Artemis shot up in bed sweating and crying with the covers thrown off to the side. The dream that terrorized her, kept her up at night and haunted her every thought had struck again. The discusting reality of her past kept threatening to show itself through her dreams, but what was worse was how real it seemed. If it was real she wouldn't be able to show herself around the team again.
Tonight was an unusual night though. Instead of fighting to get back to sleep Artemis just laid back staring at the ceiling. A knock on the door prevented her from getting to deep in thought. She hastily whipped her face and ran to open the door. Standing before her in yellow and red p.j. pants and no shirt was Wally. His hair was messy and his were eyes tired, but still showed concern as he looked at her. Under his arm was a bag of chips, soda and a chocolate bar.
"You alright?" He asked.
"What? Of course. Why?" She stammered.
"Then why aren't you asleep?"
"Cause some freak was knocking on my door." She put her hands on her hips.
"I meant before. I heard you flopping around."
"I just couldn't sleep." He looked at her skeptically.
"Great," he ran passed her and perched himself on her bed. "Neither can I."
On any other night Artemis would have thrown him out in a heartbeat, but she was desperate for a distraction from her nightmares. She closed the door before taking a seat on her bed. She leaned back against her pillow while watching Wally open the bag of chips and stuff a handful in his mouth.
Noticing her eyes on him he shifted slightly before offering her some chips. She took a few and unlike him ate them gracefully, one by one. Wally gulped down some soda and turned so he was looking at her. Artemis tried to avoid eye contact, but even in the dark she saw his eyes on her.
"So why can't you sleep?" He ate a chip.
"Just can't, ok?" Wally nodded and just stared at her. Her green tank top was wrinkled from sleeping in it and her baggy sweat pants were pushed up showing her legs a little. Feeling uncomfortable under his stare she fidgeted with her hands. "So why couldn't you sleep?"
"Got hungry. You know got to eat all the time," he patted his stomach will laughing awkwardly. When she didn't say anything Wally sighed and leaned against the headboard of the bed. Artemis turned to look at him. Since she was practically laying down and he was sitting she had to crane her neck back to look at him. In the dark room she could still see him quite clearly. His red hair swayed in front of his eyes a bit, which were bright against his shadowed face. His chest and abs were toned and his arms were muscular, not like Superboy's or Aqualad's but still. It was mostly quiet a side from Wally opening the candy bar and the usual night noises. Overall Artemis felt at peace beside the young speedster.
She allowed herself to put her head back down comfortably on the pillow and close her eyes. Just as soon as she closed them they shot open again after feeling something touch her lips and smelling peanuts. Surprised to find an opened candy bar in front of her she glanced at Wally who smirked slightly. Artemis was a bit hesitant, but took a bite of the chocolaty snack. She smiled at the sweet taste not caring that Wally was there. He chuckled at her reaction before taking a bite of the bar himself. He ate most of it before Artemis snatched it. He watched as she took the last bite of it smiling obviously satisfied with herself. He bent down so his face was inches from hers. That wasn't very nice," he said softly.
"Don't hog all the candy next time," she countered. Wally slid down so he was laying on his side and his head rested on his hand held up by his elbow. "I don't get you," he mumbled while staring at her as if trying to read the answer on her face. "You're so tough on the battle field and speak sharply to everyone, but at night something keeps you up and you refuse to talk about it. You know for some one who usually speaks her mind and says whatever she feels it's kind of weird."
"Do you have to pry into my life, Baywatch?" Artemis didn't meet his eyes. She couldn't cause if she did she'd want to spill her guts. "Why do you need to know?"
"I don't need to know. I just want to help you. Whatever's bothering you, you should talk about."
"Wally." She turned her head to the side so she could look at him. "It's just a nightmare, ok? That's all. If you want to help me then just drop it and be quiet so I can sleep." Wally just stared at her for a minute before sitting up right.
"Ok. For now I'll drop it." He grabbed the bag of chips from the foot of the bed. "I'll go so you can get some sleep." He threw his feet over the side.
"Did I say I wanted you to leave?"
Wally looked over his shoulder at Artemis who was laying on her side, eyes closed. He smirked and laid back down facing her. He brushed a piece of hair from her face. She moved closer to him so that her head was an inch from his chest and sighed. She wasn't touching him at all, but was close enough to be. Annoyed at the half done action he encircled her in his arms and pulled her close to him. Artemis stiffened at the contact, but settled quickly.
Even though she'd never admit it she really didn't want to be alone after that dream. She wouldn't have expected Wally to be the one comforting her, but still she felt better being in his arms.
"Hey Wally," Artemis whispered.
"Hm?" He looked down at her.
"Tell anybody about this and I'll make sure you can never run again. Understand?"
He laughed lightly. "Ok, but only if you don't tell about this..." Before she could ask what he was talking about Wally pulled back, lifted her chin and captured her lips with his. As fast it happened it was over and Artemis was back with her head resting against his chest.
Once she regained her composure she spoke, "I'll take it to the grave."
"Good. Now think of that instead of what's been bothering you." Artemis smiled burying her face in his chest and kissed it. Truthfully she hadn't thought about the dream since Wally had put his arms around her.
The light touch on his skin made Wally shiver. He stroked her hair as she fell asleep, "Sweet dreams, Arty."
Artemis's breathing became even and settled. Wally listened to it becoming more and more calm then fell asleep with the blonde archer he fought with so often.
Morning came and as always Robin was first awake. Wandering the halls he passed Wally's room. Seeing the door wide open and that he wasn't there the curious boy wonder looked through the cave for the red head, but found nothing. Just as he was beginning to think Kid Flash had gone home he came to Artemis's room. Curiosity took over and he opened the door just enough to look inside.
As soon as he saw inside he had to cover his mouth to stifle his laughter. Laying on Artemis's bed was her, of course, but she had her head resting on the speedster he'd been looking for. Wally was laying on the pillow with one arm draped over her shoulders holding her to him and the other lay across his stomach barely touching hers.
Robin pulled out his camera and snapped a picture still trying not to laugh. Unfortunately he left the flash on so his laughter didn't matter. Wally shot up thinking something was wrong making Artemis crash back on the bed. "What's going on?" he said.
"Ow. What is wrong with you?" She sat up slowly.
"I thought I saw-" His eyes flashed to the door where Rob's head was peaking in. "Robin!" The boy wonder was gone in an instant and so was Kid Flash. Yelling and crashing could be heard through out the cave, but Artemis just laid back sighing. It was the first good night sleep she'd had in a while and wasn't through yet. She rolled over to the spot where Wally had been laying and snuggled into the pillow taking in the scent. It smelled like Wally and with that fact to comfort her she ignored the sounds erupting outside her door and fell back asleep.
In another part of the cave Wally had caught Robin and pinned him to the floor. "Give me the camera Rob." Wally said trying to reach the camera while holding down the dark haired boy.
"Won't Artemis be jealous if she catches us in this position?" Robin teased making the red head jump off him. Rob tried to dash off before Wally grabbed his feet making him trip.
"What are you two doing?" A deep voice asked. Wally shot up at the sight of Batman standing above him. Robin stood up as well. "Nothing just getting blackmail," Robin answered his mentor.
"Hm." Batman narrowed his eyes at them before leaving. As soon as he was out of sight the two began wrestling again for the camera.