Fandom: Young Justice
Summary: Artemis and Zatanna sit down and have coffee together after their fight with Harm, and learn a little bit more about each other than they ever thought they’d know.
Notes: A little Snaibsel for Magic Monday. Enjoy.
"So I don’t suppose you have a spell that can get us all the way back to the Cave, do you?" Artemis inquired as they stepped out onto the Manhattan sidewalk, away from the approaching sirens. They were a few miles from Harm’s apartment and already she was getting tired of walking. "Or even just to the Zeta Gates?"
"I don’t really do teleportation, sorry," replied Zatanna. "And besides, we never got to finish our Girl’s Night Out."
Artemis sighed. “I’m really not in the mood for that anymore. After everything we’ve been through tonight I just wanna get some freaking coffee.”
"I know a place nearby," the magician suggested. "And we can walk. Come on!"
She raised an eyebrow. “Aren’t you forgetting something?”
Zatanna sent a confused look over her shoulder. “Huh?”
"I’m not sitting in a coffee shop dressed like this," she explained, gesturing to her costume.
"Oh, right!" the other girl realized, raising her arms above her. "Nailivic sehtolc!"
A whirling column of smoke engulfed each of them, then disappeared just as quickly, leaving them dressed in everyday clothing. Artemis sported her usual civilian outfit, while Zatanna had changed into the lavender top and jeans that she had worn when she accompanied the team to track down Red Tornado.
"There! Just two average teenage girls."
"Walking down an abandoned Manhattan street," Artemis chimed in cynically as they began moving again. "I’ve already beat up enough perps tonight." She glanced around. "Where is everybody, anyway?”
"Halloween parties, most likely," the magician suggested. "And it’s not like every part of Manhattan’s as busy as Times Square," she pointed out.
"Yeah, yeah. Where is this place again?"
"Just around the corner," Zatanna answered. "You’re awfully impatient."
"Whatever," she muttered, rounding the corner and pushing open the glass doors.
"Someone’s grumpy," the other girl replied with a smirk.
It was an older place, more of a diner than a coffee shop by the looks of it. There was a long counter with a server behind it, with a small window that provided a view into the kitchen. Artemis steered towards one of the booths that lined the windows. Overall, it felt like they were stepping into the 1950s.
"Take your order?" the waitress, a middle-aged woman with slightly graying hair and a name tag that read "Cindy" inquired as they sat down.
"Coffee," the archer answered curtly. "Doesn’t matter what kind."
Cindy nodded, then turned to Zatanna. “And for you?”
"Coffee as well," she answered a great deal more politely. "Black as the devil and sweet as a stolen kiss."
The waitress raised an eyebrow, as did Artemis.
"No cream, two sugars," she clarified. Cindy nodded again and walked off to prepare the order. Artemis’s puzzled expression persisted. "It’s how my Mom used to order coffee."
"So," she began, leaning forward. "I gather you’re still upset over what happened tonight?"
"Yeah, no kidding," she grumbled. "Who would do that to their own sister?"
"A lot of people, if statistics are anything to go by," Zatanna replied. "But that’s not what I was talking about."
Artemis squinted one eye and stared at her suspiciously. “Oh?”
"I get that you don’t want to talk about whatever it is in your past that made that so personal for you," she continued. "And that’s fine. But you do need to talk about Conner and Megan being a couple now.”
She bristled, then quickly crossed her arms and stared out the window. “There’s nothing to say.”
Cindy arrived with their coffee and set it down on the table. Zatanna thanked her, while Artemis said nothing.
"Sure there is," Zatanna insisted as soon as the waitress walked away. "You were obviously jelling back there."
That got Artemis to look at her, at least. “Jelling?”
"Something I picked up from a TV show once," the magician explained. "It just means you were jealous. And I get it. I mean, Conner is super hot.”
Artemis stared out the window again. “It’s not about Conner,” she muttered.
"So it’s about… oh." Zatanna went wide-eyed as she realized. "I’m sorry, I didn’t know."
"Not like that!” the archer insisted loudly, which drew several stares from around the diner. She blushed and took a sip of her coffee. “I don’t wanna talk about it.”
"Because of them?" the other girl inquired, gesturing to the other patrons. "I can take care of that. Tnemom ni emit!"
At once, the rest of the diner stopped moving. Coffee hung in the air where Cindy was pouring it, and the entire place looked like a wax museum, aside from their little bubble of normality. Artemis stared bug-eyed at the whole thing.
"What did you just do?"
"Localized time disruption," she explained nonchalantly. "Now no one can bother us."
"That’s… I had no idea you could… Why didn’t you do that earlier when we were fighting Harm?"
"Well, it takes a lot of magic to do,” she explained. “Which means I need a lot of energy.” She took a sip of her coffee. “Now spill.”
"Fine," she muttered. "There was a training simulation that went wrong about two weeks ago. It was an exercise to see how we could plan for failure." She sighed. "And we failed, alright."
"What was the exercise?"
"Martian Manhunter pulled us all into a mental scenario where aliens were invading and they wiped out the Justice League. None of us got emotional about it until…"
"Until what?" Zatanna urged, leaning forward.
"Until I died," she answered, her voice barely above a whisper.
The magician’s eyes widened with surprise. “But you obviously didn’t die,” she pointed out. “And if it was just a mental scenario then wouldn’t that mean you’d just wake up?”
"Normally, yes," she said. "But when Megan saw me die… I don’t know, Martian Manhunter said something about her subconscious taking control of the scenario. I ended up actually thinking I was dead and went into a coma, and all the others started to think the scenario was real." She stared out the window again. "It took a pretty heavy toll on all of us."
"That’s awful," Zatanna responded empathetically. "But what does this have to do with earlier tonight?"
"I’m getting to that," she insisted, taking another swig of her coffee. "Last week Megan and I went fishing and she asked me why it was my death that triggered everything. I didn’t have an answer for her then." She sighed and closed her eyes. "But when I saw her with Conner in the cave earlier… I knew what it was."
"So it is like that,” the other girl realized.
"Hey, it came as a shock to me too," Artemis replied defensively. "I’ve only ever been attracted to guys and I think I still am, but…" She looked her in the eyes. "I felt… closer to Megan somehow after the scenario was over. Like her subconscious bonded with mine or something. It’s nothing physical, at least I don’t think it is, but emotionally… I think I might be in love with her."
"And you don’t like her being with Conner."
"No, I just… I like that she’s happy," she explained. "And I don’t want to ruin that for her. But I can’t help feeling like I’m getting left out of things."
"Well, Wally seems pretty into you," the magician suggested.
"Bleh," she retorted, sticking her tongue out. "Wally is way too immature for me. And we spend all our time arguing. Trust me, it wouldn’t work out.”
"If you say so," Zatanna replied with a chuckle. "Maybe I can help you, then."
"Well, you sound like you’re having trouble deciding whether you’re into girls or just straight with an exception," she clarified. "And who knows, you might like both. And there is a way to find out.” She stood up and came around the booth, sliding next to Artemis.
"What are you doing?" the archer asked worriedly.
"Look," Zatanna explained. "You were mad at Megan and Conner being together because you wanted a date tonight. That’s why I came along."
She raised an eyebrow. “That’s why… You’re…?”
"No more certain than you are," she answered. "But there’s a simple way to find out. Kiss me."
"Okay, now you’re just being weird."
"Fine then, I’ll do it,” she grumbled, grabbing one of the lapels of Artemis’ jacket and pulling her in for a kiss.
It was not like one of the kisses in a movie. There was no tongue, their lips were mashed together awkwardly, and Artemis spent half the time trying to pull away.
And it felt amazing.
Shifting around in the narrow booth so that she could get a more comfortable angle, Artemis began returning the kiss with full force, pouring all of her passion and frustration into it, and she could tell Zatanna was doing the same. After what felt like an eternity, they separated, and Artemis felt like she knew a lot more about herself.
"Okay, wow. Just… wow," she breathed. "I was not expecting it to be that good.”
"Me either," Zatanna panted. "Wanna do it again?"
She did not need to be asked twice. They mashed their faces together again, breathing heavily as they made out in the diner with the whole world frozen around them. Artemis pushed harder against her, and Zatanna allowed herself to be pushed horizontally against the booth, with the archer lying on top of her. The magician’s fingers began pulling up her jacket, and Artemis froze.
"We, uh… might want to take things one step at a time," she suggested, rocketing back into a seated position.
"Yeah," agreed Zatanna, straightening out her mussed hair. "Or at least move the party someplace less public."
"Mhmm," Artemis intoned as she finished off the last of her coffee. "You might wanna undo your little spell, too."
The magician raised an eyebrow. “Why?’
"Because I definitely need a refill.”