By Floaging

Disclaimer: I do not own Justice League, its Production Company, Affiliates, and/or Sponsors. Everything is fictional and any similarities between the characters and any living person are unintentional.

The youngest Founder, now only twenty-one years old. It was amazing, really – three years with the other Founders and yet, it was Batman, Bats, the Dark Knight with a stick up his butt, the guy who glared at him basically the whole time, who actually knew anything about him. Secret identities had kind of been thrown out the window after the Thanagarian Invasion, capital letters required. With the League having expanded, Wally had sort of expected that they'd all become even better friends, drawing closer in the midst of others. Instead, he'd found himself drawing away from them. Perhaps it was the disappointed looks. Perhaps it was the fact that they still thought of him as immature.

Alright, he was immature, but that didn't mean he was stupid. Whenever he came up with a good plan, bailed them out, didn't mess up, they looked at him as though it was a surprise. He was a superhero – had been one for seven years; he wasn't a complete screw-up. He'd been doing better on missions, as well. He'd led several times, and even successfully. But there were still those patronizing looks whenever he spoke up. They were his friends – he still trusted them, but at points it was as though they didn't trust him. Unfortunately, he'd been turning up later and later for monitor duties and meetings, with lame excuses.

It wasn't even his fault. He was having to work overtime at the lab to be able to even afford living at the moment. With each mission he was given, he burnt off more energy, meaning he needed more food. He'd tried to apply for a loan, but not only was he heavily in debt due to university fees, the amount of money he spent didn't fit into the normal budget (it was on food, but unless he actually told them he was The Flash, he didn't have a chance in hope of them not thinking he was a druggie.)

He'd gone to Bats first – after all, a billionaire wasn't likely to care about a couple of thousand, and as his friend, he wouldn't charge interest. Of course, Bats had had to turn him down. He'd have thought that Bats would understand – he was basically like the Question, only not as crazy and a hell of a lot darker – and would know that with his metabolism it was difficult keeping up with living costs.

But Bruce Wayne had never had to suffer abusive parents or living below the poverty line. He'd always had money, though his disappearance before the appearance of Batman, sort of suggested to Wally that it had something to do with his scare factor. So maybe he did. Still, Bats hadn't had to tell the whole League not to loan him money until he began to pay off at a steady rate. His landlady had told him that if he didn't provide rent within the next week, he'd have to leave. It was a three room apartment, the cheapest that Central City had to offer. Any lower and he wouldn't even be living in a house. He'd be out on the street. But of course, if he asked the Central City government nicely, they'd give him a place free of charge.

But that was the whole point. Wally didn't want to have to sponge off of anybody, and he certainly didn't want to reveal his identity. He wanted a place he could go back to as Wally, a place where he could relax without having to worry like The Flash did. It was as though being a superhero was taking over his life. He'd gone on a couple of dates with a reporter called Linda Park, but he'd had to keep running off to save somebody or other and she'd stopped answering his calls. If that wasn't bad enough, he'd been kicked out of the cafeteria in the Watchtower and wasn't allowed back there for a couple of weeks because they couldn't afford his constant intake of food. Bruce Wayne, the billionaire, was footing the bills.

It was ironic, really. Bats knew all about his lifestyle, who he was, what he did, who his friends were. Yet when he really needed his help, the guy was clueless. They all were. Even though Bats knew what he did – a forensic scientist for God's sake, you had to be smart to get into the job, there was no chance for slackers – they still assumed he was a little kid who didn't know anything.

Perhaps it was himself. His stupid pride. He didn't want to tell them what was really wrong because they'd look at him in that patronizing way and he'd be expected to sit there and listen to them about how it was only natural, he was only a child. He needed to prove he could stand on his own two feet, to actually show he was no longer a child but a man. Able to drink, able to drive, able to keep control.

But it didn't look like he was going to get that chance any time soon. After all, he was stuck in his slowly molding apartment, staring at bills he had no hopes of paying. And his only company? His rumbling stomach. He was stuck in a rut. And the only way out had far worse repercussions than staying in did. The looks of pity.

AN: This is just meant to be a bit of a character study into Wally. As we see him all optimistic and witty the whole time, I wanted to show that there are probably moments when he's down. I actually love his friendship with all the other Founders but making them sort of clueless and patronizing just worked well with it. I hope you enjoyed it!