Standard Disclaimer - I do not own Young Justice or any of the characters therein. I do not do this for profit, but rather for fun and skills building.
NB: Done as a fill for the YJ-anon-meme, requesting Spitfire with Artemis as having fae blood and a Bonus of Wally To the Rescue. You may find the link to the original fill in the YJ-anon-meme fill post.
Wally West does not believe in magic.
He likes facts and science, things of quantification and unified theories. He is fascinated by the activity of things at the atomic and cellular level. The interplay of physics with the perception of time and space is just as profound and humbling as the unfolding, exponential growth and evolution of bacterium or the worlds of possibility in strands of DNA. To him, the universe is beautiful in its complex rendering of complete scientific simplicity: E=mc2. There is nothing that is not beautiful about that.
He believes in science.
Science is quantifiable. Magic is not. Magic implies it's beyond understanding, that it's unknowable, and flies in the face of any understanding of the universe. Wally doesn't believe that anything like that really exists. He instead believes that there are things they just don't understand yet, or things they've mislabeled as magic, metas like Zatanna from an obscure evolutionary offshoot of humanity that can alter physics through inverted somatic invocations.
That being said, Wally certainly does not believe in the fair folk. Oh, he believes in relocated aliens, colonies of divergent or lost evolutionary branches, mole-people, and talking gorillas – after all, it's an everyday scientific fact that he works with or has encountered specimens of all of these. And he is certainly no stranger to the concept of parallel dimensions or intersecting planes of reality that aliens could certainly call home. But creatures of magic that live in magical fairy rings are a bit too much of a stretch for him to wrap his mind around.
Likewise, Artemis has certainly not been kidnapped to some crazy magic elf-castle by magical elf-thingies because her grandmother was a fairy princess and certainly will not be marrying some stupid local elf prince. That's superstitious local nonsense and completely inaccurate to boot.
One: These are not fairies. They are aliens from an extra-planar reality that intersects with certain areas of the planet, like spooky old ruined castles in Ireland and odd countryside growths colloquially known as fairy-rings. There's nothing magical about these aliens – they just possess meta abilities, no doubt from their divergent evolutionary path on their home plane, which may or may not operate on the same laws of physics as earth.
Two: Artemis is only in this situation because her maternal grandmother apparently was one of these extra-planar aliens, one of high standing in their culture, and just happened to pass her mitochondrial DNA and certain genetic markers down to her.
Three: Artemis is not getting married to this extra-planar royal idiot of an alien kidnapper, not if Wally West has anything to say about it.
And they'd better believe he has something to say about it.
In fact, that's why he's out here in the middle of the night, sitting in the middle of a ring of salt right next to the place Artemis was taken from, her bow and arrows beside him, and clinging to his mom's cast iron skillet like it's a lifeline. He's here to take her back and, unfortunately for them, they just don't know who they've messed with.
See, like any good scientist, Wally knows even the silliest superstitions have at least a minimum basis in fact. In every story, something about salt and iron sends these aliens packing back to their home plane and keeps them from walking off with more of the locals or taking their stolen prizes back. Ergo, it's led him to theorize that elements in that plane must behave differently than they do on good ol' Earth. What is harmless table salt for him could be the equivalent of arsenic for these extra-planar entities, and he'd prepared accordingly.
All he needs now is for one of those aliens to open the door between their planes and he'll be well on his way to crashing a shotgun wedding, fighting his way out back-to-back with Artemis, and probably having the most unique adventure he can never tell his parents about in the history of everything. And if he gets to smash that bratty alien prince upside the head with his mom's skillet, he'll really be quite content with that.
Because, seriously, who the hell did that guy think he is? He doesn't even know Artemis and he thinks throwing her over his horse and galloping off with her after attacking her team is going to make her want to marry him? Most that'll do is make Artemis mad and that's a scientific fact.
Wally admits his plan could do with a little work, but he's under some serious time constraints, especially if his other theory about the progression of time in this other plane is true. Mostly, he just wants to get in and get out as quickly as possible, since there's a very real possibility that his speed may not work on their plane either.
The air shimmers like heat waves on the blacktop roads in summer and Wally hunkers down, skillet at the ready.
He is not prepared for the contingent of aliens on horseback that suddenly begin to flood out of the shimmering air, nor is he quite prepared to see Artemis at the back of the line, sitting directly in front of the prince that had kidnapped her. And she looks utterly furious. In fact, he's willing to bet that if she had her arrows on her, she'd have jabbed one right in that brat prince's face.
Right then, change of plans, he thinks.
So far, no one's seen him, which is good, and the prince is laughing, making some speech or something about Artemis bidding a final farewell to her mother and earthly life before the gate closes for the next hundred years or so. Too bad, Wally thinks, because he's about to be totally punked. They so have no idea who they're messing with.
He's Kid Flash.
They're in his world now and he's got the advantage – a scientific fact that he's about to give them an undeniable QED for.
He moves, snatching Artemis from the saddle, and returning to the ring of salt in the time it takes to blink an eye. She doesn't even register she's moved until he's stopped and then she turns her head to look at him, eyes widening. And fortunately for his hand, she hasn't made any moves to remove it from her waist.
"What trickery is this?" the alien prince demands, suddenly holding air. "Where is my bride?"
"It's no trick! It's science! And she's not your bride!" Wally shouts defiantly and tugs her just a little bit closer. Artemis glowers fiercely, while the alien prince and his entire retinue stare at them in complete shock.
"You!" the prince cries.
"Moi," Wally calls back, smugly, holding up the skillet threateningly. "The lady is spoken for. Now get lost."
The prince gets an ugly look on his face as he levels a finger at Artemis and growls, "We'll see about that! Hold onto your woman if you can, mortal!"
Artemis suddenly turns into a bear.
Oh right, alien metas able to distort reality. That's one thing he forgot about.
But, this is just an illusion, so Wally drops the skillet and hangs on to her as tight as he can, even as she shifts from a bear to a snake, to hot coals, and a snarling dog. And in his head, he keeps the image of her as she really is: sarcastic, stubborn and totally not cute, with a secret smile she gets when she finds something silly and doesn't think anyone's looking, and the way her whole body tightens up when she's mad at him.
And then he's holding her, normal her, as the first hint of dawn starts to appear on the horizon, and he grins widely.
The alien prince is fuming, his face a rictus of fury, and his followers mill around them, uncertainly eyeing the brightening horizon. "Kill him and be done with it!" he orders, and the aliens move in, raising claws and weird weapons.
"Woah, there, not so fast," Wally says, picking up the skillet with one hand and brandishing it again. His other hand remains latched onto Artemis, in case they try that illusion trick again. "I've got iron and I know how to use it."
Artemis stares at him like he's got two heads. "Seriously, Wally? A frying pan?"
"For your information, it's a skillet," he fires back. "And I could use a little help here!"
She rolls her eyes, picks up her arrows, and pauses a moment, staring at the tips with interest. "Huh. Iron."
"Yep," he says, threateningly waving the skillet in the face of an alien that was getting a little too friendly with their ring of salt. "These guys don't like it much."
"It's poisonous to the fair folk," she says, as if it's the most obvious thing in the world. "Don't you read fairy tales?"
"Accounts of alien encounters," he corrects her.
The way she stiffens, every muscle twitching taut under his hand, is strangely perfect. "Could you be any more in denial, Wally?"
"Hey! A little respect here for the guy who just saved your butt!" Wally says, smacking something that looks like a mutated butterfly on steroids with the skillet.
"This is some rescue," Artemis mutters, picking up her bow and carefully nocking an arrow, and he resists the urge to tell her she sounds exactly like Princess Leia.
…Which would make him Han Solo. Awesome!
He swats away another alien thingy, while Artemis turns, moving them both so that he is now facing the shimmering portal again and she has a clear shot at the prince. She narrows her eyes, smirking as she lines up the shot.
The prince blanches, his face distorting almost in a cartoon-like fashion, and he lurches back through the shimmering portal. The rest of his subjects follow, shrieking and bellowing as they disappear within. Then, the portal itself vanishes, solidifying as the dawn breaks upon the horizon and bathes it in sunlight.
"Well, not a bad bit of rescuing, huh?" Wally asks, grinning. "You know, sometimes I even amaze myself."
Artemis rolls her eyes. "That doesn't sound too hard."
"I seem to recall you about to be getting married to an alien prince from another plane of reality before I got here," he points out.
"Point taken." She pauses, narrowing her eyes at him, and frowns a little. "Wally, now that you know… I mean, you guys all know that I'm kinda… well, you know… Why'd you come?"
Wally doesn't like the way his heart squeezes painfully at those words. Artemis is… well, she's Artemis. Who cares if she's got a little extra-planar alien blood? Two thirds their team is extraterrestrial. It doesn't change anything and, honestly, he's a little horrified she thinks it does because she's still Artemis and that's a proven fact, QED and all.
He ends up shrugging. "I guess cause… you're not allowed to go and get married to sleazeball alien princes."
She makes a move to elbow him and he dodges away from it, laughing.
"No, seriously," Wally says. "You're Artemis, that's why."
She blushes a little and turns away, trying to hide it.
He smiles, letting the warm sun wash over him. It really is a turning into a beautiful morning and there's just something grand about a plan working out for the best. In fact, it certainly made things just that much cooler.
"Wally!" Artemis hisses, elbowing him in the ribs. "Your hand."
"Oh, right! Sorry," he says, pulling it back from her waist.
Except, he really isn't.
AN: Oh, Wally, you precious thing.
I wrote this with the idea that Wally is a huge fan of Neil deGrasse Tyson in mind. I was also careful to allude to or include elements from the group of folktales known as "Alien Abductions" (referring to fae-folk, not E.T.).