A/N: Wrote this a couple nights back, I've had this idea on my brain for a while now and I'm actually pretty pleased with how it turned out. Hope you enjoy. Set after "Infiltrator".
Disclaimer: I do not own Young Justice or any associated characters.
She slipped in through the window around 10:30, her feet silent on the wood floors. The young blonde cautiously shut the window behind her and breathed a sigh of relief. "Hey Mom," she said after stripping her mask off and pulling her hair free of its ponytail.
"Did you have a nice time with Batman?" asked Paula from her chair. She stretched for the remote for a second before her daughter came to the rescue, handing it to her mother only for Paula to turn it off. "Did the 'team' go well? Are they friendly?"
Really, Artemis was too tired to make an actual report to her mother. Still, she and her mother were still trying to find some sort of common ground and were attempting to pick up where they'd left off so many years ago as mother and daughter. The archer didn't want to disappoint, it'd seem ungrateful, especially considering how her mother had fought for her.
Through the mission, there had been so many ups and downs, especially after seeing Jade- she could've sworn her heart stopped. Artemis didn't want to bother her mother with that knowledge, the ache of learning that her daughter had gone to the dark side and followed in her father's awful footsteps. So she opted to report the one thing she thought was truly viable information. "I met Kid Flash today."
The expression on her mother's face: priceless.
Since he'd shown up as Flash's new sidekick, Artemis had absolutely idolized Kid Flash. Robin was old news because he was so local. But a distant, indiscernible speedster? A force that no one understood and no one could even see? He was fascinating.
There had been very few pictures of him ever taken, but she had every single snapshot in a shoebox under her bed. She knew the freckles on his face that weren't hidden by the mask like the back of her hand; the shade of his eyes wasn't emerald nor jade but just green- a simple green. That shock of red hair stopped her heart, and every redhead she saw always made her stop and stare in the hopes of it being a boy with the ability to break the sound barrier.
She admired him for doing the impossible. He was strong, he was fast. His whole life was going by at ridiculously high speeds while she had the everyday tasks of school and chores. Kid Flash was the high life, the fast lane. Artemis wanted to be that, she wanted to live in a blur, to get away from anything and everything within seconds.
And she admired him for his heroics: bravery, will-power, hope. He was a savior to those who needed him and was willing to put anything on the line for that. And he had some little sense of humor, she could tell by his smile, that lopsided grin that seemed to be permanently stuck to his face. She really liked him. A hero. She wanted to live up to be something like him, and she most certainly wanted to find a man like him some day.
Her mother, for as long as she'd known about this secret little obsession, had always prodded fun at the fact that Artemis hadn't fallen totally head over heels with Red Arrow, but she now knew he was a complete jack-ass with far too many daddy issues to be worth the struggle. She mentally scoffed at the thought while she put down her bow and set aside her belt and thigh pouch before removing her combat boots.
The second Artemis had settled her tired body into the comfort of the worn down couch, Paula was bubbling over with far more questions than were probably necessary. "Is he nice? Is he handsome? Did you kiss him? I know you kissed all those pictures of him."
In summary, or at least in Artemis's mind, the basic question became: "Was he everything you expected him to be?"
"He's kind of a jerk."
Paula's face dropped.
They both had great expectations.
Artemis had expected a guy with a gracious smile and hope for the human race and advanced thought processes because, y'know, if Flash is smart, you can only think that his prodigy would be too.
Wally was a cocky womanizer with big ideas and a capacity only for himself. Closed mind, sealed lips. No smile, not for her anyways. (She pushed her uniform choice to the back of her mind, remembering that her choice was mostly about functionality but the bare midriff was in the quiet hope that maybe if he ever saw a picture of her, he might just think she was pretty. Not sexy, not stunning, just pretty. And hella toned. Maybe he'd respect her like she respected him.) Artemis had hoped for so much more, maybe a guy with an actual sense of humor. A guy who didn't overthink mouth-to-mouth. A guy who wasn't a total moron. A guy who wasn't distrusted by the thought of her.
She wanted to much more. Artemis wanted friendship. Artemis wanted to maybe kiss him on the cheek and just say "job well done", maybe in a non-romantic way because hey, they were teammates.
But no. He flirted with a chick who clearly wasn't even into him, acted like a douche because one of his other friends was gone, and blamed her for every little thing that went wrong even if it wasn't her fault (even if she did it on purpose to save her sister and thereby it technically was her fault).
"Artemis, I'm sorry," murmured Paula.
Her daughter just laid down on the couch, curling into a ball. "Not your fault. Nothing you can do. He's just rude." She had such high hopes- they both did. "Besides, he likes someone else."
"It's not that big of a deal." Really, she wasn't upset, just bothered. If he was an ass, what did that say about the rest of the hero community? Could they all be big bags of dicks?
Silence lingered for a few long moments. Artemis couldn't keep quiet for so long. She wanted to make sure her relationship with her mother was strong and there were a few redeeming qualities about him that she was more than happy to share. "He is kind of funny," she confessed softly after a deep sigh. "He isn't necessarily friendly, not to me anyways, because I replaced Speedy, GA's kid?" At her mother's nod, she continued: "And he's brave. And even though his feet are faster than his brain, he isn't a total moron. He's strong and fast. And a bit cute. Even though he's still a jerk."
Still, Paula's face had relit with a small, contented smile. "That's wonderful, yêu."
Artemis found herself smiling as well, surprisingly.
"Go to sleep, Artemis. Green Arrow called and said you have a training session tomorrow, eight am sharp." Paula patted her daughter's shoulder gently until the girl rose to her feet. "You'll need your rest."
Artemis hugged her mother goodnight and said a gentle "thank you". For what, she hadn't the slightest. She just knew she was grateful for her mother's presence. And then she headed to bed.
She ripped up all the pictures of Kid Flash. They didn't do him justice.
A/N: Please leave some feedback/criticism.