Disclaimer: We do not own Young Justice.
Written by: Black Licorice Addict, Satellites On Parade, & Jncera
The first thing Artemis became aware of was cotton, wrapped pleasantly around her entire body, and that she was curled up on a mattress.
After she had finished processing this peculiar bit of information (because her bed at home had flannel sheets for the winter, and the beds at the Cave weren't nearly this comfortable), she noticed that her feet were unfortunately not covered by whatever she was lying under, and she quickly remedied this, pulling the blanket down with her toes. Much better.
And then she heard the murmuring of the sea, and the rhythmic lulling of waves lapping against the sand. She inwardly frowned. Even in her room at the Cave the sounds of the outside world never penetrated the deep earthy stone, and she was positive that no one with at least an ounce of sanity would have a soft mattress with silken cotton sheets on a beach.
The third thing that alerted her into a slow rouse to reality was the faint scent of salt-water mixed with something familiar – something familiar that was also quickly bringing a note of agitation into her mind. It smelled like evergreens mingled with a breath of mountain air and citrus, and always that vague lingering scent of fresh laundry detergent.
Artemis stiffened. She recognized that scent. She remembered the last time she breathed it in. It was when Wally—
Her eyes snapped open and she rolled viciously over to shove herself up, but not before accidentally whacking a distinctly human form buried under the covers beside her. She let out a shriek muted by bewilderment and leaped off the bed as though it had suddenly transformed into a yawning pit, flattening herself against the opposite wall. She was inexplicably reminded of waking up in Bialya (which suddenly seemed years ago), except for one crucial difference: the other person in this – in this room, this bedroom with her, could not, under any circumstances, be Wally.
She tried to even her erratic breathing, gingerly peeling herself off of the wall, never once taking her eyes off of the covered lump on the bed. She couldn't bring herself to walk forward and take the covers off of it. Whether this was because some part of her knew who it was or because she was merely too far into shock to do anything so bold was beyond her. As she sidled shakily along the length of the wall in search of an escape, trying to make as little noise as possible, she crashed into a vanity, letting out a whispered curse as it hit her hip. Surely there had to be a light switch nearby?
Artemis stuck both arms in front of her, fingers fumbling against the wall, finally brushing against soft fabric. With a mighty yank, the curtain was pulled open, allowing faint yellow rays of dawn access to the bedroom. She gave a small gasp at the scene before her, her panic momentarily dissolving into the ocean waves washing over pale sand just a few yards away from the open window. Overhead a few seagulls called out a morning greeting, before soaring away. Well, at least the auditory nerves in her brain were still intact; she had not been hallucinating the sounds and smells of the sea.
But at that thought her forgotten hysteria resurfaced again. She twisted around toward the vanity again and nearly screamed. There was a woman, framed by the dim early morning light, who was staring back at her with a frenzied expression that matched her own, and when she reached up to cover her own mouth in surprise, the woman mimicked her exact movements.
And that's when Artemis realized she was staring at a reflection in a mirror – her reflection in a mirror. Her... older reflection?
She had to admit, she didn't look half-bad. She was still lithe, maybe a bit taller, and her eyes were still steely. Her hair, raking against her lower back, was slightly disheveled from apparent sleep, and she had bangs now, swept over to the side. She tried not to be horrified by the sheer pine-green nightie she was wearing, dangling just over her knees. She straightened, glaring down her reflection, and reached a hand up to scratch at a spot on the back of her head, allowing herself a noisy yawn. It wasn't exactly the most attractive of actions, but somehow, she felt like she needed it.
Suddenly, terrifyingly, she saw in the mirror that the figure under the blankets stirred, and just when Artemis thought the situation couldn't become any more bizarre, said figure spoke.
"Mmmm…. 's too early," it moaned. "Close the curtains and come back to bed, Beautiful."
Artemis stood paralyzed in shock. There was only one person that had ever called her that pet name, and that was—
"Wally?" she breathed as she turned around, the name rolling off her tongue like a cloud of vapor on a cold day. Artemis had to suppress a yelp of surprise when the person in bed finally sat up, the sheets falling to his waist.
Now, Artemis had a thing for the gorgeous muscular form of men. It was one of the many reasons why she hated Red Arrow. Someone who was that big of a prick didn't deserve to have such beautiful arms, or such a drool-worthy torso. But Red Arrow had nothing on this Wally-look-alike.
Sleepy green eyes blinked at her from a mess of bed-head that was every bit as vibrant a crimson as the Wally she knew. But the Wally back on Planet Reality was never this old, or attractive. Broad shoulders that put Connor to shame attached to arms that she was sure could crush even Kaldur. The early morning light traced shadows down the demarcations of his muscles, making them all the more pronounced. His chest was chiseled, but not in the way Superman's or Aquaman's thick bodies were. Wally's agile figure was built for running, but there was no doubt in her mind that a little heavy lifting was no problem. There was absolutely no way this could be the Wally she knew. He oozed sex appeal like honey spread on toast.
And quite honestly, it made her nauseous to put "Wally" and "sex-appeal" so close in proximity to each other, unless there was a negative like "does not have" or "will never have" in between.
But her mind and eyes seemed to have detached a few connecting nerves, because she could not turn away from his abs, flexed from his hunched position, and was imagining how glorious his legs must be under those silken covers when he suddenly derailed and crashed her train of thought.
"Look, Artemis, if you come back to bed I promise you can do more than just ogle me," he quipped, sending her a grin that she was all too familiar with.
"Wh—" Artemis managed to splutter, clutching the edge of the vanity's counter with her palms, backing against it as much as she could. She didn't want to bridge any semblance of distance between her and... and that. "I was not! Ugh! Don't be disgusting!"
Wally frowned, and Artemis was taken aback by the genuine bewilderment in his expression. He crossed his arms pensively, raising an eyebrow as he scrutinized her, and she fidgeted nervously. She suddenly felt awkwardly exposed in the barely-there negligée and tried pulling it down further toward her knees, only succeeding in pulling it a bit farther down over her chest than was acceptable. She shrieked, yanking it back up, and Wally, astonishingly, laughed.
"What's with you?" he asked good-naturedly, eyes shining warmly in amusement. "God, if I didn't know any better I'd say you'd suddenly de-aged by like ten years."
"How—" Artemis squeaked (it was so undignified). "How... old am I?"
She assumed that the situation she was currently in, all outlandishness aside, was the sort that she would need to be humored in, and thankfully, Wally did just that.
"Uh, twenty-five, babe," he told her calmly, extending his hands and raising them up and down in a sort of calm-your-tits way. "I didn't know this was new information; you've been twenty-five for..." He counted out on his fingers. "Four months."
"This—I—what?" Artemis typically prided herself on being mildly more eloquent than this, but she excused her blubbering in light of the circumstances.
And then her mind started to race as a kaleidoscope of images and sounds slammed into her. She remembered being on a mission with the Team. Batman's verbal commands had been simple, as were all of his words: get in, get information, get out—yet another "covert re-con mission." Aqualad's orders had also been simple: stay hidden, stay silent.
But apparently simplicity had merely not been on Artemis's side that night. After a series of unfortunate events that mainly involved getting beat up by gravity, she had found herself on the floor breathing in a strange-colored gas while Wotan chanted some sort of nonsense in the background, and then... nothing.
She assumed she had passed out (fainting was for sissies), but now she had woken up, which could only mean—
"Where's the rest of the Team?" she suddenly shrieked, lunging at Wally. She grabbed his bare, freckled shoulders, ignoring how solid and smooth they felt, and continued in her same rabid frenzy, "What have you done with the rest of the Team?"
She pulled her fist back, but Wally, who obviously had speed on every side, intercepted her punch and twisted her onto her back in one fluid movement.
"Artemis! Babe! Calm down! The Team's fine!"
However, his words far from placated her, and she continued to frantically writhe around while he pinned her arms and legs down, creating a terrible mess of the sheets (and her hair).
"You know," said Wally with an air of calm that, to Artemis, seemed utterly unnatural for the current situation, "If I weren't so freaked out right now, I'd be extremely turned on by all this."
Artemis stopped and stared with muted horror at him. "Get off me!" she yelled fiercely, shoving him with all her strength.
Wally raised his hands submissively and scooted away, and Artemis almost hurdled off the bed without another thought, until she saw his face and the motion died at her limbs.
He was gazing mournfully at her with the most dejected expression, akin to a beaten and starving puppy left alone in a cardboard box underneath the cold autumn rain. His eyes were filled with confusion, and his lips were parted to exhale the silent questions he seemed terrified to ask. Artemis had never witnessed such emotions on his face before, and it both chilled and intrigued her at the same time. So, instead of making like a bat from hell and breaking loose, Artemis slowly raised herself onto her elbows and stared silently back.
"Artemis, what's going on?" Wally whispered, his voice overflowing with concern.
"What do you mean what's going on?" Artemis retorted hoarsely, but the awkward teenage cracks in her voice that she was so used to were nowhere to be found now. "You tell me, you – you—you delusion! You hallucination! You—"
The dimmed emeralds in his eyes suddenly sparkled again – so quick of a change it was almost comical. "Okay. I can understand how someone as inhumanly good-looking as me can appear to logically be a hallucination, but I promise you, babe, I'm one hundred percent real here."
"Don't joke!" she hissed, and, without even thinking, she reached over and whacked him upside the head. To her unspeakable astonishment, he didn't whine at her, but instead grinned, his freckles spraying up with the expression.
"Now that's my girl," he said fondly, and she shrieked (again, as screaming seemed to be the main course for breakfast), stumbling backwards over the surface of the puddled sheets.
"I am not your girl! I am not anybody's girl! But I am especially not yours!" she squawked, grabbing a sheet and clutching it at her chest, which Wally seemed to think was absolutely adorable, if the admiring expression on his face was any indication. Artemis honestly had no idea how to react to having Wally look at her like that. He sighed happily, putting his chin in his hand, knees sticking up under the blankets.
"Wally, I..." She swallowed resolutely as though it would help steady her wavering voice. "I demand to know what the hell is going on here!"
"Well," he began, dragging out the word, "For starters, you have obviously and completely lost your mind."
Artemis jerked forward to protest, but Wally continued speaking.
"You're acting... not like yourself." He frowned. "But still like yourself... just your younger—"
He suddenly stopped, and his mirthful expression disappeared and was replaced with darkened realization. He sharply inhaled and his eyes bored into Artemis with such intensity that she almost cowered (if that word was anywhere in her vocabulary, that is).
"Artemis, where were you before you woke up?" he asked steadily, as if anticipating an answer he was already aware of.
"I was with the Team!" she replied, sharply stating the obvious. "We were sent by Batman to investigate Poison Ivy and Wotan in Montana—"
To her absolute shock and irritation, Wally's face crinkled up and he exploded into laughter. She could only flounder in response as he crumpled forward and put his head in his hands. In any other situation, she would have thought that his laugh was nicer than a summer morning when it wasn't directed at her misery.
"What's so funny, Baywatch?" she demanded, feeling her cheeks grow hot, because he was laughing at her – it didn't matter why; it was still happening, and she hated it.
"Just..." He waved a hand dismissively before sitting up again, his laughs dissolving into sporadic chuckles. "It makes sense now."
"Care to share with the class, Kid Mouth?" Artemis seethed, clenching her fists and trying not to kill Future-Wally.
His smile only widened at the old nickname. "Well, Arty," he drawled, the name slipping off his tongue despite the lack of use, "You, due to having two left feet and Klutz as your middle name, managed to get accidentally blasted by one of Wotan's incomplete spells at the same time Poison Ivy gassed you with her new plant spores."
She narrowed her eyes. Hallucinatory-Wally definitely had a knack for story-telling, at least. She sat up and crossed her arms over her chest (and the sheets – thank god for the sheets). "So, how does that send me ten years into the future?"
"Well," he continued, "The plant toxins were hallucinogenic, and Miss Martian had been doused with the spores before Ivy got to you. For some reason, M'gann thought Wotan was a giant pillar of fire, flipped out, and pretty much knocked him down in the middle of one of his chants. He never finished whatever he was originally planning to say, and according to Zatanna, that was a very bad thing to do. For a magic wielder and their intended target, it can cause all sorts of dangerous repercussions. As close as we were able to figure, the spell astrally projected your consciousness into an interrupted time stream."
In Artemis's frantic state of mind, all this was making just as much sense as the time M'gann let Conner try his hand at baking snicker-doodles alone. "Huh?"
"Your mind was sent into the future," he explained calmly. "Zatanna had to radio Zatara to learn the spell to bring your mind back into your body. You were kind of in a coma until then."
Artemis continued to gape at Wally, her head reeling from the tidal wave of information he just drowned her in (and the fact that he was talking about magic as though it was a reasonable thing, but that was a question for another day). She did remember hearing M'gann's screams, and could vaguely recall another sonorous voice yelling something foreign before she fell backwards into darkness...
A glint of sunlight reflected off of Wally's hand as he ran it through his hair. Artemis squinted her eyes, glancing at the source: a silver band on his left ring finger. On a whim, the archer glanced down at her own hand. There, winking back at her in all its multifaceted glory , was the most beautiful, dainty circular diamond set into a simple silver band. It was resting on top of another, plainer ring that contained a singular row of glittering diamonds.
Then it hit her. Like a drop-kick from Black Canary. Or an uppercut from Aqualad.
They were married.
She was going to be Mrs. Artemis West.
And Wally was going to be the father of her offspring.
She was going to marry Wally. She was going to live with Wally. She was going to have children with Wally. Her eyes traveled down to her stomach which was still perfectly toned. She breathed a sigh of relief before descending into sheer panic again.
Wally – the moronic, immature, jerkface speedster who should never under any circumstances spawn – was going to be a parental unit to her children and contribute half their genes.
Was it just her, or did the room start spinning? Did the gravitational force of the earth suddenly take a "see-ya-wouldn't-want-to-be-ya!" vacation? Did her lungs all of a sudden collapse into oblivion too?
"We're married!" she screamed, having regained function of her voice box.
Wally raised an eyebrow. He had never in his life seen such terror plastered onto her face. If he wasn't so bewildered with the situation at hand, he would have grabbed his phone and snapped a picture for future blackmailing purposes.
"Yessss," he responded slowly, dragging out the word as if he were explaining something complicated to a toddler. And then he laughed. "And you give me bullshit for forgetting our anniversary!"
"Our what?" Artemis realized that her sentences had been gradually reduced to sparsely-syllabic questions punctuated by shrieking disbelief. Wally looked as though he was trying to subdue another imminent paroxysm of laughter.
He raised the hand with the ring on it triumphantly.
"Yep! See this? This is the product of years of saintly patience on the part of yours truly."
The need for a riposte suddenly dumped Artemis's brain back into her skull, and she found the ability to form complete sentences again.
"Okay, on the off chance that this is true, I should be the one getting the patience awards," she jibed snappily, sticking her lower lip out. To her annoyance, Wally took her expression as one of adorableness rather than menace.
"Stop being so cute. It's ruining the mood."
His string of compliments was utterly – all eloquent and formal speech put aside – creeping her out. And slightly degrading to boot.
"Wally West, if you ever use that word to describe me again, I will castrate you with an egg-beater."
"Oh, good, full names for scolding," Wally quipped, winking at her. "Progress, Arty. Progress."
Quit calling me that, she wanted to snarl far over the top of her lungs, but the sudden warm way that he was looking at her stopped all short-temperedness.
"Why are you looking at me like that?" she heard herself ask, and it wasn't a demand, but a soft, genuinely surprised utterance. She glanced down at her chest to make sure that the negligée hadn't slipped down again.
"You might say I just love you, Beautiful," Wally replied as if it was the most obvious thing in the world. "That's reason number one that I decided to marry you. Don't ask me for the rest, though; even I don't know 'em."
Artemis inwardly cringed and looked at him warily. Her breathing had calmed, but her mind was definitely still reeling in a carousel of theories. What if this was just some of trick employed by Wotan to put her into a state of suspended animation – a sick imitation of a Rip van Winkle plot? What if the sorcerer was just trying to bemuse her; what if the Wally in front of her was a twisted shade in the gossamer world?
"How do I know this isn't all just a dream?" she finally asked, and it was a logical question, she knew, but she still felt inexplicably melancholic at the prospect of an answer.
Wally looked at her tenderly, and the same rejected expression he had worn after their tussle on the bed returned, and Artemis realized she had just questioned his very existence-their very existence.
"Does this seem like a dream to you?" he asked softly. "Do I seem like a dream to you?"
She tilted her head and, to her surprise, her hand reached almost with a magnetic will of its own to gingerly trace the edge of his jawline. Perhaps she just needed to touch him to confirm her sanity; to make sure he wasn't a smoky figment of her imagination, and to answer his question. He lifted his hand and brought it to hover above her own, before gently wrapping his fingers around hers. She lowered her eyes and slipped her hand away.
"No," she finally answered with no trace of disbelief as she stared without seeing at the hills and valleys in the sheets.
"Just to be sure though," she heard him say, "I'm the first person you see when you wake up."
Artemis looked at him again, and found him smiling at her. He gently placed a hand on her shoulder, and again to her surprise, she didn't flinch at his warm touch.
"Now if you don't mind," he continued, tucking a lock of gold behind her ear and then lightly smoothing her hair with his fingers, "I'd like my spitfire of a wife back."
He leaned over and kissed her lightly on the forehead, and then whispered into her ear, "Wake up, Artemis, wake up..."
Wake up... Artemis! Wake up!
Wally started to dissolve before her, and before she could cry out, the room spun into blackness, and she felt herself being yanked backwards into a free-fall. She screamed, and suddenly her eyes flew open once again—to find a pair of emerald orbs staring anxiously back at her.
"Artemis," Wally choked out, but there was a juvenile quality to him, a familiar one, that told Artemis immediately that this wasn't the Wally who had just booted her out of her "dreaming state". The rest of the Team (all but Kaldur, she noticed absentmindedly) were all squeezed in around him, clamoring over her like a flock of worried mothers.
She blinked and sat up, and the Team stepped back with the motion, all still eyeing her unwaveringly. M'gann was biting her lip so hard that it seemed it might break, and Superboy's brow was knit more tightly than usual. Robin was still, mouth set, squinting at her through the domino mask; Zatanna looked as if she might cry, wringing her tiny hands together ceaselessly as she stared at Artemis with bountiful anxiety. Wally was rigid, perhaps a mere foot in front of her, frowning fretfully, eyes darting over her face for signs of damage.
She ignored them and glanced around, trying to find Kaldur. Within a moment, she spotted him escorting a spitting Poison Ivy outside with one hand and a disgruntled Wotan with the other. At the sign of her movement, he stopped and turned his head; upon seeing her, he nodded deeply, almost gratefully, before continuing on his way with the two villains. Artemis nodded back before looking up at the glass bio-dome yawning up over the control center, taking in the yellow summer moon glowing eerily overhead, and the strange flickering lights emitting from Poison Ivy's slowly perishing plant in the center.
"What happened?" A sharp voice demanded, and she whipped back around to see Wally staring at her skeptically as though she'd lost a bit of her brain.
"Uh," Artemis riposted with a cocked eyebrow, "that's a great question, Wally. An even better question is, why do you think I would know?"
At the end of her spiteful retort, Wally's features visibly softened in something Artemis couldn't quite define but chose to describe as relief.
He threw his arms out as if unveiling something exotic.
"She's back, everybody!"
Artemis scowled at him, reaching a hand up to her neck to rub a sore spot. There was a funny smell in the bio-dome – a bitter, humid smell – and she wrinkled her nose. Leftover gas, she presumed, but not enough to do any damage.
"So where... were you?" Robin asked slowly, eyes still skirting apprehensively over the archer's face.
"I already explained," Zatanna supplied in a meek voice, still squeezing her own fingers so hard that Artemis was sure they were turning red under the gloves. Robin spared her a glance and reached awkwardly over to pat her shoulder.
"Yeah, I know you did. I was asking for the specifics."
All heads turned expectantly towards Artemis except for Wally's, who was gawking at the Team as though offended.
"You already explained, yeah, but not to her," he said, jabbing a thumb in Artemis's direction, which caused her to bristle. "She probably doesn't even know—"
"I do," Artemis interjected haughtily before she realized what she was saying, and when she was met with wildly surprised expressions, she appended, "I mean, I know what happened. That my mind was... projected, or whatever."
"What was it like?" M'gann whispered with a conspiratorial thrill. She was clasping Superboy's hand, which he didn't seem to take notice of in his scrutinizing stare at Artemis.
"Um," Artemis started to say, but Robin cut her off, stepping forward excitedly.
"It was the future, right? That's what Zatanna said. Were we there? Was Bats there? What was happening? Where were you? What was it like? Was it apocalyptic? Were there zombies? Were you totally whelmed or totally not?"
He was speaking so fast that it made Artemis dizzy.
"Were we still a Team?" M'gann asked excitedly, releasing Superboy's hand to interlace her own at her chin in childlike fascination. "Were we all together?"
Artemis could tell by the poorly concealed, hopeful glance toward Superboy exactly what the Martian was asking.
"Was Wolf there?" Superboy asked, and that question was the weirdest of the lot. His face lifted into one of his rare smiles. "Did he have puppies?"
"Ooh! Yes! Were they cute?" M'gann squealed.
"Were we all there?" Robin demanded again. "What were we doing? Were we—"
"Guys!" Artemis shouted, throwing up her hands. "I don't..." She paused, gaze swiveling over the enlivened faces of her team, and sighed. There was no way she could tell them what she actually saw, and she didn't have enough energy to conjure up a lie. "I don't really remember, actually."
Their visages all morphed into ones of comical disappointment, and both Robin and Zatanna pouted blatantly at her. Robin let out an audible mixture of a groan and a huff before shuffling away to follow Kaldur out the door, and the rest of the Team trailed in his wake.
"We're glad you're okay," M'gann said warmly, and Artemis looked at her, feeling somehow touched by the honesty in her voice, the little-sister relief.
"Yeah," Superboy agreed, and Robin nodded his assent over his shoulder, and Zatanna was beaming at her, obviously pleased with herself at the success of her spell.
Artemis smiled back at all of them, and then turned to Wally, who had been oddly silent during the interrogation, and his appearance struck her – hard.
He was giving her that look. The one she only ever glimpsed during the times when there was something more than animosity stirring between them. It was the look of concern mixed with relief, his eyes glinting with the memory of mischief, just out of sight until he was assured of her safety. It was the look that promised no hard feelings, subtle apologies, laughter without malice, and the secret knowledge that he really thought she was beautiful. It was the look Older-Wally had permanently etched into his features when he gazed upon her.
She had never truly understood it until now.
Later that night, after the silence of the sleeping world glided over Mount Justice, Artemis sat alone in the middle of her bed and stared at her pillows with unfocused eyes. The reality of having just seen – and experienced – something that many only dream of witnessing was still overwhelming. Fleeting images of twenty-five-year-old Wally flashed before her, mixing with the soundtrack of his deep voice. She glanced down at her left hand and remembered the scintillating diamond. She reached her hand up and lightly hovered a finger above her forehead.
Above all else, the most haunting memory was the kiss he had said good-bye with, as though it was not a good-bye after all, and she would be back there again at any moment, whether she wanted to be or not.
Artemis's back was to the door, her thoughts such a jumbled, preoccupied mess that she didn't see him come into the room, nor did she hear or feel him sit down on the bed behind her. But once he laid a gentle hand on her shoulder, she felt a jolt of what could only be described as the closest sensation to being electrocuted, but she didn't spasm away, didn't flinch.
She twisted around. Her eyes met Wally's and a feeling of déjà-vu engulfed her, knocking her breath away.
Wally saw the flash of emotion in her eyes and frowned.
"Hey, you okay?" he asked gently, and his tone of voice caused another wave of strangely nostalgic familiarity to crash into her.
Artemis swallowed and stared silently into his eyes for the briefest of moments. His freckles seemed dark in the warm light from her bedside table lamp. His hair was askew in every direction, and he was thumping his leg rhythmically, shaking the whole mattress. Artemis could almost taste his inherent desire to move, and it suddenly struck her how important it truly was that he was sitting so still for her now.
In an instant, there was no stretching bridge between him and the Wally she had witnessed in the future, and, to her bewilderment, she had no trouble imagining the face of the vaguely concerned, flushed boy in front of her greeting her eyes every morning until she was old and curmudgeonly and couldn't tell up from right.
She spared one glance at his left hand, at his calloused knuckles, and raised her own fingers to look at them pensively once more. She could feel his ambivalent stare, his confusion, his fleeting wonderings as to whether or not Ivy's gasses had addled her typically belligerent brain. She lifted her head up quickly to look him in the eye, and he moved his mouth questioningly to the side, raising an eyebrow at her.
For a second, the sea air seemed to permeate her bare room; the sunlight glittering on the ocean seemed to burst in from the windowless walls.
Wally was still blinking vacantly at her. You're dumb, she thought fondly.
She gradually brought her hand to rest on top of his, and he didn't draw away.
"Yeah," she answered with a tiny smile. "I will be."
Meanwhile, 10 years later...
Wally carefully observed his wife as her eyes closed then lightly fluttered open. He held his breath as he looked into her stormy gray orbs, subdued with a mistiness fresh from sleep.
"Wally?" she yawned, stretching her arms overhead. The speedster breathed a sigh of relief at the familiar and soft tone she used when addressing him.
Artemis blinked and looked around, taking note of the crumpled sheets and her sitting position. She then looked questioningly at him. "Was I moving around in my sleep again? I had the weirdest dream—"
Wally cut off any further discussion with a passionate kiss so raw that Artemis was momentarily sent back to dreamland, falling backwards as she swore she had years ago. But there was someone to catch her now, at the bottom of the rabbit hole.