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Artemis found her eyes drawn to the two speedsters in the room, despite all the heroes that were there. But most of them were watching the speedsters, too.

As soon as the last bit of whatever it was Wally had been trapped in fell away, The Flash swept him up into what was quite possibly the most smothering hug she'd ever seen. And Wally, to her surprise, didn't wriggle or try to squirm away the way most teenage boys would try to do, especially in front of friends; he sighed, with an air of graceful resignation he couldn't really pull off, and threaded his arms around the Scarlet Speedster in turn, even snuggling closer.

The Flash's response was to hold him tighter, and mutter, "You have to be more careful. What if we hadn't gotten here in time?"

"But you did," Wally responded calmly, and with a smile in his voice Artemis could hear even if she couldn't see it. "You always do. You have all the time in the world, remember?" He pulled back enough to tap the logo on the man's chest and grin cheekily.

It was like nothing existed but the two of them, Artemis realized, watching Flash hold Wally out at arm's length and look him up and down, as if assessing damage. And Wally laughed, reaching up to hold onto his arms, and got his hair ruffled for it-

They were more like family to each other than her real family was to her. She crossed her arms, watching them thoughtfully, and wondered if maybe the Flash was Wally's dad.

When the Flash flickered and appeared without warning at Batman's side, Wally flickered and appeared right alongside him, the only difference being the slight skid as he caught his balance. Artemis wished she knew what it was like to exist in a world where seconds weren't meaningless and a minute could change a lifetime.

"Batman, now that Mount Justice has been compromised once..."

Gotham's knight nodded, the optic lenses of his cowl narrowing in thought. "It could easily happen again. We got complacent and allowed security to become lax."

Wally and Robin made faces at each other from their mentors' sides, and all at once Artemis realized that the two of them existed on a separate plane from her and from the others. She would figure out what that meant later, when Batman and the Flash weren't monopolizing the room's attention so completely.

"I'd feel better if I kept Wally with me," the older speedster admitted, circling an arm around Wally's shoulders. It was amazing that he didn't have to look to do it, so conscious of where his Kid was. It made the slight distance Green Arrow stood from Artemis seem a lot greater. She shifted her weight and shook the thought away.

"Flaaash," Wally, somehow, managed to keep a whine out of his voice as he said, "the Reds are gone- "

"For now."

"But still," Robin interjected, looking up at Batman as though he sensed danger for himself as well, "we know how to handle them now! It just took us a bit longer this time with Wally out of commission- "

"And Rob's usually got all the right gadgets anyway, today was just a really off day- "

"Kid, you're not in trouble." The Flash moved his hand from the boy's shoulders to his head, ruffling his hair again lightly. "You can still run, and you're still on active duty. I just want you home instead of here when you're not needed."

Wally and Robin both slumped, Robin even before Batman inclined his head in agreement. Aquaman spoke up about Kaldur spending more time in Atlantis until the Reds were caught, and Black Canary, planting a fist on her hip and stalking forward with the grace and dignity of a jungle cat, asked what they proposed should be done about the two whose only home was the Cave.

J'onn Jones put an arm around Megan and told Canary he would take care of her; Megan leaned into him happily. But at that point all heads swiveled to Superman, who- to the YJL's immediate collective disgust- looked away. Conner didn't even look at him; it sort of broke Artemis' heart that he hadn't even bothered getting his hopes up.

But before the atmosphere could get any heavier, Wally leaned around the Flash and ignored Superman entirely- a slight from him that meant more than words could have- as he called out, "Hey, Supes! You should stay with me again, that was awesome. We can stay at my uncle's for awhile- you've never even met him, Supes! He's the coolest."

And God, Artemis could see so clearly after that awful experience it made her feel like she'd been blind before, because as Wally's voice rang cheerfully through the room, she understood exactly what he was doing. Conner's blue eyes didn't even have time to darken with hurt before he was smiling crookedly, uncertainly, and venturing to ask, "Are you sure he won't mind?"

"Are you kidding?" The redhead grinned up at his mentor. "Uncle B would love to have Conner stay, don't you think?"

The Flash and Robin both laughed. Even Batman sort of smirked. The other heroes either sighed or shook their heads, except for Superman, who was still staring away and clenching his fists, and Artemis wished she had some idea what the inside joke was. But then Robin was moving over to punch Superboy on the arm and reassure him that Wally's uncle was seriously cool, almost as cool as Robin's dad, to which Wally interjected that, excuse me, that's a matter of opinion.

It was like they hadn't been in danger of dying hours ago. Wally laughed and joked and sped around to each of his comrades in turn, poking at them and asking how they felt with a childish sincerity that- had it been anyone else- Artemis wouldn't have believed was real.

When it was time to go, Robin made Wally swear to text him the minute he got back to Central City, Conner gave Megan a kiss goodbye-for-now and Megan all but melted into his arms, Kaldur was throwing out some last minute reminders to the team as a whole while his king led him to the zeta tube, and Wally turned to yell, "Hey 'Missy! Make sure you bring me a Star City souvenir! You totally have to replace the one you stole. Just give it to me when we all come back home."

His grin softened into a smile as he finished, and she knew there was meaning behind the suggestion and knowing that made her smile back- she made a mental note to find him something, even if it was her arrow she "stole."

Finally, as someone started turning the lights out one by one, her friends slowly dispersed. She could hear them talking to their mentors as they did, Wally challenging the Flash and Conner both to a footrace, his enthusiastic words the last of the dying echoes as they disappeared into a spiraling white.

Green Arrow asked if she was ready to leave, and she closed her eyes. Without the junior league, and the life and purpose they gave it, Mount Justice felt so...empty. It needed young acrobats and aliens and laughter and family.

Because she wouldn't be missing the place. She'd be missing the people that made it home.
If you haven't seen the new episode "Homefront," I'd suggest you watch it first, though this story won't spoil much for you. I suggest you watch it anyway. That episode was rad. I mean, I wish Wally would've gotten more of the limelight, especially since he was freaking gone for two episodes, but hey, he helped save the day in a major way, so it's all good.

I loooved hearing him explain scientifics to Rob- and I loved watching him work on Conner's bike. He worked in the police garage for some time before he became a forensic scientist (in JLU, anyway; I've read that in some 'verses, Wally was just a mechanic, not a chemist as well, but I much prefer his being both). That this episode sort of alluded to that, as well as hinted to the man he's going to be- just, totally made my night. C':

So here's a lot of Wally-centric gen! Avast! I'm really not a fan of the Spitfire pairing at all; a platonic relationship between 'Missy and Wally is cool, but no more than that. But hey! Read into this however you want~ 8D
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theMirage-Prismatic Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
loving this. :) Great little episode epilogue.
Taisi-san Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thankyou! Cx
avidfreakazoidfan Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Awesome continuation of the (totally awesome) episode! :D
Taisi-san Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thankyou! C:
avidfreakazoidfan Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You're welcome! :D
Aedien1 Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2011
You're right the episode was AWESOME, I especially loved the Dick/Wally nerd moment, and this episode actually made me like Artemis! This was a really great little epilogue of sorts. I read the first paragraph and hit the favorite button!
Taisi-san Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Aww, thankyou. C: Yeah, I found myself liking Artemis too- I mean, I didn't hate her before, but I -was- sort of indifferent towards her. Now that it's clear her friends mean as much to her- if not more- than her own family, I can really respect her as a member of the team. C:

And yes, Wally's smarts had me swooning. <3
RobinLoverZ Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2011
AWESOME, such a great squeal to the episode!!
Taisi-san Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thankyou!! C:
RobinLoverZ Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2011
No prob. :)
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