So if you want to skip ahead to the story I won't blame you because there is over a 1000 words of thanks to all the kind reviewers and supporters of Sweet Affection and that's just a little overwhelming – even for me.
Alright it's finally here. After months of patience, sweat, and tears. This story requires a very long thank you not only to the people who reviewed the last chapter of Sweet Affection (Look below for personal comments to reviewers) but also to a key few people who encouraged me and provided me with support while I was finding the time to write this sequel. Honestly I knew I was going to write it…when was completely another issue.
There's a couple of people who deserve huge kudos.
JustJanelle because even though we don't get to talk a lot you are constant reminder that I need to get my work done and if you hadn't taken that first step to review my story than The Nose Knows would have never been born and I'd probably just procrastinated away and never made it to the sequel.
Hooloovooshift-Speedster: I believe you were sent by a friend beginning with the name J your messages lovingly reminded me of the all the loose ends I needed to tie up. BIG BIG SHOUT OUT because you will have your cinnamon rolls and told me that you wanted to know the origins of Wally's nickname Kid Pervert. I hope all is to your satisfaction.
damnsmartblueboxes: My good friend from tumblr who constantly reminded me to write and prompted me to continue – it feels like I've thanked you already.
chasingfireflys: It feels like a very long time since we last talked. I hope all is well.
Samian: Always the kind supporter who constantly sends me messages and brightens up my rather dull life.
A ton of anons who asked for a sequel…
Thanks to the people who reviewed the final chapter of Sweet Affection. Honestly if it wasn't for all the support for the sequel from people like you…well who knows what would happen. I'm one of those authors who really needs motivation.
Prnyctina1091: Wow thanks! I'm glad I changed your mind about AUs - usually if they're written very well they can be well worth the read. Thanks for the review.
overlyobsessedgirlfangirl: Ah yes, Nightwing, the ultimate troll. You'll get to see more of him in the upcoming chapter. Thanks for the reviews and all the flattering (unnecessary) compliments.
Hello. How's Germany: I've actually gotten this request from a few people... I'm not sure if I'll do a wedding but we'll have to see where my imagination takes me.
Hooloovooshift-Speedster: You pointed out both your favorite parts in all the chapters and my mistakes. Thanks. Someday...not sure when I'll read over all my fanfiction and fix those mistakes so keep pointing them out. :) I'm a big fan of dramatic irony and these two are really great characters to do it to. (Yes Ollie will be in the sequel - in fact a lot of characters will be). You also get to find out the origins of Kid Pervert in this chapter.
Immortalfantasylover: I've written a couple of Spitfire stories (although you probably already know that.) I hope you enjoy the sequel just as much.
Mr. Aanonymous: I'm glad you liked it! Thanks for the reviews!
cheergeeek101: That is very nice of you to say! And here it is the sequel requested numerous times over - I just hope it meets everyone's expectations.
maedeux: I'm glad you reviewed after reading it so many times. That really is very touching. If you are running around your house fangirling I understand and I hope that you throughly enjoy the story. :)
ForeverChocolateRoses: Do you know that bit with Dick was just me unable to sleep at 3 AM after staying up straight for 48 hours. Yeah not one of my brighter moments but clearly my writing skills like to fester when I really like to sleep. I hope you will read and enjoy more of my stories too.
purpleshinigami: Everyone loves the sweet pun (honestly when I started writing it that's what I was hoping for so high five). Thanks for the review!
My Own Mayday Parade: Thanks for all your support!
Boondocks23: Ah yes you noticed my uber fast ending too. Hopefully the sequel will help redeem me. But I'm glad I was able to bring a smile to your face!
kp: Thank you so much! Just thanks!
argent98: Look forward to more quippy Dick in future! Thanks for telling me all your favorite parts. :)
sunflower13: Thanks for the review!
GIRLWONDER: Thanks for the review! I've actually blown up a stove. There are a variety of ways to do it. Forget you left something on the burner, accidentally damage the electric cord...
NaomiBlue: Mmmmm you make an interesting point. I'm a firm believer that Dick will find a way to troll Wally for this favor later.
ShenanigansKid: Thanks for the review!
shanarose: Thank you so much!
Samian: Ah my good friend. Always a pleasure to reread your reviews and smile.
Dextra2: Thanks for the review!
randommonkeyz998: Thanks! I try very hard to not make the characters OCC let's see if I can continue that trend.
Nerdychick: I'm not sure about team ups but those two (Nightwing and Artemis) will definitely troll Wally.
JadeBrycin2116: If you're reading this I'm thrilled and happy!
music lover bwg: Bows politely. You're too kind. Really. I do it for the reviewers! Thanks for the review!
chasingfireflys: I feel like we haven't been in touch for a while. How are you? Your review was very flattering and cheered me up!
IronicVeghead: Thanks for the review!
fixati0ns: Here it is! It took a long time (hides head in sand) but I did finally start writing this. I hope you enjoy it as much as the last story. Thanks for your continuous reviews and support!
Irenerb: Thanks for the review!
Keepmovingforward2: Well here's the sequel. Thanks for your reviews and continuous support!
thesilentboom: I hope you don't hate me for taking so long...like really long... I'm glad you liked the story! :)
Thanks to the silent readers as well.
Disclaimer: I do not own Young Justice or its characters.
Artemis dutifully mixed the ingredients in the bowl together before peeking through the glass oven door to inspect her work. Perfect was not a word she would have ever used to describe her life but at this moment everything was sort of perfect. She winced feeling her cast being knocked by the bowl and even her reflection in the oven held a startling bruise developing along her left cheek. She sighed. This wouldn't be enough. Even Wally could only be distracted by food for so long.
She hated when he got like this – overprotective like somehow she was just going to disappear and never come back and recently he was doing it more and more. He'd go out of his way to be partnered with her on missions or race cross country to be there for her patrol. He'd even gone so far as to get Nightwing to hack the frequency on her communicator to find her location. That had not been one of his better or brighter ideas. She just wanted to stay in this single moment where she didn't have to think about Wally or her bakery or any of her problems. She just wanted to stand there stirring the cream cheese icing bathed in sunlight and blissfully dream away her issues.
When had her life become so complicated?
The damage to her bakery had been extensive, the whole building nothing but a charred outer shell. However, there was one good thing that resulted from her bakery burning down. She was able to relocate. The florist beneath her apartment had gone bankrupt leaving the expansive place open for rent and Artemis who just so happened to need a new location was more than happy to fill the vacant spot – seizing the fantastic opportunity to almost literally work from home. Wally had of course been thrilled because the prospect of lazing around her apartment all day and then vibrating through the floor to bug her was apparently a huge bonus for him while consequently being a huge pain in the ass for her. Whoever said owning your own business and dating a superhero was fun?
It had taken eighteen months for her to finally reestablish herself and return some semblance of order in her life. She'd had to balance opening a new shop, crime fighting, numerous insurance claim meetings, and maintaining her relationship. Not that she didn't want to be with Wally but those sleepless nights when he didn't crawl into her apartment after a mission were particularly nerve wracking and that kind of strain plus real life did take its toll – even on her.
It didn't help that because of the generous patronage of one Dick Grayson of Wayne Corporation her business had skyrocketed. Artemis had never had the volume to warrant hiring more staff but she couldn't bake and man the counter simultaneously which meant she needed at least one employee, which given her second job was a very tricky thing to do because coworkers tended to ask 'where did you get that bruise?' or 'why do you need to leave early?' so Wally suggested she hire Zatanna Zatara from the League to help out – and she soon found out why.
"Will you take off those sunglasses." Sighed Artemis placing a double fudge chocolate cupcake down in front of her latest patron, "You look ridiculous."
"What would people say if they knew that the philanthropist Richard Grayson came here?" he questioned trying to peek around her at the raven haired beauty manning the cash register.
"They would probably say the philander Dick Grayson is going to get fat," she riposted smartly.
"I lead a very active lifestyle." Artemis just rolled her eyes. He was as predictable as Wally and given the fact he was attempting to pick up Zatanna in her bakery she really hoped he wasn't asking Wally for love life advice.
"Now," said Artemis conspiratorially leaning over the counter, "While Wally's gone why don't you tell me that salacious story."
"What story would that be?" asked Nightwing swiping his finger through the chocolate frosting and licking it happily.
"Oh you know the story of how a certain redhead got the nickname Kid Pervert?"
"Do you think I'm so petty as to sell out my best friend for a few measly cupcakes?" scoffed Nightwing dramatically.
"Please, I've heard things about you Nightwing. Things from Batgirl." The man's face went deathly pale.
"Touche. One embarrassing story coming up." Artemis rocked back on her heels smirking slightly.
"See that wasn't so bad."
Richard merely rolled his eyes and cracked his knuckles in response. "Well once upon a time there was a kid named Wally West who wanted to be a superhero, like all the other little boys his age."
"You're not seriously going to tell me this story in fairy tale style are you?" Richard shrugged nonchalantly smirking slightly.
"Back when we were sidekicks not a lot of people took us seriously."
Artemis snorted sarcastically, "I find that hard to believe. Didn't you use to wear a pair of green short shorts as part of your uniform - that is the epitome of serious."
Dick grumbled, "You make one fashion mistake and nobody ever forgets about it." Artemis allowed herself a small victorious smirk before she began to take away the cupcake that she was using to bribe the bird.
"Woah hold up there I'm getting to the story," he said pointedly pulling the plate back towards himself, "Good things come to those who wait." He pouted slightly inspecting the cupcake for damage. Artemis arched an eyebrow and stared at him with a look of half concealed anticipation.
"As I was saying a lot of the Leaguers didn't take us sidekicks seriously. So some of the other protégées and I teamed up to do covert missions but sometimes we got to go on missions with the big guns," he paused to take a bite of the cupcake and hum appreciatively, "Anyways Wally has always been a little indecent and a flirt."
"A little," scoffed Artemis recalling her anniversary gift, an apron which Wally claimed he wanted her to wear. With nothing else.
"Well it was always small things. Running by girls so the wind would blow their skirts up, using lame pick up lines, but we were given a mission with Wonder Woman and Wally was really excited. He was vibrating with anticipation and, of course, the Wall-man had to put the moves on her so he ran up to introduce himself and attempt to flirt with Diana and he tripped."
"Tripped. Fell right into her breasts."
"No," said Artemis excitedly yet with a hint of disbelief, "He motor-boated Wonder Woman!"
"Worse, his lips vibrated through her uniform and then his brain caught up with actions and he stopped vibrating leaving his lips lodged in her bustier." Artemis stared at Nightwing agape, "If you think you looked shocked you should have seen Wonder Woman."
"Oh my god," choked Artemis clutching her sides as her body shook with laughter. "Just – that is too good."
"Would you believe me if it gets better?"
"I am all ears, Dick, all ears."
"When Diana punched him and when I say punched I mean super strength enhanced punch. However, because his lips were still lodged in the fabric her top –"
"Went with him. And that," said Nightwing dramatically, "Is how Wally got the nickname Kid Pervert courtesy of Wonder Woman's shriek." Artemis shook her head digesting what Nightwing had just told her. For a moment she vaguely wondered if it was before or after she got the Bat symbol tattoo on her left breast.
"But she's so protective of him?" said Artemis remembering the interrogation over a year ago where she had been called before the League for hitting Flash.
"Hey, I'm a detective but even that is a mystery to me," shrugged Nightwing finishing the remainder of his cupcake in a few bites. Standing he waved weakly (nervously) at Zatanna,
"Hey there Z." Completely focused on the customers Zatanna sent him a quick look before waving distractedly back,
"You're pathetic," intoned Artemis. She noted that a lot of female patrons were staring at the raven haired heart throb and murmuring amongst themselves and decided to make him sweat a little, "Now scram. Skinny bones like you only attract fans and not business."
"Wow," said a voice behind her, "Something smells good in here although you look a little worse for wear." Artemis turned in time to see Zatanna shrug off her coat and join her in the kitchen eyes scanning the trays of baked goods laid out on the table for her to sell. Artemis chose to ignore that comment pulling on some oven mitts to retrieve the cinnamon buns from the oven.
"Here let me do that – elbat eht ot syart eht etativel," Zatanna looked at the cast and the bruise and clearly extra-large cinnamon buns, "For Wally."
"For Wally," assented Artemis using a spatula to generous douse each bun with the cream cheese frosting she'd made.
"Rough night?" asked Zatanna running her finger along the rim of the bowl before happily sticking it in her mouth.
"Nothing I couldn't handle.
"I'm a sensing a 'but.'"
"Wally is going to overreact." This wasn't a new conversation for Zatanna, more often than not half of what Artemis baked was to appease her ever fretting boyfriend. But Artemis appreciated Zatanna's receptive ear and the fact that she could talk about League stuff with her was just a bonus.
"Well to be fair you do kind of look like shit." Artemis groaned, if her friend who had seen her blown up, wind swept, and injured was saying it then it must be true. It probably hadn't helped that after patrol (and the med bay) she had come straight home and started baking in preparation for the coming day, which hadn't been easy considering one arm was practically out of commission.
"Artemis," said Zatanna sternly, "I've got this, okay. I am going to make you a cup of tea and you are going to go upstairs and either sleep or shack up with your boyfriend for the next twenty-four hours but I do not want to see you down here. Capiche."
"Don't tell me. Dick Grayson is coming today."
"Stop being silly," sputtered the raven haired woman not thrilled with the table turn Artemis had thrown at her as she plugged in the kettle, "Dick Grayson is the farthest thing from my mind." Artemis just leveled her gaze with the magician's nervous one and drawled,
"Sure." Deciding there was no point in continuing to tease Zatanna she turned towards the table and began pointing at various confections that would be on display that morning, "Lemon tarts, macaroons, red velvet cupcakes, mango cheesecake, over there is the crumb cake that The Marlows ordered, rye bread, passionfruit mousse cups, and, finally, cinnamon rolls."
"Obviously. Now take your tea and get your buns out of here." Zatanna expertly dumped a plate of frosted cinnamon buns and a cup of green tea into Artemis's hands before shooing her up the staircase to her apartment. (Artemis had the staircase installed during the renovation so it was easier to move between her store and her living space.) Artemis shot Zatanna a both thankful and weary look as she trekked upstairs.
This was not a conversation she was going to enjoy.
At the top of the stairs she threw on one of Wally's baggy Flash sweatshirts making sure the cast was adequately covered before she walked towards the bedroom carefully, placing the warm buns on the nightstand table before she took her tea and leaned against the door frame drinking in both the hot beverage and the morning light. But what really completed the picture was the sight of her half naked boyfriend, or he could be totally naked under that sheet both suited Artemis just fine. Wally looked so peaceful and childlike in sleep. Unmarred by the scary, horror filled world that they both faced on regular basis. It was always refreshing to look at him in this light. It reminded her why she loved him. But the peaceful moment was shattered by Wally's nose crinkling and him groaning before he opened his eyes and pounced on the cinnamon buns like a feral animal which caused Artemis to snort.
"Morning, beautiful," he chirped happily, mouth half full, waving her over. Artemis slowly approached the bed. "Come on, babe. I won't bite you...yet." He waggled his eyebrows and sent her a lecherous smile. Grabbing another bun to shovel into his mouth he asked, "What's the occasion?" Artemis shrugged sitting beside him on the bed. The longer she kept him distracted the less likely it was he would find out about her injuries.
"None. They're just something I whipped up while preparing to open the shop." Wally frowned, concentrating.
"Did you come to bed last night?"
"What are you talking about?"
"Artemis," chastised Wally wrapping his arms around her waist so he could pull her between his legs, "If you think you can buy me off with food you should have made me cookies too." It might have been light teasing but there was a hard edge to his voice. However, Wally soon discarded his worry in favor of focusing on her as he began to kiss her neck. His ministrations continued as his hands trailed along her thighs until he was grasping the hands in her lap. Gently tugging the cup of tea from between her digits he placed it beside the cinnamon buns on the table before he absentmindedly picked up Artemis's hand and licked at her fingertips removing the minor traces of frosting that remained there.
Artemis would never admit it but of all the features of her body her hands were the part she was most insecure about. The skin was chaffed and rubbed raw not only from the burns, cuts, and accidents that befell them in the kitchen but also from the constant stress they were under when she was using her bow. The fingertips were riddled with calluses and her palms were dry and cracked so she cherished when Wally placed his hand in hers or did these little sensual acts because they made her feel special. She hummed appreciatively has his tongue traced along her pointer finger – at least until she winced when he began running his hand up her arm seductively.
"Ow..." Wally froze. Eyes narrowing. Before Artemis had time to spring off the bed he yanked back the sleeve of his sweater roughly and stared at the previously concealed cast.
"Who?" He questioned darkly. There was no point in asking how it had happened. In their line of work it could be any number of gruesome things – besides knowing who inflicted damage usually provided enough intel for them to figure it out on their own.
"Wally it's none of your concern," she attempted to pull the red sleeve down to cover it again, "It was my mission."
"If it's not my concern why hide it?" he asked icily spinning her around and noticing the purplish hue dancing across her cheek. He ran a finger along the tinted skin slowly, eliciting a small pained groan from the archer.
"I'm just sore."
"Sore? Artemis I can't believe you! Your arm is in a cast."
"You ask why I hid it? It's because you. over. react." She enunciated punctuating each syllable. By now she was struggling to get out of his embrace which only caused him to further tighten his hold.
"I have every right to be concerned. We're dating."
"But it's my life."
"Dating is not a one-way street, Arty," snarled Wally clearly losing his patience, "It's two people, together. It may be your life but I have every right to do everything in my power to make sure you're okay. I'm sorry but If that makes me overprotective than you're just going to have to deal with it because I care about you."
To anyone else this conversation would be sweet and endearing. It would make any girl blush and turn to mush but for Artemis this was the fight she had been trying to avoid because she knew it was coming.
Artemis would not stop being a hero. Artemis couldn't stop.
Wally's drive to be a hero was because of admiration, lineage, and duty hers was a constant battle for approval – to prove that she was not just the tool her father trained her to be and the Shadows had made her be. Wally couldn't understand that. She didn't expect him to. But this confrontation was inevitable. Wally wanted to protect his precious people he couldn't do that if they wanted to protect themselves or tended to throw themselves at danger. What was even more frightening was the lengths he would go to protect those people. Artemis refused to let Wally get hurt on her account because he would. He'd gladly jump in front of any criminal to stop their assault even if it meant harm coming to him. It was one of the infuriatingly insane yet appealing part of his personality. But there is no way she'll be the cause of one of his impromptu stays in the med bay; she is perfectly capable of protecting herself.
"Don't patronize me Wally." Wally stiffened.
"I don't need the Flash to protect me from the bad guy. I don't want Flash to protect me from the bad guy."
"I'm sorry I never realized I was such a thorn in your side," snapped Wally viciously removing his arms and shoving the remainder of the cinnamon bun in his mouth chewing it garishly – he knew that would piss her off.
"God, Flashy act like the adult you are. I want to be in a relationship with you but that and my role in the Justice League are two separate things."
"No they're not you're just making excuses."
"Excuses would suggest I have something to excuse myself for, which I don't."
"Wallace." The Flash threw the blanket off his body revealing his Artemis superheroine boxers that he wore at every opportunity whenever he stayed over (which in all honestly was pretty much every night) because he knew how much Artemis loved to see him wearing her symbol. Who was he to stop her from jumping his bones? But at the moment he was so pissed off seeing her logo just riled him up further. Elaborately and with much show Wally whipped off his boxers and tossed them at his girlfriend before gesturing dramatically to himself, "Take a good look because this the last time you'll be seeing me for a while." Wally smirked with satisfaction when his discarded briefs landed on her head.
"You fucking pig you threw your dirty underwear at me!" screeched Artemis grabbing the boxers from her hair, "I was trying to be reasonable and you threw your underwear at me! Are you six? Get out!"
"Already on it, babe," sneered Wally bitterly dressing himself in seconds. "You'll be begging for me by the end of the week sweetcheeks."
"Go!" she thundered before she virulently hurtled the boxers after his retreating form. Artemis laid down on her mattress whispering to herself, "Just go, Wally."
"Hi Wally," greeted Zatanna as he stormed through the bakery from the kitchen and out the door, "Bye Wally."
"I'm guessing they had a fight," sighed Dick shoving his sunglasses further up his nose.
"And they call you the protégée of the world's greatest detective," teased the raven haired woman placing a cupcake in front of him. Dick looked like he was about to say something, at least until the red haired man raced by the pair again. They could hear the indignant yells of Artemis above them until Wally reemerged with a plate of cinnamon buns.
"She made them for me," he justified crudely, "I do not waste food." He then marched past the duo, "Tell Miss Harpy I'll return the plate…when she comes to her senses." With an overzealous slam to the shop door Wally disappeared.
Zatanna sighed, "Why can't those two just admit they're both wrong and have make-up sex like a regular couple?"
Please review…. I will now go hide in a hole for fear of not meeting people's expectations…Tell me the truth...