Disclaimer: I do not own 'Justice League Unlimited' or any characters involved. They are all properties of DC Comics and Time Warner.
Summary: Wally is the youngest of the original seven, and because of that, no one thinks he notices the things that go on, but he does. He just doesn't let them know.
Author's Note: This piece is a more serious take on Wally's character. There are bits of comic information listed in it, but not enough to get anyone confused. Just know that Hal Jordan was a Green Lantern who often worked with Green Arrow, Barry Allen was Wally's uncle and the Flash before him, and was married to Iris West. Jay Garrick was the first person who wore the Flash mantle. I hope you enjoy this small ficlet.
Heart and Soul
Wally is the youngest of the original seven, and because of that, no one thinks he notices the things that go on, but he does. And although he is also a senior member, the other Leaguers look at him as if he was just a kid. He thinks it's interesting that they all consider him a rookie, when in reality, his career has run longer than many of theirs. But they don't notice any of that. All they see is a clown who wears a silly scarlet mask, trying to live up to a legacy that they think he would never obtain. They've never said that to his face, but Wally knows it is true.
Ollie sometimes mentions Barry, and how he was always able to take control of the situation and was the voice of reason whenever anything went wrong, something Ollie thinks Wally is unable to do. Wildcat always scrutinizes Wally, comparing him to Jay, who had been the original Flash, saying he is too fast for his own good. Jay, although the fastest man alive, still took time to think through things. Ralph, The Elongated Man, had been friends with Barry way back in the day, and sometimes Wally feels that Ralph hangs around him because he misses Barry and is looking for a bit of Barry in Wally, himself.
Wally knows he will never be Barry, but knows he makes his uncle proud. He never told anyone, not John, Shayera, or even Dick, but he saw Barry the night he was pulled into the Speed Force. Barry was there, and it was as if he was alive again. Part of Wally didn't want to leave, but Barry told him it was not his time and before Wally went back, Barry wanted him to know that he made him proud. But no one knows that, and Wally wonders if he'll allow anyone to.
People sometimes wonder why Wally can always wear a smile, especially considering the line of work he's in. Wally thinks it's easier to wear a smile, instead of allowing the pain to take over. Smiling makes things seem better than it actually is, and helps the victims along the way. It's better that way. It's always better to be optimistic. Barry had been optimistic, but the optimism went away when Iris died. Wally doesn't know if he'd be able to handle it if Linda died. Will he still be able to smile? He doesn't think so.
It's because of Wally's constant smile that people don't think he notices the same things they do, but he does. He's not stupid. He knows what goes on around him. He sees the way Bruce watches Diana when he thinks no one is watching. He hears the ways John's voice betrays him when Shayera's name is brought into any conversation, even though the current Lantern is with another woman. He can feel the pain Ollie feels, and knows why the Emerald Archer is always in a certain mood whenever the anniversaries of Barry and Hal's deaths roll around. Wally notices how the Atom buries himself in his work, trying to get his mind off of his recent divorce. He also knows that Clark is afraid of losing control and hurting all the people he care about.
Everyone underestimates him, and Wally doesn't know if it's his greatest advantage or disadvantage. He wonders if anyone will ever take him seriously, but Wally knows he'll never change. It's just the way he is. Maybe they will see it, or maybe they won't. All Wally knows is that he's happy the way he is, and that's good enough for him.