Disclaimer: I do not own Justice League or any of the shows characters. If I did, Batman would love Robin and his LJ buds the way he does in Young Justice. Just saying.
. . .
Of Fathers and Sons
. . .
Damn. Wally stares ahead blankly.
"Mr. West? Are you still there?"
Mr. West. He never had liked the way that sounded. "Yeah, I'm still here."
"…I'm sorry for your lost. The reports say he died instantly –no pain."
Wally blinked. She was trying to reassure him. Console him even. "Thank you, Ms. Sullivan. I appreciate you calling me so quickly."
"Of course." Her voice was higher now, happy to get a normal sort of reaction from him. Wally wondered if she was expecting him to cry a bit too. It was his father after all. The silence grew uncomfortable, "Will you be making the funeral arrangements then? I noticed your father had a sister on file, but we're having trouble locating her…"
Wally swallowed, "No –I mean yes. Yeah, I'll be making the funeral arrangements. And don't bother with my aunt. I'll take care of everything, okay?"
He knows his voice sounds all weird and squeaky, but he can't help it. He never really could, not when it came to his father.
Wally has to reassure her a couple times before he manages to get her off the line in a relatively polite manner.
He is still holding his cell phone between his hands when the Green Lantern strolls through the locker rooms doorway, an overly cheery tune whistling past his lips and a silent Batman on his heels.
"Heya Hotshot. You been in here all morning?"
Wally doesn't answer him. He just looks at Batman and says, "My dad is dead. A car crash late last night."
John freezes for a moment before, "I'm sorry, Flash."
And Wally understands why Green Lantern said it, Hell, it was the right thing to say. But he's looking at Batman now, watching him purse his thin lips and grunt, "I'm not." Before dipping out of the room in a swoosh of black cape and silent foot falls. Wally stares after him for a moment, a little frozen, but mostly contemplative.
John looks like he's about to explode in a Batman-destroying fury. But Wally's always been good at shocking people too. "Me neither." He says. And then he walks out.
. . .
John is his best friend, but only a few people really know about Wally's father. Maybe two of them are still breathing. Batman. Nightwing. And that's it. Batman because he knows everything and always looked out him when he was just starting off as a kid with too much energy. Nightwing because they're brothers in every way but blood, even in the cheesy bromantic way he would never be caught dead admitting. Wally and Dick. Kid Flash and Robin. Flash and Nightwing. Wally buried his face in his hands. Some things never really changed, he just had to remind himself that it wasn't always a bad thing.
Wally sighs a little. The arrangements had been utter Hell. All awkward conversations and questions he didn't care to answer. No, no need for a private family viewing. Really, I'm all the family he's got… He didn't like the looks of pity he got from that one. Wally doesn't understand that at all. Wally West has plenty of family. Dozens of people would attend his funeral. Hundreds for the Flash and millions more would mourn. No, he wasn't lacking at all.
Still they looked at him with those sad eyes and pinched lips.
"Mr. West? You can go in now."
Wally doesn't make eye contact with the young woman holding open the parlor door for him. He just stares ahead and doesn't bother trying to look particularly sad. He doesn't need to, he was plenty upset anyway.
He was alone, though everyone from GL to Hawk Girl had asked him if he wanted company. Even Batman had posed the question, though for different reasons entirely. No, don't worry about me guys. I'll be fine. Really. They weren't convinced, but they did listen. He liked it that way.
Wally stood awkwardly over the body, not entirely sure what he was supposed to be doing. "Uh, well, hi." Wally sat down on the wooden stool next to the coffin. It wasn't very comfortable. "So, I know you don't want to hear it, but I have a few things we need to go over. A few things I need to say."
"First of all, I'm not going to humiliate you at your own funeral. Everything will be done properly and relatively respectably, not that there will be anyone to embarrass you in front of. Second of all, I hate you. There's a reason why kids leave home when they're still teenagers. You were my reason. I've put better men than you behind bars, no regrets. And because I know you'll hate this and I'm feeling a little bitter, Uncle Barry was my dad. You were just the sperm donor who didn't leave for fourteen years."
It seemed like a good place to end. His piece said and his outburst finished. He could get on with his life now. But…
"I wish I knew why you did it though. I never met my grandfather. Did he beat you too? Tell you that you were stupid and worthless? Did you steal your mother's make-up so you could hide bruises that just wouldn't fade? Lie to your friends about scars and breaks?"
Wally was breathing heavily. He wanted to shake his father, make him tell him what he wanted to know. But that's what his father would have done. Smack him around until Wally said what he wanted to hear. Besides, the man was dead anyway.
Wally closed his eyes and suddenly he was thirteen and freaking out. His hair was messy and his face a blotch of redness and freckles.
"I'm sorry, dad. I'm so, so sorry. I just can't control everything yet. I swear, I'm trying…" But Wally knows trying isn't good enough and a moment later his head is crashing against the hard wood of the bookshelf he had accidentally knocked over in a burst of uncontrolled speed. It actually splinters on contact and somewhere deep in his mind Wally notes the counter productiveness of the action. The shelf hadn't broken when he knocked it over, but it was definitely ruined now.
He opens his eyes. The abuse had started long before his accident caused him to become Kid Flash and only got worse after. But even with Wally's accelerated healing, the bruises just didn't fade quick enough and the broken fingers and minor fractures didn't always heal before his Uncle caught wind of them. He figured Batman found out from Uncle Barry, probably so he'd have someone to keep him from murdering his brother-in-law.
Uncle Barry. Wally would have given anything to switch the years the two men had been allowed to live. But death was death. That was it.
Wally slid off the stool and gave the dead man a final once-over. Graying brown hair, still thick and worm short like it was when he was a kid. A little over weight. Frown lines. Wally thought the putty-like make-up looked a little off, or maybe just spread a little too thin where the collar of his pressed blue button down met his neck.
"It still all matters, you know. I haven't even seen you since I was fourteen, and I bet you thought of me a Hell of a lot more than I thought of you, which is definitely saying something. But in the end, the past matters. It makes what happens today, and today, you're dead, and after this, I'm never going to think of you again."
He doesn't feel much when he walks out the parlor doors and through the bland hallways that led to freedom. The young woman calls out after him once or twice, but whatever. He's already paid for the damn thing. Wally just loosens his tie and unbuttons his shirt a bit. Keeps walking.
And why not? It was sunny outside and he was 99.9% sure when he walked out the exit that Dick would be waiting for him in the metal death trap they built during their long years of mayhem together. The kind of desert-wrecking contraption that had a special place for coolers full of beer and seat belts that Dick had taken from a totaled Batmobile when he was seventeen.
A couple of obnoxious bloops carried out from the front of the parking lot. Something he had personally installed into their little monster after many an argument between them. He could see Dick waving him over, a couple of ridiculously oversized goggles dangling from his wrist in offering.
Wally smiles broadly. Behind him is the funeral of a bitter old dead man who he hasn't even thought of in years. Dick starts dancing around to a crappy song some boy band did in the nineties. Wally lets out a rolling laugh. And yeah, he could think of a couple of better ways to spend the day other than going to a funeral not even the dead guy would want him to attend.
. . .
Okay, so not exactly complete cannon, but hey, I liked writing it.
Feel free to leave a review. I like hearing what you guys really think.
Edit: (I added a break thingie 'cause it was driving me crazy)