Chapter 13: The Truth About Love

A strange fascination with his lips and toes,

Morning breath, bedroom eyes on a smiling face,

Sheet marks' red burn, and a sugar glaze

The Truth About Love, Pink

Day 73

Before the run: It honestly isn't necessary for me to keep on writing this, but I have to begrudgingly admit that I've grown rather fond of this little journal. Huh. Wally's turning me into a pussy.

"Wake up, Wall-man," Artemis said, shoving her hand in Wally's general direction, not turning in the bed to look at him. From his grunt and the sound it made, she could guess she succeeded in hitting him in the face.

Wally's arms wrapped around her middle and turned her so that she was looking directly at him and his red-marked forehead. She extended her arm and traced the mark delicately with her thumb, trying not to look too pleased with herself.

He knew her well, though. Wally rolled his eyes, propped himself on his elbow, and brought his face slowly closer to hers.

Just when their lips were centimeters apart, Artemis used her feet to shove Wally out of their (she felt a little twinge of excitement whenever she used that possessive) bed with all the force she could manage.

Artemis was practically guffawing by the time Wally could sit up right, while she sat up on their bed covering her body with the sheets. A grin set on Wally's face reluctantly; there was no way he could avoid it when Artemis was right beside him, looking so beautiful in her fits of laughter (and lack of clothing).

"Don't you think you're funny," he said sarcastically but good-humoredly, getting up from the floor and putting on some boxers.

"I'm hilarious," Artemis said with an innocent grin, and proceeded to get dressed for their morning run. "Besides, I had to defend myself from your predatory bedroom eyes. If you'd gotten a hold of me we'd never be ready in time for our morning run."

"I wasn't going to do anything. Your breath stinks in the morning."

Wally promised himself to never make such a comment again, even if he was kidding, after earning another red mark from Artemis's well-aimed shoe throw.

After the run: There's something I've been meaning to do for a while. It's time you met Wally, Dr. W.

As they sat outside Dr. Wayne's office, Artemis couldn't help but notice how much Wally fidgeted in his chair. Sure, normally nobody could get Wally to stay completely still, but this was something out of the ordinary.

"Would you chill?" Artemis hissed, but her eyes conveyed that she understood his nervousness.

"Why would I? This is like meeting the parents. I thought we were past that," Wally replied, trying to joke about their less than pleasant encounter with Artemis's dad.

"Funny. I just want the Waynester to know I'm doing okay. I'm long overdue for a checkup but he's been good and patient with me. 'Sides, he'll want to know all about this… this…"

"A beautiful mess. That's what we are," Wally completed for her, looking at her with bright eyes.

"You sap," though in the inside she thought those were the perfect words to describe them. Wally stuck out his tongue at her and she continued, "Well, he'll want to know about this beautiful mess I've gotten myself into."

"Artemis, you can go in now," Martha, the secretary, said. They were already on a first name basis, something Wally noted with raised brows.

"You're actually friendly to people other than me?" he asked incredulously, with a hint of humor.

"You call how I act towards you friendly?" Artemis replied in the same tone.

"Oh, you have your moments," Wally replied with a tantalizing whisper that made Artemis step on his foot purposefully to suppress her shiver.

They had been walking through the doors to Dr. Wayne's office at the moment, and he being the observant person he was, noticed their small exchange with the hint of a smile.

"Ms. Crock, it's been long," Dr. Wayne said simply.

"Oh, you can cut the formalities. It's just Wally, after all. I thought you'd appreciate it if I brought him for you to scrutinize."

Wally sent Artemis a side-long glare, but walked up to Dr. Wayne to shake his hand.

"Hey Dr. Wayne, I'm Wallace West," he said, and his stiff posture visibly relaxed when Dr. Wayne shook his hand back pleasantly and sent him a small smile.

Wally sat down on the green couch in Dr. Wayne's office, next to Artemis, and looked around.

The area was spacious, and Dr. Wayne was currently sitting in a desk that was placed in the center-front of the room. He stood and sat near them, in an armchair. Artemis propped her feet on the coffee table that was before them and Wally couldn't believe how comfortable she obviously felt here.

"Artemis, I hope you know that Wally being here doesn't change the object of the appointment," Dr. Wayne said, and Artemis nodded.

"No big," she said, but from Dr. Wayne's look Wally could tell that this was, indeed, very big.

Artemis started to rummage in the small bag she had brought (Wally had found it strange since she never bothered with purses of any sort) and she brought out a small leather journal and handed it over to Dr. Wayne.

"I'd rather you read that later, though," she told him, and Wally could tell that there was some unspoken communication going on there. He shot a curious glance at Artemis, but she was averting her eyes. Dr. Wayne took everything in stride and gave a small nod, placing the journal beside him.

After some purely clinical questions directed at Artemis, Dr. Wayne turned to Wally.

"Artemis, if you don't mind, I'd like to have a word with Mr. West on my own."

Wally sent Artemis a scared look and she had to smother a laugh.

"Don't do anything fun without me," she said, and with a wink she was gone.

"I can tell you've been a very good influence on Artemis, Wally," he started, and Wally was surprised to see the previous formality of his tone was gone.

"She needs someone like you in her life, and I'm glad to see that you can obviously keep up with her… attitude," he said with a small fond smile, and Wally had to smile too. This man obviously cared about Artemis very much.

"Dr. Wayne, I intend to make Artemis the happiest woman in this world," he said with emotion, and Dr. Wayne nodded. Wally had obviously said the right thing.

"I'm very happy Artemis found you. Now, could you please tell her to come in? Wait for her in the reception," he said, and after shaking hands Wally did what he was told.

"Did he scare you?" Artemis asked him as he came out, and Wally rolled his eyes.

"I'm not afraid of anything or anyone," he joked, and placed a kiss on Artemis's forehead. "He's waiting for you inside," and he pushed her softly to the door, ignoring her playful scowl.

"Is it very obvious?" Artemis said as soon as she sat down, looking resigned.

"So obvious only I can tell," Dr. Wayne answered with a smile, and Artemis relaxed.

"When are you going to tell him?"

"You want me to tell him? Aren't guys supposed to be the ones who say it first?" Artemis asked, trying not to sound as terrified at the idea as she really was.

"I think that in this situation, it's safe to say he wouldn't mind you saying it first."

"You just want me to go through the embarrassment of the 'silence after'," Artemis said with a glare, groaning and hiding her face in her hands.

"Oh, I don't think that will be a problem," Dr. Wayne told her with a small smile, and refused to say more even though Artemis seriously threatened his life.

Artemis seriously underestimated Wally's feelings towards her, Dr. Wayne thought. She didn't realize how she had made his heart her prisoner long, long ago.

Oh God, it's almost 2013. I wanted to finish this story before the year ended, but it seems as though that will be impossible. It's my bad, since I stopped updating frequently :/ sorry guys. The next chapter WILL be the last, I'm pretty sure, but I think I might write an epilogue if I can develop the idea I'm formulating. Now, thanks to madval29 for pointing out some stuff I was missing. I actually mentioned them once in an A/N that I didn't really care about Artemis's or Wally's age, or what they were doing with their lives, but it's important to some people so I'll just put it in here.

I don't know if I ever mentioned Wally or Artemis's ages because I honestly don't remember, but I always picture them around their early twenty-somethings. Artemis has a day job at a coffee shop (I've always had that thought clear in my head but I never really mentioned it so sorry) but these past few days (since her dad's last visit), she hasn't been going so it's safe to assume she's been fired, haha. Also, Artemis doesn't pay for her latest visits to Dr. Wayne's. When her mother was living with her, she had been paying Dr. Wayne, but she was incarcerated again because some authorities found out it was stolen money (haven't worked that one out very well yet). After Dr. Wayne "understood" Artemis's situation, he told her that she was to keep attending their sessions but she didn't have to pay. Artemis didn't like this (duh) but Dr. Wayne had already worked out the agreement with the authorities that if she went to therapy she wouldn't go to jail, so Artemis really had no choice but to keep going to sessions unless she'd rather cozy up in a jail cell.

PS: Wayne is also filthy rich in this story.

That was my reply to her in the PM, or something like that haha. Now, I wish you all an excellent new year! May 2013 bring you all that was missing in 2012, and guys, big suggestion. I saw this in a post in tumblr and I absolutely fell in love with it: starting 2013, fill a jar in with all the good things that happen to you. Sometimes we concentrate on the bad and forget the good stuff. Whenever you feel like life sucks, take out the jar and remember all the good times :')

Well, goodbye then. I think this is my longest A/N yet, sorry! And, as always...