I've gotta fight today
To live another day
Speaking my mind today
My voice will be heard today
Artemis pried her eyes open. She was disoriented and everything spun. She tried to sit up and found she couldn't. Her limbs felt like lead and her throat burned. Her wrists and ankle were tied with rough rope. Artemis allowed herself to take a moment to gather herself. She pried her eyes open again. There was a weak light coming from the crack under a door. Very slowly, she lifted her wrists to her mouth and began to undo the knots with her teeth. By the time she had finished, she felt a bit better. She was able to sit up without wanting to vomit, which was progress. She untied her ankles and stood carefully. She took deep breaths and leaned on the wall. She took a few shaky steps towards the light and felt around, found a light switch, and flicked it on. That was a mistake. The sudden flood of light assaulted her eyes and she sunk to the floor. She counted slowly to ten then opened them again. Artemis forced herself to stand as she looked around the room. She was in a janitor's office. She took one shaky step, then another. And another. She paced the room until she felt confident in her steps. If she couldn't fight, she could sure as hell run.
Artemis looked around the room for anything she could use. She found an unopened package of bottle water in the back under the desk. She chugged two right away then opened a third. Once she had finished that, she dropped the bottles on the floor and checked through the drawers. Nothing useful. She went to the door and tried the knob. It was unlocked. A stroke of confidence poked her. She felt stronger now. It was funny how something as simple as water could do that.
Artemis opened the door a tiny crack. She scoped out what she could see. All clear. She slipped out and tiptoed through the dark room. Lights lit up various cabinets throughout it. She approached one. It was filled with a piece of torn fishnet stocking and a broken heel. Little cards sat next to each that described where and when it was from. Artemis skimmed it quickly. They were both from Black Canary. Artemis knew exactly where she was now.
Two months ago, Gotham built a museum in tribute to the local heroes. Artemis had never gone to it, she couldn't seem to find the time, but now she was absolutely positive she was inside it.
"I don't know why he wouldn't want to just bring her to the roof." A gruff voice rang out.
"You fuckin' idiot. He didn't want the babe there cause she could get away." Another one said. Artemis's head snapped to look at the direction the noise was coming from. She cursed silently then bolted behind a display case. She pressed her back against it and tried to make herself as small as possible. She listened to them go into the closet. Then she crept as far as she could from them. She got a few cabinets away before heard them start swearing loudly. Crashing noises erupted from the closet.
"Where the fuck is the little bitch?"
So they found she had escaped. Great. If she wanted to keep her secret she'd have to keep these two quiet. She would have to take them down quietly too, she wasn't sure if there were anymore guards around.
"How would I do that." She muttered to herself. On a whim, she looked to the cabinet she was leaning on. Inside were these spherical little metal things. She skimmed the little description. Some of Robin's smoke bombs and a tool belt with a broken buckle (Found and generously donated by Bruce Wayne). Perfect. Now how would she get them out. She ran her fingers along the sides and found nothing. Not a lock, or a keypad, or anything. Suddenly, a door slammed open. Artemis peeked around the corner to see two thugs stomping out of the janitors closet. It seemed they had finished with their little hissy fit inside the closet.
"Split up. Find the bitch. Then we'll beat some sense into her and bring her to the boss." The bigger of the two barked.
"Shit," Artemis whispered. She ran her fingers along the sides again and because she was getting desperate, the bottom. They brushed on what felt like a keypad. She ducked down and found a seven number pass code on a Wayne Industries lock. Artemis quickly listed everything she knew about the locks mentally. Bruce invented them. One failed entry and this huge alarm went off. Only high officials of Wayne industries know the code. The codes would probably be all the same for this floor. Bruce chooses every one of them personally. She repeated that last fact out loud, almost silently. Artemis took a deep breath and typed. 7424273. She held her breath. The red light flashed them turned green. The pass code was Richard. She always knew Bruce was a big softie.
Artemis stood up and pulled open the door slowly to be sure it wouldn't creek. She took both spheres out of the cabinet and tied the belt around her waist. She stuffed one in her belt and headed for the nearest thug. It was the smaller of the two, but he was still huge. She pressed the button and threw down the first bomb. She pulled her shirt over her nose but didn't let her eyes lose him.
"What the fuck," he said. He took a few steps back, as if he was trying to evade the smoke. Artemis ran up behind him and jumped onto his back, putting on hand on his mouth to muffle his yelling and wrapping her other arm around his throat. She squeezed it just enough to cut off of his oxygen. She counted to ten and released him, just as he uncle taught her. He began to fall, unconscious. Artemis caught him on her shoulder and set him down carefully to prevent any noise. The smoke was beginning to clear up and she had to get out of there.
"Hey, jackass." The other guy called out. Artemis ducked behind another display case. He was closer than she had thought. "Fuck face, where the fuck are you?" Artemis threw down the other smoke bomb at his feet. She dropped and swept his legs out from under him then shoved him onto his stomach by twisting his arm. She pushed a pressure point in his shoulder, "Who's the bitch now?" His eyes closed too.
Artemis was sick and tired of being hunted and she was sick and tired of Stone's bullshit. It was time to end this. Now. She knew she wouldn't have much time before someone came looking for the two goons she knocked out, so she would have to work fast. She kept the belt, even though it was empty. It could prove useful later on. She prowled along the cases, looking for a specific item. She found it and grinned. Artemis entered the code and took Green Arrow's bow and quiver, filled with about thirty arrows. It said they had been left at a crime scene when Green Arrow had darted off after the villain, fighting hand to hand with Black Canary at his side (Found and donated generously by Oliver Queen). She read the last bit again. As Artemis slung the quiver across her back, puzzle pieces began to fall into place.
She took one arrow and notched it in the bow, pointing it towards the floor so it could be easily lifted and shot on a moment's notice.
Artemis crept towards the exit. If she were a dumbass criminal waiting for hired goons to bring her captive to her where would she hide? The answer was simple.
Artemis looked out the window nearest to her. She was hundreds of feet in the air, probably on one of the top floors of the sky scraper. The museum was on top of something, but Artemis couldn't recall what nor did she really care at the moment.
Making up her mind, she turned on her heel and strode to the exit. She opted for the stairs, knowing she'd have an escape route if she was overwhelmed. Plus, going up in an elevator was just plain stupid.
She entered the stairwell and raised her bow, sweeping it all around her line of sight and finding no one. She kept it raised as she slowly slipped up the stairs, quiet as a shadow. A door opened somewhere above her and Artemis ran to stand against the wall, ready to shoot anyone who would come down the stairs. But, of course, that's not what happened. The giant form of Bestial completely bypassed the stairs and leapt down the middle. He grabbed the railing closest to her and swung to stand a foot in front of her. Artemis let an arrow fly and nailed him in the shoulder. He didn't so much as blink at it. He wrapped one giant hand around her neck and lifted her off the ground. She kicked out and clawed at his arm, but he was simply too strong.
"Stop!" Someone called out. Artemis struggled for breath. She felt her windpipe being cut off. The world wavered in and out of focus. "The boss wants her alive, idiot." Bestial dropped her and Artemis gasped. She felt the bow being yanked from her fingers and the quiver pulled from her back. Someone tied her wrists tightly. Bestial picked her up again and swung her over his shoulder. She started beating on his back with her fists but she was probably like an annoying fly.
Just as she had earlier expected, they brought her to the roof. Despite her current situation, Artemis had to fight back a tiny smile. Fools. They brought to exactly where she had wanted to go. Sure, they knew she was there. Sure, they had her weapon. Sure, she was kind of captured. For the moment. But, they had brought her bow up. And they were still underestimating her.
They brought her up the stairs then left the building. The bitter cold air raised goose bumps on her skin. Bestial dropped her unceremoniously onto the hard cement. She felt around for anything she could use to slice up her bonds but came up empty. She'd just have to untie it the old fashioned way. Artemis glared and sat up. She looked up to see Stone standing over her. She spit on his shoes. He just smiled. She looked around out of the corner of her eye and counted roughly eighteen goons.
"Still full of fire, I see." Stone said.
"Fuck you." She glared.
"Sir, we found her with these weapons." A thug showed Stone the bow and arrows.
Stone picked up the bow and examined it, "You know how to use this?"
"No idea," Artemis lied easily, "I thought they looked intimidating." She watched where they put it down about five feet behind her.
Stone laughed and Artemis didn't have to feign her anger. "I'm sure you're wondering what we're doing here."
"Well you see, I want to get rid of Flash once and for all. He's been like this pesky little fly ever since my first bank heist. Have I ever told you about it?" Artemis rolled her eyes. "Anyways, back to Flash. I have a plan. Boys!" A giant spotlight lit up the sky. It was like the Batsignal with one minor difference. A lightning bolt sat in the middle. He held up a huge megaphone and pointed to a speaker. "And this is where you help me, young lady." He grabbed her arm and pulled her up, despite her struggles. He brought her to the edge of the roof, where Artemis could see a crowd had gathered that included both civilians and various cop cars and an ambulance. Someone aimed a spotlight right at them. "I made sure to enter nice and loudly. Told them I'd hurt you if anyone attempted an entrance. Impressed?" He grinned like he was some genius.
"Not in the slightest." Artemis growled. Stone lifted his microphone.
"Good evening, all. I am so delighted to have you here today. As you see, I have a captive. My lovely captive is a beautiful, blonde spark of a girl. That's enough for the infamous Flash to know who I'm talking about, for sure." He laughed, "That's all you need to know about her. Unless, of course, she has something to say?" He offered her the megaphone. Artemis snatched it from him with a glare.
"Flash...I know you're hearing this. I'm fine. Just do not do anything stupid, okay? That includes-" Stone took the microphone back before she could tell him not to come and get her.
"If any, and I mean any, other of you cute little heroes come to get her then she will die. I want Flash. Anyone else shows up, I'm afraid I'll have to slit that pretty little neck of hers. So please, make the wise choice." He turned off the microphone. "He'll be here any minute now."
"What are you going to do to him?" Artemis spat.
Stone laughed. He took a gun out of his pants. "What do you think, beautiful?" Another wave of anger flooded through her. That was Wally's nickname for her. He had no right to use it. She was about to tell him that when he looked pointedly to the door. Artemis followed his gaze. His men were setting up a net across it.
Artemis scoffed. "Did you really think that would work-" But she was cut off as Flash ran right into the net. He tumbled down and rolled, only entangling himself more. Artemis rolled her eyes.
Stone shoved Artemis back to sit down, out of the line of sight of the civilians. Flash was dragged over to lie beside her. Artemis's hands worked furiously at her cloth around her wrists between her knees.
"Boss." One of the thugs said. He gestured for Stone to come.
"I'll be right back, dove." Stone said. Artemis wrinkled her nose at the nickname. Stone left, leaving a few guards watching over them. Artemis moved onto her knees and crawled over to Flash.
"You did something stupid! When I explicitly told you not too!"
"All I did was come for you."
"That's what you did wrong! I can handle myself." He eyed her bonds.
"Sure about that?"
"I have everything under control. And I'm not the one in the net, so I wouldn't talk."
"Under control or not, I'm going to help. It's what the wannabe hero does for his anti damsel. Didn't you know?"
"I'm not worth it, Flashy."
Flash grinned at her, "I think you are, beautiful."
Despite the circumstances, Artemis's face flushed. Her voice became soft, "You okay?"
"Better that I've found you, gorgeous."
"Flash..." Her voice trailed off.
"I'm fine. It'll take a lot more than a measly net to take me down." He told her seriously, "You okay?"
"Yeah. Flash, he wants to kill you."
"Don't worry. I've been in worse situations."
"I'm not worried. Just thought I'd tell you." She paused, "Not like he could anyway. I mean, the bastard's pissed me off. Not something you want to do." She looked over her shoulder. "He's coming."
Stone came back to stand in front of them. He looked at Flash and tilted his head. He walked over to his side. "You little fucker. Thinking you can get between me and her. Can't you tell? She's too good for you."
"If I'm too good for him, I'm too good for you with light years." Artemis said.
"SEE WHAT YOU'VE DONE?" He shrieked. "YOU'VE BRAINWASHED HER!" Then he slammed his boot into his stomach. Flash let out a surprised grunt.
"Buddy, two words. Anger. Management." Flash choked out between blows. He kicked him again and again. Flash pretended he wasn't hurting him, but Artemis could tell he was. Artemis's hands worked furiously at her bonds. Finally, they came undone.
Artemis stood up and launched herself at Stone, "GET AWAY FROM HIM!" She screamed. She slammed into him and they both fell. Artemis grabbed his collar and pulled it up. She punched him straight in the nose before she jumped up. Two thugs ran at her and she dodged them. She wanted to get to her bow. She was furious but she couldn't let that cloud her head. She needed to keep a level head. She needed her bow.
Artemis handsprung past another goon and picked up the bow and quiver. She slung the quiver across her back, letting an arrow fly. It snagged onto a thug's shirt and stuck into the wall. She shot three more to make sure that he stayed there. She grabbed another arrow and noticed it have a blue stripe on it before she let it fly at a coming goon. At contact, it exploded and grew into this weird sludge stuff. It encased two thug's abdomens, forcing them to stop in their tracks. They both fell over backwards at the weight. Stone ran at her, snarling and waving his gun. Artemis shot an arrow at him then dived out of the way when he dodged it.
Adrenaline shot white hot through her veins. It was like all her senses were sharpened. She kept an eye on Flash, who was struggling to get out of the net. She felt every bump and dent in the bow she held, felt every feather light breeze on her cheek whenever she let an arrow fly. Holding this bow, fighting for something she believed in. It felt right. She fought for her own freedom, and Flash's life, and probably other innocent lives. She was fighting because she still believed in heroes. Because she knew there was one in her.
"Flash!" She yelled then strung an arrow and shot it at him. It landed right where she had aimed, embedded in the ground next to him and close enough so he could reach it. She turned back to face Stone but was knocked to the ground. She rolled away and stood, throwing her foot up and into Stone's face. She kicked his gun out of his hands and it fell to the ground uselessly. He lunged and she sidestepped, letting him fall to the ground. She shoulder rolled after the gun and grabbed it, emptying it of bullets as she ran to the edge of the roof and hurled the gun off the edge. Better safe than sorry. She turned and released three more arrows to pin the goons. She knew she wouldn't be able to shoot fatally, not if she tried. Artemis would have to settle for getting them and hopefully keeping them stuck.
Another thug flew at her and she recognised him as the one who had hit Conner. He swung and she dropped to a crouch and swept his feet out from under him. He began to sit up, but she whipped him across the face with her bow. He fell back, unconscious. She felt a little justified in it.
Suddenly, she saw a red blur rush past her. She spared a glance at the net and found it sawed open and empty. The next arrow she pulled out of her quiver had another blue stripe at it, so she shot it where most of the guards she had taken down were fiddling with the arrows that had them stuck to the wall. It encased their feet. Just in case.
More guards ran at her, along with Stone. Where did they keep coming from? Artemis backed up a few steps and notched an arrow, aimed, and shot. Bullseye. She shot another and took another step back. Bullseye. She took a third arrow and a third step back only this time she bumped into something huge. She turned and saw Bestial. He grinned a horrible grin, picking up Artemis before she could notch another arrow. She dropped her bow as he lifted her. She struggled against his bear hug grip but couldn't get out.
"Hey, lug head!" Flash shouted. Bestial turned his great head. "That's right, dumbass! I'm talking to you! Remember me? Sent you to Arkham a little while back. Wanna come and get me?" Bestial grunted and dropped Artemis. Flash zipped little circles around him.
Artemis picked up her bow and took down two more thugs. She only had a few arrows left and she needed to make them count. Artemis was grabbed from behind. They wrapped their arm around her throat while another thug came to punch her. She took two hits to her stomach before throwing her elbow back. She hooked her foot around her captor's and twisted, sending them both to the ground. They rolled, snarling and scratching and punching at one another. Artemis got a good hit in and the thug let go. She squeezed his pressure point until he fell unconscious then felt someone grab her hair and drag her back. Artemis scrambled to get her feet flat on the ground then twisted her head, forcing his wrist to twist and drop. She picked up her bow and shot two more arrows and spun around with her bow pointed down, ready to be lifted and shot.
She saw Bestial on the ground, unconscious and realized that the thugs were all in similar states. Only two other people were still awake on the rooftop, and one was dangling off the edge.
Stone held Flash by his neck. Flash was clawing against his grip and his legs were kicking out. Artemis didn't know how Stone was holding him up; she didn't realize he was so strong.
"Drop your bow and I won't turn him to rock before drop him," Stone snarled. A black eye was forming around the stone of his eye and his hat was gone. His lip was split, courtesy of Artemis.
Artemis raised her bow.
"Hurt him and you'll pay dearly." She meant it.
"No idea how to use the bow, huh?"
"Put him down. I won't tell you again." She kept her voice calm, masking all her other emotions.
"You're really beginning to become a pain in my-"
Artemis aimed lower and shot. Stone gasped in surprise as the arrow dug into his thigh. But Artemis had already dropped her bow and was running. Artemis slid on her stomach, only just catching Flash's wrist.
Stone cursed as he fell.
"Artemis. You'll fall. Let go." He told her, his emerald eyes dimming with grim acceptance.
"Wally. I've got you. Wally hold on." She told him stubbornly through clenched teeth.
"YES I FUCKING CAN," She screamed. She reached her other hand and grabbed him. She braced a foot against the lip of the roof and grunted as she heaved. She threw her entire body weight in the direction of the roof. The momentum pulled Flash up so his chest was over the lip. She helped him the rest of the way then fell onto her back. She breathed heavily.
They both sat in silence for a moment, only their breathing occupying the bitter air. Flash peeked over the lip then looked back at Artemis. She opened her mouth to ask but Flash shook his head, cutting her off. Artemis sat up and pushed some stray hair out of her face, panting.
"Told you I could." Artemis told him. Flash chuckled.
"So. Wally, huh?" Flash said. Artemis smiled at him.
"It wasn't hard to figure out. You should really use separate pet names."
"That's how you got it?" He asked disbelievingly.
Artemis shrugged, "Part of it." Wally stood up and offered her a hand. She ignored it and stood on her own.
"I'd better radio Nightwing. Bats and Canary too. And Arrow. He's probably having a spaz about now. They're all standing by, waiting for the panic word or the all clear." Artemis glanced around the roof filled with knocked out thugs as he pressed the costume by his ear. He talked but she didn't really pay attention. When he finished, he told her the other heroes would be here soon to oversee everything went alright.
"Bats picked up a radio signal though, he said the cops are about to rush the building. He thinks we should split." Artemis knew why she would have to go. Being known as the girl Flash has a soft spot for, well, it wouldn't bode well for her.
She let him pick her up and run off, stopping moments later on a different rooftop. He put her down and she walked to the edge, looking at the flashing cop cars and ambulances.
"So, did you figure out anyone else?"
"I had suspicions about Dinah and Ollie for a while now. I mean, Dinah doesn't even wear a mask. Bruce and Dick I figured out about tonight."
"The stuff I stole in the museum. Everything was guarded by Wayne Tech. Batman would never let anyone have any of his technology. Not unless he could control the access. Doesn't seem like a very trusting guy to me. I guess the puzzle pieces just kind of fell into place."
"So that's where you got the bow." He paused and Artemis guessed he was probably studying it. She watched as cops poured into the museum. "I was wondering about that. Where'd you learn to use that thing?"
"Uncle Ollie taught me when I was nine."
"The fighting too?"
"Yep." Artemis turned around to see Wally had walked up behind her silently. He wrapped his arms around her waist; she wrapped hers loosely around his neck.
"What about me?" Wally asked. "How'd you figure me out?" Artemis shrugged.
"I think I always knew." Wally grinned. Artemis pulled down his cowl to reveal his full freckled face. His hair sprung free from its confines. Artemis ran a hand through it and slid her hand down to cup the side of his face. She examined all the cuts and bruises he sustained from the fight. She knew he was doing the same.
"You know what's really, really hot?" Wally quipped, his eyes bright.
"What?" Artemis felt a small smile grow on her face.
"Anti Damsels." Artemis could feel the skin on her cheek swelling and she felt a few scrapes on her face and she was pretty sure her left eyebrow was split. Hardly attractive.
"Wannabe heroes aren't too bad either." Wally laughed. She buried her face in his neck and held her arms around him. He rested his cheek on her head. She sighed.
"So what now?" Wally asked.
"Now? I'm really, really hungry. And thirsty. And tired. Bring me home?"
"Sure." But neither of them moved. They stood in comfortable silence for a moment before Artemis spoke up.
"I totally took down more guys than you."
Artemis pulled back and shut him up the most effectively way she knew.
"Did so," She mumbled against his lips.
She's a lady and ladies shouldn't be messed with.
And they say that a hero will save us
I'm not going to stand here and wait
FOUR MONTHS LATER.
"This is Jane Michelson, reporting for Gotham News. I am standing outside Gotham City Bank, where Scarecrow had arrived with his gang to rob Wayne Labs for some new technology. Flash and the city's newest young heroine, Artemis, have already arrived on the scene." A loud crash emitted from the building. Jane Michelson turned around and looked back at the camera excitedly, "It seems the fight has moved outside! Quick, Hal, get a shot of this."
The camera swung to focus on the front of the building, where a lithe woman dressed fully in green shot arrows with confidence, not even stopping to aim but always hitting her target. She hand sprung down the front steps and whirled around to shoot more at oncoming thugs. The only part you could see of Flash was a long red streak that bulldozed over any thug in his path.
"Flash!" Jane waved her arms wildly above her head, "Hey, Flash!"
Flash skidded to a stop in front of her. "Hey babe." He grinned.
"Can you answer some quick questions?"
"I have all the time in the world for you, babe."
"Do you have any comment on the girl Stone kidnapped?"
"The girl wishes to stay anonymous. The league decided it's for the best because it could put a target on her back."
"Understandable. What about Stone himself? Do you have any comment on his death?"
"Only that it was either me and the hostage leaving the roof that night, or Stone and the hostage. She saved my life and her freedom. She did the right thing."
"How about Artemis? Is she settling in well with the league?"
"Totally. She's doing great."
"How did she come about being a hero?"
"She fought for it. She fought for it with all her might and then some. Artemis has been through a lot and she fought for it all her life."
Suddenly, an arrow flew towards them. It planted itself on the ground between Flash's legs. The camera swung to see the archer glaring.
"Hey, hotshot! We've got a job to do!" Before dropping and kicking a goon's feet out from under him after he tried to sneak up on her.
"Sorry, babe. Duty calls."
"One more thing! A few months ago you mentioned an Anti Damsel in our interview. It's Artemis, isn't it?"
Flash grinned. "You bet."
Artemis shot an arrow. "We're going to be late, Flashy."
"Sorry, babe." Flash said as he zoomed by, "Maneuver seven?"
"Roger." Artemis said. She shot another arrow before being swept up by Flash. She wrapped her legs around his torso and locked her ankles on his back. He lifted her up so her waist was in line with his top ribs and so she could have a clear shot over his shoulder. She lined up and shot as he was running, not missing a single target she aimed for. Just as they'd practiced. Flash held onto her to make sure she didn't fall as she fired the various trick arrows from her quiver. Finally, the goons and Scarecrow were all incapacitated and Artemis unhooked her legs. She fell into Wally's arms and he carried her bridal style while zipping away from the scene. Artemis wrapped her arms around his neck once she had shouldered her bow.
"My uncle is going to kill us."
"No he won't. We'll be there soon anyway."
"We still need to change!"
He screeched to a stop in an alley way far from the bank. "I only take a second. You can change in the car. The windows are tinted and it's nothing I've never seen before." Artemis smacked him upside the head.
"Watch it, Casanova."
"You didn't seem to mind my Casanova-ness this morning." That and his cheeky grin earned him another slap upside the head.
"Is Casanova-ness even a word?" Artemis pulled down her cowl and slid into the back of the car. She shoved Wally's black suit into his hands. Wally simply changed so quickly that it was done in almost the blink of an eye. He threw his Flash suit in the trunk then slid in the front seat. He began to drive as Artemis ditched her boots and wrist guards. They stopped at a red light. She pulled off her pants and shirt and looked up to see Wally's eyes watching her in the mirror.
"Are you sure we can't just skip the party?"
"No." She leaned over to his seat and spoke softly in his ear, "But we can leave early." When Wally swallowed, she smirked. Artemis pulled on her dress and heels then took her hair down from its ponytail. She mussed it a bit then deemed it fit for the gala.
They got to the gala a few minutes late but were able to slip in without anyone noticing. They found their friends on the edge of the dance floor in a circle. They all stood talking and laughing about something or other. A lot had happened to the group in the past four months and they were closer than ever.
Dirt encrusted under Megan and Conner's nails from the flower shop. They had opened it the month before and business was booming. Dinah had taken them under her wing and taught them a thing or two about it. The girls even opened another shop together, with a little loan from Oliver. Wolf had grown to roughly the size of a small bear and now had to accompany them on their trips to the shop if they wanted to stop him from tearing apart the furniture.
The engagement ring caught the light on Zatanna's ring finger, her other hand occupied by Dick's. He had proposed to her on the anniversary of their first date. Artemis had thought it was cheesy but Zatanna had thought it adorable. The couple's lives had been extremely hectic ever since because of the wedding planning, as had Artemis and Wally's since they had been chosen as Maid of Honor and Best Man. Artemis pretended like she hated the planning but everyone knew she secretly enjoyed it.
Kaldur had finally gotten enough money to go to culinary school and had been able to drop the nightclub job. He still worked his other job during weekends and evenings to pay rent and buy necessities. He was fascinated by and loved every single one of his classes. Sometimes, he even dropped food off at his friend's apartments for them to test. Nobody minded. At all. Now, he dreamed of opening a pastry shop.
Rocket had opened a little clothing store filled with her own designs. Everyone had been surprised when she had first announced it (except, of course, Kaldur, who had seen her designs lying around the apartment) but were all rather impressed with how her business was going. She was even able to quit her other jobs. The girls had gone to visit one day and none of them escaped without at least two bags full of stuff, even Artemis.
Wally, well, he was Wally. He was still dorky and brilliant and Artemis was pretty sure she had already fallen hard for the geek. He taught her about taking down villains and they had made an endless list of different attacks while practicing. Artemis taught him all about painting and he had asked her to teach him a language. (He thought it was really sexy when she spoke in a different language to him).They bantered regularly, which kept Artemis on her toes. It made Wally a challenge and she loved challenges.
Artemis had gotten the scholarship from the art show, to her great astonishment. She was attending university now and had also dropped the job at the club. She kept the one at Ronnie's for necessities and because the tips were good. She found being a crime fighting archer was harder than she had expected, but she loved it nonetheless. She had recently gained her Justice League membership. At first, almost everyone had objected to her becoming a hero. But, being Artemis, she had completely ignored them and became one. Even after getting threats from the other heroes, including Batman. Artemis just couldn't take them seriously after knowing them all so long. They eventually warmed up to the idea, Green Arrow had trained her himself most of her life after all. She had gotten it so quickly because apparently having Black Canary, Green Arrow, Nightwing, Flash, and Batman have faith in her went a long way. Juggling college and the league at the same time was exhausting but Artemis refused to quit. It was part of who she was now. There was no way she could just give it up.
Everything in Artemis's life was falling perfectly into place. Her friends were happy, her family was happy, her boyfriend was happy. She was happy. And it was great.
Artemis and Wally did manage to slip away from the party about an hour early. Wally cornered Artemis in the elevator.
"Can I help you?" Artemis asked with a smile. Wally responded by pressing his lips on hers. The elevator dinged open to a mercifully empty hallway. They didn't break their embrace as they walked to the door. Artemis pulled Wally's key out of his pocket and handed it to him. She smiled against his lips as he jumped when he felt her hands in his pockets. He blindly jammed the key against the door until Artemis broke the kiss and moved down to his neck. As soon as he got the door opened he tilted her chin up to kiss her again. They stumbled into his apartment, bumping into things but ignoring them.
Artemis felt the shoulder of her dress slip down and wondered when the sneaky bastard had unzipped it. She kicked off her heels and Wally ditched his dress shoes and jacket. She pulled off his tie and dropped it to the ground then began unbuttoning his shirt.
Artemis's calves bumped the back of the couch and she let herself fall down. Wally climbed on top of her and kissed her again, teasing her with his tongue. Two can play at that game. Artemis bit down on his lower lip and felt him jump. She let go and smiled as he kissed her harder. He broke apart from her lips to trail kisses down her jaw. He sucked and nipped at her neck while Artemis's hands fisted his hair.
"Wally..." Artemis said.
"Ignore it, it'll go to voicemail." He mumbled against her skin.
"It's not that phone, Wally." Artemis sighed.
He propped himself up on his elbows. "Can't Dick get it?" He whined. Artemis reached for the communicator and fished it out of her purse. She scanned the little screen.
"It's about half a block away. We'd better go." Artemis said. Wally grumbled but got off her.
Five minutes later, Flash dropped Artemis off on top of a roof. "Let's make this quick." She said as she jumped down from his arms with cat-like grace.
"Why's that?" He said with a cocky grin.
"I'm feeling kind of tired. Maybe I'll go to sleep early tonight." Artemis smirked at Wally's dejected expression. "Just go do your job, Baywatch." Flash winked and pecked her on the cheek before he sped off into the action. She notched an arrow as she watched Nightwing drop from another high rise to join his friend. Thugs burst from the door of the building, followed closely by Penguin.
Artemis raised her bow.
Shoot out all the lights, hold your ground
We'll hit the sky, it's time you aim your arrows high