Disclaimer: And no.
Higher T for dialogue but no action.
Wally West is about to engage in the most dangerous mission of his life.
He's buying condoms with Artemis.
After the Team had been removed from a mission-damn Vandal Savage for directing a challenge toward the Justice League instead of them-they'd taken to the living room, bitter and more than a bit annoyed. Five minutes of venting, though, led way to Robin offering his signature grin and proposing a game of Truth or Dare.
The Team had only played the game once before, and as that ended with a stolen mountain lion, they had avoided it ever since. Now, though, with adrenaline pumping through their veins and no other outlet, they threw caution to the wind. What began with embarrassing truths and silly dares culminated in Robin staring Wally dead in the eye and saying, "I dare you and Artemis to go buy condoms."
That's how the speedster and the archer, changed into their civvies, came to be standing in front of the Wal-Mart.
"You sure you want to do this?" he asks.
She rolls her eyes. "Of course, Baywatch. We'll never live this down if we don't."
"Remember, you have to keep a straight face," Robin reminds them over the comm. link. The rest of the Team is still at the Cave, watching the video Robin had concealed in the collar of Wally's shirt. "And you really have to play up the lovey-dovey thing. It has to be realistic."
"And we'll be watching," Raquel adds in a sing-song.
"Yeah, yeah, we know," Artemis grumbles. She slips her hand into her boyfriend's and start tugging him forward. "Let's go."
This is, without a doubt, the most uncomfortable experience of his life, bypassing The Talk he had with his dad and buying tampons for Artemis. There are so many judging eyes as they walk up and down the aisle, and his brain is conjuring so many scenarios of them actually using the condoms which is totally ridiculous because they are not having sex any time soon so he should totally stop thinking that way because this is not the time and definitely not the place to be having these thoughts...
"Okay, let's go."
Wally snaps back to reality just in time to realize Artemis is dragging him toward the checkout line. He notices the box in her hand and quickly takes it in his own. "Extra-small! Artemis!"
"What?" She reads the cover. "Oh, I didn't know it came in sizes."
"Of course it comes in sizes!" he whines, trying to ignore Robin's hysterical laughter roaring in his ears. "Artemis!"
"Okay, jeez, I'm sorry! We'll get another box." She purses her lips. "But you do know we're not actually using these, right?"
"Of course!" he squeaks. "I just, I just don't want the cashier to be assuming anything. I am quite well-endowed."
"I'm sure you are."
"You don't believe me!"
"You think I'm small!"
"Oh my God, no I don't! This is just a really bad time to be talking about your penis!"
On cue, a woman in a floor-length dress glares at them and tightens her hold on Good Christian Living. What she mutters under her breath is either a prayer or a curse.
Artemis groans and covers her eyes with her hand. "Wally, we will talk about this later when we are in private and all our friends cannot hear us," she hisses. "But right now, just grab a goddam box."
He obeys (it's a large), and they take the walk of shame to the check-out line.
An old man is behind the counter. "Well, hello! How can I help you tonight?"
"Uh, uh, we, uh..." Wally tosses the box onto the conveyor belt.
"He's nervous," Artemis explains, running her fingers up and down his arm. In a whisper, she adds, "It's our first time."
"Oh! Well, at least you two are being safe! That's the important thing." If this fazes him at all, he doesn't show it. "You've been dating long?"
"A year and a half," Wally says. He tries to wrap his arm around Artemis, but he ends up poking her in the eye.
"We have the music picked out and everything," Artemis continues, smile never wavering. "Candles, and flowers. We want it to be special."
"If you're with the right person, it will be." He hands over the purchase, which he was kind enough to triple bag. After he takes their money and returns the change, he advises, "Just be relaxed, and have fun with it."
"We will," Wally manages. "Thank you."
The applause of their friends is drowned out by his heart, beating furiously in his chest.
"Well, that was horrifying," Artemis grumbles. "Remind me to kill Robin for this."
"Oh, c'mon, you had fun," the acrobat insists. "And now you're prepared for that first time. Many, many, many moons from now. If Artemis doesn't realize she's so out of your league."
"Shut it, Boy Blunder!" Wally protests. "The only action you get is from your hand!"
"And you get yours another way?"
He blushes and grumbles, "We're heading back now," before shoving the link into his pocket.
Artemis, doing the same, kisses his cheek. "You might not get sex, but I think you get enough of something else," she purrs sensuously, chest pressed against his.
He giggles stupidly. "Yeah."
"So, what are you doing with the box?"
"Keeping it. Souvenir."
And that's the end of it.
Until two weeks later, when Wally is called to the kitchen.
His mom and dad, plus Uncle Barry, Ollie, Paula, and Artemis, are seated around the table. His girlfriend has her head buried in her hands; his parents and uncle are trying to look unconcerned; Paula is stone-faced; and Ollie is twirling an arrow in his hand.
"Um, hi?" he manages.
"Sit down," Ollie commands.
He does, right between Artemis and her mom.
"Son, we have to talk to you about something," Rudolf begins. "You see, well, we know you and Artemis have been dating for a while now, and that you've become very close. And, and we know you are old enough to make your own decisions, but...we want to make sure you're not doing anything you're not ready for."
"What? What do you-"
"Don't lie!" Ollie barks. The arrow head embeds itself within the table, an inch from Wally. "We know you're having sex!"
"What?" he yelps. "We're not, we've never, no!"
"That's what I've been telling them," Artemis mumbles, not even lifting her head. "They don't believe it."
"But, but why?"
Mary sighs. "Wally, sweetheart, I was straightening up your room and I found this." She places a box down.
Wally recognizes it as the condom box, and he breaks into nervous laughter. "Oh, I can explain that! It was part of a dare, from Robin. We didn't actually have sex."
The chuckles of relief don't come. No one's demeanor shifts at all.
"There's one missing," Barry says quietly.
Wally blinks and tries to remember how to breathe. "That's, no, there's not. We've never used one!"
"You've never used a condom!" Ollie shouts. "What, you want her to get pregnant?"
"No! We've never had sex before!" Wally protests, sinking in his chair. "Honest! We've only ever gotten to second!"
His mother gasps, and Ollie falls dangerously silent. Artemis turns to him slowly, and boy, does she look angry. "Why would you say that?" she snarls, teeth clenched so tightly they seem about to crack.
"I, I, I, I-"
"That's not an answer!" She starts to shake him. "I can't believe you would tell them that!"
"Artemis, I already knew," Paula says, as calmly as she would discuss the weather.
Artemis releases her hold. The other adults just stare.
"Mom, how'd you know?"
"Well, if you're wearing a bra when he comes over, but you don't have one when you go to grab a snack from the fridge, I can put two and two together."
Her mouth flaps open and closed, and Wally's reminded of one of those singing carps mounted on a wall.
"Okay, well, let's try to focus on the issue at hand," Mary says, voice gentle and understanding. "Wally, please, can you think of any reason why one of the condoms would be missing? We won't be mad, okay?"
"I swear, I have no idea where that condom went."
"Liar!" Ollie's hands slam onto the oak, and Wally cowers even further. "Are you having sex with some other girl? Is that it?"
"Okay, Oliver, I think it's time to calm down a little," Barry intervenes. "Wally is not cheating on Artemis."
"I raised my son better than that," Rudolf adds defensively.
Ollie says something, but it's background noise as Wally remembers back to the weekend. Dick had come over to hang out, but Wally had to help his mom with something, so Dick had been alone in his room...
"Robin!" he shouts. "It was Robin!"
"Robin?" Ollie repeats. It sounds more like, That is the dumbest thing I have ever heard in my life.
"He came over! He must have done it!" He flips out his cell and dials the number. "I'll prove it!"
On the last ring, the fifteen-year-old finally picks up. "Hey, dude."
"Did you steal a condom from the box?!"
"The box from that dare! Did you take a condom?!"
He cackles. "So, someone finally found it, huh? You get another talk or something?"
"I am going to murder you in you sleep! Where are you?"
"Now, why would I tell you that if you want to kill me?"
Wally growls and snaps the phone shut. "See? Not my fault. Now, if you excuse me, I have a bird to slaughter!"
He goes speeding out the door.
Those left sit in an uncomfortable silence, broken by Ollie stating, "I'm still going to castrate him for touching her."
That opens a whole new round of debates. Artemis, stuck in the middle, drops her head on the table and covers her ears, hoping that Wally leaves a piece of Robin for her.