Also known as the second time Satellites gratuitously used When Harry Met Sally in a Wally/Artemis piece and everyone got exasperated with her.
Cloaks and Daggers requested a fic taking a look at what Wally and Artemis were doing before the beginning of "Revelation." This and Conquer were the results. I don't normally do two fills for prompts, but I couldn't decide which one I liked better. Oh, well!
I do not own When Harry Met Sally (that belongs to the incomparable Nora Ephron and Rob Reiner), nor Young Justice.
Wally doesn't know how it happened, exactly. The transition from belligerent loathing to inexplicable fondness was so rapid and indistinct that it seemed to happen over the course of one night (and don't forget, ten hours of sleep feels like ten minutes to him).
He doesn't know how this happened, either – how she wound up in his bedroom, sitting next to him on his bed, raiding Netflix via his Playstation. He doesn't know how his Friday evening turned into a session of elbow-rubbing with none other than the Harpy Supreme herself – the witch of the wicked – there are more insults, honestly, but he's tired out from his Physics homework.
"Are you going to pick something or not?" he grumbles, folding his arms, drawing his knees up as he tries to keep as far away from her as possible without teetering off the bed.
"Hey, this is a long and delicate process, Baywatch. Cut me some slack." Her tongue sticks out in concentration as she types various titles in the search bar.
Wally throws his head back in exasperation.
"Look, we could have solved this problem twenty minutes ago if you'd just agreed to watch Gattaca—"
"That wasn't on Instant Watch, stupid; now hold on while I – yes! Here we go." She moves aside to give him a better view of the screen and he squints skeptically at it. "You game?"
"When Harry Met Sally? Are you kidding? Who are you and what have you done with The Wicked Witch of the Cave?"
She gives him a deadpan look before rolling her eyes and pressing play. He groans loudly.
"God, Artemis, please don't make me do this."
"It's good," she insists bluntly, scooting back to lean against one of his pillows. "You'll like it."
"Oh, I'm sure. As much as I like gargling needles. Or playing dodgeball. Or being trapped in a burning building. Or, hey, being stuck in the same room as you! Or—"
"Shut up, will you?" she snaps, punching him hard in the shoulder. "This was your idea."
"My idea was to make you repay me for the souvenir you stole. I didn't think you were going to hijack all of my possessions and force me to watch stupid movies." He groans. "I don't even want to know what it's going to suggest for me now that this atrocity is going to be in my recently watched queue. Probably – probably Twilight or something."
She growls impatiently and crosses her arms furiously, scowling at the screen as the film starts. Wally glances sideways at her.
"You do realize Robin's going to be trolling us to high heaven if he sees us next to each other on my bed watching a rom-com, right?"
"I'm not complaining," she retorts. "At least this time we'll have given him just cause."
Wally groans and slouches down into the pillows, chin jutting out in distaste.
"You'll like this Harry guy," Artemis cracks after a moment. "He's a sex-crazed pig with a terrible sense of humor. Two peas in a pod."
"I'm sorry; I can't hear you over the sound of how much I hate this movie."
"I'm sorry; I can't hear you over the sound of how much I hate you."
"C'mon, gorgeous," Wally says as he flashes her a smile (she grimaces). "You know I don't like it when you lie to me."
She rolls her eyes and shoves a hand into his face, pushing him off the bed.
"I took her to a place that wasn't human. She actually meowed."
"You made a woman meow?"
"He made a woman meow?" Wally shouts, completely engrossed. Artemis puts her forehead in her hand. "How – I demand to know how this is possible! I need this knowledge right now!"
"The only thing you'd be able to make a woman do is throw up."
"No, you don't even get it. I need to know how to do that."
"Meow," Artemis says with no inflection whatsoever. "There. Problem solved. Life complete."
"If it's that close to being complete with you pretending, who knows what kind of nirvana I'd reach if you were for real," he says with a pointed leer, and Artemis looks as if she's about to be sick.
"Ugh, you're disgusting. Every woman needs to file for a restraining order against you while they still have the chance."
"I can handle a few lawsuits in pursuit of making them meow."
"Is talking during movies a hobby of yours or did you just pick it up recently?"
Wally takes that, shockingly, as his cue to be silent.
"I love that after I spend the day with you, I can still smell your perfume on my clothes. And I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night. And it's not because I'm lonely, and it's not because it's New Year's Eve. I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible."
"Wow," Wally says in genuine awe. "Nice save, buddy. Hope she buys it."
Artemis turns her head incredulously to him, pausing the movie immediately. "Buys it?"
"Sure." Wally shrugs helplessly. "I mean, do you think he's telling the truth?"
He would be satisfied with the floundering expression on her face if he wasn't trying to be so serious. She's gaping at him and looks like some of the discolored dead fish he sees hanging from hooks in Chinatown.
"I," she blubbers, and then attempts to regain coherency. Her expression, Wally is surprised to note, morphs into one of unusual tenderness, albeit somewhat half-hidden. "I like to think so."
Wally blinks at her.
The snappy front is back, then, faster than he can run around the high school's track at two in the morning when nobody's watching. She folds her arms.
"Yes, Wally. I know you might find this hard to believe, but I like to think that not all men are thick-skulled, insensitive, lying cows like you."
"What would you do if that happened to us?" Wally asks her abruptly, and she stares at him dubiously, one eyebrow angularly raised.
"If… what happened to us?"
"If," he continues, "we were, you know, friends, and then we… well—"
"Don't go any further; I ran out of brain bleach yesterday and can't afford any more for a while," Artemis interjects adamantly, and in all honesty, she's almost afraid for him to finish what he's saying.
"Well, it's possible!" he insists, freckles disappearing under an ill-concealed flush. "I mean, we started out kind of like they did; you know, thinking the other was kind of a jerk."
"Oh, I'm sorry to have misled you into thinking my opinion of you had changed in any way," Artemis snaps, and Wally ignores her attitude completely.
"Things can… change," he says lamely, squaring his jaw. "I mean, I… I don't… hate you anymore, or anything. I thought you'd have made about as much progress as I have."
"Don't flatter yourself, Baywatch. I hate you." She pauses, taking in the vaguely hurt expression on his face, and sighs. "But I don't… I don't hate you. You know?"
"Nnnnnot really," he replies honestly, and she huffs.
"It's just kind of – I guess I… I like—hating you." She shoots him a cautious, sideways glance, face turned toward the surfaces of her knees, and then shakes herself, playing the movie again. "Let's just finish the movie."
"You see? That is just like you, Harry – you say things like that and you make it impossible for me to hate you! And I really hate you, Harry. I hate you."
Artemis can practically smell the smirk turning up on Wally's face as the two characters in the film kiss each other.
"Ohoho. You hate me, huh?" He makes pointed air quotes around the word "hate." "Hey. Hey. Artemis." She deigns to look up at him, and is frankly appalled by the lecherous expression on his face. "Hate me some more."
"Ugh!" she spits, grabbing the nearest pillow and swinging it mercilessly into his face.
"In all seriousness, though," he says, voice muffled behind the pillow – he takes it between his two hands and lowers it until it covers the lower half of his face. "What's your real opinion of me? I mean, right now, not retrospectively. In this exact second."
"Right now?" Artemis repeats, going quiet to consider this. She doesn't break eye contact with him (suddenly she notices that his eyes are green, greener than the hills in France), and after a time, he starts fidgeting uncomfortably under her intense stare.
Wally. What does she think of Wally? In all honesty, there isn't just one facet of her opinion of him. The whole thing is still a messy amalgamation waiting to be organized, and he's not making it any easier by throwing in a few new characteristics of himself in there for her to judge. She inhales, slowly, quietly, and she can feel Wally watching the movement of her chest and shoulders as the air pushes her up.
"Right now," she says carefully, "I think… that you're one lousy pillow fighter!" And, with a triumphant laugh, she brings out another pillow from behind her and slams it hard down on his head. He nearly falls off the bed, but manages to steady himself long enough to raise the one in front of his face and cuff her in the midsection with it.
"We'll see about that!" he cries, and Artemis almost notices a hint of anger, of frustration, in the way he smashes the pillow into her again, but the hint passes as the two dissolve into laughter and attack each other without strategy or care.
When Batman's voice cuts gruffly over the intercom system barking at them to report to the mission room in two minutes, the only thing on Wally's mind is not (not at all) how nice Artemis looks when her cheeks are pink and shiny from exertion and her lips are parted as she pants, but rather how much crap Robin's going to give him when they walk in together, begrudgingly, as if they'd just inadvertently run into each other in the hallway (of the story) and are making their way to the same room (ending).