Disclaimer: I do not own "Young Justice." Also, I haven't had class for a couple months. If my description of computer circuitry isn't spot on, please forgive me my mistakes. (I swear, it is relevant to the story!)
Trigger warning: implications of abuse.
At the hardware level, a computer is simply a set of various logic circuits that produce either a 1 or a 0, true or false, depending on the type of gate and two different inputs, which are also composed of ones and zeros. Depending on the gates, the two same inputs can give any number of different results. It's all dependent on circumstance.
The mission was almost complete. Explosives were planted, information was gained, now the team just needed to get out of the old manor without getting attention from their charming but villainous host.
Artemis grinned as Wally pulled at his shirt collar in annoyance; getting in had required the entire team to dress up and play the part of fashionable but oblivious guests at the old leech's party. It was nice to know she wasn't the only one uncomfortable running a mission dressed in several square yards of lace and blue silk.
They met Robin in a hallway near the main hall. He had already replaced his sunglasses with his customary domino mask.
"You got the information?" the Boy Wonder asked.
"Of course. You?" Wally said, glancing with curiosity at the duffel-bag the acrobat was carrying.
"Things… went a bit pear-shaped on our end. We're leaving out the back. Meet you there in fifteen."
Not waiting for questions, Robin thrust the bag into Wally's hands before shoving the two of them through a nearby door. Artemis frowned; the room was large enough and fairly well lit, but it was still undeniably a closet. Wally knelt and tore open the bag.
"Wetsuits?" the speedster wailed, "I thought we were walking out the front door!" Artemis understood his dismay; the waters surrounding the manor were frigid.
Artemis hid her apprehension by snatching one of the suits.
"Too cold for you, Baywatch?" She watched in satisfaction as the dismay turned to indignation, then bravado as he pulled off the overcoat of his suit and started unbuttoning his shirt.
"Nope. I'm just concerned about you; you swim like a rock." His fingers fumbled on the buttons as he realized she was still watching.
"Um, aren't you going to turn around?"
Artemis pasted her best smirk and shook her head.
"Nope." As his eyes bugged out she explained "I can't remove this stupid dress by myself. I'll need," she bit her lip before spitting out the word "help. At least this way, we're even."
"Help?" Wally's voice reached an octave Artemis didn't think he'd hit since the start of puberty. If she hadn't been so annoyed about the situation herself, she would have been amused by his panic.
"With the ties. Megan helped me with them before we left." When the speedster continued to hesitate, she grabbed his wrist, pulling him closer and turning around. "Just do it before I hit you." As she felt clammy fingers pulling at the ties Artemis added "And watch the hands, Kid Flirt."
As Wally moved up to the next knot, she pulled her hair back over her shoulder so he could see. She felt him freeze.
Scars. Some from fights or missions, but most from training. She had forgotten.
Artemis felt Wally's eyes trace over the thin lines and she started running though lies in her head. I was in an accident, a fight with a villain went wrong, I don't want to talk about it. Please don't ask.
"Car accident," she choked out. She'd been lying to them, to him, this entire time, but this was the only one that made her throat close up. "Went through the windshield sideways."
After several tense seconds, she heard a relieved chuckled as Wally tugged at the next knot.
"Could've been worse, right?" Artemis could hear the strain in his voice, and she tried to sound nonchalant.
"Yeah. You probably would've been crying like a baby, though."
The second knot fell apart.
"In your dreams, Blondie."
They exchanged well-natured insults as the next three knots disappeared. Artemis pulled away as she felt the speedster untie the last one.
"Your turn." She turned around just in time to see him start blushing again. Without the ties holding it up, the dress was starting to slip.
As the redhead looked around nervously, Artemis leaned forward and swatted him.
"Calm down. We're both wearing underthings," True. "and anyway, you don't have anything I haven't seen before." Mostly true. "And trust me, I have no designs on your virtue, Kid Flirt." Slightly less true.
This seemed to calm him, and he started pulling off his shirt, sending suspicious glances her way every now and then as she pulled off the dress and started stepping into the wetsuit. Heh. That blush was back.
She paused, wetsuit halfway up, as Wally removed the dress pants and grabbed his own gear. Just because the speedster was annoying as heck didn't mean she couldn't appreciate a nice pair of legs. She knew he had noticed hers.
As he muttered and wrestled with the wetsuit, Artemis noticed a burn scar that branched out and up his left leg.
That wasn't there last week. He had finally made one of the team's trips to the beach, and there hadn't been any burns then.
We haven't had any missions since then either.
He stopped moving and Artemis knew she'd been caught staring.
"How'd it happen?" she was just curious, she told herself. She couldn't care about him; she couldn't. Artemis knew she might have to kill him someday.
Green eyes looked away.
"Car accident." He still didn't meet her eyes. You aren't a good liar, she thought, but didn't say.
"Really," Artemis said. It wasn't a question. Now he looked up, green-as-grass eyes catching hers, with a significant glance towards her back.
"Yes." With that one, final syllable, Wally pulled up the wetsuit, hiding the burn.
If I tell you mine will you tell me yours? Artemis didn't ask. She'd already had her answer.
They swam back to the ship in silence.
ask me no questions and I'll tell you no lies