Disclaimer: I do not own Young Justice.
Author's Note: Used Tidbit #6 from the Buffet on the YJFC. Tidbit is the first half, but with some changes/edits.
She was just out of reach. He stretched as far as he could; straining every muscle, but her hand was an inch away from him. So close, but more than a million miles away to him.
"Come on... come on!" His jaw clenched and he inched closer, ignoring the small amount of rubble that dropped from the edge at the movement. It fell into the pit, a pit without a visible end. A pit that she was dangling over, hanging from a ledge just below him, one that she would fall into if he couldn't reach.
In her eyes, he saw nothing but pure terror. It came to no surprise; he would've been no better if he was standing on a ledge, with who knows how long before it would completely collapse, trying to extend his arm as far as it would go, trying to grab a hold of something that resembled safety: a hand, a rope, just something.
Her something was just out of his reach.
For a moment, he almost believed the whisper that slipped from her lips, but she was to panicked to say anything.
He needed to get her out of there.
He needed to save her.
The rock cracked underneath her and the charcoal eyes widened to match his own. It was their last chance.
He thought she would've protested, but she didn't. The ledge gave way just as she pushed off, and in slow motion, he saw the way her fingers curled, then extended. The way the tears slipped out of her control, the way her mouth opened, calling his name. He watched as his own hand stretched and his fingers curled around her wrist. Her weight suddenly snapped back, and he found himself being dragged forward slightly, precariously. He bit down into his lip, and he didn't care if he drew blood as he tried to lift her with one arm. It was painful but he couldn't - wouldn't - let her go.
Time passed, and he wasn't sure how long it was before he felt the muscles in his arm threatening to give way.
Not now; not ever.
She must've noticed the trouble he was having. He could only guess that it added onto the fear from her expression. Forcing his eyes shut, he willed his strength to last just enough to pull her up.
The earth shook again, harder and stronger, like it was purposefully trying to knock them down. It nearly flung him off the edge. It sent her fingers edging off his.
No, no, no.
He felt something yank on his cape, constricted his air and setting him ff balance. He whipped his head around, meeting the concerned look of Superboy. The sudden action tricked his body into thinking they were saved, that they were...
The lack of flesh against his hand froze his body. Horrified at his own actions, his heart stopped, and he attempted to scramble out of the clone's grasp and to the edge of the endless pit. Superboy pulled him back, and for a second there was a sharp pain in his shoulder, but he didn't care. All he could think about was the fact that he let her go, he let her go.
"Artemis!" His voice tore like blades through his throat, his body voicing it's soreness as he flailed in Superboy's grip. "ARTE-"
A breath of relief escaped and a sudden exhaustion struck him as the sight of his Martian teammate levitating the blonde graced his vision, easing the sky-high anxiety down and regulating his heartbeat. Her legs weren't steady when Miss Martian let her down, away from the edge of the cliff. Her knees buckled and she toppled over, but was caught by Kid Flash as he zoomed up.
He tried to get to her, to touch her, to apologize - but he couldn't find the motion in his legs. He felt a webbed hand curl around his shoulder, and flinched.
No one blamed him except for himself. She should blame him, but he hadn't seen he; he couldn't find the courage to. Until now, when she was sleeping and couldn't respond.
He crept into the cold, unnaturally white medical recovery room. She was connected to a heart monitor and a respirator; she had a deep cut on her head and inhaled a lot of the dust.
Everyone else had come to see her; she had been conscious, but incoherent - her only goal being to take the tube out of her nose and the IV out of her arm.
He tipped toed to a seat next to her bed, and lowered himself in slowly using his good arm - his shoulder had been dislocated, but that was nothing compared to her injuries. They had said she would be fine in about three days, but those three days were his entire fault.
She didn't look at all peaceful, yet she didn't look in pain. She looked... Empty. Hollow. Blank. Nothing.
He reached over, his arm shaking slightly, and pushed back a stray lock of blonde hair out of her face.
He removed his glasses and shut his eyes, his head resting in his good hand.
He let out a long awaited sigh, "I am so sorry Artemis," he whispered, voice cracking, "so, so sorry."
His head snapped up, she was awake, looking at him with wide eyes. He quickly put on his sun glasses; she didn't even have time to blink let along recognize him.
"Wh- y-you're awake," he stuttered out. She wasn't supposed to be awake, she wasn't supposed to awake.
"Yeah..." she said stiffly as she slowly pushed herself up into a sitting position, "I am..."
She wasn't supposed to be awake - he wasn't prepared for her to be awake.
She reached up and pulled the tube out of her nose.
"Try and stop me," she said carefully sliding the IV out of her arm to avoid ripping.
He didn't, he needed to slowly make it up to her - if she could ever forgive him.
"Artemis..." he said, his voice trailing off.
"Robin..." she replied in the same tone.
"I-I- can you ever..." he gulped, "forgive me?"
Artemis' cocked to the sighed ever so slightly, "Again, for what?"
Don't make me say it aloud.
On the road to forgiveness...
"I-I-" he clenched his eyes shut, "I'm the reason you're like this right now," his voice broke, "I-I let g-go."
Artemis stared at him, a little frown on her face, "You saved my life."
His eyes shot open, "No, I didn't. I was so stupid and let go-"
"-I felt a tug on my cape and thought we were both saved that I-"
"Robin!" She cut in sharply, and spoke with the strongest yet quavering voice, "I let go."
He froze, and stared deeply into her onyx eyes, "Wh..."
"I let go."
"No... No you didn't - I did. You Gould be ma- furious with me-"
"How can I be furious at you," She interjected, "when I let go?"
"No, you didn't-"
"Yes I did!"
Her gaze was fierce; her back straight, voice hard. He didn't want to believe her - he didn't - but her voice dared him to challenge her.
"Why?" He asked, his voice getting the tiniest twinge of anger, "Why would you do that?"
"Because, it didn't look like we would be getting saved any soon, and it wouldn't be fair for both us to die."
Her voice faltered, and her eyes brimmed with tears, "You almost died... because of me..."
He shook his head, and swallowed a hard lump in his throat that formed at her words, "No, you almost died because of me-"
"I let go," she snapped, her voice cracking, "my fault."
Suddenly she reached over and grabbed his hand and pulled him towards him. She pulled him into a tight hug but careful not to hurt his bad shoulder. He was startled at first, but he returned the hug the best he could in his current position.
He heard her sniffle, and was sure she had a few lone tears trailing down her cheeks. He knew he did.
She held onto the fabric of his jacket, "Thank you, Robin," she whispered.
He stroked her back in calming circles, "Thank you, Artemis," he whispered back, "Thank you too."
http:/ / www. youtube .com /watch?v =lcMwTXOsj-c
This makes the tiniest reference to another one-shot I wrote entitled Dangling. If you're curious you should, like, check it out...
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