Never Let This Go

And there he was off again, avoiding her yet again for the fourth day in the row. She heaved an irritated sigh as she watched the retreating back of her best friend, Dick Grayson. Just what the heck is his deal?

She wanted to ask him if he wanted to go to the cave together, but now it seemed like he wasn't planning on even standing near her to talk.

Artemis didn't know what she had done to deserve this kind of harsh treatment from him. Did she ruin her friendship with the only guy she trusts with her life?

"Artemis! Artemis! Crock Pot!"

The blonde turned around to unleash her fury on the person because she did not like that nickname. Why did she get the horrible nickname? All of her angst and fury disappeared the instant her eyes fell on her other best friend, Bette Kane.

"Betty Crocker, I fucking hate that nickname."

"Shut up, Crock Pot. I'll stop when you stop bringing up that stupid ass nick name." Bette grins the instant she saw Artemis's face contorted into a scowl. She slithered an arm around her neck and leaned in close to her ear. "Word on the street that Reid Blackwood asked you out for prom."

Artemis gave her a look. How the heck did that get out? "Yeah, so?" She deadpanned.

"Artemis, Artemis, oh Artemis. You're going to prom with the Archery Captain! You said you wouldn't go out with a guy like him." Bette said exasperatedly and then switched her tone lower. "You know how much I hate that guy."

This is why she specifically told Reid to keep it a secret. Then again, it was inevitable to even keep it secret when there were other people present. "Well," She said trying to come up with quick explanation. Instead, she came up with, "He's not that bad."

Bette gave her the 'are you serious' look. "You're either hallucinating or desperate! There are other guys that are willing to ask you, y'know! We've got to make our prom that best night ever, not stuck with that jerk face."

Artemis opened her mouth to retort, but nothing came out. She hadn't really thought about her date for prom for that long. The instant the Archery Captain, Reid Blackwood had asked her out, she automatically agreed. It was like her mind went autopilot for a second and now is wondering if something was wrong with her.

She knew that her date is a jerk and she didn't know what her mind was thinking of agreeing to go to the dance with him. She knew how much Bette hated the guy and she felt nothing but guilt. Damn it!

It feels like her week is ruined by every stupid decision she makes. First, for god knows why, she agreed to go with the dance with Reid. Then Dick refused to be even near her within two feet like she had done something wrong. And Bette is now berating her for agreeing to go out with Reid.

Artemis clicked her tongue, wondering how would Reid react if she were to tell him that she didn't want him to take her to prom anymore? After all, Bette is right. They've got to make their prom night the best night ever since this was their last year here at Gotham Academy.

"Fine. I'll tell him that I can't go with him anymore, ok?" She smiled once she saw Bette's satisfied look.

"Good. Go find another date!" Bette slapped her back hard before setting off back to the building before she was late for her student council meeting.

.

It was a few hours later that she finally arrived at the cave. She planned to corner Robin and interrogate him why the hell was he avoiding her. She truly hates the feeling of being ignored. Then she realized that the boy wonder wasn't planning to come by when Black Canary announced that he was feeling sick.

Then she felt sick, angry and tired and had taken out everything she was holding in out on Superboy. It was almost to the point where she almost broke her wrist and Canary had halted their training session.

"I'm fine." Artemis said, glaring at her mentor. She cleaned her fist tightly; ignoring the pain of an almost broken wrist.

And it was just one look from Canary to Connor and back to her that Connor took her by the waist and carried her on his shoulder. Of course, she didn't come with him quietly. There were a few kicking and punching and reassuring that she was fine.

She was fine.

She was fine.

And the unbelievable expression sketched on Connor's face told her otherwise; all she wanted to do now was crawl into a hole and die.

Honestly, she isn't fine. She didn't realize how much Dick had this much affect on her. And she hates the feeling of being ignored.

It was only a few minutes later that Connor was done checking if her wrist was broken or not. In the end, he wrapped a bandaged around her wrist, just in case. Then he left once Artemis assured him that she's fine and he should go back to tell the others.

Artemis lay back down on the hospital bed as she lifted her left arm in the air and gazed at the ugly brown color of her bandage. She leaned to her side and found herself fascinated by the white walls of the med bay. It was cliché. Why can't it a blue like his electric blues?

Great. Now she found herself thinking about him now when only a few minutes ago all she wanted to do was pummel the guy for even thinking of ignoring her! And she had to think to herself for a moment, like was there anything she did to ruin anything that made her best friend avoid her?

And her mind came up blank.

Artemis sat up from her bed deciding she wants to go home and occupy herself. Once she stood up, the door slide opened revealing the last person she wants to talk to.

"Hey Arty!" He greeted as he munched through his bag of Lays Barbeque chips. "Just checking up on you. Is there anything wrong? You seem kind of depressed." Wally inquired with the most sincere voice he managed while munching on his chips.

The blonde sneered back, "Wouldn't you like to know?"

"Aww, c'mon Arty. We're best friends right? Best friends care for each other." Wally yipped happily and Artemis glared at the red head hoping he would choke on his chips. "Aw, babe, don't look at me like that. No matter how hard you glare, I won't be choking on my chips tonight."

Artemis couldn't help but roll her eyes and proceeded to hit him on the shoulder. Eventually, she told him her predicament from day one. She started off with Reid asking her out—

"Wait, wait, wait. Who's Reid?"

"The Captain of the Archery team."

"….pfft. Seriously? OW!"

—to the day when Dick started avoiding her. She hasn't seen him as much since he avoids her at school and at the cave. Everywhere where she was—he was there. It was unusual not to see the little troll around her. And at last, Bette telling her to ditch her current date and find a new one.

Artemis breathed out, not realizing that she'd been holding it in for quite some time. She waited for the red head to finish munching on his Lays… Honey Barbeque? Wasn't he eating the Barbeque chips minutes ago?

"I think—" munch. "that Dick—" munch. munch. "wanted to take you to prom!"

Artemis furrowed her eye brows together in confusion. All she could think about how she would be too tall for him and it would be awkward for them to dance together. She forced out a chuckle, "You're not serious. I mean, Dick is a little too short."

Wally raised an eyebrow at her as if he was saying 'are you high woman?' "Uh, what are you talking about? Dick is taller than you, Arty."

The blonde opened her mouth to retort to his stupid remark, because Dick is like four inches short and she was five feet two and—

Then she groaned, realization hitting her like tons of bricks. From the moment she met him, she had always seen him as the little midget who'll never catch up to her height and she pointedly ignored his height growth over the years.

Artemis muttered curses under her breathe about how her math teacher is being a complete jackass. Once she slammed her locker loudly, she almost had a heart attack when a cheery voice greeted her.

She scowled at the little midget. "Don't scare me like that!"

Dick cackled. "I can't help it. I love your reactions." He replies with a cheeky grin plastered on his face and the blonde wanted nothing but to scrap it off his face.

"What do you want, Dick." She said, straight going to the point.

His cheeky grin faltered soon replacing it with a serious persona; something she'd never seen before. "Artemis, do you want to go out with me to prom?"

Artemis blinked once; twice; thrice before biting her lower lip. She couldn't believe that Dick went all serious about that. Then her lips quirked into a small smile. "I'm sorry, Dick. I just really don't want to go to prom this year. It's too much of a hassle."

And his face went from serious to pouty in seconds. "Oh. I… really wanted to take you, though."

She almost felt bad for this kid and laid a reassuring hand on his shoulder. "Someday, when you outgrow me, ask me to prom." And in the back of her mind, she made a promise that she would make it up to him.

Her hands covered her face as the memory kept replaying in her head. What had she done? No wonder Dick was avoiding her! How the hell could she forget? Two years ago he was just a little midget and now— Fuck. She has to fix this.

.

When Artemis finally arrived at Gotham Academy, the first thing she did was to head to the Archery area. Usually, the team would be practicing out in the field during the morning. And once she saw her target, she had called him over.

"Artemis, hey, what's up?"

"Um. How do I say this? I can't go with you to prom anymore."

"Oh. Ok. No problem."

She blinked. Wow. That was easier than she thought it would be. "Ah, ok. So I'll catch you later!" Artemis flashed him a quick smile before heading out of the area.

One of his friends came up behind Reid. "You're not mad that she's ditching you for another guy?"

"Well, after what happened last night when that creep threatened me about taking care of her at prom. I'm good."

.

She grinned mischievously once she spotted her best friend by the lockers. She leaned in sneakily and carefully, but she was pretty sure that Dick had already noticed her. He isn't Batman's protégé for nothing.

Once the junior slammed his locker and his face feigned a surprised look, he opening his mouth off an excuse to get away from her.

But she wasn't planning on letting him do that.

She caught him by the shoulder, squeezing it tightly. And she almost found herself mesmerize by his electric blues and realized how much she missed seeing it daily.

"Dick, I know why you've been avoiding me lately. You got me thinking that I might've ruined our friendship by something stupid I did and I apologize."

Dick blinked in confusion. "'Mis, you've got nothing to apologize for. You didn't do anything wrong."

Artemis heaved a sigh; wondering if she should repeat the same words she said to him two years ago. "Yes I did. I did tell you to take me out to prom when you outgrew me, right?"

"Isn't Reid Blackwood taking you out?" He pointedly said, with a bit of bitterness in his voice.

The blonde's lips quirked up a smile. "I canceled on him, actually. So, would you maybe—"

It was just one eye blink that everything changed. She had stopped talking once she heard the locker opening and closing. Artemis felt like the center the universe once the surrounding people had halted their current activities to gawk at them.

She felt heat rising up to her cheeks because ohmygod, what the hell is he doing?

"Go out with me to prom?"

The said boy was kneeling on one knee while holding a bouquet of flowers presenting it up to her.

"Yes!"

The surrounding people were murmuring how cute that was and Artemis couldn't help but feel embarrassed. She never had this much attention during her three years stay at Gotham Academy. She looked back at Dick with a silly grin plastered on his face and she quickly accepted the bouquet.

"Damn it, Dick, if I knew you were going to be all overdramatic, I would've confronted you after school or something." Artemis hissed, relief that the surrounding people had already dissipated within seconds. "It looked like you were going to purpose to me!"

"Maybe you'll end up my wife someday." He mused as they walked down the foyer together. After all, they nearly had the same classes, again, for the third year in the row.

"You'll have to date me first, boy wonder."