Disclaimer: I don't own these characters. R/R.
The chilly wind nips at her and Artemis reflexively pulls her coat tighter around her. She gazes out from the front entrance of the team's secret headquarters at the snow-covered foot of Mount Justice. She looks closely enough to see the tiny spots of earth dotting the expanse of white. The weather is at least warm enough for the snow to start melting and Artemis thinks it's a shame. She doesn't really get to enjoy the snow when she's at home. The grime of Gotham dirties it up as soon as it hits the ground.
It's the beginning of a new year and she finds herself strangely reflective about it. Things were so much different last year. So much has changed for Artemis and so much about her has also changed. It was only four or five months ago that she met the rest of her teammates. She remembers how she initially treated them because she treats everyone the same no matter her level of affection towards them. She was rude, sarcastic, snarky, and a general bitch. Looking back on it, Artemis is constantly surprised they put up with her this long. She can't exactly help it though. Walls keep her safe. They keep people from knowing the truth that she comes from a broken home. Everyone has their secrets. She respects that but it's only because she's never been able to get herself to care about people enough to not only share hers with them but let them share theirs with her. Things are different now.
Artemis is still amazed that her teammates don't care about her past. She spent months trying to keep secrets from them, constantly worrying about what would happen if they found out. Now she feels so free from that burden and feels like finally she can let her guard down around these people she's come to call friends. So maybe she should resolve to start being nicer to them. It's a new year after all and a new year should come with resolutions. Artemis never went in for all that though. She learned long ago that there are things you just can't change no matter how hard you try.
In so many ways, she thinks that her life resembles the landscape before her. For a long time she had to be so cold with people because it was what she was taught. Now there's signs of warmth peeking out from under the ice. Still, there are patterns of behavior she can't break no matter how much she might want to. She thinks that maybe she should resolve to try harder about that, assuming that she's even the type to make New Year's resolutions in the first place.
"Thought you might want to warm up."
Artemis is used to Wally randomly appearing, his super speed letting him zip into and out of a room. She takes the mug of hot chocolate he offers her and sips, sighing appreciatively while he wraps his arms around her.
"Someone's up awfully early," she notes. "I know how cranky you get without your beauty sleep."
"Maybe I just wanted to spend more time with you," he suggests and she can feel as much heat in her cheeks from her blushing as she can in her hands from holding the mug of hot chocolate.
"Do you always say such nice things to mean girls?" she asks.
"Nope, just you," he confirms as he kisses her on the cheek.
Out of all the changes in her life since joining the team, the biggest is her newfound relationship with Wally. Ever since they kissed on New Year's Eve, Artemis can't stop thinking about how good it feels to finally have someone to share her secrets with without fear of judgment. It frightens the hell out of her on one level but it makes her feels more alive than she's ever felt before.
"Better watch out," she teases him. "I might end up corrupting you."
"And here I thought that's what I was doing to you," he retorts before kissing her and tasting the hot chocolate.
"I think you are," she admits when their lips part. "I was actually thinking about being nicer to you and the others. It was going to be my New Year's resolution."
He grins at her and holds her close, both of them watching the sun start to shine through the dreary grayness of the snow clouds. Artemis sips her hot chocolate and basks in the glow of the morning sun. The whole scene seems so surreal in her mind that she has to make sure she hasn't stumbled into some cheesy romance movie that always manages to make her gag.
"Hey, Artemis," says Wally, breaking the silence. "Promise me you'll never change, okay?"
"I promise, Wally," replies Artemis as a smile graces her lips and she kisses him.