[identity profile] empressearwig.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] earwigficmirror
Title: French Kissing Boys Into Men
Author: [livejournal.com profile] empressearwig
Pairing/Fandom: Young Justice; Wally/Artemis
Spoilers: All aired episodes.
Rating: PG
Word Count: ~2600
Disclaimer: I own nothing, this is all for fun. This hasn't happened. Yet. Etc.
Summary: Five times Wally and Artemis kissed.
Author's Notes: If shameless fluff was a thing people warned for, it would apply here. Many thanks to [livejournal.com profile] torigates who told me that this wasn't terrible.


i.

Their first kiss isn't the one that matters.

Their first kiss is on a mission, the kind of mission where nothing goes right and at the end, you're just relieved that everyone's made it out alive. That's all the first kiss is: relief. Relief in the form of lips and tongues and maybe a copped feel that doesn't end until Kaldur clears his throat in an entirely not Kaldur-like way, at which point they spring apart and pretend like nothing happened.

No, that isn't the kiss that matters.

The kiss that matters is two days later, after there has been time to think and process (Artemis) and time to not be able to think about anything but doing it again (Wally). They're in the cave, alone for once, though Artemis suspects that was deliberate on their teammates part. Wally might be totally oblivious, but she can smell a set up when she sees one.

She sits on one side of the couch. Wally sits on the other. No Signal is on the television in front of them. They don't look at each other. It's terrible.

Artemis takes a deep breath and turns toward Wally, shoulders firmly squared. "Wally," she starts, relieved that her voice is clear and not tainted with any of the butterflies that have taken up residence in her stomach. "We need to talk."

Before she can even blink, he's slid down the couch so that they're sitting practically on top of each other, thighs pressed tightly against one another. Super speed, Artemis reminds herself, trying not to think about all the heat that Wally's giving off. She always forgets the super speed.

"Yeah?" Wally asks. His tongue darts out to wet his lips, and Artemis isn't going to let herself be distracted by that either.

"Yes," Artemis says, as business-like as she can manage. It's not what anyone would call successful. "The other day -- when we --"

"When we kissed," Wally helpfully supplies, the corners of his mouth turning up into the smirk she's grown so familiar with that it's almost endearing now. "That's what you meant, right?"

"Right," she says. "When we kissed. I've been thinking, and --"

She doesn't get any further, because Wally's mouth is on hers, and then somehow she's in his lap, and it's just so good that she's perfectly fine with not doing anymore talking. More than perfectly fine with it, really.

And just like that, they're together.

ii.

When Artemis wakes up in the infirmary, she is aware of two things. One, her head really, really hurts, and two, so does her hand, which is weird since she doesn't remember hurting that. But then she looks down and spots a very familiar head of red hair slumped over on the bed next to her and suddenly she understands.

"Wally?" she croaks, trying to flex her fingers despite the stranglehold he has on them. Who knew he had such a strong grip?

His head bounces up instantly. "Artemis? Artemis!" His grip on her hand gets even tighter. "Don't ever do that again!"

"I didn't do it on purpose," she says weakly.

"I don't care," he says. "Never again, you hear me? Never."

"Jeez, Wally," she says, trying for levity and failing miserably. "I didn't know you cared."

"You didn't -- you didn't --" Wally says, stumbling over his words as his face gets redder and redder, until it's brighter than his hair. "God, Artemis, I -- I --"

He kisses her. Desperately, urgently, like he's pouring out all of his worry and frustration and guilt into a single kiss. Like he's afraid that he'll never be able to do it again. Artemis kisses him back, doing her best to tell him that she's fine and that it wasn't his fault and that she's here.

The kiss gentles, becomes sweet. When it ends, they are both breathing in ragged gasps.

His forehead pressed tightly to hers, Wally speaks again. "I love you, Artemis. Don't you get that?"

Until that very minute, she hadn't. But now, with the words spoken, Artemis can see it there, clear as day. She sees it in the way that Wally is nice to her mom and the way that he makes sure that he doesn't eat all of her favorite cookies when they come up in M'gann's baking rotation. She sees it in the way that he always wants to hold her hand and the way that he patiently explains her physics homework to her, even though she knows that he thinks that it's baby physics. She looks at Wally and she sees, and that's when she realizes that there's only one word for what she feels for him, too.

"I love you," she says, not able to keep the note of surprise from her voice. "I love you."

Wally grins. "I was sort of hoping," he says, leaning in to kiss her again.

Artemis makes absolutely no attempt to stop him.

iii.

Someone bangs loudly on her bedroom door. "Artemis!"

At the sound of Wally's voice, she turns the volume on her ipod up and goes back to trying to write her application essay for Stanford. She doesn't want to have this fight, not now.

There's more banging and more calling of her name and then suddenly it all stops. Artemis knows Wally well enough to find this concerning. One of the things that she simultaneously finds exasperating and admirable about him is the way that he won't back down from a fight until it's resolved. Grudges have no place in Wally West's world and he actually believes in things like not going to bed angry.

It's when they fight that Artemis realizes how different they really are. It's when they fight that Artemis wonders if they're so different that they can't ever last.

Her door opens and Wally strides in, all easy nonchalance, as if he hadn't been trying to bang down that same door just two minutes before. He flops down on her bed as if he belongs there, and Artemis narrows her eyes at him.

"How did you get in here?" she asks, spinning in her desk chair to face him, arms folded across her chest. "It was locked."

"Robin." Wally picks up one of his comic books from her nightstand and starts flipping through it. "He was sick of listening to me pound on your door."

"I'll kill him," Artemis says with absolute conviction. "I can't believe he still doesn't understand the meaning of locked doors."

"Oh, he understands what they mean. He just believes that they shouldn't stand between the greater good."

Artemis snorts. "What greater good?"

"The team's greater good, Artemis." Wally sets the comic book down and sits up, swinging his legs off the side of the bed. "You know that Meg doesn't like it when we fight."

"She'll get over it." Artemis turns back to her essay. "I don't want to talk about this right now, Wally."

She hears him get up and walk toward her, but it's not until his hands settle on her shoulders that she lets herself acknowledge him at all.

"Wally," she says, not able to stop the hint of desperation from escaping. "Please."

She hears him sigh and then her chair turns again until she's facing him. She keeps her eyes fixed firmly on his stomach, on the tiny hole in his thermal that's threatening to unravel. She won't let herself think about any sort of symbolism that her focal point might imply.

And anyway, it doesn't matter, because he crouches down in front of her, his hand cupping her chin so that she's forced to meet his eyes. "Artemis," he says, his voice laced with the patient understanding that she hates and that he only uses when he thinks she's being completely unreasonable. "I don't understand why this is such a big deal."

Artemis narrows her eyes at him again. "You're not usually this thick."

Wally spreads his hands wide. "Explain it to me."

"Fine," she says. Two can play at the overly patient game. "You want to go to MIT. I want to go to Stanford. Those schools are on opposite sides of the country. You don't see the problem with that?"

"Artemis," he says, her name sounding like a laugh against his lips. "Did you forget who you were dating?"

"It's college, Wally. A hard college, no less. You can't run cross country every night just because I miss you."

"First of all," Wally says, taking her hands in his, "I think it's sweet that you'll miss me. For the record, I'll miss you too." He leans up to steal a kiss before she can stop him. "And second of all, watch me."

"Wally," she tries to say, but he pulls on their joined hands until she's sitting on his lap. "Wally, you --"

He kisses her again. And again. And again, until she's kissing him back with as much urgency as he's kissing her. They sprawl out on the floor, their legs tangling together. Her hands slip beneath his thermal, stroking against his always too warm skin.

She breaks the kiss so that she can slip the shirt over his head. "This doesn't mean you won," she warns him, her mouth hovering over his. "I mean it, Wally."

"Yes, dear," he says, leaning up so that she's kissing him once more.

When they talk about it later, they agree that they both won.

iv.

There's a knock on the door of their apartment, but Artemis ignores it and tries to focus on her political theory reading. She knows that Barbara will answer it before she can even get there and besides, she's reading Machiavelli and she doesn't really want to stop. It's not everyday that class reading is actually fun.

"Artemis," Barbara calls out from the kitchen. "Your boyfriend is here. Again."

Artemis smiles to herself, but doesn't look up from her book. Moments later, arms wrap around her from behind and a kiss is pressed to her cheek.

"I don't even warrant a hello?" Wally asks, kissing his way down her throat. "I'm hurt."

"Hello," she says, turning in his arms and winding hers around his neck. "Fancy meeting you here."

Wally grins. "That's more like it," he says, leaning in to kiss her lips. "I missed you, too."

Artemis laughs against his mouth. "You were here yesterday. When was I supposed to have time to miss you?"

"I miss you the moment that you're out of my sight," Wally says grandly, dipping her back over his arm so that her hair skimmed the floor. "Duh."

Artemis pushes at his shoulders, laughing all the while. "Duh, yourself."

"Well, if you're sure," Wally says, and before she knows what's happened, Artemis is on the floor looking up at Wally with a very sore butt.

"Hey!"

"Is for horses." Wally drops down onto the floor next to her and leans in to kiss her again, but Artemis slaps a hand on his chest to stop him. "Too soon?"

"Much too soon," Artemis confirms. "Dumbass."

Wally wraps his arm around her shoulders, pulling her into his side. "I love you, too."

v.

They graduate from college and then it's back to the Cave, back to the team and fighting crime. It's good. Artemis loved college, loved getting to learn and do normal things like experiencing thirsty Thursday's and beer pong and Sunday morning hangovers, but that didn't mean she didn't miss the team and her life with them every single day that she was away.

The team is who she is. She's not complete when she's not with them.

She's not complete when she's not with Wally.

Not that she's telling him that. He would take it entirely the wrong way. Or maybe he would take it the right way. Artemis doesn't know what the right way is anymore, and she thinks that maybe she hasn't since the day that she saved his life all those years ago.

There's a party at the Cave and it seems like the entire Justice League is there alongside the team. Green Arrow beams like a proud dad the whole night, his arm wrapped around her shoulders as he shows her off to the rest of the League and while it makes her heart glad, it makes her so, so sad, too. She loves Ollie, she does, but her actual father will never do this for her, would never think to do this for her.

It's an old hurt that's never fully healed and one that Artemis never expects to.

When she gets the chance she slips away, hiding in her old bedroom. It's quiet there, or at least compared to the dull roar of the party it is, and her throbbing head is grateful for that. But the quiet means she can hear herself think and she really doesn't want that either.

"I thought I'd find you here."

She looks up and Wally is framed in the door, the answer to the plea that she didn't even know she was making.

"Lucky guess," she says, patting the spot on the bed next to her. "Come here."

He wags his eyebrows at her, giving her a lascivious look. "Does that mean what I think it means?"

She laughs, which she knows full well was his intention. "No."

Wally shrugs, and comes to sit next to her. "Can't blame a guy for asking."

Artemis tips her head onto his shoulder. His arm goes around his waist. Her eyes fall shut and she breathes him in, boy and cheetos and beer, and she thinks that if every night could be like this that maybe, just maybe, she would be really and truly happy.

She thinks it and her eyes fly open and she realizes -- there's nothing stopping her. For the first time in her entire life, there's nothing but her standing in the way of what she wants.

And so Artemis takes it.

"Wally," she starts, not entirely sure how to begin. "Wally, I want to ask you something."

"Shoot," he says.

When she doesn't speak right away, he turns his head to look at her and he must see the panic on her face because he touches his her chin and says, "Hey. You know you can ask me anything."

"Do you want to live with me?" she blurts out, no finesse whatsoever. There are no pretty words or mentions of feelings, though she'd give them to him if she could. She's never been good with those kinds of words. "Please?"

A slow smile spreads across his face and he cups her cheek in one of his hands. "Yes," he says. "What took you so long?"

She kisses him then and together they tumble back onto the mattress. An hour later, when they rejoin the party, there are many knowing looks and plenty of innuendo that once upon a time would have made Artemis kick people in the face.

But tonight, she has Wally's hand is in hers and really, that is the only thing that matters.
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