"Dude, we've been standing here for fifteen minutes. If you don't wanna do it—"
"Could've fooled me. You look like you're going to give yourself an ulcer."
"You're not helping."
Dick leans against the car door with an agitated sigh. "Wally, I mean it. We can put this off for another day."
Wally shook his head defiantly, but had yet to so much as exit the vehicle. "Just— hold your horses, Dickie Bird." Dick shoots a grimace in his boyfriend's direction that Wally catches, and sends a wink in return. "I'm just a little nervous."
Dick finally approached the driver's side and flung the door open; arms crossed, but a slight smile tugging on his lips. "Your Uncle Barry already knows, and he's cool with it. Anyone who's married to The Flash, has got to be a pretty terrific lady, don'tcha think?"
Wally grins fondly. "She is," He admits, sincere. "She's like a second Mom to me."
"So," Dick gestured with his head towards the front door of the rancher. "What're you waiting for?"
The redhead scratched the back of his head, before ducking out the of the car. He kicks it shut, then entwines his hand with Dick's—who squeezes it reassuringly—and nods. "Let's go."
Wally raps twice against the pine wood, but doesn't bother waiting for a reply— he turns the knob and strolls in with a shout of, "Aunt Iris, I'm home!" something he has been saying for nearly seven years— since he was ten. The first time had been accidental, after engaging in a horrid spat between him and his Father, and heading straight to his Aunt's place for comfort. She had always told him that this was his home, whenever he wanted. He'd taken that to heart— and the words had slipped out.
As usual, his response is her tinkling laughter from inside the kitchen. "I'm in here!"
Wally steals a final look at Dick, who cocks an eyebrow and clutches his hand a little tighter, before dropping it all together and stepping aside for Wally to lead the way.
Gulping, Wally skirts down the warmly lit corridor and through the open doorway. Upon entering, he spots Iris hunched over with her head inside the stove; scrubbing away at the racks. "Hey." He beams; chortling when she pulls herself out with a flash of whitened teeth.
"Wally! Come here," She pulls off her blackened rubber gloves and drops them in the sink, then engulfs the speedster in a tight embrace. "You haven't visited in so long! I thought you'd forgotten about me."
Wally laughs, returning her hug before stepping back. "Never, Auntie." Turning his head to the left, he spies Dick lingering uncomfortably by the refrigerator; occupying his attention with the various knickknacks Iris had gotten into the habit of collecting, rather then the sight before him. Wally ponders wistfully if it's moments like this, that makes him miss his own family.
"Oh, who's this?" Dick's shoulders visibly stiffen upon being spotted, but he slowly turns his eyes to meet her green ones.
"This is— why I came, actually." Wally chuckles once more, but it's of a higher pitch, radiating the nervousness he wishes he could have checked at the foyer. "Aunt Iris, this is Dick Grayson." With a jerk of his chin, Dick steps forward obediently, smiling pensively—Wally will have to tease him about this later; Dick Grayson, the one man who could charm the pants of an entire ballroom full off people, is shy around his sweet-as-sugar Aunt—and stretches his hand out to shake.
"It's a pleasure to meet you Mrs. Alle— ah!" He lets off a guffaw of surprise when he's tugged into a fierce hug, not unlike the one Wally had received.
"No need to be so formal, Sweetheart. Any friend of Wally's is a friend of mine— call me Iris." She chirps; releasing the Boy Wonder, who stumbles backward awkwardly. Wally was still in the midst of getting Dick used to a little more physical contact.
"Thanks." His expression softens slightly, making Wally's own face split into one of merriment. Why on Earth had he been worried, again?
"So um, I actually have something to tell you," He pipes up, eyeing the plate of Shortbread sitting on the counter top as he does so. "Something important."
Iris offers them both a cookie—Dick takes one and polity thanks her; Wally takes the whole plate from her hands—then frowns. "Oh, alright. Why don't we move to the living room?"
Once they've relocated to the quaint family room, that's complete with a cheerful fireplace that flickers brightly in the corner, Iris observes them both, squished together on the love seat. "If it's anything regarding matters of the Superhero variety, you know your Uncle is more informed—"
"It's not that." Wally can feel his face heating up. "It's good news, actually."
"Oh?" Iris smirks and teasingly pokes her nephew in the ribs. "Do tell, Honey."
"I-It's— It's um, such great news! Really great. Nice, happy news, and—"
"Wally and I are dating." Dick announces bluntly— then holds back a snicker at Wally's horrified expression. "What? You were beating around the bush!"
Carefully, Wally faces his Aunt who's expression has gone blank. Splinters of fear flit through his system. "Aunt Iris..?"
He would almost think she was the speedster, with how quickly she leaped from her chair to wrap them both in a squeeze tight enough to bruise. "Congratulations!"
The boys exchange looks of mild relief, as well as bafflement, past the cloak her hair as created between them. "That's— That's it?" Wally sputters.
Dropping her arms, she falls into a crouch before them. "Wally, Honey, I wouldn't care if you wanted to become a cross dresser and move to Vegas—" Dick barks a single bubble of amusement at the image in his head— Wally punches him in the shoulder. "You're still my Wally. I'll support you in any choice you make." She levels him with a suddenly cold stare. "As long as it doesn't involve self-mutilation or crime."
Wally snorts. "Even if it involved crime, you'd still let me stay here if I was being hunted down by the cops."
She smacks him lightly on the knee, but doesn't deny the allegation.
By the time they've been granted freedom to leave, they're stuffed full of cookies, hot cocoa and have been given enough hugs to fill their quota for a lifetime.
"She's quite the hugger, huh." Dick deadpans, but then shakes his head, contented.
"Oh yeah, you better get used to that. She's already calling you her son-in-law."
Wally unlocks the passenger door and holds it open for Dick, who rolls his eyes but simpers at the action. "Let's see if we get that far. We still have to tell your parents."
Wally's frame crumples like a wilted flower, against the passenger side. "Right…"
The drive back to the West household is quiet.
It's past dark by the time Dick and Wally pull into the driveway— the lights are still on in the house, despite Wally's silent prayer that his family had decided to retire early, tonight.
"Wally, you're making that face again." The redhead nearly jumps, as Dick's voice finally busts the comfortable silence that had been formed.
"W-What? I'm not making a face."
"You might as well have a sign above your head that says, 'I'm Nervous' in neon."
Wally's cheeks are dusted pink, but he fires a glare at the passenger. "You know, you're turning out to be a pretty crappy boyfriend."
Dick leans forward, pecking Wally once on the lips and smiling smugly when the older boy's face grows redder. "Am I, Wally?"
"What was the question, again?"
Dick cracks up. "Come on, Kid Doofus. Your parents won't be any different than your Aunt. Let's get this over with." He's out of the cab before Wally can even shut off the ignition.
Wally's fingers finally drift from the steering wheel, and he shuts off the car with a deep breath in, and exhale out. "My parents won't be any different than my Aunt." He murmurs to himself, then slides out to once again clasp his hand with Dick's.
Won't be any different.
He managed to pry his Dad from his football game, and his Mom from folding laundry long enough to have them take a seat at the dining table with he and Dick. They seemed at ease, enough— but Wally knew from experience, what good poker faces they both held in their possession.
"What is it, Wally?" Mary is the first to speak, folding her hands atop the white tablecloth and staring at him hard enough to cause his hands to clam up.
"Well— So you see—" Wally swallows, and looks to Dick for guidance, but his eyes are firmly cast toward the wall clock across the way. He almost wishes Dick would blurt the news out this time, as well. It seemed his hopes weren't being answered at all, today. "Dick and I are together." He's pleased, and lightly shocked that the sentence came out as smoothly as it had, when he could feel his legs quivering in anxiety below him.
Rudolph groans. "We can see that, Son. Get to the point."
"N-No, I mean, we're— we're d-dating."
Wally would of sworn, time stood absolutely still, in those few seconds.
"Since when?" Mary demands, standing up from her chair with a jolt and slamming her palms against the dining room table.
"Uh, I don't know. Two, two and a half weeks, now?" Wally stutters, and feels Dick's hand suddenly gripping his own.
"Unbelievable." Mary shakes her head. "You've been sneaking around behind our backs?"
"Mom, I haven't doing anything wrong."
"You're— gay." His Dad spits, looking utterly repulsed, and sends Wally's heart cascading to the floor.
"And you think there's something wrong with that." Dick's tone is entirely even, while it's still cold enough to make Wally's chest tighten.
Mr. West examines Dick with wild eyes. "I think— Yes I think there's something freaking wrong with that! It's unnatural!"
If Wally believed his heart had fallen to the floorboards, it had been trampled on and broken, now.
"It goes against everything we've learned in Church." Mrs. West sniffles, and Wally feels the tiniest spark of fury ignite, which burns out every former feeling of pain and replaces it with a fiery anger.
"You went to Church, what, five times in seventeen years?" Wally hisses, climbing to his feet. "It's not about some stupid religion you pretend to follow!"
"Don't you talk to your Mother like that." Rudolph orders lowly.
Gritting his teeth, Wally staggers only a few steps forward until Dick's reefing him away. Wally shrugs him off.
"Why is it so weird, for you?" Wally gets into his Father's face— finally having reached the pinnacle of his growth it seemed, where they meet eye-to-eye. "Is it because of what people will say? Do you think it's gross? Are you ashamed to have a son who likes boys, Dad? Are you that much of a miserable low life—"
He barely sees the movement, before the fist connects with his jaw, and he's slammed into the china cabinet.
Dick rushes toward his boyfriend, but Wally doesn't give him the chance to help him up or check his injury before he's back on two legs. The pain of being rejected— the outrage, has dissipated, leaving only a throbbing physical wound and tears that sting behind his eyelids.
From his peripheral, he thinks he can see his Mom crying.
"Fine." Wally whispers, and doesn't bother to utter another word before he's flown out the exit and headed back to his vehicle. Dick meets up with him, a moment later.
By the time he's clambered into his seat, Wally's already begun sobbing mutely. Dick pulls him over, until his face hits his lap, then strokes his head while he cries.
"I'm sorry, Wally…"
What else is there to say?
When they show up back at the Allen house, at two-thirty in the morning, Iris asks no questions— she only hugs them both.