A/N: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I finally get the inspiration to write, and this is what I come up with. JUST TO CLARIFY: this is not a Holly/Root romantic pairing, more of father/daughter pairing. Takes place sometime after the second book, but before the third. Okay? Okay. (Italics are Holly's dream[s])
DISCLAIMER: I OWN NOTHING OF ARTEMIS FOWL! EVERYTHING BELONGS TO EOIN COLFER! (He's a writing genius, I'm not. There's one bit of proof for ya.)

As Captain Holly Short's head dipped towards her desk, she knew that it was wrong. You absolutely did not fall asleep on the job unless you wanted more paperwork to do. Fighting a yawn, Holly pinched her arm and rubbed her eyes. She hadn't gotten much sleep the night before, since Foaly had kept her at the Police Plaza, trying out his 'new, improved' iris cam. And then Chix Verbil had insisted that she go out to eat with him, so she'd finally given in and ended up staying at DeMarina's overpriced restaurant for three hours.

But the report she was supposed to be reading was blurring again in front of her eyes. With a sigh, sleep overtook the exhausted elf.

Holly was in Police Plaza, right in the middle of a firefight. Glancing beside her, she saw Trouble Kelp, urging his brother Grub to open his eyes, to hang on, Trouble was doing his best. Bounding over, Holly was about to lend a healing hand, but Trouble hung his head. "It's too late, Captain. It's been too long." He sniffed, dragging his brother's body behind cover before drawing his Neutrino. "Let's finish this." Holly hesitated a minute then nodded. Dodging blasts, Holly assessed her enemies – Pixies and goblins.

Holly threw herself into the fight, going on autopilot. Looking around, she saw comrades falling all around her. And then it was just her left, with thousands of enemies left. Just as they were about to overwhelm her. . .

With a gasp, Holly opened her eyes, staring at her office floor. She'd fallen out of her chair. There were tears streaming down her face, Holly realized. Then her office door was flung open. "Short!" She heard. She started to sit up, "I'm sorry, C-Commander." She hiccupped, frantically looking for a handkerchief. Commander Julius Root walked over to the still crying elf. "Here, Short, now calm down and tell me what's wrong. I could hear you screaming from my office." (Granted, his office was the next one down across the hall. . .) Crouching, he dug out his own handkerchief, handing it to Holly. "Thank you." She gasped, "It was just a nightmare. I'm sorry for falling asleep on the job."
"Do you want to talk about it?" Root gently pressed. He himself had fallen asleep on the clock a few times – He didn't know anyone in the LEP who hadn't, actually.

As Holly gathered her composure, Root sat down beside her and just put an arm around Holly, whom he considered almost his daughter, especially after their time together in the Arctic. As she related her nightmare, almost in tears again, Root listened. When Holly finished, Root stood up, helped her up, and said, "Come on, I'm taking you home. You need sleep and a nice cup of tea." At her protests, he gave her a look. The one that said Shut up and do as you're told. Holly shut up and did as she was told.

After Root personally drove Holly home and made her a cup of tea, he stuck around until he knew she'd be fine. He left his number, too, with a note that said, "Call me if you ever want to talk. Be well, daughter."

And you know what? Holly did call the Commander. Several times whenever she needed to talk. Root did the same, eventually. While it wasn't the same as a true father/daughter relationship, Root referred to Holly as 'daughter' off duty, and she called him 'father' off duty.


(*Timeskip/linebreak/spoilers ahead/linebreak/timeskip*)

It was two weeks since Holly had tried to hit the 'sweet spot' and learned there wasn't one. It was two weeks since Commander Julius Root had died. Holly was at her desk at Short and Diggums PI, trying to fight off sleep. When her head finally hit the desk, she was sucked into a dream. A replay of that fateful day in E37.

"Be well."

Holly woke up staring at her office floor, tears streaming down her face. Her office door didn't bang against the wall this time, nor did anyone shout "Short!" Hugging her knees, Holly bawled shamelessly. She had barely cried since she'd pulled the trigger on her Neutrino 3000. On an impulse, she reached for her communicator and punched in the Commander's number. When it went to the message recorder, Holly talked. She talked about everything that had gone through her mind since Root had died. She talked about her nightmare. And then she cried, dropping the device, and holding her knees.

Then the office door opened quietly. "Go away, Mulch." She sniffed. But the light footsteps didn't go out the door – Instead they came closer to Holly. The floor squeaked as someone sat down beside her. A warm hand stroked her hair. "Holly, daughter, I'm here." Turning with a strangled cry, Holly buried her face into the well-known commander's uniform, sobbing as she hugged the very-much-alive Commander Julius Root.

A/N: Well? You like it? *Blows nose* I hope you liked it; if I get enough requests I'll do a second chapter for y'all. Please let me know what you think. (Also, y'all might be seeing more of me in this fandom. Probably.) Heck, even if I don't get any requests, I'll probably do two or three more chapters. . . . . If y'all like the idea.