20,000 Flavors In The League


It was all J'onn J'onnz's fault, though it was not his intention.

He'd been called away to help with the collapse of a high rise in Japan, and in his haste to transport out, had left his unfinished quart of ice cream on the conference room table, pale syrup melting off the spoon into the lid. The Flash and the younger Green Lantern had come on shift for their tour of duty in the monitor room, and had discovered the leftover snack.

Wally, of course, felt that it was his duty to eat it.

"It'll be no good if it's left out here to melt, man," he defended himself to Kyle.

Rayner rolled his eyes. "You could just put it back in the freezer."

Grinning widely, Wally said, "Where's the yumminess in that?"

And so it began.

The ice cream was quickly devoured, despite the odd taste – "It's got salty bits in it," Wally complained, making a face. "What, like pistachios?" Kyle asked. Wally shrugged. "They don't taste like pistachios." – and the two junior JLAers went on duty, vegging out in front of the monitors, watching the world go by.

Two hours later, J'onn arrived back from his mission, and, upon finding his ice cream not where he'd left it, sought out the only other JLA members on the station.

"Wally, Kyle," J'onn greeted them with a nod.

"Hey, J'onn!" Wally called, smiling brightly.

"J'onn," Kyle said, as always more reserved than his friend. He'd been in the JLA for only a few months, and was still trying to make himself fit into the boots of his predecessor. It was a slow-going and tedious process.

And it didn't help that he'd let himself be talked into having some of J'onn's ice cream. He was certain his mind was practically blaring out his guilt so that even non-telepaths could hear it.

"Would you happen to have done something with the ice cream I left in the conference room?" J'onn asked, courteous – as always – to a fault. "I checked the freezer, but I might have missed it."

"I think I saw the janitor head out of there, saying something about a bad smell," Wally replied promptly, not a trace of deceit on his face or in his voice. Kyle envied him his ability to lie so seamlessly to a telepath. He would have been more impressed if Wally had actually managed to do the same with Batman; alas, the youngest Flash was unable to even hold a conversation with him without cringing.

Not that he was one to talk…

Frowning, J'onn said quietly, "That's odd. Though, I suppose not very; calamari and cream does tend to go bad quickly."

"Calamari and cream?" Wally said weakly, turning extremely slowly – especially for a speedster – towards the Martian.

J'onn nodded. "It's a delicacy in Japan," he explained. To people who invented 101 Ways to Eat Raw Fish, perhaps it was.

Wally's mouth opened and closed several times before he finally managed to squeak out an, "Oh."

Kyle, for his part, had turned nearly as green as his costume, and was doing his level best to keep from throwing up the two spoonfuls of ice cream – with 'little salty bits' that were apparently made out of one of the weirdest looking sea-dwelling denizens.

J'onn gave them a puzzled look, eyebrows furrowed together in a half-Martian expression of confusion, before shaking his head and turning to walk briskly out the door.

Silence reigned in the monitor room for long moments, and Wally and Kyle tried to get a grip on their elusive thoughts – and their runaway stomachs.

"I don't believe it," Wally finally murmured.

Kyle just nodded in agreement. "How could anyone want to eat something like that?"

"How could I not have noticed that was what I was eating?" Wally moaned, slumping down in his chair.

"You know, those fried calamari strips at Olive Garden are pretty good, even if they're rubbery," Kyle said, mostly to try and convince himself of the truth behind what he was saying. It was a valiant effort, but it failed, Kyle's face once again greening over. "But squid ice cream?" he whimpered.

Wally's stomach rumbled threateningly, and he grimaced, a green color coming to his own complexion. He'd eaten the majority of the quart, after all. "Don't. Remind. Me."


THE END