Sorry for long wait, hope this chapter makes up for it :).

And thus, our journey concludes with the final chapter. Here you are :)!


Ending A Part VI

"So then; all we need is the right opportunity for Kaldur to 'leave'," says Robin as he massages his temples with his finger tips. He's probably tired. It's mid-day and we've been up all night trying to finish off the details to this 'plan'.

Both Kaldur and I squint our eyes as she fall into deep thought. We're only awake cause the image of our father's still poison our minds.

It's been about three months since my return to the team. I like to refer to it as my 'resurrection'. And then I feel horrible about making a mockery out of fake death as I know now how much pain it caused to both my mother and my friends.

My mother.

She still fades between three moods: hysterical crying, anger, and calmness.

One moment, her arms are wrapped around my waist and tears pour from her eyes uncontrollably. The next moment, she yells at me for leaving her, for faking my death. She breaks whatever she can find in this mood. She might then fade back into crying - apologizing for her behavior. And then, just as the moments come on, they disappear; and suddenly, she's calmer than a gentle breeze.

It drives me crazy knowing that I've placed her in a state that she might never recover from. And as I piece together this plan, I feel as though I should move my mother to another planet - just so she doesn't have to deal with the horribleness of loosing her daughter again.

I sigh and push my mother out of my mind (although, it hurts to do so), and chew Robin's words over in my brain. The right opportunity.

That term has been used way to often over the past few months. The right opportunity - everything is based off of that.

And by everything, I mean our whole plan.

About a month after my return, Kaldur and I decided it was finally time to get to work on our personal mission - the one to find and stop our fathers. While I was the one who had basically described a rough outline of the unformulated scenario, I couldn't piece it together. I couldn't created the fine details that would hold the plan together that would make this a successful mission.

So, I was the one who decided that Robin would be our 'outside help' - and I'll never forgive my self for it.

Shame on me for dragging Robin into this mess. He doesn't deserve this - he shouldn't have to deal with it. I understand that he is under the wing of the Dark Knight - any form of childhood that Robin could have had has already been ripped away from him. Robin has seen things no boy of his age should see. True, I can't talk. Being the daughter of an assassin keeps me awake with disturbing and traumatizing visions. But Robin is like the little brother I never had - one I want to protect.

Nevertheless, we needed his help.

Years of training from 'The Bat' would have prepared him for something like this. Out of all of us, Robin was probably the last person to ever have to deal with a situation like this first hand - but he was already more prepared than us. Even though he has to help out the leader of his team and a girl trained by The Shadows.

Of course, he didn't object to helping us. But part of me is telling me that as Batman's apprentice, he didn't have a choice. Stupid morals.

"Once he's in-" continues the Boy Wonder. God, is he ever deserving of that title "It's just a matter of sweet talking Black Manta into letting Artemis come with you,"

Kaldur nods. Now he's tired. I can see it in the way he can barely nod. We've both been losing sleep over the ideas that we've come up with - the two major factors of this plan.

One - Kaldur has to betray everyone to prove himself to his father.

Two - I have to 'die'... again.

I remember crying when Robin told me it was the only way. He was right, and I hated it. I shouldn't do it - not again - not after seeing what happened. But yet, I must.

It truly is the only way.

"Other than that, everything is settled," says Robin. He relaxes in his seat - trying to hide the obvious severity of this plan - probably to calm Kaldur and I down. Obviously, that's not going to work, but I appreciate him for trying. "We can even pass it all off as a mission so the League won't bother you guys when it's over,"

When it's over.

I'm pretty sure that chance of me actually dying during this plan is higher than ever before.

But even if I survive? What happens next? Do I run back to the League with my tail between my legs? An apology probably won't cut it. I'm pretty sure they only let me back in cause of how much I mean to the others. And it's not so much the team that matters - it's my mother. I've already messed her up. Not again-

"I'm telling my mom," I blurt out.

Robin looks as though he's about to protest, but he holds it back. Either he knows that he can't change my mind, or he knows that this operation would take a greater toll on my mother.

Kaldur's face looks disapproving for a second, but he lets his facial features relax - he understands too.

"If you must," says Kaldur neutrally. Now I really can't tell how he's feeling. Probably a mix of emotions - like I am right now. "If there is nothing left to discuss, then perhaps we should return to the Mountain," he suggests. Robin and I nod and stand from the table at a local diner in Gotham. It's the only place where it's safe to talk about the plan. We're still 30 minutes early for when we have to report to the mountain, but I'm pretty sure none of us want to talk about 'it' anymore.

As we leave the diner, I have another outburst "I'm telling Wally," I say without thinking. Wow, he just popped right into my mind. I should probably take it back. Wally has no business here. But for some reason, I can't. I want him to know. He has to.

Robin and Kaldur smile to mask their displeased expressions. Dick couldn't hurt his best friend like that, and Kaldur knows too much about love to prevent it. Still, I'm pretty sure they don't like the idea of too many people knowing about the mission.

Kaldur gives my hand a squeeze - not in a romantic way, more of a supportive way. We've grown close - much more like brother and sister than we've ever been. Same for Dick - but he still has that 'Batman mentality' where you don't show too much of your affectionate side to just anyone. But I can guess that Zatanna has seen enough of it. And I like the bond I have with Kaldur - I found that he was the most distant from the team - now I can't picture my life without my 'brother'.

"So," says Robin. "When are you going to tell him?"

I sigh as we enter the Zeta Tube. I think on it as the white light starts to consume us. "I don't know," I pause "I just need the right opportunity,"


Recognize: Robin - Bee Zero One. Aqualad - Bee Zero Two. Artemis - Bee Zero Seven

Wally jumped off the coach in the common room when he heard that group designations being called out by the zeta system. Not for any particular reason - only that his girlfriend was entering the cave. To him, that was reason enough.

Of course, he greeted Robin and Kaldur the same way he always did. But he made sure that he left Artemis' greeting last - causing her to linger around.

When Kaldur and Robin had left the room, Wally and Artemis approached each other.

They stood a good two meters away from each other - arms crossed, faces gently smirking.

"Hey," began Artemis.

"Hey," repeated Wally.

Another long pause of silence.

From a distance, Wally and Artemis looked like an awkward couple. They weren't - they were just different. Wally was big on public displays of affection. Artemis was quite the opposite. Perhaps it was the lessons that he father drilled into her head of never looking vulnerable, but Artemis hated demonstrating her affection for anyone.

Yet if one got close enough, the could see the true love in their eyes. They way that they looked at each other with such an emotional attraction - not purely physical (but the fact that they were both good- no, great looking helped). This could be seen in they way they were looking at each other now.

They looked that they often shared was both unintentional and only lasted for a few seconds. But it was also kind of their thing. It wasn't long or obvious (even to them) it was just something they did to - in a way - show their feelings for each other.

Of course, in private, things changed.

"Come with me," demanded Artemis. Being the first to break their stare, she began walking in the direction of the 'trophy' room. When they arrived, Wally glanced up and down the hallway, then closed the door behind him - a mischievous grin on his face.

He was right in thinking to close the door. Half a second later, the couples lips were all over each other. Although they were still in the Mountain (that was a stretch for Artemis). They weren't worried about cameras (the one in the 'trophy' room had been broken for about a week - or so they had been told. They had their doubts...), and on lookers were always scolded by the pair, so people tried to avoid 'catching' them. Even Robin.

They broke in desperate need for air. Artemis used this time to distract Wally, and explain to him what she wanted him there for.

"I-I need your help," she stammered. She pulled her back-pack off the floor and began to dig around in the green sack. Wally stared at her - puzzled.

Eventually, she found what she was looking for. "I-I don't know what to do with this..."

The mask she had worn as 'Tigress' was being delicately held in her strong hands.

Wally started into the eyes of the mask. He hated that thing. It had almost turned Artemis into something that Wally wouldn't be able to understand. She had told him what happened on the island, and it was true - the mask had given her a false sense of evil power.

"I thought you threw the costume away," said Wally darkly - eyes glued to the mask. To him, it felt as though the mask was looking back at him - taunting him. Telling him that it was more important than their relationship, as it gave Artemis the power she had always craved for. Wally knew that wasn't true, but that didn't stop the mask from making him more angry by looking at it.

Artemis glanced down at the mask. "I did. But... I kept this. I don't know - something kept me from throwing it away,"

Wally had to look up from the mask at that point as it began to laugh at him. How dare that son of a bitch? Especially after it hid Artemis from Wally for some many agonizing days. He didn't hate the mask for making her leave, he hated it for making her stay where she didn't belong.

The look that Wally had in his eyes conveyed a slew of different emotions to Artemis. He was sad, agitated, annoyed, worried, all of the above. Artemis expected this reaction, and was ready for it. She didn't, however, anticipate how much it would hurt her for him to look at her like that.

Once again - looks were very important between the couple. Weather they were good or bad, they helped the two understand each other at a level like no other.

"But,... Artemis-"

"Wally, I know. It-... changed me," she stuttered "But... it-it protected me - it protected you," she said. Her voiced trailed off some, but didn't get lost completely. Her fingers gripped the mask a tad as she spoke. "And I don't want to hide from my past anymore. I need it to be out in the open. I've hid it for so many days, and it's just kept pressing on my mind!" her voice started to shake - Wally noticed.

Gently, he took her hands in his (they still seemed to have a death grip on the mask, but relaxed at the touch of Wally's fingers. "I know it can't be easy," he agreed. "But letting our past stay with us will ruin us in the long run. This thing is apart of your past - so let it stay there," Artemis nodded, but couldn't find it in her to look at him. Wally forgave her for this - he was the prefect and most understanding boyfriend. "Through it away," he said simply.

Artemis nodded, but didn't let the mask escape her hands. "I need to keep it - for a little while,"

"Artemis-"

"Wally?"

The way she said his name made him shut his mouth. A rare occurrence for the speedster. But there was just something in the way she said his name. She sounded so innocent as she pleaded him to listen to her. And not in a demanding way, in a begging way. The sound of her voice was the sound of a broken spirit - it scared Wally to see the broken side of her.

"I just-... I just need to keep it. I promise I'll tell you everything when I can, and I really need for you to trust me on this,"

Wally looked back to the mask. It still smirked at him.

He then looked to Artemis. None of what she was saying made sense to him, but he found it in his heart to trust her. He didn't have to go looking very far anyway.

Nodding, Artemis gave Wally a soft smile and placed the mask up on the shelf - right next to both her father's and her sister's mask. "There," she said quietly "All taken care of,"

As she stared at the mask for a bit, Wally gently took her hand. They didn't make eye contact, but both squeezed the other's hand on speck.

Wally didn't know what Artemis was up to. But it would take an idiot to not see that something big was going to happen in the future. It was a long road for the two of them, but the were going to travel down it together.


Ending B Part VI

I should have known that things would never be the same after I completed my 'mission'.

Actually, I did know. I knew very well that everything would be different right from the start.

But I could never have been properly prepared for it.

While some members of the League are able to hide their distrust of me, the rest watch me like a flock of hawks.

Batman is the worst offender.

He drops into the cave at least twice a week to 'check on me'. He doesn't even hide his motives. He tells me bluntly that I'm still on probation, then leaves without another word.

It's not just the League that's treating me differently, the whole team seems to be acting differently.

The girls (M'gann more than Zatanna) always seem to tear up in my presence. Of course, it's gotten better over the last month or so, but they still acts as though they'll loose me if they turn their back.

I've ruined them. I've crushed their spirit. It's going to take a lot longer than I thought to build it back up again. I could killed myself for what I've done.

The boys are more protective over me - Wally especially. While Robin has eased up during are spars and texts me every five minuets to 'check on me', and Superboy insists on doing mundane tasks for me (like opening jars and moving stuff around), Wally follows me everywhere. He's like a guard dog.

The League hasn't sent us on any proper missions - just mini ones like bank robberies and stuff (the major villains haven't been acting up lately). And on every single one, Wally will run into action ahead of me, almost preventing me from interfering. It kind of pisses me off.

He knows that I didn't actually die, but he still feels as though one thing could go wrong and he'll loose me again.

He has no problem telling me this to my face. I think it helps him a bit - letting me know how he feels. I guess he figures that it will prevent me from ever leaving me again.

Now, Robin does what he does because we're close friends. I think Superboy is more protective because - in a way - he feels guilty about something ('what is it?' you may ask. I'd tell you if I knew).

But Wally is just different. I think this is what love is; protecting someone you care about.

I've seen it from my mom, but it's still a pretty rare concept in my family.

Nevertheless, we are still a family.

And that's why I insisted on visiting them today.

Jade and dad have been locked up in Belle Reve. It's been months since I've seen either of them, but still felt like I should come see them.

Perhaps just to get closure for myself - telling myself that what I did was right. However, I feel as though I'll walk away from this day feel as guilty as I'll ever be.

Right now, I sit waiting in the visitors room for my father and sister. It's a dark room with a single light over head and two steel chairs - a square, plastic white table in-between.

My heart pounds gently against my chest. I am nervous, but I'm still calm somehow. Perhaps it's because I know my father can't kill me in-front of 20 armed guards.

I glance to the corner of the room just as one of the big doors open. My sister enters.

She seems graceful in her walk - her stance shows her superiority to everyone in the room. While she is now behind bars, she still seems to have that control over people. Her dark eyes are glued on me, a small smile playing on her lips into a bit of a smirk as she takes a seat on the opposite side of the table.

We stare at each other for a bit. Finally excepting the reality of the situation.

She breaks the silence first.

"Good evening, Tigress," she smirks.

I smile gently. "Where's dad?" I ask.

Jade leans back in her chair and clasps her hands behind her head. "He didn't want to see you," she says triumphantly. I guess she figures that it would bother me that my dad didn't want to see me.

It doesn't bother me, it hurts me. I guess after all is said and done, the bastard is still my father.

"No message? A death threat perhaps?"

She shakes her head. "As much as he despises you right now-" she puts a ton of emphasis on 'despise' and narrows her eyes "He respects you," she says relaxing them.

I don't buy it. "Really?"

She shrugs "He won't admit it, but it takes a lot for someone to capture him, let alone lie to him,"

"I'm his daughter - I figured he would cut me some slack," I explain with a shrug.

She cocks her eyebrow. "Since when has dad ever 'cut us some slack'?" she questions.

It's true. Our own father, and he would never take it easy on us. Training sessions, judgements, nothing. We were his offspring, but that never changed his attitude towards people.

"How are things on the outside?" she asks.

"Just fine,"

"Back to normal then?" she smirks. She knows very well that things are different to me. I guess she wants to torture me by reminding me so. I frown at her, she smiles. "How's mother?" she continues. "Just dandy I presume?"

Bitch. She knows just how our mom is.

She fades between three moods: hysterical crying, anger, and calmness.

One moment, her arms are wrapped around my waist and tears squirt from her eyes uncontrollably. The next moment, she yells at me for leaving her, for faking my death. She breaks whatever she can find in these moods. She might then fade back into crying - apologizing for her behavior. And then, just as the moments come on, they disappear; and suddenly, she's calmer than a gentle breeze.

It drives me crazy knowing that I've placed her in a state that she might never recover from, and I'm pretty sure Jade knows that.

"Shut it,"

She giggles to herself. Once she calms, she leans forward on her elbows. "So was it really worth it?" she whispers sarcastically, a smirk plastered on her face. "Rendering everyone close to you to a state of depression to nab a couple of badys? Does the League even trust you anymore? And the team... what do they think?"

My glare at her intensifies. I don't know how she does it, but she can always read my thoughts. But I won't give in. Now it's my turn to take the upper hand. I lean forward and meet her halfway. "It's worth seeing a pair of murderous fuckers behind bars," I snarl.

She frowns and leans back her in chair. I mirror her actions. After a second or two, her frown turns upside down - into a wide smile - like the Cheshire cat. "Murderous fuckers, eh? That's how you talk about you family?"

"Like you guys ever cared about our family,"

"I always have," she sighs. "Especially since we're all so alike,"

My face becomes one puzzled expression. "We're nothing a like,"

"Think about it, sis," she practically spits on the word 'sis'. "Mom was a killer, dad's a killer, and I'm a killer. And you-"

"Are not anything like you,"

"- have killer tendencies," she snickers. "I saw you on the beach. You were about to kill dad," My heart stops. She's right. I forgot how far I digressed in their company. I remember faintly the power I had over him, how I held his horrible life in my hands, how awful I felt afterwards. "Say what ever you want, sis," continues Jade. "But it doesn't take much to trigger a killers skill. And by God, did you have some flawless skills," I look to the corner of the room. The blood in my body is rushing around in embarrassment. "And don't give me any 'broken spirit crap'," she spits. "Killers kill when they can - they try to suppress it, but it always comes 'round. Face it - you're one of us,"

I tear comes to my eye. Luckily, I'm able to wipe it away before she sees. I hate this bitch. I come to try and patch things up, and everything is ruined.

I glare back at her - she sits triumphantly again.

No. I won't let her win. Not thing time.

"Maybe I do share some bad blood," she frowns at my retaliation. "But I don't let it control me. If you recall, I didn't kill him. Killers kill, I don't. And I'll never sink to that level that's lower than dirt again," my voice is drenched in venom as speak. I don't wait to see her reaction as I stand aggressively from my chair and stomp towards the door. I can't even stand to be in the same room as her.

"Artemis!"

I stop in my tracks at her call. However, I refuse to turn around.

There's a long pause before she speaks again. "I'm sorry,"

She doesn't specify for what, and I know she won't. It probably took all of her pride and courage to formulate an apology, and I have to respect her for that. I'm probably the first, last, and only person to ever hear that word come from her.

"I know," I respond.

Then, I leave. No words - but we both know I'll come back and visit her. We also both know that she'll need me to visit.

Dad? I don't know how long it will be before I can see him again. If I did, he'd either threaten me, or bring up my 'cold-blooded' killer side like Jade. I'd love to give him a piece of my mind like I did to Jade. But how would that change anything?

Despite what she's done, Jade isn't a bad person.

Dad, on the other hand, is the definition for a bad person.

I pass through the door of the exiting room and sigh. At least I have some sort of a proper family to go home to.

As I exit the visiting room, I hear an uproar of a familiar voice.

"Look y'all, it's the fuck-faced pile of yellow crap who got us locked up in this joint!"

Tuppence Terror.

I thought I'd never hear that voice again.

I look to see the whole 'team' standing in a long line - all chained together and bond by handcuffs. They seemed to be walking to their cells as they are lead by 10 guards to the cell blocks. I freeze - they probably want my blood. I can see it in the way the girls are giving my death glares. The guards tighten the grips around the remotes that control the braces around their necks.

Cameron glares at her. "Those are a lot of big words for you," he says sarcastically. Wow, I thought they'd all want to rip my apart.

Tuppence gives him a strange look. "She puts you in the big house and you still want to get with her? Boy, you-"

"Shut it already!" shouts Tommy as he gives her a violent push forward. Tuppence falls to the ground. As the guards bend down to help her, they all shoot Tommy a warning look.

Surprisingly, they don't shock him. Probably because they secretly really hate Tuppence more than anyone.

When they help Tuppence up, the guards begin separating the boys from the girls. Tuppence snarls at me one last time before being ushered off. Shimmer also snarls, but says nothing as she passes me.

"Don't worry about them," says Cameron. The guards must be letting the boys have a moment before whisking them away. "They might come around... in the afterlife," he giggles.

I don't giggle back. I just give him a strange look. "Why are you being so nice to me?" I ask with great curiosity.

Cameron shrugs. "I've got a warm spot for all lovely ladies," he jokes. "But - I heard what happened between you and your dad from the boat. I know you were only after him. I can't blame you for what happened to us. And, I know what it's like to have a jerk-off for a dad. We used to be in this together, remember?" he smiles.

I do. Both Cameron and I have horrible dads. We used to find sanctuary in each other's company.

But that was a long time ago. I'm still shocked that it's coming into play today.

"And what about you, Tommy?" I ask, letting the fear in my heart be noticed. "I thought crossing a Terror would lead to a slow and painful death,"

Tommy just smiles a bit "You may be a horrendous bitch, but I still owe ya," he blushes a bit.

I smile gently. "Have you told anyone else?"

He shakes his head. "I reckon people 'round here aren't to keen on having a powerless faggot running around. Besides, who needs to know?" he asks with a wink.

I sigh and nod in understanding. I hate to have him hide, but he has a point.

"Alright, visiting hours are over, move along!" shouts a guard. The boys are pushed forward past me and lead to their cells.

Before mammoth is taken away, he stares at me for a long time. His eyes seem sad, tortured, and betrayed. But also, in a way, forgiving. Slowly, he brings his hand up and opens the palm towards me.

Hesitantly, I bring my hand up and rest it against his. My hand barely covers his palm. Then, he curls his huge fingers over my small (in comparison) and extended ones. It is then, that for probably the first, last, and only time, that I see Mammoth smile at me. And it's probably the most sweetest smile I've ever seen.

At that moment, I want to cry for him.

Mammoth has only ever been a teenaged boy. Sure he was willing to be transformed into a hulking monster, but to be like that forever must hurt him. Of course he knew the effects on his physical body were permanent, but the toll it must be taking on him emotionally - to be hated and thought of a monstrous and disgusting by literally every other human - is too big.

Perhaps he knows that I can see the good in him and - perhaps - he loves me for it.

It's the classic 'Beauty and the Beast' tale.

He is then pushed forward by the guards. We stare at each other until he is out of sight.

If I ever see him again, I'll refrain from telling him about my love for Wally. I just don't think I can hurt him like that.

No, I don't love him. But I like to have something called 'human decency' - I don't like to parade around and kill people emotionally.

Wait... these past few months...

My name is Artemis Crock, and I am a huge hypocrite.


Wally paced slowly outside of Belle Reve. Artemis had convinced him earlier that day to literally run her over to Belle Reve. Wally figured she wanted to see her father and sister, he didn't need to ask.

Wally would admit that he is a lot more protective over Artemis now, even though he knows she hates it. Either way, he almost refuses to let her out of his sight. So that's why he didn't complain, and quickly obliged to her command. The fact they were kind of a 'thing' now also helped.

After about 30 minutes of walking back and forth in front of the gates, Wally exhaled deeply and leaned up against one of the cold stone walls. The scenery around Belle Reve was quite dismal, but he didn't expect it to be any different.

"Bad idea to let your guard down, West,"

Wally's head snapped up at the sound of an all-to familiar voice. Moving his head as fast as he could, he looked around for any signs of human life that could be lurking around in the shadows.

A second later, the familiar face that owned the familiar voice popped out from... somewhere.

Wally frowned, but stayed still. "Hunter," he growled.

Hunter smiled and sped over to him. When the two boys were closer, they didn't move for a few moments. Wally was enraged at the sight of him, and Hunter was having too much fun watching Wally get angrier and angrier.

Wally didn't know why he wasn't trying to fight Hunter at this very moment. His body kept him still - as if in protest against his thoughts. For some reason, Wally needed to here Hunter talk before he could attack him. Information, an explanation on his disappearance, something - then Wally would attack.

"How you bin, Wally?" asked hunter smugly. He was wearing his 'Zoom' uniform, only without the mask portion.

"What are you doing here, Hunter?" spat Wally, prepping to through a punch if needed.

Hunter smirked and studied his nails. "I'd thought I'd visit an old friend," he replied. "How have things been going with you a your zombie girlfriend? Treating you well? I can only imagine what she's like in bed-"

Wally let rage get the better of him, and he used his left arm to pin Hunter against the gate - elbow digging into the left side, fist pressing into the right. His right hand was clenched and still at the ready. "Give me one good reason why I shouldn't break your skull in right now." he growled.

Hunter seemed shocked for a brief moment, but then relaxed a great deal. "High morals - remember?"

Wally pressed harder on Hunter's shoulders. Both boys knew that Hunter could break away from this hold whenever he wanted to. It was because of that, that Wally figured he wasn't there to fight. The redhead released his blonde doppleganger, and backed-up a step or two.

"Now there's a good boy," taunted Hunter as he adjusted his stance to get more comfortable.

"I could turn you in right now if I wanted to-"

"Could you, West? Really?" interrupted Hunter. "Because, from what I recall, we were matched on the island. The fight could go to either one of us. A 50/50 chance," Wally squinted his eyes. The guy had a point. Plus, there had to be a reason that he wanted to see Wally without fighting. "Look, I don't want to fight, I want to talk" said Hunter, confirming Wally's idea.

"Really? Cause last time we were in the same area, you threaten to kill me next time we saw each other,"

Hunter threw his head back with a hardy laugh. "Oh, that? That was three months ago!"

"Then..." Wally paused and glared. "What do you want to talk about?" he asked.

Hunter gave him a cheeky grin. "Despite everything - and I mean everything," began Hunter. "I still don't hate you West, and I wanted you to know that," Hunter paused "I mean, you stole my chances at having a hot girlfriend, foiled my teams planned, and will willingly send me to prison," Hunter counted on his fingers all the wrongs Wally had done to him as he said them. "But, I don't hate you,"

Now, Wally was really confused. "How-?

Hunter smiled. "You were good to me, West. I don't forget things like that. Here, think about it this way," said Hunter as he threw an arm around Wally - making Wally extremely uncomfortable "When Superman 'died-" said Hunter with a laugh "Lex-y didn't hesitate to go to his funeral - even though the guy had spent most of his career trying to kill him. You and I are going to be enemies, West. You're going to foil all of my plans, but you'll never be able to catch me. We can't deny it, that's how the world works," Hunter released Wally. Digging into his pocket, he pulled out his red mask and put it on his head. "I can't change, and neither will you. Even if you could stop me now - put me in there and all -" he said, gesturing to Belle Reve "I'd find away out. that's how it works, that's how it's always worked. Villains are dependent on Hero's and vise versa. It keeps the world in balance," Wally was about to protest before he realized that Hunter had a point. All Wally could do now was watch Hunter adjust his mask. When he was good to go, Hunter sighed and held out his hand "So, before we get started - and I make your life a living hell - I just wanted you to know that I don't hate you. Good Luck, West,"

Wally stared at Hunter's hand. Although Wally knew he was going to regret it, he took Hunter's yellow glove in his hand and shook it. "Before you go, Hunter-" started Wally. "I have to ask; The boy in the wheelchair - the kid who used the treadmill in the Flash museum and blew it up... that was you?:

Hunter nodded. "My dad hit my lower back with a chair and paralyzed everything from the waist down the same night he killed my mother to keep my from running away and calling the police. I thought using the treadmill would help. Now look at me," he laughed. Wally smiled a little, but was still sickened by the torment Hunter had to go through.

When their hands separated, Hunter began walking the other way, and Wally watched him disappear.

Suddenly, Hunter turned around. Then, at top speed, he ran and tapped Wally on the shoulder.

"Tag," he said with a smile. "You're it,"

Then, he took off again.

Wally smiled and shook his head. His hero career just got a whole lot more interesting.

At the same moment, the gates of Belle Reve opened.

Wally turned his head to see his favored blonde archer slowly walking away from the prison. Her hands were in her pockets and her eyes were on her feet as they took one slow step ahead of the other. Her face was scrunched up as she was in deep thought, and she almost seen to be ignorant of the world around her. She was just about to pass him, when he grab her attention.

"Hey," called Wally.

Artemis' head whipped around at the sound of his voice. When she saw him, she smiled. "Hey," she repeated.

Another long pause of silence.

From a distance, Wally and Artemis looked like an awkward couple. They weren't - they were just different. Wally was big on public displays of affection. Artemis was quite the opposite. Perhaps it was the lessons that he father drilled into her head of never looking vulnerable, but Artemis hated demonstrating her affection for anyone.

Yet if one got close enough, the could see the true love in their eyes. They way that they looked at each other with such an emotional attraction - not purely physical (but the fact that they were both good- no, great looking helped). This could be seen in they way they were looking at each other now.

They looked that they often shared was both unintentional and only lasted for a few seconds. But it was also kind of their thing. It wasn't long or obvious (even to them) it was just something they did to - in a way - show their feelings for each other.

Of course, in private, things changed.

Wally stepped closer to her. "How did it go in there?" asked Wally - concern ringing throughout his voice. He didn't particularly like the idea of Artemis going to Belle Reve. not only was it dangerous, he was afraid how her father and sister would react to seeing her. However, she wanted to go, and he would be damned if he prevented her from going. And besides, he thought it was brave of her wanting to patch things up.

Artemis shrugged and turned her head to the side. Not so much to avoid Wally's eyes, but to continue thinking without any visual distractions. "Fine," she said with a slight sigh.

Wally also sighed some. He took her response to be more of a 'less than fine' answer. He extended his hand out to her. "Wanna head back to the mountain?" he asked. Artemis smiled slightly and took his hand in hers. They began to walk before Wally spoke again. "I think it was brave-... what you did," he said, gesturing to Belle Reve. Artemis glanced back at the building and nodded - disappointment evident in her eyes.

Wally knew it better not to ask. Artemis was a pretty private person, and only talked when she wanted to.

"I don't know what I was excepting," she admitted. Wally was slightly shocked at her confession, but didn't show it. "Or... why I went really. It-it was just something I had to do,"

Wally nodded and gave her hand a squeeze. "I know," he said softly.

Artemis took a deep breath and gently shook her head. "So..." she started, thinking of a way to change to subject. "Now that my... ninja dad is in jail," she joked. Wally had to laugh slightly. "What is a ninja girl and her ninja boyfriend to do?"

Wally thought on it for a moment, then his face lit up like fireworks on the Forth of July. "Want some lunch? I know a great pizza place in New York," he suggested.

Artemis cocked an eyebrow at him. "So... zeta there?"

Wally shook his head. "Nah. That's the boring way,"

Before Artemis could asked, Wally had checked their surroundings for on-lookers, then swept her up into his arms bridal-style, and began running at top speed for New York.

Artemis didn't protest, but laughed instead.

As she and Wally ran off, she thought to herself; She had a pretty crappy past, but she could tell, right now, that her future was going to be awesome.

Killer blood or not, she was a good person, and that's all either she and Wally needed


Stuff to explain:

- The 'Superman death/Lex' thing was taken from an episode of Justice League.

- The breakdown of hero vs villain was used to show Hunter's knowledge of ... things. In the comics, he studies criminal psychology (if I recall), so I wanted to show that he has an understanding of these things.

Anyway, I hope you guys liked this chapter!

Thank you so much for all the positive reviews! I'm glad you guys liked my story :).

Side note: I'm looking to write more on either Traught, Longshot, Frostbite, or Kaldur/Artemis friendship stuff (guess who my fav character is ;) ), but I'm having a hard time coming up with inspiration. Help a writer out?

Either way, thanks for reading, and don't forget to REVIEW!