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Bad Timing (Pink Carnation, Miles/Henrietta, 417 words)

Miles found Henrietta sitting alone in the front parlor, her head bent low over her correspondence. For a brief moment, he contemplated sneaking up behind her, but remembered the number of times he'd successfully completed such an endeavor remained firmly at zero. Perhaps announcing himself would be better.

"Hello, wife," said Miles.

Henrietta twisted her head around to look at him, a fond smile breaking out across her face. "Hello, husband. What brings you to my parlor this morning?"

"Can a husband not visit his wife without an ulterior motive?" Miles asked, as he crossed the room to her side. He squished himself next to her on the settee, so that they were pressed firmly against one another in a most pleasing fashion. When Henrietta laughed, he felt it in every part of him. Some parts of him more than others.

"A husband might," Henrietta answered, tilting her face up at him. Amusement shone at him from her eyes. "My husband would not."

Miles grinned. He did dearly love how well that Henrietta knew him. It made life so much simpler. He brought his hand up to stroke her cheek, finding the way that her eyes fluttered closed immensely gratifying. "In that case," he said, bending his head so that his mouth hovered just above her own, "I believe that this will answer your question."

He kissed her then, crushing her mouth with his. She made the most endearing noise, something between a start of surprise and a moan, and wound her arms around his neck. His hand went to her hip and he pulled and maneuvered her until she sat directly on his lap. This truly was the best part of having a wife.

She broke away, shaking her head. "Miles, we can--"

He covered her mouth with his again, kissing her more insistently yet. Whatever her reason, surely this was more important. This had to be more important.

"Lady Uppington," intoned Stwyth.

Or perhaps Henrietta had had a very good reason for suggesting that they stop.

Miles stood automatically, a reflex born of years of habit, and Henrietta dropped from his lap to the floor. He winced, holding out a hand for her. He helped her to her feet and did his best to help her straighten her dress until she batted his hands away.

"I told you," Henrietta hissed.

Miles looked at her sheepishly. "I'm sorry?"

"Hello, my dears," said Lady Uppington from the doorway. "Was I interrupting?"


The Witching Hour (Young Justice, Dick/Zatanna, 501 words

When the knock on her door came, Zatanna knew who it was without needing to check the judas hole. There was only one person who dropped by after midnight, and his visits were always for the same reason.

She didn't bother to get up from her couch, but muttered the incantation to unlock the door and yelled, "It's open!" before turning her attention back to the combined talents of Misters Clooney, Damon, and Pitt. Just because there was a real boy here now, didn't mean that she needed to give up on the more reliable features in her fantasy life. That would be stupid.

"Zee," said Dick's voice from behind her. "We've talked about you leaving your door open. What if it wasn't me?"

She shrugged and craned her neck around to look at him. He'd come as himself tonight, not Nightwing and though she'd be lying if she pretended like she didn't miss the way the Kevlar clung to his shoulders, the jeans and tight polo shirt would do nicely as well. She patted the spot on the couch next to her. "Come sit down, you know it hurts my neck to look up at you like that. Why did you have to go and get so tall again?"

Dick let out a frustrated laugh, but did as she asked. His arm stretched out over the back of the couch, resting just above her shoulders. "You like that I'm tall. And don't think I didn't notice your ignoring my question."

"Dick," Zatanna said, rolling her eyes at him. "Do you think I have some sort of harem or something? A long list of men who randomly decide to appear at my door after midnight?" She patted his knee, leaving her hand there. "I'm a big girl. I can take care of myself."

He looked down at her hand on his leg and then back up to her face. "There's no good way for me to answer any of that, is there?"

Zatanna shook her head. "Afraid not." She gave him a mischevious smile. "Aren't you supposed to be good at word play or something? I mean, I remember when that was a thing."

His hand dropped to her shoulder, tugging her against his chest. "I branched out. Developed new talents." He raised one of his eyebrows at her. "I believe you're familiar with some of them."

"Why don't you remind me?"

His mouth was on hers in the next instant. She slid onto his lap, tangling her hands in his dark hair, as her lips moved urgently against his. His hand fell to her hip and then up under her shirt to find bare skin. Zatanna moaned, pressing closer against his chest.

"Dick," she said, his name come out on a gasp as his hand found her breast. "Thanks for stopping by."

He laughed, low and deep. His mouth found hers again, and then there was no more time for talking.

Zatanna did so love it when Dick stopped by.


Pavlov's Dog (Young Justice, Wally/Artemis, 398 words)

"I can't do this," Wally said, his head falling down on the open book in front of him. "My brain is full."

Across the wide library table, Artemis rolled her eyes. "Drama queen," she said, affection cutting through the words. "Aren't you the one always telling me what a genius you are?"

He raised his head just enough to look at her. "I am. Ask me do anything science-y and I'm your guy. Ask me to look for the symbolism in Mrs. Dalloway?" He sat up straighter and waved his hand at the offending book. "I want to die."

Artemis shrugged. "You should have taken American Lit with me instead."

Wally frowned at her. "You are absolutely heartless, you know that?"

"So you keep telling me," she said, cocking her head to one side. "And yet you keep coming back for more. Why is that again?"

"Sex," Wally said immediately. "Duh."

Artemis couldn't help the loud burst of laughter that escaped. Evil glares immediately turned her way and she covered her mouth with her hand to muffle the giggles that were still coming.

"You are such a guy," she said once she could finally speak again. "Remind me why I put up with you again?"

"Sex," Wally said. "And again, I say, duh."

Artemis raised an eyebrow. "You really think so?"

"I think talking about -- or having, having would be even better -- sex is more fun than studying for midterms. But then so would a frontal lobotomy." Wally winced. "Which was not intended to be a commentary on the completely awesome sex that we have. Maybe I should just go give myself that lobotomy now. With a rusty spoon."

"Wally," Artemis said, fighting hard to keep the smile that wanted to be on her face off it. "Will you go back to studying for your midterm if I promise to have sex with you after you get an A?"

"Well, why didn't you say so?" Wally asked, winking at her and picking Mrs. Dalloway back up. In a matter of seconds his nose was practically pressed against it, he was studying it so intently.

Artemis shook her head and went back to her own books.

Really, sometimes Wally was too easy. And by sometimes, she meant all the time. She wouldn't have him any other way.


Commencement (Young Justice, Team, 558 words)

Gotham Academy's graduation -- excuse her, commencement -- was held on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend. And Artemis honestly didn't understand why everyone kept acting like it was a big deal.

Her mom? Sure. Artemis got why her mom thought that. Going to Gotham Academy, much less making it through three exhausting years and finishing fifth in her class, that was a thing mom's got excited about. But everyone else? It was just a graduation ceremony, same as every other kid finishing high school sat through. Same boring platitudes and mind-numbing speakers everywhere you went.

Which was why when her teammates asked if they could come to hers, Artemis said no in absolutely unequivocal terms.

"No. Absolutely not. Under no circumstances. Do you understand me?" she'd said, and her teammates had all nodded.

Her teammates were all a bunch of liars, because there, sitting in the audience next to her mom they were. Artemis could tell the exact moment that M'gann spotted her, because one hand went up in a giddy wave and while her other arm was elbowing Wally in the side and then pointing until he was doing the same.

Artemis sighed and waved back, albeit in a much smaller, less enthusiastic way.

She was happy to see them, she really was. She was glad that she meant so much to them that they'd willingly put themselves through this ritualized torture, but didn't they get that she cared enough about them to spare them this?

An hour and a half and a half-Latin commencement address later, and Artemis was fairly certain they were seeing things her way. Conner's head was slumped on M'gann's shoulder and Wally kept flinching like someone was pinching him to stay awake. Zatanna and Dick were bent over something that Artemis assumed was the program, probably playing endless games of tic tac toe or hangman. Only Kaldur, M'gann and her mom looked like they were actually paying attention, and Artemis prayed for their sakes (and her own) that it would end soon.

Finally, the dean started passing out diplomas and Artemis obediently followed in the alphabetical line. There was clapping and the occasional mild cheer for every student, of course, and when her turn came, Artemis expected the same.

Except, apparently, no one told her friends that.

Dean Franklin announced her name and what could only be described as a roar went up in the crowd, and Artemis flushed bright red. She shuffled forward to shake the Dean's hand and to take her diploma, not sure whether she was more embarrassed or touched, but pretty sure she was coming down on the side of embarrassment.

The dean smiled kindly at her and bent forward to speak in her ear. "It sounds like a lot of people are proud of you, Artemis," he said. "I am, too."

She flushed red again. "Thank you," she mumbled. "I appreciate that."

He patted her shoulder and sent her on her way back to her seat. From there, she could see them all grinning back at her, pride written all over the faces of the people that she loved the most.

And in that moment, Artemis finally understood why they were all here, for her. She raised her diploma in salute and smiled.

Maybe the whole commencement thing wasn't really so bad, after all.


Hi (Young Justice, Dick/Zatanna, 229 words)

They don't make each other any promises, but one. The promise is simple. If there is a time and a place in the future when they think they can be together, they will try. The promise is anything but simple.

*

They kiss on New Year's Eve, but do not do more. Zatanna falls for a boy that has nothing to do with the world of magic and heroes, and Dick for the girl who's been standing at his side all along. Dick takes Zatanna to her senior prom. She kisses him in front of all of Gotham on the day he graduates from high school.

Zatanna joins the Justice League. Dick does not.

Years pass, lovers come and go. They watch each other grow and change, and become the people they were always meant to be.

On a bright summer day, they stand at an altar, watching their friends become man and wife. As Wally slips the ring on Artemis's finger, their eyes meet.

Zatanna looks away, with the first blush Dick has seen on her cheeks in years. He smiles.

*

When the reception has ended and farewells have been said, there is a knock on Zatanna's hotel room door. She opens it, knowing who will be standing on the other side.

"Hi," Dick says.

She takes his hand and draws him inside. The door falls shut behind them.
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