Wally West was cold.
He hadn't been cold like this since he'd run across the entire country in an artificially-created nation-wide blizzard.
Eat it, Vertigo.
A light blue mist washed over him, and it sounded like a voice was calling to him.
"Wally? Wally, wake up. Wally!"
A figure came into view. A blurry humanoid shape of green and yellow that slowly came into focus.
He was lying down in some sort of trough, with cold blue liquid beading off of his uniform and draining away.
"A...Artemis?" he asked, confused. Where was he, anyways? And why was it so cold? It was hard to remember...
And then the archer bent over and did something he'd never ever thought she'd ever do.
She wrapped her arms around is neck and she kissed him.
On the lips.
Not that he hadn't been secretly wishing that would happen for a while now, even before he'd realized M'gann and Conner were dating. (God, he'd been an idiot!) But Artemis was the only girl who'd completely ignored his charms from Day 1. He'd always assumed she wasn't interested in him, that she thought of them like siblings, or maybe even just friends, or worst of all, co-workers.
And now she was kissing him. Completely unprovoked.
How had he missed Hell freezing over?
Actually, considering how cold he was, that might not be a bad theory. You know, if Hell existed. Of course, Kent probably believed in it. Maybe he should ask Nabu about it...
All of this ran through his head in the time it took Artemis to realize what she was doing and pull away, embarrassed. Wally took advantage of this moment to appreciate exactly how little of Artemis's midriff her costume actually covered.
"S-sorry" she muttered, blushing. "It's just, I thought you were dead, and I'd never gotten to tell you how I really felt, and I was so relieved that you were alright..."
Wally laughed. He didn't mean to. It just sort of came out. He didn't even know why he thought it was funny.
Artemis slapped him. That woke him up.
"What the hell is wrong with you, West?" she demanded, back to her old, lovable, grouchy self. "Can't a girl admit she loves you without you ruining the moment?"
"Er..." muttered Wally, rubbing his forehead. He tried to sit up, but his hand slipped on the side. He had at the moment what was probably the world's worst case of brainfreeze. No pun intended.
Wally let out another little giggle but stopped it and took a deep breath.
"I remember now" he said. "Something was messing with my brain. We were running, and I couldn't stop laughing, and Robin and SB..."
He bolted upright and scanned the room quickly (even for him). "Where are the others?" he asked.
Artemis followed his gaze. It was small, not much more than twenty feet either way and looked like some cross between a bathroom, a walk-in freezer and one of those weird New-Age spas. Everything was either white tile or silver metal. A digital console sat on one wall.
No one else was there.
"I haven't seen any of them since they Bioship went down" Artemis said, helping him out of what now looked a lot like a raised bathtub. "I got taken out pretty fast, I'm embarrassed to say. Woke up handcuffed to a chair a few rooms over."
"How did you escape?" asked Wally. This meant they probably weren't at some weird League hospital the mentors had conveniently forgotten to mention, a la Watchtower, which meant they'd probably been captured.
"Please" replied Artemis, sounding almost offended. "I've been able to get out of handcuffs since I was five."
Wally decided to save further questions about that for another day. He'd probably get another 'ninja boyfriend' excuse, but he would ask.
"There weren't any guards around, so went looking for a way out and found you in a block of ice. Good thing there was a big 'unfreeze' button over there" she said, gesturing to a control panel. "So, why'd they put you on ice?"
"I think I took a dose of Joker Toxin" said Wally, wiping the last bits of the blue liquid off his clothes. "Not sure how, though. I don't think it was gas or injection. I guess my metabolism burned through a lot of it, but I shouldn't have recovered that easily."
He looked down at his wrist, where a small red dot was rapidly being eradicated by his enhanced healing factor, which was also good at getting rid of bruises from crashing into things at high speed. If his systems hadn't been slowed down by being frozen, it probably would have been gone by now.
"Is that...?" began Artemis.
"An needle hole. Someone gave me an injection while I was out. It must have been something to counter the poison."
"So they wanted you to live, then?" asked the archer.
"I guess so." Wally shrugged, shaking what remained of the liquid from his body not unlike a giant, red-headed yellow dog. "Their mistake. I'll teach them to mess with KID FLASH, speedster extraordinaire!"
Said extraordinaire started to prove this by running back and forth across the room at high speed, but he promptly stumbled, grabbing the tub for support.
Artemis rolled her eyes.
"I don't understand..." muttered Wally. "My speed is... gone."
"Maybe being poisoned and then frozen had something to do with it?" said the archer, sarcastically.
"Right" muttered Wally. "It'll probably come back soon enough. But for now we're going to have to do this the old fashioned way." He turned to Artemis. "What do you say we find the others and then get out of here?"
"Yeah... How about I take point, Speedy McSlowpants?"
Now Wally rolled his eyes. "Fine, fine. Whatever. Let's go."
He really liked it better when she was kissing him for no reason whatsoever.