A/N: Short because someone else already did an entire story on it. (I can't remember the author to save my life, but it was pretty good from what little I skimmed through.) So I touched on the basic point.

Disclaimer: Do not own.


Mask of Defeat

Her fingers ran along the mask, then along the arrow, the tip sharp, pricking her finger, and then her touch found smooth metal, shimmering and gold.

There were two options for her, the arrow or the helmet. She knew which she preferred, she knew which way she wanted it to go. One guaranteed a win; the other provided gray amidst the black and white of victory and defeat. Artemis's gaze fell back on the mask. "I won't leave them." She knew why these emotions were so strong. She knew abandonment at a young age. She would not abandon them. "I won't."

Artemis picked up the helmet and began her trek, bow tucked tight to her body as she kept the metal mask under one arm. The arrow wasn't an option; it left too much up to destiny to decide. Dr. Fate was the only thing that could save her friends; she had to save them.

If they died...

Artemis would never forgive herself.

Feet tracing a path to the main room, the archer kept a brave face. She knew what she'd see. Conner and Wally drowning. M'gann and Kaldur burning. Robin, lying there, unconscious, unmoving. She wouldn't cry. She was not alone. She just wasn't.

She had her friends there, dying, but they were there. She had Fate walking alongside of her, his power in her grasp. Her sister, the one that'd left her behind so long ago, was following in her shadow, watching, waiting for the kill. Artemis was not alone. She had more than enough people there for her, waiting for her to fail because she would never be strong enough to face the day when she had to risk everything for others.

When she entered, the red robots turned, fire flaring up by the female, the water shifting in the sea from the male. Artemis knew they would see the helmet; whether they comprehended the forces she held was another story. If they didn't know what the helmet did, she would stand a chance. If they did, her luck had just run out.

They watched her close in, eyes like a lion's as it stared down its prey. The male's metal fist clenched; the female took a threatening step forward.

Artemis dropped the bow, leaving two yards between her and her opponents. One hand reached for the front of the helmet and her fingers went through the eye slits. She pulled it on over her head and felt the power of Fate at her fingertips.

"I was expecting your friend," said the old man standing in the spotlight beside Artemis as she was plunged into the darkness of the helmet's inner mind. "But Nabu would have rejected him soon enough. Although it's good to see you in here, kid."

Her body was hot and then cold, but she saw nothing except for Kent Nelson and the silver spotlight shining down on her. A hit here, a blast of water there. It hurt, but she refrained from showing any signs of pain. "Dr. Fate is our last hope," Artemis choked out. She bit her lip as her body was thrown into water; icy ocean filled her throat and her lungs were suddenly begging for air even though there was nothing around her but air, plenty of air, so much air-

She fell to the ground and Kent Nelson hovered over her quietly, not touching her but watching her drown in empty, dark air. He looked away while she clutched at her throat. He couldn't bear to know that another spirit would be trapped in here with him, dead by the helmet.

He didn't watch.


A/N: Eh, feels weak x.x Anyways, I got maybe two more up my sleeve. My quick-access to the episode is limited due to my busted DVR. Leave a review?

~Sky