Author's Note: This idea has been bothering me and bothering me for a while but I refused to even start it until I finished my other fic Things Fall Apart, and now that that is done I can finally do this! Woooo! ©…Don't ask. Though this took me forever to finish for a long time I had all but the ending finished but then I was getting lazy. This can be seen as a companion fic to Things Fall Apart but can be read on its own. However, I did once again bash the canon in the face, this time with a brick.
Summary: Now Dick knew that there were plenty of people who had hidden talents but he really didn't think that Wally's would be this.
Disclaimer: Me no own me no own good English too...Me bet you can tell that by reading this.
.:Five Years Ago:.
Usually it took him a few days to notice when something was different in his home, much to the annoyance of his wife. When Iris bought a new dining room table (the first one having been set accidentally on fire) Barry didn't notice for about a week. Iris got a new haircut it took Barry another two weeks to realize that, of course that was only after she started ignoring him for the last three days. Once he finally figured it Iris rolled her eyes and mumbled something about typical male behavior. But this time it only took him less than a minute to take notice of the very large object that was taking up a once empty corner.
"Iris?" Barry called out while walking over to the newest piece of 'furniture'. He ran his fingers against the glossed maple wood.
"Yes?" her voice rang from the kitchen.
"Could you come here for a moment?"
He heard a chair slide across the kitchen floor followed shortly by the sound of Iris' footsteps leaving the kitchen. "What is it?" she asked once entering the living room.
"I know I'm pretty slow at noticing new things-"
"And you call yourself the fastest man alive." Iris interrupted laughing softly.
"Hmm, you're funny. Anyways, I don't remember talking about getting a piano."
"Oh, it was my grandmother's, it's been in storage for years and I thought that it would look nice in our home." Oh he knew that look in her eyes, Iris had alternative motives.
"Iris, what aren't you telling me?"
His wife lifted the fall of the piano revealing the ivory keys underneath. "I thought it would be good for Wally."
"Wally?" His nephew was at school, in fact that's why Barry was home early from his 'side job' he promised Wally that he was going to pick him up today (and probably take him out to get some ice cream without Iris knowing).
"I heard music therapy is good for children who have been physically abused and I thought that maybe he would enjoy learning how to play." Iris said softly playing a few notes.
"You think Wally, the kid who prefers to mix chemicals rather than rolling in mud, would like to play piano." Barry paraphrased slowly.
Iris shoved her husband none too gently, "I think he'll like it, when I was a little girl I loved taking lessons from my grandmother I had so much fun and I bet Wally will have just as much fun and you better keep any comments to yourself."
Barry held his hands up in surrender, "Alright, if the kiddo wants to learn how to play I'm not going to stop him."
"Unless he loses interest in science right?" she asked coyly looking at Barry out of the corner of her eye.
Barry snorted, "Now you're just talking nonsense."
"Keep telling yourself that." Iris said with a smirk before ushering Barry towards the door, "Now get going, school's going to end soon and you don't want to keep Wally waiting do you?"
He returned her smirk with one of his own, "I'm the fastest man alive he won't have to wait at all."
With that Barry was gone leaving Iris to roll her eyes once more, "Yeah fastest man alive who was late to his own wedding." Though there was no missing the love in her eyes.
.:Three Years Ago:.
The first month after the accident Wally had to take off from school. Barry couldn't help but feel a twinge of guilt. Sure, once Wally found out that he had the same powers as the Flash and that his very own Uncle was the Flash he was ecstatic. One of the first things that Wally asked Barry, once he was able to process everything, was if he was going to be just like Flash, just like him. At the time Barry couldn't give him a definite answer, one of the first things he promised himself and Wally was that he was going to protect his nephew. By agreeing to let Wally become a hero, he would be putting Wally in the very same danger that Barry was trying to shield him from.
Except once the initial happiness wore off Wally began to go through the same trials that Barry did. He was having difficulty slowing himself down to what was considered normal which was the cause for having to pull Wally out of school. Barry knew what the kid was going through, having gone through the same thing himself, but Wally was just a kid, he shouldn't have to deal with something like this at his age. Wally just turned thirteen; he should be able to enjoy his first years as a teenager without having to worry about keeping his speed under control.
He could tell that the kid was having trouble even if Wally would say otherwise. Every time Barry or Iris asked how he was doing Wally would smile, say that he was fine, and finish it off with a joke. But he wasn't fooling anyone.
On a Sunday afternoon Iris was away visiting her sister, Charlotte. Barry was sitting down reading the newspaper, the police scanner was on just in case something popped up that called for the Scarlett Speedster to make an appearance. He figured that Wally was doing the homework that his teachers sent home for him to complete during his absence.
He didn't spare a glance as he heard Wally's footfalls approaching from the down the hall. Kid was probably hungry, just another thing to get used to. But Wally didn't come into the kitchen where Barry was sitting, the trill sound of the piano being played caused him to look up briefly from his paper. This wasn't odd either, ever sense Iris started giving Wally piano lesson to his surprise (and to Iris' enjoyment) Wally liked playing and learned quicker than Iris expected.
Though now that he thought about it, since Wally gained his powers he had not attempted to practice at all. Barry could only guess that Wally was moving back into his regular schedule, which was a good sign. He continued to think so after his nephew played a few notes but then, well Barry wasn't sure how to explain it. He believed that the teen was trying to play a song but the notes were completely jumbled together that it sounded like someone was beating the piano with a baseball bat rather than trying to play a musical piece.
"Augh! This is stupid!" a crash later Barry was immediately in the living room. Wally was standing the bench was knocked over glaring angrily at the piano.
"Woah kid, what's wrong?"
"This, this piano is dumb! I don't know why I even bothered learning how to play." Wally replied crossing his arm.
"I know you're not mad at the poor defenseless piano Wally, what's bothering you?" Barry asked setting the bench back just before Wally fell back onto it Barry took the open space next to his nephew.
"How do you do it?" Wally asked softly.
"Everything is just so, slow. I got get how you can act like everything is normal." Wally tried to explain. "I've been trying those tips you gave me about slowing down but, it's hard. And then I thought that maybe I could try to-" he gestured towards the maple piano.
"You were trying to play."
"Maybe if I can get myself to slow down enough to play I could do better with everything else and maybe get some normalcy back." He looked at his Uncle eyes twinkling, "No offense Uncle Barry but you're kind of boring to be around for this long."
Made sense, playing any instrument took patience and time, something that Wally could really use right now. "Kid what you have to understand that, nothing is ever going to be normal anymore. You'll find some things familiar but things change and for us, they can change in an instant." He said patting Wally's back, "But for what it's worth, being normal is overrated. Just keep trying, it'll take time but you'll get a handle on it."
Wally gave his Uncle a wary glance, unsure whether to believe his Uncle or not but what reason did he have not to? His Uncle hadn't lied to him before, not even about being the Flash seeing as how Wally never once asked if Barry was the infamous speedster. His Uncle Barry smiled at his nephew before gesturing towards the piano's keyboard. Wally gave him a pained look before carefully placing his hands on the pearl keys. To say the first few attempts went smoothly would be a lie. The song would start out slow but then Wally's speed kicked in and the result was Barry flinching and Wally becoming frustrated but his Uncle gently urged him to keep trying and that Wally would get it.
Wally knew that his Uncle was always (well, usually) right and this moment was no different. Sure it took about two hours for Wally to successfully play his desired piece but he was grateful that his Uncle was there nonetheless.
A soft smile played on Barry's lips as he listened to his nephew play, he never heard the song before. The beginning had a few rests between measures of music about thirteen measures in Wally's began to play faster until it eventually slowed down once more. Barry continued to watch Wally play until late, immensely grateful what Iris had done for their so-...
"Good afternoon Master Wallace," Alfred greeted as he opened the door for the young speedster, "Young Master Richard is upstairs, I shall tell him that you have arrived you can wait down here if you wish."
"Thanks Al," Wally thanked grinning at the butler. Alfred's eyebrow began to rise at 'Al' and Wally was sourly tempted to comment to Alfred that his eyebrow was trying to escape and if this was someone else he probably would have. Instead Wally just continue to grin until the older man turned and made his way up the winding staircase.
Outside the day was near perfect, well as perfect as Gotham could get. The signs that Spring had arrived were more apparent today, the sun was peaking out from behind the wisps of clouds and the bird's aria filled the air of the least industrialized areas of Gotham. However what topped off this perfect weather was the fact that it was Saturday and that it was no longer Friday so he wasn't forced to listen to some of his more annoying female classmates sing that song. Before going to bed for the night Wally suggested to Dick that he could head out to Gotham the next day and the two could do something fun that didn't involve crime fighting (for one of those rare moments they could be Wally and Dick instead of Kid Flash and Robin).
Wally counted himself lucky that he was able to come to the Wayne manor before while previously Wally always had to meet Dick in some random alley way or restaurant, after a few months Bruce Wayne allowed Wally to come to the front door but never inside and now, Wally was inside! This was a success on his part and refused to be told otherwise. Like any other person Wally was genuinely curious about the Wayne family home and there was only one was to satisfy that curiosity and that was to snoop around until an adult appeared.
After walking into what he guessed was a parlor or something Wally could tell with just by once glance that he everything in the room was worth more than his Uncle's entire home. That was Bruce Wayne for you, but out of everything in the room, the suits of armor, the antique furniture, the art adorned walls, there was only one thing that captured Wally's interest. A grand piano with black vainer finish darker than his own and probably worth ten times more as well. His fingers practically itched at the sight of it. Wally knew he was putting his hard earned privileges at risk by doing this. It took what felt like forever for him to earn Bruce Wayne's trust, actually he doubted that he had it yet. Ever since the incident with Zoom he knew that, Batman at least saw him in a different light. Wally only wished it was some other even that caused it. Besides, it wasn't like the speedster was going to blow anything up like he did at Roy's place. All he was going to do was look at it, honest, that was all.
Using his speed, Wally quickly closed the distance without making as much as a floor board creak. He stood still, a miracle to anyone who knew him, just staring at the piano. His hand hovered above the key cover, hesitant to lift it. After a few moments pause, Wally carefully lifted the cover, a rush of air escaped his lips once the piano showed no signs of becoming a pile of splinters.
Forest green eyes flickered across the room checking the foyer, his ears listening for any sign of the butler returning or worse a Bat skulking. There was no one that he could see an no noise to hint towards anyone lurking nearby. No one to stop him. Sure, soon everyone in the manner would know in a matter a seconds if he went through with his plan and common sense told him to return to the foyer and wait for Dick to come down. But, Wally wasn't much for common sense, ask Arty, she would tell anyone as much.
Taking a deep breath, Wally pulled out the bench and sat (thankful it didn't collapse underneath him), his fingers alighted carefully on the pearl white keys, after a pause, Wally began to play.
To be perfectly honest, the only time that Dick could be himself was around Wally. At school he had to be Richard Grayson-Wayne, he had to act slightly snobbish just so he wouldn't stand out and pretend to be a boy who did not have the slightest clue how to defend himself properly in a physical confrontation. With his team he was Robin, the most experienced out of the bunch (and slightly egotistical due to that little fact) who had to remain secretive and closed off to the others so no one would figure out his real , he had Bruce and Alfred, but Bruce was , well, Bruce and Alfred, the elderly butler was great at giving advice but he couldn't relate to a thirteen year old vigilante.
Kid Flash and Red Arrow were the only two teen heroes that knew who he was but since Red Arrow had his hat throwing session, Kid Flash was the only one who was around, not that that was a bad thing, Dick was thankful for it. With KF, Dick Grayson and Robin could coincide, there was no need to keep the two personalities separate and Dick liked that, not having to pretend that Robin or Richard was all that he was, that he couldn't just be Dick.
He thought that Wally was the same way too and knew in part that the speedster did separate Kid Flash from Wally West but not around the team, only back home where others wouldn't know. From the few times that Dick visited Central he noticed some details, where as Wally West displayed his prowess in the field of science, Kid Flash downplayed it, where Kid Flash flirted shamelessly with a certain martian, Wally West was more quiet and reserved. The combination of a sizable knowledge and the timid personality also made Wally West an easy target, much like Richard Grayson. The two had plenty of similarities.
Secret holding being one of them. For the longest time Dick was just "Rob" until Bruce finally relented and allowed his ward to tell the speedster his real name. Having relinquished one of his biggest secrets, Dick figured that Wally would reply in kind, but the night time Boy Wonder was still waiting.
After an occurrence Dick learned that Wally didn't live with his parents in Central, in fact his parents didn't live close to Central City at all. The redhead was actually living with his Aunt and Uncle. When he tried to ask the Flash why, the Scarlet Speedster would only give Dick a small smile then state that Wally would tell him in time. However whenever he tried to ask KF about it, the speedster would change the subject and avoid the matter altogether, after a while Robin stopped asking. He didn't even run a check like he would normally do, believing what the Flash said, that Wally would tell him, he just had to wait a little while longer.
But apparently that wasn't the only bit of information Wally West was keeping from the dark haired youth.
At first Dick figured he left his stereo on with low volume. Where else could that music be coming from? Though Dick knew his playlist and there were no piano compositions on there. Alfred never played, he knew Bruce knew how, but the prince of Gotham was at the office. Alfred alerted him just moments ago that his guest had arrived. That meant there was only one other person in the manor that could be causing the music, but that was improbable.
The closer he approached the stairs, the louder the music grew. It was coming from downstairs in the parlor that was generally left unoccupied except for the nights Batman and Robin weren't out on patrol. The song itself was bittersweet, beautiful but also it felt sad to Dick. If a certain speedster was playing he would have expected something more upbeat and happy, also a piece of music with a faster tempo.
Using years of training, Dick made his way to the parlor swiftly and silently. Covertly the young acrobat glimpsed into the room, it would have been impossible to miss the shock of red hair sitting right in front of the piano. Even seeing the evidence first hand, Dick still couldn't believe it. Now Dick knew that there were plenty of people who had hidden talents but he really didn't think that Wally's would be this.
His footfalls fell deftly against the floor as Dick approached his closest friend. Wally did not show any signs that he heard the Boy Wonder, with him being engrossed in his playing and Dick being well trained in stealth, it was little wonder. He was directly behind Wally waiting for a proper time to let his presence be known. And after a fast section the melody was slowing down and if Dick had to guess, a few notes away from being finished.
"I didn't know you could play." He finally piped up. Wally jumped in his seat, a few stray keys played as his fingers abruptly crashed down. With the speed only Wally could posses, the redheaded youth turned around offering his friend a sheepish smile.
"Sorry, I hope it's okay and I'm not going to be subjected to any bat tortures cause if that's the case could you please not tell him? I won't do it again, I just saw it and-"
"Wally! Dude, it's okay!" Dick cut in laughing at his friend's reaction, "It's okay, there will be no 'bat tortures'."
A relieved smile tugged at Wally's lips, "Awesome," he sighed in relief before glancing past Dick, "Want to get going?"
Dick shook his head, "Hang on, when did you learn to play?"
Wally fidgeted his seat, "A few years ago."
"Oh that's real specific." Dick responded sarcastically before sitting beside Wally on the bench, gesturing towards the piano when the redhead gave him a perplexed look. After a beat of uncertainty, Wally began a new song. The dark haired youth listened carefully to the familiar tune before it finally registered.
Wally nodded, glancing towards Dick, "It's one of my favorites."
The corner of Dick's mouth pulled upwards, "You know I never would have pegged you for a piano player. Did your parents teach you?"
He was taking a risk by asking, but maybe he could learn a few things about the Flash's partner. Wally looked away, at first Dick didn't think he was going to answer.
"No, my Aunt started teaching me about a year after I moved in."
Knowing that was probably all he was going to get, Dick simply nodded.
"She called it music therapy."
Not that was cause for him to pause, "Music therapy? Why would you need that?"
Wally didn't look at him, not even glance, "How much do you know about me?"
Dick blinked, "What?"
"How much do you know about, you know, my past?"
He didn't look away knowing that would a sign of guilt that he did not have, "Only what you've told me."
The ginger speedster snorted, "I figured you'd pull a Batman and look it up."
"I'm not Batman." Dick replied stiffly.
Wally sighed, "Yeah, I know."
The two sat mostly silent, Wally playing while Dick listened, trying to figure out what the current piece was, it wasn't familiar.
"My childhood wasn't the happiest for a while, some things happened and when I was nine my mom gave up custody on me and my Aunt and Uncle went to court against my dad and won." he paused, "They're my legal guardians. A few months after all that, I can home from school, my Uncle Barry telling me that Aunt Iris had a surprise for me and sure enough, when we got back there she was next to a piano telling me she was going to teach me and how fun it was going to be. Aunt Iris just looked so excited I couldn't say no, besides I owed her and Uncle Barry a lot. But it was a lot of fun and I learned pretty fast and after my accident that gave me my powers it helped me slow down."
Dick waited patiently for his friend to finish knowing he would be pushing his luck if he tried to pry further. So instead he opted to lighten things up. "Still can't believe you actually know something about music, it's whelming."
Wally smirked resting his hands in his lap. "It's a sixty-forth note and proof I know more about music than you."
"Oh har har Kid Mouth." Dick deadpanned, "You know I've always wanted to learn how to play."
Wally looked at the younger bewildered, "Really?"
Dick nodded, "Yeah, think you could teach me?"
Well now he looked at Dick like he told Wally to eat his goggles, "Why not as Bruce?"
The acrobat shrugged, "Bruce is busy most of the time, his schedule is pretty packed." he lightly shoved Wally, "Come on, how hard could it be? You know how."
"Okay." Wally relented, a mischievous glint in his green eyes, "We'll start with something on your level, how about 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Star'? I don't want to 'whelm' you or anything."
Dick narrowed his blue eyes at Wally before shoving the speedster again, this time time none too lightly.
Laughter erupted from Wally's mouth, "Okay! Okay! 'Chopsticks'!"
When the music continued, Alfred felt obligated to check the possible causes. At first he thought that perhaps young Master Dick left his music playing again so there was no reason to pay any mind to it. However when the music, which started off pleasant (and Alfred felt cause to commend the young Master for his taste in music) was turning poor, Alfred knew it could not be Richard's doing.
But then again, it would appear that he was wrong.
There in the parlor, seated in front of the piano sat young Master Dick with his friend Master Wally. Perhaps his mind was playing tricks on him, but it looked as if Master Wally was teaching Master Dick how to play. Now there was a sight he would have never seen coming from a mile away. But the two young boys appeared to be enjoying themselves and for this moment that was all that they were, boys. No alternate life, just two normal teens. Alfred always wished for Master Dick to have as many as these moments as he could the same wish extended towards the other members of Young Justice.
With a fond smile cast in the two youngster's direction, Alfred returned to the kitchen knowing the two would be hungry soon, especially young Wallace, but for the time being he would enjoy the music that filled the Wayne Manor, even if there were a few sour notes.
Final Thought: Did I just write slash? Not that I care, but did I? Well, take it as you will, doesn't matter to me. I apologize for mistakes and grammatical errors. The songs that Wally played will be on my profile with links to them. I'm working on another one-shot which you might like if you enjoy beat up Wally, I referred to the happenings in the fic a few times in this one-shot. The sequel to 'Things Fall Apart' is a slow progress right now but it's going, I have all summer to spend on it and hopefully finish. So please no flames, fire is cool but I don't like negative reviews, constructive yes, negative no. Until next time, this is Prodigious Discourse signing out.
Edit: Okay so, I get it, I didn't write slash, gosh don't need to keep telling me.