Author's Note: Until Wally is a bamf in the show, I'm going to beat the ever loving crap out of him. This is a fill for a prompt on live journal.
Summary: Robin listened to Batman list off the injuries that each of his teammates suffered, confusion flooded his mind as Batman failed to mention one teammate. What about KF?
Disclaimer: I have a Batman lunchbox.
Sound the Bugle
Warmth settled around him like a blanket, his senses slowly waking one by one. First there was the steady tattoo of some kind of machine letting out a high pitched 'beep' to his left, then the scent of disinfectant assaulted his nostrils causing his nose to scrunch, his tongue felt thick and heavy and his mouth tasted like it was stuffed with cotton. Finally, a slow dull ache that was creeping up from each of his extremities and his chest twinged with a pinching pain with every inhale. He moved his left hand, the tips of his fingers skimming across the starchy fabric below him. He was laying down? And there were voices near him. Talking to him? What were they saying? His eyelids felt heavy, almost like they were glued together, with more effort than it should ever take to open his eyes, Robin opened his eyes..to see a man wearing batcowl staring down at him.
This was either really good or really bad.
"Robin, can you understand me?"
Robin opened his mouth to make a reply, he meant to say 'yes' but instead it came out as 'Yeaagess'. Batman was gone, returning with a pixie cup of water, the straw near Robin's mouth. The acrobat took a long drink, almost sighing as the cool liquid made its way down his throat. A droplet began to make its way down the corner of his mouth and when Robin went to wipe it away he found that his arm was heavier than he remembered. Confused, he moved his head fractionally to see the cause, blinking as his right arm was swathed in a white cast, going to inquire the cause Robin saw the same implied to both of this legs. "What happened?" his words were still rough despite the water.
"Your team was ambushed by the League of Shadows. Both of your fibula have been broken, three fractured ribs, and a broken ulna in your right arm" Batman said slowly. Slowly, bits and pieces started to unfold in his mind, the moonlight be obscured as dozens upon dozens of people of clad in black rained down on them, flames jumping towards the tree tops, someone screaming in pain, an overwhelming pain as something stomps down on his legs, "Are the others okay?" he asks quickly his voice edged with panic while his mind scrabbled to regain the rest of the fading memories.
The Dark Knight stepped to the side, "Aqualad was dehydrated, but he woke up soon after he was given fluids, Miss Martian has suffered second degree burns to her arms, and Artemis has a shoulder injury from what appears to be an arrow, they are both with Superboy, who was exposed to kryptonite and is being administered yellow sunlight at this moment." Batman listed off, his voice never giving off any sort of emotion besides utter calm. Robin counted the team's names in his mind, his brow furrowing in confusion as Batman failed to mention one particular name.
"What about KF? Is he alright?" Batman stared at the raven haired teen and for a moment, Robin thought that his mentor wasn't going to answer his query. His chest constricted, "Where's Wally?" he pressed. The lenses to his cowl, narrowed even more if that was possible, the corner of his mouth pulled downward and even in Robin's moderately drugged state, it seemed like a sympathetic frown rather than the usual disgruntle one.
"Kid Flash's injuries are extensive. Multiple broken bones, massive blood loss, and cranial swelling. One of his lungs were punctured and collapsed, and a bruised heart. It's amazing that he was conscious when we arrived." The final sentence stirred hope in Robin. If the speedster was awake when the League arrived, then KF had to be okay. Just to be sure, Robin looked away from his mentor to search the medbay for any signs of the speedster.
"Then he's okay, right? Where is he?" he asked once he saw that the only signs of life was Batman, Aqualad, and himself. A pregnant pause caused Robin to return his gaze to stare at Batman, noticing for the first time that his face was absent of both mask and sunglasses. He pushed the peculiar thought away, keeping his mind at the question at hand.
"Kid Flash is at the Watchtower's medical lab, the equipment there is more suited for his current needs." Not missing the look that passed over the raven teen's face, he continued, "Though he was conscious when we arrived, he passed out soon after. He underwent surgery to repair the broken bones, relieve the swelling, and take care of the heart injury. Currently, he is unable to breath on his own and brain activity is low, he's been placed on ventilator, it's too early for change."
It was like he was being kicked over and over as the older man rattled off what Kid Flash had gone through, with every treatment Robin winced as if the pain was his own. "He's going to wake up though." it wasn't a question to be answered, it was a way to ensure that it was in fact true and something solid for him to hold onto. "KF always bounces back." he said quietly a bit of a smirk playing on his lips.
A small jerk of his indicated that Batman either agreed with the Boy Wonder or was accepting the boy's optimistic standing, "Get some rest. I'm sure the others will want to see you." Maybe it was Batman's mentioning of "rest" that had some magical ability to make him feel tired or he was pushing back his own exhaustion, but either or Robin found it difficult to keep his eyes open.
Barry brushed his fingers over his nephews hand, the exposed skin was pale enough that the normally faint freckles stood out like pebbles on white sand. The rest of the young teen's arm was covered in gauze, a tube ran from the back of his arm to the IV drip. Gingerly he took the hand in his own as he took the open seat beside the bed. Barry was careful to not squeeze the hand, afraid that if he did it could break like glass. His pale blue eyes were red from the hours of waiting for any news on Wally. When he had been given the go ahead to enter the medical bay, he wasted no time. Truth be told, Barry was used to the world around him to be seemingly frozen, but this time the blond speedster was sure that time had actually stopped the moment he set eyes on his nephew.
Being told what happened and seeing the actual aftermath were two horribly different things. He wasn't completely aware that he had begun to walk forward until he stopped at the foot of the hospital bed. The stinging behind his eyes that he had been trying to pushing away returned ten fold. The young speedster's mouth was pulled to the side from the ventilator, the machine clicked every time Wally "inhaled" a white bandage wrapped around his nephew's head covered most of the ginger hair, only a few tufts stuck out at the edges. Beneath the baby blue blanket, Barry knew, hid countless other injuries, the heart monitor going off for every heart beat.
Once he was seated at his nephew's side, using his free hand, Barry ran his thumb against Wally's forehead, free of the bruises that marred the rest of the boy's skin. "Hey, Kid." his voice wavered, Barry cleared his throat and tried again, "I don't know if you can hear me, but it's your Uncle Barry." he said trying for a smile he knew Kid wouldn't see. "I'm right here." he nearly choked on the lump that threatening to rise. "Your Aunt wanted to come, but she couldn't make it right now. She'll be here soon."
The pale haired man turned away thinking about his wife. He was with her when they both received word of their nephew. She demanded to accompany him to the Watchtower and see her nephew but they both knew that she did not have the clearance. Knowing that she couldn't go, Iris demanded that her husband go, Barry was at first hesitant finding it wrong that he should go without her, it was only through Dinah offering to stay with Iris did Barry speed to the nearest teleporter.
He didn't even notice that he wasn't the Flash the minute his feet touched the floor of the space satellite. However, when he did, Barry made no move to change into the red suit. The Scarlet Speedster made his work saving lives and keeping people safe, but he wasn't needed. Wally needed his Uncle now, not the Flash. It was also the Flash's fault for this situation to start with. If it weren't for him, Wally never would have replicated the experiment, he wouldn't be here. "Kid, I'm sorry. You shouldn't be here. This is my fault." He should be worrying about what he would get on his next test, not struggling to breath on his own. "You're supposed to be a kid, not a hero, just a kid."
His hand dropped away, coming to rest on the white sheets next to the pillow propped underneath Wally's head. He fell silent, his head dropping low enough so that his chin touched his chest, Barry's other hand continued to hold Wally's. A tear broke free, streaking down Barry's face before he had the chance to wipe it away, the only sound in the room was the stead click of the ventilator and the heart monitor. "Do you remember when you were in the hospital after you made the basement explode? I've never been so scared in my life, Kid never. But when you woke up, all you cared about was if you were just like me or not,. You didn't care about your own health, only if you were just like me." He shook his head, a watery laugh, "And the moment I said you could be Kid Flash, I've never seen anyone so happy." Barry's smile wavered, "You hit the ground running then kiddo, I know you'll do again now."
Pulling his chair closer to the bed, Barry leaned closer, "And I'm wait right here until you wake up." he said softly squeezing the smaller hand in his own.
The second time he woke up, it was to voices, none of which were the low gruff one that he was expecting which he was partially thankful for. Hesitantly he opened one eye to look towards the source of the noise. A relieved sigh left him at seeing his teammates, hearing the soft noise the tallest dark haired one turned to look at him. "He's awake." Conner announced to the to the others.
"About time, Boy Wonder.' Artemis quipped, though Robin could tell the archer was just as happy to see that he was awake as the others. M'gann quickly floated over to his side, Robin took notice of the new long sleeved shirt that she wore instead of her usual short sleeved one, the white bandages that peeked out from the hem of the fabric being the reason why.
"How do you feel? Are you in pain? Batman said we should get him if you were." she asked, her hazel eyes edged with worry. Giving her the best smile that he could muster at the moment, Robin pushed himself up, grimacing at the snags of pain the movement caused. M'gann was quick to aiding him until he was sitting up in his bed, finally able to see everyone properly (though he noticed, that Bats must have replaced his shades as everyone was viewed with tinted glass). Robin saw with relief that Kaldur was sitting up as well, looking better than most of them if anything. Conner looked tired, but that had to be caused from being exposed to the lethal stone. Artemis had her familiar smirk, but the dark circles under her eyes and the sling that supported her arm led Robin to believe that she was just as exhausted as them.
"I'm a bit sore, but that's all." he replied honestly, thankful for the drugs that were dulling any pain that he did experience. "How about you guys? Is everything copasetic?"
"It is nothing that will not be healed over time." Kaldur spoke this time, the Atlantean's voice was almost as rough as Robin's, if not worse. "We were mostly worried about you my friend."
Robin offered a tired smile, "I''ll be fine, this is nothing."
"Two broken legs and you say it's nothing. Of course, what was I worried about?" Artemis commented rolling her eyes, placing the hand that wasn't in the sling on her hip. Robin laughed at the blonde archer, glad for the normalcy, still it didn't ease the question that had been bothering him the second he opened his eyes.
"Have you heard anything about, KF?" he asked trying to keep his tone light, but the hope for good news was still there all the same. The feeling was quickly abolished when his teammates exchanged uneasy glances, unsure of who should speak first.
"Batman hasn't told us anything." M'gann answered softly tugging the hem of her shirt sleeve further down her arm.
"He hasn't said anything either." Conner added, "No one has." Course, Superboy would tell them the second if he did hear anything and if Bats wasn't speaking a word of it, Robin knew that nothing had changed from the first time he awoke. Slipping down in his bed, rightly ignoring another twinge of pain from his chest, Robin mumbled a quiet 'oh'. Crossing his arms, Conner trained his blue eyes on the door to the medical lab. "Why can't we just make him tell us? We have the right to know."
"Baywatch is our teammate." Artemis agreed, failing at crossing her own arms. "This is getting annoying really fast." she grumbled mostly to her self as she glared at the navy fabric that supported her arm.
"Batman must have a reason for keeping any news about Kid Flash from us. Perhaps, this is his way of preventing us from worrying." Kaldur tried to explain.
Artemis snorted, "Somehow, that doesn't sound like Batman."
"There is no change in Wallace's condition." Batman's voice snapped everyone's attention back to the door where his imposing figure stood. "Something must have occurred during the fight, his metabolism should have taken care of his injuries, but they're healing at the progress of someone without powers." He gauged everyone's faces, "He remains unresponsive, all that any of us can do, is wait."
"Maybe my Uncle J'onn can help, he could communicate with Wal-." M'gann began only stopping herself when Batman held up a hand.
"We have tried" he lowered his hand, "We have tried."
J'onn touched Wally temple, his hand feather light, he focused on the boy laying unconscious before him not on the apprehensive man and woman who watched with a mixture of hope and fear, a dangerous combination. He conscious touched Wally's own, J'onn listened for the speedster's thoughts, his forehead creased as he received silence. "I cannot hear his thoughts." he admitted.
Iris tightened her grip on her husband's hand, "What do you mean you can't hear them? Try again! You're wrong, he's there." she demanded. J'onn looked to Barry who looked just as desperate as her.
"Please, J'onn." Barry implored his friend. Nodding, J'onn closed his eyes and everything around him, concentrating on Wally's mind trying to hear anything that would signal that the young speedster was still with them. Where there was normally a array of thoughts and emotions remained silent and dark, disappointment and sympathy filled the Martian's own mind knowing what this would mean for Barry and his wife. Frowning, J'onn was about to open his eyes when he heard it, a faint thought, very faint.
"I hear him." J'onn announced, "Your nephew is still with us, I hear his thoughts, they are faint, but he is there."
"Manhunter came in contact with Wallace's subconscious. He is not brain dead, only in a deep coma." Batman finished.
"Does that mean we're allowed to see him now?" Artemis asked. Behind the white lenses, Batman held each of the young teen's gazes before turning away. Fro a moment, the team slumped blieving their request had been denied.
"I'll make arrangements, for you four to go." Robin didn't need to be a genius to know who Batman was leaving out.
"No way, Batman. I'm not staying here, I'm going with the others."
"Robin, you've broken both-"
Batman's back remained turned, "Okay." he uttered the two syllables before exiting. Robin and the others allowed themselves a moment of happiness, knowing that they were going to see Wally soon and that they would soon forget that they could be happy upon seeing him.
Recognized, Robin B-01. Recognized, Aqualad B-02. Recognized, Superboy B-04. Recognized, Miss Martian B-05.
Honestly, Robin did care for wheel chairs since the last time that he broke his leg and KF thought it would be "fun" use his super speed while pushing Robin around. Though, maybe that could happen again once KF woke up, for the time being he was fine settling with Kal pushing him out of the tube while the other followed after them. Batman stood in front, resolute as always waiting for them. He nodded his head, signalling for the others to follow. The team followed, Robin knew he wasn't the only one to take advantage of looking around the Watchtower for the first time. He was swerving his head when he spotted a familiar red and black costume entering one of the zeta tubes. At first he didn't think it was possible, why would he be here and then,
Recognized, Red Arrow B-06
He checked the others to see if they heard it too, Superboy looked curiously over his shoulder, of course the guy with the super hearing heard it. Besides that, seemed like no one else knew, Robin allowed himself a small grin having a faint idea as to why the archer was there. Once they entered what Robin could only guess was the medical lab, judging my the equipment, Flash or as he was now, Barry glanced up while Wally's Aunt slept soundlessly beside him, cushioning her head beside her nephew. Barry looked at each of the teens in turn, then to Batman.
"Barry, maybe you should take a break." Course, what sounded like a suggestion, always had a demand behind it when it came to Batman. Barry looked ready to refuse, but seemingly thought better of it as he gently shook his wife awake. She looked at her husband than to the new arrivals, nodding in understanding before both she and Barry departed. Batman regarded them for a moment, "Take your time." and then he was gone too.
None of them wanted to be the first to move towards the bed that held their friend, it was only through Robin tapping Kal's arm did the Atlantean walk forward pushing the acrobat until he was right beside the bed, "Hey, KF." he greeted, "I have to say, you don't look very aster."
Artemis sent a glare at the Boy Wonder while she walked to the other side, placing an arrow on the stand beside the bed, "Ignore him, Baywatch." she said, "I know you've been nagging me about 'stealing one of your souvenirs' so I thought, I'd give you a replacement. I would have put it on your shelf but, I wasn't sure if you had some kind of system."
M'gann set down a red canister next to the arrow, "And I made you cookies, I know how hungry you are when you wake up, Conner helped make them." she smiled easily, "I hope you like them." The mentioned super made to move next, putting what appeared to be a gnawed bone next to Artemis' and M'gann's gifts. "Conner, what is that?" M'gann asked bemused.
Conner shrugged, "It's Wolf's favorite bone, I thought that Wally could hold onto it and give it back when he gets better." he explained. Robin snorted in amusement while Artemis blinked and M'gann nodded in understanding.
Kaldur stepped out from behind Robin, resting a webbed hand gently on Wally's, "I'm sorry my friend, if I had led better than none of us would have been injured." Kaldur apologized, rolling his eyes beneath his glasses, Robin smacked the Atlantean with his good hand.
"Cut it out, Kal. It's not your fault, bad things happen and it's not anyone's fault."
Artemis gave a short nod of agreement, "It's part of the job, Kaldur, we know that and I'm pretty sure Wally would say the same." Kaldur accepted the bereavement, saying a quiet 'alright'.
Robin smirked then leaned forward, "I know you didn't see it KF, but your Aunt and Uncle looked pretty bad. They're really worried about you."
"We're all worried about you." M'gann added grabbing Wally's free hand.
"Exactly, so you need to wake up and start eating all the food in the Cave and annoying Arty. Remember? We still have to stick her in a giant ball like a hamster." Robin said, ignoring the glare that Artemis was sending him.
"You were going to do what now?" Artemis demanded, trying and failing again to place her injured hand on her hip.
Robin grinned, "We thought you'd make a great hamster, trust me, you'll have fun."
"You can't be serious, you are not sticking me in some over sized hamster-"
"Something's wrong." Superboy said suddenly. Robin cast a curious look towards the taller raven haired teen.
"What do you mean?" as soon as the words left his mouth, the heart monitor let out a shriek and for that moment, Robin was sure Wally's heart wasn't the only one to have stopped beating.
Members of the League filled the room, Batman and Green Arrow made the team leave the room while J'onn and Dr. Midnite stayed behind working swiftly to right the wrong that was occurring. Robin felt his chest pull uncomfortably when he saw Hal Jordan preventing Barry from entering the lab. "Let me through, Hal. What's happening? Let me through!" the speedster demanded. Hal shook his head, maintaining his grip on the other man.
"I'm sorry, Barry. You'll only be in the way."
Behind the two, the team waited nervously. M'gann was holding onto one of Conner's arm while he tried to comfort the obviously distraught Martain but was unsure what to do himself. Robin maintained the belief that Wally was going to be okay. This was nothing. Wally always bounced back, he was going to be okay, he had to be okay, if he wasn't...Robin already lost his parents, to lose his best friend too would be too cruel. He lost track of the time that passed, Robin was certain that it must have been near an hour when in reality it was probably only less than ten minutes. When J'onn stepped back out, Barry pushed past, Iris close behind him and no one made a move to stop the two.
"We have re-stabilized him. We are not sure what the cause is, the heart may have given out momentarily due to stress, I do not think that it will happen again, but perhaps," J'onn looked at them, "It will be best to limit his visitors for now."
In J'onn's own kind way, Robin knew he was saying that their short visit was over and it was time to head back home. The message was received in full, "You'll tell us if anything happens, right?" Robin asked.
J'onn nodded, "Of course."
Robin accepted the response, it was all just a waiting game now. It was a matter of time before he and KF were trying to stuff an irritated archer in a ball. That was what he was going to believe and he dared anyone to contradict it.
"I'm starting to think that your life goal is to scare us to death, Wally." Iris whispered so not to wake her slumbering husband. She petted the hair that was free from the bindings, "I don't know how much more we can take." she said stopping her movements, "Might be forced to lock you in your room just so I know that you'll always be safe." she sniffed quietly. Iris had already spent countless hours crying, she wept when she heard what happened, cried upon seeing him, and nearly collapsed in relief when Martian Manhunter told them that Wally was still with them and that he would come back. She only held herself together now because she knew she had to be strong, for both her nephew and for Barry. "I don't think that your Uncle would object to the idea either." she added. Beside her, Barry shifted in his seat, his head which was previous resting against the back of the rather uncomfortable chairs lolled forward causing the speedster to jolt awake.
"Wha-?" he asked, he looked around remembering where he was. Wiping the sleep from his eyes he asked, "Any change."
Iris shook her head, "Not yet." she replied resuming to gently card her fingers through Wally's hair. She continued to do so, until remembering something that she put in her bag before leaving the house. She had been in Wally's room waiting for someone to call her saying that she could see him. Iris was going through familiar photo albums that Wally kept in his closet when she found something that didn't quite belong and it was instinct that made her bring it with her. Ducking her head under the bed, her hand closed around the strap of her bag and pulled it out. Paying no mind to Barry's confused expression, she pulled the book out running her hand over the worn cover.
Barry read the title, "Goodnight Moon? Didn't you used to read that to him when he was younger?" he asked.
Iris nodded, "It was his favorite book, I can't believe he still had it after all this time."
"Souvenir." Barry whispered fondly. Iris bit her lip and nodded before opening the book.
"In the great green room there was a telephone and a red balloon and a picture of the cow jumping over the moon..." Iris' voice remained soft and gentle as she continued to read from the book. Barry listened, half paying attention to the words that were being spoken the other half watching both his nephew and his wife, his hand just centimeters from Wally's. He found himself starting to drift off when Iris began to near the end of the book, when he felt it. Movement. His once half lidded eyes snapped completely open, watching as his nephew's fingers began to twitch.
"Iris." he said quickly. Iris stopped reading looking at her nephew's hand, with a gasp she turned to look at Wally's face.
Placing her hand on his head once more, she leaned closer, "Wally, sweetheart, can you hear me?" she whispered. The hand twitched again, the eyes behind closed lids began to move rapidly, his nose scrunched up, "Wally, can you open your eyes?" she tried again. Iris knew Barry was watching just as intently as her. Wally made a small groan that was mutilated by the ventilator, Iris never felt so relieved as green eyes gradually appeared. Restraining herself from crying again Iris smiled, "Hey, sweetheart, you're okay."
Barry grinned brightly, "Welcome back, kiddo." he said laughing taking the hand. Wally looked between his Aunt and Uncle, eyes heavily lidded, the corner of his mouth twitched upward then seemed to take notice of the object that was prevent him from smiling or making any noise. He grunted a bit, in what they guessed was displeasure.
Still grinning, Barry stood, "I'll get Midnite." he informed, not able to make one step when a hand clamped around his wrist. Barry looked down at his wrist, seeing that for a boy who was in a coma for a week had a surprisingly strong grip. Barry transferred his gaze to see his nephew shake his head weakly, "Or not." he said softly taking back his seat. "We'll both stay right here Wally."
Iris nodded, "Right here." she repeated. Wally gave another half attempt at a smile, not releasing his Uncle hand, knowing that he wasn't going to be alone while Iris and Barry smiled, knowing Wally was with them, where he belonged.
Final Thought: I LIKE CHEESE. IN CASE YOU COULDN'T TELL. AND I KNOW THAT THE TITLE MAKES NO SENSE, LEAVE ME AWAY, IT SEEMED LIKE A GOOD IDEA AT THE TIME. IT IS LATE NOW AS I FINISH THIS. TIME FOR SLEEP SLEEP FOR FALLEN. SO THIS IS FALLEN IN CAPS SAYING, STAY CLASSY READERS.