A/N: I accidentally cut myself and bled out this story. Not even joking.
Disclaimer: If I owned YJ, Spitfire would be canon RIGHT NOW. And we wouldn't have a two week hiatus between episodes.
Of Band Aids and Broken Bones
Kid Flash never carried band aids. He for one did not require their healing properties, having the ability to rapidly fix minor cuts and bruises within hours until not even thin scar lines of fibrous tissue could be found. Nor did he feel tempted to wear the bandages for the sake of being fashionable despite the many colorful superhero and princess brands.
The point was Kid Flash had no need to tote the tiny strips when he could be filling up the compartments of his uniform and pockets of his jeans with more important things. Like food. If someone needed a band aid, they should go ask their mommy. Or Black Canary. Or Robin, as he probably had a few stashed in his utility belt. But NOT Kid Flash, because that wasn't how he rolled.
Until Artemis joined the team.
For being so graceful and lithe in battle, Artemis could sure be a klutz. How else could she explain all the scrapes, cuts, and bruises that seemed to magically appear after a mission…or a particularly intense spar…or fighting with Wally over the last banana. Because seriously, they were his favorite and she was just asking for it.
Although in hindsight, Kid Flash thought Artemis might be better off if she ate more bananas. The potassium content would've been beneficial in the production of several blood clotting factors, all of which she seemed to require on a ridiculously frequent basis if the inflamed red lines across her arms and fists were any indication.
And yeah, maybe she WAS only human (Wally had some serious doubts on this theory, but he had yet to find her broom), but did she really have to go and get herself hurt all the time?
It's wasn't as though she ever complained about the minor nuisances, and Kid Flash didn't know what he hated more: the fact that she was so frequently injured or the fact that she didn't give two shits and continued to prance around and generally be a badass.
Perhaps it was the total apathy towards her well being that bothered him. Hell, her bow had fewer nicks in the paint then her skin had scrapes. So Wally, for purely teammate purposes, took it upon himself to teach the archer proper medical skills. If she ended up on the wrong end of a secondary bacterial infection because she couldn't properly clean wounds, he sure as hell wasn't going to mope at her funeral. Nope. He was going to steal the body and set it on a pyre to burn. It was better biosecurity protocol.
It all started with the Hello Kitty bandages.
Kid Flash had no idea how she managed to get so banged up on the mission. It was Clayface, for Dalton's sake! CLAYFACE! He was made of mud, not sharp, pointy objects. Yet Artemis somehow managed to get several nasty nicks in her left shoulder, the blood slowly oozing down her arm.
The team disbanded for the evening after the debriefing, and Artemis predictably made her way toward the nearest zeta tube without bothering to wipe the blood off her arms or to check for any other injuries she might have sustained.
Kid Flash sped by, grabbed the archer by the crook of her arm and led the protesting blonde to the nearest wash room—which happened to be the bathroom by the kitchen.
Artemis's struggles were only half-hearted; she was too tired to be bothered to execute a perfect roundhouse kick to his face and make her escape. And curiosity beat out her first instinct of pummeling Kid Flash.
"What are you doing?" she demanded, nearly succeeding in wrenching her arm away from his vice-like grip.
He pulled them into the bathroom and pushed her down on top of the toilet lid. "Showing you basic first aid," he grumbled, rummaging through the cabinet behind the mirror, pulling out antiseptic, cotton swabs, and—the speedster grinned.
"I know basic first aid, Kid," she said through gritted teeth, standing up only to be pushed back down by Kid Flash.
"Yeah, well you sure never use it," came his snarky reply as he began cleaning her cuts with alcohol, taking sadistic pleasure in watching her wince as the liquid trickled into her wounds.
"My mom usually does this when I get home," Artemis told him, quickly averting her gaze to a spot on the tile floor, not believing that just came out of her mouth.
"Well…" Kid Flash floundered for a minute, looking for a legitimate reason why this needed to be taken care of NOW and not an hour from now. The fact that it was really bothering him didn't seem sufficient enough. "You should clean them right away so the cuts don't get a secondary infection. That way your skin won't go all gangrene, and we won't have to amputate anything."
"Gee, I didn't know you cared," the archer shot back sarcastically, rolling her eyes at the speedster before glancing down at her shoulder. "Hello Kitty band aids? Really Wally? Really?"
Wally grinned before tossing all the used cotton balls in the trash. "Let that be a lesson to you, Artie. If you don't take care of yourself, then you have to face the shame of walking around in front of everyone with Hello Kitty bandages."
"I'm sure the experience will be completely whelming," Artemis quipped before standing up, brushing by Kid Flash who was stowing everything back behind the mirror. She paused by the doorway for a moment.
"Hmmm?" Kid Flash peaked his head around the cabinet.
"Thanks." She gave him a small smile before heading toward the zeta tubes.
Wally smiled, satisfied that he had made his point, and headed toward the kitchen.
Later that night, Paula Crock would see the band aids, squeal in delight, and promptly send the Artemis to bed feeling thoroughly embarrassed in ways even Wally couldn't quite accomplish.
After several weeks, Wally's "Patch up Artemis" sessions had become the norm. No longer did he pull her kicking and screaming to the wash room (which might as well have been reassigned THEIR bathroom if the collection of band aids inside the mirror were any indication). She would complacently followed him inside, sit down, and wait for Kid Flash to fix whatever offending appendage was battered up.
Not that Wally really minded, but clearly the Hello Kitty bandages had not been embarrassing enough to discourage the archer from becoming a repeating offender. So Wally began experimenting with other characters.
He thought for sure the princess themed band aids stuck on the small of her back would do the trick. Cinderella, Ariel, and Belle all stood next to each other, covering the batarang scrape from a vigorous sparring session with Robin. Wally stuck a Mulan bandage across her wrist, choosing that particular princess to be displayed most prominently.
It was because she was like Mulan, he told her. Ever defiant and always rushing into things. Artemis simply smirked and told Wally that made him the wisecracking dragon. He dropped the subject, stomping out of the bathroom and almost missing her laughter following him out.
But despite his apparent loathing for Artemis, Kid Flash couldn't stop a grin from forming whenever he glanced her way during the next mission. The bandages from her lower back disappeared, but he knew, JUST KNEW, that she still had that Mulan one underneath her wrist guard.
Kid Flash was obscenely happy when he found the jumbo-sized Power Ranger bandages in the store that day, and even happier that he had the foresight to buy them. Artemis had sustained several burns from their mission earilier, and that week's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle band aids just weren't going to cut it.
It was a slower ordeal this time, cleaning out the sites of damage before smearing on the salve. Wally was dressing a burn that had gone completely through her uniform on her calf when Artemis's voice filled the silence.
"Why are you still doing this?" she asked, her voice oddly subdued.
"Because you still have one more burn on your palm," Wally replied, confused by the odd tone. He looked up.
"No, I mean, why are you still doing this?" She gestured wildly with her arms at him bent over her leg.
Wally paused, trying to think of an appropriate answer and not liking where his thoughts were taking him. Why would he purposely spend one-on-one time day after day fixing up someone he found irritating and annoying and disturbingly pretty? He went for the safe response.
"You're my teammate," he shrugged lamely, turning back to the task at hand and desperately hoping his ears weren't turning as red as the power ranger he just stuck on her palm.
Apparently they weren't.
"Right," Artemis mumbled, "We're teammates." Kid Flash swore he heard something like disappointment in her voice, and, as he watched her walk out that night, he couldn't help but feel like he was a total, complete, absolute idiot.
Kid Flash never thought he'd use bandages simply for their aesthetic purposes. However, in lieu of Artemis's newest series of injuries, he couldn't really think of another way to utilize the awesome new characters he found.
This time, the two teens weren't in the bathroom patching up a few minor cuts and bruises. They were in the Cave's medic bay, and Wally was wrapping Artemis's sprained ankle with something a little stronger than a plastic band with a tiny square of medicated gauze.
And they weren't quiet and subdued per usual when partaking of the solemn affair, but were sounding more like a badly directed opera, her higher pitched yells overcoming the deeper octaves of his shouts.
"And you yell at me when I rush in—" Medical tape was torn off the roll.
"I TOLD you, M'gann accidentally pushed me—"She lifted up her arm to allow him access to the gash running down her torso.
"Then you just HAD to fall in that thorn bush—" He wrapped her side with gauze.
"The rock was right behind me—it wasn't my fault!" She stuck an ice pack over her ankle.
"You're such a klutz!" He pulled out the new band aids to cover the minor scrapes.
"Am not!" she huffed, watching as he covered the smaller nick on her finger.
Wally sighed, arranging several of the bandages in a decorative way over her ankle wrap. "Artie, what are you going to do when I'm not here to fix you?"
Artemis paused her tirade and looked at Kid Flash in surprise. "What do you mean? Where else would you be?"
"What if I'm with the Flash? Or we're assigned different missions by Batman. Or something happens to me—"
"Nothing is going to happen to you," Artemis bit out, almost viciously. It was Kid Flash's turn to look surprised. "You're Wally, and you're stupid and annoying and persistent and full of it most of the time, but you're too fast for anything to happen to you. So don't talk like that."
Her voice was low, and she held his gaze in a way that made him want to salute her and say 'Yes ma'am!' But he didn't, so he settled for straightening up the mess he made with the first aid kit and saying, "Just be more careful, okay Artemis?"
He left her alone in the medical bay . Glancing down at her ankle, the archer gave a small smile at the Batman, Martian Manhunter, Green Arrow, and Superman bandages unnecessarily covering the tape. He smile became more pronounced when she noticed the band aid covering the laceration on her left ring finger. It had the Flash symbol.
She gave a small smirk. "Right back at you, Baywatch."
Wally never fully grasped the magnitude of Artemis's appreciation of his concern whenever he sat down to play doctor with her. He never knew that she felt more like part of the team when he did it. Nor did he realize that their nightly bonding sessions had bloomed into something more.
Well, he didn't until the team headed to Louisiana to stop the Injustice League. He couldn't believe that she had run over to him in the middle of a mission—attacks on the team happening left and right—only to stop and tie his arm into a sling. That in itself spoke volumes, and Kid Flash began to realize that maybe he wasn't fixing her anymore just because she was his teammate and he felt guilty for not being more welcoming. He cared for her in a way that he was only beginning to understand, to appreciate.
That night, Wally allowed Artemis to bandage him, finally realizing the true extent of her first aid knowledge. He grimaced as she set his bones, trying to the last to obey her command of "Hold still a minute." He knew without a doubt she wouldn't have any qualms about rebreaking the arm to allow it to heal properly. Closing his eyes helped him remain stationary, and soon he could feel Artemis wrapping up the last bit of binding material, pushing down to make sure it was completely stable.
Kid Flash waited for her to finish, cracking an eye open only to find himself face to face with the grinning archer.
"All done. I made it idiot-proof, but just in case, try not to move it around too much for a few days." She walked out the door, looking incredibly self-satisfied.
Any clever retort he was about to spew at her died on his lips when he looked down at the cast. There, right over the fracture line, was a Green Arrow bandage. Apparently she really liked the superhero designs.
Later that night, he would stash a few Flash band aids in his costume. And his jean pockets. Just in case.
A/N: Hi, my name is Black Licorice Addict, and I'm addicted to writing Wally/Artemis stories. I hope you enjoyed it :D