Do You Believe in Magic?
AYO second day in a row can you believe it? I come with more content.
Wallynette Oneshot 3.1K words (no warnings apply)
“What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object?”
without further ado:
“That’s ridiculous!” He was pacing back and forth, arms waving in the air to compliment his theatrics. “Magic shouldn’t be able to do that, it defies all logic!”
“That’s the point! Magic exists outside of logical reasoning!” The shorter girl was equally as furious, standing in place and growing redder by the minute.
“Nothing exists outside of logical reasoning! Everything can easily be explained with science.” The redhead had paused his pacing to stare down the noirette before him. He was uncaring of his volume, ignorant to how his voice echoed in the large cave. “Your Lucky Charm is nothing more than transdimensional materialisation. An already pre-existing object is broken down into subatomic particles and rearranged at your location.”
“Are you really trying to tell me how my own Lucky Charm works?” She had sounded absolutely livid at the assumption. And Dick had to agree with her. Wally was in no position to tell her how her own powers worked. Before he could interject the screaming match between his two best friends, she was going off again. “And are you really trying to tell me that somewhere in the world existed a red and black-spotted doughnut just waiting to be used? That when Antibug was around a ladybug patterned flamethrower was just lying somewhere?”
“Oh please, there are plenty of flamethrowers all over the world and they probably only appeared ladybug themed due to shifts in light refraction.” He had stopped waving his arms around and crossed them in front of his chest. He was standing in her space now, leering over her trying to be imposing. “Simple fact is magic. Isn’t. Real.”
“You can run faster than the speed of sound! If you really think it was your precious science that saved you after willingly striking yourself with lightning in hopes of tapping into a cross-dimensional ‘speed-force,’ then you’re dumber than I thought.” She had gotten even closer now, pressing a finger into his chest and pushing him back.
“Are they still at this?” Kaldur had walked up beside Dick with two soda cans, silently offering him one. His voice sounded tired, visibly annoyed at the constant bickering.
“An hour and counting,” he sighs. The sounds of their bickering slowly faded into background noise. “For today at least. But they’ve been butting heads ever since she’s joined the team. Kinda exhausting.”
Marinette, a.k.a Ladybug, had joined the team after Wonder Woman deemed Paris officially safe from any more magical mayhem. While the rest of Paris’s heroes chose to retire and preserve the rest of their teen years, Marinette did not have that option. Magical Guardian and all. The JLE welcomed her with open arms and Wonder Woman decided to introduce her to the Team. She got along great with M'gann, the two could almost always be found baking or exchanging recipes in the cave’s kitchen and they, plus Artemis, went on frequent shopping trips. Conner saw her as a little sister, which was unexpected but it probably had to do with the fact she was a whole foot shorter and he had natural instincts to protect those who looked meek. She was anything but meek but first impressions were a damning thing sometimes. Marinette was Kaldur’s biggest supporter, always ready to back him up when it came to tough Team related decisions, something born from her own experience as a leader. The two understood each other the best. She also related to Dick on the importance of secret identities and while the Team still only knows him as Robin, she was the only one who never pestered him on it, respecting the lengths he would go to for the sake of anonymity.
Wally was the only one the newest member clashed with. Magic skeptic, meet magic connoisseur. Unstoppable force, meet immovable object. They almost never agreed on anything. Every time the two were left alone for more than two minutes it evolved into a screaming match. Wally was insistent on pushing all of Marinette’s buttons and she was always eager to defend herself and magic as a whole. Her rather short fuse didn’t make matters any better. It hadn’t affected missions, arguments reserved for the safety of the cave, but it was only a matter of time before that became an actual issue. He voiced as much to Kaldur who agreed with only a contemplative nod.
It’s moments like these where Kaldur hated when Robin was right. At least he was on another mission with Batman so he didn’t have to bear witness to this fiasco.
The Team was currently in Louisiana investigating the disappearance of Dr. Kent Nelson, better known as Dr. Fate, the Sorcerer Supreme. And Wally was being argumentative with Marinette while simultaneously trying to impress M'gann. It had put Artemis on edge and she kept taking jabs at him whenever an opportunity arose. And even when one didn’t.
They had just barely escaped the pit above lava, standing above the cool platform.
“Don’t worry, Megalicious,” Wally had moved to support M'gann, throwing an arm above her shoulders, drawing her into his side. “I’ve got you.”
“Enough!” Artemis had cut in between the two of them, pushing Wally away from the Martian, her frustration palpable even from where Kaldur was standing. “Your little ‘Impress Megan at all costs’ game nearly got us all barbecued.”
“When did this become my fault?”
“When you lied to that whatever it was and called yourself a true believer.”
“Wally, you don’t believe?” M'gann sounded hurt at that. Wally looked across the room, before coming to a silent conclusion.
“Fine, fine! I lied about believing in magic. But magic is the real lie, a major load.”
“I can’t believe you’re still on that.” Marinette, who had remained silent before, finally entered the conversation, ready to defend her craft. “We just fell over five hundred feet below ground into an almost fiery death and you still don’t believe it? Was the magically appearing Tower not enough? Or the fact that our feet are not being scorched right now?”
Wanting to put an end to this conversation, Kaldur said his piece.
“Wally, I have studied for a year at the Conservatory of Sorcery in Atlantis.” He had crouched down, rubbing the surface of the floor. “The mystic arts created the skin icons that power my water bearers.”
“Dude, have you ever heard of bioelectricity? Hey in primitive cultures fire was once considered magical too. Today it’s all just a bunch of tricks.”
“What I do is not a trick. Do you really think destroying the Eiffel Tower, and putting it back in place is just some trick? Or how about when an old akuma was able to control the weather and created a volcano in the middle of Paris? Were those all tricks too? Were the casualties just results of things that don’t exist?” Marinette was becoming increasingly agitated as her rant went on. M'gann moved to comfort her, embracing her slightly.
“Don’t put words in my mouth! I never said the lives lost weren’t real! It was tragic, yeah, but that was due to real scientific explanations.”
“Science can’t bring people back from the dead.” Her voice was more subdued and sombre and her shoulders were curling into her body. The atmosphere was increasingly getting more depressing so Kaldur grabbed onto the latch, hoping that making progress into the mission would revive the Team’s energy.
He ignored Wally’s protests about heat backdrafts and came face first to a rush of frigid air.
“Do you ever get tired of being wrong?” Artemis was rather smug as she threw a smirk over her shoulder. Kaldur just wished the rest of the mission wouldn’t be like this.
Artemis was going to tear her hair out. Or probably Wally’s. Yeah, she was going to tear Wally’s hair out. It had been a week since the Dr. Fate mission and he still hasn't apologized to Marinette. His refusal to believe in magic was not only screwing up the team dynamics but it was forcing Marinette’s hand, pushing her to dig up trauma, to try and prove to him that magic is real. Artemis didn’t understand why it was so important to her that Wally believed in magic but it was and that was enough for Artemis to stand by her friend.
The two haven’t even spoken to each other since the mission and it was painfully obvious that Marinette was avoiding him. Valid, but still aggravating when it put everyone on the team on edge. Artemis wasn’t one to play peacemaker, leaving that to Kaldur and Marinette, but since this ongoing conflict involved the Parasian, and Kaldur had his hands full with a mission in Atlantis, someone had to step up and that person was her. Wonderful.
She had tracked Wally in the medical facility, tinkering with some of the equipment and taking inventory of their supplies, a job Red Tornado routinely asks him to do. She skipped any greeting and just started plucking items out of his hands. Ignoring his protests, she kept going until his hands were empty then grabbed his wrist, pulling him into the training room and shoving him into the center ring.
“Shut up and stay,” was all she said, crossing her arms and freezing him with a glare. She wasn’t in the mood for any of his gimmicks tonight. The sound of the zetatubes announcing the Ladybug designation alerted her to Marinette’s return from Paris. Time for the next part of her plan.
“Don’t move,” she said as she turned to retrieve the other person for her plan. A firm ‘I mean it’ was tossed over her shoulder as she left.
Collecting Marinette was easier said than done. Artemis was headstrong on a good day, she will admit, but now as a woman on a mission she was down right intimidating and she knew it. Marinette took one look at her expression and bolted for the zetatube she just stepped out of. Artemis was having none of that and was able to grab the much shorter girl before she could get any further. While Artemis was mentally applauding herself she was also begrudgingly impressed with how difficult it was to hold the girl. Dragging her to the training deck was becoming more trouble than it was probably worth.
Artemis could pinpoint the exact moment Marinette’s eyes landed on the speedster because her efforts doubled and she almost escaped Artemis’s grasp. She dropped her gracelessly on the floor and moved to block the exit before either could do anything.
“Neither of you are leaving until you work out your issues,” she was huffing from exhaustion, both mental and physical. “Whether that means punching the shit out of each other or talking it out like normal people: I don’t care. But no one leaves this room until you two stop screwing with the team dynamics.”
She left no room for arguments and turned to stand outside the exit, giving them some semblance of privacy. If they didn’t work out their issues here, Artemis’s plan B involved Connor tossing them into the far end of the coastline. Hopefully, Wally and Marinette were reasonable enough it wouldn’t have to come to that.
Oh, who was she kidding?
Wally stared at Artemis’s retreating figure and then at a very interesting spot on the cave wall. He felt like an asshole all week and, after his experience with the helmet of Fate, he knew he would have to be the one to mend the ever growing gap between him and Marinette. Still, he couldn’t face her yet. Every time he looked at her, or saw her hastily leave any room he was in, his mind flashed to those haunting words she had said.
Science can’t bring people back from the dead.
He knew that. He knew there were harsh limitations on what science can and can’t do. Magic shouldn’t have been any different. And he thought he understood what she had to deal with during her time in Paris but he was wrong. He was so painfully wrong that it took his body being overtaken by a mystic ‘Lord of Order’ for him to really comprehend that. He just… He just couldn’t wrap his head around someone so young being entrusted with so much power. Magic was inexplicable. It defied reason and was unpredictable so he never understood how someone as self-assured as Marinette could put her faith in something that unreliable. So he lashed out at her. Then he did it again. And again so much so that he can’t remember ever having a civil conversation with her.
He messed up and he knew it but the shame he felt in the past week was too much for him to handle and he couldn’t bring himself to speak.
“Look,” his head snapped to the sound of her voice. She wasn’t looking at him, holding herself for comfort. “I’m sorry for ignoring you, I didn’t realise it was affecting the rest of the team.”
No. no no nonono.
She shouldn’t be apologizing. She had nothing to apologize for and Wally is the ass in this situation not her so why is she apologizing? He needs to fix this. Fast.
“You don’t need to apologize,” such a terrible start, Wallace. Congratulations. “I was the one who pushed your buttons and called magic a big trick.”
She had lifted her head slightly but her gaze still wasn’t focused on him, rather she was looking beyond him just above his shoulder. He took a step closer and when she hadn’t made a break for the exit, he took that as a good sign.
“Listen, Marinette,” her eyes dart to and away from him in an instant. He didn’t let that stop him though. “All those times, times when I called magic fake or belittled its legitimacy, I wasn’t trying to hurt you. I was just trying to wrap my head around its absurdity.”
“It doesn’t matter what you were trying to do,” she finally locked her gaze on him and the pain swimming in her eyes was going to burn him alive. “You still hurt me. You took everything I did, everything I’ve learned and lost and loved and called it a hoax, you called it unreal, and you doubted everything I’ve ever accomplished. I have memories I may never recover from because of magic, scars that will never heal from something you didn’t want to believe in.”
There were unshed tears in her eyes and Wally wanted to brush them away. He didn’t, but fighting the urge was herculean of him. He didn’t get the chance to respond, though, but he wouldn’t dare interrupt her.
“Did you ever realise how those arguments affected me? I used to look up to you, Kid Flash, before joining the team.” He never knew that. Why didn’t he know that? “You were always so cheerful and the media framed you as someone who believed in the impossible. That was something I needed back in Paris. Because there was nothing more impossible to me than ever getting a chance to defeat Hawkmoth.”
She was openly crying now, her cheeks blotchy and eyes red. Wally didn’t know what to say so he took a chance and opened his arms to her. A silent invitation, a quiet apology. Whatever this little spitfire needed from him. He would willingly give it.
She took the offer and crashed her face into his chest, hands grabbing fistfuls of his shirt. He wrapped his arms snuggly around her, almost crushing her to his chest.
“I needed someone who believed in the impossible to believe in me.” Her sobs were heartbreaking. Wally could only caress her on the back in a futile attempt to comfort her. “That someone was you but then you had no problem looking me in the eye and saying you don’t believe in magic. How could you?”
“I am so sorry, Marinette.” He could never apologize enough. He was willing to dedicate his life making it up to her. He was silently praying to gods he also didn’t believe in that she would let him try. Before she could say anything, and he felt the hitch in her shoulders as she was taking steadying breaths to do so, he continued.
“I never knew what I—Kid Flash— meant to you. I only argued against magic so much because I didn’t want to believe that something that unpredictable was the only thing keeping someone like you safe. I heard all the stories; Wonder Woman loved to gush and brag about her mother’s successor, but I could never believe that someone could do such incredible things by magic alone. It was mind boggling.”
Wally felt more than heard the faint gasp at his confession. He pulled her off his chest, holding her a short distance by her shoulders, so that he could look into her eyes.
“I’m really sorry; I don’t think I can ever tell you how sorry I am.” She needed to know how genuine he was. He may clown around a lot but he was absolutely serious in this moment. He hoped she could see the sincerity in his eyes.
“I—,” she cut herself off, and Wally could see her growing frustrated with her own loss of words. She opened her mouth to speak again but she was interrupted.
“OH just kiss already!” Artemis’s rough voice echoed in the room and Wally’s gaze flashed to where her back was facing them by the entrance. She looked uncomfortable standing there but clearly she had an agenda she was seeing through. He didn’t pay her any more attention as he focused back on the increasingly red girl still within his grasps. The hurt that was previously in her eyes was quickly replaced with embarrassment and she couldn’t look Wally in the eyes.
He felt a sudden rush of confidence at her demeanor and hoped he wasn’t about to make the second biggest mistake of his life. He bent his head slightly, casting a smirk at the small girl.
“Well, if that’s what the people want,” he pulled her closer to him then, her mousy ‘eep’ sounding adorable in response. He cupped her chin between two fingers, tilting her head up. “May I?”
She didn’t speak but her answering nod and slow closing of her eyes encouraged him to close the distance between them.
Wally’s been struck by lightning before but it doesn’t compare to the feeling of her lips on his. Her lips tasted like slowly drying tears and her favourite vanilla lip balm. The kiss wasn’t perfect, her lips were slightly chapped, as were his, and their noses bumped into each other, but it was the best kiss of his life.
They broke away from the kiss but neither moved far from each other. They stayed like that for who knows how long. Staring intently at each other, committing the other’s face to memory. And as Wally stared at her tear streaked face and into her slightly red and puffy eyes, he came to a single conclusion.
He definitely believed in magic.
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