It was official. The most official of officials to ever official themselves into existence.
Overnight, the famously good-looking Kid Flash had turned into what could only be described as… a flippin'-nasty pepperoni pizza face.
He winced over the sink, visibly in the mirror as his middle and index finger popped another bloody pustule deep in the round edge of his freckled cheek.
You name it, Wally had it. Blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, patches, clusters, cysts, irritation, inflammation, just plan ugly zits. And now he had to resort to spending the wee hours of a restless morning fighting these suckers before anyone could witness them.
Screw fighting crime, trying fighting puberty. Or least Wally assumed was the cause of this.
"—ow—OWW!" Wally howled when his not-at-all-that-sharp-but-somehow-sharp-enough fingernails sunk into the next volcano-like bulge. Right smack in the center space between his thin eyebrows. Oh man, he could not go to school looking like THIS. Like some kind of pizza-face monster.
His slick reputation… oh no, the ladies… the poor ladies would be so devastated when they saw this…
"Hey, Wally, you're gonna need this," Robin explained placidly from his left — WAIT WAIT HOW DID HE!.!.?.! — and expertly parried the palm-heel hit for his lower jaw when Wally instinctively and also expertly lashed out to the intrusion. The thirteen-year-old gripped Wally's vibrant green, pajama-sleeved arm steady between them. "Nice job going for the pressure point," he commented.
"What the hell was that…" Wally ignored the snarky compliment, sensing its intent with Robin's smirk. "…Could you have at least knocked, Robs?" He groaned, yanking back for his trapped arm.
"Soundless silicon boot-soles. Regulation." Of course, Wally thought sarcastically. Everyone knew that. "You left the door wide open, dude."
"Yeah, whatever," Wally said, turning back to the mirror and taking a wad of toilet paper to wipe some pus off his forehead. How embarrassing.
A fully uniformed Robin (it was almost three in the morning and Wally wasn't going to ask where he had been in the past twenty-four hours while not in the Cave with the rest of their team) stepped forward to shove a circular, lavender-colored container into Wally's hands. Green eyes blinked at him confused. "Uh…"
"It's because of your cowl, right? All the zits on your face?" Another Robin smirk, a little less irksome. "This is the stuff Batman and I use to get rid of them."
Wally cradled the container up to eye level, inspecting its exterior and popping open the lid. Hmm. Smelled like acne medicine.
"…What brand is it?" he asked suspiciously.
Silence. A chilly, stoic kind of silence. A 'why-are-you-asking-me-questions-I-won't-answer' silence.
"Oh nonono…" Wally bunched up his face. "Don't tell me that this is some experimental Bat-acne cure you're tryin' to get me to use…"
Robin snorted through his nose. "Wally, if it wasn't safe, Batman and I wouldn't be using it. Just remember to use the regimen twice a day and rinse with warm water."
With that in mind, Wally didn't waste time to twisting the knob for the second-floor bathroom sink to fill up and rubbing the white cream into his face and forehead. Tingled. Felt good actually. Robin hopped up to seat himself on the edge of the sink, brushing aside his cape from soapy water escaping as the speedster rinsed away the cream fervently. "So I thought your abilities wouldn't allow something like teenage acne to affect you…" Robin pointed out.
Wally stared up at him with a 'duh' glance as he said, "Flash Fact: I -am- a teenager."
"Actually your biological structure will always manifest itself as metahuman first," Robin claimed, strangely polite about it.
"… …shut up."
"Just making a point."
Wally pulled up his sleeve over his wrists and fingers to wipe his dripping bangs with his forearm, glancing back at his foggy reflection. "This is not sexy," he declared, bemoaning his appearance. "Even you wouldn't kiss this."
Silence. A purposeful, calculating kind of silence. A 'why-the-hell-are-you-prying-again' silence.
And Wally found it a hundred times more unnerving than the previous one.
"Um…" He paused. He had to. Because Robin was there. Just… there leaning towards Wally's breathing space, one hand planted and grasped to the slippery sink.
Wally didn't move away. Up so close to the other boy— his very best friend— there were minor facial marks Wally never noticed before. A small, almost-invisible mole near his right temple. A pale, fading scar on the very tip of his nose. Another on the inside pucker of Robin's bottom lip that contorted outwards in the direction of his chin. On several occasions, Wally forgot that the Boy Wonder was not a metahuman, was not invulnerable to lasting injuries. He was breakable. He could be broken many, many times… but Robin always got back up, never quitting, never surrendering. A quality Wally wished in himself when he himself had been human.
"Maybe…" A thoughtful murmur. "You should start using tea tree oil on your face… I've read that it helps…"
"…It looks pretty hopeless, bro."
Witty comment. Yes. Good thinking.
Um. It wasn't scientifically possible for your heart to find itself in your throat.
Snap out of it, West.
Robin laughed. "It's really not as bad as you think…" He laughed again, this time more gleefully when Wally's eyes slit, and Robin slid off the sink. "Alright, it is, but the regimen should help."
Wally's stomach dropped. But felt…floaty at the same time.
"Robs…" His voice sounded so… tiny. Why…? Through his mask, the other boy gave him a blank expression and sighed heavily.
Quickly, Robin hitched up on his toes to press a dry kiss to Wally's half-parted mouth. The scar on Robin's lip faintly rubbed to his skin. "See?" Robin observed, lowering, "Proved you wrong. You should probably keep it down before Arty or Supes come in and kick your behind for screaming and torturing yourself with your zit issue."
Wally's cheeks burned. "I'm not—ffff! Dude, c'mon." Robin had… a nice warm feeling to him. A human warm. Wasn't a bad thing.
Wasn't a bad thing at all.
HAPPY 200TH STORY POSTED! -waves celebratory banner- I let some peeps decide on what it should have been, and unsurprisingly, it was Dick/Wally. XDD Even if mild.
YJ Anon Meme prompt:
"Wally gets bad acne on his face & forehead because of the mask and the sweating and the existing and the puberty. Robin loans him the cream Batman gets for him."