Disclaimer- Do not own Young Justice or any of it's characters.
This fic was actually done quite some time ago, I just never got around to actually posting it here on . You may have seen this on my tumblr.
At any rate, re-reading this I found it to be one of my better pieces, so I tweaked it a bit and decided to share!
(I promise Shifting Feelings will continue being updated in the near future)
Strong T rating for slight sexy time implications and nudity
Artemis Crock liked her alone time.
As much as she enjoyed the company of her little family, she couldn't honestly say she was sad on the rare, seldom days in which the Cave found itself to be devoid of activity. It was an excellent time to train, or listen to music.
Or a combination of both, which she found herself indulging in on this particular quiet day.
M'gann, Conner, Kaldur, Robin, Zee, and Rocket had been sent off on a mission of importance before Artemis had even zeta'd her way in an hour after she'd finished her last class of the day.
She'd protested hotly with Batman about not bothering to call her in, or at least wait until she'd gotten free; but he'd gruffly informed her that there was no way she'd be accompanying them either way after the severely sprained ankle she'd acquired on the night's previous outing. The archer had almost given the Dark Knight a piece of her mind, but a painful, angry twinge from her ankle had halted the words somewhere in her throat, leaving her instead to cross her arms in a huff.
"Whatever," she'd grumbled, cursing her injury as well as Batman.
She hated missing out on all the action, even if it was for her own good.
After Bats had left her to brood, she'd limped off to her room at the Cave to change into more comfortable clothes and grab her mp3 player; if she was going to be exempt from the fun, she could think of no better way to spend her time than blasting music while beating the crap out of a punching bag.
Or sticking a few well-placed arrows through the heads of training dummies so she could at least imagine she was out kicking some ass.
Once she arrived in the Cave's gym, though, the punching bag had proved to be what she really needed.
And that's where she was now. Her breaths come out in shallow, controlled huffs as she keeps her arms in close to her center, striking out with punches, forsaking any practice pivots of her feet in favor of her ankle.
It is some time after she begins sweating profusely that Artemis realizes Batman had never said anything about the Team's resident speedster being on the mission as well. She supposes for a moment that maybe the Dark Knight had simply neglected to mention him, but Batman typically has his shit pretty well together.
Must still be at school, she thinks, landing a solid blow in the center of the punching bag. Then she wonders why she even cares, because she's kind of pissed at him right now.
The thought has her lashing out angrily, then dodging back quickly before the damn bag can strike her in the face from the force of her blow. The movement makes her hiss for the pain in her ankle.
If Wally was here, she knew what he'd say. Knew he'd be trying to get her to sit down and relax like she ought to be. Normally, a thought like that would just make her fondly amused with her boyfriend, but right now it makes her grind her teeth.
She had almost thought about breaking up with him. Almost. For his own good. But the thought had been fleeting, because as much as he frustrates her so much she wants to pull her hair out at times, she loves him.
Taking a deep breath, body wound and tired, Artemis decides she's put enough strain on her body for one afternoon. She gathers her bow and her water bottle and makes her way back to her room to pick up some fresh clothes and loosen her hair. Singing lowly to the music pounding into her ears, the archer pads her way quietly down to the locker and shower rooms, intent on trying to wash some of her irritation down the drain.
I get the gesture. I get it. I do… but why did he have to do that? Why did I even open my mouth in the first place? she thinks bitterly, tugging her shirt over her head in a way that doesn't disturb her ear buds. She's inclined to think that Wally is either simply too good of a boyfriend for his own good, or else he's a moron.
And since Artemis knows good and well that though her speedster can act mildly moronic at times, he is certainly far from it.
Too good of a boyfriend for his own good, then, Artemis muses to herself, slipping out of her underwear and jeans as gingerly as possible. So why do I want to strangle him instead of kiss him?
Now devoid of clothes, she makes her way to the showers.
Having been listening to music and lost in her thoughts, however, she had failed to hear one of the showers already being used, and had missed the sound of it being turned off moments before she removed her ear buds.
Thus, it comes as quite a shock when she slams into a rather solid wall of flesh as she rounds the corner to the communal shower. Said wall of flesh lets out a yelp at the same time a gasp rips from her own throat at the feel of her body being dragged down by the person she'd walked into. Their breaths leave in a whoosh, and Artemis's is followed by a groan of displeasure at her squished breasts.
Feeling her plump lips press against what she can only guess is someone's slightly bony chin, the archer braces one hand against the chest and lifts herself part way up, opening her eyes.
His eyes are closed from the unexpected impact, his hand rubbing at the back of his sore head. When he hears her incredulous voice, however, his eyes pop open. Or rather, his eye pops open. Considering the other one is a sickening shade of purplish-yellow and swollen nearly shut. The sight of it made her blood boil with reminded anger.
"Artemis?" he questions, green eye wide, breath hitching in his chest. "Oh, uh… I didn't know you were at the Cave."
She's acutely aware of their situation on the shower tile. His body is slick with water, his fiery hair plastered to his forehead. Her breasts are brushing against his chest, the light touch regrettably just enough to make her nipples tighten. Their legs are quite tangled, and she can feel his loins squished between them.
But she's too busy seething to have a more embarrassed reaction.
"I thought you were still at school," she says, and it comes out short as she brushes some of her hair away, not bothering to move off of him.
"Well, I was, and then I showed up for the mission but it turns out one eye plus super speed isn't exactly a good combination," he admits, pointing to his bruise. She can feel his muscles flex deliciously beneath her as he moves, and normally that would get a favorable reaction out of her, but not today. "I kinda keep crashing into things… you know, more than usual."
That's what you get, she wants to snap a little scathingly, but she bites her tongue for once. She pushes his wet locks off of his forehead absently as he carries on.
"Been in my room for like an hour or so, decided to take a shower to relieve the boredom. Can't say that I'm entirely bored with the situation right now, though, babe," he grins shamelessly. She feels his warm fingers settle on the widest part of her hips, drawing her up against his body marginally. The action of their naked skin rubbing has her biting her lip to suppress the reaction she'd like to have.
Instead, she curls her nails into his pec, but it's not with lust or playfulness. He winces.
"Wally, I am so damn mad at you right now," she whispers. "Do you know that?"
His expression tightens, his brows coming together in genuine confusion.
"What? Why? What did I do?"
She points to his swollen eye. She points to it, pressing her finger lightly into the freckled skin just underneath it, her eyebrows coming together in consternation.
His hand comes up, grabbing her wrist gently.
"Your eye, Wally. Your eye!" she growls, her voice growing in volume. She can't believe that he doesn't know, that he's been blissfully unaware of her roiling frustration for the better part of the last 24 hours.
"Oh," he says. "That."
"What the hell were you even thinking?" she snaps. Defensive anger flares in his emerald irises.
"What was I thinking? I was thinking about you!"
"Sportsmaster is my problem, Wally!" she yells at him, pushing herself off of him. He doesn't follow, just props himself up on his elbows as she gets clumsily to her feet, leaning heavily on her good foot. "Just because you're my boyfriend now doesn't mean you get to fight all my battles for me!"
"I wasn't trying to fight any of your battles!" he defends, exasperated with her. He hauls himself up as well and comes to a stop inches in front of her, his eyes sparking. "Artemis, he hit you, okay? That bastard hit you and do you think I'm just going to take that information and be okay with it? That I'm not going to do something?"
"Wally, that was years ago," she tells him, voice on a more even level. She crosses her arms beneath her chest, looking down at the tiled floor. "It's the past, and I should've known you'd get like this if I ever told you," she adds in a grumble, shaking her head, pressing her fingers against her aching temple.
Quietly, Wally puts his fingers under her chin and guides her eyes back up to his.
And there's that goddamn bruise glaring at her again, making her insides churn with that anger she's been placing on Wally.
Suddenly, she wonders just how much of it is anger at Wally, and how much of it is anger at her dad.
"Artemis, I'm not about to apologize for chasing Sportsmaster down. I'm not going to apologize for getting a black eye, or punching him in the jaw ten times. And I'm definitely not going to apologize for future beatings when he shows his face on missions."
"Don't make an enemy out of him," she warns, pulling her chin away. Wally laughs, but it's devoid of any real humor.
"He's already my enemy. He's already an enemy of this Team and the League."
"Don't put yourself on his personal radar, Wally! Especially not over something as silly as—"
"Don't you even finish that sentence!" he cries out, stroking a hand through his hair. "There's nothing silly or unimportant about him hitting you, Artemis! God, why are you so stubborn?"
She glares at him, hard.
"I can't stand to even look at your face right now," she spits out, her throat tight. Wally blanches visibly, moving his body away from her. There's shock, hurt in his eyes, and Artemis feels her heart twisting as she reaches out to catch his face in her calloused hands, smoothing her thumb lightly across his eye.
"I can't stand to look at your face and see the bruise he left, Wally," she clarifies, her voice tired and calmer. She lets out a choked laugh, because suddenly the reason for her anger has laid itself out so splendidly in the form of Wally's injury; courtesy of her father's knuckles. "All because you're too damn good of a boyfriend for your own good. Too damn good for me. Or too much of a moron, I can't decide."
"Going to have to go with moron, babe, 'cause you're definitely the one who's too good for me," he says, voice subdued. He pulls her in close to him, and she lets him, even though she's still angry with him for putting himself out in the open like that for something that had happened so far in the past she barely remembers it.
But a part of her knows he meant it all in good intentions, and a smaller part of her feels the weight of how deep his feelings must go for her for him to go so ballistic over it. She clutches tightly at his biceps, lips brushing his collarbone.
"I don't know what the hell I'm going to do with you," she grinds out quietly into his chest, kissing his still damp skin. "I'm still… mad at you."
"You make me want to pull my hair out."
"I'm going to kill you if you ever chase my da—Sportsmaster down ever again." That's my job, not yours… he hit you, Wally, and do you think I'm not going to do anything about it?
"I know that, too, beautiful."
She pulls away, looks up at him.
"Then why do I feel like you'd do it again in a heartbeat?"
He shrugs earnestly, freckles rising and falling with the motion.
"I guess because I'm too good of a boyfriend for my own damn good."
"Or a moron," she supplies. He smiles.
She sighs, and presses her forehead into his chest again, shaking her head there. He wraps his arms around her naked form again.
"Or it could be because I kind of love you. A lot."
Despite herself, despite everything, her lips tug up at the corners.
"I kind of love you a lot, too."