YJ- Back in a Flash, prt 3 (Blondies)
Genre: Romance/SAPPY CUTENESS (that is a genre by my standards)
Summary: “Yeah, we’d like to order a Blondie to split.”
…I’m sorry. I meant for this to be cute but it just got STUPID? Idk I’m bothered by it but I DO love the cutesy stuff, at least.
I dedicate the shit out of this to my compadre, Sarcatt, because she has been having a less than stellar week(s?)! And I really hope you start feeling better my dear, and I hope things go okay with your internship thing this Sunday! *epic crushing dragon hugs* Now if you will, I hope that some incredibly fluffy and kissy-hands Spitfire will at least give you a smile! :3
“Mm, hey, want to split a Blondie?”
“Do you even have to ask, babe?”
He sends her this look across the table, accompanied by a genuine smile that sprays his freckles up in the most endearing way that makes her heart clench. She can’t help but smile back at him, can’t help the balloon of contentment that expands in her chest cavity as both their hands seek each other out across the table top. Their fingers intertwine.
God, how she’d missed him.
There’s a comfortable silence between them as they wait for the waiter to come back by, and the archer allows her gaze to tear away from Wally’s face long enough to take in the surrounding tables. The little restaurant is dimly lit, and they’re among the last of the late night crowd. There are only maybe two other tables still occupied a ways away from them; gentle snatches of conversation reach her ears every so often, but all Artemis cares about tonight is the man sitting across from her.
His thumb gently strokes the back of her palm, drawing her gaze back to him. They smile at each other again, and Wally opens his mouth to say something when the waiter returns, asking them whether they would like dessert or not. Wally winks at Artemis before speaking up, and she mentally prepares herself for what she knows is coming.
“Yeah, we’d like to order a Blondie to split,” he says calmly, watching the waiter write it down. “But, ah…” he adds, digging into the seat of his pants to bring forth his wallet. The waiter watches in mild confusion as he thumbs through a few bills, at last pulling out a crisp looking twenty, which he holds delicately between two of his fingers before saying, quietly and with much discretion, “Could you, ah, make it the size of the plate it comes on? And put a few extra scoops of vanilla ice cream on top? Two spoons, please.”
Artemis is having a hard time stifling her laughter, long since having had to bring her hand up to her mouth to hide her amusement at the expense of the shocked looking waiter.
God, how she had missed Wally West with every fiber of her being.
“I… uhm, i-it’ll be a few minutes, uh, sir,” the waiter stammers out, clearly at a loss of whether to accept or reject this strange request. He takes the twenty though and walks away, casting a glance back at the couple as if he expects them to call out that they were kidding and just want a normal dessert.
“Wally,” Artemis laughs out softly, reaching for his hand again. “You scared him.”
Wally snorts, bringing his other hand up so that he’s cupping hers in the both of them, warmth seeping into her pores. He plays idly with her fingers.
“I can’t help it if he’s never seen a guy with a huge appetite. Besides, I gave him a twenty, it’s his lucky day.”
They both chuckle together. His comment gets her thinking vaguely about how, as voracious as his appetite had always been, he’s never been hungrier than he’s been in the four weeks since he’s returned home. Or faster, for that matter. Something had happened to him, that much they were sure of.
“Hm?” she asks, snapping back to the present.
“Have I told you how beautiful you look tonight?” he asks seriously, reaching over to push a loose strand of golden hair behind her ear.
“Only about a hundred times since we left the apartment, handsome,” she retaliates. “And about a thousand since you got back.”
“Good. You can make that a thousand-and-one and counting.”
“How many times have I told you I missed you?” she asks quietly, and that sobers the both of them up. He pulls her hand up to his mouth and kisses the back with chapped lips, again and again, making her skin tingle in the best way.
“Every minute since I’ve been back, babe,” he says, kissing each of her fingers.
“Then this one might be a few minutes overdue; I missed you, Wally,” she tells him earnestly, eyes locked onto his. “So much.” She doesn’t think words will ever properly convey just how much. It’s only been four weeks since he’s been back in her life, and things have only just begun to settle back into some semblance of normalcy for them, but she doesn’t know if she can ever stop telling him how much she missed him.
“And I you, Artemis,” he murmurs, and she thinks he might have continued to kiss her hand for the rest of the night, had their waiter not returned within that moment, laden with a plate that had the biggest portion of brownie on it that Artemis had ever seen. Wally nearly drools as he thanks their server, who walks away looking glad to be done with his task.
“Artemis, I think maybe you should have gotten your own because I am about to go to town on this whole thing,” he warns her, grabbing his spoon like it’s a weapon. He spreads a scoop of ice cream over his end and drizzles some caramel over it, missing his girlfriend’s dagger throwing glare.
“You better not even think about it, Wallace,” she growls, spooning caramel and ice cream over her own slice of heaven. He’s not paying attention though, because his mouth is already bursting with chocolate-vanilla goodness and he’s got his eyes closed in rapture. She joins him a moment later, both of them humming in delight at the mouth-watering dessert.
The two lovers are so lost in their taste buds for the next few minutes that they barely even spare each other glances. It’s only when Artemis has slowed down, stuffed, that Wally himself slows his chewing and speaks.
“So,” he says casually, maybe a little too casually as he gets another piece on his spoon. “Artemis. I’m not sure if now is the right time to bring this up, but..” he trails off for a moment, nervous, then continues, “But I’ve… just been wondering here lately if… if maybe we should consider going back… back to the, ah, the game?”
Artemis’s whole body freezes up. Her knuckles whiten around her spoon, her muscles tense, her jaw tightens, and the Blondie still in her mouth is suddenly tasteless on her tongue. She swallows, hard, the food going down like a thick glob of peanut butter that blocks her airways and forces her to take a generous sip of her beverage before she can speak.
“No,” she says firmly, voice like ice. The word comes out automatically, no thought to it. She drops her spoon onto her plate with a loud clatter, completely unnerved.
Wally’s eyes widen and he reaches over to grab her hand again.
“Babe, Artemis, I’m so sorry for bringing this up right now, that was so stupid,” he apologizes hastily, stroking her palm again and looking like he wants to bash his own head in. She hates that he can see how visibly shaken she is just at the thought of going back into the hero business.
“Wally, I… I just… how can you even think about that right now?” she asks, brows knitting together. She despises the way her voice sounds thick with tears, barely concealed emotions dripping in her speech. It’s not like she didn’t know the subject would come up, but she hadn’t expected it so soon. She hasn’t had time to gather her thoughts, hasn’t even had time to get used to the idea of Wally being back in her arms, not even after four weeks of sleeping with him every night. The thought of the risks, the dangers of going back…
She’s already lost him once. She can’t bear it again.
“Artemis, I… I’m sorry for what happened. I can’t imagine what those two months were like for you. I mean, I know what it was like for me; I thought about you every day in that useless place of energy and nothingness. You occupied my every thought, but at least… at least I knew you were alive somewhere,” he says, squeezing her hand. His gaze darkens and his eyes look a little unfocused, like he’s far off somewhere else, and for a moment she thinks he’s lost in the memories of the place he calls the “Speed Force”, but then he speaks. “But I know what’s it’s like to live without you, Artemis. I still have nightmares about it sometimes.”
Artemis shudders; he’s talking about the failsafe exercise. She squeezes his hand this time, reassurance that she’s here, with him.
He smiles a little sadly at her.
“I just imagine that, but tenfold for you. And I bet I’m still not close to the pain you felt, babe.” He kisses her hand again. “All I’m trying to say is, I get the hesitation, Artemis. I get it. I’m scared, too. It’s a dangerous life and we both… we both know the consequences. But I still think we should consider.”
“Wally…” she starts, torn. Torn because she feels the same way.
“I don’t mean right now, Artemis,” he says gently. “Not in the next month, not even in the next year. I don’t want us to do anything we’re not ready for. Right now I just want us to be together. I want us to finish college, find us a house, maybe even…” he trails off, cheeks flushing almost as red as his hair. Artemis averts her eyes, her own face heating up because they both know he’s thinking about marriage. She can’t deny the excitement and nervousness that pools in her stomach at the thought of marrying Wally, but before she can contemplate this welcome idea more, he clears his throat and carries on. “I just feel like… the world needs us, Artemis.”
She really hates him sometimes. Hates it when he hits the way she feels so flawlessly, even if she’s too stubborn or afraid to say it herself. She looks away from him, fingers clenching in his grip, and he feels it.
“Artemis…” he murmurs, prying her tense fingers apart one by one before she can start to draw the blood. She sighs, jaw tight, brows furrowing in the center, but at last she lets her gaze fall to his. Green meets gray in earnesty.
She’s always had a bit of a weakness for his eyes. She relaxes a bit, but not entirely.
“Wally, I… I agree. I do, the world does need us. But they don’t need us right now,” she says firmly, pushing a strand of loose hair away from her face, eyes glittering with finality. “There are so many new heroes joining the Team and the League right now; they’ve got things more than covered. I think the world can wait a little longer for us… okay?”
He grins at her, gets out of his seat to lean across the length of their table, over their empty plate of Blondie, and captures her lips in a kiss. She returns it fervently, every nerve-ending in her body jumping into life at the feel; even after all this time it still thrills her to have him kiss her again.
And she knows they’ll talk about this more. Much more. But for right now, they have an understanding, and that’s enough to get them through the next few months.
The voice of their harassed looking waiter interrupts them. They break apart, chuckling quietly, faces still close enough that their breaths mingle, until Wally plops back into his chair. He opens his mouth to speak to their server, but then he notices Artemis staring at his shirt with barely contained mirth, and looks down curiously.
The speedster’s horrified noises at the sight of the caramel his shirt had dipped into upon leaning over have Artemis laughing, a loud sound that echoes in the near empty depths of the diner.
She doesn’t care that she snorts. She doesn’t care that Wally shoots her a helpless, pouty look across the table because she’s laughing at his expense(there’s a twinkle in his eye anyway, one that tells her how glad he is to see her laughing like that). She doesn’t care that their waiter looks incredibly irritated with the two of them by the time they’re paying him and leaving the establishment.
She doesn’t care because she has her speedster, her Wallace Rudolph West is back in her life.
And as they’re walking home arm-in-arm in the warm summer night, as he looks over at her and she spots a smudge of caramel at the corner of his lip while he grins doofily at her, she bites her bottom lip and thinks that maybe, maybe the world isn’t even ready for them yet.
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