Artemis wanted out, and the Justice League gave her a way out. She joined 'the Team', and met the snarky Robin, peppy Megan, sexy Conner, and solid Kaldur.
And then met him.
Artemis hated his guts, he was the epitome of the stereotypical hero she always assumed them to be: put on a big show, but be an honest to goodness arrogant jerk. But she wanted out, and she could put up with his idiocy and more to stay that way. So he would act like the Kid Klutz he was, and she would be sure to trip his freckled feet whenever she got the chance.
And then it changed.
He didn't change, he was still obnoxious Wally, but then she found out he was also thoughtful Wally, offering advice that was worthwhile. He was dependable Wally, doing whatever it took to keep his team safe on a mission, even when he got seriously pounded for the stupid effort. He was loyal Wally, believing and trusting her for being true even when she lied to his face. And he found out and was hurt and she was hurt more because somewhere along the line, she became loyal Artemis.
And then it was loyal Artemis that trusted her team.
She confessed her history, her past. AndRobin knew, of course he did, and the rest of the team accepted her. But Wally, Wally understood her, and cared for her and his loyalty didn't change. He was the hero, accepting her faults and believing in her regardless. Always the hero. The hero that became her anchor. That day they were more than heroes, when they saved the League and found out Red's betrayal and foiled the plans of the Light.
And then it was the New Year.
Wally did what Artemis had wanted him to do for so long and it felt right. And after that kiss, it was her and Wally, Wally and her, and even when they bickered and fought and wouldn't speak to each other they were still that couple. That kiss changed everything. She had wanted out before, and she had gotten out. But now, now she wanted to stay in, she didn't want to leave, to leave Wally. So she didn't leave her anchor. She stayed with him through the missions, she resigned with him when the loss was too much, and followed him to the best years of their life in college.
And then NightWing called.
NightWing, with his ridiculous plans that had Artemis asking how the HELL did they not see this coming sooner? And for the first time in a long time they argued, horribly. Because Wally didn't want her to go, caring and loyal and her Wally was afraid of the danger she'd face. But Artemis had been held on a leash too long, she needed to be free and roam and fight like the huntress she was made to be. So she did, she became Tigress.
And then it was hell.
Because while everyone thought her dead, she went behind their backs, just like her dad would have always wanted, and was sabotaging the League. The people who were like a second family, who didn't realize the deceit she had sown. She fought mercilessly, acted coldly, and played her victory like the proud Tigress that she was. The worst part was the truth- the truth she hid and smothered behind the Artemis inside her, refused to let speak. But it did speak, and it told her worst fears: she enjoyed being Tigress.
And then it was over.
Kaldur and she were compromised, found out, and she was never happier, never more grateful to act as the Artemis that was hiding beneath the Tigress. And that moment, that moment when the familiar blur zoomed in, sending the bad guys into chaos and naturally saving her as they settled comfortably amidst a clutter of villains, just to throw snarky comments at her. Artemis couldn't believe how much she'd missed him, how much he'd missed her. And again her anchor was set. She was Artemis, not Tigress. She was Wally's partner, not a villainess.
And then the world was ending.
Of course it was ending, and that was okay, because it was Wally and Artemis, Artemis and Wally, and no one- including expert hacker best friends- was ever going to separate them again. They followed their orders, taking down the Reach's attack on Paris. Artemis was caught up in the moment of finally doing something good instead of being the bad guy her stupid father trained her to be. And then Wally reminded her that even if she had missed being good, she had missed being his more. It was perfect, they were perfect, and the world could end all it wanted so long as she had her anchor. But then- it was. The world was ending, because they had missed one. She had turned to her anchor, because at least she had him if this didn't work, but he was gone.
And then the world was saved.
He had left to help, Wally had gone and she was going to throttle him when they reached him for being so impulsively stupid. Then she'd hug him and grab back the lost pieces of perfect he had scattered when he ran because she was with him than everything could be okay again. So the team landed, and they watched the destructive force get dissolved and end. They had saved the world. Wally, that ridiculous idiot who was a hero through and through had helped save the world. But as the dust settled, her gut dropped, and nononono echoed in her heart beat even as she asked 'Where's Wally?'. And Barry, the man who trained the hero, told her that Wally loved her, and the NONONONONO grew louder and it wasn't possible, it wasn't. Not after all this, not after what she'd done to help and leave him and come back to him. She couldn't believe it, she had returned, she had her Wally back.
And then her anchor was gone.
It wasn't the same after that, it couldn't be. She was hollow for the longest time, even after she told his family and watched his memorial be put up and rejoined the League. The hollowness ate at her, but she refused to fill it. How could she? Why would the world take one of its true heroes, why would Wally have to sacrifice like that? Where had been the League? Where had been she? So she left the hollowness, because she didn't deserve to feel anything less. She left Artemis behind, because without Wally, there was no Artemis anymore. It was hard to see the lines that weren't supposed to be crossed now, hard to find the desire she had before to be the woman Wally believed her to be.
And then she drifted.
The Team held her back, told her she couldn't do what she was doing as a hero. So she stopped being a hero. Kaldur tried to dissuade her. M'gann and Conner begged her not to leave. NightWing and Zatanna told her that Wally wouldn't want this. But they were nothing accept painful reminders of those golden years that belonged to Artemis and Wally, Wally and Artemis. So she left. Her sister found her, of course she would. Jade understood, because Tigress might have lasted longer, but Crocks couldn't turn from their roots, they were meant to be villains. And since there was no Wally to anchor her, there was nothing to keep her from being pulled back.
And then she was Tigress.
Jade and her dad helped her step into the shadows, and she worked hard to prove her loyalty, to prove she didn't want to be a hero anymore. She killed. She tortured. She maimed and destroyed. She answered every beck and call, order and command. The hollowness stayed, but it started to turn numb. It had to, because even Tigress couldn't embrace all she'd done. She built up scars, and no cared. She cut short lives, and no one thought to ask if she regretted it. The Shadows had her loyalty, because the shadows were the only anchor she could find.
And then the Light found her.
She hated the Light, she would have destroyed them if she allowed herself to care anymore for what they'd ruined, but she didn't care. She couldn't. She was now the cold, graceful killer she was always meant to be. They wanted to use her past connections, her expertise on a mission. It was just a knife in the hollow place in her heart that the mission was in the Arctic. But she steeled herself, and felt nothing. Nothing when they landed, nothing when they encountered the League and whatever their plan was, and nothing when she put a dagger through Zatanna's arm.
And then the Team recognized her.
It had been so long, two years since she'd left without a trace. Miss Martian realized it was her, naturally. They all froze, shocked, and Tigress managed to incapacitate two of them flawlessly before they even thought to defend. Connor tried to restrain her, and his face, his words, brought back the days when Artemis was free and it made her mad. She was coldly satisfied when she shoved that Kryptonite in his face. The others went down like dominos, each a hateful reminder of what she refused to remember. NightWing would have been difficult, but he wasn't fighting her, and she knew her mission failed when he and the weakened Zatanna caused a bright light to eclipse the area. It was impossible to see, but she recovered quickly.
And then he had returned.
Her anchor, Artemis's Wally, fumbled weakly in the snow, trying to rise to his knees, to see what was going on. Tigress growled at the site of him, because he was the reason for the hollowness, he was the reason for the never-ending pain. NightWing rushed to him, covering him protectively as the rest of the League regrouped around him, and met Tigress's gaze. She heard the Lights order to retreat, but couldn't bring herself to move. In that moment, she wanted to end Wally, she wanted to destroy him. Because her anchor was gone, and after everything she'd done now, he couldn't just come back. Shakily, the intense green eyes that were once all she wantedlooked around, until they landed on her, not understanding.
And then she walked away.
She dropped off the radar, though not after leaving a very painful present with her last employers, because it was their fault that he was back- they couldn't even kill a hero right. Tigress watched as another speedster joined the Justice League ranks, and hid as that same speedster raced around the world, looking to once again make Wally and Artemis, Artemis and Wally. Tigress would never let herself be found, not by NightWing, not by him, not by anyone. Jade confronted her one day, saying her reason for leaving the heroes was back, and she should go to them while the invitation was still open. Of course she didn't. Tigress didn't belong in league with heroes, to be restrained and kept at bay. She crushed that small part of Artemis that still held on, still smiled at the sight of Wally being alive. Tigress would not change her colors, not anymore. Because she knew- Wally had held her back, and this was her true nature.
And then Artemis was lost forever.
Yes, I know I'm a horrible person for writing this while you are all waiting for the final chapter of Possession, but would you be kind enough to review anyway? Was the story clear enough?