Notes: Then Let's Waste Time Together is a collection of drabbles that surround the lives of the team, mainly Wally and Artemis. These drabbles are inspired by a list of 100 words that I have somewhere in my files and this one is, as you can see, number 81. I'll try to keep every drabble under 1,000 words but as they say, the more the merrier, right? Last thing, the title of this collection is derived from and inspired by the song Just What I Needed by The Cars. It's stuck in my main Spitfire playlist and I love that song. It's my jam, as you will.
"There's Sirius," Wally said, pointing up to the aforementioned star. "And there's Orion's Belt, there. You know, it points to – "
"Sirius, the brightest star, I know. You tell me every time we do this," Artemis interrupted with a subtle roll of her eyes. Wally poked her lightly on her side and grinned when she jerked away, releasing a small indignant yelp.
They were both lying in the back of his rather rusty pick-up truck on the edge of some beach in the East coast. They were probably on the edge of Florida or at least close to Florida. Artemis didn't really like Florida but for Wally's sake, she didn't say anything about it.
Batman had given the team the entire weekend off from missions and Wally had jumped at the chance at a road trip with his favourite girl. He didn't hesitate in blurting out his plan and asking her, pleading her to please, please, ask her mother to let her go on this road trip, it'll only take two days tops, and she'd be back before Sunday night, and they could sleep in his truck, and he knew just where to have bathroom breaks and where they could get gas, and the Batphones were always charged because they were probably powered by Wayne Tech's highest and most proficient technology (but don't tell Batman he said that) so they could always be contacted but please, Artemis, please come with me.
Artemis almost said yes just so he would stop talking but if she were being honest with herself, she was kind of looking forward to a little vacation away from Gotham and even away from the team for a while. She was in the middle of the first full month of her senior year at Gotham Academy and for Artemis, it felt as though the school had forgotten that the students were just getting out of a long, lazy summer vacation. For the past few weeks, Artemis had been packed with work, college applications, and after school activities. Not to mention the fact that she was kind of a superhero and therefore constantly got summoned to the Cave for missions, Artemis was definitely feeling the mode the last few weeks. At least, that's how Bart would have said it.
So that's how she found herself sitting here and pointing out the constellations with Wally, of all the things she could be doing on a Saturday night. Don't get her wrong, lying in a truck with Wally West was probably the most relaxing thing she'd done in the past few weeks but you never heard her say that. You also never heard her say that she totally enjoyed the six-hour drive to this beach, with the wind in her face, rustling her braided hair as Wally sang along to the radio. She never said anything about loving the song on the radio, one of Billy Joel's lesser known songs, and she never asked Wally to turn the volume up. There was no way she was ever going to admit enjoying any of this to M'gann or Zatanna or, God help her, Raquel, because, um, road trips with freckle-faced eighteen year-olds to a Billy Joel soundtrack and the wind in her hair? Since when was she dropped into an 80s teen film? Or some lame Mary-Kate and Ashley flick about living life and finding their one true love on the road?
Ohh, hell to the no.
"Admit it, Artemis, you're loving this road trip," Wally teased, bringing the archer back to the present. He leaned on one elbow so he could look down on her and grin that cheeky, bright, handsome grin at her. Artemis in turn resisted his attempts to rattle her and narrowed her eyes at her boyfriend.
"And if I did?" she tested. Wally's grin melted into something softer and Artemis didn't miss the sparkle in his eyes as he reached out to play with a strand of hair that fell out of her braid.
"Then, I would take you on more road trips. And I'd make them last longer than a weekend," he twirled the strand of hair around his finger as he talked. "And I would never tell a soul," he finished, a knowing smile growing on his face. Artemis had to smile back.
"Fine. As long as you don't tell anyone," she jabbed a finger in front of his face, "No one!"
"I won't!" Wally promised, laughing. He let go of her hair and gathered her in his arms so he was lying on his back and she was perched on his chest, a chest that seemed to have expanded in the past few years so that it was large and warm enough to provide a completely new home for Artemis. Gone were the days when Wally West was just cute, lean, and lanky. In two years, he had grown in looks, muscle and height (but not in maturity - never in maturity) and how did he always smell this good? Or had he always smelled like light deodorant, lost leaves and his mother's homemade cinnamon rolls? Perhaps he always had and she had just never taken the time to notice it.
She was noticing it now, as he slowly ran his hands up and down her bare arms.
"So. You going to admit it anytime soon?" he asked. Artemis rolled her eyes and propped herself above him with her forearms.
"Alright," she gave up. "I love it," she told him, enunciating each word with a kiss to his left cheek, then his nose, then finally, his waiting lips.
Don't tell anybody, but Artemis may possibly, could probably, and most likely be a sucker for picking out stars from the back of rusty trucks. On the other hand, she might just be a total sucker for people like Wally West.
Wally just seems like the kind of guy who would take his favourite girl out on road trips, right? And Artemis just seems like the kind of girl who would deny it until her beautiful boyfriend's beautiful good looks were too much for her to handle.