Wally gave a false smile towards the gangly-looking child in a sun-yellow dress eyeing him guardedly, awkwardly patting Roy's cringed up back. "Oh boy… I really hate when they stare…"
Roy muttered over the open, plastic bag situated between his costumed knees, sick gleaming on his lips, "Then why-ueergh—why are…we here—…?"
"Because I don't want to you die, okay? First, one of Gorilla Grodd's thugs chokes you with mistletoe and then you get knocked down the rail yard, and the next thing I know, you're puking your guts up and curled up from the abdominal pain. Better decision: Oldtown's hospital." The eighteen-year-old frowned through his cowl, tone switching to anxious, "How's your vision… is everything still blurry?"
"Blergh—" Roy spat into his bag, heaving in a loud breath and tightened his chalky, sweaty features. "Clearer. Shit, uhh, I hate the holidays."
A doctor stepped into the semi-vacant waiting from the emergency room double doors. He passed with a gentle nod and a smile through his bushy, white mustache to a seated woman wearing a Christmas sweater over her largely pregnant belly. She did not look up, apparently distracted with her softly lit iPAD.
As the doctor headed in their direction, Wally's eyes through his thermal goggles lingered over the nametag on his coat "Dr. Christopher J. Cringle".
"Mister…" Dr. Cringle glanced briefly at the domino-masked, grown man making whimpering noises as he bent over. "…Red Arrow, is it?"
Wally laughed nervously.
"That's him. I'm…" He slowly reached out with a bright red glove towards the doctor who took it patiently to shake. "A friend. Kid Flash. We're…the good guys," he finished lamely, and made a yelp when Roy aimed a hard and powerful blow at his knee. Dr. Cringle did not raise an eyebrow at their behavior. Must have seen a lot to work at a Star City hospital. Especially during the graveyard shift.
He instead flipped through a clipboard and addressed Roy when the vomited started to quiet. "You've ingested some phoratoxin from a substantial amount of mistletoe — forced ingestion, I believe — about forty-five minutes ago. We've checked your vitals and everything appears normal. This informs me that you took a dosage of Ipecac to induce vomiting?"
"Pretty much, yeah, he did." Wally spoke up, and then grinned absurdly delighted, "Never leave home without it." He avoided the next blow to the knee by standing up, rocking up on his boots.
"Inducing vomiting is a dangerous practice but a good first instinct to get rid of the toxin." Dr. Cringle flipped the papers back into their proper order on the clipboard. His warm cerulean eyes narrowed thoughtfully on the pair of them as he asked, "Is it… preferable in his occupation to remain hospitalized for another twenty-four hours?"
Wally gazed over his shoulder deliberately and Roy quickly signed to him N-O with one hand. The speedster cleared his throat. "What if… it isn't?"
"I recommend a twenty-four hour watch for symptoms of further poisoning." The white-haired doctor handed Wally a pamphlet and several, crisp papers from the clipboard. All business tones. "Please see the receptionist on your way out. You gentlemen have a good night." A faint, honest smile lifted his lips as Wally bowed his head a moment and murmured a polite 'will-do-sir'.
Dr. Cringle approached the child in the sun-yellow dress who merrily kicked her legs out in front of her, and he held out his hand for her to take obediently.
"One more thing…" Both young adults glanced at him halfway across the waiting room as the doctor told them good-naturedly, "…thank you."
"Was it just me or did he feel a little… off?"
"Doc looked like he was getting along in years. Not really surprising." Roy leaned towards Wally's arm hitched under his armpit, groaning, "Let's just get out of here already, Kid."
"Yeah, get you some mouth gargle. Seriously, I don't wanna taste your puke."
"Keep talking like that and you aren't getting any action tonight, jackass." Wally pretended to pout at the half-smirking threat. "Mouth or otherwise. Walk faster."
The speedster chuckled, squeezing an arm around him benevolently. "You got it, RA." He smacked a hand of paperwork on the receptionist's festively joyful desk where they halted.
"Hi," Wally greeted the not-so-joyful, middle-aged lady with a string of pearls peeking out from the white collar of her uniform. "We're checking out. Mister Red Arrow and company." Roy grumbled.
"Have you been assisted?"
"Yep," Wally explained, scooting the now somewhat crinkled papers towards her, "Doctor Cringle gave us these."
The dull look on the receptionist's face vanished into confused doubt.
"…Excuse me, young man?"
Wally hesitated, sending a panicked 'oh-crap-what-did-we-do' to Roy who pressed his lips together but the twenty-one-year-old couldn't indicate an answer for him. "Uh. The doctor saw us? He said we could go?" Wally insisted, tapping the paperwork with a gloved finger, "See, he even signed for it." The receptionist moved forward to scan her wide eyes over it, and her head began to shake.
"That's impossible," she whispered feebly.
She explained to them as Roy grunted irritably, coughing as his gag reflex started working against him. "This doctor isn't part of our current residency." Her dark eyes glittered.
"He's been dead for the past nine years. I was here at the time." Roy stopped coughing and Wally's eyebrows shot towards his forehead. "Smoke asphyxiation during a building fire in the closed off wing. We tried to get him out… but he insisted on saving the few kids still trapped, along with his granddaughter…" Her fingers trembled upwards her neck, wrapping around her pearls and pulling them to reveal a wooden crucifix at the end of the chain. "They never made it. He was… a good person. I've only seen him once since then… very briefly… I thought I was dreaming… He remembered my name…"
"Everyone in this place is nuts!" Wally raged down another corridor for the main exit, still partly-aiding Roy along, "There's no such thing as ghosts."
The older man countered, "Who says there isn't?"
Wally gritted his teeth, baring them, eyes blazing.
"-I- say so."
"Because science can explain away everything, right?"
Ignoring the snarky remark, Wally waved down the girl in the sun-yellow dress, skipping and fisting her dress's lacy hem. "Hey!" he called out, letting Roy go and walking over. "Hey, hey, you remember me?" She nodded muted and with vigor, her black curls touching the sides of her inquisitive face, and Wally knelt in front of her. "You do? Okay, do you remember seeing a doctor with a white mustache come into that waiting room, talking to me and my friend here?" All of a sudden, her face broke out into a big smile, and she nodded again, waggling her dress hem.
Wally stood up, turning back to the archer smugly. "No ghosts. She saw him."
"Aren't kids more sensitive that crap like that?" Roy folded his red-strapped, costumed arms in front of him.
The speedster made an exasperated sigh.
"Right, cause that explain us," he said with some dry sarcasm. "Where did you hear that, RA? Paranormal Activity?"
Roy gazed down at the child, meeting her cerulean eyes with mild consideration. He jerked his chin towards the corridor. "Don't you have family looking for you, squirt?" She took off, letting go of her hem.
Wally jabbed his elbow at Roy's bicep, saying jokingly, "Next thing you're gonna try to tell me if that she is—" His jaw dropped as the girl ran straight for an empty wheeling cot, phasing through the decidedly solid structure as if she were a holographic image, or a hallucination, or anything that would have made sense than ghost—before ebbing away into the wall.
Wally clenched his jaw.
"…Never coming back here again," he muttered, jostling Roy forward and rewrapping an arm around him. Hurrying for the exit. "Next time you are puking and dying in your apartment."
Wally's skepticism is adorable. This odd Christmas ghost story is a present for GrimLullaby. Request prompt: "Roy/Wally. Mistletoe."