Goodness, two in one night? Feel special, ya'll, I rarely churn out this many words in so short a time. :)
Wally sat in silence as his uncle drove them back to his home. He was extremely uncomfortable, due to the fact that they were both quite chatty people – which explains why they got along before they both got their powers. Yet, neither of the spoke a word.
The younger speedster attempted to start a conversation, like, "The moon looked really big tonight when we saw it, and Superman looked really small when he came flying toward us."
But the cold silence he got from Barry Allen made it pretty obvious that he wasn't in the mood for talking. Maybe. Wally couldn't be too sure.
He even was about to turn on the radio. At this time of night/morning/whatever, he knew he'd hear them talking about aliens and UFO's over O'Hare airport, and that was always fun. But, the heaviness of the car's atmosphere told him not to. So, he didn't.
But, Wally West could only take uncomfortable silence for so long.
"What's the matter?" He burst out. "Uncle Barry, c'mon! What's wrong?"
"What's wrong?" Barry tensed up, eyes staying to the front, and only the front. "What's wrong? I'll tell you what's wrong!"
Wally flinched. Barry never yelled. Never.
Barry took a deep breath, obviously about to go into another outburst, before suddenly letting it go. He spoke calmly – tensely, but calmly. "You know what, we'll leave that alone until we're home."
Wally sank back into his seat. The only consolation he had was that he had been staying with his aunt and uncle, who, at least, both knew he had powers (duh). His mom, on the other hand, would kill him – and Uncle Barry – for getting home so late.
It felt like an hour had passed when they finally got home. To Wally's dismay, the kitchen light was still on, which meant that Aunt Iris was still up. He glanced at the car's clock before going into the house: 3:32 AM. Another wince. Wally was almost hesitant to go into the house.
But, he did. And was nearly bowled over by his crying aunt. "Wally West! Don't you ever do that to me, again!"
Wally returned her tight hug, eying the many stacks of cookies behind her. That was probably his favorite thing about his aunt – when she worried, she baked. "Sorry, Aunt Iris."
"Sorry!" Barry's outburst had been a long time a'comin'. "That's it? Wally, do you not understand what you put us through?"
Iris West-Allen had stood back, tears streaming down her face again. "Wally, when Barry called to say that you all weren't there when they got back, and Batman suspected where you had gone...Wally, you could've been killed."
"But, I wasn't," Wally protested. He wasn't particularly empathetic, but, Aunt Iris's emotions had this incredible way of coming across incredibly strong.
"But you could have been," Barry emphasized each word, his tone much darker than Wally had ever heard before.
Wally hung his head, ashamed. "I know. I'm really sorry, Uncle Barry. I guess I got caught up in the moment."
"Caught up in the moment," Barry said half to himself, throwing up his arms in the air.
Iris wiped her eyes with a tissue. "Wally, I understand that you get caught up in the moment a lot, but, you have to start looking at the consequences." She held up a hand before Wally could say anything, "I know, I know, nothing happened. And I am so, incredibly grateful for that. But next time."
Wally didn't say anything, sitting down at a bar stool at the island. Out of habit, he grabbed a cookie and started munching on it.
No one said anything for a few minutes, each quite aware of the gist of each others thoughts.
Finally, Iris yawned. "I need to get to bed. It's been a long day and night." She kissed Barry good night, and hugged Wally again, saying, "I love you, Wally. I'm glad your safe."
He mumbled a, "me too," as he returned the action.
"I'll be there in a minute, hon," Barry said, giving her a weak smile as she left them.
With a sigh, he sat next to Wally, and started eating, as well. Half the cookies (Wally estimated that she had made ten dozen, at least) were eaten before either of them spoke again.
"I really, really am sorry, Uncle Barry," Wally pressed.
Barry sighed. "I know, Wally. I just can't begin to describe how it felt when Bats said you all were at Cadmus-"
"How did he know?" Wally started.
Barry chuckled. "I think he and Robin both have some sort of GPS systems in their belts.
Wally rolled his eyes. "They would."
"As I was saying, though," Barry turned to face him more fully. "We knew that Cadmus was dangerous – or at least had the potential to be. And we hated to think of what could've happened to you. I guess I'm just not entirely sure as to how I was supposed to react. I was relieved, and angry."
Wally nodded. "I understand."
Barry smiled, tired. "Good." He leaned forward, placing a hand on Wally's shoulder. "I love you, Wally. You, I put before the League, and before Central City."
Wally grinned mischievously. "How 'bout Aunt Iris?"
Barry grinned, this time. "Wally, ain't nobody goes before your Aunt Iris. Sorry, but, that's the truth."
Wally laughed quietly. "Just checkin'. 'Cuz, I don't think she'd be too happy playin' second fiddle to me."
His uncle barely stifled outright guffaws at this. "No, I don't think she would. Nor," he rose, "would she appreciate us staying up so late. Bed, now. We're both tired."
Wally nodded, getting up as well and heading to his room. "Alright. 'Night, Uncle Barry."
Wally was closing his door when Barry called again.
He poked his head back out. "Yeah?
"Seriously. Call next time."
Can I just say, I really loved writing with Barry and Iris? I don't even know why. I guess it was just refreshing to have a scene/story in which the couple isn't a "couple" but actually, permanently, together. Anways, I love reviews as much as Wally loves food. Can't get enough. :) -Jimmy C.