Chapter Four: Interment.
The small church was packed. Wally had stipulated that he be buried in his local church, next to his parents. Thus the funeral was held in a building far too small for everyone that wanted to be there, but was just large enough for everyone that needed to be there.
It had been decided that the news of his death would coincide with the revelation of his identity. He'd never liked keeping secrets anyway, and it would give his civilian friends closure. He hadn't been famous, just a forensic scientist for the Central City Police, so most of the world had no idea who Wally West was, other than the name behind the mask.
The whole of the League had shown up, even those that had spoken to Flash maybe once in their lives, like Dr. Fate, or Aquaman. Several of the Titans had arrived, along with Nightwing and Starfire. A space had been set aside for Wally's civilian friends, who looked decidedly uneasy amongst the costumed brigade.
J'onn shook his head. He was certain that Flash would not have approved of the segregation, but it was too late to be helped now.
Superman stepped up to the podium, and looked down at the photo of Wally, maskless, grinning widely. Several wreaths of flowers were at the feet of the photograph.
Staring out at the crowd, he coughed and looked down at his notes. He stared at the pre-prepared phrases, and impulsively threw them away. Very un-Supermanly, but Wally had always preferred to wing it.
"When I…when I was asked to speak here, the first thing I thought of was Wally, complaining at me that my speeches always made him go to sleep." A grin, generated by faraway thoughts. "So, to make it interesting, I guess I'll make it up as I go along.
"Wally was the best and the worst of the League. He was irreverent, annoying, and scatterbrained. He endorsed energy drinks and running shoes, which irritated me no end, partially because this meant I got requests to do adverts.
"But he also embodied some of the best qualities of a hero. He was kind and self-sacrificing. When things got serious, he did too.
"A true humanitarian, Wally was always concerned with things that we overlook all too often. Speaking to some of the residents of Keystone and Central earlier today, I was frankly stunned by how many seemed to know Wally personally. He always remembered people, and always had the time to talk.
"A lot of people in the League didn't understand Wally, especially the more serious ones." Superman shot Batman a glance before continuing. "Batman didn't figure out the puzzle that was Wally West for a couple of years.
"But really, Wally was a simple guy. He wasn't driven by anything other than a simple desire to help people, and that made him a hero far more than his speed."
Superman stepped away from the podium, and J'onn, who was presiding over the proceedings, stepped up.
"This is the music he requested."
He pressed a button on the CD player that was hooked up to two large speakers, and after a moment, a song began. It started with a simple, two chord refrain, setting a rapid tempo before a second guitar entered, playing a ridiculous amount of high pitched notes as quickly as possible, with little regard to tune. Then, suddenly, a singer's voice rasped.
"Theeey've got, a power and a force that you've never seen before."
John's eyes widened as he recognised the song.
"Theeey've got, the ability to morph and to even up theee score."
The Green Lantern leaned over to J'onn, and hissed.
"You're playing the wrong song!"
"No one can ever take them down,"
The Martian shook his head solemnly.
"No, this is the song he requested, I'm afraid."
"The power lies on their si-i-i-i-i-ide…"
"He's making a mockery of the whole process!"
"Go, go Power Rangers!"
"Did you expect anything less of him?"
"Go, go Power Rangers!"
"Well, no, not really." John chuckled a little.
"Go, go Power Rangers, Mighty Morphin' Power Range-ers!"
It had been three hours since the service, and everyone was in the Watchtower, at the wake. There was a karaoke machine. It seemed only appropriate.
Even Batman was in attendance, lurking at the back, hunched like a murderous crow, scowling at everyone that tried to talk to him. Diana considered admonishing him for this, but realised that Wally would have expected nothing less of the man.
Ellipses were the standard icebreaker when it came to Batman, so she wasn't put off by his lack of reaction.
"You know, you might want to say something. You didn't even speak at the funeral. The rest of the founders spoke, his girlfriend spoke, even his landlady spoke, but the Mighty Batman couldn't drop his defences for five minutes!"
"What's left to say?"
"I don't know! Something! Anything!" Diana couldn't restrain her temper at Batman's emotional constipation, and fought to avoid shouting. "I know it's not true, but to a lot of people today it looked like you didn't care!" She continued, more softly. "You did care, didn't you?"
Batman glared at the condiments table like the cocktail sausages had caused World War Two.
"He was a good man."
Diana was caught off guard by the bald statement, and by the time she had regained her composure, Batman had stalked out of the door.