"…I don't think it's a good idea."
I turned over on my side as I tried to go back to sleep. Damn Clark for waking me up.
"And it would better for her if she were allowed to go home and rest," Wally said from outside the sickbay doors. Note to self: install soundproofing on all doors in the Watchtower and Metrotower.
"Wally you've seen the circus on your front lawn. It won't do Amelia any good to get caught up in the middle of it."
I sat up thoroughly annoyed. I had been listening to Wally and Clark arguing on and off all day. Mostly about Wally wanting to take me back home to Keystone to continue my recovery. Clark thought it was a bad idea, because the media had figured out where I lived and an army of reporters was camped on our lawn. Well I had had enough. I threw aside the blankets and got out of bed. I marched to the door and braced myself against the frame to keep me from venting my annoyance on Wally and Clark.
"Since when…" Wally began.
"Enough!" I cried. Both Wally and Clark stopped and stared at me in amazement. "I have had it up to here with this bickering. It's not up to either you whether I go or stay. That decision is up to one person: me. Now having settled that dispute, kindly leave so I can go back to sleep."
Bruce, Diana, Shayera, and John were rounding the corner as I was turning to go back to my bed. They stopped dead in their tracks, wide-eyed.
"What are you all staring at?" I asked sharply. I knew that I was being a bitch, but I had every reason to be one just then. I had just got the crap beaten out of me not more than two weeks ago and I was still smarting from it.
"Amelia…" John started, but he was so flabbergasted about something he could not complete his sentence.
"You're standing," Shayera finished with equal amazement.
I looked down at my feet and found I was indeed standing. For a moment I wondered why this amazed my friends, then I remembered that one of the bullets had left be temporarily paralyzed.
"This isn't possible," I whispered, my knees wanting to buckled underneath me. "There is no way this side of reality that I should be walking after what I've been through."
Wally came forward and put his arms around me. I let him take my full weight as my knees finally gave way. "What the hell is going on?" Wally demanded from our friends.
"J'onn, Ray. We need you here now," Bruce said patching into the comm and calling the only two who might have some answers. "Wally. Get back her back to bed."
There was no sense in arguing with Bruce when he was in Bat-mode. Wally swept me off my feet and carried me into sickbay. By this time I was shaking.
"Wally, I'm scared."
He laid me on my bed and snuggled next to me. "I am too," he whispered kissing my hair. "But we'll work through it, together."
I nodded as J'onn and Ray came running into the sickbay. After a brief explanation of what happened, J'onn and Ray began running a buffet of tests on me. First it was blood and tissue samples, then x-rays and MRIs. The whole time, Wally held my hand. What ever was wrong with me, I had ever confidence that J'onn and Ray would find the answer.
Ray stepped away from his microscope and rubbed his eyes. "I can't see anything abnormal in her system."
J'onn frowned. "Maybe we should run the tests again. We could have had a contaminated sample."
"Or I could go into her body and see what's going on first hand," Ray suggested. "I could probably tell you a lot more than any scan." He turned to me. "What do you say Amelia?"
"Just as long as it doesn't end up on the Discovery Channel," I said. Ray chuckled and threw me a snappy salute.
A few minutes later, Ray was geared up with one of the respirators the League used for undersea missions and a camcorder so that we could see what he saw. He shrank to a microscopic size and jumped into a syringe along with a vitamin booster. J'onn stuck the needle into my arm and pushed down on the piston, shooting Ray into my blood stream. As soon as he was in me, Ray uploaded the video feed from the camcorder.
"Atom, can you hear me?" J'onn asked.
"Loud and clear. It's a mad house in here. I think the best approach is for me to ride her circulatory system."
"I agree. Keep in touch."
"So what now?" I asked hugging a pillow close to my body. Something was rumbling in my stomach and giving me cramps.
"We wait," J'onn answered.
And so we waited. All day in fact. Ray said he wanted to be thorough. So he inspected every inch of my body from my brain to my little toe. And he could not find a thing.
"Nothing, absolutely nothing," Ray said over the com-system. By this time J'onn had to go on monitor duty and Bruce had come to take his place in sickbay. Wally had stayed with me all day having taken himself off the active roster to take care of our family and me.
"You looked everywhere," Bruce prompted.
"Her reproductive organs. I didn't think that any there could cause such extraordinary healing."
"Check it anyway."
I watched the screen intently as Ray swam to my ovaries and uterus. I had to side with Ray on this one. My periods were regular and I would have known if I was pregnant again. All my gynecological exams were normal and my diet had not changed at all. I thought long and hard about this as Ray examined my ovaries, before swimming down my fallopian tubes to my uterus.
Then I saw it. A little speck along the uterine wall. Ray saw it too, because he swam closer and examined it. It looked like an alien with a big head and little appendages.
"What is it?" Wally asked.
"I think it's an embryo," Ray said. "Amelia's pregnant."
I stared at the screen wide-eyed. "I'm pregnant? Why didn't you catch this during all those tests?"
"We didn't think that you being pregnant had anything to do with it."
"But she's pregnant with Wally's baby," Bruce said.
"What does that have to do with it?" I asked.
"Wally's hyper-accelerated metabolism comes with a hyper-accelerated immune system. It could be that the baby inherited those traits from it's father and passed them along to you through the umbilical cord."
"Come again?" I was very confused.
"He means that I passed along some of my abilities to the baby," Wally explained. "And the baby in turn has accelerated your body's response to illness or injury. If it's any consolation, Linda went through the same thing when she was pregnant with Charlie."
"I guess that makes me feel a little better."
"How far along is she?" Wally asked. By this time he had put a hand on my belly, like I used to when I was pregnant with the twins.
"I'd say about four weeks," Ray said, "and that's an educated guess."
"I think that it's time to get out of there Ray," Bruce said.
"On my way."
Moments later Ray had exited my body. Assuming his normal height and weight, he and Bruce left us alone. This was something that Wally and I needed to talk about.
"A baby," Wally said with wonder in his voice. "I didn't think that we'd being having a baby so soon."
"Neither did I. I guess this means that we're going to need a bigger house."
"Or at least throw up a new addition for our new addition. Amelia, honey. I've been doing some thinking lately." He took his hands from my belly and sat so that we were face to face. He took my hands and held them. "I want to spend the rest of my life with you." He reached into his shirt pocket and pulled a black velvet box. He opened it and set against the velvet was a diamond solitaire ring. "And I was wondering if you would let me be your hero?"
Oh my God! I was getting proposed to. Leave it to Wally not to just come out and ask me to marry him. My heart was racing and tears were welling up in my eyes. I could not speak. My voice had temporarily left me due to the lump in my throat. I nodded my head enthusiastically. Wally picked up on my acceptance and slid the ring on my finger. He touched my cheek as tears rolled over my eyes.
"Why are you crying?" he asked.
"I'm just so happy. We're having a baby. We're getting married. I haven't been this happy since the day the twins were born." I bit my lip. "How do you feel about short engagements?"
"Why do you ask?"
"I don't want to wait. Not with all that's happened lately and now we have a baby on the way. How do you feel about a Christmas wedding?"
"I'm all for it. What's the plan?"
"Have our wedding up here at the Watchtower at the Christmas party. I volunteered to plan it, since we all thought that I was going to laid up in defiantly. Make it a semi-formal occasion."
"I like it. It would sure save us a headache and a half. It would keep everyone from trying to plan our wedding for us."
"Especially if we don't tell anyone."
We did eventually tell two people outside of our family: J'onn and Bruce. We wanted J'onn to perform the ceremony for us and Bruce, well, let us just say it took some serious puppy dogs eyes to get him to agree to come. He insisted on buying me a wedding dress, which meant I had to go dress shopping again. This time, however, I had a pretty good idea for my dress.
I sat in front of my vanity on Christmas Eve getting ready for the party and my wedding. Heather was sitting next to me on the vanity bench. Wally and I had decided to let the kids stay up late so that they could be at the ceremony. She was wearing a holly green party dress that we had bought the day I had gotten my dress.
"Hey there are my two best girls," Wally said coming into the bedroom. He kissed to top of Heather's head and my cheek. "Ready to go."
"Just help but this necklace on," I said.
Quick as a flash, Wally clasped my necklace around my neck. Dangling on the end of the chain was Wally's wedding band for tonight. I took a finally check in the mirror. My dress was a snow white one with a flared skirt and long sleeves. The hem of the skirt came half way down my calf and a pair of strappy heels completed the ensemble.
"You know, if I was a blond and this dress was a halter top, I'd look like Marilyn Monroe."
"You are so much hotter than Marilyn Monroe," Wally whispered in my ear.
"Flatterer. Come on. We better get to the party."
He kissed my cheek and picked Heather up, taking her into the living room where the rest of the Flash family was waiting. I straightened Bart's tie and slicked back Timmy's hair before we left our quarters.
The Watchtower was full of holiday cheer when we walked into the hall. Within two seconds of us entering the party, the kids split to go and play with their friends amongst the other League children. Heather ran to join Lian, Roy's daughter, and Dr. Fate's daughter Imogene. Timmy on the other hand found Arthur Jr. known as A.J., Aquaman's son and Cerdian, Garth's son. Bart found his friends amongst the Titans and soon left us.
"That was fast," Garth said as he and Dolphin came over to us, after being abandoned by their son.
"Tell me about it. How are you Garth?" Wally said shaking his hand.
"Good. How about you two?"
Wally looked at me. "Pretty good, considering," he answered.
"Considering what?" Dolphin asked.
"You'll see," I replied slyly.
"Hey Amelia, Wally," Clark called coming over with Lois. "What's this big announcement that Wally's going to be making later?"
"That would be telling," Wally said. "You'll just have to wait."
"Well don't make us wait too long."
"Don't worry, you'll know soon enough."
A hip jazzy tune came on over the speakers and Wally swept onto the dance floor, for perhaps one of the last times we would get to do some swing dancing. The tune changed to a slow dance.
"Can we get started after this song?" I asked as we dance cheek to cheek.
"Whatever you want, honey, whatever you want."
The song ended and Wally stepped up to the platform with me right behind him.
"Can I have everyone's attention?" Wally called out. The room became quiet. "First of all I would like to thank everyone for coming. This holiday season we have a lot to be thankful for. We can be thankful that we are all happy, healthy, and safe. And we can be thankful that someone very close to all of us is able to be standing here with us to dance the night away." I smiled as Wally turned to me. "It almost one year ago, that we quite literally fell into Amelia's life. None of us knew then how much she would come to change our lives, especially mine. That is why tonight is very special night for Amelia and me. Tonight is not just the night before Christmas, tonight Amelia and I have decided to get married."
The League let out a collective gasp, which was followed by a chorus of cheers. I let out a sigh of relief. I thought for sure that our friends would be out for our blood for stealing their thunder. It was good to know that they were being supportive.
"John," Wally said. "I'm going need a best man."
"And I'm going to need a bridesmaid, Shayera."
Both happily agreed. The League parted so that there was an aisle for me to walk down. Originally I had intended to walk down it alone, but then Dick approached me.
"Permission to give away the bride," Dick said with a smile.
He had missed my first wedding. I smiled back and kissed his cheek. "Permission granted."
He took my arm and led me down the aisle at the end of which stood Wally with our children and J'onn waiting to begin the ceremony. Dick kissed my forehead at the alter and put my hand into Wally's.
"I know that you'll take care of her Wally," Dick replied. "I'm glad you two found each other."
Dick took his place in the audience as J'onn began the ceremony.
"Friends, we are gathered here today to witness the marriage of two very dear friends: Wallace West and Amelia Jones. The love these two share has shone brighter than any star from the beginning and their acceptance of each other's families has strengthened their love. It is at this point dear friends; Amelia and Wally would like to exchange vows they have written. Wally."
Wally took my hands into his. "The day I met you, I knew that there was something about you. The more that I got to know you, the more I wanted to be there for you and your kids. With you in my life, I feel complete." He pulled out my wedding band and slid it on my finger. "With this ring, I wed thee."
"Until you dropped into my life, I never thought I would find love again. Somehow I knew then that you would always be there when I needed you. You helped me through the most difficult events in my life and I want you to be with me for anything that stands in our way." I unclasped the gold chain around my neck and took Wally's wedding band off of it. I slid it onto Wally's finger. "With this ring, I do wed thee."
J'onn clasped our joined hands in his two large green ones. "Do you Wallace Rudolph West take this woman Amelia Marie Jones to be your lawfully wedded wife? To have and to hold? For better, for worse? For richer, for poorer? In sickness and in health until death do you part?"
"I do," Wally replied.
"And do you Amelia Marie Jones take this man Wallace Rudolph West to be your lawfully wedded husband? To have and to hold? For better, for worse? For richer, for poorer? In sickness and in health until death do you part?"
"I do," I replied.
"By the power vested in me, I pronounce you husband and wife. You may now kiss the bride."
Wally smiled. "I know that." Everyone chuckled and cheered as Wally and I sealed our marriage with a kiss.
Heather, Timmy and Charlie ran, or in Charlie's case toddled, over to us and through their arms around our knees. Wally scooped up the twins, while I took Charlie. "Should we tell them the rest of the good news?" I asked my new husband and the kids.
"What news?" Diana asked.
"I think now is a good time," Wally said.
"Supes. I'm going to need to tap into some leave time in August."
"Sure Amelia, but why?" Clark was very confused. I had him right where I wanted him.
"Well unless you want me to have a baby in Engineering, you better give me the time off."
"Whoa," Garth called out. "Back up. You're pregnant?"
"So that's what you meant by considering," Dolphin replied. "You were having morning sickness and cramps." She smiled and ran to us giving us a big hug. "I'm so happy for you both."
Wally and I smiled broadly as our friends and family gathered around us to offer their congratulations. The music soon started up and it was time to dance the night away. Bart came and stole Heather away. I laughed as my little girl danced on the toes of her new cousin. Timmy danced with Iris, while Wally spun me out onto the dance floor asIt's Been A Long Long Time began to play.
"Remember this song?" Wally asked.
"Hatton Corners," I answered. "The Titans Reunion."
"No matter what. This will always be my favorite song."
"It's our song." He kissed the back of my hand and continued to dance me into the starry night. Nothing in this world could ever dampen the happiness that I felt that Christmas Eve. I had a new life and no force in this universe was ever going to rip that apart.
In a pocket universe unseen to the human eye, a man viewed the scene of happiness in a mirror that floated above a obsidian floor. A red haired man danced with his new wife, a red haired woman dressed in white. The woman was familiar. All too familiar.
"Marcus," he called.
A uniformed man approached the seated man. "My lord."
"Have the guards prepare to depart."
"Our queen has appeared and she must be protected. Send the guards to a planet called Earth. Tell them not to make themselves too conspicuous."
"As you wish my lord."
Marcus bowed and left the chamber. The seated man looked into the mirror again. The woman wore a big smile as her husband danced her around the floor. "Very soon, my dear, you will be home and you will know the truth."
Well friends and neighbors, that does it for Starting Over. Look for the sequel coming soon to a posting near you.
Happy Holidays. This is Summer Skye signing off.