Hey readers, this one-shot fanfiction is a follow-up to, "The Ghost of You". I wrote this piece on how Artemis has dealt with pain being a useless emotion until she got older. This title is based on Eminem's song, "Like Toy Soldiers." The song reminds me of Artemis was basically act and train like a soldier all because of Crusher's training.

Hope you enjoy reading this as much as I had fun writing it.

Star City, California 12:30 PM
Harper Residence

Artemis lays on her made bed as she looks up at the ceiling in her room. She placed the fold of her hands behind her head. The blonde woman is processing that Wally is back from the Speedforce and trying to recollect his memory that happened in the past four years since he's been gone. She hissed in pain remembering she nearly almost broke both of her hands and removes them from under her head. Her gray orbs view them as being swelling, red, and wrapped in a gaze. To her, the pain was normal growing up, and had dealt with it being an unnecessary emotion.

'Pains are for punks! I didn't raise a punk, I raise Crocks. Pain doesn't exist!' The words of her father ring into her ears.

"Way to go Artemis, how much of a stupid idiot do you have to be to go break your goddamn hands knowing you had a research assignment due in five days?" Artemis spoke out loud to herself. Beating herself up as she looks at her hands. "Thank god, Professor Jocks gave me an extension to turn it in. Great," She closes her eyes.


A six-year-old Artemis and thirteen-year-old Jade are in their living room with swords in their hands as they were fighting with each other. The blonde little girl tries to dodge her sister's attack but isn't fast enough leading to several cuts on her shirt sleeves, kneecaps, and one of her white tennis shoes being sliced in half.

Crusher sat on the couch as he sees both of his daughters pinning against each other, "Come on Artemis, don't hold back! Aim right at your sister if she was your enemy. Wanting to end your life right here, right now!" He harshly encouraged Artemis to attack his eldest daughter harder.

The blonde little girl quickly listens to the words of her father. She moves her sword both left and right then moved her weapon directly towards her sister. Artemis pauses. She couldn't fully direct on launch at Jade and knowing from the back of her mind that none of this wasn't right.

The ebony-haired teenage girl was swift and quick at her feet as she moves her sword. Jade kicked Artemis in her abdomen and jumps forward landing the blade a few inches from her right ear.

The six-year-old knew she couldn't do it and for that, she knew the punishment that was about to come. She sees her older sister kicking her as she was slammed to the wooden floor. Her eyes widen with fear and about to accept her faith of being killed right there and then. Artemis closes her eyes as she was waiting for the impact of the blade to penetrate her but listens to the sword landing but not at her. The little girl opens her eyes with her head-turning to her right viewing the blade a few inches from her ear then turns her head back to see Jade.

"You missed up big time, Alice. Royal," Jade whispered bluntly to her little sister and stands up to her feet. She grabs the blade by the handle and the sword is away from her right ear.

"What in the hell was that Artemis?!" A blonde hair man yelled getting up from his seat and marching towards the two. "You had an opportunity right in front of you to aim at Jade and you didn't! He stated being furious, pissed off at his youngest daughter. "This is beyond unacceptable Artemis," Crusher commented as he grabbed Jade's sword from her and attacks Artemis.

The blonde little girl quickly rolled up away with her sword in her hand. Artemis tries to concentrate on mirroring his movement and from that, she felt a couple of cuts: her neck, left shoulder, and right leg. She winched being in pain while trying her best to hide it.

"Get clean up Baby Girl, you got a lot of work to do," Crusher commented with cruelty in his tone of voice and walking away.

Artemis hangs her head down in shame knowing she failed her mentor, her father, and wanted to everything she can to make him proud. She breathes out as she lifts her head then starts making her way towards Jade and her's bedroom to get the First-Aid kit. 'Maybe I'm just not good at the sword, maybe I'm good at something else. Maybe like throwing knives or even archery?' The little girl thought in her mind.

Nine-year-old Artemis

"Please, please don't go!" The little blonde girl pleaded with her older sister seeing her backing her clothes in a duffle bag as she clutches a teddy bear close to her chest.

"Sorry sis, Mom's not getting out of prison soon. And I refuse to live here with just Dad," A fifteen-year-old Jade Nguyen puts the second stack of clothes into her bag and commented on Artemis's words.

"Mom, Dad, You, and Me. We have to keep this family from falling apart," The little girl spoke the truth while convincing her older sister to stay with her, stay with the family.

The ebony-haired teenage girl stood up straight. She pauses. Then remembers, "Toothbrush, duh! I knew I was forgetting something," Jade remembers her train of thought as she walks over to their bathroom to grab her object.

Artemis was heartbroken and couldn't believe that Jade wouldn't stay for their family, not even for her sake. Her gray eyes follow her older sibling as she walks back to her bed, "Dad will come after you," She stated a fact.

"Let him," Jade said proudly then grabs her ballcap and puts it on her head, "I'll disappear, like the Cheshire Cat," She prided herself. The older teenager zipped her bag up and put the sling on her shoulder while walking towards the bedroom door. Jade turns around to face her sister one last time, "I'd let you come with me, but you'll slow me down," The teenager commented a fact knowing Artemis will hold her back.

"Someone has to be here when Mom gets out," The little girl stated the fact as she stands on her feet gazing at her sister.

"Haven't you learned everything? In this family, it's every girl for herself," Jade said bluntly gave her piece of advice before having her doorknob opening it. She steps to the other side of the door, closing it behind her.

Artemis falls on her knees with teardrops falling onto the bear. She vowed to never deal with pain by mentally blocking it as if never existed.

Thirteen-year-old Artemis

"Let's see if this will make you scream, shall we?" Joker asked with a sinister tone in his voice as he pulls out his small switchblade and jabs into the tied blonde archer's outer leg.

Artemis was tied up in a wooden chair with arms behind her along with handcuffs at her wrist. This was one of the tests her father made her do, testing her pain tolerance. She held in her pain by holding her composure and trying to ignore then channeling pain as if it means nothing to her. The blonde teenager winced slightly as she felt a small blade twisted into her, 'Keep it together Crock. Stay emotionless,' she mentally commented her in mind.

Gotham's Clown Prince laughs then slapping her on both sides of her face and punching the young archer right to her head with the chair leaning back landing to the ground. He chuckles with amusement at hurting the blonde teenage girl. Artemis went down backward and landed on her cuffed wrists. She squinted her eyes to coverup to wanting to scream in agony. The blonde archer maneuvered her body to her left. In truth, she started to feel dizzy due to the cuts and punches she received from Joker.

Artemis had to ignore her pain as she let fight or flight taking over. With both of her hands together, she knew what she had to do to get out of the handcuffs, break her left thumb. The teenager put her right thumb over the knuckle to the left thumb then cracking it to where it was broken. Her eyes widen in unbearable pain but had to ignore it by focusing on her goal. Artemis felt her left thumb being broken and used both of her fingernails to get out of the handcuffs and quickly jump to her feet. She turned her head to face Joker charging at him by kicking the clown between the legs, abdomen, and a roundhouse kick to finish the job.

"Nice job, Baby Girl," Sportsmaster comes out of the shadow with dry three claps then stops. "Highly impressive. Took the stabbings like a soldier, I trained a soldier." He stated with pride and viewing her injuries. "One day to heal and back at it again. Remember, don't let pain weaken you," The enforcer replied as he looked directly at his youngest daughter.

Artemis knowledge his words and kept her composure. A soldier is what she is and nothing less.

Fifth teen-year-old Artemis

"Artemis, we need to get your arm in a sling so it can heal probably," Black Canary said with concern.

The blonde archer chuckled hearing she needs a sling for her right broken shoulder, "No thanks, I'll put it back into place," The teenager stated looking at one of the Justice League members.

"Are you crazy blondie?! You need to heal that arm of yours. What are you going to do? Pop your arm socket back into place?" Kid Flash asked her to be in a frantic state.

The blonde teenager turned her head to face a pillar that's right in front of her. She breathes out then forces her right shoulder directly at the pillar. Hard. Artemis yelped in pain and moves her right shoulder feeling it back into place. She shakes off the pain and turns around to face The Team and Black Canary viewing the look of horror on their faces on what they've just witnessed, "What? It's not a big deal. I'm a soldier. From where I come from, pain is weakness. It doesn't exist," Artemis said bluntly as she walks away from everyone else.

Flashback ends

The blonde woman opened her eyes as she looks at the ceiling, "Yeah, it took me a while to deal with physical pain and being an actual human being of cry or scream in pain," Artemis stated talking to herself, 'Ever since dating Wally when I was Fifteen, he showed me; allowed me to express pain. Not just physical pain, but the pain of emotional and heartbreak.' The mental comment that spoke from her experience. "Sometimes I wish there wasn't pain, but sadly it's a part of life." She sighs to herself, "Dear God, (if there is a god) please help Wally to recover his memories. I was in emotional pain when I heard that he was gone and to this day that pain is still inside me, but worse now that he called me Linda Park. If he doesn't recovery his memories of the life we had, I don't know what will happen to my sanity. Amen," The blonde woman spoke out loud saying her prayers with hopes of something or someone higher up can hear her prayers and answer them.