Here we are. The last one. I'm both relieved AND sad.
Day Seven: Trust
The phases of shooting an arrow went through my mind in a matter of two seconds. It was always so natural to me. Find your target, and shoot. Under normal circumstances I would've fired and been on my merry way. But these circumstances were anything but normal.
Standing in the middle of a warehouse trying to choose between shooting your boyfriend and a convicted killer should be easy, right? Right. Now let's just say that said convicted killer happens to be your father. Yeah. I thought so.
"Shoot him, Tigress. While he's still weak."
Tigress. The name he chose for me years ago so that I could follow in his footsteps. For most of my life, I was trained as an assassin. I learned from the best. Dad, Cheshire, and even David Cain.
I know what you're thinking; Why should I hesitate? This guy could not have been a good father. You would be right. He was a horrible father. When I was a kid he'd leave me in the middle of the woods whenever it snowed to "test my weakness". When I refused to kill a man, he put my mother in a wheelchair.
So why should I hesitate?
Well, the answer is a little complicated, and it'll probably make me sound like a total idiot. But give me a break here, I wasn't exactly thinking clearly at the time. But there was something Sportsmaster, my dad, had said to me earlier that was making me rethink...everything.
"Do you really think they trust you?" he had asked me.
I know. Stupid, right? It was completely ridiculous that I was letting him sink his claws into my mind again, just like he did when I was a kid. Why should I have trusted anything he said?
But I thought about it. I was over-thinking it really. Had my friends ever said the words, "I trust you"? I couldn't ever think of a time when they had.
Looking back on it, I realize that I had always been insecure about that. Did my teammates really trust me? Did Wally, my own boyfriend, really trust me? They all had said in one way or another that they cared about me. But not one of them ever said they trusted me. Not them, not the league, not anyone.
At that moment, all my insecurities were taking over my thoughts. Made me question every decision I had made over the past year.
Joining Young Justice.
Spying for the JLA.
Growing close to my teammates.
If they didn't trust me, did they really care about me? I shook my head. Of course they cared. Wally was lying there half-dead because he took a beating for me. Would he have done that is he didn't care?
But his healing was rapid. Did he figure he'd heal before I got a chance to shoot him and blow my nonexistent cover? Was it all a lie? Did he really care about me? All the times he comforted me, told me he loved me, made me laugh...was it all a lie?
If I could pick a time and place to go back to and slap myself silly, it would be then.
"Tigress. He is healing."
That voice. The voice that had threatened, insulted, and generally abused me since I was old enough to speak. That voice that ordered the attack on my mother...why was I listening to it?
"They do not trust you; therefore they do not care about you."
I shook my head…..that couldn't be true. Could it?
My thoughts were interrupted again, this time by another voice.
It was Wally's voice, strained and hoarse. I still stood there, my arrow notched, aimed in between my two target options.
"Artemis," he croaked again. "He's lying to you."
That did it.
I was back in reality.
Sportsmaster was my abusive, sociopathic, money loving, sadistic, narcissistic supervillain father.
Wally was my annoying, loud, geeky, sweet, charming, understanding boyfriend.
I trusted Wally.
I didn't trust Sportsmaster.
My arrow flew, and the next thing Sportsmaster knew he was stuck to the wall with an arrow sticking out of his left shoulder.
The arrow was one of Green Arrow's personal favorites. It dug into the concrete and was nearly impossible to get out without a special remote to turn it back to normal.
I pressed my homing beacon. The JLA would be here soon.
"Well, that's a nice thing to wake up to," Wally said as he tried to sit up. When the JLA showed up, they had taken him straight to the Mount Justice medical bay.
I smiled as I helped him up.
"Sportsmaster's in custody. Finally," I breathed. He reached and touched my face.
"All thanks to you."
My smiled wavered a bit, and he sighed.
"Artemis, I knew you weren't going to shoot me. Even if you weren't."
Our eyes met, and my expression mirrored my question.
He grinned. "Because I trust you."
We were still kissing when The Flash dropped in.
Sadface...I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did!