Well, I thought this was finished but apparently someone slipped something in my coffee this morning and I couldn't resist.
An epilogue. Who knew?
It was also inspired by "I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself" by The White Stripes.
This is what you get when you feed me more caffeine than what's likely considered safe. Besides. Artemis needed a chance to get back at Wally for ambushing her in the first chapter, am I right?
It was late.
It wasn't just late. It was so late that it was actually early again.
It couldn't be as late as he thought it was; he'd just fallen asleep. And now he was seriously annoyed at the idea that he was even awake at this time of night. Or morning, depending on how he looked at it. He opened his eyes and yawned, noticing the TV was still on. The blue screen cast an odd glow to the living room and his hand felt the spot next to him on the couch. It was cold. Artemis hadn't been curled up next to him for a while.
"I swear, if she went home by herself at this time of night..." Wally muttered, shoving the blanket aside.
Seriously. What was it with her and being so stubborn, anyway? While he could tolerate her independent streak, she was always disappearing on him, going off somewhere alone. She had to have learned those ninja skills from Robin. No one could disappear like he could, but she was starting to give the kid a run for his money.
And while it was cute, at first? Now it was really starting to get old.
He sighed and got up from his warm, cozy spot on the couch to go see if he could find her. He yawned again and ran his hand through his hair, tufts of copper sticking up at odd angles all over his head.
She and Rob had been spending a lot of time together lately, whether it was a sparring session or running or just doing some target practice. She never offered to train with him, and somehow he didn't think it would be a good idea to ask.
Why are girls so hard to understand? When he thought he had a clue, he wound up being wrong anyway.
Wally frowned when the study, the kitchen and the briefing room were all empty. And her bike was in the garage, so she was still here somewhere. He turned to go back down the hall and that's when he heard it. It was the unmistakable sound of Robin's laugh, followed immediately by Artemis laughing along with him. Wally looked at his watch.
As in, the sun hadn't even come up yet and they were in the freaking gym.
"Oh, they can't be serious.."
He stumbled as he made his way to the end of the hall, tripping over the hem of his sweatpants. While he would admit he got jealous sometimes, because everybody does, he knew he didn't have to be jealous because Rob wouldn't do that to him. Rob knew how much he liked Artemis. He had to, they were best friends, after all.
He pushed the door open and walked in, trying to stifle another yawn.
Wally looked up and glared. "Rob? You know what time it is, right?"
"And you also realize it's Sunday?"
"Sure, what's your point? We couldn't sleep."
Wally just stared at him for a minute, waiting for him to crack a smile or something. Because while Robin was dedicated? There was something ridiculous about running that early on a Sunday morning, especially after a night like they'd had just a few hours ago.
He huffed another sigh and approached them. Robin had slowed to a walk now and watched Wally approach. He smiled a little and arched an eyebrow.
"Rough night? You seem a little...crabby."
"Rough night? You were there, Rob, you would know. How are you even still awake?" Wally glanced between the two of them, both of them knowing full well he wasn't just crabby right now, that there was more to it. "Well, you would be cranky, too, if you'd woken up and discovered your girlfriend had disappeared."
Artemis hadn't slowed down at all, still running a decent pace from what Wally could tell. She narrowed her eyes slightly.
"Yeah, and I'm right here. And I'm fine. What's the big deal?"
They both glanced at Robin as he hopped off his treadmill and headed for the door.
"Where are you going?" Artemis asked, leaning to the side to see around Wally.
"Something tells me I don't really want to be around for the title bout," he called, waving at them as he disappeared.
Wally turned back to Artemis, who nearly leveled him with her icy glare.
"What was that all about?"
"Nothing." He turned and started walking away.
"It doesn't feel like nothing."
"Just let it go."
"Artemis, please. I'm not the mood.."
He stopped but didn't turn around.
No, I'm not jealous. It's perfectly ok for your girlfriend to hang around your best friend more than she hangs out with you. And fighting and wrestling is also totally normal.
He tried counting to ten to get his frustration under control.
He counted to thirty-nine before he turned around.
She was still running but she was watching him intensely now. And her pace had slowed. Wally refused to speak first simply because he was tired and crabby. And hungry. Definitely hungry.
"There's nothing to be jealous of, Wally. Really."
"Then why won't you train with me?" He sat down in the mat and laid back, staring at the beams up on the ceiling.
"You want to train with me?"
"Oh, please. You really have to ask?"
"I didn't know," she said, stopping the treadmill and grabbing a towel. She took a seat next to him on the floor, dabbing at her face and neck with the towel. "I just like to work with Robin because he's like me. And he won't hold back like you would."
"Yeah, ok. Whatever. Go ahead, I don't care."
Artemis elbowed his leg to get him to look at her.
"See, I knew you'd take it the wrong way. It's why I didn't..."
Wally looked at her. "What if I just wanted to spend time with you doing stuff that isn't boring? As much as I love watching movies with you? It would be nice to do other things, too."
"I don't know. The stuff couples our age do."
"Watch a lot of movies, hold hands and cuddle on the couch?"
He snorted loudly. "Ok, point taken. That sounds really boring."
"You know, if you really wanted to train with me, all you had to do was ask. It's just, after you got schooled by Black Canary? I didn't think you would take it very well when I beat you, too."
He smiled and sat up, taking her hands in his. "That won't be a problem. I don't plan on losing."
"Bring it on, Kid."
Wally grinned and stood, facing her. He lunged at her a few times, not having the courage to actually catch her and take her down. While he knew he wouldn't and couldn't hurt her, he was still scared to do anything but play it safe. Conservative.
He growled in frustration as he caught her arm, preparing to trip her. He stopped at the last minute, though, and stumbled. She sighed loudly.
"You want to train with me and this is how you do it? You know, Robin never holds back when we spar."
Wally froze, staring at her. She so did not just go there.
Artemis stood there, a slight smirk on her face. "Well?"
He was torn. Does he do what Uncle Barry would do? Stop the whole thing and be a gentleman? Or should he defend his manhood, take the bait and hope he wins?
Uncle Barry couldn't possibly be right all the time, right?
Wally darted past her and catching her by surprise, he kicked at her legs from behind. She dropped to her knees. He twisted one arm behind her back.
"That's more like it," she gasped, smiling. "Don't hold back, I know you won't hurt me."
She wrenched her arm forward, catching him off balance and he tucked and rolled, landing several feet away.
"If you insist."
She approached him and it was fairly obvious she was underestimating his desire to prove her wrong. He tackled her, knocking her backwards until her back hit the wall. The dull thud as she hit the mat echoed softly in the room. He pinned her there, his forearm gently against her throat and his other arm trapping an arm behind her.
He blinked a bead of sweat from his eye and leaned down.
"Say uncle," he said, smiling victoriously.
His eyes widened as she leaned up and kissed him.
He wondered if it was possible for lips to bruise. Not that he cared at the moment, but if he was coherent later? He would definitely look it up.
He released his hold on her and she wrapped her arms around his neck. One of his arms dropped to her waist, the other braced himself against the wall. He felt her fingers wind themselves into his hair and she softly bit his bottom lip, immediately gliding her tongue over it. He dragged his lips over hers and groaned.
If he died right now? He would die happy.
And incredibly turned on, but that was another matter entirely.
She managed to pull him even closer and that's when he felt her smile against his lips. He pulled back, puzzled.
She hooked her leg around his and shoved him backward. With a loud thump he landed flat on his back. Pouncing on him, she pinned his shoulders down with her hands. She gave him a gentle kiss on the lips and smiled devilishly.
"Ninja boyfriend? Please. I'm the ninja in this relationship."
She rolled off him and stood up, not once glancing back over her shoulder as she walked away.
"Oh, it's so on," he muttered, grinning from ear to ear.
Somehow, he didn't think he'd mind if he ever lost this game.
So, yeah. Lots of caffeine + me + lack of sleep = Wally and Arty making out. Hopefully my attempt at a different style for this worked. *crosses fingers* And this was the final bit I plan on adding to this. I swear. ;)