A/N: Watching Traught videos earlier, and it all just breaks my heart… I want so badly for it to be canon…
Disclaimer: Own Young Justice? Me? Nope.
Some Call It Destiny
Training simulation for the rookies, the freshmen, the newbies. They all watch as a set of trained professionals take action on the platform. It tracks their every move, each flip, each strike, each dodge. Points are counted, but neither are listening. She's moving around him, ducking and dodging, while he glides around her like a graceful dancer, their moves almost perfectly synced.
"Why does he always call her in for this stuff?" asks Wally from the sidelines, comment directed at Conner, who stands beside him stoically, arms crossed, eyes watching through a haze of emotions. "I mean, you and Megan fight almost as-"
"We're not even close to their acrobatic abilities. Nightwing still trumps us all, but Artemis is easily second best. Don't even compare M'gann or I to Artemis." His azure gaze never strays from the fight. "It's insulting to her."
The comment is sharp and direct, no doubt in the clone's mind. It clouds Wally's perception, and he has to look again, but all he sees is her skill and his movements.
In the ring, she turns, taking a jab at his face with the base of her palm, something he simply slides past; Nightwing instead manages to stab his fingers into her side, and she slips back a few feet, knowing that close combat is his specialty. Artemis is swift and lean, something he can only compete with using his incomparable acrobatics.
With a certain enthusiasm and a bright shine in those blue-gray eyes, she manages to see him before he can strike and lands a quick blow right under his neck, and, from the sheer force of it, he stumbles back a few steps, and even pauses to give her a cunning smile. "I'm pretty sure I taught you that one," he comments with a half-laugh.
"You did." Before he can react, she's like a snake, striking at his guarding arms and the few parts of his exposed torso. Almost every slash is blocked, but she's trying her hardest to land at least something on him. Being Robin made him better at offense, but his defense was stronger upon being Nightwing, hence his expertise in hand-to-hand.
His hand snatches one of hers practically out of the air and he's quickly yanking it behind her back, twisting her at awkward angles, trying to make her squeal and squirm-
"Nightwing!" calls Wally in his obviously irritated voice. Really, he's trying to get them out of the business, but the look on her face tells him she never wanted to leave it.
Artemis snaps her head back and catches his nose, blood immediately streaming from it and dripping down to stain his uniform. In pain, he drops back, trying to staunch the flow, but the former archer doesn't give in, not like that; Artemis lunges in, giving him one good kick to the gut and then swiping a foot under him to knock him down and hopefully keep him there.
He's better than that. He's taken harder hits. Nightwing hits the ground and the training pad marks him a failure, but he bounces back up, still bleeding, and stands at the ready. "Bring it, archery girl."
"You asked for it, birdbrain." Artemis rushes him but pulls back at the last second, making his counterattack fall short until she lunges forward and his other hand is moving.
Nightwing catches the side of her head, and she falls aside for a heartbeat, giving him time to tumble past her, around her, invisible until she turns to search and he gives her a good punch, lowering it to get her shoulder rather than her face. He laughs when she stumbles back, but her eyes are still glowing with the challenge. Neither are backing down, not yet.
This time when she charges, he plants one hand on her shoulder as his head dodges a jab and vaults over her. Surprisingly, Artemis counters very well, not turning, but instead kicking back, knowing where he went from how his weight shifted. She catches his knee, but he doesn't go down and the pad doesn't announce another failure.
He lashes out right back, striking at the small of her back to make her turn, but she turns and clobbers him quick enough, punching him right in the face again, sending him backwards so that he's holding his face. "That enough for you?"
His nose is definitely bleeding heavier now. Nightwing is smarter than to fight blood loss; his gloved hands go up in surrender. "I give," he breathes, voice nasally as he looks at her through a bloodied mask. Really, the blood is everywhere. "I give."
Artemis moves in pretty fast, realizing that his head is pretty much drained; his usually pale complexion is even whiter. Her arm loops under his in an attempt to support his weight. In her memories, he wasn't this heavy. "You probably should've called someone who couldn't kick your ass."
"Uh-huh." He's holding his nose, trying to keep from losing more blood. "I also should've called someone who wouldn't kill me."
"You got back up the first time," she laughs with all of her heart. "You should've stayed down."
"Should've known better than to play games with an assassin's daughter."
"I think I'll just leave you-"
"The couch. Just a few more steps." He reaches out weakly with the one hand that isn't across her shoulders and more blood flows.
A ton of bricks. A stampede of elephants. It hits him fast and hard, painful as being punched in the gut. They were meant for each other. Wally can't hardly comprehend it because his heart is already so entwined with hers that he doesn't want to think of his life without her, but seeing them like that, her with the biggest smile imaginable and him so lighthearted after defeat… It's obvious. It's painful. It's right there. He can't deny it, can't ignore it. It's a hideous truth for him to see, but there's a smirk on Conner's face when Wally looks to the clone, and it's like the blue-eyed meta has known all along.
"Cassie, can you go grab me some tissues or something? Maybe even a cork?" The former archer is taking things into her own hands without pausing, and even gets the rookies to follow orders. Seniority pulls strings around the cave.
"S'not that bad," comments Nightwing, lying down on the couch. He knows there'll be some nasty bruises tomorrow.
Garfield laughs. "You said 'snot'."
"Gar," scolds M'gann from the kitchen as she hands a box of tissues to Wondergirl.
"Meg, wet rags would be nice. He's a freakin' mess." Strangely enough, it doesn't bother her to see him like this. They're safe, the area is controlled, and he's already being taken care of. After all they've been through, this is the first time he's been hurt where it hasn't physically pained her to see him in such a state. And two wet dishtowels float to her just as Cassie arrives with the tissues.
Wally can hardly believe any of it. His girlfriend in love with his best friend. What ae the odds? Why? How long ago had destiny decided this? West's mind is reeling as he watches Artemis patch up Nightwing, shoving tissues in his face while he laughs, dazed and beaten. "Arty, you're in my personal space." "Shut up, I'm helping you." Sure, he needs a spitfire, but he can surely find another. Right? "My face-" "-is covered in blood. Now hold still." Wally feels his own chest hurting, but it's not with an ache of envy or rage for the universe. It's a simple, quiet loneliness. "I have a photo op later. Dammit." "…what?" He wants something like that. He wants something where he meets her and automatically feels that connection, that spark, that heart-throbbing agony in the pit of his stomach where he can't stand to be without that one girl. Artemis? Sure, he loved Artemis, but looking at them, seeing that… It's not her.
"Is he going to be okay?" asks Megan, now present as she peers over the couch at the bloody body that is Nightwing.
"She broke my face," he whimpers, still dazed and very confused. "My face… It's broken."
"Quit whining." Her commanding voice silences him. "You've lost a lot of blood. Hey Meg, can you levitate him to the med bay? And maybe call Robin?"
"Why not Batman?" asks Conner, finally inserting himself in the situation now that his counterpart has joined in. His arms unfold and his eyes are watching intently, wondering if he shouldn't carry their limp leader instead.
Artemis watched as Nightwing reached for her hair and swatted him away; yep, he'd definitely lost too much blood. "He wouldn't want Batman to see him in this state. That, and he just got his ass handed to him by a girl. I'm pretty sure Robin will just laugh, but Batman… Yeah, call Robin. And tell him to bring some of Nightwing's blood."
Wally wants something like that. Wally craves something like that. He and Artemis care about each other on a deep level. They love each other. But it isn't what they have. There's something special there that can't be seen except in a few rare moments, moments when they're together and embracing the moment. That's why he's never seen it before. The fighting chemistry is part of it too, the way they know each other inside out, upside-down. It's a different kind of magic, one that he can bring himself to believe in.
M'gann carefully levitates their limp leader out of the room. Conner helps her to keep him stable by occasionally lifting his head to keep him flat and sometimes taking one of the rags that Artemis handed to him and wiping fresh blood off of him. (Meanwhile, Nightwing is still complaining about his broken face and his photo op.)
"You know I kicked his ass, right? So when someone asks, you say, 'Yeah, Artemis kicked Nightwing's ass.' Make sure you tell everyone." She smirks with a childish delight.
He can't believe he's really going to say this. "Artemis, we need to talk."
A/N: I honestly had to write it because there are some scenes where you look at it and you can see the pairing. It's in your face and it's right there. But then the Spitfire scenes are so much more common and obvious. I figure Wally has to see one of their scenes eventually and realize that there's so much more potential than just their friendship.
Anyways, review? Thanks for reading, guys (: