Summary: Angeline before, during, and after.
Fandom: Artemis Fowl
Characters: Angeline Fowl, Artemis Fowl, Artemis Fowl II, Opal Koboi
Disclaimer: Artemis Fowl created by Eoin Colfer. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement or defamation is intended.
Original story: Antianeira by Dim Aldebaran
The Fall and Rise of Angeline Fowl (the Slinky Black remix)
It's epic. Seriously. Love song for the ages. Quick quick, slow slow, quick. Angeline's wearing something slinky, walking with that slow, deliberate tread; watch her well turned stilettos, the float of her hem, the sway of her hips, watch the bra push up and the neckline slide down, watch those firm and supple curves, that teasing invitation of skin. Just like all of Them. Sure, it's exploitative, but it's what she wants and who are you to deny it? More importantly, who is he? I know you missed him, the way you missed her -- come on, did you look at her face, really look? Of course not. But he did. He does. Eyes of Arctic blue. His, of course; hers are plain in that perfect face your eyes already dipped past. All those things he saw, you missed. The glint amidst the ordinary. The barest quickening of breath. The oh-so-casually discarded briefcase. The soft hum of electronics and betrayal.
Boom; boom; goodbye.
They have names, of course. They have thousands. That's just how it works. Names aren't really important. But they smile at each other, across the room, across the desk, across the bodies and the blood and the slick splatters of grey matter, across, importantly, that briefcase, so securely in his hands, so far from her own. They smile, small, cool things. Subtle and real, not like her hair, not like his tux, not this, nice and smooth, but this: bitterness and intrigue. Her and him. Him and her. A calculated pause between the twists of smoke. A little come on. But he takes the prize of course. Aurum est potestas, after all. One criminal to another, and it's Business, my darling. Just business.
Déjà-vous: Vienna. He asks her name. She tells him his. Not an alias -- at least, less of an alias than any of the others, though all names are masks between the I and the Them. His hair is that black so beloved of romance writers, his body all lithe grace and casual sophistication. Don Juan, perhaps. A little James in the night, a touch of Lord Peter, though she is neither Vesper nor Harriet and she will not be played like this. (Except she will, she has been, she is -- those damnable eyes!) He mocks with shocking familiarity. A little twist of victory. He mocks, but he asks her name. There's that at least. But it is an 'at least'.
Déjà-vous: the Louvre. Her entrance is superb, her dress superlative, her plan flawless, save for the flaw, of course, save for the colour in the blue blue blue diamond. You can't steal a shadow, alas, and banish it only with light; still, if the painting was still here, he is sure, she is sure, we are sure she would've taken it from Them with ease and beauty and practically perfect grace. He holds a gun on her and a smirk too and the deep blue of his extraordinary eyes, held true on her ordinary own. When he gestures, she moves, her and Milo's Venus together, both harmless, alas, pardon the pun, and that smirk gets a little more predatory when he suggests she lose the dress for a better comparison.
Déjà-vous: Beijing. He calls it fate. She thinks its stalking. Maybe its just Them, always staring. Maybe it's him, actually seeing. She politely invites him to copulate with his own self and he tells her he likes her dress. His fingers ghost against the keys of the Steinway, white on white, certainly nothing like they'd be on her skin, although now she's thinking about it and maybe, just maybe, this was his plan all along.
Déjà-vous: Singapore. The Lion on the Sea. This time the gun is hers. The poison is his. It's questionable who the victim is. Perhaps not to the guy on the bed, dead twice over the night only just beginning, poor thing. Her dress is black gold. His is casual Armani armour. His accent's just a hint of brogue. Hers is perfectly international. Their words intermingle until they don't. A calculated pause between the twists of blame and claim. A little come on. She has the gun but he takes the prize of course. Maybe it's mutual. She tells herself it's mutual, drowning in his eyes, in his kiss, in him; it's mutual; not business. Not business at all.
He holds her gaze when he takes her. She looks away first.
Life in fast-forward. White wedding dress, pushed out by her stomach. So that's game over. That's the prize. (What about the children? Won't someone please think about the children? Stay! That's my girl!) And the bitch bears him a son. So small. So heavy in her arms. What is there of her in this? What is there of her? She gives the son the father's name, front and back. The boy grows in his image and he never quite looks at her the same way. He and he, really, and Them, pronoun game, but what difference doesn't it make? There's nothing left to look at. There's no struggle, so there's nothing. Let the boy grow. Blood and bone is good for compost. Three cheers for the not-so-walking dead -- blow the candles out, baby, Arty, Artemis -- and tell the butler to put her out for the rose bushes.
Life in fast-forward. Baby is eleven. He's not of course. Baby is long gone. This little man, not her little man, never hers. His, maybe; definitely his own. Cold and perfect all over, like she almost was, like he always is. Always touching, never touched. Untouchable. And what does she have? Beauty, perhaps. Something of it, enough that he comes to her bed still. But his eyes don't, and her spark long since drowned in his, and every touch wears her away just a little more, but at least she has that, at least she has that much, right up until she doesn't. Damn the legitimacy. Damn the Russians. She hadn't needed either, none of them had, but she'd needed him because he was all that was left of her, of the her she had been. All she had, but he's gone, gone, gone.
Life in stop.
Ghost in the darkness, drowning in air. They watch still, Them, and him (all wrong), of course they do. Bees to honey, to sugar, deliquescent in dew. Melt, melt, melt away. Dead colour nightmares. Are you listening, mother? Ha ha! Listen is all she does. Night echoing in her hollows but she keeps the curtains closed. Too much light and they would see she was nothing and then where would she be? And fire that cleaning girl, so useless. She'll be back tomorrow. Maybe the next day. Maybe when your father returns. Maybe when I sleep. Can I sleep? Mother, may I? No. That's wrong. All wrong. It was the other way around. She slept. He stayed awake. Which one was the dream again? Which one the flood? She wished she knew. But you can't buy that for a dollar. All that's left is blue, like the shadow on the wall where a painting should be, blue, rinsed like hair gone old, blue, precious blue, like sapphire, like diamond, like blue; all that's left is the memory of blue.
Life in motion. Sleepers awaken. She can feel it flowing again. That crackle under her skin. The crackle of blue. It's not much, a slim push against the slide, but it's a start. Mighty oaks from little acorns grow, as it goes. She pulls on the mask and breathes again. Time to stop living in the past. Time to stop. Time to go. Time to something, at any rate, which is something in and of itself. Time to make Them wait. Time to search. Time to swim or, at least, to drown with deliberation. With style. She can do that, at least. And it's okay, but she thinks maybe she can do more too. She can breathe the sky.
The son finds the father, of course, of course. Not quite so lost as all that. Anyway, like calls to like. Routine reasserts itself, as much as anything does, as much as it can. There's still electric beneath her skin. This spark is hers, and she breathes on it. Rise. Rise. Many waters can not quench. Grace reclaimed. And all that. It's all facets but she thinks maybe she can see the diamond after all, blue or not. She can see the diamond. And she can see the flaws. His son is having nightmares. Fascinating, isn't it? Here she's given new fingers and there, it seems, something touchable after all, another's fingerprints, just waiting for comparison.
He talks in his sleep. How young. How perfectly exquisite.
Her approach is oblique. This she remembers. Make them look one way, so they won't look another. He'll look both, of course, when he wakes, when he's not foetal curled and lost-baby whimpering, when he's retrieved his masks. She's wearing hers now, again, and what's the butler to that. This is her Concerned Face. This is her Important face. This is her He's My Son face (and he is, she knows this now; she who has given him that touch of ordinary, that framework of drive and intelligence and perfection; she who has made him, as he remade her -- no, as he restored her -- no, as he gave her the means to restore herself, the acorn for her ritual, if she can just find a place to plant it.) This is her I Will Show You Mine If You Will Show Me Yours face. This is her Blue face. And let Them look to their little hearts content.
The game takes form. She is caught. She was allowed to be caught. She was permitted, and that's why she'll win, because she's not playing his game, not playing Theirs, but a private little game all of her own. Not the one from before, the one he (other he, doesn't matter) had changed the rules on. Something new. Something old. Something blue. Something borrowed. The spiral of hieroglyphics and questions and just enough truth to perform. Her pulse quickens. Her blood flows. Her chest rises. Faster now. Closer to the end. Something new. Something secret. Something just like her. It's a tough nut, but she remembers this. Hit the soft parts with your hands. Hit the hard parts with a tool. The butler to the son. The son to this. Her son to this. (There, see what I've given you? My smart little man. Divine this smile. Your father would recognise it. There, you see? You do too.)
Such a smile as this.
Beauty brings him to her bed, more with each mask, and he rubs himself raw on the edges of her secrets. Decades past like that. What will they do without her? A gun, perhaps. A blade. No, not Them. They'd never be that weak. They'd never seem that weak, anyway, which she supposes is the same thing. It doesn't really matter any more. She's taken back the parts that count. She's Persephone now. She descends into darkness and brings back the Spring. Everything grows again. Surfaced on the world. This time around, father and son both keep it in their pants, the needle in the pocket. The form of the thing might be different, but the meaning, no, They realise it; and in realising, understand that she will never sleep again. She has her tools, and she has this, and all that has been lost will be found again. Free at least. Free at last. They will both be free at last.
And down, down, down she goes. Modified wings and magma chutes, shuttlepod bays and camfoil suits, giggle dust and dream shoots. She's wearing her smile. This one's got teeth in it. Passes and passwords stolen with stealth, and she's in, all the way in, all of her, in and out. True Blue, in the cell. True Blue, and They can do whatever they like, watch whatever they want. She has touched the untouchable, and so has she. Pronoun game again, but it's okay. Ex-prisoners together, because they let each other out. Like magic. And magic? Magic is just Change enacted by Will. She has the will. She has memory, now, and purpose, and, oh, such a will.
I've never been more alive than I am right now, Angeline thinks, and laughs, and Opal laughs with her, and out they go, two girls, two guns, four glittering eyes, four hundred enemies. And that's just the start. But it's okay. Slow slow, quick quick, slow. Love song for the ages.
Seriously. It's epic.