Title: The Trials of a Teenage Speedster
Summary: Life as a teenager is tough; between mean teachers, malicious bullies, ridiculous workloads and a love life heading nowhere, it's hard to find a reason to get up in the morning. Of course, throw in superpowers, vigilantism, supervillains and a mountain of secrets and lies, and your life has just become a lot harder. Barry Allen can attest to that. Eventual SnowBarry.
Beta Reader: None (Searching for an active beta)
Modified: 03/0817, 09/08/17, 10/08/17, 11/08/17, 13/08/17, 16/08/17
Total word count: 3386
Arc 1- Genesis of a Hero
Chapter 16- Girl Trouble
"Geez, dude, seriously. What the heck. This has officially reached an entirely new level of annoying- I can't even begin to describe it."
"Cisco, it's really not a big deal," Barry whispered back to him as he placed his lunch tray on their cafeteria table. "I'm not going to let it get to me- 'they can go fuck themselves', and all that."
"I know, and we will maintain that position," Cisco began fiercely. "But, come on, you're getting more crap online than the freaking SJWs. And that's saying something, and at least there it's deserved. Everywhere you look, it's yet another online article spewing the same one-sided over-sensationalised garbage."
"Business as usual, then?" Barry grinned self-deprecatingly.
"They're calling you the Streak, Bar. Of all the stupid things I've ever heard, this takes the cake."
"What cake?" Caitlin called as she too approached the lunch table with her own tray. "They're not serving that horrible disaster they tried to pass off as chocolate cake again, are they? I still haven't forgotten the last time- had they even cooked the eggs with the rest of the batter?"
"In this school?" Cisco asked incredulously. "We're lucky they even try passing that cardboard off as pizza- it's like eating glue. And don't even get me started on the 'mystery meat'. There's a running bet that I may or may not be a part of on what it is, and the evidence is leaning towards horse, from what I've tested in bio when the teacher wasn't looking."
Caitlin suddenly looked disgusted with her own lunch. "…What do you think's in the 'chicken' nuggets, then?"
"I'm 90% certain it's a GMO goat. There's also a large possibility that there are traces of rat in it, too."
"And now I think I'm going to follow your example and start packing protein bars for the way," Barry decided, looking vaguely green and revolted enough to pass on his purchased lunch, despite his own accelerated metabolism. "Wish I'd thought of this earlier today, though. I'm gonna starve to death before I even make it home."
Realisation dawned on his friends as he spoke. "Right," Cisco muttered. "Accelerated metabolism, and all that."
"Maybe you could sneak out to get some funds from Joe's place?" Caitlin suggested. "You could buy some actual food on the way back, too. There's a few sandwich shops nearby…"
Barry shook his head. "That'd burn way more calories- seriously, I have to eat a truck's weight every day just to not pass out in class."
Caitlin blinked. "How does Joe even afford all that? He's a detective, not a millionaire. His job isn't exactly known for its high pay."
"Joe doesn't know," he admitted. "I'm trying to keep him as far away from my secret identity as possible, despite some people's insistence," he spoke, pausing halfway through his sentence to send a short glare towards Caitlin, who raised an eyebrow and practically dared him to complain. He didn't. "So I'm mostly just spending my income from S.T.A.R. Labs to buy myself food whenever I really need it."
"Income?" Cisco and Caitlin echoed curiously.
"Yeah- it came in the mail, like, 3 weeks ago," Barry explained. "Didn't you get yours?"
"No?" Cisco denied, with Caitlin sharing similar remarks.
"But- it's a paid internship," Barry protested. "How could they not send you money when I got some? It's the same job! This isn't even something we can chalk up to sexism or such if Cisco didn't get anything either."
"Dude, Bar, we've only worked one day so far- if you can even call it that, since it was interrupted before it could even begin by Cold and his goons," Cisco pointed out. "We've barely done anything."
"How much did you even get?" Caitlin asked.
"…a few thousand," Barry admitted almost guiltily.
"Maybe they mixed up your address, then?" Caitlin offered. "It might've been going to a full-time worker, only it got sent to you instead."
Barry contemplated this idea. "It's as good a theory as any we're going to get. I mean, it's either that or nepotism, I think."
"Still, we should probably ask Dr. Wells just the same when S.T.A.R. Labs reopens in a week," Cisco decided.
"Definitely," Barry agreed. "I don't care how badly I need it, I'm not taking someone else's money, even if it's because of a clerical accident."
"Can you pay it back, though?" Caitlin asked. "It's been 3 weeks, and you do have your metabolism problem to worry about. I'd think you must have spent a good portion of it, if your dietary claims aren't just hyperbole."
"I'll worry about that later," he said, waving off her valid concern.
"In the meantime," Caitlin started as she shoved her purse towards Barry. "Sneak out and buy some decent food."
"I'm not taking your money, Cait." he deadpanned.
"You need it more than I do, and you shouldn't use any more of that money than you need to, even if it weren't all the way at Joe's house."
"We're really gonna do this?"
"Unless you want to eat the rat meat."
"…Cisco, help me out here."
"I'm not eating the rat meat, dude. We're close, but not that close."
"…I'm paying you back the minute we get home, Cait."
"Not if I have anything to say about it, you won't," she promised. "Now go, before your stubbornness starves you."
"What the- Ow!" Barry yelped in surprise as he turned to close the doors to the cafeteria only to get slapped across his face. His cheek stung with the impact.
"What the hell is wrong with you?" Becky hissed out, looking as pissed off as any woman could be. Barry's actions of effectively ditching her to go fight crime were instantly brought to the forefront of his mind.
"Becky! Look I'm-"
"Save your pathetic apologies!" she yelled, cutting him off. "I spent an hour in that café waiting for you! A whole goddamn hour! I thought you were having a breakdown or a family emergency- I thought your foster father had been gunned down on his job, or something!"
"I know, that was an awful thing to do," Barry admitted.
Becky snorted. "Oh yeah, 'awful'. That's putting it lightly," she drawled. "You know, I ended up having to sneak into the men's room myself! I got yelled out of the café! And, what, all you have to say about it is 'I'm sorry, I suck'?"
Barry winced as she spat out each word. "I don't want to even risk saying anything right now- I've had enough fights with Iris to know that's a bad idea-"
"Oh, sure, Iris," Becky scoffed, rolling her eyes in irritation. Barry felt like face-palming at his own stupidity. Truly, he could never win. "That explains so much. I knew it was too good to be true when you just asked me out on the spot- you were planning this!"
"What?" Barry squeaked, his voice breaking half-way through. "I wasn't- why would you even think that?"
"Oh, please, half the school knows you're pining out of Iris, and the rest of them think you're in a secret relationship because your foster dad wouldn't approve. You seriously think that I'm stupid enough not to notice when that bimbo decides to royally fuck with my life?"
"Iris had nothing to do with it!" Barry protested. Becky expressed her disbelief, and he backpedalled. "Okay, yeah, she's the one that pushed me to go out with you," he began, as Becky let out a satisfied sound despite her situation. "But it wasn't because she wanted me to screw you over! She just decided that since you liked me, and thought that I shared the same feelings, that she'd do her part to set us up."
"Thought?" Becky inquired in disbelief. "Are you saying that she wasn't certain or that it wasn't true?"
The dirty corridor floor suddenly became increasingly interesting to Barry Allen.
"God damn it," Becky muttered. "You're a fucking asshole, Barry Allen. You couldn't once tell me that you weren't interested?" she yelled out. "You could've called- I could've covered for you, and then you could've just said the date didn't work out! Heck, you could've just blamed me for leading you on to spite your sister, if that would've given you an excuse! It's not like I care what that bitch thinks about me!"
Barry blinked, and decided it would be better for his health if he didn't tell her to stop badmouthing his sister. "I was afraid I'd hurt your feelings if I did that," he tried, highly aware of how ridiculous it sounded after that night's events.
"Well, that played out well, didn't it?" She asked bitterly.
"Look," she began, regaining her footing. "I don't care if you don't like me-"
"I do like you."
"What?" she asked, abruptly losing any ammunition she had. "But you just said that-"
"I know but- look, I'm not that good at this sort of thing," Barry began, and he thought he heard Becky mutter something along the lines of 'No shit, Sherlock.' "But I think you're kinda cool, anyway."
"You do?" she asked, almost irritated.
"I'm not joking around to screw with your feelings, Beck. I'll be the first to admit that I was… reluctant, to go out with you but… you seem kind of cool. If I hadn't made such a colossal fuck up, I think we could've been a good couple, despite… everything. I don't like you, not yet in that sense, but I think I'd get there."
The silence stretched on, and for a moment Barry thought that she was planning to slap him again, just from the anger in her eyes.
Thankfully, though, she did eventually speak up, before he could accidentally put his foot in his mouth again.
"You know what? Fine," she decided. "I'm still mad as hell, Allen, but I'll give you another shot."
"Wait, really?" Barry was the one caught off guard this time. From the manner she held herself, he would've guessed that she would rather push him into a bottomless pit, if given the choice. The anger she was still practically radiating kind of scared him.
"I'll give you another shot," she said, trying not to smirk. "Daphne's party," she said suddenly. "You're invited again. Dress nicely, and don't screw it up."
She didn't give him any time to regain his bearings as she brushed past him, never once looking back.
Barry was suddenly dreading that party; every survival instinct he'd acquired over years of being shoved into lockers practically screamed at him not to go, that he was treading dangerous waters in playing it up with the popular kids, especially after harming one of their own. He knew that having Iris on his side wouldn't help him much, either.
He ignored them all as he set the date on his calendar.
He wouldn't make a fool of himself. He'd make it up to Becky, one way or another.
But first, he really needed some food.
"This is quite unbecoming of you, Mr. Antonelli,"The yellow-clad figure's demonic voice spoke out as the mob boss spun in his chair with glee.
"One of the prime threats to my operation is being hunted by the very people he's trying to protect. The cops have an arrest warrant and a strike force just for him, and we haven't even had to plant incriminating evidence, or anything that could lead back to me! The irony of this is just so beautiful! Do I look like I give a damn about my composure right now, Mr. Reverse Flash? That's quite a long trite name, by the way; too many syllables. And defining yourself by your enemy really makes you seem subpar, in the long run. You sure you don't want to go by something more… threatening? Like 'Inertia', if you want to keep your speed-thing going on."
He stopped as he realised his ally-of-convenience was not impressed.
"Alright, Reverse Flash it is," he agreed. "What brings you to my humble workplace today?" he asked, and he could've sworn the figure rolled his eyes at the word 'humble', though it was quite hard to tell with the red glow. "Are you asking after another favour? Need another breakout? A cop paid off to be at a certain location, at a certain time? Arresting the kid would be a good way to attack his life; it creates discord between family members."
"Not exactly," the figure spoke."I'm here to tie up a loose end."
Antonelli didn't have time to realise the implications of that before a hand pierced his chest. Blood seeped through his shirt, and his vision darkened. His legs gave way beneath him as his heart was torn apart. It only took a moment, though it felt like an eternity.
"I'm afraid our convenient partnership is… no longer convenient."
"Wait, wait, let me see if I'm, like, getting this," Daphne Dean interjected, interrupting her sometimes-friend Becky. "After you spent the entire night crying on the phone because of this jackass, you're going to let him come to my party? Why? He didn't even, like, call you, not once, the entire weekend! And this was after he ditched you, too! You should just, like, kick him to the curb, girl!"
"You think so, Captain Obvious?" Becky snapped.
"Seriously, though. What did you ever see in him?" Deborah, one of Becky's gang of friends asked. "He's a geek and a loser! Guys like him are only useful when you want them to do your homework."
Becky shrugged. "I thought he'd be different- I was just so fucking tired of assholes like Jeremy or Claudio. Guess I was wrong."
Deborah rolled her eyes. "Like, duh! Girl, you should know all men are the same. They'll string you on; flatter you and, like, buy you stereotypical romantic things; pretend they actually care about you. And then when your guard is lowered, they'll manipulate you and drop you when they're done."
"Hey, Beck! Three guesses as to who's still whining about Tony, and the first two don't count."
"I am not, Daphne! If he likes that bitch Iris better than me, then it's his problem! He's the one that's missing out!"
"Uh huh, sure."
"Girls, please," Becky interjected. "Can we not change the subject?"
"Fine, I'll let those remarks slide, but, like, only for you, Be."
"We're gonna get back at him, though, right?" Daphne asked. "We're not going to let him get away with this?"
"Of course not!" Becky exclaimed. "Why do you think I'm still letting that fuckboy come to the party?"
Daphne grinned. "You're leading him on? Now we're talking. Got a plan?"
"This'll be good."
"You guys ready for this?" Cisco questioned gleefully, looking up over a monitor set up at Barry's old testing air field. Having hooked Barry up with a level of tech that anyone else would consider extreme, they prepared for their first experiment.
"As I'll ever be," Barry commented as he fastened his camera-wielding helmet. "What've you guys got for me?"
"Okay, so first up we have the preliminary tests," Caitlin explained. "We're going to need you to just run as fast as you can in a straight line. This'll record your maximum velocity but apart from that, the second -okay the nanosecond you think you've hit a constant velocity, we need you to hit a small button at the front of your helmet. We have a sensitive motion sensor hooked up- it'll send a signal the moment you start running. Through this, we'll find out how long it takes you to accelerate."
"Sounds easy enough," Barry decided. "And I assume these wires you've got hooked up to my torso will measure changes in things like heartbeat, rate of oxygen intake, and all that stuff?"
"Right," Caitlin agreed. "Right now we're just doing the basics, but it'll go a long way in proving, or disproving, some of our milder theories."
"And just so you know, when that happens I swear I will get you something to wear that doesn't make you look like malfunctioning Bender," Cisco commented offhandedly as he finished setting up the software on his laptops. "Be nice, and I'll even incorporate it in your super-suit."
Caitlin grimaced at the reminder. "Right. Let's not focus on our dangerous hobbies, for the moment. You guys ready for some science?"
"Born ready," Barry agreed with a grin.
"Then we're all set," Cisco almost cheered. "On my mark, Flash."
Barry carefully set himself into a pre-running position that he'd often seen runners take up in the Olympics.
He felt the electric current being to pool into him with the subtlety of a waterfall. It didn't hurt him- it never did anymore, not after the lightning struck him down in what seemed like an eternity ago.
Cisco's counting was slow. Far, far too slow- his legs were practically begging to move—to run. His speedforce energy pricked him like pins and needles and damn it couldn't Cisco just give the signal already? This was the worst form of cruelty-
Barry was practically vibrating in place, heart pounding wildly in his chest. This was it; just a few more seconds, and he could run to his heart's desire. Miles and miles of open road, nothing to stop him or slow him down.
He shot forward as though he was seeing the world for the very first time, completely ignoring the ear-shattering boom that erupted in his wake. Despite however long he'd have his powers, he knew he'd never grow tired of the feeling- the wind howling past him as he cut through the air like a hot blade through butter. The energy empowering him, crackling just beneath his skin, was addicting. Yellow electricity dripped off of him, flashing behind him in a golden current, pulsing to the beating of his heart. In moments like these, it was all too easy to just forget about all his problems and just give in to the speedforce.
Going through the motions that his friends had requested hadn't slowed him down one iota, and soon he found himself nearing the edge of the course. With a sigh, he decelerated to safer speeds so as to not ruin his run by crashing into something, despite every urge within him to ignore the obstacles in his course—to run around it or even straight through it if it meant he'd get to keep running.
"Barry?" Cisco's voice crackled over the coms in his helmet. He'd forgotten they were there, for a moment.
"Why'd you stop? Is something wrong? Are you hurt? Feeling nauseous or tired?" Caitlin's voice trickled over the line this time, and even through the radio he could hear the worry in her voice.
Barry blinked. "No…? I mean, I just reached the end of the track."
"Wha- already?" Caitlin squeaked out.
"Dude that's- holy fuck that's fast! Seriously, what the heck? There is no way you should be able to do this; it gives breaking the known laws of physics a whole new meaning," Cisco rambled on.
"How fast was I going, then? Mach 5?" Barry asked curiously.
"Try Mach 7."
Barry blinked. "Are… Are you sure? Last time it… when I checked it myself after I first woke up, I was much slower."
"…Define much slower."
"Um… around Mach 4.5? Rounded down?"
"This is insane," Caitlin said, almost thinking out loud.
"No kidding. Barry, come back over here. We're checking how well you do when it comes to turning- especially sharp turns. You're gonna need to know that well if you're going to be running around the city centre."
"Wait, we're not going to talk about the ridiculous increase in speed?" Barry questioned, slightly incredulous.
"What's there to talk about? You're getting faster- maybe it's practice, maybe you just naturally get faster with time, or maybe you your last experiment had some sort of human error that you missed. We'll just have to run some more tests to figure out why, but we need to do those anyway to double check our results. Unless you have any suggestions on what we should do instead?"
Barry's mind drew a blank. "Not at the moment, no."
"Then let's not worry about stuff we might not even need to worry about yet. Let's get back to work, okay, dude? Science waits for no one!"
A/N: I'm back, people!
Sorry this chapter took so long, but I've had a very busy week. My sister wanted to introduce me (and my parents) to her boyfriend's parents, so we had to go out. We had a barbeque this weekend, and a birthday on Monday, so I wasn't able to get it out on my usual time. It's also a bit shorter, but hey, I was trying to keep to a schedule.
Anyway. For those who don't want to go back to read up on what they don't remember, Mr. Antonelli was the mob boss Eobard hired to break out Trickster. He's dead now. Oh, and Becky and friends are plotting Barry's social demise.
(Yeah, I'm evil.)
Basically, none of this chapter was filler, by the way, despite what it may seem like. Absolutely everything in this will build up towards other stuff- especially S.T.A.R. Labs. Man, I cannot wait until we get to S.T.A.R.- I've got some cool stuff planned for it.
QOTC TIME! Woot!
Congratulations to last chapter's winner- MarvelMatt! You're at a total of 1 points, at the moment. But then, there's only one person who's won more than once, so don't worry about it.
As for today's question; what is the Penguin's real name, from the Batman stories?
There, that should be a relatively easy one, this time around. Everyone loves Batman.
Also, to those interested, I've joined made a Tumblr blog under the same name. I'm mostly going to be posting stuff about fanfiction and writing- status updates to my story, or even just ranting about annoying things related to writing and giving advice. It's also going to be a place where you can send me prompts if you so desire—if it's a fandom I'm familiar with, I'll probably accept them. (#shamelessselfpromotion)
Before I sign off, I'd like to address a guest review (since I can't PM you guys…)
To the guest known as Cobalt, and your question about Supergirl;
I cannot, at the moment, confirm nor deny Supergirl's existence. Mainly because I haven't planned for her to make an appearance yet. But then, if I introduce her I'll probably go by the show's version of having her in an alternate universe.
Until Next Time,