X.X.X

"You can't be brave if you've only had wonderful things happen to you."

X.X.X

The brown, rubber-elastic ponytail strap holding up her matted, yellow hair snapped apart by the collision of her body against the plaster-cracked wall, her arms twitching uncontrollably at her sides. This wasn't supposed to have happened. No one was supposed to have gotten hurt.

Within the confines of his trappings — leather straps and it shouldn't have been important but they pinched the freckled skin on his calves and elbows and wrists beneath the material of his costume and why did this — Wally bucked and screamed raggedly as her attacker left silently. He tested their strength against to his to discover the straps shifted barely. His friends. They had been careful. So careful.

The demand of gravity started crumpling Artemis's lifeless body apart from the wall with her indentation to it.

With his arms pinned behind him, he wormed his way to her falling backwards, gritting his teeth together until they tingled uncomfortably, in time to catch what felt like a shoulder and a lolling head on his back. Wally maneuvered himself to gently slide her off, rolling on his side to glance at the damage done to her. Her beautiful, beautiful full hair (she prided herself on it at times though he knew she wouldn't have admitted it to anyone) clung thin to the puddle beneath her.

Blood had never fazed him much admittedly. But this… where was her face… beneath this?—

He was losing control of himself. Wally could feel it, could hear it in his own ears, as his everything whirred nervously — and he ignored it as best as he could. Focusing as best as he could on his injured teammate. Wally called for her aloud and pressed his ear to the marred, red slit of mouth.

"—…ally."

A relieved breath. "At your service, Arty." He scooted this time closer, his eyes through his tinted googles scanning where the flow of blood was heaviest. "I don't think you're gonna…" His voice broke off. "…be able to go to the simulation training with Black Canary with that. They'll make you sit out this time."

Artemis didn't answer him. No retort. The arrow on her chest occasionally rose, occasionally fell. Not steady. Not rhythmic.

Was… her right ear… the one he spoke into… leaking… with…?

Green eyes widened, dismayed, and he fought again with the trappings on his wrists and ankles.

"…Why did you come back for me? This was a retrieval mission! So one big bag guy in metal armor threatened to kick my ass? Big deal! You knew I would be okay! You knew!" Wally accused, screwing his face up, his breathes coming out tight. "Why did you do something so freaking stupid!.?"

His body stopped whirring when she let out a small, wet cough. "…'orry."

"You're not supposed to apologize…" He protested faintly, shaking his head still down beside her, "You are supposed to snap at me and call me an idiot and we'll argue until everyone finds us … because that's what is supposed to happen… That's what I want to happen…"

"… …i-idiot."

His eyebrows form together and his eyes… throbbed.

"Yeah." Wally said, his smile not quite reaching his eyes and not quite defeated, " 'Ally is an idiot."

Something lighter and thicker than blood clotted inside her right ear, and his stomach lurched and he turned so that the smooth, dirt-dusted ground kissed his forehead, coolly. "…I should have asked you out to that candy shop downtown. You steal all the M&Ms from the jar in the rec room."

Another wet cough — uglier, whistling — ended with a feeble laugh, and Wally shifted his arms behind him and felt along for Artemis' hand without moving his face. Several broken fingers. He avoided them. "…Am I hurting you?" he questioned softly, and there came warm, sweet pressure when she returned his grasp, not squeezing. Wally guessed that to be a no. "Can you talk?" Her hand still limp. "Are you scared?"

He held his breath for her answer, and it came out in a breathless sob when she squeezed with what felt like her remaining vigor.

The dirt on the floor under him streaked, blurred.

X.X.X

Wally told her… everything. Anything.

What his Mom was like, what his Dad was like, Uncle Barry, Aunt Iris, his few childhood friends back in Blue Valley… what it was like that night he recreated Flash's experiment and when he was hit by lightning… to be bullied in school for being a physics nerd and the frustration of not using his powers… to first meet Batman and Robin in Gotham and how he had managed to impress them the same night… the first time he tried to vibrate through a wall…

He told her that he loved being recruited into their team, that it had excited him, that he was glad to be doing something alongside his best friend, and that he hoped it would make his parents proud…

He told her that when she first arrived he wanted nothing to do with her, that she always found a way to get under his skin when they fought and made him feel less confident in himself, and that he had tried harder to get M'gann's attention because the Martian girl didn't make him feel… so weird

…but it had been a good weird

Wally's sweaty hand aching at the wrist redoubled the clasp on hers…

not a bad weird…

And her strong fingers between his had grown unresponsive, cold when the rest of their team finally found them.

X.X.X


Quote by Mary Tyler Moore. I do not own it or YJ. YES THE STORY JUST ENDED HERE. AHHHHHH. EVIL. Never tried anything Wally/Artemis-eque. And I struggled forever to find something to explore, and I realized, I haven't explore character death in a very long time. So I killed off a character. When in doubt I guess... Terribly sad? Just terrible? Lemme know if you'd please~ I owed shadowinthedark13 a fic and this is the couple she wanted and told me that sad was okay… HERE YOU GO. MORGAN, YOU GOT IT I LOVE YOU DON'T HURT ME DARLING