Chapter Nine: Reconciliation

Artemis releases a shaky breath. "Artemis really, you don't need to go back to them–" "I do." Artemis interrupts and she throws her last shirt into the backpack. She'd accumulated multiple different assorted types of clothes during her visit with Selena in France; and now she was taking most of them with her since she didn't want any of the clothes that Roy had transported from her apartment to his. It would remind her what happened. "But we're having so much fun! You've been my little Robin Hoodess!" Selena whines. Artemis zips, and tosses the bag over her shoulder. "It's been fun Selena, really, it has. But you and I both know we couldn't keep this up forever." Artemis tells her and walks past her to the door. "But Artemis," Selena is suddenly in front of Artemis, blocking the doorway with her arms. "The Shadows–" "I'll handle them myself." Artemis informs, ducking under Selena's arm. "But Art–" "Selena," Artemis pauses at the front door. "Please. I got it, really. And Roy… well I can handle him too… sort of. Look, I'm fine. Really. Aren't you coming to play poker later this week with everyone? I'll look for you then." Then Artemis closes the door.

Artemis sighs. It's been two and a half days since she last saw Roy. And after thinking for awhile; she realized running out here was completely over the top, unnecessary and made on a whim. She decided she wanted to go back and Selena didn't like the idea at all.

"Recognized, Red Arrow, B06 –" "Where the hell is she?!" He yells as he marches angrily into the Cave. "Roy I–" "You said you could find her–!" "I was looking for her! But she was with criminals! They know how to hide! It's like looking for the hay in a needle stack! Who knows when we'll get stuck next–!" "What the hell kind of a detective are you–" "A damn good one! And I'm not the type to clean up after someone else's mess." Nightwing snaps. "Ahem." Batman clears his throat. Either of them look over in his direction. "Cool it down dude." Nightwing mumbles before Batman began. "Artemis's whereabouts remain unknown; but that is no reason for you to barge in here because we are unable to track her due to your mistake. Put your head in the right place Roy." Batman says to them.

"Recognized, Tempest B17; recognized Artemis"Roy's stomach fills with butterflies when he hears this. "B07." He whirls. Garth and Artemis walk into the Cave; Roy notices the duffel she's gripping over her shoulder. "A-Artemis–" Nightwing began. "What are you doing back here? What happened?" Batman demands, stepping forward. "Nothing… I thought about… everything, and realizing that running off with Catwoman wasn't the right way. So I'm back–" "You're still under the protection of the League. Under Tempest and Red Arrow. Is that understood?" Artemis folds her lips, her eyes momentarily glancing over to Roy's. He smiles slightly. She immediately looks away. "Understood." She nods solemnly. Batman starts to leave before pausing next to Artemis. "And Artemis, don't pull a stunt like this again. Or there will be a consequence." He threatens so only she can hear it. Artemis's eyes widen with surprise before she turns away and he eyes slightly lower with sorrow. "I have to report to another mission, I can't stay and talk right now." Nightwing leaves too.

Silence. "Art–" "Let's go Garth." Artemis turns to leave, her ponytail swaying during her turn. The two disappear through the portal. Roy hesitates before following. "Are you cold?" Garth asked Artemis up ahead. "No I'm fine–" "Right. Here." Roy scowls as Garth puts his jacket over Artemis's arms. Roy has a sense of déjà vu. Artemis couldn't help but glance back at Roy, his hands stuffed in his pockets.

Once their eyes meet Artemis can see all of the jealousy and regret burning behind them. She wants to run up to him and wrap her arms around him and tell him she forgave him. She wanted him to kiss her the way he had when they first kissed. She wanted him to hold her and tell her he was sorry again. Roy wanted to grab Artemis and pull her up against him and feel her body breathe fast as it constantly did when he held her. He wanted to smell her hair and taste her mouth-

Yet somehow–it felt wrong.

Garth puts an arm around Artemis and she turns away. Screw you Garth. Roy knew Artemis wanted to forgive him. He just… needed to give her a gentle push. Roy wasn't done. Artemis smiles at Garth. "So you go by Tempest now," Artemis began. Garth grins and looks over at her. "What's wrong with it?" He teases, leaning towards her. "Nothing, I just think it's a little sexy is all." Artemis says seductively. "Really," Garth pulls Artemis closer. It took every last bit of love he had for Artemis not to rip Garth's head off. He didn't want her feeling even more anger at him. Artemis laughs a little bit. Her eyes drift away from Garth's violet ones.

She stepped into the terminal, unsure where to go first. "Artemis," Artemis could feel a load lifted off of her as she recognized the voice of someone who hadn't betrayed her. She turns and runs straight into Garth's arms. He sat her down at a restaurant in the airport. "Tell me what has been going on, I wanted to come after once I saw where you were but–" Artemis shakes her head. "It's fine Garth, really. I just needed to clear my mind."She tells him. "And how much did that help?" "It helped a lot actually I–" Artemis trails off once she sees Garth's eyes seeing right through her. "Do I need to make up your mind for you?" Artemis remains silent. "Maybe this'll help you 'clear your mind'. Roy's been worried SICK." Artemis looks up at him."I cannot even describe the look on his face when Black Canary continuously told him he was not allowed to be anywhere near you. Roy was persistent, and every time a team was dispatched he interrogated them. He keeps saying how he misses you, and how he needs you and how he ran Jade away. He said that she was just something to do for awhile even though he is a virgin. I find that term; quite paradox." Garth smirks. "He said that?" Artemis asks, she was becoming emotional. "You're all he's been talking about and he barely sleeps. He just sits on the couch and stares at your bag, or he lies on his bed just staring at the sheets. He would be upset if he knew I told you that." "Why are you still at his apartment?" "The Justice League was anticipating finding you much quicker than was actually expected. But I got a little restless myself and was going to head to Paris when I saw you were on your way." "I don't appreciate that you stalk me." Garth laughs. "I wasn't stalking you, but most women would take that as a flattering compliment." Artemis blushes a little, "I do." She grumbles."So you like me?" Garth teases. "I do–" "So you wouldn't be upset if I kissed you right now?" Artemis hesitates before shaking her head. Garth leans over the table and takes her lips in his. Artemis slightly pulls away, her mind immediately going to Roy who she knew kissed better and with passion. But then she immediately shakes Roy away and leans into Garth's kiss. Garth seems to be caught by surprise. He honestly was thinking she'd pull away even though she was mad at Roy. But she'd done just the opposite and kissed him back. Garth was losing his mind. Chanting her name over and over in his mind. He cups her neck and pulls her closer. Artemis runs her nails through his hair. Garth went crazy at the feel of her hands on him put him in a dimension he didn't think possible. Artemis lightly smiles against his lips. She was fine, something about Garth made everything okay, made her relax. His cool, water like touch had her moaning. Garth pulls away; only because he's out of breath. He smiles a little bit, "How was that?" He teases. Artemis opens her eyes and pants as quietly as she can, sitting back down. "It was… amazing." Garth grins, "That's what I thought." Tempest stands. "Let's go back." Artemis sighs, remaining seated. "Right now? Can we stay awhile?" Garth laughs and takes her bag, "I'll help you handle Roy." He promises. Artemis smiles as relief washes over her. "Thanks," She stands and they exit the restaurant. "But I can carry my own bag." Artemis smirks sexily as she slides her bag out of his hand and continues walking. Tempest pauses a moment, grinning after her; watching her sway her hips and hold the bag. He shakes his head at her. Artemis turns, "You comin' or not lover boy?" Artemis trifles. Garth sneers. "I'll follow you anywhere baby!" He calls back. Artemis laughs as people watch the two. Garth walks up to her as she laughs an takes her bag. "Hey–!"Artemis's smile slowly falls as he leans down and kisses her again. She closes her eyes and attempts to kiss back when his lips disappear. "Garth!" She scolds as he grins at her; walking backwards toward the exit. "I'm not easy baby, you'll have to win me over!" Artemis walks toward him and Garth picks up his pace. "Are you serious right now?!" She demands, still smiling. Garth continues smiling back at her, "Well you start sounding more and more from the surface as the minute ticks by huh?!" "Only because I'm around you!" Artemis breaks into a sprint. Garth laughs and takes off. Artemis leaps onto his back and reaches for the bag. Garth holds it away from his body. Artemis climbs up higher and Garth bends over a bit. When Artemis finally snatches it, she remains on his back and he carries her out of the airport; not caring about anyone who saw them.

That was what happened. Why they were so flirty. "Oh you're just sexy is all." Garth leans down and presses his lips to her ear. Artemis giggles, "Stop it!" Garth laughs. "You're so oppositional." He complains and rolls his eyes. "But you love it," She murmurs Garth laughs at her and pulls her closer. Roy stops walking and growls in anger. How, how did Garth get so close to her! I've never seen her eyes sparkle that way before, what has done?! What does she think?!

When they enter Roy's apartment, multiple different emotions cross Artemis's face; and Roy notices, quickly feeling bad. As much as Garth loved to see Royin pain, he didn't want to see Artemis in as much pain as Roy was. Garth pulls Artemis inside more, his hand on her hip. "Maybe this will help," He offers and leans forward.

Garth suddenly disappeared from Artemis's hands. She opens her eyes when she hears Garth grunt and slam into the wall next to the closed door. Roy stands in front of him. "Don't–you–touch–her." Roy spat out furiously. Garth glares at Roy with a fury Artemis didn't even think existed. "Or what? You'll shoot me with an arrow? Gimme your best shot." Garth challenges. "Stop it!" Artemis throws herself in between them, her arms spread out in front of Garth. Roy blinks. "How dare you protect him?!" Roy shouts. "How dare you yell at her?!" Garth shot back. "You've got no right to be involved in her love life after what you've done to her!" Roy reaches around Artemis and snatches Garth's tunic. "It has nothing to do with the likes of you, Atlantian," Roy growls lowly. "Really? Artemis wouldn't say so. Since," Garth sneers. "We kissed when I found her." Roy scowls before Garth back pikes, breaking Roy's grip swiftly. Garth lands next to Artemis with a smug smirk. Roy charges at Garth. Garth controls a jet of water to shoot at Roy; and it does. It digs deep into Roy's torso before he's actually thrown back off of his feet. Roy slams into the armrest of the couch and drops to the floor– dripping wet. "Roy!" Artemis gasps. Garth whirls, "You're still concerned for him?! Artemis you–" Garth's sentence is cut off when Roy's fist connects with his jaw. Artemis gasps, but doesn't cry out his name. "Garth," She murmurs. "Artemis this is unbelievable!" Garth yells. "Just pick one!" Roy shouts at her. Artemis's hand clenches into a fist.

"Don't you dare tell me to choose! I can take however long I want to decide, since it took you six months to decide whether or not you wanted to be with Jade! Then you came and toyed with my emotions!" She screams as Garth kicks Roy. Garth swings his leg again. Roy ducks and uppercuts him. Garth stumbles back. Roy steps forward and hits Garth with his bow. Garth snatches the bow and flings it across the room. Roy yanks out an arrow. "I told you she means nothing to me! She means nothing! But you… you mean something! I care for you a lot. I was practically killing myself while I didn't know where you were; where you'd gone all because of me!" Roy tackles Garth. Garth falls to the ground and kicks Roy; Roy never touching him. Roy slams into the wall. "I didn't know where you were or who you were with! I didn't know what was happening to you, or what would happen." Roy tackles Garth to the ground and points the arrow in between his eyes. Garth holds his wrists back. Artemis felt fuzzy inside. "With Jade… I never knew where she was; and I didn't really care." "That doesn't excuse what you did!" Artemis didn't like talking to the side of his head; or watching Roy try to force an arrow into Garth's skull.

When she sees the arrow touch Garth's forehead, she throws herself onto him, Roy goggles with despair. Artemis punches him. Roy stumbles back. "But you lied to me!" She hollers. Roy cringes. Tears well up in Artemis's eyes. "I asked you," She began shakily. "You told me… you promised me." She sobs. "I was going to end it with her, that was why I said no–" "Ah!" Artemis kicks Roy. She spins and punches him in the face, then tries an attempt at his torso. It was too hard so she decided to use her knee again. Roy saw this coming, like he did the others. He knew he deserved the others. But he didn't think he deserved that writhing pain that lasted for a dozen hours and had him vomiting. His hand slaps against her knee. Artemis's ponytail slides over her shoulder and Roy's eyes lower with longing. Then they widen. Artemis straightens her leg in an attempt to kick him. Roy pushes her leg away, but is still struck. He recoils and Artemis falls on her butt due to her lack of balance. She stares at Roy with confusion. "Artemis, you don't know how sorry–" "Sorry isn't good enough!" She screams at the top of her lungs; so loud it echoes throughout the entire house. "Then what is?" He murmurs gently, kneeling in front of her. He touches her shoulder and Artemis looks away from him. They sit in silence a moment as Artemis pouts. There's only one thing I can say now. Roy thought to himself. "I love–" Roy is thrown back as he's struck back with water. This time, the constant flow of water pins him to the wall. When it stops, Roy drops wearily to his feet; only to be greeted by a water sword. Roy dodges the first sword, but the second is going to hit him. Artemis is suddenly clinging to Roy's chest. Garth grunts with surprise and takes his sword back. "Did you mean what you said," Artemis asks quickly. Roy is in shock from nearly dying. "Yes I'm sor–" "No." Artemis digs her face deeper into his chest. "Do you really love me." Roy smiles and wraps his arms around her. "Are you saying or asking?" Tears fall down Artemis's face. "Pick one." She whispers. Roy chuckles. "Yes."

Artemis breathes carefully, trying to arrange her thoughts. Damn you Bane, you're always right. I can't… stay mad. As a matter of fact, Artemis had been over Roy's incident with Jade. But was ready to take him back when she saw him in Paris. But she knew if she spoke to him it would make it real. And now it is. Artemis looks up at Roy, smiling slightly. "I told you never to cry in front of me." Roy smiles. Artemis shrugs. "I can always go back to Paris." Artemis threatens. Roy rolls his eyes. "I'd love to see you try." He challenges before leaning down and sucking on her bottom lip. Artemis pulls him close, breathing in his smell. Roy hungrily kisses her, holding her hips tightly. When they pull away, they're panting. Artemis smiles and leans upward again. Garth grabs her ribs and yanks her back. Artemis gasps with shock. Garth holds her, pinned to his side. "She's mine." Garth snarls. "No I'm not; I'm his." Roy loved how she said that. "Garth, I swear to God if you don't let her go right now–" Garth cuts him off with a laugh. "You know Roy, everyone perceives you as this big bad archer. But you couldn't even–" Artemis is take by a set of hands and pulled again. Garth finds himself recovering from a strike to his torso. And Artemis is back in Roy's arms. "You're here to protect her, nothing else." Roy says plainly. With that, Roy led Artemis up to his room.

When Roy closes the door, he sees Artemis hesitating to get on the bed. "It's okay," He murmurs in her ear and taking her hand and pulling her onto the bed with him. Artemis curls up into his chest. "Roy," She murmurs. "I love you," He interrupts and Artemis's head shoots up to his awaiting eyes. "I love you," He bends over and begins to kiss her neck. "I love you." He repeats over and over again before kissing her mouth again. Artemis holds him close and giggles a little bit. Roy pulls back; a flustered Artemis's eyes open and she looks up at him. "So if anyone were to ask, would you say we've reconciled?" Artemis grins and pulss him back down to her, kissing him. "A little more than that."