Failure

A/N: So, this is my first one shot. I might turn it into a multi-chapter affair, if it gets a lot of attention. I will also include everyone's name who reviews in the next chapter, if there is one.

Artemis had failed Holly. With just one offhanded comment, he exposed the People. With just one sentence, he forced them into war.

Damn my carelessness. I have destroyed the People! Artemis thought.

It all started and one of his mother's formal balls, where she tried yet again to pair him up with some shallow rich girl. He had gotten slightly drunk, and before he knew it, he had revealed their existence.

Flashback

He was in the library. The girl next to him laughed shallowly at his drunkenness.

"You know, fairies can't drink with humans," he said, slurring his words a bit.

"What?" she gasped. "Are you crazy?"

"No, I'm fairly sane at the moment. I'll show you their book." He tottered towards the safe behind the portrait of his mother, where he kept one of his copies of the book (Artemis is REALLY drunk. Everyone knows he can't hold his liquor.).

"See? It's in gnomish, the fairy language, but I assure you that it is authentic." He flipped through some of the pages. "I am in love with one of them. Her name is Holly Short." He didn't know why he was saying this to a complete stranger.

"We must contact the news reporters! This is big!" she said, excitedly. Maybe she would become famous.

End Flashback

He was disgusted at himself. He could not believe that he had told a complete stranger about the People. Now, the humans were declaring war on the fairies, and with recent attacks on them, they had no choice but to retaliate.

The day after the article came out, Holly came to visit him.

"I can't believe you would do something like this!" she had said. "We trusted you! Now the whole world knows we exist! I hate you, Artemis Fowl, and I never want to see you again!"

"Holly—" she cut him off.

"No! Stay away from us! That's the Council's message to you, Fowl!" and so saying, she flew out the open window.

So, here Artemis was, in his room, standing on a chair with a noose around his neck. He had written a note for his family, explaining everything. He left a small note in gnomish at the bottom for Butler, to give him instructions on how to help the People after he was gone.

I can't delay any longer. I no longer deserve to live. I betrayed all of my friends, and can do nothing to help them, Artemis thought, and then kicked the chair out from under him. When the rope snapped taunt, it broke his neck, killing him instantly. The last thing he saw before he died were a pair of eyes, one blue and one hazel.

"Artemis, no!" Holly shouted, diving at him.

Police Plaza, war room

"What should we do? We need Fowl! He's the only one who could come up with a plan to save us!" Root said.

"Commander, I wouldn't think that he'll be willing to help us after what we had Holly tell him," Foaly said, shooting a look at Holly.

"Hey, I just said what you told me too," Holly protested.

"Okay,well go get him. Tell him we don't care what the council says, but we need him," Root replied. "There should be a pair of Hummingbirds in the locker at the shuttle port. Go get them and find Fowl."

"Yes, sir!" Holly saluted smartly, then turned on her heel and ran out of the room so she could get to Artemis as fast as possible.

Near Fowl Manor, 4000 feet in the air

Holly rocketed through the air at speeds faster than a jet plane. When she reached Fowl Manor, she busted through Artemis's window, which was open.

That's odd. Butler would never allow Artemis to leave his window open, she mused.

Then she saw why. She shimmered into view, catching sight of Artemis as he kicked the chair out from under his feet.

"Artemis, no!" she shouted, diving at him.

She grabbed him and untied the noose. Pouring all her magic into him, she watched as the sparks returned his neck to its normal position.

CRACK!

She shivered as she heard it snap back into place. He still didn't move.

"ARTEMIS!" she cried, holding him close. Suddenly he gasped, taking in huge amounts of air.

When he recovered, he looked a Holly and said, "You came for me."

"Of course. You're my friend," she replied.

"I thought you hated me." Artemis looked up at her.

"I could never hate you. I—I love you, Artemis. What I said last week was just some speech concocted by the Council."

"I love you too, Holly." He kissed her, not wasting any time saying anything else.