Dick had been walking aimlessly through the subdivision for hours when he finally gathered the courage to finally seek out his destination. The neighborhood had such charm, such a sense of normalcy to it. The most accurate description he could come up with was peaceful, something his life had been lacking for months. He tried to imagine himself in a place like this someday, away from the crowds and energy of Gotham, in a quite suburbia where a crime didn't take place every 6.5 minutes. To his surprise, he could actually see it.
He was anxious, not wanting to lay a burden on them again, but he was his only choice. Dick decided he was ready and hoped he would agree to help put his plan into action.
The home they shared was no starter house, but something nice with lots of potential. For two soon-to-be graduating college students, it was more than they could have ever hoped for. The house was a basic craftsman style with a perfectly manicured lawn (so him and his anal nature) and so beautifully landscaped with colorful and exotic flowers (so opposite of the persona she outwardly portrayed). As soon as one walked on the lot, the aroma from the flowers was almost intoxicating. The house had been a wedding present from Oliver, and after many loud and pointless arguments, the two finally relented and accepted his generosity, She had never wanted to ask him for anything, he had already done so much, but Artemis was the daughter he always wanted and would have to accept that role and all the benefits that came with it.
The house was on a corner wooded lot with a fenced in backyard which they told everyone was for the pit bull they adopted, but in reality was a not so subtle hint from Dinah and Ollie that they should start having babies.
As Dick approached the front door, he noticed the glowing hue of the television reflecting through the bay window. He imagined them sitting together, her head lovingly resting on his shoulder enjoying a movie and popcorn. No longer assassins or meta-humans, but loving husband and wife, their days of heroics and recklessness finally coming to an end.
He lightly knocked on the front door to no answer. It was late and he didn't want to startle them or set off the dog, but he needed their help and he needed it soon. He couldn't believe he was going to have to ask for their assistance one more time, the last had almost cost friendships, relationships, and lives. He desperately hoped this one would not lead to such extremes again, but there were no guarantees in life.
With no answer, he glanced through the window and saw movement and shadows towards the back of the house. They were definitely awake, so he left the front porch and moved towards the back yard. The gate was locked, but no obstacle as he stealthily scaled the tall wooden fence and landed softly on the other side. Through the window, only covered by a sheer transparent curtain, he saw a flash of movement. He made his way to the glass to knock lightly and get their attention.
His mouth fell open as the nude figures inside ran swiftly around the room clothed only in a smile. Artemis dove across the room and in one smooth motion rolled to a perfect kneeling position and fired the weapon. Streams of cold water splashed against the speedster and he yelled in mock anger.
"You are so dead."
"Bring it on Speedy."
"Please don't call me that, you're killing the mood."
She laughed manically and streaked across the room, but there was no escaping a speedster. She was down and pinned under him in the time it takes to blink.
They smiled and stared into each other's eyes as their lips met and she wrapped her arms around his lower back and pulled his body into hers.
Dick quickly turned away, but couldn't help but laugh. Suddenly he found himself 13 again sitting in Mt. Justice watching the two soon to be lovers arguing, fighting, and flirting constantly, not realizing they were soul mates in waiting. They were adults now, starting a life together, possibly one day a family, but deep down they were still the two love-struck teenagers that kissed one day on the observation deck of the Watchtower and countless times thereafter.
Artemis lay on the ground underneath the speedster lightly moaning as Wally's kissed and nipped at her neck and shoulder. Her eyes were closing and she was definitely in the throngs of rapture when she saw the faintest of outlines through the curtain.
She screamed "Window," and leapt across the room suddenly with a crossbow quickly aimed at the intruder outside with the speedster next to her preparing to deal with the threat.
Nightwing realized he may have inadvertently kicked the hornets' nest and quickly tapped on the glass and announced his presence to drop the tension back down to Defcon 3.
"Guys it's Dick. I'm so sorry, no one answered the door and I saw the light was on."
Wally and Artemis ignored their guest as they glanced over at each other.
"You keep a crossbow in the linen closet? What the hell Artemis. I get stuff out of there all the time."
She quickly retorted. "We are under attack and the first thing you do is get your pants on. My god Wally how we didn't all get killed waiting for you to fix your hair and makeup back in the day I'll never know."
"Flash is a codename Babe, not a lifestyle. Speaking of which…"
Artemis looked down at all her glory and quickly grabbed two placemats and strategically placed them.
"Uh guys, can I come in for a few. I uh…need some help," Nightwing asked hesitantly.
Artemis let out a growl of frustration as she made her way back to the bedroom, never turning to look at her husband.
"Ten minutes West, and then we finish our game of Ninja versus Speedster. I'm not going to be so nice this time."
Out of Dick's vision she turned her head and gave Wally and evil smile, dropping the placemats and giving a wiggle of her bare hips that she knew would drive her husband wild.
Wally sighed and came to the front of the house and opened the door to welcome his friend in.
"I'm really sorry I didn't call Wally. It's just kind of a security issue and I couldn't reach you guys on the League communicators."
From the back of the house he could her Artemis yell. "Maybe it's because we don't have them anymore genius."
Wally rolled his eyes, "You'll have to excuse her. She was losing and is in a bad mood now."
"I was not Speedy! and you better not be rolling your eyes!"
Wally looked at his friend and smirked. "I hate it when she calls me that. I liked it better when all she did was punch my arm."
Once again her voice echoed through the hall, "That can be arranged Wally, and I'm pretty sure you like what I do now just fine."
Wally blushed realizing how right she was, regained his composure, and turned back around to face his friend. He knew if Dick had come in person, it had to be important. He was hesitant. The last time he had come over unannounced, it had resulted in a mission that no matter the outcome, had almost cost them their lives.
"I need some help."
"For the love of God Grayson, what is it now?" Artemis' voice becoming clearer as she exited the bedroom, wearing her Stanford sweatpants and a kid flash t-shirt.
"I know you guys are tired of me asking for things, but this is really important and you're the only ones I can trust."
Echoes of months ago silently ran through the couples mind. Bridges had been rebuilt and fences mended. There were no guarantees they would agree to it, but Wally's best friend deserved to be heard out.
Artemis asked first. "What do you need us to do?"
"Actually it's just Wally, but I wouldn't bet against you getting drug into it at some point. It's a short term operation, just a couple of hours at the most, but it will have some long term ramifications.
Wally sighed. He glanced at the archer and she nodded slightly back. They silently agreed and prepared to hear the plan.
"I'm looking for a best man you busy in a couple of weeks?"