A Terrible Cost
~July 4th, 2018~
"Fear not the crisis has past, though at a terrible cost." Kaldur explains. The powerhouses of the league looked confused
"Wally" I exclaim breaking hearts with a word, everyone had been holding back tears, and at that 5 letter everyone started sobbing. Canary and Green Arrow, Gar and M'gann, Bart and Jaime, Superman engulfed Conner in a bear huge, Kaldur and Aquaman. I'm trying not to cry so hard and Barbara walks up to me and nuzzles her head into my neck and wraps her arms around me. I think about pushing away but I give up all hope when I see the tears streaming down her face I give in as well; in mere moments we are gushing.
I have experienced grief before, I am no stranger to pain- but this is too much. When my family died it was only me and Haley were at the funeral... and Bruce, but he didn't know my parents. But my best friend wasn't only my best friend, he was like my brother, my family. He had a life, Artemis, his parents, all his friends-and now it's over. The collective sadness makes everything worse. The pain more painful.
I can't run the team anymore. It was Wally's team too. Maybe Kaldur can deal with it, or Barbara. I can't, maybe someday but not now. And I'm not sure Artemis can either.
People have told me that death is the most painful thing ever... I didn't believe them; I'd been beaten up more times than I could count before the age of 12, superheroing had given me my fair share of bruises, so I didn't understand this whole death of a loved one thing.
Central City was probably one of the pleasantest cities on the globe. Full of smiling families and happy children; but not today. It's dark and gloomy and there's not a single person on the streets... Except for me. The West household is bright yellow and looks like something from an insurance ad but it's where Wa-Wally grew up. Knock, knock. Mary and Rudolph West have there arms wrapped around each other, they could probably feel Wally's- absence. I realize I have to look up and when I do the West's notice the tears sliding down my cheeks.
They hold me in a hug on their porch for it seems like forever before Mary pulls away and says "Artemis, would you like to come inside to talk? I could make some tea?"
"I'm terribly sorry but I'm afraid that I have to leave, to tell more people the news." Lies. Lies, lies, lies.
"Um, alright. Maybe some other time then?"
"Of course ." I exclaim. I know that was cruel but I can't deal with the West's right now. Right now I need to go home to Palo Alto. To lay in bed, while it still smells like Wally.
Laying in bed alone was harder than I thought it would be. Now I know what Wally felt like when I "died". At least I came back. I was wearing one of his old jerseys, the one with the 13 on it. Everything still smells like him, like gingerbread. Yeah I know it's weird but when someone eats as much as Wally does- did he's bound to smell like some food or other; I'm just lucky it's not bacon. Wasn't bacon.
Why am I doing this. Just because Wally died doesn't mean that villain are going to stop murdering people and I have a feeling that not many other superheroes are going to feel up to it tonight.
Putting on the super suit didn't feel right. I can't be Artemis anymore, simply because there can't be an Artemis without a Kid Flash... Without a Wally.
I walk slowly to the office and grab a pair of scissors. I walk slowly to the bathroom. Standing in front of the bathroom mirror I stare at my reflection in the mirror. Blue eyes, tan skin and long blonde hair. I remember Wally staring into my eyes, his hands around my waist, running his fingers through my long blonde hair. I refuse to not have my blue/grey eyes anymore and there's really nothing I can do about my skin; but my hair. I breath in deeply, grab my hair tightly and bring the scissors to the middle of my neck and snip, my hair is gone. And so is Wally.
~The Wave Rider~
"Happy 4th of July Legends!" I exclaim popping a bottle of champagne, and pouring it into: Wally, Amaya, Nate, Zari, Rory and Ray.
"To us!" Ray says lifting his glass as Rory drops his glass smashing it and grabbing his beer bottle and drank heavily from it. We all clink glasses (except for Rory who raises his bottle instead).
"To bad we can't have fireworks on a time ship." Nate exclaims grumpily.
"No but we CAN go back in time to the first time the 4th of July was celebrated, Philadelphia, 1777." I say.
"Wait, isn't Washington, DC the capitol of The United States of America." Amaya exclaims.
"Yes, but before DC was built they needed-" Nate began to say but quickly stopped when Rory aimed a gun at his head.
"Phily was the capital of the US in 1777." Nate finishes hastily.
"Well legends it looks like we're off to Philadelphia." Zari exclaims.
"Sorry I'm late." Ava says as she walks in. Or whatever that portal thing is that the Time Bureau gives their employees.
"Your right on time, Gideon we're off to Phily, 1777." I say walking to the controls of the Wave Rider.
~July 4th, 1777~
After we all got into our 1700's outfits we step out of the Wave Rider and are greeted with the giant roar of a bonfire."This is gonna be fun." I exclaim.
"I still think that Dick should've stayed, I mean leaving right now, after Wally's death." Conner says "I mean he was his best friend, and he just left."
"And I think that's exactly why Dick had to leave, Wally was his best friend, so I think that Dick couldn't deal with it all. He needed... space." M'gann exclaims, trying hopelessly to get her ex-boyfriend to calm down, even though we all know Conner won't and they won't be ex's for much longer.
"We all need space, we're just not going to get it." Zatanna says angrily "I need space from my dad, Dick needs space from Wally, Garth needs space from Tula, Gar needs space from Marie*." she takes a pause and a deep breath "We just have different ways of dealing with it." She says a lot quieter.
"And where's Artemis, did she bail too?" Mal exclaims "I mean it dosen't seem like her style but-"
"Artemis probably will not leave but we do not know, losing the love of your life can be quite taxing" I answer "Artemis will never be the exact same person again. She'll be missing a puzzle piece, and so will Dick, Wally was like a brother to Dick so they are are going to be depressed."
"Where is Artemis, she would want to be here." Raquel exclaims.
"She's at home. She- she didn't tell me but it's the Artemis thing to do." Barbara says looking down halfway through her sentence, obviously still shaken up by everything.
"I'll go get her." M'gann near shouts, literally flying up out of her at the Justice League's table. The table is filled, with me in Aquaman's chair, M'gann in Martian Manhunter's, Conner in Superman's, Zatanna and Raquel in their designated chairs, Karen in Wonder Woman's, Mal in Atom's, Barbara in Batman's, Roy in Green Arrows and Barry sitting quietly in his chair; probably wondering what to tell Iris. We are Wally's closest friends, with an exception of Iris, Bart, Gar, his parents, Artemis and many others. Iris, Mary**, Rudolph*** and all Wally's non-hero friend were civilians, and civilians aren't allowed on the watchtower so they weren't in the meeting. Bart and Gar are too young, and Artemis had taken the deepest blow. Others were on patrol or crying in their bedrooms or celebrating the victory over The Reach.
"No. Having lost someone I loved dearly she needs some alone time maybe a day or maybe a year; we don't know, and we should not pressure Artemis about it, she probably dosen't know either." I exclaim.
"So what do we do?" Barry said quietly, startling everyone, he was almost whimpering and everyone had forgotten he was there.
"For now we mourn." I say. I guess I'm going to have to play the adult here, and for the first time I'm not okay with that.
*Garfield Logan's mom
A/N Hey everybody, I've been looking for a story about Artemis after Wally's death and I couldn't find one so I'm writing one. I was originally going to call this story Innocent Nightmares but then I listened to the song Wonderland by Taylor Swift and it describes Spitfire perfectly so I decided to title the story something like that. I hope you enjoy! Thanks!