Title: Separation Anxiety
Disclaimer: I don't own any copyrighted material
Notes: Takes place after 2x07 "Depths"
Wally was supposed to be in mourning. It took every ounce of muscle in his body not to pick up the phone when his friends and former teammates called to see how he was doing. But Wally was a talker, and he needed to communicate with someone. He had originally settled for Dick at the manor, but was promptly kicked out the moment Tim arrived (couldn't have the newest Robin be suspicious about the whole event). Now he was back in his home at Palo Alto.
Some best friend he is, Wally thought with a frown. My girlfriend just died and he didn't even offer me a snack or anything. Getting up from his seat, he quickly rushed from his living room towards the fridge and back with a can of soda. He drank it all with one gulp, which should've satisfied him for the night, but after realizing that it was Artemis' can of pop, Wally became upset again. Sighing, he left the finished can on the coffee table and decided to head to his – their – room.
"Wally! Are you really going to leave that there? You do remember what happened the last time you left your trash on the coffee table, don't you?"
Wally froze at the sound and quickly turned around. There was no one in his sight. Shaking the voice from his mind, he proceeded to head back to the bedroom when he heard his girlfriend's voice again.
"Of course, you would go back to being a slob after I leave," Artemis said sternly.
The redhead spun from his position again, goose bumps trailing along his arms when he realized he was the only person in the house. Sighing, Wally gave in to his conscious and picked up the empty soda can. After tossing it in the recycling bin, he looked back up to look at his home. He frowned.
By now, Artemis was usually on the couch either watching TV or furiously scribbling notes down for her latest assignment. And more often than not, if it was the former, then she would've invited him to sit with her so that they could enjoy a late night movie together. Even if she was studying, Wally was in the room with her, doing his own homework as well – Artemis made it very clear that if he was snacking while she studied, then he couldn't have any loud foods.
Wally looked up at the kitchen clock. It was only ten at night – he and Artemis rarely went to bed until after midnight due to their studies and well, extracurricular activities.
"Sorry, Baywatch," the voice said, this time coming from the dining room chairs. "Looks like you're sleeping alone for tonight. You're not going to be scared, are you? I left your Flash plushie in the closet for you."
He frowned. "I'm not scared of the dark, Arty!" he said to the empty space in front of him. His eyebrows knotted and he combed his fingers through his hair. Alright, Wally. Time for bed – it's been a long day, he thought one last time before walking towards the bedroom and landing on the bed.
However, the bed felt too spacious for the speedster. Wally continuously tossed and turned until his pillows had fallen onto the carpeted floor.
"Urgh, Artemis, can you get that for me?" He said out loud, only to realize his girlfriend was not there when no one replied. Groaning, Wally reached his arm over the mattress to pick up the pillows. He held it close to his chest, breathing in Artemis' scent and wondering how the blonde archer was fairing now that she was underwater with Aqualad.
He continued to stare at the ceiling. It still bothered him that of all the candidates for this mission, Nightwing had chosen Artemis, specifically. The fact that Wally knew she was a horrible liar didn't help at all.
"Babe, I'm going to be alright. Stop worrying," the woman said, causing Wally turn to his side and face what should've been Artemis sleeping on the other side of the bed. He shifted his eyes to glimpse at the framed photo of the couple on the nightstand.
Suddenly, there were knocks on the door, but Wally remained lying down. The knocks continued followed by a few rings from the doorbell, much to Wally's displeasure, and he threw the pillow over his head to prevent himself from hearing anything.
"Aren't you going to get that? It could be someone important."
Wally flipped onto his stomach but left the pillows to cover his ears. He may have wanted somebody to talk to earlier, but right now, now that he was in bed, he just wanted to be left alone. "Urgh, you do it, Arty."
"I can't. I'm dead, remember?"
The last response was what pushed Wally in an upright position. He stared back at the empty room and thought about the idea of Artemis being at the enemy base now. "You better not be," he muttered before dashing to the front door.
Opening it with annoyance in his actions, Wally was face to face with a grinning boy.
"Wally! What's up?" Bart asked with a quick wave and a tight hug around the older hero.
"Is that the new Flash? Impulse, was it? He's cute, Wally," was what he expected Artemis to say had she not left for her mission – Wally ignored the thought and proceeded to pull Bart away from him.
"Kid, what are you doing here? I thought you were with –"
"Was with the Garricks, they were being all lovey dovey and I figured they'd wanted to celebrate their anniversary late, you know, since Neutron came and crashed the party – whoa! Is this a picture of you and Dick Grayson when you were kids? Grandma Iris had a copy of this back home, but it was more worn out and – sweet! Apple pie! You don't mind if I have a bite, do you?"
Wally could already hear Artemis' voice already: "What were you saying? He's definitely another version of you."
Running up to the brunet, Wally placed a shoulder on the hungry speedster. "Bart, if you haven't heard, I'm sort of," he sniffed in between his sentence, "in mourning. Artemis, my girlfriend, just died, and I'd really like some alone time now. Do you think you could go visit your…Grandpa Barry?" He forced a frown and although conjuring up tears didn't work, he hoped the tilt of his eyebrows worked for the kid.
"You're as good of an actor as I am at lying, Wally," Artemis announced from behind Bart. Wally had to refrain himself from looking up at her rather than down at Bart.
Unfortunately, Bart's reaction wasn't what he had wanted. Instead of the "Oh, I'm sorry, Wally! I'll leave right away!" response Wally had been hoping for, there was a widening grin plastered on the boy's face and his eyes were wide as saucers – it kind of creeped Wally out, truthfully.
"Wait, is she with Tempest – I mean Aqualad? I can't believe it! I landed in the middle of one of the greatest moments in history!" Bart exclaimed, throwing his arms out in the air and running towards the living room. "This is going to be so crash!"
"What?" Wally was flabbergasted. "What are you talking about? My girlfriend is dead, I want to mourn and be all depressed right now, but you being here –" But Bart had paid no attention to the redhead; he continued to talk.
"This is so cool! I always heard about it when Grandma Iris talked about Nightwing's ultimate plan and –"
"Wait a second, you know?" Wally finally interrupted him and approached the impulsive boy.
"Well yeah, this is like the crash-est plan ever! There are movies based on what happened between Nightwing, and Black Manta, and Arrowette, and – oh! Uncle Damian is going to be jealous that I was a part of the –"
"Uncle who? Never mind, so everything goes well then? Artemis makes it out okay?" He asked curiously, and suddenly he was hearing Artemis' voice in his head again.
"Calm down, Wally. I'm going to be alright."
Wally sighed and replayed those words in his thoughts; they strangely calmed him down, and he spoke again before Bart had a chance to. "Wait, no, I don't want to know."
Bart continued to ramble, however, which Wally ignored. Instead, he stared out at the open space where Artemis could've been doing a bunch of things at that moment from talking on the phone to watching TV or drinking coffee – God, he missed her. But asking Bart about what was going to happen in the future wasn't going to help with anything, Wally realized and it may as well ruin things, so he kept his mouth shut. He needed to believe in her.
"Alright, Bart. You can stay here for the night, but please no spoilers. I've already dealt with enough things today…"
Bart placed both of his hands over his mouth and nodded. "No spoilers, definitely!" He muffled the promise behind his hands.
Wally nodded and turned around.
"Blankets and pillows for guests are stacked in the drawers, babe," Artemis reminded him, and Wally pressed his lips together to keep himself from responding to his conscious.
He had eventually found the items he needed, in the drawers, of course, and made his way to the living room. Wally was about to tell Bart that the guest bedroom was ready when he noticed the boy lightly snoring on the couch.
Sighing, Wally sped to the guest bedroom and back to the living room with the pillows and blankets in hand. I did not sign up for this, Wally thought as he pulled the blanket on top of the sleeping boy.
He turned around from his cousin and glanced at the clock. Only twenty four hours had passed since he last saw Artemis…
"Good night, Wally."
That mission better be over soon.
A/N: Wally's not crazy. It's just one of those things where you've been with a person for a period of time so you kinda expect them to say something even if they're not there. For instance, you spend most of your childhood hearing your parents tell you "eat your vegetables, it's healthy!" and you don't really think anything of it until maybe one day you're on your own but you can hear your parents' voice in the back of your head telling you to add veggies to your plate. Or something like that.
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