A/N: Just popped into my head while splurging on Spitfire fan videos ^.^
Disclaimer: I don't own anything.
Need a Moment
"Hey, can you get me cut off real quick?" Wally had to elbow Robin to get his full attention. The younger boy tried to wave off his ginger friend, but Wally gave him another elbow, this second one sharper. "Rob. Now."
The kid looked from where he was working to scan the news for signs of the mother ship. "What?" he spat, emotions still raging. "I'm trying to work, KF." He looked angrily back at his work, fingers stabbing keys a little harder.
"I need cut off."
Robin looked to his friend, brow furrowing slightly. His blue eyes were worried for a moment. Then he could only reflect on what had happened only hours earlier. He could understand if Wally needed a moment. "One sec." With a sharp breath, he started to remember. The blood, the falling, the screaming, the pain, ohthepain-
M'gann faltered on the other side of the room and dropped to the floor from all the emotion Robin was giving off. Her brown eyes looked up to find a worried Superboy hanging over her, already reaching down to take care of her, to heal the fresh hurt.
"Thanks," said Wally, glad to feel the other heads separated from his own. It was something they'd found out a while ago. Robin's worst memories could break the telepathic connection within the team. Whenever someone needed a second to themselves, they could just ask him to get cut off. It was painful for the bird, but he was willing. Megan was the only one who was unaware of the voluntary action on the acrobat's part. "I owe you one."
Shivering slightly, Robin went back to his work, mind a bit darker. "Yeah, you do." His words were passive. He pressed those thoughts out of his head as fast as he could. The longer they lingered, the worse it would be that night.
Wally padded off, his mind immediately swarming with all the pain. He'd pushed it back to keep everyone else from hearing him, but now he was free from those chains. He no longer had to hold back how shattered his heart was.
Why this hit him now, how much he really did care about Artemis, was a mystery. He cared. Deeply. So deep that watching her get vaporized was the same as throwing his heart into a bonfire and watching it get eaten by flames while still beating. He couldn't help how much this hurt. Why was this so bad? She was annoying as Hell and half the time, he didn't want to even come to Mount Justice when he knew she was going to be there. But it was either the HQ or home. Dealing with Artemis usually seemed like a better option.
Now she was… she was dead. He'd watched her disappear. A golden beam ripping her right out existence.
He was the second one to scream out in pain. He was the one to start overreacting. Guys weren't supposed to overreact. And he hated her. He could've sworn he hated her. Did he hate her? Was that hate? Or maybe he just liked her enough to say he hated her. Or maybe he never liked her. Maybe he loved her.
Shit, he was glad Rob had gotten him out of the link before it all got out of hand. If all these thoughts had spilled into the link… He ran a hand through his fiery locks, trying to straighten out these inane thoughts. Everything looked so ridiculous through his eyes now. Every time she'd taunted him was like a memory out of a photograph. He missed it now, her sassy voice, the way her hand rested on her hip, the way she wasn't afraid to say what she was thinking.
Oh God, he was in love with her.
He pulled at his hair for a moment, glad Robin was working and glad that everyone else was busy with taking care of Miss M. He probably looked like a fool. His heart was aching. Why couldn't he have died instead of her? They would never be able to shoot at the fastest kid alive. Artemis would've been able to get out. She would still be alive. Maybe he would be able to hear her voice one last time, hear how she was confident about everything, hear how she was ready to kick his butt next chance she got, hear how she was going to kill the League of Shadows. He wanted to hear her voice. Just her voice. Just her. Artemis. He only wanted Artemis.
Why was she like that anyways? Wally realized he would never have the chance to ask her. His chest burned with this endless ache, this ever-present pain. She was the reason it never stopped hurting. She was the reason he was like this now. She was the reason he'd made Rob suffer to get him cut off.
He could pin all the blame on her.
But he was too attached to understand. He just needed a moment. To develop this attachment, to understand it. It was a slow process. Fully comprehending such science, the science of love, always took more work in the teenage mind. He swallowed hard and forced himself to ask the question.
Do I love her?
His head screamed no. She was an annoying brat with the mouth to match. She always fired off at him for the tiniest things. Taking the last juice box, leaving a towel lying around, harassing Megan. She wasn't afraid to throw insults like Robin would throw birdarangs. She would stick up for herself, and she would stand up against him like he was merely another person standing in her way, someone she could simply push aside.
And yet part of him was numbing to the idea that he did love her. It would explain the pain. It would make his head stop hurting. If he just confessed to himself that he did love her. That was the only possible explanation. That he did love her. That he deeply cared enough to call it love. He cared about her. He wanted to be by her. He'd screamed when she died. That was something a friend would do. Before this moment, he would never have even considered her as a friend. Just a teammate.
Now he was almost a hundred percent sure he was completely in love with her.
The ache deepened as if someone had just stabbed him and twisted the knife around inside to maximize the agony of the victim.
She was dead. He couldn't even tell her.
Wally felt like he was choking, drowning, like nothing would be okay again. Nothing would be okay. Wolf was dead. Artemis was dead. Artemis. Dead. He had to take a deep breath of air to remind himself that he was still alive. It came out as a gasp. He was convinced he would die without her. He couldn't die. Not with the world in this shape. Not when he was so desperately needed. He was one of the last five.
So she wasn't dead. No, Artemis wasn't dead, no, she couldn't be. She wasn't dead… She wasn't…
That was what he would have to live by. To survive. To get by. To be able to carry on. He had to survive. For humanity. For everyone else.
No, she wasn't dead. Yes, he loved her.
He'd tell her later. He had to.
Robin looked up after hearing the sound of his best friend's footsteps. "Better?"
He gave a sigh and looked at the map Robin was scanning, watching the kid's work go to work. "Yeah." He swallowed and put on a brave face. "A little bit."
A/N: Because the first two fics I cranked out weren't enough… I just had to go and do this… Review?