A/N: These are a collection of one-shots or drabbles that deal with Artemis's and Wally's life after she returns from her undercover mission as Tigress, with a focus on their domestic life. These take place in the same universe as my story "Sunset", which isn't essential to understand these, but still encouraged. Since I won't neccesarily be uploading these chronologically, I'll be labeling them by years. This one takes place in year 0. Please enjoy.
Artemis, wearing sweats, wandered into the room, running her fingers through her shorn hair. Wally sat on the couch engrossed in a television documentary. He didn't acknowledge her as she plopped down on the seat beside him, careful to leave a few feet between them. She wasn't sure she could ever get used to this.
A few days after she had returned from her undercover job, he had asked her, calmly, kindly, without a hint of anger, why she had shown up on their door pregnant with another man's baby. And she had told him. Told him how Icicle had shown up, had recognized her despite Zatanna's charm had demanded repayment for not revealing her secret. It was for more than the mission that she slept with him; it was for self-preservation.
He hadn't yelled at her. He hadn't done anything, really. He had hardly spoken to her since. She couldn't really call it a fight—not one furious word was spoken, not one angry sex session happened—but now that she was on the receiving end of the silent treatment, she couldn't imagine anything worse. She couldn't say she didn't deserve it.
"Wally" she tried. He grunted. "Wally, I…I was thinking that maybe we could go out for dinner tonight?"
He scoffed. "No. Not with you pregnant and unmarried."
"I didn't know you had a problem with having children without being married."
"Maybe I wouldn't, if the baby was mine." He turned from the television and glared at small bulge in her stomach, refusing to look her in the face.
"I…I could get it aborted."
"It's your baby. That's between you and Mahkent."
"Would it make you happy?"
"Would it make you happy, to kill another human life?" She swallowed. That hurt. She hadn't wanted to kill during her missions, just like she hadn't wanted to fuck Cameron. Wally didn't know what it was like to kill someone, golden boy that he was. He had never had to grow up with supercriminal parents, he never—God, had she already sunk to self-pity.
"Then I'll go to the store, buy the ingredients to make my mother's stew."
"No? Wally, it's your favorite food."
He gripped the edge of the cushion tightly, his knuckles turning white. "It was. But I couldn't eat it while you were away. And now, I don't want to."
"Then I'll cook something else."
She made spaghetti. She took her bowl, leaving him the rest of the pot, to retreat into the guest bedroom –they weren't even in same bed anymore. She didn't know what to do to repair her relationship with Wally. She had already asked for advice from her friends. While Zatanna gave comfort, Raquel sass, neither they nor any of the other girls had really helped her. Dick had offered to speak to Wally on her behalf, but these days, Wally was almost as angry at his old best friend as he was at his girlfriend. She just had to hope that, over time, things would get better.
In the meantime, there was this baby to figure out. Artemis really didn't want to get to an abortion. She didn't care what other people did with their babies, but, as Wally had said, albeit spitefully, she had killed enough people that she didn't want to kill anything else, even a collection of cells.
There was no possibility on contacting the father. Cameron might have been once been a beau and confidant, but any lingering attachment she had for him had turned into loathing. Since Artemis hadn't reenrolled in school yet, it would be easy to move back in with her mother or with Roy and Jade, who had a beautiful, spacious home in Rio. Jade might have turned into some sort of Robin Hood—with Roy as Maid Marian, can you imagine—but she still had a taste for the dramatic.
How was she supposed to raise this child, who was part her—already a disaster in the making—and part icicle—an even bigger can of worms?
Reprieve came, as it often did, in the form of alcohol. While Artemis knew as much as anyone that you weren't supposed to drink when pregnant, she couldn't turn Zee down when her friend wanted a Girls' Night Out on Zatanna's birthday. Besides, she had ordered orange juice. Later, she wondered if Zee had asked the bartender to spike the juice or had done so herself, but after several drinks, Artemis was extremely drunk.
So drunk that the girls had had to call Wally to pick her up.
Artemis didn't really remember much from that night. She did remember a groggy Wally (for he was already half asleep when the girls called) dragging her out of the bar and driving her home. The next thing she knew, she was waking up in their bed at ten a.m. Her head had been propped up with the perfect number of pillows and on her bedside table was metal bowl, just in case the alcohol hadn't agreed with her. Wally wasn't in the bed, but perhaps that was too much to ask. Or was it?
Fifteen minutes later (during which Artemis hadn't moved, her head complaining of ill treatment), Wally West entered the bedroom, holding a tray piled high with pancakes. He cautiously laid the tray on her lap.
She stared at him. "I—uh—you?"
He made no attempt at answering her inarticulate question, but he refused to budge until she started eating.
Artemis's life took a surprising turn for the better. While Wally still rarely spoke to her without being poignant, his actions became kinder. He started cooking for them—she wondered if he secretly relished showing off the skills he had learned while she was away—and started volunteering for chores. They slept in the same bed, even cuddling at night. When she spotted him building a cradle, she was completely bemused.
He looked up, hammer raised to attach another nail. "Arty!"
It had been a long time since he called her that. It only made her more confused. "Wally, you're making something for…for my baby?"
"Yeah," he rubbed the back of his neck. "I figured I needed to do more than just say sorry."
She blinked. "Say sorry? For what?"
He stood up. "Arty, I've been horrible to you for the past few weeks. So horrible I'm surprised I'm not getting death threats from the old gang. It's just—I've been alone so along," she winced. He looked guilty. "Sorry. What I mean is that I didn't realize how much my behavior was affecting you until you went out with Zee. After that, well, I was afraid for both you and the baby. I don't want to lose you again."
"Wally, I-" She burst out crying, which was infuriating because she hated not having control over her emotions.
He walked forward and hugged her in a giant bear hug. "Just hormones, Babe. I know you're not one to randomly start crying."
Snuggled against his chest, she smiled.