Disclaimer- don't own Young Justice or any of its characters.

Still stuck in an AWFUL writing rut, this was done a few months back. Maybe one day I'll be able to write again, but until then it looks like I'll just have to keep dredging old stuff up so I can at least LOOK productive.

Rating: T (for some nudity I guess)

Genre: Angst/Romance

o.o.o.o

Artemis couldn't move. Her breath had caught in her throat several minutes ago and she was sure she hadn't exhaled since. Her limbs felt heavy, her boots glued to the asphalt as if the pavement had grown so hot in the fading summer heat that they had fused with it.

Her fingers curled in something like a death grip on her sword.

Time had stopped.

She could see his eyes, as clear as a spring day, radiant and green and alive against the backdrop of ominous slate clouds that no longer rumbled, that no longer shot lightning from the heavens. The strange storm had stopped as abruptly as Wally West had appeared before her gaze.

Artemis felt her lips move, only to part slightly, as no words would work themselves from her dry throat.

Wally's wide chest rose and fell as if he had just skidded to a halt at the end of a marathon, the kind of rapid breathing she had seen on him all too often when he'd pushed himself to the limit, when he'd forgone food for too long and his gauge was running on empty. His muscles quivered, from his biceps down to his toned calves, and his vibrant ginger hair stood on end, a few pieces notably singed. If Artemis hadn't lost her ability to think she might have likened his appearance to the aftermath of jamming his finger into an electrical socket.

He was bare to the world, exposed and yet uncaring; he was just as rooted as she was, had not moved an inch since righting himself and locking astonished and confused emerald eyes on her face. She was sure he had mouthed "Artemis…" then on the barest of breaths, but she couldn't be sure.

This was all too surreal.

There was a veritable chasm between the two of them, a distance they seemed unable to cross, a stretch of pavement that went on forever. The air was still charged, dancing with electricity, making the fine blonde hairs on Artemis's forearms stand straight up. She swallowed, blinked.

A few people had gathered on the sidewalks, drawn in by the bizarre stand-off taking place in the middle of the empty street. It was the kind of crazy thing they were all so used to, that though normally the sight of a nude man might have caused laughter, indignation, a ruckus… it caused only silence now, as if even they could feel the thick tension that surrounded the two heroes.

They could never know.

Wally moved first, as he was apt to; he plucked one bare foot from the heavy asphalt, his eyes still locked on Artemis, his mouth parted just as hers was. Her heart thudded into her throat, her grip reflexively tightening on her weapon as he approached, slow and deliberate, as if in a dream. She was sure that's what this must be: a dream. Wally West had never walked with such careful steps in all his life, not that she had seen.

He seemed afraid that one misstep might shatter the illusion, and the archer stiffened, suddenly scared that if she dared to try and unstick her own boots that this…whatever it was, could all go up in a puff of smoke.

Like so many times before.

It was agonizing, and her chest hurt from the anticipation of disappointment, for that moment when he'd reach out and touch her and she'd wake up alone and gasping in her bed.

Except Wally was there now, just in front of her, his form towering over her a few inches higher than she remembered, but he'd been gone less than a year, that wasn't possible.

His eyes were wide, and she could see hundreds of freckles smeared across his flushed cheeks.

"…Artemis."

His voice was hoarse from disuse, barely legible, but somehow she caught her name anyway, and something inside of her broke, like a damn giving way after far too many months trying to hold back the swell of water building wildly behind it.

"Wally?" she croaked out, a ragged breath, and her vision clouded with unshed tears, turning Wally's form into a shapeless blob that she could no longer focus on. She gasped in the charged air, feeling it crackle in her lungs, burning, and Wally reached out for her, grabbed her by the arms to steady her.

The shock of his touch thrilled through her limbs like a bolt of lightning, and she collapsed into his arms.

It was no dream.