The room was small, but no one seemed to mind. Two brothers and their younger sister sat quietly around the bed. They all had red hair, and the young men had matching green eyes. Their younger sister, however, had striking gray eyes, dark like charcoal. There were several other people there as well. An old man with gray hair and mischievous blue eyes. A young black man with black tattoos similar to his father's. All of Wally West's friends, old and young, were in the room with his children. They were gathered around the hospital bed where an old man with gray hair, green eyes, and a gold wedding band laid. He was hooked up to several machines and monitors.
Two months ago
Wallace West stood in front of the fresh tombstone with an oxygen tank and his two sons and his his daughter. He was old now, very old. But he had held on to life even as his accelerated metabolism kicked into hyper-drive and caused him to age faster and faster.
"See, Arty?" He said softly in a wavering voice. "I told you I'd never leave you alone. I always keep my promises. I don't know if you can hear me, and I don't know if I believe in heaven. But it makes me feel better to think that you're there." He paused. "I know that you're waiting for me, but I have to stay here a little longer and take care of a few things. I'm just glad you got to see their induction into the Justice League. Richard and Ivy are the fastest speedsters the League has ever seen, and Apollo is the best archer, maybe even more so than you. I'll see you soon. I promise."
His family was asleep when Wally opened his eyes. He had no concept of time, but it seemed dark enough to be night. He felt the ghost of a hand on his cheek.
"Artemis." He whispered. Ivy, Richard, and Apollo woke at the sound of their father's voice. Their father looked at them. "She's here."
"We know Dad." Ivy said, tears in her eyes. Wally's sons stayed quiet.
"I have to go with her." Wally whispered. Ivy nodded. "I promised her I wouldn't make her wait long."
"It's ok, Dad." Richard said and took his dad's hand. Apollo took his other. Ivy kissed his forehead.
"Say hi to mom for us, ok?" Apollo asked tearfully. Wally nodded. He closed his eyes.
They say you see your life flash before your eyes when you die. Wally saw his life with Artemis.
The day they met, the way he tripped over that umbrella and fell flat on his face in front of her. The first time she called him Baywatch and the first time they argued.
The day the team lost their memories and he first saw Artemis without the prejudice of the past. How beautiful she was.
That night when she called him from the alley and he found her covered in blood. How easily protecting her had come to him, the way she hugged before he left for that fateful mission.
Seeing her when he opened his eyes for the first time in a month. The way she had comforted him that night.
Their almost kiss in the hallway.
The way she had opened her eyes after her father tried to kill her. The way she had kissed him after he poured his heart out to her. Their first date.
The first time he stayed in her room, the way he held her after her nightmare. The way she teased Robin the next day.
Rescuing Flash and Green Arrow. The talk with Cheshire and seeing Artemis at the hospital. Meeting Artemis's mom and telling her the truth.
Their movie date, The Princess Bride, sitting together against that tree, dancing to the credit music.
Prom. The way she shimmered like the moon.
Countless hours of chemistry homework.
Their fake break up, their real make-up. Saving Cheshire, taking down Artemis's dad.
He remembered talking Artemis down from killing Roy when he married Cheshire.
Helping her fill out college applications. Fighting about their future, him going to her apartment. Agreeing to a normal life.
Watching Artemis's face the first time she held her niece. Going to their first day of classes at university together.
Countless hours of chemistry homework.
Sharing an apartment.
Their "first time".
Graduating college, getting a house together. Artemis opening her own sports equipment store. Wally helping her around the store.
Countless nights of dancing, talking, watching movies.
Joining the Justice League (again).
Marriage proposal during The Princess Bride. Artemis says yes.
Marriage ceremony, their vows. He promises to never leave her alone. Wedding night.
Artemis's first pregnancy. A baby boy, named after Dick Grayson. Speedster. Second baby boy, Apollo. Not a speedster, showed skills with a bow by age five. Ivy is born. She's daddy's girl, another speedster. Training their children together. They join Young Justice, trained by Nightwing.
Artemis and Wally retire, concentrate on their store. He still loves her, they go on dates. Their children go through school, college, all gifted with their father's intelligence.
Richard and Kaldur's son come out. Artemis and Wally throw a party for them.
Years pass. Many years. Wally starts to age faster. Artemis goes to the doctor one day for a check up. Tests. Lots of tests.
Artemis fighting, remission. The family rejoices. More years, Wally is old. Artemis is old. Artemis is sick, very sick. Cancer is back. The doctors say terminal.
Wally sings to Artemis, sings her to sleep.
Wally opens his eyes. He's in their old apartment. Where they were happiest.
"Took you long enough." He knows that voice. There she is, she's sixteen again. He looks down at his hands. So is he.
"Sorry, I had to take care of things. The will, the kids. Someone had to be responsible, and I couldn't let it be you." Wally smiles. "I did promise not to leave you alone."
"You always did keep your promises." Artemis smiled and held out her hand. "It's time to go. I waited for you so we could go together."
"Are you even allowed to do that?" Wally asked as he took her hand. Artemis snorted.
"It's not like they're going to kick us out."
"Who?" Wally asked.
"Let's go find out." The front door opened and they stepped out.
Well, it makes me sad. But it's done. And honestly, if you didn't like this chapter, I don't care. It felt right. It has been the greatest honor of my life to write for you. For the last time in the story,