AN: So, it's super late right now, and I only got four hours of sleep last night. Which leads me to ask; did this story make any sense at all, or is my brain spitting out nonsense again?
They're the last three in the cave; compacted so entirely along the couch it would easily put sardines in a can to shame.
If they listen hard enough, they can pick up the odd word Batman speaks to Red Tornado and Martian Manhunter, down the hallway. Something about what their next plan of action is; how they're going to make it up to them; how the rest of the League will respond when they find out what has transpired tonight.
Lodged between the arm of the sofa, and Artemis' body, a brief flicker of thought passes through Wally's frantic brain. Uncle Barry is going to have a cow when he finds out.
Like he's just lit a match on a stick of dynamite, the redhead opens his mouth and an unsteady stream of nerd-babble flies out, if only to break the restless silence that's making his ears start to ring. He starts listing off the periodic elements, then moves onto scientific formulas, followed by all the ingredients that makes up the human body. Listening to the constant flow of information, Artemis feels her shoulders unlock, if only a minuscule amount. A glance at Robin signals he's feeling similar; catching her glance and quirking his lips up into the smallest hint of a smirk.
It takes her a long while of staring pointedly ahead at the black screen of the television; half-hearing Wally's rant on the rancid taste of Cranberry juice, and feeling Robin's lithe fingers flit across the exposed skin of her lower back to realize it.
They're trying to comfort her.
"Guys-" Her voice is only raspy monotone, caused by her incredibly dry throat, but Wally shuts up instantaneously and Robin stops his gentle caresses. "I- You don't-"
"We thought we lost you." Wally says in a quick breath, and hesitantly scoots closer to her, as if having gone under a complete transformation that involves forgetting the definition of personal space. Regardless, she accepts the closeness, and turns her head to the Boy Wonder.
She can't see his eyes- can't begin to fathom what they must look like, behind his sunglasses- but his mouth is set in a defiant line. It says enough, without words.
They aren't trying to bring solace upon her; they're trying to ease their own souls. To celebrate her being alive and well, while spiritually mourning her former, what they believed to be, absence from the world.
The boys want to be as close to her as possible; Robin, out of the sheer, vicious fact that he'd refused to bemoan the team's loss when she was gone, too focused on the mission at hand, and wants to make up for it now, and Wally, because he's never felt such an intense pain upon watching her be disintegrated before his very eyes.
Wally slings his good arm over the back of the couch, irregularly fingering Artemis' golden locks while he moves onto different food-related topics. Robin is much more attentive; listening to Wally's voice in total, while still stroking any uncovered skin of her's that he can get his hands on. It's a strange situation; one that, if contemplated too deeply, could very well cause the trio to be unable to look any of them in the eyes again. But for the time being, it's nothing but a welcome healing remedy to the terror they faced, and the emotional wounds they had inflicted on themselves.
Eventually Wally's voice becomes hoarse, and Robin's careful touches cease as well, leaving them sitting in the noiseless room with nothing left needing to be said.
She considers the demons that will undoubtedly plague her nightmares tonight- the only thing stopping her from exiting the common room and leaving the duo to their own thoughts.
Without warning, Wally's hand slides down from her hair, to take her hand. Robin follows suit.
Her frame trembles; they're staring at her with matching looks of hidden certainty, like they're suddenly so much older than her- wiser. As if they know of the horrors she's imagining at that moment.
"We're never going to lose you like that again, do you hear me?" Wally's voice sounds so much like an order, that she nods, even though it'll never be a promise she can truly keep.
"It shutdown every feeling in me." Robin's tone is so thick with remorse, so sudden, that the lone tear that glides past his sunglasses and pauses at the base of his chin, where it drips off and leaves a stain on his jeans, makes her heart clench. "I couldn't feel anything- I thought it was because I was too focused on saving the world, but-"
What kind of world is it without you? Artemis wants to supply helpfully, but it's clearly not her place to put words into his mouth. Certainly not such words that hold so much hinted conceit on her part. He doesn't add anything further; just shakes his head with that smile of a broken angel clear on his face.
Wally talks, Artemis talks less, and Robin listens.
By the time Superboy makes an appearance back at the cave and gruffly shuffles into his 'bedroom', he's stunned to find his three teammates curled beneath the sheets of his king-sized bed.
He backs out quietly, and upon entering the front room, tells Black Canary the three of them won't be making it to their training session today. Maybe not tomorrow, either.
They're healing their broken hearts.