This is it guys. This is the end.
Artemis felt the magic rush around her as she heard the magician speak. The world around her dimmed and she watched in awe as waves of dark matter floated away from her body. The dark fog was chased away by a shimmering white cloud of smoke-like-substance that enveloped. The girl was speechless. I feel so much …lighter. She sighed. I had no idea I was so weighed down before.
The world around her slowly came back into view. The magician was the first thing she saw.
"Artemis?" The girl tentatively asked. The archer slowly looked around the cabin. They all look so hopeful…But…
"I'm sorry," She said, truly meaning it, "I feel…different. But I don't remember anything," Artemis shook her head, and then her mouth fell agape at the sudden looks of immense sadness that came her way; the way the air suddenly drew cold from the tightening of emotions. She bit her lip. I want to help them. Why do I want to be the person they say I am?
"M'gann, I think it's safe to let her out of the cage," Kid Flash mumbled. The green girl nodded and waved a hand in her direction, the bars melting away at her signal. Hmmm… Artemis thought, racking her brain. Why does… Her thoughts trailed off.
"I'm so sorry guys," The magician said, heading back to her seat, visibly crushed.
"You did your best," Robin set a hand on her shoulder.
"Hello Megan," Artemis stated. The team turned in shock to stare at the archer. Said girl was standing with her arms crossed, a perplexed look across her face, "Why do I want to say that when I see you?" She stared at the green girl Kid Flash called 'M'gann'.
"You remember me?" M'gann flew towards Artemis, her face ecstatic. Artemis threw her hands up to ward the girl off from coming any closer.
"I wouldn't go that far," She eyed the floating girl skeptically, not trusting that she would keep her distance, "But I have…" Artemis searched her head for a good description, "flashes of words and feelings when I look at each of you," She gestured her arms about, trying to convey what she meant.
"Like what?" Robin chirped, a grin growing across his face.
"Aster," Artemis narrowed her eyes at the boy, "I look at you and I hear the word aster," She rolled her eyes, exasperated, "I don't even know what the hell that means!"
Robin immediately let out a loud cackle.
"Shut up you troll!" Artemis snapped, and then her head recoiled, "I have no idea why I said that…" She mumbled.
"I think I do," Aqualad smiled, "You just need reminded of who we are," He held a hand to his chest, "I am Kaldur'ahm. You call me Kaldur. I lead the team," He looked to Robin, who was next to him.
"I'm Robin," The boy grinned, "You don't know my real name because I'm not allowed to tell anyone. We saved the team when Red Tornado's siblings attacked the cave,"
"I got traught!" Artemis smiled, her eyes lit up as she remembered something, "You told me to get traught; and I did,"
"Yeah," Robin encouraged her, and then turned to nudge the magician.
"I'm Zatanna Zatara. We're best friends. We got captured together while fighting Harm, remember?" Zatanna smirked. Artemis slowly nodded. Harm…Harm…oh!
"Secret, right?" Artemis's brows furrowed together as she dug through her vague and hazy memories, "A…ghost?"
"Greta," Zatanna supplied helpfully. Swatting Robin away as he started asking about their capture.
"I'm Conner, er, Superboy," His face flushed, "You said suggestive things to me when we met," Artemis laughed at the flustered expression on his face. Then her hands found her way to her hips as she thought. I remember something…circular…and something really…fluffy…
"Do you have a dog?" She asked with a foggy look in her eye. Conner was glad to change the subject.
"Yeah, Wolf," Conner's smile transformed into a grin.
"Oh! Me next!" M'gann cried. Artemis turned to the girl, still wary of her enthusiasm, "I'm M'gann M'orse. But here on Earth I go by Megan! I'm from Mars!"
"Yeah," Artemis let a small smile form, "You bake us cookies," Everything is coming back now!
"Yes! I'm so glad you remember!" The Martian practically glowed with happiness. Artemis chuckled, turning to the last member of the team. Kid Flash grinned and jerked his thumb at his chest.
"I know who you are," Artemis snapped, eyes fierce. The speedster's smile faltered, "And whatever your ego was going to have you say, Wally West; I disagree with," She smirked.
"Artemis you're back!" The redhead exclaimed. Within seconds he had the archer wrapped up in his arms in a tight hug. M'gann jumped in as well, spurring on the team for a group hug that Artemis couldn't escape from. This is really uncomfortable…She thought, her arms winding tentatively around Wally. She closed her eyes, leaning her head into Zatanna's nearby shoulder. But it does make me feel really loved.
"The ship is docking," Red Tornado announced to the group of superheroes (and Paula) waiting around the cave's living room.
"They better be ready to explain their actions," Batman glowered.
Red Tornado had noticed the team leaving as they made it out of the docking bay. He realized Robin had cut off any way for them to be tracked or contacted and so had called the league. He, Batman, Green Arrow, Martian Manhunter, Zatara, and Black Canary had all collected in the living room; as it was where the team would enter the cave after returning. Paula had heard the commotion and joined them as well.
"Is anyone injured?" Black Canary asked J'onn. The Martian closed his eyes in concentration.
"No…" He frowned, "However…" He didn't get to finish as the door to the room opened and the team began spilling in, smiles plastered on their faces.
"You have so-" Batman started.
"Artemis!" Green Arrow exclaimed as the blonde entered the room. He quickly rushed over and picked her up in a crushing hug.
"A-Arrow!" She gasped, trying to catch her breath.
"Artemis," Paula called, rolling herself over to the two archers.
"Mom!" Artemis grinned. Green Arrow released the girl, allowing her to walk over to her mother and give her a warm embrace. The team meandered over to their own mentors, smiles still in place.
"I was so worried about you," Paula's eyes misted over.
"I'm okay," Artemis reassured her, "Jade took care of me," She whispered. Paula's jaw fell open in shock and a tear slipped from her eye before a smile finally rested on her face.
"Team," Batman spoke up, causing the group of teens to gather, Artemis turned but stayed by her mother's side to hold her hand, "You have once again disobeyed our orders," He narrowed his eyes, "However you have retrieved Artemis, and so this will be overlooked. Do not expect things to work out this well in future events," He cautioned. Artemis bit her lip, remembering what her sister had said. It only leaves me one choice…
"I have an announcement," Artemis said, surprising the group of heroes. Her eyes refusing to meet anyone else's as she spoke, "I'm afraid I have to resign from the team,"
"Because!" Artemis shot, speaking louder than she had intended, "Because I need to go into hiding. My sister warned me as she left. The Shadows will have me on their hit list now, and will probably be sending Sportsmaster after me," She finished, scowling. Wally sped over to her.
"That has got to be the most idiotic thing I have ever heard," He deadpanned, crossing his arms.
"I'd be putting the team in danger! They won't stop until they think I'm dead," The archer retorted.
"Puh-lease," Robin drew out, "We already have tons of people who want us dead. Besides, you're safer with us," He grinned.
"We can handle it," Conner smirked. M'gann nodding her head violently in agreement, worry apparent on her face at the thought of losing her Earth sister again.
"Yeah, Artemis. We'd just drag you back here anyway," Zatanna laughed.
"But-" Artemis tried to protest. Kaldur cut her off.
"I believe the team is at a consensus," He smiled, "You are staying,"
Artemis pursed her lips, not agreeing, but knowing that she no longer had a choice in the matter.
"I think this event calls for a celebration!" M'gann squealed, dragging Artemis with her to the kitchen, "Just wait till you see all the things Paula taught me how to cook!"
"Food!" Wally exclaimed, throwing his arms in the air as he followed the girls.
"You better leave some for the rest of us!" Conner threatened with a chuckled.
"C'mon you two, it's time to party," Zatanna smirked, linking her arms with Robin and Kaldur in order to lead them to the rest of the group.
Artemis couldn't sleep that night.
The sudden transition from remembering nothing and working for the Shadows to being a superhero with a family; it took a lot out of her. So she made her way to the kitchen of the cave (the team was all sleeping here for a few days because of her return). The air was stagnant and she slid her way into a cold chair after grabbing a glass of water to sip on.
"Look, I can't tell you what happened; but I can tell you that I was on your side. I tried to stop it, I really did,"
"Jade…" Artemis whispered. She was looking out for me. Even after all this time. Artemis took another sip of water, trying to clear the lump forming in her throat. Jade was a criminal. There was no question about that. She was good at being an assassin and she loved it. But she saw through me. Artemis smiled. She helped me get here; helped hold off Lawrence while I made myself a new family.
"Artemis?" A rough voice questioned. The blonde turned at her name.
"Wally," She responded. The speedster was yawning and rubbing his eyes as he made his way to the fridge, squinting at the light from it.
"What are you doing up?" He asked. Artemis thought about what to tell him as she stared at his shirtless chest. He was wearing only pajama pants and the green lantern boxers peeking out from underneath, his hair was a mess too.
"Collecting my memories," She sighed, rolling her eyes at the massive amount of food he was piling onto a plate. He smiled and sat down beside her.
"Pickle for your thoughts?" He grinned, offering her a pickle slice from his sandwich.
"No thanks," She chuckled. Wally just nodded and tossed it into his mouth.
The two sat in silence for a while; Artemis sipping on her glass of water and Wally munching on his plate of goodies.
"Do you think you would've hurt me?" The redhead spoke up, finishing off the last of the food on his plate.
"What?" She asked; confused about what he was talking about.
"At the museum," He clarified, "You seemed reluctant to fight,"
"I don't know," Artemis answer honestly, looking over at her companion. His green eyes curious and much too captivating, "It was a strange feeling," She continued, lining the rim of the glass with her finger. Wally continued staring at her with his very, very green eyes, urging her on, "I wanted to fight, to protect myself. But when I aimed at Zatanna…I couldn't let go of my arrow. I just didn't want to. And it didn't make sense," She frowned, "And when you tackled me; that was strange too,"
"How so?" He prodded. Artemis bit her lip, trying to figure out how to word her thoughts.
"It's like…normally when I'm fighting someone and I get pinned…I get really angry," She turned to look him in the eyes, "I just get furious; because someone has control, because I'm trapped, and I'm vulnerable," Artemis lowered her eyes back to the glass nervously, "But when you pinned me, I wasn't afraid. I was upset, but I wasn't worried that you would hurt me. And that made me angry because I didn't understand why I felt that way," She scowled.
"Because you remembered me," He smiled, finishing the thoughts she wouldn't say out loud, "Because you knew I would never hurt you,"
"I guess," Artemis shrugged; but then turned to him, deciding to be honest some more, "You were the first person I remembered too. When my memories started coming back," She explained, "What would you have done if I hadn't remembered?" Artemis asked; her face unreadable.
Wally just smiled softly, tucking a strand of loose hair behind her ear.
"Well I wouldn't have given up on you Beautiful; if that's what you're wondering," He answered. Artemis was glad the kitchen was barely lit, so Wally couldn't see the blush rising to her cheeks.
"I didn't take you for a quitter," She smiled back.
"Not when it comes to you," He grinned, leaning forward quickly to capture her lips.
Artemis leaned into him, her arms snaking around his shoulders as Wally wrapped his hands around her waist, pulling her closer.
"Wally," Artemis breathed as she retracted her lips.
"What is it Beautiful?" He smiled, touching his forehead lightly to her own.
"Does this mean we're dating?" She asked, apprehensive.
"Arty don't be dense, that's my job," Wally chuckled.
"Don't make me hit you," Artemis threatened, a scowl forming.
"I'm sure you'll have plenty of reasons to in the future," He grinned, "But for now, let's just kiss some more,"
And so they did.
Everyone. Thank you so much for reading my story. I've worked unbelievably hard on this and all your reviews and support really make me fell that it was all worth it.
A last request, please leave a review telling me what you thought of the story overall. (Ex: If it was too drawn out, the ending was too fast, certain characters weren't portrayed accurately).
I'll be writing more Young Justice stories in the future (In fact I already have and am working on more right now) and your feedback would be great.
Thank you so much!