It's late and I have insomnia and I know I said I never write romance but I feel like it now and I'm apparently allergic to commas. Inspired by the word "Spitfire" used for Wally and Artemis's relationship.
Enjoy! Maybe review if you'd like! ~ Iron Woobie
For some, it's hard to remember
In the age before the romance sparked
In the time before that first kiss blossomed
In the months before the hands held hands
In the eternity before one heart touched one heart
In the earliest moments when Wally first knew Artemis
They became friends before they became lovers.
From the start
The one with the fiery red hair
And the one with the fiery red spirit
Did not always embrace in a fiery passion of affection.
Their feelings for the other
They were freezing cold
Like twin cubes of ice
Where one would slide right against the other
Rubbing frictionless against the other surface
Which was just as smooth and hard and unforgiving
Before passing on
Leaving behind a wet and watery trail of regret in their wake
And the other not even phased by the contact
So shrouded in their own frigid shell of apathy
To even acknowledge the interaction
Or the other's existence.
They were simply warm
But in varying degrees
Actual degrees of temperature
Where the stove was turned on high for one
But only medium-high for the other
One burning the other with almost sadistic glee
The other reeling from the scalds
And ill-equipped or ill-motivated
To deal a blow of equal-or-greater-value
And the imbalance was painful
As the first realized the line was crossed
And felt the weight of guilt fall down upon their head
At the understanding that their jab was too harsh
And the second realized the line was crossed
And felt the weight of shame settle within their stomach
At the understanding that their emotions were too soft.
They were harder
Hard as a pair of stiff chopsticks
Identical shafts of stubborn wood
Equally as likely to hold firm
As to break
And each fully knowledgeable
Of this mutual durable inevitable fragility
Of the equal laws of probability determining their fate
Of the random chance that the other chopstick would snap
More like a toothpick than like a plank
And pressing and pulling against each other
With an almost paradoxical shared desire
To be the last to back down and splinter
But also to preserve the ongoing existence of the other
Finding themselves at a callous impasse
A stalemate of wills
A deadlock of force
That was both exhilarating
And never led anywhere in the end.
They were softer
Soft like a pair of thick wooly comfortable soothing winter socks
Silent on barren ground
Flexible to the other's whims
Easily in the other's company
Drawn to each other with the static electricity
Generated by their friction with the environment
Rather than each other
And never conflicting
Never striking blows
Never exchanging sharp barbs of wit
Nor swift blocks of retorts
Always in accord
Always in sync
And never testing the boundary
And it was soft
And it was comfortable
And it was doable
And it too never went anywhere.
And it was only in a moment of mutual weakness
When both were tired
Just bone-dead tired
Physically and mentally tired
And also drained
In the shadow of the victory against a Light that was nothing more than a new breed of Darkness
And the fatigue pulling on their weary worn bodies
Dragging their heads down to their chests
Tugging on their shoulders to bow down towards the ground
Weighing their eyelids to shut in a pure relief borne of unconsciousness
That finally lit a spark beneath the kettle
Of this frantically-mixed-together-spiced-and-prepped stew of a relationship
And set everything aflame
Melting the shards of ice which had formed two halves of a cold front
Raising and lowering the heat of two flames to match intents and reactions
Snapping the dual chopsticks simultaneously to break the ongoing feud
Shredding the pair of soft wooly socks that cushioned their contact and fended off anything more than ease of presence
Ultimately burning a gaping hole between the two most impenetrable unequal stubborn comfortable hearts
And allowing the most excellent fragrances of affection to escape
Combining into the best flavor
Of a base of broiled humor
And a dressing of just the right amount of snark
(Which was just semantics because there was no such thing as too much snark)
And a pinch of saltiness
And just a squeeze of sourness
And smoked to a crisp in some places
And baked to an ideal golden-brown in others
And left pure raw and uncut and untouched in just the right areas
To allow for the natural meaning of a certain trigger word or a certain buried memory
To stand on its own merit
And unchallenged by the influence or the input of the other
All stirred and placed under the crushing pressure of saving the world on a frequent basis
And resulting in a tasteful concoction of remarkable balance
And filled holes
That was the most delicious dish of all.
A slow burn.
Shared and well-handled
But burning hot regardless.
And finally requited.
The spit in the metaphorical fire.
And it was really less of the fact that they were soulmates
And more of the fact that they had gone through pain and fire and hatred and despair and sorrow
To reach a state of mere tolerance
And then acceptance
And then teammates
And then friends
And then good friends
And then best friends
And only then
Before they even touched the boundary
Of that thing called love.
Unrequited because of differences
But more so because of similarities.
With two people
Like the one with fiery red hair
And the one with a fiery red spirit
There was no other way to reach this state of existence
To reach a kiss
Than by surviving a trial by fire.
And like a fire
Grew and lasted and prospered and shone.
Until death snuffed it out.