Author's Note: Okay so this has been sitting on my computer for a while. It's basically going to be just a collection of one-shots with my absolute favorite pairing of Wally/Artemis. They are just so adorable and after "Revelation" (so many Spitfire moments I almost died) I figured I may as well post my own story. Now, these one-shots will not be in chronological order. With that being said, enjoy this first chapter! This one's kind of short, but I honestly think it works better that way.
Disclaimer: I do not own Young Justice.
Chapter One: Humanity
This was it. The moment Artemis had been waiting for.
All of the events over the past few months had finally culminated to lead her to this one perfect moment in time. It was as if everything had slowed down and for once in her life things were going according to the plan.
"Now, is that anyway to greet your father, Artemis?"
She narrowed her eyes, pulling the bowstring back even tighter. She gently pushed the sharp tip of her arrow onto his now bare forehead.
There was no mask anymore. He'd lost it during the initial struggle, when Artemis had been able to corner him. All that remained was his angry-looking face and his dark grey eyes, the same eyes that Artemis would swear left and right she didn't have.
His lips curled into a smile as the echoing of footsteps sounded from behind her.
Her shoulders drooped, but her gaze did not falter from her father's face.
"Artemis, what are you doing?" he asked, taking a few steps forward.
She cleared her throat. "Don't come any closer Wally."
"Shut up," she snapped, pressing the tip of her arrow into Sportsmaster's head until she drew a small stream of blood.
"I didn't realize you had a boyfriend now, Artemis," her father said pleasantly, as if her were relating the weather forecast. "I'm hurt that you felt you couldn't come to me with this."
"You shut up too," she ground out between her teeth, glancing up slightly at Wally who was now in her direct line of sight behind Sportsmaster.
Her father chuckled and Artemis felt her temper rising. Here she was, about to finally kill her father, and he was laughing about it? Even on his deathbed, he was one part father, three parts murdering jackass.
"Artemis," Wally said slowly. "Put your bow down. I've got some cuffs in my—"
"That's not going to cut it, Wally," Artemis said. "He deserves to die for what he's done."
"That's not for you to decide," he argued calmly, putting his hands up in the air. "The League should decide what to do with him. I know that he's hurt you—"
Artemis automatically cursed the weak part of herself that had caused her to reveal her family secrets to the red-haired speedster.
He just had to be here. At this moment.
"No Wally," Artemis snapped. "You don't know anything. You don't know what it's like to be forced to kill innocent people, innocent children. You don't know what it's like to lose your humanity, every time you watch somebody die. You don't know what it's like to get beaten within an inch of your life because you failed a mission. And you sure as hell don't know what it feels like to have to compartmentalize it all on a daily basis."
She paused to glance down at her father again. "I've killed before. What's one more going to matter?"
Sportsmaster let out a sputtering laugh. "Beautiful speech, darling. You make daddy so proud."
She lifted her foot and kicked him square in the jaw, eliciting a slight grunt from him.
"You're right, I don't know," Wally said, and Artemis met his eyes once more. "But I do know you. You're better than this Artemis. You're better than the man who you think created you."
She looked down, her shoulders drooping once again. "I'm not, though. I'm just not."
She knew that this would only end in death. She knew that it was the only way she would be able to live her own life.
"Listen to your gut feeling," Sportsmaster instructed her. "Do what I've trained you to do. All you have to do is let go of that string and I'll be out of your hair forever."
She inhaled slowly. She wished Wally weren't here to see her like this. He was so good, had been so good to her.
And she didn't even deserve to be able to look him in the eye.
"You were born to be a killer, Artemis," her father intoned. "This is your destiny. It's who you are."
"Artemis don't listen to him," Wally pleaded. "I know you're better than this. I-I love you and I know deep down that you don't want to do this."
She closed her eyes. Stupid Wally. Why does he always have to do this?
All she had to do was let the string loose and let the arrow bury itself in her father's forehead. He would be dead and the many people that he had hurt—herself included—would be avenged.
One less villain in the world.
But deep down, she knew Wally was right. She was better than this, she had to be. For the sake of her own humanity. And for him.
She lowered her bow, eliciting a sinister laugh from Sportsmaster.
"I always knew you were too weak to do what was necessary," he mocked.
Artemis pulled her fist back and let it fly towards her father's jaw, effectively knocking him out. She stood up, dropped her bow and backed away from his prone body as Wally rushed forward to cuff Sportsmaster's hands behind him.
"Hey Rob," Wally said into his commlink. "We got him. Tell M'gann to bring the bio ship around."
Artemis swallowed, crossing her arms over her chest. Wally smiled softly as he approached her, taking her into his arms.
"You did the right thing, beautiful."
Artemis nodded against his chest, knowing that he was probably right.
But then why did she still feel like such a failure?