-1Seem so Slow

No matter what the situation, waking up in a pile of dirt was never welcome.

Wally found this out the hard way, spitting out what tasted like mud onto the ground and sitting up painfully. At least, he hoped it was mud and not any other certain brown substance he could think of or that would just be disgusting.

The sun was beating rather nastily onto his face, and he could feel the familiar grittiness of dirt inside his usual pristine costume. Grimacing, he stood up- promptly bashing his scalp into a branch.

"Ugh. What the hell?"

That was when he realised he had woken up inside a forest, a friggin' forest, not just any friggin' forest, but some massive one with- with trees and everything! He could've sworn he had seen some sort of snake wind itself up a particularly thick branch and whoa, he didn't even know scorpions could come in that size!

This had better be a dream.

Of course, if it was a dream, that Swedish bikini team- Wally never really gave up on that- would be arriving just about now to keep him company. After all, Wally West was an optimist, and nothing would stop him hoping.

Several tense seconds past.

Wally sighed. He had never been known as a patient man- heck, were any of the past speedsters known as patient?- and being stuck in an unknown forest in unknown coordinates was not helping. At least at other times, he had ol' Bats telling him and the other members of the League where they were and what to do.

Now he was alone.

He shivered.

No, now was not the time to be pitying himself, he had to think of a way to get back. When he did, he'll go bother Green Lantern and Superman for a bit, maybe even Batman if he was feeling lucky. Then he'll drink an iced mocha or a dozen before going on his daily jog around the world.

Then everything would be back to normal.

Wally closed his eyes and remembered.

He had been fighting that Brainiac-Luthor thing, and then he had felt a sickening feeling of unease and cold run over him The feeling of death. The feeling of anticipating death.

In those dark moments, he had unconsciously reached out- reached out for what? Comfort? Hope? A reason to keep hoping? He had not really expected anything to answer to him, but something had. A nagging white brilliance had touched his mind, and at that moment, he had latched onto it- and clung on.

Everything had been a blur from there.

He remembered glimpses of the Indian Ocean, some beach in Tahiti, the Pyramids as he sped at unbelievable speeds through them. He remembered seeing Luthor's shocked face as he pounded him into the ground.

Then nothing.

Wally groaned loudly and opened his eyes. Well, that was useful. Uncle Barry, the previous Flash, had always told him that nothing good ever came with messing with the Speed Force. Okay, so maybe he had done a lot of stupid things in his life. Like somehow getting doused in chemicals and getting struck by lightning, irreversibly turning him into a speedster in the first place. And that time when he had accidentally blown up part of the Batcave. Or that time when he accidentally-on-purposely groped Wonder Woman during one of their friendly spars.

He winced at the memory. His arms could still feel the pain from that one.

Anyways, nothing permanently bad had happened to him from the prior misadventures. Nothing like this.

At that moment, a soft crunching of a leaf alerted Wally that he wasn't alone. He spun around, fully expecting to see scantily clad female bodies, hopefully all bearing some kind of food or beverage. He was starting to feel hungry.

Instead, he saw a moody looking red head with coal rimmed eyes. He was carrying a massive gourd on his back and was currently glaring at Wally like he wanted to fry him and then eat him for breakfast.

"Hey! You're not Swedish!" Wally said, disappointed. So much for a dream then.

"Who. ARE. You." The red head growled- he actually growled!- at him. Practically everything about the kid screamed super villain. That can't be good.

Wally grinned nervously at him. He was good with kids, or so he had been told. This could work out. "I'm the Flash!" At that, he zipped over and ruffled the kid's hair. Huh. It felt a bit sandy but whatever. He zipped back. "You know, the Fastest Man alive."

That would've actually looked cool, if it weren't for the fact that Wally suddenly tripped over his own feet and crashed onto the ground. He took a tree or two with him. After all, running at almost the speed of sound and then tripping was never a good idea.

Wally glanced, bemused at his feet. He had never tripped- ok, never tripped on his own accord- in his life as the Flash. His eyes widened at the culprit- his own friggin' costume.

The offending material was hanging loose around his ankles and at his knees. Actually, scratch that, it was loose everywhere, at his arms, shoulders, hell, even at his crotch. Somehow, he had shrunk in the record of two seconds.

…Yeah, today wasn't a good day.

Wally noticed that his body was now as scrawny as it was when he was Kid Flash. Which only left two options- he had magically deaged or had somehow ran so fast, he was now in the past.

Both options kinda sucked. Wally made a note to himself never to tap into the Speed Force again unless he was totally screwed. Actually, he was kinda screwed now, but that wasn't the point.

By now, the weird red head, raccoon-eyed kid was gone. Instead, there was the tree that Wally had knocked over previously, lying dismally over the spot the kid was before.

The speedster's eyes bulged slightly. "Oh my god!" He sped over to the tree, breathing a sigh of relief at the lack of flattened body- or any body for that matter.

Then something grabbed his ankle.

Wally fell flat on his face for the second time in five minutes. The taste of dirt on his tongue was becoming quite familiar and he was beginning to dislike whatever dimension he had gotten himself stuck in.

As he was getting hoisted into the air by his leg, he thought he didn't really like the situation either.

Whatever that had grabbed his foot had him in a rather strong grip. Wally glanced down at his ankle and boggled at what looked like a stream of sand wrapped around it, levitating in the air. The speedster's eyes crept slowly down the sand…only to meet the murderous gaze of Raccoon-Redhead.

Okay. He had been in stranger situations. He had once switched minds with Lex Luthor. He was best friends with a bunch of aliens. He had seen Batman laugh. Compared to those, this was nothing.

Maybe the kid just didn't like getting his hair ruffled.

"Um…You mind letting go?" The grip tightened. "Okay then…never mind."

Wally instinctively vibrated his foot at a superhuman frequency. He felt the sand heat up around his ankle and he was dropped a good metre onto his head. To add to the injury, shards of glass shattered around him, narrowly missing his face.

"Ow! Rotten little-" The speedster took a deep breath. He was pretty sure swearing in front of a kid wasn't good for his awesome-as-hell superhero image. "Who the hell are you anyway? Think you're some kinda ninja?"

"Gaara of the Sands," Raccoon-Redhead said, punctuating it with a glare. "Don't forget that."

"Uh…okay." Like he could.

At that moment, another kid with his face painted like something out of the speedster's worst nightmares appeared. He was dressed in a stupid looking black cloak thing- but that wasn't what caught Wally's attention in the first place. It was the dead body tied to his back that scared him.

"You-" The kid turned and saw Wally. He immediately turned back to Gaara. "Gaara! Don't kill him! You had your fun already!"

"Kankuro." Gaara hissed. "Don't get in my way. Or I'll kill you too."

Kill? Wally blanched. Definitely a super villain.

"Er, hate to interrupt your conversation and everything. But, you know, busy guy and everything, people to meet, places to run to. Maybe I'll see you around. Or not." Wally laughed nervously. No, he was not running away, he would rather die then tarnish the reputation of the Flash with the word cowardice. He would just maybe contact the authorities, figure out what dimension he was in, discipline the kids a bit, and go home. No biggie.

Of course, it was easier said then done. The words had barely left his mouth before a massive gust of wind blew him into a tree, and a very attractive blonde girl appeared from behind a bush. She was hefting a large fan- where do people get these things?- and had a scowl on her face.

The scarlet speedster picked himself off the ground, internally swearing. Admittedly, she was hot, but damn, that tree hurt! Now he was probably going to spend the next few days or so picking splinters out of his back.

"Temari." Gaara snarled at the blonde. She immediately lowered her fan. "That was my prey."

And the sand began to edge its way towards the girl.

Now, Wally liked to think himself as a ladies' man, chivalrous and a superhero as he was. He had found out the hard way what the sand could do and he didn't really like the thought that the same thing was going to happen to the girl.

That was why he found himself zipping towards her at the speed of sound, yanking her away a millisecond before the sand could crush her.

"Hey, beautiful," he grinned at her. "Wanna ditch these losers and grab some lunch while we're at it?"

She stared, open mouthed, at him for approximately two seconds. Then she punched him in the face.

Wally swore, dropping her, bringing both hands to his nose which was now spouting blood like a fountain. He pinched his nose frantically, only succeeding in staining his hands. His super speed healing hadn't stopped the flow yet, which meant she had a hell of a right hook.

"Wud was dat for?" he gasped, glaring through watering eyes at the trio. One was expressionless, one was smug, and the last was openly laughing.

The speedster bristled. No one laughed at him!

"I think he likes you," Kankuro, was it?-snickered.

"Hmph." The blonde sneered at Wally. "These losers are my brothers, idiot."

"Guh," Wally managed intelligently. "Dun do dat."


"Smile." Ah, his super speed healing had finally kicked in. He was starting to get worried there.


"You look better when you smile."

Wally took advantage of her flabbergasted look to run off, not without leaving a rose in her hand. There. That'll teach her not to punch him in the face.