you to the rest of that. Moving on…)
Artemis walked calmly off the stage when the song was over. He hid it well, but that had been the most humiliating experience of his life. He was only glad no one he knew was here. The teasing would never end.
He walked directly over to Lorne. “Alright. You’ve had your joke at my expense. What did you see?”
Lorne almost commented on the boy’s singing ability (Which had actually been impressive), but seeing a glare from Butler convinced him to dispense with pleasantries. “This meeting you’ve got coming up. It’s causing you a bit of worry. You should worry a lot more. He’s planning on killing you and taking the C-Cube.
“Here’s what you do. Tell him you’ve got an offer from another company, but you’re willing to hear out both sides. The other buyer can’t come to America, so you suggest that you all meet in Dublin. Hire an actor, of an African persuasion. Not African-American, but someone from Africa. Spiro hasn’t had good dealings with that particular continent. As soon as he sees his competition, he’ll be a lot easier to manipulate.”
Artemis looked suspicious. “How do I know I can trust what you say?”
Lorne just shrugged. “You don’t. I don’t give guarantees, muchacho. I just set you on the path. And, remember, you came to me.”
Artemis nodded, satisfied with the response. “Very well. What do I owe you for the reading?”
Lorne waved him off. “It’s a free service. I don’t charge for it. This is a bar. I charge for drinks.”
Ultimately, Artemis followed the advice.
His meeting with Jon Spiro, while not successful, certainly went better than it could have. Spiro betrayed them, but Butler was able to kill both him, and his lackeys. Spiro’s companies and properties, somehow
, wound up under Artemis’ control.
He successfully promoted, and sold, the C-Cube to several governments, before creating a less-sophisticated version for the mass public. A year later, when Opal Koboi tried to assassinate him, Artemis was more than ready. He’d anticipated her return, and had alerted Captain Holly Short to the possibility well before Opal became a threat.
Years later, LEP Commander Holly Short used Artemis and his numerous encounters with The People as proof that ‘Mud Men’ could, occasionally, be trusted. Eventually, long after Artemis himself was dead, the two societies integrated.
Lorne, himself now quite aged, looked on with a smile as all this came about. He’d seen it all, of course. All those years ago, when a skinny, pale, thirteen-year-old boy had come in and demanded a reading.
Once in a while, sitting on his balcony, Lorne would raise a sea breeze in toast. “Here’s to you, Babycakes. You did more than we ever thought possible, once upon a time.”