A/N: Yeah… I dunno. Not really sure how I feel about this one. Not even really sure where the idea came from. Well, whatever. I hope you enjoy it. Please let me know what you think.
I do not own Young Justice.
Here? Now? With You?
Every girl likes to imagine going to a fancy ball.
That is a legitimate fact. It doesn't matter how much of a tomboy she is, or how much she denies it with every fiber of her being, every girl is a closet romantic and loves the chance to be a part of a fairy tale for even the smallest amount of time. There's something magical about getting dressed up, wearing killer heels, and dancing all night long… and if you ever tell anyone I said that, not only will I deny it, I will sneak into your house late at night and break off an arrow in your neck.
You only think I'm joking.
Anyway, this ball was nothing like that.
Whenever I had imagined the ball I would attend, I was always dancing in the middle of the floor with some faceless stud, not sitting at a table, bored out of my mind with Kid Irritating. You'd think that a Justice League Anniversary Ball would be a rocking time, what with all the powers these people have and their line of work. You'd think they'd use a ball to kick back, relax, and party it up.
You would be wrong. The event was stuffier than any old lady's over knickknacked house. Less exciting than getting a tooth pulled. Less enthusiastic than a 12-year-old boy receiving "The Talk" from his mother. Talk about a good time. The way I saw it, this "party", if I should even call it that, was not worth the time it took for me to squeeze into the strapless, kelly-green cocktail dress with a sash around the waist and a knee-length, flowing skirt. Oh, not to mention the matching 4" heels and curled hair. Curled. Do you realize how long that took? Pretty much as long as it takes for the aforementioned Boy Flash to realize M'gann is not into him. Forever.
Moving on. I started out eating dinner with the whole team, but before I knew it, M'gann had dragged Connor over to talk to her Uncle (probably to stop him from spending the whole night glaring at the back of Superman's head. If his glare didn't lighten up soon, I was pretty sure we would be experiencing some new found heat vision. Not necessarily a bad thing, but burning a hole in his skull is probably not the best way to get Superman's attention or respect.); Kaldur had run off to talk to his King and croon over the new baby resting in his Queen's arms; Robin (still wearing shades with his tux) had pulled a ninja and disappeared (I suspected he had gone to secretly talk to Zatanna who had been allowed to come to the party, but banned from talking to any of us. If anyone could get around Zatara's watchful eye it was the Wonder Ninja himself); and I was left alone at the table with Kid Genius. On the bright side, it could have been worse. I could have been stuck with Wally and Speedy Arrow, or I could be drowning in vat of acid. Take your pick.
We sat there in silence for about a minute before Wally started to fidget. Sitting still did not agree with him. He started looking around absently in hopes of burning off extra energy. Based on the increased tapping of his feet, I'd say it didn't work. Two minutes later, and that was longer than I expected, he turned to me and practically whined, "Arty, I'm bored."
Rolling my eyes, I said drily, "Why don't you go talk to The Flash?"
Wally scoffed at me like I was an idiot, "Because look who he's talking to." He gestured to his left, and my eyes followed the motion to find The Flash talking to The Batman.
"Oh," I said lamely as Wally nodded in agreement. "Go find Robin then. I'm sure he has some surefire way to entertain you. Probably involving 3 pounds of candy bars and a firecracker."
"That only happened once!" he exclaimed indignantly, "Besides, Robin's off chatting up Zatanna (Aha! My suspicions were confirmed! Take that prodigy of the so-called World's Greatest Detective. How's that for detective work?), and I don't want to mess up his chances."
"Well, then, you'd better hope a world disaster strikes and requires the help of all the superheroes here, and I use that term loosely," I said, gesturing disdainfully at him, "because just sitting here with me all night is not going to cure your boredom."
Sighing overdramatically, he looked around for a distraction, his eyes landing on the dance floor. A thoughtful look briefly crossed his face before he began scanning the room once more, this time seeming to have a goal, instead of looking around aimlessly like before. His gaze circled the room once before coming to rest on me. I was slightly disconcerted at the look of silent scrutiny he was giving me. Maybe I had a stain on my dress? I looked down. Nope. No stain. I looked back to find his eyes still on me. He seemed to be having an internal battle with himself, I could almost see the indecisiveness play out on his features. After a few more uncomfortable seconds, he seemed to have won the fight… or lost… it was hard to tell. He had made a decision anyway. Running his fingers through his hair in a motion that looked like he was trying to remain calm, he let out a breath I hadn't realized he'd been holding and muttered something that sounded a lot like, "Screw it."
Wally stood up, turned toward me, and held out his hand, "Wanna dance?"
I blinked, "What?"
"Dance," he repeated patiently, "You know: move to the groove… shake what your mamma gave you… get it on the floor… bust a move… get jiggy with it."
"Jiggy?" I heard myself echo lamely, dazed.
"Say it however you like. Would you like to do some dancing?" He waited. My brain did not seem to be working properly.
"Here? Now? With you?" for some reason the concept of dancing with Wally West was incredibly hard to grasp.
"Yes, here. Yes, now. You know you want to," he replied, starting to move his head and shoulders from side to side with the music. "As for with me," he continued, "it's either that, or you sit at this table by yourself." He started sliding his shoes across the floor in what I think was supposed to be the moonwalk. I couldn't really tell. "We could sit here being bored for the rest of the night, or we could have a little fun. Whatd'ya say?" He stopped his silly dancing and waited for my reply, his hand once again outstretched for mine.
I looked back and forth between his face and his hand, waiting for him to give up and tell me he was just pulling my leg, but he didn't. Deciding that I'd rather dance with him than sit at the table by myself and feel like even more of a loser, I took his hand and allowed him to help me up, muttering, "You must be really bored if you're asking me to dance."
He laughed a bit, then pulled me into the middle of the floor and started to dance.
Let me just say this: Wally is a terrible dancer.
Awful. He has absolutely no sense of rhythm, and I'm pretty sure he's tone deaf as well (not that that really has anything to do with dancing; he just likes to sing along to songs… really out of tune…). The orchestra was playing a waltz-like number, but Wally was doing a kind of disco and robot mix. What he lacks in skill, however, he more than makes up for in exuberance. I do not think I have ever seen someone jump around more than Wally. He must have been hearing a different song than the rest of us because he was dancing to classical songs the way he would dance to pop music. It was hilarious, horrifying, and cute all at the same time.
Just for the record, it's really hard to dance with someone who is everywhere at once. And it felt like Wally was. I don't even think he was using his super speed. Obviously, given the strange way he was dancing, he was attracting quite a bit of attention, and I felt really self conscious standing there. People were starting to stare at the crazed boy hopping around a girl standing still. Trying to make myself less awkward, I started swaying with the rhythm of the music, but I found Wally's flailing movements rather distracting. I felt even more stupid, and we were drawing even more attention. I was about to give up and go sit down again when Wally took my hand. He said, "Come on. What are you waiting for? Dance!"
I looked at his face, full of joy and excitement as he bounded around the floor, making other dancers back away in fear, and sighed. "Why not?" I asked myself and gave in.
Pulling a good dance beat from the music collection in my head, I started dancing around in time with it, instead of the crap music actually being played. Soon enough, there were two of us bouncing around, moving like wild people. If people are going to stare at me for dancing, I might as well give them something to stare at. Planting my feet firmly on the ground, I began doing the Macarena. Nothing like an embarrassing dance from the 90s to get things started. Then, I progressed to the peace-signs over the eyes move and what I like the call the Scuba. It's that move where you hold your nose with one hand and pretend to go under water while waving the other arm like an idiot.
Speaking of idiots, grabbing both my hands, Wally began to do the Twist, moving my arms in time with his. We Twisted as low as we could, until we were nearly sitting on the dance floor. Ever at odds with his balance, Wally somehow ended up falling sideways onto the floor, causing me to topple over as well.
I had barely registered we were on the ground before he chuckled, said "Whoops," and the next thing I knew I was being yanked to my feet as super-speed. With a smoothness I never would have guessed he possessed, Wally transitioned me into a twirl. A combination of the rush from the super-speed and the pleasant swish of my skirt as it spun around me created a euphoric feeling that I hadn't experienced in a long time. You know the kind, the feeling of complete joy that sneaks up on you and fills you up when you least expect it. Unwilling to let go of the feeling, I closed my eyes and reveled in the moment, letting loose a laugh that carried all the happiness I just described.
Getting slightly dizzy, I slowed my spinning to a gradual stop and turned, smiling, back to Wally, ready to continue making fools of ourselves. To my surprise, however, he had stopped dancing and was staring at me in amazement. It was weird seeing him so still after his energetic dancing.
"What's wrong? Why'd you stop?" I asked slightly breathless from my exertions.
My voice seemed to bring him out of his stupor. Shaking his head as though to clear it, he said softly, "You laughed. I've never heard you laugh before."
The way he was staring at me totally caught me off guard. Suddenly, I felt that the 4 or 5 feet between us was merely a couple of inches, and I found it rather difficult to look at him without blushing. What the hell? I looked away, blushing, and silently cursing myself for doing so. Forcing the rebellious blush off my face, I got myself under control and looked up, just in time to lose it again. In the second I had looked away, Wally had come to stand right in front of me.
With the speed that only a boy who had been doused in electrically energized chemicals could possess, he spun me into him so my back was lightly pressed to his chest. His breath mingled with my hair as he whispered in my ear, "You should do it more often." Did this boy take some kind of sick pleasure in making me blush? At this rate, my cheeks were going to be permanently dyed pink. I closed my eyes for a second to savor this feeling (and I don't mean the feeling of Wally holding me. That would just be insane. I mean the feeling of … not fighting with him? Yeah. That feeling.), before returning to reality…
And just like that, the moment was over. He was back to doing a ridiculous head bob and arm flapping combo like nothing happened. The change was so sudden, I was left wondering what had happened, or if I had imagined the entire thing.
Before I could begin to consider whether I was going crazy or not, I heard someone call, "Artemis!" from across the room. Turning in that direction, I saw my "Uncle" Green Arrow gesturing to me and yelling, "Time to go!"
I nodded and motioned that I would be there in a minute. I turned back to Wally just in time to catch the end of a rather pathetic break dancing attempt. Falling flat on his back; not unlike the position he often finds himself in during training with Black Canary; he looked up at me ruefully, rubbed his head, and said, "That is not as easy as it looks." Laughing, I offered him a hand and pulled him to his feet. He began to brush himself off, and I took the opportunity to study his face and think about the progression of the night.
Though I would never tell him this, Wally had made this night one to remember. Though he did not use the most orthodox methods, Wally had turned what promised to be a dud of an evening stuck as a stuffy gathering into one where I had fun, danced until I was breathless, and… yes… even laughed. He had unknowing fulfilled my secret (and I mean very, very secret. And it better stay that way.) desire to feel special for a night. I guess the Wall-man has moves after all. Again, something I would never tell him. You shouldn't either, unless you never want to hear the end of it. If you do that, I'm going to invest in a heavy duty pair of earplugs.
The next day, I would wonder what possessed me to do my next actions. Stepping closer, I pulled Wally into a hug. Recovering quickly from the surprise, he laughed and hugged me back. Here is where some demon took over my body. As we released each other, I rose to the tips of my toes and kissed him on the cheek.
And that's when I came back to my senses. Luckily, it was worth temporary loss of mind just to see the roles reversed as Wally's face took on a pink hue.
Seemingly at loss for words, he raised his eyebrow at me questioningly. If you're going to do something, you might as well do it all out. This idea, and the fact that I was inexplicably pleased with his reaction, convinced me that I might as well flirt properly.
Shrugging nonchalantly, I turned and began to walk toward "Uncle" Ollie. Turning my head back over my shoulder, curls bouncing playfully with the motion, I smirked cheekily at him and said, "Souvenir."
As I continued toward the door, I didn't need to look back to know he was smiling.