I do not own the Justice League, but I do own Nightmare, so BACK OFF U COMMUNISTS!
"I don't think this is a good idea," Diana said as she shifted her weight from one foot to the other. She swept her black locks from her face as she looked up at J'onn.
Bruce put a hand on her shoulder. "Look, Diana... I don't like the idea of poking around in Flash's head, either- the idea of seeing how truly annoying he is almost begins to scare me."
Diana gave a small smile at the thought of the Dark Knight cowering in fear as Wally squirted him with a water gun.
John stepped forward, his glowing eyes fixated on the unconcious Flash that lay on a bed in the med bay. "I don't like the idea, either..."
Clark sighed. "What other choice do we have? After Nightmare sent him into this coma," he flinched almost unnoticably at the word, "well... we have to."
J'onn nodded as he looked around him. The Martian towered over his friends- Oliver, Diana, John, Bruce, Clark, Dinah, Corin, and Flash, who lay silent as an IV pumped calories into his body, trying to revive him. An oxygen machine pumped air into his lungs through a tube that ran down his throat and nostrils. "I think that only three should go."
Oliver stepped forward immedeatly. "The kid's my best friend," he said, raising his hand to his chest. "I'm definitely going."
Diana nodded. "Maybe I can help... You know, a woman's touch." She shrugged with a grin.
Clark was about to speak, but J'onn held up a hand. "I think Bruce should go."
The Bat's eyes widened. "Flash and I-"
"I know," J'onn spoke, turning to the young League member ever. "And that is exactly why you should go. The human mind shows itself in different forms. As from what I can tell, Flash has four. You will need to be there to... help one of his forms."
Bruce grunted with a nod. J'onn turned to the chosen three. "This may feel a bit odd." He raised his hands, and three long beams of red light rammed into Diana's, Bruce's, and Oliver's skulls. Another ran from the Martian's head to Wally's.
Then, as his eyes began to glow, J'onn's back arched as he floated in the air. The other three floated with him, and Wally's body rose a few inches off of the bed as his eyes turned a glowing red. John sat down next to his friend.
"What now?" he turned to the others.
Corin sighed. "I suppose we wait."
Bruce, Diana, and Oliver fell from the sky into a clearing. "Ouch!" Diana squirmed out from under the two men. "Thanks, boys." Standing, she popped her neck.
"Where are we?" Oliver was the first to ask.
They stood in the middle of a grassy field, stretching as far as the eye could see. Blue sky and puffy white clouds shone in the sunlight. Pink and yellow daffodils lay scattered in various clumps. As the heroes looked around, they heard a small squeal.
Diana turned sharply. Up to them ran a little boy, maybe seven years old. He had bright red hair and freckles that dotted his cheeks and nose. Emerald eyes gleamed up at the heroine.
"Wally?" she asked.
The boy grinned ear-to-ear. "Hi, Diana!"
"How do you know who we are?" Bruce asked the boy, taken somewhat aback by the appearance of such... innocence in Wally.
"Oh, I have all of my memories," the boy smiled as he turned. "Mommy!"
And suddenly a woman with deep black hair appeared. She was petite and had green eyes even brighter than her son's. "Mommy, I have to go now." The woman embraced her son and kissed his cheek. Then, simple as that, the boy began walking away, dragging Bruce and Oliver on with him as he held their hands. "My mommy can't talk to me," he said sadly, sniffling. "I- I can't remember what she sounds like, so when she tries to talk, nothing comes out except for- well, nothing..."
Diana's heart wretched as she saw the little boy wipe away an unshed tear. "Anyways," he continued happily, "We need to find me- well, the other me- well, the other three me."
"And where are you?" Oliver asked as he ruffled the boy's hair.
The boy looked sadly up to Oliver. "I- I only know where the sad me is."
"Sad you?" Diana asked, her voice comforting the child.
"Yeah," the boy said. His face suddenly lit up. "But he knows where the other me, the jokester me is!"
The boy skipped off into a large bed of flowers and began to roll around, giggling furiously. Diana and Oliver turned to Bruce, who was scowling. "He needs to concentrate," the man growled.
"Chill, Bats," Oliver said. "He's a kid!"
"Still," Diana said softly. "We do need to find the other Wallys and figure out how to wake up our Wally." The Amazon princess crossed over to Little Wally. She crouched down so that both of them were eye-to-eye. "Wally, we need to find the other yous. Can you help us?"
The boy jumped up. "Yeah! C'mon, let's go!"
And with that, he grabbed Diana's and Oliver's hands as he skipped in the flowers. The three laughed together as a stoic Bruce followed at a distance. Why had J'onn sent him? Flash and he never saw eye-to-eye, so why him? Bruce shrugged the thought away and took to gazing after the small boy. He was so happy, so joyful, even when he only had a mother here that couldn't even talk to him, sing to him, comfort him when he was sad...
Why was Wally always so annoyingly happy?
Maybe he would find out while he was here...
"Here we are!" the boy came to an abrupt stop. There was nothing there except for blue sky and flowers for miles.
Diana furrowed her brow. "Um... Okay..."
Little Wally laughed. "Don't be so silly, Diana! You've gotta imagine the door! I'm seven and three quarters! I love to imagine stuff. It keeps me from picturing-" but the boy stopped himself. "Nevermind..."
No one pried the subject. They would find out soon enough.
"So..." Oliver broke the silence. "We just imagine the door or window or portal or whatever, and it's there?"
"Yup!" Wally grinned happily. He turned to Bruce. "Bats, it helps if you hold my hand."
Reluctantly, Bruce held the boy's hand. He still saw nothing. "Nothing's there."
Little Wally rolled his eyes. "You've got to 'magine it!" he squeaked.
"What does it look like?" Diana asked, folding her arms over her costume.
The boy shrugged. "Whatever you imagine it to look like!"
Diana closed her eyes and pictured the double doors that led to her bedroom back in the Amazon. When she opened her eyes, she gasped. Sure enough, those golden, ten-foot-high doors were there, diamond encrusted and all. Oliver laughed. He saw the door he had in his house as a child, the picture of the New York Giants cheerleader team still plastered over it.
But Bruce saw nothing. "I still see nothing."
Little Wally put his other hand on Bruce's so that he cradeled the huge, calloused hand in his small, soft ones. "Bruce..." he whined. "Use your imagination!"
Bruce growled and closed his eyes. His face softened as he saw his parents' bedroom door- it was tall and oaken, with a golden knob that was shaped like a perfect little sphere. He reached out and opened the door cautiously-
And they walked into a damp, dark alleyway. Little Wally shivered and held up his arms to Oliver. "I don't like this place... Can you hold me?"
Oliver's heart melted as he picked up the child. He was oddly light. No- it felt like Oliver was holding air. The boy giggled. "Yeah- I'm in Wally's- well, your Wally's imagination, so I'm just a thought..."
Oliver could feel the child's warmth radiating on his chest and neck. How could he just be an image?
"Where to?" Diana smiled at the child.
The boy's lip quivered as he said, "Forward."
They walked down the alley for what seemed like hours, passing by random hobos and dumpsters that smelt of dead fish. Every ten feet there was another rusty, flickering lamppost that just barely lit up the walkway. Bruce looked up and saw that the stained brick walls stretched all the way up, never stopping. They eventually faded into a gray fog several hundred feet up, and you couldn't see beyond that.
Everyone's legs were tired, except for Little Wally's. "Here!" he squeaked. Bruce turned and saw a yellowed door with a rusty metal hinge. A random orange stain attracted several flies. Scowling, Bruce batted them away as he opened the door and stepped inside.
What they saw shocked them. The carpet was stained everywhere, and beer bottles and cans littered the floor, along with torn magazine, dirty clothes, and ciggarette butts. A man with a large belly and a stained shirt rested on the broken couch, a crowbar in hand. Then, they heard the crying.
Oliver turned around to the kitchen and saw another red-headed boy, but he was a bit older than Little Wally. His clothes were completely filthy, and his hair stuck up at odd angles as he pulled on it, rocking back and forth on his heels as he sat next to the same petite body of Little Wally's mother that they had met before. She was still, her hair stretching around her like a black hood as blood trickled from her head. Oliver's hand slapped over Little Wally's eyes before he saw the body.
Diana took a cautious step forward, raising her hand gently. "Wally?"
The boy stopped sobbing instantly and looked up. Diana gasped- he had a black eye and a busted lip, and blood matted hair to his forehead. A tear in his shirt showed a bloody scratch. He had green and black bruises along with scabby cuts all over his arms. Diana reached forward, and the boy scampered away. "Wally..."
"I go by Wallace," he said softly, wiping boogers and tears from his face. He cowered in between the dish washer and fridge. "And don't hurt me, please..."
Diana's heart wretched again. She could almost feel the boy's pain. She held out her hand. "You remember me, Wallace, and you know I would never hurt you."
Wallace's eyes drifted over to Bruce. "I wasn't talking to you..."
Bruce stepped back, shocked that this young boy would think that he would... Then he remembered all of the times he had slapped and punched the Flash out of annoyed anger. The boy before him was beaten by the man on the couch and the man that stood before him.
Diana looked deep into Wallace's green eyes. "Wallace, he won't hurt you, either... I promise..." She helped up the reluctant boy and saw even more scratches and bruises on his legs. His shorts were much too small, and his shirt much too big, falling off of his shoulder. He looked up at her with pleading eyes.
"Will you help me?" he whimpered. "I mean, I'll end up back here in the end, but... can you help me?"
Bruce grunted. He was supposed to be helping them.
Diana nodded. "Yes... we will help you."
The boy hugged her close. When he let go, he offered her his grimy hand. She grinned warmly and took it without any hesitation. "Now, Wallace," she said softly, "will you help us find the other two Wallys?"
The boy nodded solomnly. "But please, let's go," he said and led them back into the alleyway. He walked over to one of the dumpsters, but this one was different from all of the other identical ones. It was bright yellow and spotless. He opened the lid and climbed in, helping Diana step in in her high heels. Oliver climbed in with Little Wally, who was still smiling. Bruce climbed in last of all.
"Shut the lid," came Wallace's voice. Bruce complied.
Then, a bright light appeared. They heard laughter, and then, the floor fell through.
Wallace screamed and Little Wally giggled loudly. They all collapsed in a heap, Little Wally landing gently on the sand while everyone else grunted as they untangled themselves.
They were on a beach. Crystal blue waters were infected with scantly clad, sun-tanned girls and muscular, sun-tanned boys. Pop music played loudly, busting Oliver's eardrums. He grinned. Wally had to be here.
Little Wally stood and kicked the hot sand off of his feet. Looking around, he squealed. "There!" He pointed a chubby finger.
Wally, maybe fifteen or so, was on a beach-blanket as another scantly clad tan girl attacked his face, running her hands down his chest and over his shirt.
Bruce walked over and kicked the girl away. She yelped and glared at the man before stalking off.
Wally stood, running a hand through his too-long red mane. "Hey, yo, dude! What's your-" He looked up. "Oh. Bruce." He shook his head and the scowl left. He laughed loudly and put his arm around Bruce's shoulders while stretching his free arm out to the water. "Look at this, Bruce! This is exactly why I'm not going to help you."
Bruce raised his eyebrow. "Beg your pardon?"
Wally sat back down, kicking off his flip flops. He laid down, putting on his sunglasses. "Dude! Look- babes, water, babes, sun, babes, food- oh, yeah! And babes!" He sighed contently. "I am not leaving this..."
Bruce growled. "Sorry, but you are."
Wally frowned and sat up, looking at the Dark Knight over his shades. "You can't make me."
Bruce grabbed the boy by the front of his shirt, knocking off his sunglasses. "Oh, can't I?"
Wally slipped out of his shirt and used his lightning speed to run down the beach. Diana, scowling, ran after him as she raised her lasso. Oliver and Bruce followed, Oliver drawing his bow while Bruce pulled out a batarang. Little Wally and Wallace ran to catch up, Little Wally's thin, short legs pumping to keep up. Wallace had a limp in his stride, but was still faster than his younger self. Neither of them had their powers yet.
Diana rounded a boulder and- BAM!
Wally's hand collided with her face, causing her nose to bleed as she fell with a grunt. Oliver raised his bow as the boy ran off over the hot sand. He let the arrow fly, but the speedster dodged it easily. He, however, didn't see Bruce launch the batarang. It hit the teen's head with a loud THUNK!
Wally fell, groaning. "Dude!"
Bruce pulled him up by his hair. "Listen, you brat," he spat acidly. "I may not like Flash very much, but if he dies, I'll kill you."
All three Wallys gasped.
"W-What?" Little Wally asked, his tears falling rapidly down his cheeks. Oliver picked him up and hugged him, stroking his hair. Wallace backed away and lost what little contents that filled his stomach.
"W-Wally's dying?" Teen-Wally asked, his face blanking. Bruce threw him into the sand, and Diana helped the boy up.
Bruce nodded solomny. "He will if we can't wake him up."
"W-What happened to him?" Teen-Wally asked.
Diana held the boy's shoulder. "Nightmare, a villain from our world- well, the world outside here, Wally's mind- he put him into a coma, and if we can't wake him soon, he'll die."
Teen-Wally shuddered. "O-Okay... I'll go. If he dies, we die with him."
"Wait-" came Oliver's voice. All heads turned to him. "Where's Wallace?"
The boy was gone.
"John? John- wake up."
John's head snapped up. "Wha- what?"
Dinah giggled. "You fell asleep."
John shook his head and stood. He saw Diana, Bruce, and Oliver's bodies floating in the air next to J'onn's. Wally's comatose body looked frail as it floated above the bed. Dinah pulled her blonde locks out of her face. "You've been sleeping for a couple hours now."
"Hours?" John exploded. "Wait- they've been in there for how long?"
Dinah stood back, frowning, her arms crossed over her black body suit. "Almost six hours..."
John's face paled. "Wait- how long have I been asleep?"
Dinah smiled. "Cool down, Colonel. You needed the rest. Besides, it's your turn to spar with Corin. Be careful- he kicked my butt."
John chuckled. "Really?" he mocked. "The great Black Canary was taken down by Aquaman? Impossible!"
Dinah punched his arm. "Shut up, Lantern."
John walked from the room, but hesitated at the door. He turned to look at one of his best friends. Wally's body was bruised and battered, and, with his suit top pulled down, you could see the numerous scars that littered his body. He always said that they were from battles, but John suspected different...
"I'm watching him, John," Dinah's voice pulled Green Lantern from his thoughts. "Don't worry."
John smiled weakly. "Never."
Even after they had split up, they couldn't find Wallace. Diana sat down on a boulder with a loud huff. All of the stupid teen pop music was giving her a headache. Little Wally plopped himself down on her lap, and she mindlessly pet his head. He buried his head into her arm, yawning. Soon, he was asleep.
Bruce sat next to her. The sun was going down, but none of the teens seemed to care. Teen-Wally looked uneasy as he sat on the now cool sand next to Green Arrow, who was rubbing one of the feathers on an arrow he held.
Bruce cleared his throat. "Why did he leave?"
Teen-Wally scoffed. "It's obvious, isn't it? He's the Sad Wally. He's beat 24/7 by our dad..." Teen-Wally rubbed one of his scars- a rather large cut that looked like a blister as the white skin stretched over it. "I've already gone through the beating stage, but Little Wally over there hasn't..."
Diana spoke softly. "You mean-"
"Yeah," the kid interrupted. "He started beating us around seven... Wallace's ten, but that doesn't really matter... That's where all of these scars come from." He gestured to his bare chest, painted with permanent pain. "Mom divorced him when we turned nine, but he got out of prison and came after us and..." he gulped. "Well, you saw... No one had any evidence on abuse besides the scars, and as we were too scared to say anything, we had to go back and live with him again. Wally ran away at sixteen-" He grinned. "As I'm only fifteen, I live out here. My memories, the best memories, I live in those. Little Wally," he gestured to the sleeping child, "lives in an imaginary world- away from a future abusive father and with his mother... She was the only good thing that ever happened to us..." He shuddered. "The last Wally- he scares all of us. He's not really a stage in your Wally's life... He's more Wally's dark side- the side of him that-" Teen-Wally froze.
Diana leaned forward, careful not to disturb the child that lay in her arms, snoring. "You can tell us..."
Teen-Wally shuddered. "When your Wally was seventeen... he went back home... he-" he let a tear drip down his cheek- "he did something that we regret... I can still feel that cold metal..." He looked down at his open hands. "He killed him... shot him, execution-style."
Bruce's eyes widened, and Diana gasped. Oliver was too shocked to do anything. "That's why he became the Flash," Teen-Wally explained. "He regrets what he did, but Dark Wally doesn't."
"He's trying to atone for what he did," Bruce input. The pieces clicked together.
Teen-Wally nodded. "And because he wants to help others- other kids, especially... and that's also why he's so... well, immature."
"To hide the pain..." Bruce leaned back on the boulder behind him. Diana grabbed his hand, and he looked down into her tear-filled eyes.
He sighed, but didn't pull his hand away. He understood.
"Why won't Wallace help us?" Oliver said, breaking the silence.
Teen-Wally scoffed. "Really? You don't get it, do you?"
Everyone stared at him. Teen-Wally stood, stretching and gesturing to the sun, now almost completely gone over the horizon. "Every time the sun sets, our days restart. Everything goes back to the beginning of the memory- or imaginary world- that we live in. But it's a bit different for Wallace. Every time the sun rises, his world starts over. He wakes up and goes downstairs- finds our mother..." He gulped and wiped away tears. "And he gets beat- almost to death. It lasts all day."
Bruce spoke up. "Then he has to relive it."
Teen-Wally nodded. "He'd rather die than relive it again."
Suddenly, he turned. "My God!" he exclaimed. Looking down at his watch, he echoed his words. "My God!" Pulling his hair, he looked at the startled heroes. "We've gotta find him!" he exclaimed. "If he and Wally aren't back in their worlds by midnight, we'll all... well, we won't be in our memories. We'll be ripped apart... We'll all die..."
And the search for Wallace continued.
Corin gulped down the water quickly and downed another bottle. He looked over at John, who was wiping sweat from his neck. Sitting next to his fellow hero, Corin sighed. "What's on your mind?"
John snorted. "What do you think?"
Corin sighed again. Then there was silence. "Wally's strong," he broke the silence.
"I know, but is he strong enough?"
Corin said nothing. He finished off the bottle and picked up another. Soaking his towel with it, he wrapped it around his neck, sighing contentedly. "I think so." Silence again ensued.
Corin stood and began to walk from the room.
He turned. John was standing now, looking at one of the training dummies that had just recently been decapitated.
"Yes, my friend?"
John frowned and bit his lip. "How do you think Wally got all of those scars?"
Corin shrugged, not quite understanding where Lantern was going with this. "Battles. He told us-"
"I know what he told us... But, I think he's lying. I mean, look at him- he heals like crazy, but how can he have scars? You remember when we fought Joker?"
Corin nodded slowly. "And he hit Wally straight in the temple with a crowbar?"
Corin nodded again. "Yes, I remember. He was in the med bay for almost a week."
"Yeah, and he should have a tongued scar right here." John pointed next to his eye. "But he doesn't... Do you think he got those scars before he got his powers?" The Atalantian King simply shrugged.
"That is a big assumation, my friend."
John grunted. "I intend to find out whether it's a true assumation..."
Diana strained to hear beyond the music and crashing waves. They had been searching for over two hours already. It was almost 10PM, and there was no sign of Wallace yet. Bruce had figured out that they could still communicate through their comm units, so they had been keeping in touch that way. Diana flew farther and found herself at the edge of the memory. Landing, she looked up and down the line. There was nothing but dark fog beyond her sight, and she doubted that Wallace would have gone in there. Sighing, she continued on.
Meanwhile, Arrow was walking with Little Wally on his back. A pair of tiny hands wrapped around his neck as snores echoed over the beach. Really, where could the boy have gone? Sure, there were a few coconut trees and outhouses littered over the beach, and a few boulders, but really! Where could he be?
Across the memory, closer to where the group had fallen through the neon dumpster, Bruce was moping around, annoyed by Teen-Wally's persistant joke-telling. He stopped abruptly as he hit the edge of the memory. Gray fog, just like the fog in the alleyway, blocked his view, but he could just barely hear the sound of... weeping?
Turning to Teen-Chatterbox, Bruce growled, "Stay here," and stepped into the fog.
He was freezing instantly. Shivering and blowing out white smoke, the Dark Knight followed the weeping, unable to see anything besides fog.
"Wallace?" he called out. The weeping stopped. Crap, the man thought.
Then, a small hand shot out and pulled Bruce into a tiny clear area. The ground and sky were all black, and nothing but fog surrounded the two. Wallace put a finger to his lips, and Bruce nodded and sat. Wallace sighed shakily, breathing out white smoke.
Bruce did something he wouldn't have done for anyone. And that means ANYONE. He took off his cape and draped it over the boy's shoulders. Sniffling and wiping boogers from his nose, Wallace squeaked softly, "Thank you."
Then it was quiet a moment. The boy still shivered furiously, and Bruce was getting colder by the minute. He cleared his throat, trying to break the awkward silence.
"I'm not going."
Bruce sighed. "Wallace..." He sat back, propping himself up on his elbows as he looked up at the blackness that shaded the two. He didn't know what to say.
Wallace spoke first. "You know... the memory I live, I live it over and over again. Every day."
Bruce nodded. "I know."
Wallace eyed him. "Teen-Wally told us."
Wallace sniffled again. "Yeah... he chit-chats a lot..."
Bruce looked directly into Wallace's eyes. "Wallace, why don't you just spend your day here and then go back home before midnight?"
Wallace looked away. "You didn't see how they looked at me, did you?" Bruce said nothing. He hadn't. Wallace scoffed. "I thought so..." More quiet. "You know, Wally looks up to you."
The man's eyes widened. Wallace grinned softly. "Yeah... He does... He sees how you hide it- the pain. He knows you feel pain- he's good at telling that stuff..."
Bruce almost half-smiled. Wallace continued, pulling the cloak closer around him as he shivered. "I want to die... I- I can't keep reliving that day... It hurts..."
And he cried. No- he wept.
Bruce, not knowing what else to do, just held the boy. His actions shocked him greatly, but if they shocked Wallace, he didn't react.
Bruce guessed that they stayed like that for almost half an hour. Then, he spoke. "You're right... I do try to hide the pain. I feel it day after day after day, just like you..."
Wallace dried his face with the cape. Bruce, honestly, wanted to slap the kid then. (But he decided against it, rather regretably.) "You- You do?" Bruce nodded. "How do you do it?"
Bruce looked at the boy. "I just remember the good that I have in my life. Whenever I feel really hurt, I make myself say one thing I'm happy I have." He paused. "Tell me one thing you're happy you have."
The boy froze and thought a moment, biting his lip to keep from bursting into tears. "I- I don't want to die," he said. "But I always thought it would be better than having to relive that..."
Bruce pulled the boy's face to look into his eyes. "One thing, Wallace... One. Thing. Anything- anything at all."
The boy thought again, looking away. Then, he turned to Bruce. With one fluid moment, he embraced him tightly. Bruce was taken aback. His mind went blank- this was really Wally, this was the Flash- the annoyingly persistant trickster that liked to prank the Dark Knight whenever possible- the 'ladies man' that hit on every attractive woman he saw, villainess or not.
And Bruce hugged him back tight. The boy whispered in his ear, "I have my memories of you..."
Bruce pulled the boy away gently, but still held him in his arms. "Then will you help me?"
Wallace sighed. "Yeah- yeah, I will."
Bruce stood, holding the weightless boy in his arms, and walked back the way he came. He emerged from the cold and sighed at the sun that warmed his face. Wallace sighed, too. Teen-Wally stood when he saw the two. "Are we ready?"
Bruce looked down at the boy in his arms. Wallace smiled weakly and nodded. Bruce, letting Wallace down, pushed his comm unit. "We're ready."
Dinah watched Flash's chest go up and down gently. She looked at the clock next to the med bay doors. It read: 10:58... 10:59... 11:00...
She sighed and glanced back at Wally's fragile form. She had never thought of him as fragile until now, seeing him so broken and bruised. How could Nightmare have done this to him? How could she have let it happen?
She had been right next to him. They were in the line of fire, ready to attack, but Nightmare was deathly fast. He raised his hand, and Flash shoved Dinah away, taking the full blunt of Nightmare's wrath. She remembered screaming Wally's name over and over until she was hoarse. Arrow had appeared then, pulling her away from the still body. Superman had taken Wally back to the Watchtower, and Batman and Wonder Woman took Nightmare down.
Why hadn't Wally just run away with her? He was the Flash!
Maybe it was the shock of it all...
Maybe he was scared...
She remembered what Clark had told her about when wally had gone into Speed Force. He said that ever since then, Wally had seemed frightened about using his powers.
That must have been it.
He was scared of himself...
And Dinah didn't know it, but that feeling was rightfully so...
Teen-Wally showed them the door out- one of the outhouses that had the Flash symbol carved into it. They stepped in one-by-one, Oliver first, Bruce and Wallace last.
Wallace hesitated, but Bruce grabbed his shoulder and gave him a small encouraging squeeze.
They stepped into the Watchtower's med bay room.
"Wait-" Diana began. "How are we-"
"We're not," Oliver said, pointing. They saw themselves floating in the air, still linked to J'onn and Wally by red lasers. Their eyes glowed, and their hair whipped gently in their faces as their mouths opened to reveal red light.
Teen-Wally checked his watch and gasped. It read 11:32. "We need to hurry," he said.
They turned and looked at Wally. And, to their surprise, he sat up, grinning maliciously. His eyes were not emerald green, but pure white. And his hair whipped around his face violently. Little Wally squealed and hid himself behind Oliver, who drew his bow. Diana and Bruce followed suit, readying their weapons. Teen-Wally and Wallace stepped back behind the heroes.
Wally laughed, an evil, hollow laugh. "Ah... My 'friends'. I suppose you're here to wake me up!" He smiled and stood, revealing his suit to be pure black, not the normal cheery red and yellow that Flash normally wore. Pulling up his cowl, he grinned. "Well, you can't... Trust me..."
"Oh, we can," Diana snapped. "And we will- by any means necessary."
Bruce turned to the three younger Wallys. "Do you know what to do?"
They eyed eachother and nodded. "We all need to touch him at the same time," Little Wally said.
"Then all four of us will be joined," Teen-Wally continued.
"And then you have to kill us," Wallace finished gravely.
Diana gasped. Oliver stammered, "We- we can't!"
"It's the only way!" Little Wally said.
"But... I thought you all didn't want to die?" Oliver asked.
Little Wally shrugged. "That was then, this is now. We know now what has to be done for us to truly live."
Wallace touched Bruce's shoulder. "Please... I need you to do it."
Bruce's eyes widened. "I can't..." he whispered.
Wallace's eyes filled with tears. "Please, Bruce... Please, for me... Just do it."
Teen-Wally looked at his watch. "You guys, it's 11:40!"
Diana grunted, "Then let's kick butt."
She threw her lasso, but Dark Wally quickly dodged it. He laughed as he dodged a batarang. "Really, you think you can catch me?"
Diana threw a punch as Wally sped by, knocking him over with a grunt. Oliver ran forward to hog-tie the 'hero', but he ran out of the way easily.
Bruce looked over at Wallace. The boy nodded. "Do whatever you need to do."
Oliver launched arrows, but Dark Wally quickly dodged them. And when Diana threw punches, the speedster simply caught them and stood, dodging more arrows and taking more punches.
He began to run around Diana. She gasped for air as the vortex cut off her oxygen. "Diana!" Bruce roared. He stuck his arm into the black blur that was Dark Wally, and the speedster went flying into the wall. Bruce raised his tazer while he was still recovering from slamming a dent into the wall. It latched onto the younger man's suit. Blue electricity shot out and Dark Wally cried out in anguish. At the same time, all three Wallys cried out, too. Bruce pulled back and looked at them. Blue lightning shot up their spines and arms, burning their legs and faces. He pulled the tazer away. Dark Wally recovered quickly and slammed into the Dark Knight with a low groan. Bruce was flung back into the other wall. Little Wally screamed, and Diana threw her lasso. Dark Wally dodged it again.
Teen-Wally screamed out, "11:55!"
Oliver launched a parade of arrows. One hit the evil Wally's head, and he moaned. So did the younger Wallys.
As much as it pained the three heroes, they knew what they had to do. Nodding to eachother, they went into action. Diana flung Dark Wally into a wall and Bruce tazered him, trying to block out Wallace's screams. After several moments, he pulled away. Oliver shot an arrow that opened into a rope and tied itself around Dark Wally's ankles. Hissing at the three Leaguers, the evil speedtser fumbled with the wires.
The three Wallys, still burned and in pain, saw their opening. They all ran forward and created a circle. The four Wallys roared in pain as red lightning flashed around them. Then, they all faded slowly, melting into the regular Flash- the real Flash. He looked up at his fellow Leaguers. "Do it," he croaked at Bruce. "You have thirty seconds," he said, gesturing to the med bay's clock.
Bruce lifted a sharpened batarang as he knelt down in front of Flash. Wally pulled down his cowl and stretched up his neck. Diana looked away, and Oliver pulled her into his arms, holding back tears as his eyes squeezed shut.
"You have fifteen seconds, Bruce," Wally said as tears filled his eyes. "Just do it..."
"I- I can't," Bruce croaked. Fear filled every bone in his body. Wally's emerald eyes met his.
"Just do it."
Wally grabbed the front of his suit. "For me... please, Bruce... five seconds."
Bruce closed his eyes. Wally tilted his head back.
An evil squishy sound echoed what had just happened. Blood trickled from Wally's neck. Some of that scarlet liquid splattered on Bruce's suit. Tears fell down his cheeks as he stood, looking away from what he had done.
He felt his body being pulled away from where he stood. Fog filled his eyes and lungs. It burned, stung, and hurt like Hades. He felt his cowl fall from his face.
No- it was pulled down. He opened his eyes, realizing he had shut them. From the fog, he could just barely make out Wallace's fading form. The boy smiled- a genuine smile, probably the first he ever had. He waved, and Bruce waved back.
The pain stopped abruptly. Bruce fell onto the med bay's floor and coughed. Then, he emptied his stomach. Looking up and moaning, he saw Diana and Oliver doing the same.
J'onn landed on the floor lightly and helped Diana stand.
Bruce pulled himself up and looked around. He saw Wally on the bed, still comatose.
"No..." he hissed as tears filled his eyes. Dinah wept, her face in her hands.
"No..." Bruce said louder. "No, no, no!" he ran to Wally's side and grabbed the younger hero's hand. "Wally... Wally... Wake up."
There was no reaction.
John and Corin dashed into the room, Clark right behind him. They all were shocked, seeing Bruce at Wally's side. Diana began to bawl. "No!" she screamed. "It didn't work... It should have worked... After all that! No, no, no!" Clark let her beat his chest as she cried.
Bruce felt tears fall down his cheeks, but he didn't wipe them away.
He had killed Wally.
"Bats, why so sad?"
Bruce's eyes snapped open. Wally grinned up at him. Then, Bruce did something he never would have done for anyone. And that means for ANYONE. He hugged Wally tight, not even caring that the younger hero hugged him back just as tight.
But a single question lingered in his mind.
Had he been sent to act out on Wally's part, or to act out on Wallace's part?
He didn't care. The two were one in the same.
And now Bruce understood his 'friend' a bit more...