I'm Sorry, I'm Not
I was so exhausted. We all were. That tends to happen when you go three straight days without sleep because the League needs top secret information on the Shadows. Normally, a recon mission would not take three days, but, of course, something went wrong, and we were all captured. They tortured us, we refused to speak, ect. Thanks to my escape artistry and some quick thinking on Aqualad's part, we escaped with the intelligence we needed, leaving the Shadows with nothing on us or the League. Predictably, the League was not pleased with our methods, but they were impressed with our tolerance for torment. After the debriefing, Bats told us we could stay at Mount Justice to catch up on sleep. He figured we would recover faster if we didn't have worried parents breathing down our necks. He told me to call Alfred to come pick me up once I was fully rested, and he left.
After having something to eat; Wally's idea; we all crashed on the floor, Megan and Superboy not even bothering to walk to their rooms. They fell asleep on contact with the floor, and Superboy began snoring. I closed my eyes, waiting for sleep to take me, but apparently sleep had different plans. No matter what position I lay in, I couldn't fall asleep. My body was so tired it could barely move, but my brain refused to shut up. My thoughts were moving in multiple directions at once and would not slow down, despite my best efforts. It was frustrating. If the restless movements I could hear coming from the other side of the room were anything to base it on, I wasn't the only one having trouble sleeping.
Since I couldn't force myself to fall asleep, I trained my ears in the direction of the movement. I was rewarded for my efforts when I heard Artemis whisper, "Wally?"
Wally let out a tired groan and whisper yelled back, "What?"
She waited for a second before saying, "I'm sorry."
"For what?" he mumbled, this time less angrily.
"Fighting with you all the time." Right before we were captured, Artemis and Wally had had a rather loud and pointless argument about which hallway was more likely to lead to the room we were looking for. We had all been distracted by their disagreement and hadn't noticed the Shadows sneaking up on us. To me, it seemed like Artemis blamed herself, and Wally, for what happened.
Wally was silent for so long, I thought he had fallen back asleep. I was just about to stop listening when I heard a faint, "I'm not."
"It's exciting. It'd be boring if everyone agreed all the time." Typical Wally answer.
"So… you just like arguing for entertainment purposes?" Artemis sounded rather angry. To her, it sounded like he picked fights for fun. In her eyes, that was inexcusable, especially after what happened because of their last argument. His next answer both calmed her down and made her angrier.
"No?" she asked. The answer surprised her, but she was clearly annoyed that he hadn't elaborated. "Why else?"
"It's healthy," he replied sleepily.
"What do you mean?" Artemis questioned, still sounding irritated at his short answers.
"It's good for me. Not in a physical way; which I don't need because I'm a perfect human specimen already (I rolled my eyes at that, and I'm willing to bet that Artemis did too. Even when he's barely awake he's super cocky.); but in an emotional and psychological way."
"How?" this time sounding slightly interested in his answer. I was curious myself. His answer surprised me.
"Arguing with you keeps me grounded." He yawned before continuing, "It reminds me that there's more than one way to look at a situation. Just because someone doesn't agree with my plan doesn't mean theirs won't work too."
Artemis thought about his answer before asking, "So… you like fighting with me?"
She studied his face, but he didn't notice because his eyes were still closed. "Why me? Why do you argue with only me?" were her next questions.
Wally didn't answer for a while. He seemed to be giving it some real thought, or he was too tired to answer right away. I couldn't tell. Finally, he explained, "Well… I like seeing you all worked up. It's funny. Plus, you're a challenge. You can handle yourself and are very clear about what you stand for. It's one of the things I admire about you." If Wally had been in a more conscious state, he would have never admitted that. Artemis knew it too, because she didn't press the subject.
"So… you like fighting with me?" she asked again.
"Yeah… I already said that."
"I don't," she sighed. "I think it would be nice to agree on something for once."
Again, Wally's answer surprised me: "Artemis, all our fights are insignificant. We agree on the important stuff, like who our friends are and what side we're on. We know what matters, and that's what counts."
Artemis lay there in a shocked silence. "Wow, Wally. That was rather profound, especially since you're almost passed out," she told him.
I could practically hear Wally's smirk, "I know, beautiful. I'm pretty amazing." She hit him with her pillow, "Ow. Hey!"
She laughed softly, and then the two of them were silent. Just when I thought they had both fallen asleep, Artemis said, "Wally?"
"Mmmhmmm?" was his semiconscious answer.
His hand found hers and he gave it a squeeze. He let go and rolled over to face her, his eyes still closed: "Anytime."
I smiled. Even though we tended to get ourselves into dangerous messes, the six of us really were a team. A team that will stand by each other and protect each other with the best that we have. It took their discussion for me to realize that if the two members that clash the most can have a conversation that doesn't end in yelling, anything is possible. Watch out Shadows. We're coming for you.
Not right now though… I have to sleep.