As always, thanks to my reviewers, who make me want to keep updating.
One, two, three, four…
Wally panted as his body grew taut, the muscles screaming. Egypt, China, an expanse of ocean, New York, another ocean…land. He'd made it. Wally West, (a.k.a. the Flash, the fastest man in the world), has traveled around the world five times in three minutes and twenty seconds. Exactly.
He hurt like heck.
People thought running was effortless for him, that just because he was faster than everyone else meant he didn't have to train very hard. In a way, they were right. He didn't have to train very hard. He had to train harder.
Reading the newspaper sometimes, (yes, he does read the newspaper. Geez, he's not stupid, just young and hopeful.), he catches sight of articles praising Batman as the "true hero of the Justice League," and he wants to speed right into their offices and ask them if they know he spends just as much time—ok, maybe almost just as much time, Bats is insane when it comes to training—as the Dark Knight honing his skills?
Do they know he's almost drowned in the Pacific Ocean because he was so exhausted he just couldn't keep moving?
Do they know that he's bruised all over because—when you're going as fast as him—even a tennis ball can feel like a bullet?
Do they know that J'onn's had to put him on constant watch because once, he passed out in the middle of Cairo?
Ow, he thinks, and grimaces, sinking down into position. He loves to run, don't get him wrong, but it's not easy. He knows full well that he's the lifeline, the last resort—the one who can save a leaguer's life or let him die if he's not fast enough. They rely on him to disarm the human forces, because even one bullet aimed too close can kill Batman or maim Shayera or blind John. The worst part is—they don't even realize it, and so he doesn't get the special training John doles out, or the respect Batman immediately commands.
Forcing a smile, (it's the only part of his body not screaming at him to stop), he glances at the Big Ben Clock Tower of London and checks the time, watching as the second hand inches towards the twelve. Five…four…three…two…
And then he's gone, counting one, two, three, four…
Diana fights Superman—not Clark, not now, when he's got a hand on her throat and the other one swinging towards her stomach faster than the eye can follow—and feels herself fly backwards into the walls, the impact exploding throughout her body.
They promised to stop when she took thirty blows, but she's not stopping, and, more importantly, neither is he. Superman fights, and in his mind Diana isn't Diana, she's the closest thing he has to a sparring partner and the only one able to take him going almost all-out. Diana, on the other hand, sees Clark behind Superman. She sees Kal, and the Supes that Wally jokes at, and the boy scout Bruce reprimands.
And she sees all the reasons she's still in the ring, even with a bleeding lip, a sprained arm, and probably inner damage. Amazons heal fast, and it's a small price to pay if it means that Superman/Clark/Kal will live another day. The world needs him. The Justice League needs him. She needs him.
Bruce needs him.
So she throws herself at him again and ducks under the blow—aim for the left, he's always a little slow after a hit—and kicks him down into the ground. Unlike him, she doesn't wait, but follows up the kick with a full body slam that knocks his head against the ground. The room reverberates with the impact, but luckily, the lonsdaliete enforced floor holds firm.
He's fast—he's learning—and even as he falls he's twisting and pushing her down underneath him, pushing her shoulders down so hard she hears them crack. A second later the weight is off her and she's flying towards the ceiling, feeling her vision go black in a flash of pain.
And then she's back in again, because Amazons are warriors born, and the first rule her mother taught her was that, while training herself is important, making sure her comrades are well-trained is even more so.
Two hundred and one.
Two hundred and two.
He's not stopping, has no plans to stop—won't stop until his body refuses to listen to his brain and collapses. And then he'll train again, building his body like an architect builds his most important creation, because he won't be helpless again. He won't be the one frozen, unable to act as those he loves are taken from him.
Two hundred and three.
His arms are screaming, his face undoubtedly an undignified shade of purple as he pushes his body off the ground and lands on his hands, allowing his entire weight to fall on his wrists as he walks, his feet immobile even as his shoulders scream for him to drop.
Two hundred and four.
He's stopped counting his training time by hours—choosing instead to count them by minutes. He made his way across the floor and dropped to his feet before leaping into the icy pool waiting for him. His body froze but adjusted quickly—the result of years of the same treatment—and he kicked himself across, holding his arms steadily at his sides.
Two hundred and five.
He's not just training for his parents anymore. He's not just training for himself. He's not even just training for the League. He's training because he needs it. Watching his body solidify under his hands, learning to control every impulse others would call involuntary—he feels strong. Powerful.
Not a burden.
Two hundred and six.
Another hour, he'd promised Alfred, another sixty minutes could make or break him. It could make him fast enough to avoid the blow that would make Diana brave the line of fire to save him. It could make him strong enough so he isn't thrown off a cliff and forced to watch Superman abandon a civilian to fly him out of danger.
It could save lives.
He leaps out of the pool and fastens his legs to the wall. The locks will undo automatically after thirty minutes of straight ab-work.
Two hundred and seven.
Author's Note: Love it, hate it? Give feedback please. Suggestions and prompts are always welcome.