Author's note: Yeah, it's a long chapter. I cut stuff to get it to this length. Anyway, thanks for the kind words. As admitted previously, I'm a complete praise whore and lap them up.
"You find anything?" asked Kid Flash speeding to Robin's sidejust short of the T-car.
Kid Flash shook his head slightly. "Nah . . . not really," he said and he walked around to the passenger side of the T-car.
"You got room for another?"
"You don't wanna run back to the Tower?"
"Nah. I think I'd rather have company."
Robin nodded, thinking of what he'd just seen, Kid Flash choosing to live in this time rather than go with his biological father to the 29th century. "Sure. Just get that stuff off the front seat."
Kid Flash picked up a large manila envelope and jumped in. He read first at normal speed, then once interested, at super speed. Robin smirked at the sight of the pages flying around on his pal's lap.
"Hey! What's this?" he asked. He couldn't believe what he was reading. The twenty five pages inside the nine by twelve envelope were a description of, and business proposal for, "Real World Titans Tower". Kid Flash burst out laughing. "Real World! Real World! There's nothing real about our world! We're sitting in a car that can go 200 miles an hour and, oh, by the way, it also flies. I need to eat 7 meals a day and I can run through walls. My girlfriend has naturally pink eyes and hair. Yours is from another planet. Our pals are a green changeling, a teenage cyborg and the daughter of a demon. The real world. Ahahahahahahaha!" Kid Flash burst into laughter till a sobering thought occurred to him. He turned to Robin.
"We're not going to do this, right? Tell me we're not going to do this!"
"We're not going to do it. I just thought you might get a kick out of it if we had some extra time so I brought it along for you to read."
Kid Flash thumbed through it at again at super speed and became indignant.
"Did you see this crap! Did you see this?" he demanded while pointing to one page.
"KF! I'm trying to drive here."
"Oh. Sorry but this is . . ugh . . this is what I hate about mtv, okay, it's a part of what I hate about mtv. So frigging dumb. Listen to this part. "Research indicates that a significant portion of our core demographic has already formed clear impressions of the personalities of the various Titans. While we understand that these impressions do not constitute full descriptions of the actual Titans, audiences are confused by conflicting depictions. Consistent representations of every character will be maintained in the editing process. Our market research shows the following impressions already embedded in the public consciousness. Robin—Hard driving, sometimes overbearing leader. Beast Boy—Class clown. Cyborg—Techno geek. Starfire—free spirit. Raven—Cynic. Kid Flash—Girl crazy pretty boy. You believe that! Girl crazy pretty boy!"
"You think I liked 'sometimes overbearing leader'?" asked Robin, never taking his eyes from the road.
"And, even if you were almost never overbearing and I did almost nothing that could be seen as girl crazy, they'd edit the thing to make us look like that. And they go on to say how they want to quote make sure america sees everything about the Titans, not just rescues and arrests but rivalries, romances, breakups and the real R-rated Tower, all the highs and lows of Titan emotional life unquote. Yeah, I wonder which they would show more of, rescues and arrests or rivalries and R-rated romance. There's another part where they demand that couples have dates and spend time in the Tower. Oh, and, get this, quote, access must, of course, be granted to every room in Titans Tower with the exception of a single meeting room where Titans can form battle plans in private, unquote. Mutherfucker! How fucking dare they-"
"Wally! Jeez! Calm down. I told you. We're not going to do it. Not even close. I wouldn't put you or anyone else through that."
"Sorry," Wally mumbled. "I'm kind of keyed up tonight."
He took a deep breath and pushed his back into the plush leather T-car seat. He glanced over at his pal concentrating completely on his driving and expertly weaving through the city streets. He thought of his own words to Professor Zoom. Best friend and big brother I never had. He sighed. Real tough choice. Stay here with Jinx and Dick or go to the future with that-that . . villain. You want to be a father to me now, huh? Well I'm past that. I'm past needing that. I . . .
Wally's thoughts trailed off. He'd vowed, after first meeting Zoom, to be completely honest with himself about the whole situation. It was the best way to get through it without any lingering issues. So, he recalled that split second after telling Zoom to beat it. Scram back to the 29th century pal! Zoom actually sounded something like hurt. Wally sighed. Okay, I'm not past needing that. I felt sorry for him. He sighed again at the realization. I did. I . . . I wanted to be the son of someone who wanted to be my father. He shook his head. A murderer and a villain and still I feel pangs of something. God!
Wally sighed. Alright. So even though I'm doing pretty well I'd still like all that. Dad and love and family. All of that. Hmmph. He thought of a night a week back, lying in bed with Jinx. It was the early morning hours and somehow he'd been awakened. He was lying on his back with his arms around Jinx lying atop him. She let out an adorable little moan of contentment from inches away, her head over his heart. She lay sleeping there with a smile. We share everything and she loves me. She loves me. He recalled the slight surprise in his mind at the thought. He also recalled wondering about that love, which was far from unrequited. He'd thought at one point that it would change the whole world. It had really seemed possible that flowers would all open and bloom as he sprinted past with his love for her in his heart. Or something like that. It really seemed possible. When he first became a Titan and they were making love in his room at the Tower. He would leave on a mission and actually look over his shoulder to check. Ugh. So naïve. Sigh. Oh well. It really did seem possible. But, somehow, crooks kept robbing banks. They kept killing people. Sigh. Jinx's love didn't mean anything to them. Only my world was changed, not everyone else's. And, still, any scar I had could bleed if the scab was picked at hard enough. That's what Zoom was. That's what he was, someone picking at my family scab. Feeling pangs at even a guy like that? Well, that's because the scar was bleeding. Super speed healing doesn't work on everything. Hmmph. Doesn't matter if she can't make the whole world right. She's still exquisite. So fucking strong. What an incredible will. So special. Leave her? Ha!
Green gloved fingers snapped in his face.
" . . to Wally! Come in Wally!"
"Huh? Wha-?" he glanced at his smirking pal behind the wheel. They were stopped at an intersection.
"I said I was thinking of stopping to get a slice of pizza at this place that serves the best deep dish in the City. How 'bout it?"
"Oh. Um. Sure. You know me. I'm always up for food. One forty three with the appetite of three forty three."
Robin yanked the wheel and spun the T-car around a corner. A couple more quick turns and he skidded to a halt outside a small pizza shop. Robin jumped out and Kid Flash followed him inside. The place was mostly empty. It did the bulk of its business by delivery. Robin scanned the pizzas available for slice orders behind the counter.
"Green pepper and hamburger, KF?" he suggested pointing to one tray.
"Sure. Whatever you want, Robin."
"Hey, four slices of that one and two large cokes, please," said Robin to the guy behind the counter. He pulled a ten from his utility belt, laid it on the counter, turned around and gave Kid Flash a push toward one of the booths. He sat opposite him and waited for the curiosity of the other people there to subside. A 6 year old african american boy tapped on KF's shoulder from the booth behind him.
"Are you really him!" the boy gasped.
KF nodded. "I'm Kid Flash and he's Robin," he said pointing across the table. Robin waved to the boy. The boy giggled uncontrollably with both hands over his mouth. Real super heroes! The boy ran around to his mother on the other side of their booth. Pizza and cokes arrived just as the boy's mother pushed him toward them with a felt tip pen and a paper menu.
"Will you please sign a-a-," he looked back toward his mother. "Autograph?" he repeated her whispered prompt. Kid Flash and Robin signed personalized autographs for little Ty. His mother took phone pictures of each of them with Ty and then had the guy behind the counter take a picture of both her and Ty with them.
"Ty really likes your teammate Cyborg," she said as they were about to part.
"He should, " said Kid Flash putting a hand on Ty's shoulder. "Cyborg's a terrific guy. And you know what's the most powerful thing about him?" Kid Flash asked, bending down to Ty's level.
The wide eyed little boy shook his head. No. What?
"His mind," said Kid Flash tapping the side of his head. "Cyborg's really really smart. Oh boy, is he smart! He knows more than anybody about circuits and electronics and machines. If you want to be like Cyborg you have to try and be as smart as you can. You have to read books and do well in school, Ty."
Ty offered a wide eyed promise, nodding solemnly. "I'll try."
Kid Flash patted his head. "Good guy!"
His mother gave KF a look like she could have covered his face with kisses in thanks for giving her son that particular message. The boy went away grinning and waving at them as his mother started her new mantra. "You hear that, Ty? Cyborg's smart and studies."
Kid Flash slid back into the booth, opposite Robin, smiling.
"You like doing that sort of thing, don't you?" said Robin before taking a bite from a slice of pizza.
Kid Flash nodded as he devoured an entire slice of pizza in eight bites in just a second. He saw Robin's look of alarm.
"Um . . . how 'bout two and a half me to one and a half for you?" suggested Kid Flash on the fly.
Robin shrugged. He stared at his slender pal chewing away furiously. Where did he put it all? You're a walking talking science project pal. He sighed. Man! I want to tell you that I know. I know. It's okay. I know. He watched red and yellow clad Wally closely, looking for an opening. But, his pal, Kid Flash, was taking all these very small breaths and looking anxiously off to the side at super speed, glances darting this way and that so fast it was like a film edited that way as a trick. Robin had learned that Kid Flash did that if he didn't think anyone was around or if he was worked up about something. Normally, he tried not to freak people out with super speed mannerisms or gestures.
All of a sudden, Kid Flash noticed Robin staring.
"Was I . . ?" He consciously moved his eyes back and forth rapidly.
Robin nodded. "You wanna talk about whatever's eating at you?"
Kid Flash stared right at him. He took a long, slow breath. Indecision. Finally he shook his head. "I have to talk to Flash first. He's . . . he's gotta be first."
Robin nodded. Okay. He could see that reasoning.
"Okay," he said energetically to change the mood. "Favorite type of call."
"Oooooooo. Maybe jewelry store robbery," said Kid Flash through a pensive squint.
"Jewelry store? No way. Bank. Bank is always the best. So clean. So cut and dried. Us versus them."
"Yeah, but in the daytime ones they take hostages. I hate that shit. With jewelry stores, it seems like it's the pros, like it's almost part of a code that they don't."
"Nah, Batman and I responded to a call at a jewelry store once and they had hostages."
"Well . . . that's Gotham. Jump City, that doesn't happen."
"So . . . the crooks are laid back here on the west coast?"
KF adopted his best surfer boy voice. "Dooo-hude. Like . . slide all those benjamins into this bag. Kewl."
Robin cracked up at Wally sounding like that. They grinned at each other then the two teen super hero boys ate imostly insilence for a few minutes then got up and started out the door to their car. A couple photographers started taking pictures the moment they hit the door and two reporters started half shouting questions.
"Robin! Kid Flash! What brings you two to that pizza shop?"
"Good deep dish." answered Robin.
"Just winding down after some patrolling," said Kid Flash to the press before turning to Robin. "Hey, I'll see you back at the Tower later, maybe."
Robin waved and squeezed through the crowd to the T-car.
Kid Flash sped away in the opposite direction, just some streaks of red and yellow to the press who turned to watch. He made his way to the interstate and then really poured on the speed heading east to Central City. He didn't want to do this, but he had to. He had to let Flash know. He sped into the suburbs scorching along the highway at a pace that left cars flaunting the speed limit looking like they had been parked there in the fast lane.
He sighed trying to compose himself to tell Flash what he would tell him. It felt a bit like he had betrayed Flash, betrayed him just by being what he'd just found out he was. And that hurt. Flash had been so terrific to him. He slowed slightly entering the neighborhood where Flash lived and practically coasted into his Uncle Barry's home where he saw him, in civilian clothes, just sitting in a chair in the living room staring into space.
Oh god, thought Wally. This is going to be even worse than I thought. Flash looked up and noticed his nephew in his tight, red and yellow Kid Flash suit.
"Hi, . . Wally," he offered with a very weak attempt at sounding enthusiastic.
"Hi Uncle Barry."
"What brings you out to Central City, Kid?" asked Barry Allen and he chuckled to himself. Kid? That's what she always called him. Kid. She loved him so much. Oh god.
Wally thought he couldn't feel any worse till he saw his courageous mentor lean forward and put his face in his hands as tears dropped between his fingers. Wally rushed forward, kneeling in front of his uncle and hugging him about the shoulders. As tough as her loss had been for him, how terrible must it be for Uncle Barry? He just knelt there a minute while Uncle Barry quietly sobbed, slowly coming out of it by first holding onto Wally's yellow clad shoulder then patting his orange haired head. Eventually he got up and he hugged Wally, squeezing him with all his might. There was connection to her through him. He loved her too and her love saved the boy. Her love saved him. The boy was even more precious for that reason. He hugged Wally with all his strength. Finally, Wally pulled back.
"Uncle Barry. I-I have to tell you something."
"What is it, Wally?"
Wally took a step back and leaned on the counter between the kitchen and living room.
"Uncle Barry . . . I . . . I . . . ," he took a moment to control his breathing. "I'm so sorry, Uncle Barry! I-I just found out. I'm not what I thought I was, what you thought I was. I-"
"What is it, son? If you did something wrong we'll-we'll make it right."
Wally looked into the sympathetic, tear tracked face of his uncle, the man he thought was his uncle. He willed himself to spit it out. "Uncle Barry. I'm not a West. I'm a Thawne. I just found out. S.T.A.R. Labs confirmed his story. I'm . . . oh shit, I'm so sorry, Uncle Barry." Wally's head dropped into one hand as tears welled up at having to tell him this news at a time like this. Before he could look up, though, Uncle Barry had zipped over to his side and was rubbing his shoulder with one hand.
"What's all this about, Wally?"
Wally composed himself with a deep breath. "He . . was here, Zoom was, in this time, in Jump City. I didn't know it was him at first. He left a message with my mother, calling himself Pater, latin for-for father. I met him at a diner. I found out it was him. I-I almost killed him. Maybe I should've, but he said he hadn't done it. He said he hadn't killed Aunt Iris, that he'd left from 2873 and that he hadn't done it at that point. He said maybe a later him, a 2874 or a 2875 had done it. I hesitated," said Wally with a shake of his head. "I could've killed him. But, to be honest, Uncle Barry, it wasn't just that. He-he said he was my father. He said he'd had this plan to-to, I'm sorry, Uncle Barry. I can't even say it. He thought he would get Aunt Iris pregnant and you'd raise his kid not knowing it was his, that the joke would be on you. Only he screwed up and-and . . . was . . . with Emily West not Iris West. He gave a blood sample. I beat him up and had him give some more blood but he got away. So then I took the blood sample to S.T.A.R. Labs and they confirmed that he's my . . " deep breath, " . . that he's my father. I'm so sorry, Uncle Barry," said Kid Flash and he waited for a response. He was ready to endure anything. Disgust, suspicion, a change in how he was regard, anything.
"I don't get it," said Barry Allen, finally.
"He-he wanted to-to trick you into taking care of-"
"No. You. Why are you sorry?"
"Uncle Barry! My biological father killed Aunt Iris."
"He did, Wally. Not you. What do you have to be sorry for?"
"Are you sure, Uncle Barry? S.T.A.R. Labs said I'm 90 percent him genetically, something about dominance of 29th century genes or something."
"Don't be stupid, Wally. Do I chase down crooks because they've done something wrong or because they have the wrong ancestors?"
"He's my father, Uncle Barry. He even wanted me to leave this era and go live in the 29th century as a Thawne."
"But you're here."
Kid Flash nodded. "I told him to beat it," said Kid Flash and he sighed. "It . . you know, it explains so much. I didn't belong to the man I thought was my father and I was my mother's shame." He shook his head thinking of it till he felt Uncle Barry's hand at his neck.
"You're a hero, Wally. It doesn't matter where someone's from. It's what they do that counts. You're a hero. And, as far as I'm concerned, you're family no matter what the hell your origins were. I don't have to be tricked into looking out for you. I want to."
The two Flashes hugged and Kid Flash felt the tension just melt away. A 500 pound weight dropped from his shoulders. What a fucking good man. God! What a fucking good man! He smiled at his mentor. Christ, someone like you being there first was as lucky as the lightning bolt itself.
"You shouldn't be alone Uncle Barry. I saw how you looked before I came in. You-"
"Ollie and Dinah are due any minute now," he said with a pat of Kid Flash's head. "And what you told me stops with me. No need to spread that around and let anyone wonder about you. You're the last person anyone should wonder about."
Kid Flash just smiled gratefully at Flash in civilian clothes. A few seconds later, Ollie's Bentley could be heard in the driveway. Kid Flash stayed long enough for a hug from Dinah at the door and a handshake from Green Arrow in civilian clothes. He said that he had to be getting back to Titans Tower and sped off.
He sprinted back to Jump City and Titans Tower faster than he'd ever run before. Flash accepted him. Flash was cool with it. He wasn't tainted. He wasn't just villain spawn or some suspicious skinny ass hero who'd go bad sooner or later. Not to Flash. He was still Wally, still Kid Flash. He grinned ear to ear running across the bay to the Tower while thinking of his mentor.
He ran into the Tower and up the stairwell to the 14th floor. He passed Gar and gave his green pal a hug about the shoulders. Beast Boy laughed. "What's up, KF?"
"I just feel great, Gar. I just feel great."
"Kewl. Have, um, have you seen Raven? I don't think she's in her room. She didn't answer the door."
Kid Flash shrugged. "I just got back but I haven't seen her."
Beast Boy went off down the hallway. Kid Flash hadn't taken another step when he saw Cyborg coming from the same direction as Beast Boy had come.
"KF!" said Cyborg hurrying over and half cornering his shorter, much more slender teammate against the hallway wall. "Hey, I want you to help me with something tomorrow when you and Robin get back from JCA."
"Great. I want to test out my new tracking program. It's more for projectiles but trying to get a bead on your super speed butt'll be a good test. Can you tell just how fast you're going at any time?"
"Um, more at the lower speeds. I know what a hundred miles an hour is within a very small range of speed. Mach 10 or mach 10 plus a hundred are hard for me to tell apart."
"Well, this'll be toward the lower end of the range."
"Sure. Of course, Cy."
"Thanks. See me when you get back tomorrow."
Kid Flash nodded enthusiastically and then went to the great room. No Robin. He looked in the kitchen and then the room off the kitchen. What was that? He strode into that room with a big smile. He could see her. Raven. She was trying to hide behind a pole.
"Raven? What're you doing?"
She sighed and stepped out from behind it. "You're awfully happy."
"I should be. Things are gonna be okay with the whole deal about my-my background. And, you know, I want to say sorry for snapping at you like that. You weren't trying to hurt me. You wanted to help me. I-I'm sorry," he said and stepped forward to give her a hug. She had a funny look on her face, like maybe she didn't like to do that sort of thing. But after he wrapped his arms around her shoulders, she squeezed tight around his shoulders and then back and . .
"oh . . sorry."
Kid Flash jumped back from her chuckling. "I'm Jinx property," he said and turned to leave the room before adding, "Oh. Beast Boy's looking for you."
He didn't see her roll her eyes or hear her mutter, "Never the red and yellow. Always the green."
Kid Flash circled back to the 13th floor where all the private quarters were. He was going to knock on Robin's door but saw Robin around the corner of the hallway. He sped to him, with a chuckle and hugged his surprised pal.
"Jeez, Wally. Don't do that. I can't tell it from an attack."
Wally just smiled and stepped back. "Flash is cool with it, Dick. Flash is cool with . . . with me, with what I am," he said and let out a big exhale.
"That's great, KF. Um, look, I don't know if the right thing is to tell you or not but I feel funny about it. So, I'm just gonna tell you. I drove through part of the waterfront area and didn't see anything. So, just for something to do, I turned on my communicator and tried the GPS locater function. It showed you in one location and not moving. Not moving's not your thing, so I ran that way. You weren't far off. I used a rainpipe to climb onto the roof of a building and from up on top saw you talking to that-that Professor Zoom guy."
"My father," Kid Flash said softly.
"So . . . wait, you heard me say something nice about you?"
"Um . . well . . yeah."
Kid Flash shook his head. "Aw jeez! I don't mind you finding out what a freak I am or how messed up my background is, but nice words about your sorry butt are just too personal."
Robin stared quizzically. What the . . . ?
Kid Flash burst into laughter. "Wow, you're gullible."
Robin slapped his shoulder and laughed back.
"It's okay. It's okay cuz it's you," said Kid Flash.
"In the interest of evening things out. You're my best friend and yeah, there's a bit of a little bro vibe to it, not completely, but, yeah, sort of."
"Pretty weird family it must've been, huh, you and me brothers?" said Kid Flash and he adopted a frantic, headline reading tone of voice. "They came from the future! In order to find a circus!"
Robin smirked. "Hey, you might be surprised how normal the circus life was. I was very happy."
"Because you didn't have to go to school, right?"
Robin smirked some more. "Well, that was a pretty sweet feature of the life. There was a tutor at the circus and she taught me and the knife thrower's kid and the lion tamer's daughter and a couple others an hour and a half a day in the mornings."
"Oh my god! That's all?"
Robin nodded with a grin then tried to defend it, "But it was a pretty kick ass hour and a half."
"Uh huh. You are so lucky. Every day at school lasted forever for me. I had to be so careful not to use super speed."
"To protect your identity?"
"Well, yeah, that too. But if I move just, say, my hand at super speed, I go into a slower subjective time frame, then it might seem like 20 minutes passed to me when only a few seconds did. School . . ," his voice trailed off and he shook his head.
"You ever think of like, big picture, what should we do, after school and then after . . . this?"
"What do you mean?"
"I mean long term . . . Career . . . 40 years old. 50 years old. I can't do this after something like mid 30's, tops. Where's the guidance counselor for me and you to tell us what to do? I mean, what kind of preparation will I have for life after this? Have you thought about it?"
Kid Flash shrugged. "A bit. I think the time line for me is longer. I-I just am this way," he said gesturing to himself with both hands. "But I can't do this forever, either."
"So, what do we do?" asked Robin.
"Marry. Raise kids. Be the best possible fathers and husbands. Find something that works as a career outside this. I think I could be could at something that requires a lot of reading," he chuckled.
"Well, that's pretty much what I was thinking. I just think you and I need to take more classes at JCA. Two classes doesn't exactly put us on the early graduation track."
"No. You're right. It's kind of avoiding making a decision."
"Speaking of avoiding making decisions, . . uh . . . you gonna marry Jinx or what?"
"What kind of question is that? I'm fifteen."
"You're not normal fifteen. None of us are normal for our ages. We've all seen more shit than anyone's supposed to in a lifetime. And she's your live in girlfriend for all intents and purposes. Is that supposed to happen when you're fifteen, Wally?"
"No," Kid Flash admitted softly. "But I can't live any other way. Not now."
"Well, are you gonna?"
Kid Flash just grinned back at him. It was more powerful assent than the three letter word would have been.
"How 'bout you and Starfire? You gonna find an intergalactic justice of the peace or what?"
Robin gave the same grin back at him. Wally gave him a playful shove and they were immediately embroiled in a full out wrestling match. But Kid Flash didn't hold back his super speed. One moment, Robin was laughing and pushing with all his might against his orange haired pal. The next thing he knew, he was tied to the small support column he'd been pushing Wally toward. He was tied quite well. He struggled against his restraints but couldn't make any progress.
"Okay, nice show of super speed, pretty boy. Now untie me."
"Pretty boy? Should I really have to take insults from a captive?" asked Wally, and then, with perfect timing, Starfire came into view down the hallway. Kid Flash waved for her to approach.
"Starfire. I captured this guy. He might be some sort of impostor. Could you hold him here until you've been able to determine if this is the real Robin."
She nodded mischievously then bent her head this way and that looking at a smiling Robin. "He appears to be a physical match but we must be absolutely certain, friend KF. We cannot be too careful about intruders. The real Robin is quite adamant about that very point. The real Robin is also quite, what is the earth word? Ah, yes! Ticklish. The real Robin is quite ticklish right here," she said extending one finger to the side of his six pack abs beneath his red top.
"Ahaha! Don't do that, Star! Ahaha! Don't-ahahahahahahaha! Star! You're worse than me. Wait till-ahahahahaha!"
"Hmm. That sounded like genuine laughter. But I must be certain. The real Robin also laughs if tickled . . . here."
"No-ahahahahah! Please, Star-ahahahahahahaha!"
Kid Flash left with the two of them laughing softly. He looked for Jinx in the Tower and eventually found her with her legs over the side of a chair in the library reading Bartleby the Scrivener. He came up behind her and pressed one finger to her side where he knew Jinx was ticklish. She let out a shriek of combined surprise and laughter. Wally closed the book in her hands and bent around in front of her.
"Bartleby would prefer not to. But I want to," he whispered.
He kissed her and stayed bent over her. She saw the grin on his face. She raised an eyebrow. She didn't have to ask.
"I saw Flash and he's cool with it, with me and my origins."
"Of course. You're such a dope sometimes. He loves you like a son. It never mattered to him where you came from."
"Oh come on. It wasn't just any guy. It was a super dangerous villain and the guy who killed my aunt."
"I told you. He loves you. It doesn't matter."
He kissed her again.
"I love you."
More kisses followed. Embraces and more kisses followed that. Super speed travel to his room. Super speed disrobing of both of them. Hours later, Jinx started to doze, exhausted from ecstasy. She patted his super speedster butt almost as a thank you. He was getting so good at vibrating it at precisely the spot where it felt so good she could barely stand it. She sighed and pulled his arm over her and against her breasts then let her self sink into contented sleep spooning with Wally.
It was a very deep sleep that she fell into and it happened again to the teen sorceress. This time, she was standing at the edge of the playground where they all brought their kids.
"Come here, honey!" she cooed to her boy and her orange haired six year old zipped to her side grinning ear to ear. She picked him up and kissed him and held him at her side. Overwhelming maternal affection. Her hips were just a little fuller now, her bust moreso. She rubbed her nose on his and he laughed. His blue eyes shined. But a moment later, they glowed bright blue all over with no white irises showing, glowed blue like hers did pink when she was angry. He jumped down from her arms and zipped across the playground. Light blue energy streamed from his fingertips to the seat of the pants of a black haired boy who jumped up but never saw her boy as he zipped back to her. He anxiously motioned for her to pick him up right away and she did.
"Andrew Allen!" she half laughed half reproached. "Why'd you hex Aaron Grayson?"
"Mom! He threw a star bolt at my bottom a minute ago!"
"I'm glad you defend yourself, Andy, honey, but your daddy would be upset if you were enemies with his friend Dick's son."
"Well then somebody should tell Aaron to stop being such a baby!"
"Did you make fun of Aaron? Is that why he threw a star bolt at you?"
The bright faced boy looked surprised that his mommy had figured it out. "Um, well . . . um . . . Daddy!"
The little boy jumped to the ground then sprinted to his father, a blur of skinny little boy leaping into the red clad arms of his father, fresh from patrolling in his all red flash suit with his mask down around his neck. He grabbed his similarly orange haired son and tossed him up in the air eliciting great laughter from the boy. She watched him rub his son's head and approach. Sigh. Such a good father. She looked up into his eyes.
"How's his sister?" he asked.
Jinx snapped out of it. She was back in Wally's bed. He was trying to slip away from her. He'd only made it as far as the edge of the bed where he was now seated. He bent over and kissed her.
"Sorry hon. I'm just soooo hungry. I have to get something."
"Wally?" she patted the side of his hip to get his attention just as he was pulling on a pair of shorts to go up to the kitchen.
"You want me to get you something, too?"
"No. I . . . I had a dream, well, sort of a dream."
"I . . . Wally, since you and I started sleeping together, I've had these dreams. Only they're not really dreams. They're-they're premonitions, really."
"You're seeing the . . . the future?"
She nodded slightly. "Two-two weeks ago I saw you talking to a guy in yellow in a parking lot. I-I saw you talking to your biological father before it happened. The-the . . . what you described to me. I-I think I saw it . . two weeks ago."
"You said you just had one?"
"What are these dreams like, these premonition dreams. Are you sure they aren't regular dreams?"
"They feel different. There's a clarity to them that's completely different from regular dreams."
"Okay, well, what's going to happen in two weeks."
"They're not all two weeks ahead. This was -sigh- like-like six or eight years. We had a son, a five or maybe six year old son."
Wally's eyes went wide. "Really?"
She nodded. "Orange hair and blue eyes with super speed and hexing too. And you just asked me about his sister. You were like six or seven inches taller than me and you were wearing an all red flash suit with some kind of yellow mark on the chest to distinguish you from Flash. You must've weighed like one seventy or one seventy five. You . . . you looked real real good. Real strong."
"Aarrrgh. I had to wake you up from this dream?"
"They never last that long anyway. I don't have them often, only sometimes after we make love and I go to sleep with everything just like, like perfect."
"Go-go over it again. Tell me everything you remember."
She did. He was ecstatic, kissing her over and over. "Still together after all that time! That's great! That's great!"
"Wait a minute," protested Jinx. "What happened to not believing in destinies? Will you accept 'em if they say something nice about you? Is that it?"
He shrugged. "Pretty hypocritical, huh?" he grinned.
"Yeah," she laughed and then put her finger to the red label on his loose white gym shorts. "Flash University?" she broke up laughing. "Where'd you get those?"
"A store in Jump Ridge is selling them. There was a short article in the paper. So, I went over and bought a couple pairs. They took a picture of me holding 'em. I don't think I'll be giving away my secret identity if anyone sees Wally West in these."
She shook her head agreeing with him.
"Hey, babe. Let's talk about this when I get back from the kitchen. I'm dying for some food. You want anything? Strawberries? Ice cream? Juice? Anything?"
"Strawberries sound good. Maybe some honey or something to smear on you, too."
"Or you," Wally grinned then zipped off, vibrating right through the wall and sprinting up to the kitchen. He stopped short of the fridge. Robin was holding the door open beside Starfire. He was wearing his Teen Titans pajama bottoms. She had on his robe. He was holding out to her a jar of caramel sauce.
"But I would rather taste mustard with you," she protested.
"But I'll feel like a hundred thirty five pound hot dog if – Oh, KF!" Dick interrupted himself cheerfully, spinning around and closing the refrigerator door.
"Dick! My man!"Wally stepped forward and hugged his pal. At first Dick was taken aback but then he hugged his pal back. Starfire grinned from ear to ear.
"Ha! Silly Raven did not see how similar you two are. But I saw it right away! I knew you would be best friends. You are both warrior boys."
"No, Kory!" said Dick excitedly, holding one hand out as if to stop her. "I was thinking about this. You know what Wally is? He's not a Tamaranean Warrior," he said and framed Wally for her view with his two hands. "He's a Tamaranean Royal Lancer Scout."
Starfire gasped. "Of course!"
Wally turned to Dick with a smile. "You're really getting into all this Tamaranean stuff, aren't you?"
"Yeah. I really like it," he grinned. "It's all about honor and feelings of comradeship. I can totally get into it," he said to Wally then turned to Starfire. "His physique is totally what your books say a Royal Lancer Scout is, isn't it?"
Starfire nodded with a smile. "And the Royal Lancer Scouts are renowned for having an amazing number of orange haired members among them."
"The whole orange hair thing . . . what's the significance of it in Tamaranean culture?" asked Wally thinking of how she so often played with his hair as she passed him in the Tower. She smiled oddly.
"Well, actually, it means two things, friend Wally. For Tamaranean children, an adult with orange hair is someone they are led to believe will always be of a good temperment, never . . oh, what is the earth word? Grumpy? And I was taught, as a little girl, that if I was ever lost in a crowd of people to approach an orange haired person if there was one, though of course orange hair only occurs in about 2 people in a million on Tamaran."
Wally was pleased. "That's cool. But, you said that there were two meanings and that's the one for children."
"Yes, to adults . . " she paused and smiled bashfully, glancing at Dick. "To Tamaranean adults, orange hair signifies that a male possesses extraordinary sexual abilities and always gives his partner the maximum possible sexual pleasure. There is a famous song about a woman who has a longtime boyfriend but who spends an evening with an orange haired Royal Lancer Scout and simply cannot go back to her boyfriend afterward because of his . . his comparatively inadequate pleasuring of her." She started to sing it. "Oh dear Zorrflarb . . . so niktorf was his zangthar . . . so niktorf was his zangthar . . . how can I ever-"
"Kory! Kory! Wally doesn't understand any of that."
She put an arm around Robin's shoulders. "You are right, dear one."
"And, maybe that's why they're never grumpy," chuckled Dick. Starfire slapped him. "Well, the Royal Lancer Scouts, with so many orange haired scouts, are very popular choices for encamping in frontier towns. They are always preferred to the military police corps or supply stations or even the regular Tamaranean Warriors. They are not effective if kept on the front lines continuously. They don't have the lust for battle of the Tamaranean Warriors. But they perform their reconnaissance and attack spearheading duties wonderfully. And they're famous for their bravery. They're quite dashing."
"Okay, well, then I should certainly take it as a compliment that I'm compared to a Tamaranean Royal Lancer Scout."
Dick nodded. Wally looked at the two of them, so in love and smiled.
"Oh, hey, you're gonna love this one guys. Jinx had a um, a dream. A sort of a premonition dream. She says she's had a few now-"
"A premonition dream?" Dick raised one eyebrow skeptically.
"Yeah. She-she foresaw me meeting with, um, what you saw Dick, meeting with my biological father. She-she has them sometimes when she sleeps . . um . . in an especially contented frame of mind."
"Royal Lancer Scout," Dick said through a cough and Starfire slapped his shoulder.
"Yeah, well, anyway, she had a premonition about seven or eight years into the future. We . . . ," Wally grinned. "We were still together, she and I and we-we had . . . we-we had a son! We had a little five year old orange haired boy! We did!"
Dick leaned forward and gave his pal Wally a half hug. "That's great. That's great, Wally!"
Wally could barely contain his grin. "But, wait. Listen to this part. In her premonition, I said something to her about his sister and-"
"A daughter, too, friend KF! That's wonderful!"
"But get this, Starfire. Jinx saw our boy run across a playground at super speed and zap another boy with a blue hex-"
"A blue hex? Holy crap. Both of your powers?"
Wally nodded. "Apparently. And when he zipped back to her she chastised him for what he did and you know what my boy said? He said that he hexed Aaron Grayson because Aaron Grayson had gotten him with a star bolt a few minutes before! Aaron Grayson, Dick! And a star bolt!"
Both Dick's and Starfire's eyes went wide as could be. Dick finally stammered a response. "Aa-aa-aa . . . Gr-gr-gray . . . m-m-my . . s-son! Our s-son! St-star bolts? Our son? Our son. Our . . son!. M-my and Kory's son!"
He and Starfire kissed. They whispered something to each other then kissed even longer. When they separated, Dick reached quickly into the refrigerator and removed the container of mustard. He and Starfire started off arm in arm out of the kitchen.
"Thank you for telling us, friend Wally," whispered Starfire as they passed. Wally smiled at the sight of the two of them walking off.
"Just trying to create pleasure like us orange hair types are supposed to." he muttered to himself. With them out of sight, he went to the fridge, got some strawberries and other things and went back to his room at super speed.
Jinx was sitting up on the bed reading now. Wally slid in beside her and offered a bowl of strawberries. She plucked a couple with a smile for a thank you.
"Mind if I ask you a question about that vision of the future, hon?"
"You said I was wearing an all red uniform like Flash's?"
"Um, yeah, but there was one difference. There was yellow lettering over your heart, um, Flash West, that's what it said, Flash West."
"Good," Wally sighed in relief.
"What are you so worried about?"
"I just wondered if I was dressed as the Flash because something had happened to him. I want to be around him more. I mean, I hate that it's because of Aunt Iris's passing but we have such a bond. That's why I'm relieved to know that I have to be identified to distinguish me from him because that means he must still be around," he said and then sniffed. "Kind of ironic to be identified as a West even if it's just to call me the western Flash."
"I thought you made such a point of telling your 29th century father that you're a West."
He shrugged. "Yeah, but, well, I'm not really a West either. I never really was. They wouldn't let me be one. But I'm not a-a Thawne no matter what S.T.A.R. Labs says," he quickly added. "I'm not. I don't care what my DNA is. So, what do I do?"
Jinx smiled. "There's another option, you know? And I bet I could convince your family to go along with it and sign anything. I have a lot of influence with them."
"What? What do you have in mind?"
Wally followed his best friend into the Jump City Academy student center. He and his pal Dick were laughing and joking. They were in such good spirits. To hell with the seniors this time. To hell with them! If we have to fight them because they're going to try and haze us, then so be it. We'll kick their asses. The two teenage boys marched in making no attempt to hide their fearlessness, their courage. They wore JCA coats, ties, dress pants and shoes but anyone seeing them would not have been surprised to have been told that the orange haired boy was really Kid Flash and the jet haired boy was really Robin.
A minute later they were marching back out, their courage useless. There were no seats. On a cold, blustery day, there were no seats, every chair, every desk, every other possible sitting spot taken. And they were painting inside and waxing floors. There was literally no place at all for the two boys to sit. They walked about the place a couple times seeing open spots, a seat here, a place to sit by a radiator there. But every time they approached, someone else got the spot before them. Both boys sighed in frustration and rolled their eyes. Back outside again. Ugh.
A minute later, with a scowl, Wally slid over to the end of the high backed bench overlooking the quadrangle at Jump City Academy. His best friend, Dick slid in tight against him pushing his side against his pal's from foot to shoulder to help keep the two of them warm on this 40 degree day. Both boys stared out at the quadrangle tending to their private thoughts. After 15 minutes without a word, Wally felt a warm vibration against his left thigh. Dick felt a warm vibration against his right thigh.
"No way! Mine."
Wally moved quickly and fished his Titans communicator out of his pocket first.
"Too fast for you again, Grayson. See?" he added showing him the blinking light. "Mine."
He pressed the sequence of buttons for full two way video transmission. The small screen came to life. There was the face of Flash with his mask down.
"Good morning, Wally. Are you between classes? So hard to keep track of time up here in the JLA satellite."
Flash shook his head. "I like that. Gotta get used to it, but I like it. Is that Dick beside you?"
Wally held the communicator out at arm's length so that Flash could see both their faces.
"Yes sir. It's me" said Dick with a nod.
"Did you get any homework in Calculus, Wally?"
"Well . . yeah."
"You should be doing it, Wally."
"But I have plenty of time to do it. Besides. It's frigging cold here. I don't think I could write out here anyway."
"Are you gonna do the homework as soon as you get back to the Tower?"
Wally sighed. "Yes sir"
"Good. I know you think you can do everything in the last picosecond but it's a bad habit to get into. Make sure he does his work right away, would you, please, Dick?"
Dick Grayson could barely hold back his grin. "Yes sir. Happy to." He and Wally could both see Flash roll his eyes at Dick's enthusiasm.
"Look, Wally. We're about to head out on a pretty big mission. I probably won't get to talk to you for a couple days. So, do your work and get your seven square meals a day and be a good teammate, okay."
Wally nodded. "Yes sir."
"Love you, Wally. See you later."
Wally could feel a smirking Dick pinching the side of his butt.
"Love you too, Dad. Good Luck."
The screen went blank and Dick laughed and pushed hard as he could, squeezing Wally into the corner at the end of the bench.
"Haha! That'll teach you! You want a real dad, and now you get your butt ridden every day and someone looking over your shoulder! Seven square meals! Haha!"
"He's my dad now! That's what he's supposed to say."
Dick grinned while shaking his head at Wally. "You're such a glomthar, Allen."
"No, not nothing," laughed Wally. "What'd you call me, a . . a glom-thar?" Wally burst into laughter and another shoving match ensued, spiced by laughing accusations that someone was turning into the Tamaranean Wonder. Eventually, the two teenage hero boys sat back down against each other.
"What's said on the bench stays on the bench, right?" suggested Wally. Dick nodded. "Okay."
"I wouldn't say this except to you. But yeah. I love being around him more. I love it, patrolling especially, even the stuff like him making me do homework and yard work and chores and stuff. I mean, I've been my own man for months. I know I can be. I still am half the time. Him telling me to do stuff doesn't diminish me. But it-it makes a connection. I lost Aunt Iris. But, that's Jinx and you and him to whom I'm really connected. Accepting being his son, accepting that-that role, it helps forge even more connection between us. And, well, it-it feels good. So, yeah, I don't like being told to do homework. But when I'm at his place, Flash looks over my work with an arm around my shoulder and talks to me for a half hour about my classes. When I get a calculus or biochemistry problem right that I was having trouble with, it-it makes him happy. It's so cool. It really does. Just to see me get better. It's a two way thing for us. I think it helps him deal with Aunt Iris's absence better, too."
Wally shrugged at Dick. That's the story. Go ahead and make fun of me if you want.
Dick nodded his head slowly. It's cool. He patted Wally's shoulder.
Not a minute later, there was another vibration against their legs.
"Mine! This time I know it's mine," said Robin. He squeezed his Titans communicator out of his pocket and pressed the buttons to allow full two way video communication. The little screen filled with the image of Batman, mask and cowl in place.
"Morning Dick . . who's that there with you?"
"Hey, Bruce," said Dick and he stretched his arm out so that the feed to Batman also showed Wally.
"Oh, hi Wally."
"Nine twenty eight your time right, Dick?"
"Did you get homework in your calculus class?"
Dick sighed and Wally had to slap his hand over his mouth at super speed to keep from laughing out loud that Dick was getting the same treatment..
"Yeah, I did, Bruce," admitted Dick with a sidewise glance at smirking Wally.
"Come on Bruce! It's cold out here and the work doesn't have to be turned in till tomorrow."
"You can use your pal's side to stay warm, Dick. Flashes have high body temperatures . . especially if they're rocking back and forth laughing like that," he said with a stern look.
Wally sat bolt upright with no expression on his face now. "You can't afford to get into lazy habits Dick. I expect . . I mean . . ," he took a slow breath. "I mean, you're better than that, son."
Dick sighed. "Yes sir."
"I'm gonna be away on a big mission for a couple days, Dick. I'll call you when I get back. Be the best guy you can be till I see you again, promise me, Dick."
"I promise, Bruce."
"I . . I think the world of you, Dick."
"Same here," said Dick despite the pinch at the side of his butt that he got from Wally.
The screen went blank. Wally doubled over laughing and a laughing Dick Grayson made a half hearted effort to push him into the corner of the bench.
"So I'm . . . so I'm . . the one getting his butt ridden by his newfound dad, huh, Grayson?" Wally laughed between gasping breaths. "You're better than that boy wonder! Ahahaha!"
"He-he didn't call me boy wonder!" Dick protested through his own laughing. "He didn't!"
"I think the world of you, boy wonder old sidekick old chum."
Both boys laughed hysterically. "Shut up, pretty boy! He's never ever called me boy wonder!"
"Cuz it feels so empty without me!" sang Wally in imitation of Eminem and fell into helpless laughter. Dick was barely any better. "I hate that video! I'm nothing like Eminem looked like dressed up in a Robin uniform."
"Do you really slouch in the batmobile like that?" asked Wally and both he and Dick burst into greater laughter. Dick punched at Wally with combinations, lefts, rights and uppercuts, fast as he could. But even a laughing Wally, dressed as just another JCA student but secretly the fastest boy alive, was able to catch every punch in mid air, toying with Dick by just slapping his fists to the side. Finally, Dick grunted or growled or made some sort of attempt at an intimidating sound and rushed Wally trying again to press him into the corner of the bench. A breathlessly laughing Wally surrendered but the terms of peace were very fair. No tribute was demanded, only a grin of apology. It was immediately granted.
Dick grinned back and they stopped pushing. There were still 25 minutes to wait before their next class. They slid in next to each other and stared out at the quadrangle alone in their thoughts. Each looked over with a grin at his pal once but at different times, seeing only the side of a head of orange hair and jet locks, respectively. But maybe they didn't feel so alone.
Wally sighed. Flash is right. But he thought of how Dick would react. He now cast a furtive glance at his black haired best friend and slowly moved the hand away from him to the large pocket on the inside of his JCA jacket where his calculus book was. Over a minute's time he moved it just six inches out of that oversized pocket. In another minute's time he moved it to his thigh then slowly angled his other hand over so that he could hold it in place to read the problems assigned by the teacher while writing out solutions on a piece of paper with his other hand. He was quite satisfied with how stealthy he'd been. He wasn't looking, but Dick obviously had no idea that he was doing his homework. He glanced over at his pal Dick to check just as Dick was casting a glance to check on him. Both boys burst into laughter because Dick was doing the same furtive obeying of his guardian that Wally was doing of his adopted father.
"Pretty silly, huh, Grayson."
"Very silly, Allen. Very silly."
"Hey, we've got at least 8 more years to get good at fooling each other."