Title: You'll Always Be For Me
Word Count: 4,800+ (total)
Characters: Wally/Artemis, with Dick/Zatanna and Roy/Jade on the side and a sprinkle of Kaldur/Raquel on top
Summary: "My sister is getting married to one of your childhood best friends in less than three weeks, and if you try to stop it I guarantee that Jade will castrate you with a bread knife."
Prompt: #72: forever
Other Inspirations: the last two scenes of 2x04, "Salvage"
Note: Obviously, I love me some AU fluff. And I'm dedicating this to justbewhelmed, who asked for spitfire (: Hope you like it!
You'll Always Be For Me
Artemis is in the middle of a nap when she gets a call from her mother reminding her about her sister's wedding.
Of course she didn't forget, but she was sleeping two seconds ago and therefore not entirely aware enough to realize that she mumbled "huh?" until she's being scolded. God, like she isn't almost twenty and already in college. She knows how to work her calendar. Plus, they're sisters and they keep in contact often enough, so of course they've been talking about wedding plans a lot lately.
But, holy crap, Jade is getting married.
Artemis is not awake enough to fully process this.
When her mother finally hangs up, Artemis sets her phone back on the nightstand and is trying to get up (she's hungry) when an arm curls itself around her waist and tugs her back into bed. "Wally," she laughs, pushing at his bare chest when he doesn't let go. "Come on, I have to get up."
"No," he mumbles into his pillow. "It's a Saturday. We don't have to go anywhere today."
"Uh, do you not remember what's happening by the end of this month?"
He looks at her through one eye. "Um…"
"You're hopeless," she says, and his sleepy chuckle lets her know that he knows she's just teasing him. "Seriously, Wallace West, let me go."
"No way." (That shouldn't make her smile as much as it does.) "What's so important that you have to get out of bed right this second, and how can I stop it?"
She rolls her eyes. "My sister is getting married to one of your childhood best friends in less than three weeks, and if you try to stop it I guarantee that Jade will castrate you with a bread knife. And we haven't gotten them a present yet, so unless you want to miss the big game today to shop for the perfect present I suggest you let me get ready."
He kind of just groans a little and pushes his face into his pillow again. He's mostly brain-dead right after waking up so she's willing to bet that more than half of the words that came out of her mouth barely registered.
But then he mumbles, "I can't let you go shopping by yourself."
"So you want to miss the game?"
"Well then, that's that," she interrupts. "Besides, I'm not going shopping alone, anyway, so you can clear your conscience."
He lifts his head to look at her. "Who're you—"
"Just trust me, Wally," she exhales, trying to sound slightly annoyed. Seriously, if she doesn't get out of this bed right now, she's going to make sure neither of them leaves that room for a few more hours. And as tempting as that sounds, she really does need to buy that present and this weekend's her only free one until they leave for the wedding.
But he gives her this smile and says in this gruff voice, "Okay, babe." And well, if she gets a little carried away with giving him a thank you kiss, it's not her fault.
She and Wally have been going out for half a year (six months exactly on the day of the wedding, actually), which is pretty much her longest relationship, ever.
The only other person she's been with for about the same amount of time was her asshole of a boyfriend from sophomore year. Cameron was her token bad boy that her parents absolutely hated, but if she's being fair, he wasn't a bad guy. He never once threatened her or made her feel uncomfortable, anyway. There just wasn't any chemistry, and they were both stubborn therefore fought constantly.
Besides, she doesn't really even count that as a real relationship. They were young and had a high school thing.
What she has with Wally is infinitely more important.
Sure, how they met would suggest otherwise since it'd been at a frat. They didn't get along much, either, so they kind of spent a good hour just arguing with each other. It was dangerously similar to her thing with Cameron and she did not want to repeat her high school mistakes in college.
But he surprised the hell out of her by kissing her and taking her to his dorm, and when she found herself waking up in his bed, he was there with a fresh mug of coffee and a smile. She literally needed a reminder (or two, or three) that he was the same guy that had called her insufferable, and then pressed his lips to her neck and couldn't keep his hands off of her for the rest of the night.
Then they somehow went from friends of friends having sex to two people that may actually be in a relationship, all within the time span of about four months, before she figured out that she could actually see herself being with him for a long time and that he felt the same.
It sounds like something out of one of those romantic comedies with a tearjerker ending, but she surprisingly doesn't mind it.
(And really, when she figured that out, she pretty much knew she was falling for him harder than she expected.)
They're stepping out of their eighth boutique in a row when Zatanna leans all dramatically against Artemis and says that she's dying of hunger. And gosh, Artemis hates it when Zatanna gets like that. She has these eyes that can charm anyone into doing whatever she wants them to do, and she totally abuses it, too.
It's one of the many things that Artemis loves about her.
And honestly, Zatanna is the only girl Artemis has ever been this close to before. There was her best friend that she'd met in middle school, but then Megan became a cheerleader and got caught up in this drama with the school quarterback and this guy on the swim team, and they just somehow stopped hanging out as much and ended up going to different cities for college.
Some people just drift apart, she supposes. But to be honest they didn't have too much in common to begin with, and they only really worked out as friends because they were all each other had. They still talk over Facebook here or there, and sometimes they'll text each other for holidays and birthdays or if something brings up a memory, but that's about it.
Zatanna, on the other hand, is someone she can see herself being close to for a long time. They kind of clicked instantly as roommates and they just work. It's awesome.
Zatanna has been dating Dick Grayson since the beginning of their freshman year, but apparently they've known each other since they were kids and kind of had a thing going on before she moved to New York and they lost touch. They got reacquainted pretty instantly, though, so they obviously must be fated. (Zatanna rolls her eyes at that term, but what other word would suffice? Destined?)
So since Dick and Wally are childhood friends with Jade's fiancé, Roy Harper, Zatanna asked if they wanted to shop for presents together since she doesn't really know the bride or the groom that well.
"Hey, your sister's hot, right?"
Artemis looks at the girl like she's crazy. Well, crazier than usual, anyway.
"Because I've seen pictures of Roy and he's… well, I'm faithful to Dick, but you know." Artemis laughs. Yeah, she's seen pictures of Roy, too. She totally understands. "Why don't we just buy her something from Victoria's Secret? It'll be like a gift for both of them."
"Oh, my god," Artemis says, "You want me to get them something to help stimulate their already freakishly active sex life? Why am I not surprised?"
Zatanna sticks out her tongue as they enter Starbucks. "Well, I'd give them that, but I think it'd be creepy considering I've never met either of them. At least you have family prerogatives."
"You're starting to sound more and more like Dick every day, you know that?" Artemis tells her, and Zatanna just shrugs like it's no big deal. "Besides, if I get Jade lingerie, then by this time next year they're going to have a kid that they'll make me babysit on my breaks and holidays so they can vacation and conceive even more kids. I'm surprised she's not pregnant right now!"
This stiff woman in a pantsuit gives them a horrified look but they both ignore her. What? That's her fault for eavesdropping.
"I think it'd be cute, Auntie Artemis," Zatanna says, laughing when Artemis calls her a psycho.
Artemis has always secretly loved kids, and it's a secret because she usually pretends to find them annoying. Only a few choice people know how good she really is with them. And Jade probably won't be the most traditional mother ever, but Artemis can see Roy and her sister raising this little boy or girl in their nice apartment, and can see herself spoiling the child and wanting to visit all the time.
She can picture Wally there during those visits, too, bouncing the little kid on his lap and making up these crazy stories. If Artemis is good with kids, then Wally is amazing.
Anyway, Zatanna has to order their drinks for her because Artemis ended up being lost in her thoughts by the time they reach the register, and when they step aside to wait for their frapps, Zatanna just gives her this knowing smile and asks, "So, Victoria's Secret?"
When they get back to the boys' dorm, Dick and Wally are on the couch in front of their impressive flat screen (Dick's adoptive father—Bruce Wayne—is the founder of Wayne Tech, which is pretty much the number one international distributer of technological goods. That boy is not without money), watching the baseball game and eating leftover pasta from when Zatanna cooked dinner last night.
"Who's winning?" Zatanna asks, leaning over the back of the couch to wrap her arms around Dick.
"No one important," Dick says before bringing her lips to his. Artemis chuckles. Dick's never been as big of a sports fan as Wally, and the only time he ever really gets into watching them if it's just that good of a game or if it's the Olympics.
Wally gets up as she's setting their gift bags down on the table, wrapping his arms around her from behind and pressing a kiss to her temple. Then his eyes drift over to their bags, and she knows exactly when he sees the striped pink one because he gives her this look that she's always loved and whispers, "Please tell me that one's for you and not for Jade."
"If you can get rid of Dick and Zatanna after the game, you can find out for yourself."
He groans, but Dick, of course, completely ruins the moment by telling them, "You know we can hear you, right?"
"Dude!Then do your bro a favor and get lost for a little."
Dick rolls his eyes as Zatanna laughs, slipping on his shades and muttering something about him actually living here, too. But Zatanna says something to him that makes him smirk, and then tugs him towards the door as she winks at Artemis.
Seriously. Best friend ever.
She actually spends the night in their own dorm room the night before they have to drive over to Roy and Jade's place.
Dick's renting a car with more than enough leg room for the four of them (hey, he's got the money to) and they're all driving over together since it's just easier that way. And usually, Artemis stays at Wally and Dick's apartment and Dick stays with Zatanna in their dorm, because that's just how it happens, but they decided to stay at their own places tonight so they can pack their bags.
And so they can all, you know, get some actual sleep tonight.
Anyway, "packing" ends up being her and Zatanna sitting on the floor with their suitcases open beside them and a mess of clothes between them.
Artemis used to do their laundry weekly and clean the place spotless because Zatanna cooked for them every night and bought their groceries and several other living expenses. It's just an arrangement that worked perfectly for them and they don't really bother with owing the other money unless they absolutely need to.
Since Artemis is only really home every other night now, their accumulated laundry kind of took all day and now it's just this mountain on the floor. She pretty much had to force Zatanna to sit there and fold with her so that they won't have to do it when they come back.
Artemis looks at Zatanna and the tee in her hands, which is covered in paint from when Wally and Dick decided they wanted to redo their living room. And by that, she means that she and Zatanna complained enough times that they relented and made them help. It was a mess, because they were more focused on painting each other than the walls for most of the day, but whatever. Memories.
But that's not what catches Artemis's attention and makes her heart freaking stop.
It's that sparkling thing she saw on Zatanna's hand.
"What's that?" Artemis asks, and before Zatanna can be all clueless and tell her it's a shirt, she practically crawls over to take her left hand in hers. "Oh, my god."
"It's a promise ring! I swear!"
Artemis glares at her.
"Dick gave it to me over the weekend. I meant to call you, but… yeah, I forgot, and kept forgetting every time I saw you," she explains quickly. "I'd tell you if it was an actual engagement. Gosh, if it were the real thing, you'd be the first person I told! But we're not trying to get married now or anything."
"But now you're planning on it," Artemis reminds.
Zatanna just looks at her and shrugs. "Was there even any question?" she asks, and yeah, Artemis isn't entirely surprised.
But she'd rather have been told that her best friend is engaged to be engaged than have to find out for herself, thank you very much.
Then she just smiles at Zatanna and gives her this hug, taking her hand when she pulls away so she can examine the ring. Of course it's expensive—freaking platinum with diamonds that just look like the best quality money could buy—but it's also simple, too, and exactly them. The diamond is shaped into the silhouette of a bird and she can bet there's an engraving on the inside.
"Have you told your dad yet?" Artemis asks.
Her father is overprotective of her, which is a serious understatement, but he and Bruce Wayne are actually the entire reason Dick and Zatanna met in the first place all those years ago. He approves of Dick, and is kind of the old-fashioned type of guy who'd actually appreciate the sentiment behind a promise ring and understands how serious it actually is.
Zatanna laughs. "Not yet. I'm not worried, though. My father did the same thing to my mother when they were in high school. I think he'll be okay with it."
Artemis smiles, thinks maybe she feels her eyes sting with a few tears, but she doesn't mind.
Her best friend is pretty much engaged.
The drive to Star City goes surprisingly well considering it's the four of them in a confined space for a five-hour drive. Well, Artemis doesn't want to kill any of them by the end of it (mostly because she wasasleep by the time they got there, but whatever) so she considers it a successful trip.
She ended up in the passenger seat with Wally driving the rest of the way after they'd stopped to fill the tank and stretch their legs and grab a bite to eat. Dick drove the first half with Wally in the passenger seat and her and Zatanna in the back, and she was supposed to drive the second half because she knows the path without needing a GPS, but Wally insisted he drive.
When she asked why, he just shrugged and told her, "You'll be busy with helping your sister, anyway, so this is one less thing to worry about."
And see, she hates when he says and does stupid things like that because it's adorable and completely sweet and she doesn't want to love it so much, but she does. She loves having him around, but now she can't ever think about the future without him being part of the picture.
It's kind of scary.
At least Dick and Zatanna had history together. She knows they've dated other people, but obviously they never stopped thinking of each other. She's willing to be they've been picturing themselves growing old together since they were young, so she's not surprised that they're already committing like they are.
She and Wally are nothing like that, though. Hell, they kind of hated each other for that first hour they met, and then were having casual sex while trying not to kill each other and ended up developing a comfortable relationship. They actually don't have too much in common, either, but their personalities work and they somehow manage to balance each other out instead of make things worse.
She'd been thinking about it, too, because it was quiet and late and she was kind of lost in her thoughts. Dick and Zatanna were already asleep in the back seat, and she had her shoes off and her legs tucked underneath her with one of Wally's hands on her thigh tracing patterns with his thumb and kind of lulling her to sleep.
Then he'd taken her hand in his and kissed the back of it, lacing their fingers and telling her she should take a nap. She dreamt of white picket fences and children laughing as they played fetch with a dog, and woke up to Wally smiling at her with his fingers in her hair. "We're here, babe," he'd announced, and unbuckled her seatbelt and took her in his arms without her having to ask.
Yeah, she can definitely get used to him being around for a long time.
Jade and Roy's place is really nice and open, with tile in the kitchen and hardwood throughout the house, except in the bedrooms upstairs where there's carpet. It's decorated in earth tones and gets a lot of natural light when there's even a little bit of sun out. Artemis likes that it's simple, too, like they have just enough and aren't cluttered with useless pieces of furniture or something.
The place is also pretty big—just two stories, but pretty spacious. Jade and Roy hover somewhere around upper middle class because they get paid well and work pretty impressive jobs, but they're not too extravagant with their money and the place pretty much reflects that about them.
Anyway, she and Jade are the first up and they're sitting at the island in the kitchen with coffee between them.
"When are Mom and Dad getting here?" Artemis asks. The rehearsal dinner is tonight and then the wedding is on Sunday, so.
But Jade just shrugs and says, "They never called, so probably right before the dinner."
Artemis purses her lips.
The thing is, their parents have been going through a pretty rough patch in their marriage and it's been kind of stressful on all of them. Jade actually had a meltdown several months back because their mom called and said something about probably not making the wedding, and the only reason Artemis knows about this because Roy called herafter Jade had fallen asleep.
Wally made her dinner that night after that phone call and they watched a Smallville marathon on TV to take her mind off of everything. This was before they began an actual relationship, and was actually the first time they hung out as just the two of them and didn't end up having sex after.
(Well, they did in the morning, but that's because that was half of her way of saying thanks. The other half was cheering him on at his track meet.)
Supposedly they're a lot better now. When they'd visited for spring break, it seemed that way, anyway. Artemis is just hoping they'll at least be fine for tomorrow.
"I'm sure they'll be on time," Artemis says only somewhat convincingly, and shrugs when Jade gives her this look.
"Whatever. So what's new with you two?"
"Roy tells me that you and Wally are practically living together," Jade smirks. "Which, by the way, I do not appreciate learning from him, because you should be doing the confessing yourself."
Artemis rolls her eyes. "We're not living together. I spend the night at his apartment and Dick stays at our place with Zee."
"If you're there for more than four days a week, have at least some change of clothes there, and keep a toothbrush and conditioner and maybe an flat iron in his bathroom, then you're living with him," Jade says all matter-of-factly, and Artemis is about to protest when she runs through the list in her head and realizes that, well crap, she meets all of them.
Jade laughs and tilts her head. "Following in the footsteps of your big sister, I see."
"Am I?" Artemis asks. "I wasn't trying to."
"And you think I was planning on marrying Roy when I met him at that club two years ago?" Jade questions, and Artemis looks at her. "It's okay to be in love with him, you know."
Artemis doesn't know what to say to that, but they hear someone coming down the stairs and then Roy's walking into the kitchen and saving her from having to think about this so early in the morning. He gives her a hug and kisses Jade on the forehead before stealing some of her coffee. Two years ago, Jade would've probably elbowed him in gut if he tried that instead of smiling at him like she is.
"By the way, Artemis," Roy says, "Wally won't quit asking for you. You should go up there before Dick rips his tongue out or something."
Jade gives her this smirk that Artemis tries hard to ignore, dumps what's left of her coffee in the sink and actually does hear Wally saying her name when she reaches the top of the staircase. Not exactly the worst way to start the morning.
Their parents show up about two hours before the rehearsal dinner, and Artemis didn't miss the smile on Jade's face when they showed up on her doorstep. It probably helped that they were bearing banana cream pie (one of Jade's weaknesses) and acting fine, too.
The rehearsal at the church goes along smoothly, and Artemis spends half of it talking to Kal, the best man, because she's the maid of honor. She's met Kaldur, of course, but only a handful of times. He's a complete gentleman through and through, like the kind out of story books. It kind of amazes her, actually. Roy's not at all a bad guy, but personality-wise they're almost complete opposites.
Anyway, Kaldur's girlfriend, Raquel, suits him kind of perfectly. She's definitely the more talkative of the two, but she doesn't at all overshadow Kaldur. Artemis just genuinely thinks Kaldur doesn't say as much because he loves listening to Raquel. It would definitely explain the endearing way he looks at her when she's talking.
Then after they're finished at the church, and practice a few things at the reception hall, they're back at Jade and Roy's place for dinner.
"How long have you two been together?"
They're sitting at the kitchen bar, and Raquel's not even looking at Artemis when she asks this. She's watching Wally walk over to the platter and put more strawberries on a small plate because he took one of Artemis's and she pretended to get mad at him (well, half-pretended) for it.
"Six months," Artemis replies.
This time, Raquel does look at her. "Nothing," she says when Artemis asks what's wrong, "I just thought maybe you'd been together longer than that. It seems that way."
Artemis bites her lower lip to keep from smiling. "Well, I've known him since last September. We've been kind of unofficial for that long, too."
Raquel nods like this makes more sense.
"You two are pretty much adorable," she says, and Artemis doesn't know how to respond to that. For the second time today, however, she's saved from having to, because Wally walks over to them and sets the plate of strawberries on the counter in front of her. He spins the stool a little so he can kiss her properly, and Artemis misses the smile Raquel gives them before going to find Kaldur.
The morning of the wedding, Artemis wakes up to find a text from Wally on her phone that says, it sucks not waking up next to you.
The guys had gone to Kaldur's place nearby and the girls stayed at Jade and Roy's so that they could get ready separately. Zatanna spent the night in Artemis's room so that their parents could sleep in hers and Dick's room, which Artemis didn't mind at all. When they would be hung over from a party or just didn't really feel like doing anything, they would usually share the bed and like, laze around all day.
But still, if she had to choose between waking up to Zatanna or Wally, it's kind of obvious who she'd pick.
So Artemis just texts back, I know. But we'll catch up tonight ;)
His reply: Can we just skip the wedding?
Artemis probably shouldn't laugh at that, but yeah, at this very moment she's thinking that that's a pretty amazing idea.
The ceremony is beautiful and, yes, she does tear up. Her mom's blubbering, too, and even her dad gets a little misty-eyed during the vows. Wally catches her stare when Roy is promising forever, and no, she doesn't think he did that coincidentally. She finds herself smiling back and dabbing at the corner of her eye, and as Jade begins her vows, Artemis thinks that this is all kind of perfect.
At the reception, Artemis sits beside Wally at the head table and he draws endless patterns on her skin underneath her dress throughout dinner and the speeches. They go through all of the traditional stuff and kind of jump around the program, and today is probably the happiest she's seen Jade, ever.
They're passing out cake when Artemis sits back down at the head table and kicks off her heels (they hurt from dancing). She's pretty surprised when Wally shows up and sits down in his chair and pulls her across his lap, mostly because she figured he'd be trying to steal one of the cake tiers to eat by himself, since he has a serious metabolism.
Then Jade comes over to them and Artemis offers her some of her champagne.
"No," Jade says, and Artemis kind of has to look at her for a second because her sister never refuses a drink.
"Artemis," Wally laughs, probably because she's being demanding.
Jade just shrugs her shoulders and says, "I can't." Wally's fingers just stop moving over her hip and for whatever reason, the first thing in Artemis thinks of is when they first sat down and waiters were serving the soups and salads and drinks, Roy whispered something to one of the waitresses and she brought him iced water.
Obviously that wasn't for him, though.
"Jade, are you…" Amazingly, Artemis feels her eyes water for the billionth time today (they haven't been dry since the ceremony) and Jade just smiles. "Jade!"
Artemis gets up and wraps her arms around her sister. She's super aware of how the corset of Jade's dress feels against her stomach because, holy crap, there's a baby in Jade.
Her sister's pregnant.
People are watching them, she can tell, and she's not really aware of when utensils start chiming against glasses until Jade is being pulled from her arms and Roy is pressing their lips together. Wally pulls Artemis down by her waist and back onto his lap, and pushes his fingers through her hair as he kisses her, too. She thinks some people are laughing in amusement, but she isn't sure.
"Weddings are fun," Wally says when they pull apart, and she laughs and whispers into his ear, "But the honeymoon is more fun."
(She spends all night showing him exactly why she's right, but it's not like he takes too much convincing, anyway.)