AN: I'm calling this thing a wiki fic, because if you read the wiki page on Wally West, this is pretty much what you get for his origins as Kid Flash... with a few minor details changed. Anyway, I originally had a very different idea, but found that someone else had already written a Wally story along those lines, so I settled for merely digging a bit deeper into Wally's beginnings without going into too much detail. I hope its enjoyable anyway. Please review and tell me! This is my first foray into Young Justice, Flash (Wally and Barry), and pretty much anything DC, so I'd love to see what you think!
Like I said, this certainly doesn't line up perfectly, and I'm not even sure if its correctly categorized as Young Justice. I've put it there because, 1. I love that show! And 2. I've written Wally's eyes as green. Its really just as simple as that. :)
Wally had never much liked family reunions. Too many people he didn't know asking him stupid questions. They were never really interested in what he had to say. Not that it was much different from home in that way...
And then there was Barry Allen, the guy Aunt Iris had married just over a month ago. Wally didn't know what to think of him, but he was pretty sure the man wasn't good enough for his aunt. In his opinion, nobody could be good enough for Aunt Iris, the only member of his family that seemed to like for Wally for just being Wally. He desperately hoped she would still have time to talk to him and go out for ice-cream when she visited even though she was married now.
But she seemed happy. And she had told Wally that her new husband was friends with the Flash. That in and of itself was enough to make Wally curious, if not overly enthusiastic.
He watched his aunt and her new husband talking to some other relatives as he precariously balanced three glasses of Coke for himself and his parents. They were laughing at something and Barry slid his arm around Iris' shoulder, holding her close as they talked. Wally swallowed hard.
"Hey, watch it, kid!" An older man said as Wally, distracted, tripped over the man's foot, sending himself and the soda flying straight at his parent's table. He landed with a breathless thump in the grass and the sticky drinks showered not only himself and his parents, but the other occupants of the table as well.
As he shook the droplets of soda from his red hair and looked up, he realized with a sinking heart that those other occupants were none other than his father's top supervisor from the plant along with his richly dressed wife and teen-aged daughter. What they were doing at a West family reunion he didn't know, but the look on his father's face drove all curiosity from his mind.
"Wallace Rudolph West!" Rudy thundered, causing half the people at the park to look their way. Wally's freckled face reddened with embarrassment but it was going to get worse, he knew. This wasn't the first time...
"How many times have I told you to pay attention to what you're doing? Look at this mess!"
Wally didn't want to look. He was afraid the soda dripping from his father's nose would make him laugh, and he couldn't think of a worse time for that.
"Can't I even trust you to do a simple thing like bring the drinks to our table without messing it up?"
Wally bit his lip, wishing his father would lower his voice. Everyone was still looking their way. He could feel their eyes on his back as he knelt in the grass with coke spattered all over his best shirt.
"Sorry isn't good enough, Wally! I swear, if I have to tell you one more time to get your head out of the clouds – Are you even listening to me?" his father's large hand descended to his shoulder and lifted him to his feet. Wally forced himself to meet his father's eyes even though he was fighting to hold back tears in his own.
"It was an accident, Rudy." Wally's mother said softly even though she looked just as angry at having sticky soda thrown all over her new dress.
"I am sick of 'accidents', Mary. He needs to grow up and live in the real world before he ruins everything!"
Rudy had lowered his voice with that statement, but for Wally it was worse than the shouting. He felt almost physically ill as an escaped tear tracked down his cheek.
His father released his shoulder with a disgusted sigh. "And now you're crying. That's just great. Go somewhere where you won't knock anything over. Just... go."
Wally didn't need to be told twice. More tears slipped from his green eyes as he practically ran to find a place away from the staring eyes.
Iris slumped in her seat with a dejected sigh as her humiliated nephew disappeared around the corner of the park pavilion. Were things really so bad that Rudy felt the need to take it out on Wally? She knew her brother was on edge, but she hadn't seen that outburst coming. No one had.
Barry leaned closer, whispering on her ear. "You know I love your family, right?"
Not sure where he was going Iris simply nodded.
"Your brother is a jerk."
She sighed again. "He wasn't always like this. Things have been bad at work."
"That's no reason to take it out on the kid."
"You don't have to tell me."
"You and Wally are close. You want to talk to him?"
"Actually, I was hoping you might. Fresh face and all. He's heard it all from me."
Barry chewed his lip. "I dunno. He seemed a little... cold when we were introduced. I think he's worried about you."
"And I'm worried about him. Barry..." She hesitated and he reached for her hand, silently urging her to continue.
Iris lowered her voice so that only her husband could hear. "That little boy wants to be you more than anything, even though he doesn't know it. I think it would be better coming from you, even without the costume. He's not exactly getting a lot of positive male attention lately."
Barry stood up and gave her a gentle smile. "I'll talk to him. Maybe if he doesn't want to listen to me, he'll listen to his hero." he ran a hand through his wind-tossed blond hair and made a face. "Did I just say that?"
Iris gave him a friendly shove. "Get going, hero. You're good with kids."
She watched him go, feeling her heart lighten. Wally would be all right, she knew. He was a tough kid. But getting to know his uncle a bit better certainly wouldn't hurt. Especially when that uncle was The Flash.
And while Barry was handling his new nephew, Iris intended to have a few strong words with her brother.
Wally heard footsteps and quickly scrubbed the tears from his face, hoping that whoever it was would go by without finding him.
"Wally?" The voice wasn't one he recognized right away, but it wasn't his father's. He scrunched down further behind the shrubs, holding his breath.
"Um, Wally, I can see you. Can we talk?"
Rubbing his hands over his cheeks once more he slid from behind the bushes, surprised to see Barry Allen kneeling down near his hiding place, uncaring of the dirt getting on the knees of his dress pants.
The man smiled slightly. "Your hair is kind of a give-away."
"What do you want?" Wally asked, wincing as his voice came out in a higher pitch than he had intended because of the crying he had done.
"I... just wanted to make sure you were ok."
The large green eyes that looked into his were filled with tears and hurt. Anything but 'ok'. Barry swallowed, making a mental note to thank Iris later for throwing him in over his head.
Wally sniffed and rubbed his nose on the sleeve of his jacket. "I'm fine."
Also read as 'Leave me alone.' Barry thought dismally. He decided to attempt a different approach.
"Hey, your Aunt says you're quite the scientist."
"It doesn't matter."
Barry felt another flash of anger for the boy's father. He wasn't a parent himself but he knew that talking a kid down that badly in front of a crowd could screw up their confidence faster than anything. From what Iris had told him, Barry knew Wally had a lot going for him; especially for someone his age. Not many ten year olds understood the advance physics that Wally was excelling at in school and in his free time. Barry suspected that half of Rudy's frustration stemmed from his not knowing how to deal with a child who was a near genius.
"I'd love to see some of your projects."
The boy's head came up fractionally, suspicion written plainly in those expressive emerald eyes. "You would?"
"Sure. I'm kind of a scientist too."
"Aunt Iris said you worked for the Central City Police Department."
"I do. I work in forensics."
"So you mess around with dead people."
Barry chuckled. "Pretty much."
Wally frowned. "Do you really know The Flash? Or did you just say that to impress Aunt Iris?"
'Ouch. Sharp kid.'... "No, I really know him. Pretty well, actually."
"He's a scientist."
"Yes he is."
"I've almost managed to duplicate the exact environment he had when he got his powers. I'm only missing a few components."
"You really like the Flash, don't you?"
"He's amazing!" Wally's pale face lit up for the first time since Barry had found him behind the bush. Apparently Iris hadn't exaggerated when she had told him that Wally was his biggest fan.
"He's saved hundreds of people with his powers. I mean, it was a total accident that he even got his powers, but its so cool! Did you know he can move faster than light and break the sound barrier? I've even heard he can vibrate his molecules through solid objects!"
Barry ran a hand through his hair, hiding a smile. "I've heard that, yes."
"I just wish..." the boy chewed his lip, renewed uncertainty written on his face.
"What is it, Wally?"
"I...wish I could be like him." Wally whispered, bringing his knees up to his chest. "Maybe if I had powers, he'd... "
Barry took a deep breath. "Wally, your dad loves you. I know he's not doing a good job of showing it. And I'm not trying to excuse his behavior. What he did was wrong, and it wasn't your fault. But you don't have to have super powers to be an amazing person. From what your aunt tells me, you already are." he reached out and placed a tentative hand on the boy's shoulder. To his relief, Wally didn't try to shake him off.
"It isn't his powers that make Flash a hero. They're a nice perk, but if he didn't care about people, those powers wouldn't mean anything. Everyone has gifts, Wally. You can be just as much a hero as Flash by making the choice to use those gifts unselfishly for others."
"Even Dad?" Wally mumbled.
Barry smiled sadly. "People like your dad need compassion even more than most people, Wally. That's what makes being a hero so hard at times. Sometimes the people who need help the most don't exactly deserve it. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't try."
Wally didn't look thrilled by that revelation, but Barry could tell he was mulling it over.
"And if things are rough at home, I know your aunt... and I would love to see more of you. We don't live very far away, you know."
Wally made a disgusted face. "You live almost five hours away."
"Well... I can get here pretty fast."
Wally's eyes narrowed.
"If I drive... fast... I mean, not over the speed limit – safely, but you know..."
The play of expressions over Wally's face was absolutely astounding in its variety as he tried to follow his uncle's ramble. Barry had to fight back a laugh as the boy's eyebrows scrunched together in confusion.
"What I'm trying to say is that five hours is not that far. We can come get you if you want to visit for a few weeks. Maybe I can help you with this um... Flash project."
"You'd do that?"
"That would be cool." Wally bit his lip hesitantly. "Would you... would you introduce me to the Flash?"
"Ah... yeah, I could probably do that." Not sure how, but, "I'm sure he'd like to meet his biggest Blue Valley fan."
"I'm his only Blue Valley fan." Wally pointed out dismally.
"Well there's no accounting for taste." Barry laughed, standing to his feet. He made up his mind right there to ask Iris about taking Wally home with them after the reunion.
Wally stood up too, looking a bit apprehensive at the prospect of returning to the tables.
"Are you ok, kid?"
Wally swallowed. "Yeah. Yeah, I'll be ok." he looked up at his uncle, a genuine grin spreading over his face. "Thanks, Uncle Barry."
Barry's heart warmed at the title, and he smiled back, narrowly resiting the urge to ruffle Wally's wild red hair. "You're welcome, kid. Just don't ever forget how special you are, ok?"
Rain hammered on the windows outside the small lab where Wally and Barry were working, putting together the 'Flash' components as Barry called them, for Wally's school project.
"I wonder if it was like this. You know, when The Flash got his powers?" Wally wondered.
"Well, that... incident was something like a one in a billion chance." Barry answered as he measured one of the last chemicals. "Although, it was pretty stormy."
Thunder cracked loudly, causing both of them to jump.
A lightning flash arrowed into the lab table, and once in a billion became twice.