Disclaimer: We do not own Young Justice or any of it's characters.
Bwahahaha, oh goodness, me and Alfhild could NOT stop laughing while writing the last part of this. Anyway, so easy to imagine Wally with friends like the ones we gave him, even though Wally's not THAT type of nerd himself! He's not a card or chess playing nerd, he's a wonderful science nerd and old movie connoisseur, to be sure(in fact I could see him thinking card games like Pokemon are silly as all get out)! But anyway, without further ado...
Prepare to laugh!
Written by Alfhild, IronicVeghead, TheRantDragon, and Chaneldancegrl
As Kid Flash, Wally West was pretty damn cool. He could break the sound barrier with his speed. His body could withstand freezing temperatures without his needing to wear so much as a sweater. He had been part of the freaking holy quadfecta of superhero sidekicks, and every member of the Justice League knew his name.
But as a sixteen year-old high school student, Wally West resided somewhere near the bottom of the social ladder. It was partially by circumstance, partially by choice.
He'd had a few embarrassing incidents due to clumsiness during freshman year (and a few this year, too) that still lived in his classmate's memories. Wally was the school's Science Bowl and had been unsuccessful in shaking off the "science geek" mantle that came with it. He knew he could be the school's sports star, but he didn't have time to go out for any teams—they required too much commitment—and there was too great a risk he'd reveal his super speed by mistake.
That was what it really came down to: time. He didn't have the free time to work on his civilian social life, so he'd just stayed friends with the guys he'd hung out with since elementary school. Those guys just so happened to turn out to be among the biggest nerds at Keystone High. So he wasn't thrilled when his girlfriend wanted to meet his 'civilian friends'.
"Wally, really," Artemis rolled her eyes when the speedster continued to block her path to the zeta tubes, "If you don't let me through, we're going to be late," she deadpanned, crossing her arms and tapping her foot impatiently.
"I just. . ." Wally started, his green eyes darting around the cave's living room for any idea of an excuse to use. "I just remembered this. . . thing, I have to do," He prattled off lamely.
"Babe," Artemis emphasised, strutting towards the redhead and sliding her arms around his neck, "Why are you so unhappy about this?" Her eyebrows furrowed in confusion, "Do you not want your friends to meet me?"
Wally easily read the underlying insecurity in his girlfriend's eyes. Here he was, embarrassed by his civilian social status, and he'd managed to make his beautiful archer think he was ashamed of her. Wally pressed a kiss to her cheek and wrapped his arms around her lithe waist, "No way, gorgeous. It's more like. . ." He sighed. "I don't want you to meet them."
Artemis's shoulders relaxed and she gave a small, teasing smile. "Why? You got some sort of reputation to keep, Wall-man? Are you expected to have a 'babe' better looking than me?"
Wally snorted violently at the mere thought.
"Artemis, babes don't come "better looking" than you, okay? It's more like these guys are going to be pulling out their inhalers at the sight of you," he explained, arms still wrapped around her as he attempted to guide her away from the buzzing Zeta tubes. She wasn't having it though; her feet were firmly planted. "Please, god, Artemis! I am trying to save you here, and you're making it very difficult!"
"There's nothing to save me from, Wally. I just want to meet some of your friends, I don't see what the problem is here!" the archer said with a laugh, dragging him towards the tubes. Really, what was there to be so skittish about? Wally groaned loudly and dug his heels into the floor, his sneakers squeaking piercingly.
"I'm not going to change your mind, am I?"
"Nope," she stated simply, her eyes both steely and playful. He sighed. That was his spitfire: stubborn as a mule when she had her mind set on something. Well, he might as well warn her.
". . . Fine. Fine. You win, babe. But whatever you do, do not ask them about their hobbies," he warned in a foreboding tone, face deadly serious. He could tell Artemis was suppressing her laughter by the way she bit at her bottom lip as he looked at her. He took her hand, lacing their fingers as he marched them both into the tubes.
"Laugh all you want, Artemis, but you'll be wishing you'd listened once you meet them. . ."
They were meeting at an IHOP near the Central City zeta tubes. It was Wally's idea since he loved the large portion sizes they served. But as they walked closer in the searing Missouri heat, the speedster was still itching to ditch the meet-and-greet.
Artemis used her free hand to wipe the sweat off of her brow, cursing her boyfriend for living in such a terribly hot city. And the archer would have dislodged her other hand from Wally's the minute they'd walked into the oven if the boy hadn't had such an iron grip on her.
Finally the restaurant came into view and Artemis had to force her legs to a walking pace in order to keep herself from running towards what she knew was an air conditioned building. Her steel eyes were locked on the doors and she was biting her lip in anticipation for the gust of cool air that would meet her when they arrived.
"Babe, wait," Wally said, halting them on the sidewalk. Artemis blanched and let her eyes linger for a second on the doors to heaven before turning to face the redhead.
"We are going, Wally," She reminded him, her tone leaving no room for discussion.
The speedster shook his head sheepishly, "That's, uh, not what I wanted to tell you," He gave an awkward laugh, "I just thought you should know that my friends kind of. . . um. They kind of think I made you up," he sighed, "so be prepared, because they're probably gonna think I hired you, or something."
Artemis squeezed his hand to reassure him. "Well there's nothing to worry about," she smirked, "because you didn't hire me. I am really your girlfriend."
She smiled when Wally's crooked grin lit up his face and he began pulling her towards those blessed doors once more.
The inside of the building was exactly as she had fantasized: the cold air brushed over her skin, leaving in its wake relief akin to jumping into a pool. Wally seemed more ecstatic at the prospect of a large meal, but that was normal, so the archer shrugged it off and pulled the bangs back that had stuck to her forehead from sweat.
"We're meeting a group here," Wally waved to the hostess as he pulled Artemis past the people waiting and headed towards a larger booth at the corner of the restauraunt.
As the couple made their way down the restaurant aisle, it gave them a chance to observe the group of boys at the table. One of them with greasy brown hair and bottle cap glasses was studiously messing with the salt and pepper shakers and a napkin.
"I'm telling you guys, this is a hilarious prank. My cousin showed it to me. Basically, you put one layer of napkin over the opening of the pepper shaker, dump some salt onto the napkin," he demonstrated, pouring the open salt shaker over the napkin, causing a mess and covering the table in salt. He studiously ignored the mess, too busy focusing on his work. "Then you put the cover back on the pepper shaker, rip off the extra napkin and wallah!" He raised his finished project and proudly showed it to his crew.
"What's that supposed to do?" asked a boy with long blonde hair from behind his strawberry milkshake.
The boy with the glasses gave him a look that said, You poor naive boy. Must I spell it out for you? "Duh, when someone goes to use the pepper, they'll only get salt all over their food," he explained haughtily, pushing his glasses further up his nose.
The other guy snorted. "Prove it."
With a look of fierce determination, he shook the pepper shaker over his napkin, and out poured a pile of pepper. His disappointment was almost comical. His friends burst out laughing and even Artemis let out a chuckle.
"Yep, they're definitely your friends," commented Artemis to Wally. He answered with a grimace and coughed awkwardly as they finally reached the table.
The seated teenage boys turned their bemused smiles to Wally before their expressions turned to ones of shock, complete with wide eyes and slack jaws as they registered the beautiful blonde that held Wally's hand.
"Hey. . . guys," Wally greeted, waving half-heartedly. "This is Artemis. My girlfriend."
Artemis waved at them as well, swallowing down her laughter at the sight of the guy with glasses pulling an inhaler from his pocket and administering it to his open mouth. Damn, Wally really had been telling the truth about their reactions to her. In fact, she caught him giving her a pointed 'I told you so' look out of the corner of her eye.
The rest of Wally's friends blinked owlishly up at them, and the booth was filled with pure silence, save for the boy (named Eric) who was currently gasping into his inhaler.
As Wally and Artemis stood there for a moment longer (Artemis would be lying if she said she wasn't basking in the awkwardness just a little) one of his friends, Tony, decided to speak up. Tony had moved to the States from China when he was little, and his real name was Xi, but he picked Tony as his "American name," as he liked to call it. In an obvious, but not terribly distracting accent, he said, "We thought he made you up."
Tony had a tendency to just blurt things out, which he blamed on his being "the foreign guy," but Wally knew better—the kid just didn't give a damn about social graces.
Wally narrowed his eyes at his friend. "Artemis, this is Tony." He then gestured to Inhaler Boy. "This is Eric." Then to a very pale boy with long blonde hair, "This is Matthew." Lastly, he pointed to the two thin boys (twins, it seemed) at the very end of the large booth, sitting across from one another, "and they're Noah and Burk." All the guys gave weak, Hellos in response.
As Artemis slid into the booth, she noticed the two brothers scrambling to remove something from the table. Were those. . . Yu-Gi-Oh! cards? Artemis peered more closely. Yes, they were definitely Yu-Gi-Oh! cards. There had been a small group of boys who played the game during lunch back when she went to Gotham North; they had been a pretty uh, exclusive bunch, so Artemis had never spoken to them. She now had an inkling as to why Wally was so reluctant to introduce her.
Noah and Burk caught her staring, and so she smiled at them, which she quickly came to regret because they both spent the next few minutes looking down at their folded hands on the table and not talking.
O. . . kay then.
"So," Eric seemed to have collected himself by now. "How did Wally and you, um. . . happen?"
Matthew spoke before Artemis could.
"Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind;
And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind."
The archer stared at the pale, blond boy across from her, unsure of how to proceed from there. For his part, Matthew looked even more disturbed, as he immediately brought a hand up to cover his mouth.
"He quotes Shakespeare when he's nervous," Wally whispered to her, then, "Hey! Are you saying she'd have to be blind to date me?"
"What he's trying to say is that we just weren't expecting you to end up with someone so. . . so. . . well, out of your league," Eric piped up, at last recapping his inhaler and shoving it back into his jeans pocket beneath the table, and pushing his glasses up the bridge of his nose. His expression was very matter-of-fact, and he seemed bored with the situation, as if he was waiting for Wally to suddenly blurt out that he'd paid Artemis to show up with him.
Artemis pursed her lips, offended for Wally and herself. Out of Wally's league? Wally was an attractive young man! Occasionally annoying, and clumsy, but still good looking. She hardly considered herself out of the speedster's league, and even so, Wallace West had about a thousand leagues over these guys, easily; how could they not see that? Still, she put on an outward smile, speaking over her boyfriend, who had opened his mouth to make a hot retort. She decided to mess with their heads a bit.
"Boys, boys..." Artemis said, and she put on her absolute best sultry expression; her fingers squeezed Wally's to let him know he needed to keep up. "First of all, I don't have a 'league.' And second of all, Wallace West here is sexy enough for anyone's league," she purred, placing her free hand against his chest, and splaying her fingers against the fabric of his loose white shirt. She continued:
"For your information, we met one night in Central Park. I was visiting my mother in New York, and it was the day before I was to return to Vietnam. Wally here was on vacation in the Big Apple, and it was by pure luck that we ran into each other near the fountain—you know, the one with the big angel? As you can imagine, there was an instant attraction," she sighed, looking into Wally's eyes adoringly. He met her gaze back just as reverently, though she could see the barely contained mirth dancing behind his emerald eyes, as well as curiosity over where she was going with this yarn of hers.
She squeezed his hand again, and began speaking with great conviction. "I fell for two things that night: his mind, and his ass in spandex." The entire group's eyes (including Wally's) widened in shock, but she plowed ahead because she was on a damn roll here. "The setting was perfect: just the two of us, fireflies swarming around the lanterns. I told him how sad I was to be leaving so soon, and he told me he'd write me every day."
Wally's friends were looking at him in disbelief; apparently Wally wasn't the letter-writing kind of guy. The speedster only nodded sagely along with her story.
"But I told him, 'No! To hell with my father and his rules! I love you, and I'm staying here in America with you, Wallace West. All of Vietnam can try to stop me, I don't care! I know you won't let them take me from you!' So he brought me back to his apartment and let's just say one thing led to another. . ." she paused to look around the table and gauge their reactions, which were all ones of thinly-veiled horror. "And, well, here we are!"
Silence once again reigned supreme for several moments; Eric had taken out his inhaler once more, puffing from it rapidly as he attempted to get a hold of himself. Tony stared at Artemis like she'd grown a horn from the middle of her forehead and Matthew just looked horribly confused. Noah and Burk were actually hiding the bottom halves of their faces behind their Yu-Gi-Oh cards. No doubt they were wondering what the hell kind of romantic entanglement their friend had gotten himself into.
Wait—these guys actually believed her story?
Artemis turned to her boyfriend, and she could see he was biting his lip extremely hard to keep a straight face.
3. . . 2. . . 1
Artemis couldn't take it anymore and burst out laughing.
"Guys, guys," she said as she collected herself once more, "I'm just busting your balls. We met at an academic competition a few months back, sparks flew, he asked for my number—pretty standard stuff."
Of course, they had actually met before a covert ops mission to guard a scientist against assassins, but she had been truthful about the sparks flying.
Wally grinned proudly and wrapped an arm around her shoulder. "I told you guys the ladies can't resist the Wall-man."
Artemis rolled her eyes, but smiled a little nonetheless, allowing herself to rest more comfortably against his arm. She could feel the familiar warmth of him lacing their fingers together where they rested against the booth seat, the last vibrations from his laughter reverberating through her body as he calmed down.
"Did you guys plan that?" Tony asked with a hint of amusement. The stiffness in the atmosphere was slowly fading, now.
Artemis smirked. "Maybe." Before anyone could say anything else, the waiter came to take their drink order. When the waiter was gone, she asked them all pointedly, "So, how did you and Wally happen?"
The air was muggy and humid as they made their way back to the Zeta tube that evening, walking at a languid pace for a change and laughing over the day's events.
"You know, once you get past the socially awkwardness, they're nice guys, Wally. Maybe not the coolest people in the world. . . but they mean well. I can see why you hang out with them."
"Okay, yeah, and I admit it, that was pretty great!" Wally said loudly, slinging one of his arms up over her shoulders and pulling her close to his side despite her half-hearted protest. "We should do this more often, if just so you can own them like that again."
"Are you kidding? You know I'm a terrible liar! I'm not even sure where that came from, to be honest. . ."
"Well, whatever it was, it was amazing, babe," he said, giving her a sloppy kiss on her forehead. He suddenly came to an abrupt stop, having caught sight of something interesting, something that made him smirk a little deviously. "Look, Artemis, it's a park. Shall we go sit by the fountain and fall madly in love with each other all over again?"
The two teens' laughter rang out through the rapidly falling night, startling a few passersby.
"I think I'll take a pass there, Casanova," the archer chuckled, steering him back in the direction they'd originally been traipsing. "You've still gotta get me home before ten or my mom might beat you with a broom."
"Pffft, your mom loves me."
They lapsed into a comfortable silence for a few blocks, and Wally happened to look over at her to see her face scrunched up in deep thought as their shoes clacked against the sidewalk.
"Something on your mind, babe?" he asked, wondering vaguely if something his friends had said might've irked her. She shook her head.
"No, it's just..." She paused to chuckle into her hand, and he raised a curious eyebrow. "It's just, as smart as your friends seem to be, none of them ever bothered to ask about the whole spandex thing. You'd think they'd call you out on it or something."
"Fridge Logic. Hey, you know, speaking of that. . ."
"What?" she asked warily when he trailed off ominously.
"Do you really like my ass in spandex?" he inquired, waggling his eyebrows suggestively at her. She let out a booming laugh, the purest he'd heard from her all evening long, and he felt her fingers come together in a pinch on his rear end. He yelped at the action.
"You know it, Wall-man."